Rethinking My Online Content

It’s time I revisited my various online sites; this blog, my website (especially my outdated website!) and my photography portfolio hosted on Wix.

With three different online sites, it is starting to get confusing. I need a more cohesive collection of everything. It should look like it was all designed together, which means all three have to be deliberately thought through together. I’m considering these hosting options below.

You may recognize the last three as being website builders, rather than simply website hosts. I have a photography portfolio on Wix (the free plan) and it was so simple to put together. Of course, there is almost always that trade-off with technology: the simpler it is, the less versatile it is; and vice-versa. There are exceptions to that, but as a general rule, it holds.

  1. WordPress. Roughly 1/4 of all websites on the web are on WordPress, so I have read. That is amazing and speaks to how good WordPress is, although it isn’t for the technically challenged.
  2. Wix. Wix is really easy, like all website builders. I hear that Wix isn’t all that great for a blog though.
  3. SquareSpace. Costs about the same as Wix, and has a reputation for being the classiest-looking builder. Also more versatile and not as intuitive due to that versatility.
  4. Weebly. The cheapest of these three builders. Also very good for website beginners, so maybe not as versatile.

Good Reasons to Consider Changing
The website just looks dated – because it is dated. Being a web developer, I designed it myself back around 2007, before all the social media options that we have today. Browsers, web standards, styles, and UI/UX (user interface/user experience) trends have all changed since then.

What’s Currently Good
Website SEO – It’s not like I have a lot of online competition for banjo students in North Alabama, but doing my own SEO does get me to the top of searches. My website is probably the most common way that prospective students find me, next being word of mouth. Interestingly, even though I get a good bit of results from my outdated website, I don’t seem to get much in terms of student referrals from my WordPress blog, which is more active. Nevertheless, I think I’ll keep the blog on WordPress. WordPress gets such high ratings, especially when it comes to blogging.

I believe I’ll transfer my domain http://www.PhillGibson.com over to whichever one of the three website builders I decide on, and keep the sub-domain blog.PhillGibson.com on WordPress. Maybe dress it up and bit more, but leave it here. I think I’ll also keep the photography portfolio on Wix; I’ve changed the layout to handle more photos recently.

So What’s Ahead? 
Still more banjo blogs. Maybe more on topics further afield also, like photography and trail-building activities with the Land Trust of North Alabama.

But what do I think I’m ‘qualified’ to blog about? Thing is, you have to ask yourself what is it you can say with some degree of authority and pretty much stick to that. Otherwise, you are really just stating an opinion, and I feel uncomfortable leaving it at that. I pondered this a bit and came to the conclusion that I’m not an authority on a lot of stuff that I’m interested in. But that’s not the same as being a newbie at something and blogging about it – you can effectively blog on topics you are learning. Just make sure that the context you are writing from is a newcomers experience. Lessons learned is a very good example.

So maybe I should say expect more topics like learning drone photography, or learning 3-D modeling, along with the more substantial topics. 

At any rate, do look for an updated website soon, plus more varied content here.

About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Software Engineer and part-time banjo instructor. My wife Miiko and I worship at Rivertree Downtown. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin and dulcimer at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play and teach Scruggs, melodic, clawhammer, and 2-finger styles. I'm also very keen on theology, being a Trail Care Partner with the Land Trust of North Alabama, photography, urban planning, architecture, astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, martial arts, and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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