GrampaMike's WordPress Website?

Last Update: May 03, 2015

Yes, I did it. I sat down tonight and put up a WordPress website. Bet you never thought I would do that. You can check it out here:
http://grampamike.siterubix.com/

You can critique my silly attempt all you want. I can take it.
As a footnote, please do not use the site title, "The Online Entrepreneur." I'm really going to use that title in a new niche. Not only that but the title has now been officially published and is protected by copyright law as intellectual property. Use my title and I will have to sick Guido and Luigi on you. Marlon Brando, "It's not personal, it's just business."

The reason I did this is because I have been telling folks all along that I don't use WordPress and that my sites are hosted outside of WA. I'm not able to answer any WordPress questions. (yes, there are limitations on what I know) Yet I keep seeing all these WordPress questions from my followers that I can't answer. So I got the brainy idea to throw up a free WordPress site just to see what a novice person has to go through to get a site up and running.

The whole process from start to finish took me about 4 hours. I picked a domain name, named the site, picked a theme, and was off to the races. Maybe you guys are much smarter than me but with zero training on WordPress I had a tough time developing a rudimentary website. If it weren't for my years of experience designing my own HTML websites then I would have been lost.

I was able to eventually click on just about everything there was to click on and figure out how to get the WordPress program to do what I wanted it to do. I didn't find it a novice friendly experience though but I did succeed in the end. I hope you like my novice WordPress work.

I finished figuring out how to make a static home page when all of a sudden the thought came to me, "where the blazes do you insert your meta tags?" (keywords and meta descriptions) Ok, if ya don't know then ask for help, right? I saw a help button and did a search in the FAQs on meta tags. A bunch of articles came up but choosing which one would answer my question was challenging. I got lucky and picked an article which gave me a clue about inserting Meta Tags but the answer wasn't what I expected.

The article explained that I would need to install a meta tag plug-in. What? How is a novice supposed to know what that means? And where the blazes do you get such a plug-in? In all the years of designing websites and using various editors, I have never needed to add a meta tag plug-in. The editors all had that utility built in to the editor. You just click on a link and add your tags.

So I took a hard look at the editor links and found a link called "plug-ins." Duh, maybe that has something to do with what I want to accomplish. I clicked on it and found several plug-ins but nothing related to meta tags. The FAQs were right I needed to install that utility.

I clicked on the "add" button and I got this display of a bazillion plug-ins. So now what is a novice supposed to do? After much consternation, I saw a search box and I typed in the words "meta tags." Yes !!! Now I made progress. I was now looking at a bazillion plug-ins all related to meta tags. Sheesh, how am I supposed to pick one? Read all those descriptions? I would be reading all night. I just decided to settle on a plug-in that had a good rating. I read its description and clicked on the install button. My computer made a bunch of grinding and chugging sounds and ta daaa, the plug-in was added to my WordPress site. (I'm kidding about the grinding and chugging) However, it left a bad taste in my mouth to have to go through all that trouble just to insert a measly old meta tag utility.

The point I'm trying to get across is if you are new to WordPress then read some tutorials on using it before you try setting up a website. It can be pretty mystifying if you are a novice WordPress website designer like me. Now I understand why folks here ask so many questions about WordPress set up and getting the thing to do what they want. One fellow mentioned that his web page was in Latin and he didn't know what to do. Ummm, the Latin is a place holder until you replace it with your own text but how is he supposed to know that? That's how WordPress in the beginning can be pretty mystifying.

I would rate WordPress a whole lot better than Google's Blogger which I used a lot in the past. However, it's nowhere near as easy to use as the editor I use for my current websites. In my opinion, you would need to be an intermediate website designer to effectively use WordPress quickly. There are just too many variables and features to add to get all the functionality a person might want. The initial WordPress template I chose is pretty plain Jane in the beginning. It looks really nice but it's pretty basic with its functionality.

So I need something from you. Would you please add some comments to this blog and cite some WordPress tutorials for members to access. It would be nice to let folks know where the information is before they have the mystifying experience I ran into.

Also, some basic and essential suggestions for plug-ins a person should install before they start adding content to their site would be helpful too.

