Blog Updates Galore

March 13, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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Today’s post is all blog-related. SEO, RSS, and Plug-in’s, Oh My!

  • New Blog Design
  • Updated Contact Page
  • Updated About Me Page
  • New RSS Record!
  • SEO Friendly URL’s

New Blog Design

I’ll try not to talk too long about this, as I could easily write several pages on the matter.

The other day I spent a good couple hours searching for WordPress/blog designers. As you know, I’m pretty adamant of only hiring top quality designers, and so my search was not easy. I noticed that there were really no good results for “wordpress designers”, “blog designers”, etc. so any blog designers out there, you may want to take up this opportunity…

Anyhow, I found several decent blog designers and e-mailed them all for quotes. Two responded. Their quotes? Around $2000 USD. Now, I’m no stint, and those designers seem to do decent work, but their work isn’t jawdropping or anything. I’d be fine paying $500 or even $800 or so for a nice custom blog skin, but $2000? No thank you ma’am.

Immediately afterwards, I was disappointed that I was going to find a designer and thus get a nice custom skin, but after thinking about it I felt much better. What I have now is perfectly fine. It’s simple, clean, and to the point. While a custom skin would be nice, I really don’t think the $2000 pricetag would justify itself; I doubt income/traffic would increase as a result of a nice new skin, at least not enough to make back $2000 any time soon.

However, if anyone out there can recommend a talented WordPress skinner that isn’t so expensive, let me know. I’m not looking for a plasticy button site, nor a “web 2.0-esque” design, and would want something very unique.

Updated Contact Page

I’ve updated my Contact Page and added an e-mail contact form, to make it a lot easier for people to contact me.

I used a great plug-in that can be found here. Not only does it allow you to add a contact e-mail form to your blog, but this particular one also has spam protection where the user has to answer a question, in my case it’s “2+2″, in order to send out the form.

What’s great is that you can easily change this question and answer to anything you wish in WordPress to anything you wish.

Updated About Me Page

I’ve updated my Contact Page by updating some information as well as remove some of the rambling :-)

Perhaps somebody could help me with this though: since I updated it, I now see a “Subpages for About Me:” area in the top right of that page. Does anyone know how that got there and how I can remove it? I looked but couldn’t find what was causing it… thanks in advance.

New RSS Record!

Although it’s gone now and currently showing 386 readers at the time of this writing, a couple days ago I saw my Feedburner feed reach a new milestone of 406 readers!

Let’s see if we can’t grow that to 500+ on average…

SEO Friendly URL’s

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve finally decided to stop procrastinating and change my URL’s to search engine friendly ones.

I won’t discuss this too much as everybody and their dog knows the advantage of SE-friendly URLs. John Chow actually made a post not too long ago on how to do this with WordPress. It actually only takes 5 seconds.

Why didn’t I change earlier? Well, I was going to a long time ago, but since WordPress uses a different format by default, and since I have hundreds of links to my old URLs, I didn’t want SE’s and people getting 404’s.

So, I found this Permalinks Migragation Plugin which updates your .htaccess and allows the old URLs to still function. I’m not sure if WordPress would have automatically done that if I just changed the URL scheme without the plugin, but I couldn’t take that chance as I have too many important backlinks.

Here’s a good page to read if you decide to change your URL in WordPress. It provides a lot of good information.

So, my URLs have changed from the format of http://www.tylercruz.com/?p=253 to http://www.tylercruz.com/poker-player-vs-web-publisher/ which not only is more informative, but obviously a heck of a lot better for SEO.

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Posted: March 13th, 2007 under Blog Related  

2 Responses to “Blog Updates Galore”

  1. Hi Tyler

    It’s great to see you posting here more often! I can put you in touch with an excellent WordPress designer; he provided me with the design for my blog at http://www.communityspark.com for a price that would be in your price range. Drop me a message if you want me to hook you up with him.

  2. XingR says:

    Thanks loads for the URL migration plugin point out, Tyler. I have one blog that doesn’t have the search engine friendly URL’s and I have been very hesitant to try to switch over. Now I’ll get off my dead butt and do it.

    To anyone debating about making the change? DO IT. It will improve your indexing and it is so much easier to find things when you’re looking for a post by searching “blog_updates” than by trying to remember if it’ #3333 or # 12555. Simple and it works/

PeerFly

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