A New, Revamped “Spun Stories” is now up and running!

As most of you know, I’ve been going through this whole process of revamping my website. I needed to do this for several reasons. One was that my blog was on WordPress.com, while my website was hosted by Yahoo! The other was that as I’m gearing up for my marketing campaign this fall, I need Google Analytics to help me. WordPress.com doesn’t do plugins, so I was forced to move everything over to WordPress.org.

 

Now that I’ve got to the end of this whole process, here are some tips that I’m passing along.

 

  1. If you already have a blog on WordPress.com, pay the $119 for a so-called “Happiness Engineer” (I’m not joking) from WordPress to transfer your blog to WordPress.org. Mine did the transfer in THREE hours. I was thrilled.
  2. If your domain name is with another service like Yahoo, don’t worry. I was able to sign up with Dreamhost to host the WordPress.org website, and keep my email and domain name with Yahoo. I just had to go into my files at Yahoo to make a few simple changes. If I can manage to do that, I’m sure you can!
  3. Do NOT whatever anyone says buy an expensive WordPress them like Thesis theme, UNLESS you are comfortable with html code. If you’re like me, and you kind of squint at it, and feel terrified of actually doing anything because you might destroy your website & blog forever, then stick with a FREE WordPress theme. My favorite is PILCROW, because it allows you to organize the layout and also because it has lots of room for lots of lovely plugins.
  4. Here are a list of widgets that you might want to consider getting for your new WordPress.org website (and blog), once the HE has moved everything over for you:
    1. Akismet. Absolutely essential for preventing spam
    2. Broken link checker. I love this one. Tells you about all the links that don’t work, and provides easy ways to fix.
    3. Disquis Comment System. Allows you to manage your comments, including requiring your readers to register. Also tracks stats.
    4. Facebook “ike” button. Well I had to have one of these didn’t I? Looks so cute, and of course, is a must-have these days.
    5. Feedburner email subscription. Makes it easy for people to sign up to your blog.
    6. Google Friends Connect Widget. Another great way of meeting people online.
    7. Gravatar widget. You really do need a nice photo of yourself on your website or blog.
    8. Grunion Contact form. Another way of connecting with your readers.
    9. Simple social bookmarks. Puts the Facebook, Twitter & email clickable icons at the end of every post.
    10. Simple WordPress Backup. You MUST back up!
    11. WordPress Custom CSS (cascading style sheet). Allows for CSS editing with strict filtering for malicious code.
    12. WordPress Goodreads Bookshelf. The collage of your favorite books looks lovely.
    13. WP parallel loading system. Speeds up website loading.  A must-have if you have lots of images, because the last thing you want to do is irritate a potential reader with a slow-moving website.
    14. WPtouch formats your site for visitor on iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Blackberry & other smartphones.
  5. I was amazed at how easy it is to use these FREE plugins. You just install, them and activate them. If you don’t like what you see, you deactivate them and delete. If you do, you either go to Settings to find them under the settings sidebar, open them up and configure them to make them active. Or you go to Appearance>Widgets and move them around that way.

 

I hope you like my new site. Feel free to drop comments in the comments box below, and have a great week!

 

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Filed under About Cynthia, How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

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