Thanx for the help ... GrampaMike

p.s. please, always proof read your posts. I wrote this article at 3am after my spectacular new website was published. I got up the next morning and you would not believe the typing errors I found. You'd think I would remember to put a question mark at the end of a question sentence.

Do yoursel a favr and look profesinel. Poof reed yor content,.

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Prestones Premium
Hey grandpamike -

Your experience mirrors my own. My little corner of the Internet looks like the surface of the moon, heavily cratered after my many inadvertent attempts to break the Internet. Like yourself, it seems I'm clicking on everything in an effort to get from point A to point B.

You can look at YouTube instructional videos to learn about using WordPress. One channel I found is https://youtu.be/kYXvwpoQRk8 I also just ran across this blog post here on WA with some useful WordPress information: By the way, your site asks for visitors to login before they can comment. You may want to open up comments if you'd like to get more interaction cooking.

Good luck with it!
Reply
grampamike Premium
Now that's what I'm talking about !!! I love your tutorial links to YouTube and WA concerning WP. Don't you just love using acronyms?

I agree that opening up the comments on my site would generate much more interaction. I was playing around with making a membership site when I got too tired to continue so the registration configuration was left in place. When your left shoulder droops to the floor and you realize you are typing on your touch pad then it's time to quit and go to bed.

Thanx a bunch for your contribution to this article.

... GrampaMike
Reply
Prestones Premium
By the way, I just ran across a couple of videos in the Live Video Classes that deal with researching, creating, and ranking a WordPress site. Check out: Apologies if I'm over the top in responding to your question - it's a topic I've been marinating in for some time.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Oh gosh no, you are not over the top. My intent is to have this post be a sort of mini-clearinghouse of WP resources for newbies.

Your links are fantastic and all are welcome ... GrampaMike
Reply
HelenpDoyle Premium
Looks like you are getting tired again!
Reply
dunbar Premium
great for anyone that is only learning, you have done the hard yards for us, thanks heaps cheersHelen
Reply
grampamike Premium
Thanx for your kind words Helen.

I'm in trouble. The sample WP site I put up is something that grew on me and now I'm in love with it. Nuts.

The editor I use on my sites outside of WA is a whole lot easier to use than WP. Not only that but there is no such thing as a plug in. All those features are just included from the get go as part of the functionality of the site host. However, the WP template has such a better look and feel for my site visitors.

Humph. Now what do I do?
Reply
Larry MaC Premium
good work thanks for sharing.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Well, thank you very much.
Reply
SStarrs Premium
Your website I liked .
The content was great .
It was easy for me to read and to look around.
Great blog for me as I am learning Wordpress .
Reply
grampamike Premium
Well, thank you for the kind review. I wasn't expecting that.

The new website I made was intended to be just an experiment to see what novice WordPress web designers have to go through. It was an educational exercise for me. I host my sites outside of WA.

Oh boy, I'm in trouble. I fell in love with the WP website template. It's so user friendly and has a great look and feel. That's not fair !!! Now it looks like I may have to learn WordPress after all.

In the WP dashboard, there is a button called "getting started." Looks like I'm going to have to access that and get some basic training. I put up the new site without any training from WA. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Anyway, my recommendation is don't do what I did and develop a site without first going through the "getting started" material. I think it will save you some time and frustration getting WP to do what you want it to do.

This was my first exposure to plug ins and I found it to be a frustrating experience. All web host editors I have used and even blog hosts like SquareTrade and Blogger don't require a bunch of plug ins to get up and running. It's basically pick a template and go. All the features WP calls plug ins are already installed and configured so a novice won't have to mess with that stuff. There is also no need to upgrade a plug in to "pro" to get advanced features with a particular plug in.

Hey, thanx again for the kind review.
Reply
SStarrs Premium
Love the image . Thanks Grampamike.
Reply
nathaniell Premium
Glad you got Wordpress figured out (a little bit more)! Just an FYI though, you can handle meta tags through the All in One SEO pack, which is part of the installation process that WA teaches. But WA does not tell you to use meta tags because no search engines use them any more, so they are not necessary!
Reply
grampamike Premium
Thank your for the input about meta tags.

I think we may differ in semantics but here is what I know.

