Posts tagged blog

Duplicate

Moving or Duplicating a WordPress Blog

DuplicateI’ve been using Wordpress on various projects over the years and one of the things that has always been a bit disappointing to me is the difficulty of moving a blog, from a development site to production or from one host to another. It’s easy enough to use the export content function, but in configuring and building a good-looking and working blog, there are so many configurations, widgets, menus and more that are setup and need to be setup again that I always spend way more time than it seems necessary going through all the entire CMS to make sure I’ve made all the updates.

I recently helped a friend move their move and since he had a ton of custom work done on it, I didn’t want to go through this process again. Instead I used a great plugin called Duplicator which made the process amazingly easy.

  • First, you download and install the plugin in the WordPress CMS of the blog that you are wanting to move.
  • Next, you run the plugin and create a “package set” that you will need to download to your local computer.
  • You then will need to create an empty MySQL database on your new web server.
  • Then upload your package set to an empty directory on the new server.
  • Click the installer file, enter a few configuration file entries and in a few minutes, you will have moved you WordPress site to a new host, exactly as it was on the previous one.

I’m no WordPress guru, but this plugin worked exactly as described and is one I will certainly look to use again if I ever have the need.

Photo credit: Flickr user JimmyMac

 

occupy powder shots

3 Years of The Resort Marketing Blog

It’s hard to believe, but another year of blogging has flown past, making this blog officially 3 years old as of today. If you dare, take a peak at the first post ever (be warned, it’s a rough one), and Happy Birthday to the Resort Marketing Blog. Keeping it short, here’s my goal for the coming year:

occupy powder shotsHope you’re doing the same and I hope to see you on the slopes and on the pages of this blog – cheers!

Gears and wheels

How to Blog More Industriously (or at Least Make it Appear That Way) part 2/2

Gears and wheelsIn part one of “How to Blog More Industriously (or at Least Make it Appear That Way)”, I describe a number of tools that I’ve found helpful to keep a blog full of content and now I’d like to share some of the tools I use to come up and keep content ideas handy – basically, how to keep things linked together. First and foremost, I do a lot of social bookmarking to help me remember topics that I read about that I think I might want to blog about eventually. I’ve used Delicious for years, but have been recently been testing out diigo as a bookmark tools with some more depth. I also use Google Reader as a social bookmark tool too, but find that it’s much more fitted as the RSS feed reader that it was originally designer for, and still functions exceptionally well –  I also personally love the fact that I can access the mobile Google Reader on my phone and read and keep up with my favorite blogs on the run.

In addition to simply bookmarking, there are also tools like Evernote, which allow a user to take screen shots, clip sections or even save an entire web page to your account. You can then tag entries as potential blog ideas, or todos and then return to them to flush the idea out further, save for later or perhaps even use as support for a different post. Another super useful element of Evernote is that you can load the plugin on browsers on multiple computers as well as an app on you phone and all will synch to the same database.

A tool that I haven’t used as often recently as I used to for finding interesting topics is Stumbleupon. I think that SU is one of those web services, like Reddit and Digg, that you either like and get, or don’t. Basically, it somehow matches what you’ve liked in the past along with your network and then shows you a list  of interesting sites that other users have Stumbled – not always the best blog content ideas, but certainly some interesting sites and content – I mean serious, check out these paper cut rolls, they’re pretty darn cool!

Photo credit: Flickr user ShuttrKing|KT
Industrious

How to Blog More Industriously (or at Least Make it Appear That Way) part 1/2

Industrious

Industrious blogging

I’ve written about blog frequency and trying to find a pace that’s right for posting to a blog. Currently, I’m blogging at a rate of 3 times a week Mon/Weds/Fri and I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m not writing those posts on those days. In fact, to give some perspective, I’m writing this post on October 24 (edited further on Oct 27) and by virtue of the scheduling tools available with WordPress, I’m able to save this post away for future use, either when it seems appropriate given other content I’ve posted recently, or when I have a gap in my publishing schedule.

Now, unless you’re the sort of person who has incredibly insightful and detailed posts, I’m of the opinion that an infrequent and/or inconsistent blogging schedule will probably not be able to garner you a loyal readership. I know that some will call me out and say that why post something that isn’t of absolute top-notch quality? I’d love if every post I publish were Pulitzer worthy, but I truly believe that polishing in the internet era is less important than getting a post out the door. Besides, if a post if written appropriately on a topical or interesting topic, it should generate engagement in comments above and beyond itself.

