This post is about how I moved trading content to Stock Market Baseball. And why.
I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks moving trading content from JohnGeorgeCampbell.com to my Stock Market Baseball website. Over the holidays, from late October through December I noticed an uptick in activity regarding my book Stock Market Baseball, so I felt the need to try to expand the services of that website to include other points of view, and posts, besides my own. In order to accomplish that I added groups, blogs, and forums to that website. I just put that website back online today, so it’s a ghost town there, for the moment, except for recent blog posts I’ve recently published, and of course, the addition of groups, and a forum.
Groups, Blogs, and Forums. Oh My!
I’ve posted to my John George Campbell website for the last few years, with very few problems. WordPress, whose platform I built my actor/art collector website on, is very easy to use. WordPress has hundreds of website themes to choose from, to suit your aesthetic, and functional website needs. Beyond that, they also have thousands of free plug-ins, that help expand on your ability to design a website the way that you want to, without professional help. As in, not paid for. As in, free. I’m comfortable using WordPress themes and plug-ins to build websites with. But I had only really built one website. This blog. Well, Not really, I built another site using Verizon’s website service. It wasn’t bad, but WordPress is much more comprehensive, and for me, easier to work with.
Saying all that, I was a little concerned about trying to add BuddyPress and bbPress to my Stock Market Baseball site. I shouldn’t have been. Installing, and configuring them was the easy part. Piece of cake. The problems had to do with finding themes that you could run BuddyPress on, and still have your content, and the website design, look good.
So many themes, So little time
Looking at all the free themes that WordPress has to offer, it’s hard to know which one is just right for your purposes, besides which themes look great. Looking great doesn’t always mean functional, once your content is added to the site. There are many themes that don’t play well with BuddyPress, even if they say they do. Other times, your posts look great on the page, but the site has a limited supply of widget space to help organize the knick knacks and doodads that seem to be part of every website, even if the website visitor never notices them. Then, there’s the menu bar. Some themes only have one menu. Others have two. Others, a few more. Having a few more is a nice feature to have.
I probably went through at least 10 themes before I finally settled on my first choice to begin with. Virtue, by Kadence. Aesthetically, I like the way it looks. A little spacious, and refined. It may end up, once the blogs and forums get rolling, that Virtues’ limitation of not having an endless scroll feature, will make me want to use a different theme. But for now, I’m happy with it. Virtue has the potential for two side bars, four footer areas, and five menus. That gives you a lot of design flexibility. I like that. I’m currently using one sidebar, four footer boxes for widgets, and two menus. If I need another menu, I have three more I can use.
Just when you think you have a good-looking site, and your groups and forums look fine, don’t forget about setting up your email, and social share connections properly. Seems like pretty simple things to do, unless the SMTP plug-ins you’re using don’t work. So you dump one after another, until you find a plug-in that works. I finally settled on SMTP by BestWebSoft. It worked.
Another thing to do when you are doing a website overhaul, or makeover, is to get a maintenance mode, or coming soon, plug-in. I settled on IgniteUp, because my coming soon page looked good, using that plug-in. It’s important to look good to visitors when you’re working on your site, just in case they have an interest in coming back. If your maintenance mode page looks boring, and unattractive, they will make that same assumption about your website. So, for me, IgniteUp looked good. It had a countdown clock, and a subscription box where visitors could leave their email addresses. One did.
Not so final thoughts
I’ve really written more than I thought I would write about this process, and there is more that I could share. Like don’t forget about website protection from spam, hackers, and general everyday, internet malcontents. There are plug-ins for that. Many. Remember to get and place your adlinks from advertisers. That’s up to you to figure it. And don’t forget to validate, or verify, your site with Google, Bing, and other search engines, because if your website is invisible to Google and Bing, your website is invisible. Give them your XML site map to crawl. Again, site visibility. You want to be found. Tell them where you are, so they can tell others. And, of course, create good SEO optimized content. Content is King. There are plug-ins to help with that too.
I shared all of this with you because I wanted to tell you about StockMarketBaseball.com, and what it’s been like to add socially engaging capabilities to that site with Buddy Press, bbPress, and WordPress themes, and plugins.
And to ask you to stop by Stock Market Baseball, and join the site if you want to. Especially if you have an interest in how to read and understand stock charts. It’s free to join. Go there now. Thanks.