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 and who helped make christinetrevino.com what it is today.
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.
Since launching this new space in January 2014, I’ve been able to participate in Ruth’s inaugural Elite Blog Academy class which has been a complete game changer. If you’re interested in taking your blog to the next level, I would strongly recommend joining the 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 were taken with the camera of my iPhone (bless you Apple).
When I need a little help, I use the free graphics and images from the following sites (cited throughout, where appropriate of course):
Plugins are the bells and whistles of WordPress performance (but sketchy ones can crash your site!). The plugins I find most helpful are as follows:
- Akismet – for Spam control
- W3 Total Cache – to keep the site running quickly
- WP Smush.it – to compress images and optimize site performance
- Google Universal Analytics – installs analytics code on all my pages (because all the online tutorials made no sense to me)
- Google Adsense – to help place Google Ads
- Google XML Sitemaps – helps establish presence with Google
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – displays analytics results right in my dashboard
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – 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
- Master Slider – fancy schmancy custom slider that allows me to feature my favorite posts and pages
- Scroll Trigger Boxes – allows me to create a custom call to action box
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