7 Steps to Creating a Blog Crashplan

Have you tried to make a simple text change that resulted in your blog crashing?  It happened to me a couple of weeks ago on my main business site! Looking back I have be writing a blog in one form or the other since 2009. This is years after I put up my first HTML website in the mid 1990’s that actually garnered a call from headhunter in Kitchener, I declined. Back then HTML seemed a lot easier to work with. Since I am no longer working in software development so CS and Javascript are unfamiliar to me and almost foreign. The invention of the WYSIWIG platforms has made website creation more accessible. WordPress seems to be a popular one and the what I chose, though it isn’t as easy as I originally thought.

While I am in introvert, writing can alone can be a lonely prospect. WordPress is also not as simple I originally envisioned. Today I am sitting at a coffee shop with fellow writers. Last month a blog mastery workshop connected me with other bloggers in Vancouver. It gave me several ideas of how to improve my blogs for ease of use and profitability. 

With great enthusiasm I went to change a few things to clarify my business' homepage. With with a few key strokes – BOOM!  the code broke in several key places. Ouch! On Sunday night a panicked email went out to my web developers hoping that they could fix this huge error on my by some time on Monday.

Creating a Blog Crashplan

1. Set Up a Development Site

Changing text on my website really shouldn’t have had it break, though I am not certain that was the culprit. A few weeks ago I updated to WordPress 4.0 and I think my theme is not compatible.  Create a mirrored site to test major updates, plugins and theme changes. This will keep your top level site functioning without breaking for users who are on the other side.

2. Use a Theme from a Company with Strong Support and Regular Development

A year ago was when I decided to make the switch to WordPress. A web designer researched the theme and I bought it just on the design from Themeforest. Major mistake was not checking that the premium them was from a reputable company that gives support and keeps up with regular development. This error has cost me time, money and aggravation.

3. Use a Maintenance Mode Plugin

This is something new I am learning to use. If you are taking the site down for some renewal, testing and renovations put up an “In Maintenance Mode Sign” and direct users to sign-up to be notified when it is back up and running.

​4. Use a History Tracking Plugin

Track changes and back track with a history plugin. This will save some major headaches because you can see what change was made and backtrack if you made a code breaking error.

​5. Check Plugin Compatibility, Download History and Latest Updates

There are thousands of plugins so how do you choose? Pick ones that have been downloaded several thousand if not hundreds of thousand times; ones that are compatible with your version of WordPress and that the last update was not back in 2010. Use the mirrored development site to test plugins before implementing them on your main site.

6. Use a Visual Content Editor Designed for Ease and Profitability

A visual content editor makes creating functional, well designed pages a lot easier. Thrive Content builder is one I just started using. The forums are a good place to find support or ask questions. Thrive also has very good how to videos on their blog and membership sites. Using landing pages and opt-in features are features of Thrive that have the potential to make a blog more profitable. Another content editor mentioned at the blog mastery was OptimizePress.

​7. Back Up Before Major Updates

Regularly back up your site however, make sure do this before making major site wide changes. This way you can go back to the original without too much delay, revenue loss or headaches.

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Alfred Ball
 

Alfred is a Practicing Kinesiologist who started his own business, Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation in 2007. He has been writing since a very young age. He enjoys writing about the challenges of entrepreneurship and growing a business while maintaining an active lifestyle.

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