Starting a new website
Welcome to a new chapter in the web life of me, Scott Walldren. At one time, I had an “empire” of loosely connected presences across blogger, livejournal, tumblr, instagram, facebook, and even ello. Truthfully, they were all too much to maintain and did not provide me with the control and creative freedom I want to express myself digitally. Then about two months ago, I finished reading Austin Kleon‘s Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work and got excited about carting out my past artistic creations and developing new ones.
An invitation to ride along for the first time blogger
Much less nefarious than Ethan Hawke’s ride-along with Denzel Washington in Training Day, stay tuned as I begin to log the journey of getting this website up and running. As I go along, I’ll be sure to link to helpful resources for the first time blogger and hopefully spread a little of the enthusiasm that reading Mr. Kleon’s books rekindled in me.
Full disclosure: I began my post-college career in website development so I do have some residual knowledge of designing and building websites from scratch. However, as a husband and father of three – along with being a fully employed in a job that I love – I don’t have the time or patience I once had to try out each and every thing that I might under different circumstances.
In the posts ahead: how to start a new website
In the days and weeks before me, I hope to provide a travelogue of sorts as I will do my best to write about all of the different aspects that will be involved in getting this project off the ground. Here are some important considerations that I have, well, considered, in the process and that will be useful to the first time blogger:
- Website concept: Why, after so many years, did I decide on creating a new website and what do I want it to be about?
- Website planning: Thinking through things like information hierarchy and user experience to make this more of a working experiment for me and my readers than just another vanity project. (OK, so vanity obviously played a role.)
- Website content: What kind of content will I produce? What do I hope to do and what kind of attention to I want to attract with my site? What blend of content should I develop to attract visitors to my site vs. pure passion projects that I will share for the love of creating?
- Website Content Management Systems (CMS): What platform did I choose and why? What does the blogger just starting out really need? What does the small business need?
- Website measurement (Analytics): The importance of ensuring I have good web analytics and what I want easily make possible for a blog of this relatively small scale.
- Website design: Given that most of us have smartphones and enjoy reading across screens, what do I need to consider in customizing my CMS and what design or theme will I eventually choose?
- Search engine optimization (SEO): I am an SEO Director by day, so what are the core SEO functionalities I need to have from the get-go to make this project worthwhile to me?
Curating resources for starting your own website
Along the way, I solemnly promise to also share links to other creators and resources that I have found inspirational and useful in the development of this site. Whether it’s links to coding resources like W3 schools, wordpress articles, or in depth resources on getting Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager set up, I’ll make sure to share the love and, like the Credible Hulk, to cite my sources.
Thanks for reading!