The State of the Website — Feb 7, 2013

Chris State of the Website graphic
Line art created in Inkscape, color in PhotoShop. © 2013 Chris Hilbig

The State of the Website will be a quarterly review of I’m mainly doing this review for myself, but I’m also doing this as form of accountability. In other words, this is a means of you holding me accountable. I want to make this the best website possible.

The Current State of

At this point, is a little over a month old on the internet. I’ve actually started work on this site in mid-December of last year, but I don’t count that. That said, I’m not surprised by the slow start, even with all the social whoring I’ve done. The learning curve itself has been quite an accomplishment. (Going from just knowing HTML and a little JavaScript to a beast like WordPress and SQL.) I’ve had quite a few stumbling blocks to over come in the past month, most notably my local version crapping out on me and becoming just about unusable.

I still want to create a custom theme or a child theme, I’m just not feeling the current look. I’ll tweak what I have here and there, whenever possible. I’m in love with the slider on the home page, but WordPress themes feel like a coloring book. I want to tear it up and create a design from scratch. The only problem is that the code for WordPress is extremely complicated and requires knowing PHP, which I know a little about, but not enough to do any damage. I still want to learn, but I have way too many bigger priorities to conquer at the moment.

For now, will maintain its beta status. Beta in this regard doesn’t mean “buggy”. It simply means I’m currently not satisfied, and this website still has to evolve some more. There’s still adjustments to make, and things to add. I guess this is a good reason to not have very many visitors so far. I’m still debating whether or not to put up a portfolio, and how to do that in WordPress. I’m also debating whether or not to keep Adventures in Education a regular series or not. I’m running the series for two reasons: 1.) It’s content for the website. 2.) The series is a form of encouragement to potential art students who can’t afford the tuition of an art school. But in the back of my mind I still worrying over if I’m giving enough away to under-cut the Art Instruction School’s value, or I might draw an accusation of copyright infringement. So I feel like I’m walking a fine line with this series. At this point, I’ll keep my posts sparse and spaced out. My other concern is that my other regular series Yes, You Too Can Draw!  will over-lap way too much. In the same month, I create two posts covering the same topic, image transferring. Yes, You Too Can Draw! also follows along the same path as the lessons from AIS. My focus will be more on beginner drawing that AIS, so I’ll take my time as we work through each lesson.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve learned since starting this site:

  • WordPress, how to use it and how it functions.
  • SEO and affiliate marketing, I still feel like I’ve just scratched the surface on those two items.
  • I’m in an extremely competitive niche online.
  • WordPress’s quirks and bugs, it has a habit of chewing up any JavaScript.
  • There are social media sites other than Facebook and Twitter.
  • The magic of the ping.
  • How to record a video in QuickTime, edit it in iMovie, and export it to YouTube.
  • Google’s ridiculous number of webmaster tools.
  • Creating a personal system to manage my posts.
  • My voice sounds awful on YouTube.
  • The importance of keywords.
  • I’m on Badoo for some reason.
  • I still have a long ways to go…

Other notes…

During most of this time, I’ve found myself addicted to blogging. I guess it’s due to the newness of all this. (Since the feeling is fading as of recent.) That’s okay, I’ve had a lot to get out. And there’s still more to come in February, including more YouTube videos. I don’t know if I’ll be speaking over all of them, but we’ll find out when we get there.

I’ll also get in more reviews. They’ll mainly be books/audiobooks since I’ve been reading a lot. I also have another art material review I need to get out.

As for you, let me know what type of articles you want to read. Why not? You come here, you may as well have a say as to what happens here. Post your want, needs, and/or desires below. (I will reject anything sexual or triggers masturbation. I don’t care how funny it you think it is.)

Also, there’s a bit of irony that the State of the Site gets posted on the same day as the Chinese New Year. 新年好!

© 2013 Chris Hilbig