Warning: The Shocking Truth about 1WD Behind the Scenes Unveiled

Posted in 1WD Features, News, Web Design • Posted on 63 Comments

We have gone through so many changes and now I feel really bad about not letting you know the details sooner! 1WD has been struggling a lot lately and that’s why we are busy reorganizing the site, taking a leap of faith and hoping that after all the changes we’ll come out better than we are now. Now you’ll get a peek behind the scenes of 1WD!

In this post I will explain what has happened behind the scenes for the last three months and what we are working on now.  We really believe that by narrowing our focus, working on our own products, and really listening to your feedback, we will make everyone love this design blog!

You know how I like to share what I’ll be covering before I start? Here are the things I’ll be covering throughout this article:

  • Survey results where we got more than 1,000 responses
  • Slap from Google and the actions we took to recover and improve the reading experience
  • Changing host in process
  • Completely finishing 1WD redesign, call for feedback!
  • 1WD Ebook launch summary
  • 1WD Labzip product, learn what it is all about
  • FounderTips website for web design marketing advice

Previous Survey Craziness

Three months ago we had a big survey on 1WD, asking you to help us understand what kind of topics you want us to focus on more? We received quite a few great and helpful suggestions and the lucky winners’ banners are now on the sidebar. :)

We also used the KissInsights feedback plugin to get even more responses to quick questions. Unfortunately, a lot of people really hated that feedback plugin so we removed it after only a week, but a week was enough to get a lot of very, very useful feedback.

Did you notice that 1WD is now super clean and it’s almost ad-free? We are trying to provide the best reading experience possible!

Here is what we learned from the survey:

  • You want to learn how to make WordPress responsive, how to make/customize themes
  • You want more tutorials, more design related articles covering WordPress, UI, responsive designing, A/B testing
  • You love that we publish tutorials regularly and we have wide diversity of authors, daily updates and freebies!
  • You hated that 1WD is not responsive, it had too many ads, pop-ups and it’s not mobile friendly (we fixed almost all of these problems by cleaning up the site, we have a mobile version now and we’re working hard on making it responsive).
  • You struggle the most with marketing yourself, working at home, knowing what to charge and how to create contracts and being an original designer.

What we learned from KissInsights feedback (more than 1000 responses):

Kissinsights feedback

  • You would like to see more articles about CSS3, mobile tips, JavaScript, jQuery, fonts, roundups. You really enjoy roundups!
  • Then we asked what you dislike the most about 1WD – most requests were to remove ads and pop-ups (KissInsights). Ironically the most requested change was to remove KissInsights feedback plugin! It was a necessary evil, but we removed it really fast!

We really listened to you and hope you can feel it already while reading 1WD! We also reduced the amount of articles we publish. Previously we published two to three articles per day, but we’re now down to one to make sure you get better quality, and more enjoyable, articles!

Slap from Google

Google slap site

I have already posted two in-depth articles about this topic and read a whole bunch of SEO blogs trying to find a solution for the lost traffic. Even now I cannot say that we have recovered from the loss or that I know what exactly caused Google to dislike us so badly. We learned a lot of good SEO practices to work on, one post was about how Google is changing its policies and general advice about how to recover from it using some advanced tools and practices. The second article was much more specific, focusing on how to clean up existing blog posts from broken links, spam comments and outdated tips.

I am confused who got that traffic we lost instead and what is considered better content by Google. Quite a big confusion. Still we are doing what we can to improve the overall site experience and hopefully you have noticed the changes already if you are regular visitor!

Our site now is much cleaner, faster, comments are cleaned from ALL spam leaving just the ones that are genuine. I went so far through 20,000 approved comments, still 900 pages = 18,000 comments are remaining but I’ll get there.

Here are few lessons I learned with the Google changes:

  • Search traffic is very helpful, but you can’t really rely on it.
  • Focusing on social networking and overall engagement in the comments is much more lasting and enjoyable. Regular readers are much less likely to spam, whereas spammers come from Google trying to steal traffic by spamming the article comments.
  • Building your own list is crucial – build your email list aggressively. There is no other better way to work on relationships with readers than through email. Traffic doesn’t mean everything if readers are not returning, and most aren’t.

This is a strong advice for blog owners. For readers, no matter what we do here, you win by getting a better reading experience!

Changing Hosts

Recently, Sufyan did a really in-depth research about web hosts, cloud services and what to choose. That article is an awesome reference point for you while picking a host or transferring to a new one. You probably don’t know that we published that article because we are struggling with existing host Eleven2 ,and now after two years, yes, two years, of struggling with them and giving them countless second chances, we decided it’s time to let them go and make a switch. We are using the very same hosting article to decide which host to choose next.

Our Experiences with Eleven2

Eleven2

It has been a very bumpy ride with Eleven2, I must say the only reason I stuck with them for so long was because of Rodney, the founder of Eleven2. We established a very healthy relationship and he always helped a lot when we had problems. As time went on the problems started to happen more and more often and they really didn’t seem reasonable.

