When I originally started ‘MyFirstMotorcycle.wordpress.com’, I just saw it as a way to blog and document my adventures into the world of motorcycling, taking the reader on a journey from noob to rider. I quickly started growing the site into a small resource, largely for myself, covering gear, destinations, routes, rides, photography, and more. Eventually I realized that the standard WordPress.com site wasnt going to cut it, and I’d have to build something far larger to fit my dreams for the site. So I hit the drawing board, and began to plan what I would like the site to eventually look like.
This was a simple one. I’m occasionally asked to build websites for clients, and my go-to solution for this is almost always WordPress. Without getting techy, it provides a scalable flexible platform which can be customized and tailored to the specific requirements of the project, and the number of off-the-shelf themes and plugins means that customizing it is a breeze. The interface is reminiscent of a cut down version of Microsoft Word, meaning that even non-technical people can build media-rich and attractive content with very little time and effort.
As I wanted to involve more people in the site, this seemed to be one of the best solutions to make it accessible for the largest range of people.
Every site has to have a unique look and feel. As I was building the site on a budget, it seemed logical to buy the theme off-the-shelf. I quickly disregarded using a generic theme in favour of an automotive centric theme.
The two candidates for the theme were Biker Club and Motoblog. After carefully dissecting the two options, I originally settled on Biker Club, however with further investigation, Motoblog offered a better feature-set which covered more of the ideas that I had.
Well, this is where I hit a bit of a snag… I honestly didn’t (and still don’t) know what to call the site, which means that it doesn’t currently have a proper domain associated with it. I’ve temporarily hosted it under my own domain ‘tfindley.co.uk’ with the purpose of getting the site designed, getting some collaborators on board, and getting content written. So far, I’m still open to suggestions and ideas for a name (ideally one with a domain name that is available).
Building the Site
After a lot of technical crap getting my WordPress installation to play ball in a certain configuration, I went ahead and imported all the content from ‘myfirstmotorcycle.wordpress.com’. This immediately caused a problem, where galleries created using the Jetpack plugin didn’t import the associated images. Thankfully I had most of the images stored on my computer still, so a simple re-upload fixed that. Next was to purchase and install the chosen theme ‘Motoblog’, and get the imported content into some sort of order that will reflect the ideas in my head, and the demo content provided by the theme. Fitting existing content into a new theme is like trying to squeeze a tent back into the bag it shipped in. You can make most of it fit, but some of it just simply won’t, no matter how much you try to pack it in.
Where are we now?
Well, the site is online, and a large amount of the existing content has been situated, however I foresee some of it being moved around in the coming weeks as I realize that certain categories or sections just don’t fit. I’ve been speaking to a number of people about contributing to the site, either on a regular basis (or on a guest/occasional/collaborative basis), and have a list as long as my arm for articles, content and ideas.
I’m currently on the look-out for more contributors, so if you’re interested, please leave a comment below. Watch this space for more information on the site, as I’m sure more content will be appearing in the coming weeks.