New Website Help

37 replies [Last post]
Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

I'm going to create a separate website for our new intimate wedding/elopements. I've built a template website before (not b&b), but this time I want to do a Word Press site. I'm a total newbie to WP.

I'm planning on the site to be only a few pages. Do just download the regular WP or is there a' theme' that would be good for this?

I've chosen a domain name and will be using 1and1

All suggestions are appreciated!I

I plan on also adding a page to my b&b website, but since I use a design company, all added pages to that site will cost $$$. I will have links on the b&b page to the separate wedding site. Another reason for having a separate site is that we will offer a package where lodging is not included. In the summer, last minute elopements often will find our rooms full, but we can still do a ceremony.

Thanks!

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

EMPTYNEST ROCKS!!!!

 

Skamokawa's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/24/2008

Yes indeedy!

__________________

Twin Gables Inn
On the Lower Columbia Water Trail

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

And there you go: the world of computers. I love JetPack. Would not live without it. No compatibility issues. It does SO many things for me, and does them well.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Glad to hear that I know GO Dad dy includes with it's wordpress. Maybe I will investigate further but have not needed it in the past.

Here's what a guru friend of mine had to say about it. Just an FYI.

"It has some useful utilities, but every feature in it can also be found in other free plugins. Jetpack more or less aggregates all the functions you noted into one macro plugin.

The issue has been in the past that Jetpack often has interfered with premium theme functions as its coding assumed that it would be the only function in the theme employing any advanced js or css classes. Really, like most other wp.com products, it was designed to create obstacles such that users, after pulling their hair out for a while in frustration, decided to head over to wordpress.com to buy their services.

We have many threads on the forum about Jetpack usage with our theme. I think the current assessment is that most of the basic features work with it, but possibly one or two of its components are problematic.

Our recommendation is that if one installs it, one should do so only after all the other components of a site are completed (if possible, which is not always the case). Then activate the desired Jetpack components one by one, checking all your site pages for full functionality between each activation."

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

EmptyNest wrote:

Glad to hear that I know GO Dad dy includes with it's wordpress. Maybe I will investigate further but have not needed it in the past.

Here's what a guru friend of mine had to say about it. Just an FYI.

Our recommendation is that if one installs it, one should do so only after all the other components of a site are completed (if possible, which is not always the case). Then activate the desired Jetpack components one by one, checking all your site pages for full functionality between each activation."

That's good advice. You just activate the components you want and can do them one-by-one to check compatibility, same as you'd do if you got all the utilities one by one from other sources. 

It's just really convenient to have them all in one package controlled from one control center and all kept updated by just updating Jetpack, rather than having to deal with a bunch of separate utilities to keep updated.

Here are some of the components I use the most:

  • Great display of all my WordPress stats, stuff I'd otherwise have to go to Google Analytics to check. Analytics gives a lot more info, but for quick daily looks, JetPack tells me where people came from to get to my site, what search terms they used, what pages they looked at, and what links they clicked from my site.
  • Lets me easily insert shortcode for columns, dividers like lines and lines with link back to top of page, dropcaps, and other stuff I couldn't do with the WP editor alone.
  • Adds the FB Like and Share buttons and Twitter buttons to the bottom of each blog post, as well as other posts.
  • Good spell checker and grammar suggester.
  • Provides a good contact form for my Contact Us page.

And a lot more

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

See..the theme I use most of the time,  has tons of built in shortcodes so I have no need for it, it also has all the social icons and a great contact forms built into it as well as Google Maps and a zillion other things....So other than stats which I use GA for...I have no need for it.

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

The problem of built-in shortcodes has been heavily debated in the WordPress community for the past 1-1.5 years.
Here's the problem: built-in shortcodes are theme-dependent. Which means that the moment you decide to switch themes, you won't have those shortcodes anymore, especially if you switch to a different theme developer.

Which means that you will either have to customize your new theme, and move the shortcodes from the old one, or you will have to edit all of your existing pages and change the old shortcodes to the new ones.

