Many of you have seen the amazing new scoobysworkshopwebsite but few of you realize what it took to make this happen. I am an engineer, I like content but dont put a lot of effort into how it looks as long as its organized and easy to find. My old website was a total mess – old fashioned, ugly, and inconsistent. Each exercise page seemed to follow its own new format making it a bit frustrating for a reader. The other problem was speed, many of you complained about the slow page load times as my pages have lots of images and content.
Back in the Spring I met Jovanni Hernandez at ph34r.net thru facebook. I was complaining about many problems on my website and he mentioned that he could help. Well, I took him up on it. He was actually in my area on an internship this summer so we met several times a week to play beach volleyball and discuss issues. He worked on it all summer long! I have a LOT of content and it was not a simple matter to convert it to WordPress. The problem as I mentioned before was that the content was presented very inconsistently so not only did he have to convert it over but re-write it in a consistent manner. Then of course, there are all the amazing bells and whistles that WordPress allows like the way images are handled – truly cool. Many people have complimented me on the cool new graphic design of the website but I am the wrong person to congratulate! I had nothing to do with the design, had I designed it, it would have looked as clunky as my last website! The *only* thing that is left of my design is the pale yellow background color!
Going from an old fashioned static HTML website to a dynamic one like WordPress takes far more work than meets the eye. I’m a software engineer and I hadnt even heard of these things till Jo educated me. Number one is security. As I found out 6 months ago when my old website was high-jacked and forwarded to a spammers website, security is a high stakes game now. Jo is an expert at security (its his field) and he took a multi-layered approach to make sure the new website is safe. Cool new services and ways to protect digital assets that an old-school software engineer like myself had never heard of. I learned my lesson the hard way, you can learn from my mistake. If you have a popular website, even if its not a commercial website, you need to get a security expert involved to make sure your website is safe!
The other area that I was ignorant about was cloud resources and what they could do for me. As I mentioned earlier, one of the big problems with my old website was its slow page load times. My pages had lots of text and images and page load times were routinely 5-10 seconds, even for me. Even though generating a webpage in WordPress is *far* more complicated and time consuming than just serving a static webpage like my old website did, Jo was able to drop the page load time down to 2-3 seconds by using cloud services to provide content much faster!
So many things you would not think of when making a ‘simple’ switch to a new website that have to be taken care of to have a smooth transition. Take URLs for example. My old website had horrible and cryptic URLs, for example, my advanced workout plan had the URL “schedadv.htm”. These days, the URL needs to be human readable to maximize rankings – I didnt know this. Anyway, it was not just the simple matter of renaming pages because I was ranked on page one of virtually every google search having anything to do with working out. Changing the name without taking precautions would have lost me all google visibility. Because this was anticipated and precautions taken, the moment we switched to the new website google was able to find the new content and no rankings were lost.
Of course, Jo’s biggest task of all was one of educating me which he did with the patience and skill of a favorite grandfather. For every 1 minute he spent adding a feature, he had to spend ten minutes explaining it to me :) I know a lot of you love the new website but didnt know the huge amount of work that went into it. I wanted to publicly recognize Jovanni at ph34r.net for his amazing work! Jo has helped me to help others!!! Thanks Jo!