Revamping The ‘Porium

January 4, 2010

This post is in response to my friend Paul Strikwerda’s request. He wanted to know what steps I took to move as well as revamp my blog… making it faster, stronger… and prettier.

The Previous Setup


I registered with a voice over casting site called Voiceover-casting.com

With the free account you get a blog and 5 megabytes of space.

After a few successful posts I bought more storage space and decided to purchase the domain www.voiceemporium.com

Their blog system used a server software called buddypress… a derivative of the popular wordpress system.

In the first few months I taught myself how to use the wordpress system and went online to read a few tutorials as well as got some help from a wordpress developer friend of mine.

The Move


The move didn’t take much effort or time.

1. I already had a domain that I can utilize and get my readers to use instead of the old way of getting to my blog.

2. I had a number of people subscribed to the blog using RSS and Email Subscriptions. Since I used Google’s feedburner to manage my RSS and Email subscriptions I only had to change 1 line of code for all the feeds to be redirected.

3. I already have a web hosting account with bluehost.com for my personal website so I had the ability to link my hosting to my voiceemporium.com domain as an addon site. That means I can have multiple sites with multiple domains linked to a single hosting site. I already have a few other sites linked.

4. I am a graphic designer so redoing my blog’s logo didn’t take much time. I did it using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I did not use anyone’s assistance in designing the graphics for the site…. ok I did use a pre-made twitter bird and a pre-made envelope for the subscription elements in the sidebar.

5. Since I was using wordpress as the backed to my new blog (the one on my server) I decided to invest in a premium theme. This decision wasn’t actually premeditated. I spent a very long time looking for exactly the right theme to represent my blog… I stumbled on the one I’m using now by accident and this was the most direct investment in moving my blog… I spent all of $25. And I have to say that its well worth the money.

6. WordPress comes built with the ability to accept plugins… this is what I am using to manage the Captcha to verify the comments, It’s what I am using to add the functionality of following a comment lead and it’s what I am using to include the share this button next to each article.

7. I am also rebranding my blog to include the shortened version of my blog’s name… TVE (Taji’s Voice Emporium). It makes it easier for me to type and maybe it will stick in people’s heads.

How Much It Would Cost You


So I cut allot of corners and saved allot of money because I invested some time learning how to use wordpress as well as the control panel in my webhosting service. But let’s say you don’t have the time to do that… how much would it cost someone who is not a graphic designer / webdeveloper / geek like myself.

1. Hosting Account – you can get that for about $70 a year which will allow you unlimited space and 99 domains and 2400 email accounts among other things.

2. Domain Name – $10 a year

3. Logo Design – From $100 to $1000 depending on what you’re looking for.

4. WordPress Installation – That’s free with the hosting account but if you are not wordpress savvy and need someone to do the initial install… might set you back from $50 to $250

5. WordPress Theme – Mine cost $25 but there are themes that go all the way to $300 and more depending on their functionality.

6. RSS & Email Redirection – Feedburner is a free service so maybe you can get someone tech savvy (like your 15 year old nephew) to do it for you.

7. Tech Support – I decided that I would start the moving process a month before actually doing it… Which means I setup a beta site to test the new theme and its features. If you are not tech savvy this will cost you ( I honestly have no clue how much this would cost… maybe one of my readers could enlighten me as to how much it would go for). That person could do the wordpress setup and the feedburner redirect and any other theme testing for you.

Optimizing the ‘Porium


To make the site easily accessible by Google Spider bots (indexing service) and Search Engine Optimized. I am using a few wordpress plugins that generate an xml sitemap and make it easier for search engines (not just google) to index the site. I am also using the SEO platinum package plugin to help with the indexing process.

One of the reasons I moved from the previous voiceover casting servers to my own is to be able to install and manage my own plugins as well as control the site in every minute detail. This is partially because I am a control freak… and partially because voiceover-casting have nearly a thousand members and maybe a one third of them have blogs so I can understand that if they install a glitchy plugin it could ruin things for 300 users. So I figured the best thing is to make me responsible for my own glitches.

Further Thoughts

I have considered combining my voiceover website with my blog but honestly I don’t want to. I like having them in their own virtual compartments (even though they share they same hosting service). I do promote my arabic vo work on the sidebars of the blog but beyond that I enjoy having them as two separate entities. This is not to say that this is the best idea… but it is the one I am most comfortable with.

If you would like to ask me any other questions about my new blog design or any of the steps I took… please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a msg.

Later,

Taji


2 Comments


  1. Thank you so much for taking us into your kitchen and sharing some of your recipes! You know you’re one of my favorite cooks, right?!

    As you have demonstrated, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks(unless it’s all paid for by advertising).

    As much as I like the new looks, I’d say your biggest investment by far is consistently offering Quality Content. What good is a smart looking site if the author has nothing new to say? In your case, you have done both: the packaging fits what’s inside. You’re the free radical of the voice-over industry!

    Having a great blog is one thing. Getting people to read it is a whole different ballgame. Perhaps you’d be willing to share some of your strategies and goals in that area. You’re a professional advertiser, so that should be interesting!

    • We do much of the same thing really. LinkedIn, VO-BB and interblog promotion. I still have not invested in advertising TVE using Google Adwords … although it is an option and if I get any advertising revenue I can invest it in further promotion.

      thats all I know about that,
      Taji