Q&A w/Jason Repko

7029_158141152957_623397957_2631379_5908563_sJason Repko encouraged me to develop my book idea. We had lunch and I advised him on creating a Web presence for himself. He agreed to help document the process from his perspective, exactly what I need to make sure this book answers the questions of the novice reader. Here’s what I advised, he asked in reply, and I answered. (I haven’t answered all the questions yet, but I will. And add others.)

Me: You need a site with blog. Get a host that supports (easily installs and upgrades) WordPress.

Q: Why in the world would I need a website?

A. It’s Google’s world. That’s where you need to show up as you want to be found. But you need to do more than show up, you need to be accurately and impressively portrayed. Don’t leave that to chance. Represent yourself. Google rewards recency, relevance, and referrals. So do people. You’ve got to have a site that was updated recently, is relevant to your interests, and is referred to from other sites, part of the Web.

Say someone is interested in you. Perhaps you’re applying for a job, or they heard about you through a friend or colleague, met you at a conference or saw something you had done. They want to know more about you. They Google your name. What do they find? Make sure they find you as you want to be found.

Q: Why WordPress?

It’s the easiest, most user freindly way to publish a site. Blogger is great if you just want a blog, but if you want more than one page, WordPress seems to be far-and-away the leader in having maximized usability and power at the same time.

In addition, it’s a large open-source project which means it’s free and because lots of people are using it and developing for it it’s constantly improving in every way, design layouts, functionality, add-on/plug-in functionality, integratability, etc.

Here are three sites that coroborate (a few top hits from Googleing “blogging platform use stats”):

Q: How do I get WordPress? Why do I need a Web host? Which one?

A. Pick a host that supports (easily installs and upgrades) WordPress. Dreamhost is good. Technical folks have a lot of different criteria but they’re are a ton that are essentially the same price (btwn $5-10 a month) and as long as they offer WordPress, you’re set. Dreamhost is easy.  Here is a good list of alternatives.

Q. Should I change my email? (from repko.jason@gmail.com to jason@jasonrepko.org)

A. Yes. I have both my j@jasonmolin.net and jason.molin@gmail.com, both of which I check using gmail. I give out my custom URL addy because it won’t change and creates a better impression. I’ve had to change my email address before and it’s a pain. I love Google, and guess they stand as good a chance at being around in fifty years as anyone, but why bank on it when you can have an email address that can survive independent of what host you use for email or your site? I also think it looks more impressive to demonstrate that have your own domain. It is yet another way to help people remember how to find your site.

Q. What’s DNS?

A. It stands for Domain Name Service (or System). It’s the system or process of translating host names, or domain names, into IP addresses, or numbers.

To Be Answered:

Q. Setting up my business profile: what if I don’t necessarily have a business? Should I fill out something, leave it blank for now, or create a hypothetical business? Or is the business just promoting ME?

Q. So I’ve settled (and that’s all it is really) on a theme for now. I’m someone who likes more control than what the majority of themes offer. I want to control fonts, placements, have more column control, and have a much cleaner look in general and I’d like one that gets updated and won’t collect junk through add-ons and whatnot to its HTML. I’ve looked into the guts of your Thesis theme, I like what it offers and I’m tempted, but, I’m not ready to spend $87 on it. Are there other options to look at that offer similar services that might be a little more budget friendly?

Q. I’ve gone to edit my top post, the one on Alela Diane, and viewed the HTML. I notice there are a lot of references to my blogger site and the photos seem to be pointed to blogger. Are the photos still living on blogger and the url for the original? If I were to de-activate Blogger, would my photos disappear?

I’ve noticed that I have the Blogger thumbnails for my video’s (CDDocumentaries). Of course, you click on them and a message appears that it’s unavailable. It seems that the import function only mirrors you content (of course, it takes text), not actually importing it. I was expecting photos and the mp4’s I put up on Blogger to be copied by WP and be living on my server somewhere. This doesn’t seem to be the case. Am I wrong on this? What should I do to get my files for this stuff on my Dreamhost server and jiving with WP? Manually re-import all these files and then re-edit all posts that are affected?

Q. This one I will look into later, because I think I can find the information within Blogger, but, how do I point Blogger to jasonrepko.org?

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I’m j and I play: musician, web guy, family man.

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