In any case, I believe in posting frequently and I’ve  found a nifty plugin called Editorial Calendar to help out much more graphically with this job than the basic scheduling feature that WordPress includes. The calendar allows for simple, drag-and-drop moving of posts from one day to another – yes, I will push my schedule back if something topical pops up.

How does one continually fill up the slots in an editorial calendar and not run their well dry of ideas? Well, that’s something I tackle in the post which is about tools to help organize and consolidate content and content ideas.

Photo credit: Flickr user -Tripp-
Glass half-full

Full posts or excerpts? That is the question…

Glass half-full

Half-way or the whole thing?

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking and reading on the topic of displaying full posts or excerpts on a blogs landing page as well as its RSS feed. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t a consensus of which approach to take. It seems like “it depends” is the way most people see it and I tend to agree. For the Resort Marketing blog, I’ve decided that I was the content to be freely distributed and easily browsed and scrolled through, so I’ve chosen to display full posts on both the landing page as well as in the Resort Marketing RSS feed. I do use a nifty WordPress plugin called RSS Footer which allows me to easily add links to the bottom of each post in the Resort Marketing blog feed which will link directly to my blog and posts like this:

Full posts or excerpts? That is the question… is a post from: The Resort Marketing Blogwritten by Eric Hoffman.

This all said, I do think there are circumstances in which excerpts makes sense as well. If your blog is a publishing center, which you have to drive traffic to, then it definitely makes sense to post strategically crafted excerpts that will drive click-throughs to your blog. If you do the same thing on your blog’s homepage that will certainly allow for more content to be displayed on the landing page. This is very important for blogs that have frequent posts and multiple authors, because if they didn’t post excerpts, content would make for a tremendously long scroll, as well as the inability to find content readily on repeat visits, great examples of this are Huffington Post and Mashable.

There is one other factor that I don’t know that people are currently paying enough attention to, and that is that more and more blog readers are looking to read via mobile devices. This means that first off, you should ensure that your blog will display well on mobile devices, and secondly that if those people are reading the RSS feed on a mobile device, they probably want to read the full post and not have to click through to the full posts. This is similar to the situation of giving people the option to subscribe to your blog via email, but then only providing the excerpts to email subscribers, I would doubt that you will find many subscribers will remain for long, and unless you have the geekiest blog in existence, there will always be people that will want to use email to subscribe over other methods and if you’re not looking out for them, you’ll lose them.

So, to sum up, my answer to my question in the title of this post is the lame, “It depends.” What to you think, is there a clear cut best practice for blogging and full posts or excerpts?

Photo credit: Flickr user Dawn Huczek
The PhoCusWright Conference

The Resort Marketing Blog is Going on the Road

There’s going to be a lot of cutting edge travel news and information coming to this blog in mid-November. That’s because I’ll be blogging from The PhoCusWright ConferenceThe PhoCusWright Conference in Phoenix on November 16-18. The best part is that I’ve been chosen to take part in their New Media Summit in which PhoCusWright offers accredited travel industry bloggers special access to all parts of the conference. I’m excited and humbled to see my name on a list of travel and tourism bloggers that I have been reading and learning from for years, including Tim Hughes, Jessica Spiegel, Stephen Joyce and many many more.

I haven’t attended a PhoCusWright event yet, but I’ve heard and read many wonderful things about them, and I see that they’re promoting a chance to get $500 off the conference registration fee simply by leaving a comment on their Chaos Calls video page. If you’re still not convinced, take a peak at the full conference schedule and then tell me that this doesn’t look like a kick butt event – I hope to see you in Phoenix in November!

WordPress Logo

10 Tips for Configuring a WordPress.org Blog

WordPress LogoI’ve had my blog on a self-hosted WordPress.org installation for about a year now and I really like it. Particularly at a time when I hear that WordPress.com had an issue that caused them to go offline for over an hour, which means that there were over 10 million blogs that were inaccessible for around an hour on this past Thursday evening.

