By Isaac Asimov.
When I first created my website, I knew I wanted to think about (and therefore write about) a few subjects that were alive for me. Not being sure how to split them up, I went with a single website, under my own name.
As I started to draft some content, the subjects became clearer and I could divide them up, making menu entries for each topic. So my website was a bit eclectic, but now it had structure.
Then I started to read about SEO and I realised that google would struggle to know what topics I was writing about. Who should it send to my site? Some topics fit together just fine, such as productivity and software, but it’s hard to fit meditation into the same mix.
I also saw that meditation divided into so many sub-topics that it needed a whole taxonomy of its own. I wanted to write a journal of my development through meditation, and a different journal of the challenges of learning content creation. Plus I wanted to keep separate collections of the books that have informed my progress.
So, now I have a website called pierrethemeditator.com and another, behind-the-scenes type website, under my own name, which is what you’re reading now.
The three decisions I made to get from no website to an empty website, ready to start writing were:
- Use WordPress as the CMS
- Use Pressable as the website host
- Make a single website to cover multiple projects
Pressed into WordPress
WordPress is a mess. However, it’s the most commonly used content management system. That means there are a lot of plugins for adding extra features, such as automated tweeting, that make the website run the way I want it to.
Semi-impressed by Pressable
I chose Pressable as my WordPress host because I wanted support from the people that make WordPress.com but with the ability to stage changes in a clone of the site before putting them into production.
They use the same servers as WordPress.com, so I expect them to be reliable. They also have the same quality of support people as WordPress.com, and I’ve found them to be very helpful.
I was disappointed that the built-in backup was only once per day rather than the real time backup that I know they can provide. The double whammy with the daily backup is that you can’t encourage the backups to happen in a given timeframe, so the day’s only backup might happen during the time when you’re changing the website. This leaves the site in a state that you wouldn’t want to revert to. I’d rather set a batch of tasks, get them done and then know they were part of a set of work. Either they’d all be in production or they’d all be backed out by the restore, but not half and half because the backup happened halfway through a task.
One Website To Rule Them All
I thought about having separate websites for each of the things I write about. This would allow me to use a theme and a set of plugins ideal for each topic. An alternative was to use a single WordPress multi-site. In the end, I decided to use a single site because the content ideas are evolving and I imagine I’ll rearrange the same content many times until I’ve figured out how it’s all going to fit together.