I’m constantly observing and reworking things based on what I learn. And right now, I’m seeing a few things on this site that are a little annoying. Maybe not to casual observer, but definitely to me as a web developer. What I need to do is messy and complicated so I’m currently working on a dev site. No ETA as to when the flip will occur.

Changing Themes

I love the theme I’m using. For Meet the Indies, which doesn’t have that many plugins, it works. For this site, not so much. I’m tanking on my PageSpeed score, which affects SEO. I also crashed the server while making some changes and yes, the server is big enough to handle my site under normal circumstances. The crash worries me for sudden surges in traffic, especially when I’m already using Cloudflare. When I told my host one of the system requirements, they said the number I gave them was too high for an efficiently coded theme.

Here’s an example of the old versus new page layout:

Current square, boxy look.

Menu, logo, and breadcrumbs overlay the header image giving the page a more streamlined look.

Changing tags and URLs

A few weeks ago, I restructured the site so the sections for writers and readers were clearly labelled. Only one slight problem, every article and blog post URL has the word news in it, even when they don’t need to. Making such a massive change to a site with close to three hundred pages is usually not advisable as it throws the search engines into a tizzy with all the redirects. Needless to say, I’m going to do some more research on this before I make any rash moves.

The tag thing is an easier choice. I just need to go through the posts and audit their tags. The only thing this will change is how they are accessed. No big deal since it doesn’t affect the main post URL.

Splitting off Meet A Writer to Meet the Indies

I thought maintaining the Meet A Writer section while doing Meet the Indies would give both sites interlinking traffic. It probably did, but at the cost of double work for me and possibly duplicate content. Not to mention making this site seem more about other people than me. So I’m going to move all author promos over to Meet the Indies.

This change won’t happen until after the new theme is up and running.  I still have to transfer a lot of information from one site to the other. Also, I have to figure out a way to publicize things on social media as a one-off when I complete an author’s profile.

Writing wise

Writing wise I’m doing okay. Spent two hours in my main characters head on Thursday.  Haven’t done that in a while. Great creative release that saw a chapter move to another stage of development. Not sure why, but I’m still avoiding the two books I should be working on. I think it’s because I’m having serious problem with their sound. In some places, they are fine. In others, too much suspension of disbelief for my liking. Since they are both in the beginning stages, I shouldn’t be thinking in these terms and just getting the story out. Anyone know how to keep the editor voice from taking over at an obvious inappropriate time?