The Challenges of Setting Up a Website

Completing this challenge is going to be a much bigger achievement than I’d expected.

I’m learning so much.

That’s me putting a positive slant on things.

I’ve had two weeks off school for the Easter hols and I’m ready to go back just to have a rest. Or at least a break away from my laptop.

Before we broke up for Easter I began seriously working on setting up a website – one of the challenges from my 60 Things To Do Before I’m 60 list. I read lots of posts on the internet and other people’s blogs on how to do this and it all seemed quite straightforward.

Well, that part was.

I invested in web hosting – I’ve gone with Bluehost – and then installed WordPress.org and imported my blog from WordPress.com. All of this was straightforward and although a few of my posts have missing photos or photos that have lost their alignment, it was mostly fine. Much better than I expected.

Then the fun started.

I tried to change the theme. After trying lots, I eventually ended up with the bog standard one that comes with WordPress because none of the ones I tried would display properly. I’ve read that this can just be because they’re in ‘preview’ and it can be different when you go live, but so far I haven’t been brave enough to risk it.

I don’t mind the theme I’ve got at the moment, but it’s not the slick professional look I really wanted.

Next I signed up with Travel Blog Success. I’ve thought about this for a while and the timing was right. And they were having a sale.

Travel Blog Success comes recommended by a whole plethora of travel bloggers I follow. Most of them are affiliated with the course and earn money off referrals, but even bearing this in mind it seemed like a good thing to be part of. Even if only for the networking opportunities.

I only found a couple of negative reviews and they were by people who admitted they hadn’t joined or taken part and so were giving their opinions based on what they assumed it would be like. I disregarded these.

I’ve signed up for the main course and already I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. Even if most of what I’ve learnt is how much I need to learn.

Although my website should be backed up on the main server of my hosting company, it’s better to have a second personal backup as well. I also need to install extra security and firewalls, set up a password vault, change the admin address to one hackers won’t be able to find, install and set up Akismet to stop spam, get an email address to go with my site … the list goes on.

I’ve been trying to do all of these things and finding myself getting frustrated when things don’t work properly. Some of the programmes I’ve tried to install haven’t downloaded properly or I’ve had messages saying they can’t be opened or file extensions are corrupted, blah, blah, blah.

I’m sure if I was more computer savvy I’d get all of this figured out much more quickly. As it is, I consider myself to know a lot more than the average computer user who just surfs the internet and uses basic Word and email, so I can’t imagine how they would go on trying to do this. I like a challenge though and I’m going to feel much prouder of myself once it’s done than I would if I’d sailed through it.

And I mean what I said above; I’m learning a lot!

As well as setting all this up, I’ve been trying to finish the many, many posts that I have sitting in drafts. I’m enjoying going back to them and reminiscing and I’m enjoying all the writing. It is time consuming though.

I spent the first part of my first week off work working non-stop to try to get as much done as possible. Then over Easter I was at a conference for 5 days. The conference was heavy going; long days and lots of concentration needed. Instead of relaxing once I got back to my hotel room in the evenings however, I was spending several more hours on my laptop working. Now I’m home and working flat-out again.

Even though I’m working so hard on it, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. So when I say I want to go back to school for a rest, I actually don’t. I’d rather stay at home and do this. If it wasn’t for those pesky bills needing paying I’d quite happily give up the day job.

I was hoping to go live with my website before I went back to school, but now I know it won’t be ready. Not only do I have to finish sorting out the security, but I also need to get my head round Google Analytics. I’ve opened the lesson on this and immediately closed it again. One thing at a time.

I do know I don’t want to go live until it’s set up though, as I want to be able to capture accurate data right from the beginning.

Once it’s done and I go live I’ll feel such a sense of achievement when I tick this challenge of my list.

In the meantime, this is one more post that I’m writing that no-one will actually see for a while.

Author: Anne

Join me in my journey to live a life less boring, one challenge at a time. Author of the forthcoming book 'Walking the Kungsleden: One Woman's Solo Wander Through the Swedish Arctic'.

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