The keyword meta tag is not used for ranking by Google, Yahoo, and Bing per se in 2015. Google especially has not ruled out the possibility of using it in the future. However, there are instances where the search engines may utilize the keywords if there is an absence of meta description and page title. Yahoo and Bing still take a look at the keyword meta tag but places little to no value on them.

Use of the keyword meta tag can also harm ranking when used inappropriately. If a webmaster wants to use the keyword meta tag then only one or two should ever be used and those words must be "short, sweet, and relevant," according to Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Marketing Scientist at MOZ.

Meta descriptions and page titles are still utilized by the big 3 search engines in 2015. No one at those search engines has ever declared stopping the use of meta descriptions and page titles for page ranking.

Google specifies 8 different meta tags it currently recognizes as outlined in their Webmaster Guidelines. Two of those meta tags listed in the number 1 and number 2 positions in the 8 meta tags list are meta descriptions and page titles.

Reference: Chris Edwards, web developer and seo consultant
November 16, 2014
https://chrisedwards.me/seo/keyword-meta-tag-google/

Reference: Google Webmaster Guidelines
(This post editor won't allow a direct link to the Google meta tag page but I'm sure you know how to find it using the following Google page link. Just scroll down the page and click on the Guidelines link.)
https://www.google.com/webmasters/
Reply
nathaniell Premium
Meta data is still used in some capacity, like meta title and meta description, but those are also generated automatically by the All in One SEO pack. Meta "tags" (agreed, semantics), are not used, but are looked at by some programs/search engines as you say. Again, these can be handled by the All in One SEO.

I just wanted to make the point that you don't need to install a meta tag plugin because I saw a bunch of people in the comments saying that they didn't know they needed one. The training doesn't recommend you install one, so wanted to make sure that a bunch of folks don't start installing it, thinking that it's necessary to have one.

But if you want it, that's totally fine! Everyone has a slightly different take on how to handle search engines, and rank.
Reply
grampamike Premium
True, All in One SEO plug in is a turn key solution for meta tags. It also has an upsell to a pro version which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

You never run into that with traditional HTML web hosts I have used.

Running my page source utility on my experimental WP site revealed no meta tags. So unless someone told me about All in One SEO then a publisher would assume you need to insert the appropriate plug in utility.

I have never run into any web host who required you to add any plug in or utility to perform meta functions. Manual or otherwise. Even SquareTrade which is a blog platform has meta capability already built in right from the get go. All the hosts I have used focused on getting you up and running quickly adding content and not fussing with site configuration and plug ins.

You and I can get WordPress to do what we want easily but the novice will have an uphill battle to get things running properly in the beginning.

Our meta tag discussion is a good case in point as are all the WP questions I get in my inbox everyday.

I'm going to disagree with your statement, "Meta "tags" (agreed, semantics), are not used, but are looked at," which contradicts what Google says about the 8 meta tags they take into consideration. Meta descriptions and page titles are very important to Google. Keyword meta tags are not. Google and other search engines never stated meta tags were not used for indexing and page rank results only keyword meta tags.

Hey, I must be doing something right. My web page is number 4 on Google, 2 on Bing and Yahoo using the principle of good meta description and page title.
http://www.healthtopics4you.info/pacemaker-candidates-why-me.html

It may not be necessary to have a different plug in besides All in One but it is necessary to guarantee a good meta description and page title shows up in the page HTML code and headers so you can be properly indexed and ranked by search engines.

... GrampaMike
Reply
cschlup54 Premium
You have an advantage over some of us but hope we can learn from your success.
Reply
BeingGreat Premium
Well I think the site turned out great. Imagine us people that don't have your HTML experience. At least you knew what you were looking for. Some of us don't even know much about meta tags. It's all good. I plan on working here all day tomorrow.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Thank you for the compliment. The nice part is everyone can ask questions here at WA when they get stuck. My little site experiment has given me some insight into WordPress that I can now discuss with other WA members.

I just got to answer my first WordPress question yesterday. Woo hoo, now that is what I call success.

Be sure to check out Nathaniell's and my discussion about meta tags in this blog post. That is pretty educational too. Did you know keyword meta tags are no longer all that important?

