I used to be a WordPress.com blogger before I switched over to the crazy world of self-hosting. My first few weeks were WILD to say the least and I spent a lot of time asking blogging questions to anyone I knew who might return an email. I’m not an expert by any means, but these are the people I turned to who helped make this site what it is today.
Site Design & Structure
It’s still hard for me to believe, but I was able to design this site on my own with the instruction of an online blog design class and site navigational ideas from Ruth Soukup’s amazing blogging book. I’m currently running the Christine Trevino theme (my child-theme built on the Genesis Framework by StudioPress), powered by WordPress, and hosted with BlueHost.
Elite Blog Academy is the premier blogging course designed to help refine, grow, and monetize your blog. It’s been a complete game changer for me – helping me think outside the box to bring this space from a hobby to a business.
*If you’re interested in taking your blog to the next level, join the class wait list through the link above to be notified of the next open enrollment.
Blogging, I’ve learned, is not all pretty front-end graphics and cool posts . . . and frankly, the back-end can be a bit overwhelming. I’m so thankful for the people at Agathon who have helped optimize my site and make my header and menus mobile responsive.
All professional portraits of myself and my family were taken by my good friend, Mindy Hong. Unlike Mindy, I am not a photographer and most of my post images and header images are from unsplash.com (which is the COOLEST free graphics site I have EVER stumbled across) or were taken with the camera of my iPhone (bless you Apple).
I’ve also used free graphics and images from the following sites:
Plugins are the bells and whistles of WordPress performance (but sketchy ones, or too many of them can crash your site!). The plugins I find most helpful are the following:
- Google XML Sitemaps – helps establish presence with Google
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – displays analytics results right in my dashboard and places the tracking code in every page of my website
- Yoast SEO – gives me control over the presentation of my material to search engines
- Genesis Simple Hooks – makes placing necessary code into my site simple and relatively painless
- MailChimp for WordPress – email newsletter delivery sign up
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