  1. Pick a theme that is clean and fits your content. There are a lot of pretty or tricked out themes to choose from, remember that it’s your content that people will be looking for so choose accordingly.
  2. Think of a category and tagging scheme that (once again) is appropriate for the content that you are posting.
  3. If your theme doesn’t have it’s own SEO support built in, add a plugin like HeadSpace2 or  Greg’s High Performance SEO.
  4. On the SEO topic, make sure you have a site map plugin, like Google XML Sitmaps and have submitted and had your site verified with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer although Bing will very soon be providing search results for Yahoo!
  5. Setup Feedburner for readers who want to subscribe to your blog either via RSS or email, this also is a way to track how and where your RSS content is consumed. There are plugins to help setup the RSS part and even to display your feed stats in your blog’s dashboard (Feed Stats for WordPress).
  6. I also recently began using a plugin that puts a line of text in the footer of your blog’s RSS feed, which will allow readers who are reading your post in an RSS reader or even inserted in someone else’s post to know where the content originated at.
  7. Be sure to license the ideas and content that you publish on your blog with a Creative Commons license.
  8. Do your mobile readers a favor and add a plugin like the WPtouch iPhone Theme to allow your iPhone, Android and other smartphone users a mobile optimized browsing experience.
  9. If you’re like me and reference your own posts, it’s good to install the No Self Pings plugin to avoid getting a ‘pingback’ each time you link to one of your own posts.
  10. Keep your WordPress software install as up to date as possible in order to keep up with the most recent security patches and also consider installing security plugins like Secure WordPress and WP Security Scan
Off to work I go

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back to Work I Go…

Off to work I goMy employer has a fantastic program in which they incentivize year round employers to take a month off in either May or June. I just finished my “MayAway” and returned back to work this past Monday, refreshed and ready to dive into a bunch of cool projects that we have in the works for the coming months. I find myself looking forward to MayAway each season as it approached, but I also find myself looking forward to the end of MayAway and get back to a job that I find interesting and challenging.

In a way, I’ve been preparing to return to work for pretty much the entire time I’ve been off via this blog. It’s been a great way to keep current on trends in travel and tourism and I’ve even been able to test out several ideas in it. For example, I’ve been experimenting with increasing my posting frequency to see what sort of impact that might have, and although it hasn’t been more than a couple of weeks, it seems as though I’m seeing more search engine referrals and definitely some more people viewing and subscribing to the blog via RSS and email. In the process of trying to post more frequently, I’ve also found myself making frequent use of organizational tools like Evernote and Google Reader to help me organize blog ideas and even get several written up and ready a few days prior to having them publish…yep, I’ve actually been getting ahead of the curve for one of the very few times since I started this blog. Here’s to keeping that up!

Photo credit: tedkerwin

Ski Resorts Online – Websites, Blogs, Social Networks and More

My Ski Resorts on Twitter post has been up for a bit over a year now and it’s become apparent to me that the list is already falling behind the times (even with regular updates). It’s not just Twitter now, but Facebook, YouTube, blogs and any number of other networks that resorts are using to engage with their customers online.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and I’ve put together a much more robust document, “Ski Resort Online – A Fairly Definitive List” to track as many of the different points of online presence for ski resorts as I could. I created it in Google Docs (let me know if you want to help edit) and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

To view this document in full, visit  Ski Resorts Online – A Fairly Definitive List. And, if you see any resorts or accounts that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments below – this is definitely a work in progress!

Blogging the Olympic Games?

While browsing through some tweets from the USOC Communications Twitter feed the other day, I came upon the International Olympic Committee’s Blogging Guidelines for the 2010 Vancouver Games and while I give them kudos for coming up with such a document, I have to say that I think this document was produced almost completely with the intention of protecting the Olympic sponsors and media outlets than trying to leverage the power of social media.

Happily, the IOC acknowledges that blogging is “a form of personal expression” and at they do permit (some) blogging by Accredited Persons at the Games. Now, to my understanding, anyone that participates in the Games, and gets any sort of credential, from athletes, to coaches, to volunteers is considered an Accredited Person – this is certainly a number that reaches into the tens of thousands. I’m sure more than a few of these people already have a blog and I know for a fact that there are many of them ‘micro-blogging‘ on Twitter or Facebook. I am sure that there will be more than a few Accredited Person who will post photos of themselves inside the venues and most likely of the events that are taking place in these places…what will the reaction of the IOC and VANOC be?

What gets me is how odd, and in some ways, nonsensical some of the restrictions are. Check this one out, according to the document the words “Olympic”, “Olympics” or similar can’t be used in a domain name (I get that), but could be used in a URL , but “only during the period during which these Guidelines are applicable”. So, go ahead and name your Olympic experience blog – MySitesName/myOlympicExperience but then it has to change after March 3, 2010?! Really, really odd and it doesn’t seem to further any goal, unless the IOC’s sole goal is to completely lock down any SEO for these words, and even they can’t do that completely.

In any case, it’s good to see this as a starting place and I’ve been interested to find the NBC has setup a page on their NBCOlympics.com site where they’re tracking a good number of American Olympians’ tweets.  Twitter itself hasn’t been left behind either as they’ve expanded their Verified account listings to include a special Verified Olympians list. I’m looking forward to a bunch of fun social media coming out of the games over the next few weeks!

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