For this reason, in 2013, (good) theme developers no longer bundle extensive functionality into their themes, as themes should be used for design, not features such as shortcodes.

Of course from a developer's point of view it is a good business decision to lock your customer into some dependency. So they bundle a ton of theme-dependent stuff, and once you want to switch, you realize how much trouble that will be. So you keep the theme for a few more months/years, continuing your membership with the developer.

So as a long-term rule of thumb: it is preferable to use great plugins with a good looking theme, than to find a do-it-all bloated theme.

I'll stop now, as I can write about this for hours Smiling

__________________

https://www.hermesthemes.com/ - WordPress Themes for Independent Hotels, Inns and B&Bs

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

dumitru wrote:

Here's the problem: built-in shortcodes are theme-dependent. Which means that the moment you decide to switch themes, you won't have those shortcodes anymore, especially if you switch to a different theme developer.

Good point. While we don't switch themes often, after a few years older themes cannot keep up with nice features included in newer themes, so I would think most of us would like to switch to a new theme after a few years. And as we all now know, "a few years" will pass faster than you would think!

Assuming JetPack continues to keep up with the times, a theme switch could be easier than if you are dependent on inclusions in an older theme that do not exist in the newer theme you'd like to switch to.

Of course, "assuming" is the key word.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

"ASSUMING"...yep...you got that right. Many of the most popular themes have been pretty good about updating them. But often times you don't know it has been updated. I have mine set to email me if and when there are updates.  And I have to tell you, and I probably said it already but ...the SUPPORT GUYS from Striking theme are ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC. They go way beyond what anyone else does and they are on it as quick as possible.

I disagree with themes not using shortcodes...practically all the ones I have looked at recently do and they "tout" that they do so that you don't need to add in a ton of plugins which can cause conflicts. Everyone to their own opinion Smiling

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

Usually you will find thousands of shortcodes in themes from ThemeForest Smiling The quality requirements are almost non-existing there, so it is very easy to get started with sales there.

Lately the requirements have been increased a bit, but it can still get pretty wild down there.

But, as always, it is up to the customer: if it works great for you, everything else is irrelevant Smiling

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

Personally I've been using mostly HostGator and always recommend it to my customers. At least I've never heard customers complain about them, so there's that.
As for domains, for the last 2 years I've been with name.com.

If you decide to go with a premium WordPress theme, then there are a lot of digest-type websites that collect information about all the latest releases.
Probably the most popular one is PremiumWP.com, it has screen-shots, prices, links, etc. 

As Arkansawyer mentioned, make sure that you review all the available options in Dashboard > Settings. Probably the most important thing to do is set a good structure (options are available) in Settings > Permalinks.

After that, I recommend installing and setting up these plugins:
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
2. Jetpack by WordPress.com
3. WP Super Cache

These are probably the 3 must-have for any website.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

dumitru wrote:

Personally I've been using mostly HostGator and always recommend it to my customers. At least I've never heard customers complain about them, so there's that.
As for domains, for the last 2 years I've been with name.com.

If you decide to go with a premium WordPress theme, then there are a lot of digest-type websites that collect information about all the latest releases.
Probably the most popular one is PremiumWP.com, it has screen-shots, prices, links, etc. 

As Arkansawyer mentioned, make sure that you review all the available options in Dashboard > Settings. Probably the most important thing to do is set a good structure (options are available) in Settings > Permalinks.

After that, I recommend installing and setting up these plugins:
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
2. Jetpack by WordPress.com
3. WP Super Cache

These are probably the 3 must-have for any website.

dumitru,

I really appreciate your help and suggestions here, but I didn't appreciate the offline contact solicitation from you. The best thing you can do is to continue posting your thoughts and help so we get to know you and your work. It's a 2 way street on this forum, we help each other, but if you contact members whenever we're talking about a new project, I'm afraid it won't go well for you.

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

Wait... what offline contact? I have never contacted anyone from this forum about anything. 
I believe you confused me with someone else.