... GrampaMike
Reply
MaryJoB Premium
I'm afraid this won't be a lot of help--more commiseration than anything. I've made a few Wordpress websites, most of which were done with the help of a friend who is a true internet guru. One of the biggest problems I had was figuring out whether the problems I had trying to do what I wanted was due to WordPress or the theme I picked. WordPress has a ton of free themes on its site, but they don't necessarily get updated when Wordpress does, and thus become functionally obsolete,or they restrict you as to what you can put where.

My friend's advice was to get "Genesis", which she considers the best, most adaptable theme around, but I couldn't afford it. The same with plug-ins. Which ones are helpful; which are more trouble than they're worth, and for which do you need to go beyond the free version to get what you really need. For example, easily getting text links to specific Amazon products is great with the free version of EasyAzon, but if you want an image link you need to get the paid version.

Unfortunately, the problem with any tutorial on WordPress, is that it may be out of date by the time it's printed. The time-consuming process of trial and error, either yours or someone else's, seems to be the most useful. Sorry, I can't be more helpful.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Wow, you were a big help. I had no idea there were paid theme templates. I also had no idea WP theme templates become obsolete.

My forte and experience is in regular HTML websites and not blogging platforms like WordPress. I have the freedom to do just about anything I want with the look, feel, and functionality of regular websites besides creating pages of content.

Someone said to me here at WA that I was missing out on site traffic by not having a blog so I went to one of my websites and logged on to the site editor and sure enough there was a button labeled "add a blog" for my site. I clicked on the button and ta daaa, a no fuss blog was placed within my regular website and I got to immediately begin adding blog posts. No configuring to set up. No plug ins to fool with. Just click and go. I don't like trial and error anymore so I want a really user friendly experience. I don't want to waste time configuring functionality on my site when I could be focusing on authoring content.

Thank you for your insight. You just completely convinced me to stay with HTML websites and simply add blogging capability to my HTML sites.

Thank you ... GrampaMike
Reply
MaryJoB Premium
Glad I could help a little. BTW, I have a little short-haired doxie (mix). Because of his coloring, he seems to have some rat terrier in his background, so I call him my ratzhund.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Oh, I love it !!! Ratzhund. LOL ... GrampaMike
Reply
bsmith1222 Premium
Enjoyed reading
Reply
Geoff-n-Jane Premium
Thank you for attempting to make WP a little bit more user-friendly.
We had a thoroughly good laugh all the way through - a great way to start the day.
Reply
Rich908 Premium
No attempt to create a website is silly - in fact its an achievement. Your website was simple and the content was very interesting
Reply
grampamike Premium
I absolutely agree with you. All newbies who attempt to put up a website should get a big pat on the back for having the courage to even try. The average person out there dreams about making a website but the above average person actually tries. My use of the word "silly" was meant to be tongue in cheek.

Thank you for picking up on the site's simplicity. For years I have been a website simplicity crusader. I like to guide my site visitor rather than blast them with all kinds of visuals. The big guys like CNN are awful at publishing too much stuff on a web page. My goal is to get my site visitors to focus on my content point then gently guide them toward my affiliate link I'm promoting. Probably not a get rich scheme but I sleep easy at night knowing my readers are not distracted from my message by too much stuff on my web pages. Author's prerogative and poetic license.

Thank you for your encouragement ... GrampaMike
Reply
Rich908 Premium
I would appreciate your feedback on my website

http://livingwithpurpose.siterubix.com/
Reply
grampamike Premium
I'm currently visiting you site and am making notes here as I go along.

I apologize if I sound critical at times. I don't mean to offend or discourage you. I came home to 95 WA messages in my inbox and have been working all day to cut that volume down. Every time I would get the work down then a whole bunch of new messages would arrive. Been working all afternoon on those messages and I'm down to 44 left assuming no one sends me more messages. I'm just feeling worn out right now.

First, let's start with your theme and your home page. Nice colors. Easy to read text font for people like me who have vision problems.

Navigation links are a bit scattered. The best links occur at the bottom of the page. Normally most of those links appear at the top of the page for a user friendly experience or are duplicated top and bottom for ease of use. I got lost on your About Me page and wanted to go back to the home page. I had to hunt for the home link and I didn't know where to find it until I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page.

Good placement of the social networking links.

