Well, it was time to give HikeIt a bit of a facelift. The old website was just a simple blog style and I was finding that the older blogs were getting lost. So I’ve upgraded to a more magazine-style where I can organize the posts a little more by category and hopefully make it a little more navigable at the same time. I hope you like it! However please be patient while I sort out any kinks.
Lessons learned from HikeIt
I’ve been running this site for just over a year – I guess it was partly a Covid pass time. But in that year I’ve learned a lot here’s a couple of pointers /tips etc that might be interesting.
- It’s a hobby – so best to reat it like one. The time invested is like hiking itself.
- There is of course a cost to hosting this – I just switched from a small hostong company (Hostpapa) to Hostinger. I had been with Hostpapa for many years (they bought a comapny called Lunapages) and I was paying around $150 / per year. I was pretty happy with the service but this year they tried to upsell me to a package that was $60 / month and that was just not work it. That allowed me to look around and I found Hostinger which is currently costing around $50 / year.
- There is a certain amount of IT management with WordPress – some of this is pretty easy and some is a little more complex, such as setting up caches and optimizing for performance and making sure there are backups.
- Over the year I’ve invested in some premium WordPress features – the current HikeIt theme is from ElegantThemes and cost around $70.
- It’s hard to make money – currently there a small amount of money that comes in from Amazon advertizing. This rangers anywhere from $5 to $20 a month – so it just about covers the hosting costs.
- Getting organic search results takes a lot of time. After a year I get about 30-40 vistis a day from Google and Bing and these tend to be for the more niche search results.
What’s in the future?
There are a few things I’d like to do in the future. The biggest three are:
- Open up a forum / discussion section – even though Facebook has this well coverfed I am really not a big fan of Facebook. The amount of information they collect and then resell, and the number of adverts they place are really starting to get annoying. I’d like to have something similar to that for discussions without the Fscebook intrusiveness.
- Expand into Instagram – so that when I am out hiking I can post immediately there. Also of course that reaches a new group of folks out hiking as well.
- I’ve been trying to work out how to expand HikeIt to allow other users to create there own trail blogs – I’m getting close to this so watch this space.
If you are interested in contributing to the HikeIt Facelift- drop me a note!