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Managing a Website April 26, 2011

Posted by Akash in Activity.
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Taking the entrepreneurship to start a website, designing it and putting it on the web is one thing. Maintaining the website is other. I have already gone through the first phase quite well but I had little idea then what I might be facing when it comes to maintain it.

Being a naive in web business (though my web business is a non-profitable one – so far), I thought all I would ever need to become successful is a website with good content, submission to couple of search engines and at most a Google Adsense account. So I progressed happily to build my website with real good and useful contents and when I was done, I submitted it to a few search engines and started waiting to see the stream of visitors in my site.

And I waited and waited… but my dream stream of visitors never appeared. So I kind of convinced myself that I must be missing something and started researching what that might be. And I figured out, to my surprise, that it’s not one or two things that I am missing. In fact there are plethora of other factors that I need to consider and actions that I need to take in order to become successful.

There are somethings which I later found out to be very basic although I did not know them before. Take example of advises that you normally get from Google Webmaster Tools. Configuring Robot.txt, submitting XML and RSS sitemaps, 301 redirecting of non-www sites to www sites etc.

And then there are advanced things as well. Gzip your contents, caching contents (Thank God! I used Joomla as my content managment system), minify Java Script and CSS, using CSS image sprite, using content expiration, leveraging browser caching, E-tag and what not.

And what about some even more complex things like use of Content Delivery Network (CDN), DNS caching, sub-domains for mobile browsers and all that? I spent the entire night yesterday until 4:00 AM to create my personal CDN using multiple sub-domains that can render images, scripts, CSS, contents parallel from server to the browser. Still my firebug rating is at 87.

So the list continues.

Love you, WordPress April 24, 2011

Posted by Akash in Review.
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It took little time for me to get started with WordPress and by the time I finished uploading my first post, I already loved it.

Coming from Joomla background, CMS was not new to me. But what I loved about WordPress is its simplicity. I felt it’s quite fast and straight forward to put your blog up and running in WordPress. In fact Joomla being a full-fledged CMS for web is quite complicated compared to WordPress.

Things I like about WordPress
1. Extremely professional looking and well built collection of website templates/theme
2. Easy to do inbuilt support for mobile web
3. Site administration can be done from desktop as well as from smart phones including publishing and editing posts, moderating comments etc.
4. Huge collection of free widgets (like module in Joomla) that can be easily placed in the site to enable various functionalities
5. In built site usage statistics.

Things I don’t like about WordPress
1. Does not have a separate menu module like Joomla
2. You need to pay money if you want to edit the CSS file of the template
3. Adsense code can not be used if the blog is hosted under WordPress (like mine)

Inability to add Google Adsense code looked quite deterring to me initially but then I realized that I am using WordPress services free of charge so it’s natural for them to not allowing me monetize my blog. This is where Google Blogger differentiates from WordPress. Blogger in spite of being a free blogging platform, allows you to monetize your blog through Google Adsense code.

For the time being, the Adsense thing does not matter much to me, since this is a new site with very less number of visitors. But once the site attracts more visitors, I will host it under some other hosting services where I will be able to use Adsense.

As I said above in the positive sides of WordPress, it is real easy to do blog administration through smartphone apps. For example I am using WordPress for iOS that I have installed in my iPhone 4 free of charge from App Store. This gives me an unprecedented flexibility to manage and edit my blog on the go.

A Scratch Pad of Mind April 24, 2011

Posted by Akash in General.
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Guess what… I needed a fresh place to off-load those ideas. I could not do it on my existing blog here or in my website here because both of those places are more professional in nature.
My website is a community based website for the data warehousing and business intelligence computer professionals from around the world and currently my site is visited by thousands of people per day. Clearly I could not put my mind’s spurs there. The other blog I have is basically (again) a DW & BI technology centric blog. Not a good place either to release the mind leaks. So I decided to start a new blog afresh.

This time I decided to give WordPress a try. So I am here in business with my own personal blog which I am planning to use as a mind scratch pad – you know what I mean, right? It’s place for me to write down all those flickers of my mind which appears very nonsensical right now but which may prove to be noteworthy or equally nonsensical in the future.