Why would you think I contacted anyone about anything? Please provide more details.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

dumitru wrote:

Wait... what offline contact? I have never contacted anyone from this forum about anything. 
I believe you confused me with someone else.

Why would you think I contacted anyone about anything? Please provide more details.

dumitru, I owe you a HUGE apology!! It wasn't you!

I was confused because the e-mail came in the middle of this discussion.

It was favershamdesigns!!

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

What a relief... I was about to start questioning my sanity Smiling

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

[quote=dumitru]

What a relief... I was about to start questioning my sanity Smiling

[/quote ]

I'm the one that went crazy yesterday! I'm much better now...it's only my normal sanity problems frown

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

dumitru wrote:

Wait... what offline contact? I have never contacted anyone from this forum about anything. 
I believe you confused me with someone else.

Why would you think I contacted anyone about anything? Please provide more details.

dumitru, I owe you a HUGE apology!! It wasn't you!

I was confused because the e-mail came in the middle of this discussion.

It was favershamdesigns!!

Thank you for clearing that up. Dumitru now you see WHY we are so the way we are! "favershamdesigns" came to the forum and on day one began sending emails to people from the forum. I hope you can appreciate this, we mentioned this and you got offended and thankfully YOU are not like this! Stick around. yes

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Thank you for clearing that up. Dumitru now you see WHY we are so the way we are! "favershamdesigns" came to the forum and on day one began sending emails to people from the forum. I hope you can appreciate this, we mentioned this and you got offended and thankfully YOU are not like this! Stick around. yes

We're cool Smiling

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

dumitru wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Thank you for clearing that up. Dumitru now you see WHY we are so the way we are! "favershamdesigns" came to the forum and on day one began sending emails to people from the forum. I hope you can appreciate this, we mentioned this and you got offended and thankfully YOU are not like this! Stick around. yes

We're cool Smiling


What sort of camera do you shoot? I see it is your avatar. I just got my upgrade to a Nikon D7000. It has traveled around the world, a friend upgrades and I wait eagerly to buy his old one. It has been in the dust storms of Africa and more, but it is dust and moisture proof, so I am super happy with it. (Just got it last night)

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

Last year I switched from an amateur's Nikon D5000 to a Canon Mark II. Not because I was unhappy about the Nikon, but because I wanted a full-frame camera.
Currently I'm mostly shooting HDR wide shots, so I needed a proper wide lens.

I got the Mark II with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ultra-wide lens... I love it Smiling Most of the stuff on my blog was shot with it, with the occasional 50mm 1.4 Nikon.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

dumitru wrote:

Last year I switched from an amateur's Nikon D5000 to a Canon Mark II. Not because I was unhappy about the Nikon, but because I wanted a full-frame camera.
Currently I'm mostly shooting HDR wide shots, so I needed a proper wide lens.

I got the Mark II with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ultra-wide lens... I love it Smiling Most of the stuff on my blog was shot with it, with the occasional 50mm 1.4 Nikon.


That is what this is as well, full frame HDR. Two SD card slots (one for backup, redundancy or even copies of the same pix), or video. It is much heavier, as DH said a ball banger vs the girlie D40X I have before (still have).

My favorite lens I bought last year (as a bday present) which is ultra wide, it has become my standard go to lens for the most part. I will have a look at the blog. This new lens is 18-200mm. So my middle range zoom may become obsolete now (55-200mm).

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Do not use any cache program until you have completed your site or you will run into issues as you work on your site.  I have never heard a good thing about JetPack. Never use it. See no point. I always delete it from Go Daddy accounts.  Maybe some are successful with it..but many problems with incompatibility with some themes.

YES YES..on Wordpress SEO

dumitru's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2013

JetPack is a collection of "modules" that can be enabled/disabled at will. A couple of them are rather important, such as:

1. WordPress.com Stats - it quickly displays some traffic stats about your website, such as popular pages, referrals, etc. Doesn't replace Google Analytics, but helps you quicker see your live stats for the day.

