For the past six months, or possibly even longer – one loses all sense of time during a pandemic, I’ve been working on a project which has slowly come to fruition. It’s a project that involves writing, just like me blog, and in many ways is an extension of the blog. It’s been quite a sharp learning curve and I’ve had to discover many things for myself to see how they work out in practice, but now I feel ready to tell the world, in order for people to find out what I’ve been up to and decide for themselves.
The sharp eyed amongst you, may have already noticed a link to a new site, appearing in the left hand side bar of the blog, under the heading of My Blog List,. In case you haven't I’ve set up my own website, called Paul’s Beer Travels, and it's the project I've been working on since the start of the pandemic.
If the title of the website sounds a little too similar to my current blog, then that’s a bonus, because in many ways there are a number of parallels between the two, but the site is far more than just a blog, as I will explain. Paul’s Beer & Travel Blog is exactly that; a blog where I get to post articles about beer and beer-related topics, especially where there’s an element of travel involved.
The website, on the other hand, whilst continuing in this vein (hence the similar sounding name), gives me the opportunity of publishing far lengthier posts, and to group these pieces under a number of different headings.These headings are: Home, About, The Beers, Beer Destinations, Walking & Beer, plus Blog.
If you click on the site, you will notice drop down menu choices under the middle four of those six headings. I am still working on adding longer articles to the site – “populating it” I believe is the correct technical term, and have already added several posts under the "Beer Destinations" and "Walking & Beer" headings: the latter being something of a labour of love, given my liking of rambling and long country walks.
There is nothing currently under the "Blog" heading, but this may change, depending how the site develops and whether or not I wish to maintain the Blogger site, hosted by Google alongside the self-hosted WordPress one (see below.) That’s a decision for another day, as the current site is doing reasonably well in terms of Pageviews, and even pulls in a tiny amount of revenue, but I would need to grow the number of visitors to the new site quite considerably, before considering such a move.
I chose WordPress to host my new site, but opted for the dot.org version, rather than the more common dot.com form of WordPress. WordPress.org, is a self-hosted site, whereas WordPress.com is a hosted blogging platform, run by a company called Automattic.
So, with WordPress.org, the owner of the site is free to download and install the WordPress software on any web-hosting site of his or her choosing, and then use that software without restriction, in any way they see fit. Whereas with WordPress.com, users are restricted to one hosting platform and also to the number of themes to choose from, when it comes to customizing their site.
Going with WordPress.org though, was quite tough to begin with, as whilst there’s plenty of online advice, in some ways there’s too much. I opted for a company called Bluehost to host the site, and I also purchased my domain name through them. URL https://paulsbeertravels.com now belongs to me, and will remain my property as long as I pay the Domain Registration fee of £9.68 each year.
Bluehost will provide software support, as well as sorting out any problems I may have. They have already assisted in upgrading my site to the latest version of WordPress. Because I am self-hosting the site, I can monetise it in the future – should I so desire. This means I can offer affiliate links, sell items etc, as quite a few other beer and travel websites do at the moment.
I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, that there’s been a lot to learn, but it’s been enjoyable, in a strange sort of way, not just adding content, but playing around with the layout of the site, as well as its overall look.
Although it’s still something of a work in
progress, the website is fully functional, so why not take a look and let
me know what you think? Feedback, whether positive or negative, will be much appreciated,
as will suggestions for improvement or enhancement. You can also sign up to receive regular email updates, regarding new posts.