I like the about me page. Great use of your picture. It makes the page seem more personal like you are actually talking to me.

If I am a spammer then I am going to love you posting your email address on your about me page. Trust me, I made the same mistake 10 years ago. Boy, did I get spammed. Today, I use a secure web form for contacting me. No one sees my email address and my customer can send me messages. I use a captcha utility to make sure it's a human messaging me. Yes, spammers use robots just like the search engines do.

If you check websites around the net you will find the search box is always located at the top of the page. Any idea why a customer would scroll down a page to locate a search box? Would you? Wouldn't you find it annoying?

I'm glad you are just starting your site. You might want to reconsider your theme and navigation. Your site visitors need a user friendly experience otherwise they may get discouraged and move on to the next website.

Look at my WP test site:
http://grampamike.siterubix.com/
Now compare it to your site. Which do you feel provides a user friendly experience?

I feel really bad criticizing your work. I just want you to have success with your online endeavor. Please accept my apologies.

Sincerely,
GrampaMike
Reply
Rich908 Premium
Your feedback meant a lot to me and I appreciate your time. I have taken your comments which I have placed in a special folder called grampamike - Every comment will be taken on board and you are a great example of being truthful,constructive without being critical

- Thanks so much it helps -

Richard
Reply
grampamike Premium
Now, let's go the other way. This is your website and you have creative license to do anything you want with your site.

That includes disagreeing with what I said. I suggest not letting anyone including me persuade you from doing what you think is right for your situation and website.

This is your business and no one has the right to tell you how to run it. All we can do is make suggestions.

You are the captain of the ship and I'm just the guy mopping the deck. A genius but just a deck hand, lol.
... GrampaMike
Reply
genesispro Premium
Well Mike, I can appreciate what you are going through about WP! That is every WP newbie's "circumstance". Yeah, perhaps somebody will post where WP can be fleshed out so we can run smoothly from here! Thanks and Best! Alex
Reply
grampamike Premium
Prestones left a wonderful post and link about accessing YouTube instructional videos.

What a wonderful idea !!!

... GrampaMike
Reply
Inspiration1 Premium
As a first attempt, you have done a very good job. My best wishes.
Reply
grampamike Premium
Ah shucks, it ain't nothin'.

I really did want to feel what a novice feels when beginning with WP. So I took the plunge to see what starting a WP site would be like. It was eye opening and fun.

If you have any pointers for newbie WP authors then please post it here for their benefit. Thanx.

... GrampaMike
Reply
solidbase Premium
Hey Mike,
Thanks for taking time out to write this article. I found it informative and thought provoking.
One thing though.... I dont know if I'm totally bonkers now, but I seem to recall that whenever I write a new post on WP, then below the main box where the content goes, there are a whole lot of additional fields to fill in, some of which are labeled "Title", "Description" and "Keywords".
Is this something totally different to what you are referring to ?
-Theuns
Reply
grampamike Premium
Hi Theuns, no you are not bonkers and no you are not running into something different from what I now have on my WP site.

I gave your question some thought and I think I know what the difference is.

The theme template I chose for my site came with no meta tag plug-in which I think is a silly thing to leave out. Your theme template must have had the meta tag utility already installed. That's why you see extra fields to fill in when you write a post.

Thank you for bringing this up as I think others may have the same question.

... GrampaMike
Reply
solidbase Premium
OK Mike, thanks for your feedback.
Have a good one.
-Theuns
Reply
suetay Premium
Thanks, grampamike! I had a good laugh reading your post.
It's almost as though you had written it on my behalf ;)
Glad that you can now empathise with what I had gone through the past fortnight.
It's 10pm here. Good night!
Reply
grampamike Premium
Hi again, yes, I was trying to get an empathetic experience so I tried this little experiment to feel what a novice may feel. It worked quite well.

As you gain experience then please don't hesitate to leave helpful WP tips here in this blog post for newbies. Thank you.

... GrampaMike
Reply
suetay Premium
Most certainly, GrampaMike. :)
I wrote a blog post yesterday about my first website building experience.
It's called Hidden Gems.
I've posed many questions in there, and if I could get some feedback/answers to my questions, I think it would be a useful reference for other WordPress newbies.
Reply
Top