2. Widget Visibility (introduced recently) - it allows you to control each widget on a per-page basis. So you can have a certain widget appearing only on certain pages. Incredibly useful for many people.

3. Monitor (introduced a few days ago) - it monitors and alerts you if the website is down for some reason. 

So I don't see a reason for "hating" JetPack, as it is merely a collection of tools, which you can use or not. Instead of having 10 plugins by different authors, you can have just one, developed and supported by WordPress itself.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Last night I ordered my new domain  and hosting on 1 and 1. This morning, I have an e-mail saying that they need this information:

- Accounts ordered under Personal name/information:

       One of the following Photo ID's issued by a government agency:
       Driver's License
       Passport
       National ID
       Immigration Visa
       Military ID

- Accounts ordered under a Business name/information:

       One of the above Personal Photo ID's for the listed administrative contact in your order, and one of the following:
       Business Registration Documents
       Articles of Incorporation
       Tax Documents

Other forms of ID will be reviewed and accepted at our discretion.

Does this seem right to you?  I ordered it under our corporation name. There's NO WAY I'm going to give them tax documents!!! Why do they need all this? I've never had to do this with any other domain I've bought.

 

swirt's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/17/2008

No this does not seem right.  Are you sure you are on 1and1.com ?   (as opposed to some other country like 1and1.de  Just using it as an example because Germany has very strict requirements for websites.)

I have never had to give any information like that to 1and1.com  I still host all my sites with them.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

swirt wrote:

No this does not seem right.  Are you sure you are on 1and1.com ?   (as opposed to some other country like 1and1.de  Just using it as an example because Germany has very strict requirements for websites.)

I have never had to give any information like that to 1and1.com  I still host all my sites with them.

yes, it's 1and1.com

It's all set up now, but sure seems strange.

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

I think that's WIERD!!! I've never had to do anything like that. It's for the domain name registration? Of course, I've had the domain name registered to me personally, so maybe that's it?

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Given the number of spammy / scammy websites that show up everyday it doesn't seem like anyone is really reviewing the info!

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

NOne of their business. I have not heard very good things about 1 & 1. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

I did search posts here for hosting and it's one that swirt recommends and a couple other people use them also.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Maybe I am thinking of another hosting company. If SWIRT said ok, then it must be ok.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Swirt set me up with 1and1 for my hosting and I had the rail-trail site moved to them for hosting - was not asked for any of that. I buy my domain names from that well-known  Go Papa site, cheap and have not had any of that stuff. And I JUST bought my elopement domain a couple months ago. Still have to work on getting that done - but I have my domain!!

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Whatever theme you install, it's just a template. You can customize it however you wish.

Just make sure it's a fully responsive theme, so it automatically handles any screen size. I use one called Coherence but there are probably better ones out there now (Coherence is a couple of years old). These days that's SO important, and many of our friends here suffer a little because they don't have responsive websites that work on phones as well as on desktops.

One other tip is, set your site up so you can give your pages names like "mywebsite.com/rooms" rather than something like "mywebsite.com/?page_id=471".

Just be sure the theme is responsive, not just "promised to be responsive some day". I'm thinking of one of our friends here who worked hard and finished her new site months ago, with the promise that it will soon be updated to be responsive, and it's still not. That's not acceptable.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

It is responsive now...if I know who you are talking about Smiling

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Thanks Arkie for the page name tip. I'll probably have more questions once I've downloaded wordpress.

If this small site goes well, who knows, I might try my hand on doing my b&b site some day.

swirt's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/17/2008

Just downloading the regular wordpress is the start.  After that you can either choose from the themes in the theme gallery of look for a custom paid theme company.  (Empty Nest has one theme company that she really likes)

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Thanks swirt. I just purchased the domain name and hosting, so I'll download the regular wordpress. I've searched previous threads and got a couple names EN has suggested. It's kind of overwhelming.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.