So, why did I get started
It all started when we wanted a video player. Our TV, at the time, while it had extremely good audio was a bit lacking in the tuner department. We couldn’t receive HD TV and nor could we play 1080p video’s of any format. We couldn’t play anything that wasn’t higher resolution than 720p and it had to be in AVI format. So after a fair bit of research I found the Raspberry Pi. It has HDMI outputs and can run VLC which can play just about anything known to man or beast.
So a Pi was purchased and configured and pressed into service and it all worked very, very well. We were able to watch our collection of TV series and movies at a reasonable resolution. Then our TV packed up dammit. We got ourselves a new TV and some satellite speakers and we had a really good picture as well as excellent sound. We can now play our “stuff” at whatever resolution we like with good sound.
The birth of the web site
Seeing as I have had, in the past, a fair bit of experience in the IT sector and the Pi has the capacity I decided that I’d have a mess about with a web server. My bugbear with web sites has always been the messing about with HTML which I’m not at all good at so I started looking about for a content management system and found WordPress. I got that all together and working and after a bit of messing around I had a LAMP + WordPresssite happening. All I needed now was some content.
What to use for content
Getting it all up and running and visible to the internet at large was done so I needed some content.
Jenny and I like to get out and about with our camper and we tend to put a post up on Facebook when we get somewhere so I thought I’d make a bit of a trip blog and put it up on this site so rather than post a heap of stuff on Facebook I’d just put it here.
I wrote a few articles in WordPress and published them but no matter what I did it looked just plain horrible, really horrible.
That’s when I entered the world of WordPress themes. I tried a lot of them until I found TwentySixteen and was able to customise it to my liking which is what you see here.
Just messing about
Once I had some content and I had garnered the domain jandmf.com I decided that this site needed to be able to be found by Google. Enter that bed of confusion known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. There a lot of SEO plugins for WordPress and I tried a few but they weren’t what I was after until I stumbled across RankMath. Within hours I was able to see this site show up in relevant search results. That was all good and I’m now in the process of adding keywords, etc. to try and improve the rankings.
The next brainwave I had was to try and make a bit of cash so I started looking at Google Adsense. A lot more confusion ensued but I eventually got a bit of a handle on it. When I started I was using AutoAds which liberally peppered the whole page with adverts – three or four per page. Unacceptable.
Lots and lots of googling later I found a way to put adverts only where I want them. So far so good. I’m still struggling with the advert at the top of every page – I want it to be about half the height that it is now but still full width.
Ideally I’d like to have the advert at the top being half height but have three or so adverts in that banner. I can do it by editing the CSS files within WordPress but any WordPress update will wipe the changes out so I need to find another way. I’ll probably have to do some more messing about with child themes which is how I got the top advert to be there.
It’s a slow old process but I’m getting there.
Now that I have it all together and the search engines can find this site and I nearly have Google Ads beaten into submission I’m really looking forward to being able to post stuff from on the road when we can go away. Of course, at the moment we can’t go anywhere due to the COVID-19 restrictions but as soon as we’re unleashed we’ll be off.
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