We had serious problems with the CDN the whole time, when some parts of the site was cached, but some weren’t, causing our site to break and create errors which weren’t actually there! Imagine only having some of a plugins code cached and some that wasn’t compatible with other plugins. Our programmer, Daniel, spent a lot of time fixing those errors and finding that in the end it was just a caching issue. A lot of wasted time went into that.

In summary their hosting is quite cheap (except CDN) and it can be good for smaller websites (maybe for high-end sites too, but be ready to pay a lot for that). But if something happens, don’t expect fast or helpful support. You can expect downtime about once per month, sometimes it only lasts a few minutes, sometimes several hours long.

I hope support is fine for small shared hostings, but for dedicated hosting it was really bad. A person who responded to a support ticket didn’t have any access to dedicated hosting and countless times I felt like I was speaking to someone who doesn’t speak English. It was painful. As I said, the only reason why we stuck with Eleven2 for so long was because of Rodney, who fixed all our problems quickly when he was around.

I am apologizing to you, 1WD readers about the downtime we had, it is my fault that we didn’t take action and make a switch much sooner.

Where is 1WD Moving?

Currently we are thinking about MediaTemple‘s dedicated hosting, where our programmer Daniel will set it up and maintain it. I think it’s a good solution because MT hardware is awesome and if you set it up with your own software, then you don’t need any support – you are in charge of everything! If you are planning on making the same move keep this in mind – the person who’s managing the hosting needs to be really good and reliable!

Mediatemple hosting

Completely Redesigning 1WD

Many people thinking 1WD has already been redesigned! But in reality we were just strongly reacting to the Google changes and it encouraged us to improve your reading experience. Even though our site is really clean now it doesn’t have a really good design that we can be proud of. We decided here that it’s better to improve the reading experience before working on a new site design.

One big takeaway from editing the existing design was how important it is to sometimes realign and not completely redesign. If you keep changing little by little you will get the time to track and test every change and this experience is invaluable! If you start completely fresh you lose any data you had previously and you’ll need to start fresh!

Now we have improved the blog post styling, removed a lot of ads and cleaned up the header! Big looks and the experience won’t change anymore, but you can expect some extra new features and much, much better user experience!

We are asking for your feedback all the time on Forrst, Facebook page and Twitter – if you want to help make 1WD, join us there and help us to design 1WD for you!

1wd balsamiq redesign mockup

1stWebDesigner E-books launch

You probably noticed the serious advertising and word spreading over social networks and 1WD, because we had big news, we finally released our own e-books, which we are selling through Amazon now!

It really was an interesting and very experience-rich launch, if you’re interested I can share my experience on making all of it happen. We offered those ebooks free for three days for our active readers and newsletter subscribers which resulted in more than 6,000 downloads! We have sold over 500 copies so far!

I would gladly write full case study if you are interested, but you need to ask for it in the comments! If at least five people comment that they want to read a case study on the E-book launch, I will happily share my experience with you all.

1wd ebooks

LabZip: New Sites and Ventures coming to the 1WD Family

Here at 1WD we have started new ventures by working on our own products! We have joined forces with Spencer Forman, founder of Labsecrets. You can read more about him here. We joined forces because 1WD is an expert on providing value to its audience and Spencer is an awesome guy, who’s very experienced with WordPress and product creation – skills we lack!

I really want to get my hands dirty on providing a lasting product where we can provide endless value for you! E-books are the starting point and we will continue with Labzip!

What is Labzip?

I mentioned it before on 1WD, but let me explain what we are building and why we think this WordPress plugin will be useful for you! Let’s look at some popular problems regarding website creation!

I know many of you reading this blog are experienced designers and developers and while this plugin will be most useful to starting web designers, everybody will find this handy!

Labzip steps

Imagine this situation:

You need to build a quick website for yourself or a client with some custom functionality like membership, forums or a shop. You can take two routes:

  • Use your own template or create a whole website from scratch using your favorite system to put everything together
  • Buy a premium theme and try to customize it to do the job quickly trying to solve the problems that can come with another programmers code.

If you have the time and money it’s best to get a custom-designed website, where you know and control every single bit of code and functionality. You don’t need that, heck even I started 1WD with customized template, because I didn’t have time or enough knowledge to design my own blog and I definitely didn’t the have money to hire somebody else.

But know this, design is optional. For a blog, the most important thing is awesome content and community; for products, the most important thing is what pain it solves and that it works! Don’t get me wrong, having awesome design with unique functionality is great and should always be the goal, but usually that means the build time will take much longer.

Many websites and products fail because they spend too much time working on the idea and they end up drained, and even worse, what they thought people want isn’t what they need! To avoid this problem, follow the saying, “Skip perfection and launch early!”

I have seen this saying proven right in so many situations! Launching early will help you grow quickly! You are much more likely to improve your product if you spend $25 on the website than $2,000 for custom design!

Ok, let me get to the point. Why am I talking about this?

Because we are working on a product which will utilize the best premium themes available and bundle them together with great functionality.

The Goal is that you can:

  1. Pick a premium theme you like
  2. Pick functionality you need (membership, shop, forum, social)
  3. Launch! And you don’t even need to worry about hosting, we offer it together with Labzip!

How could you use the Labzip plugin? Well, let your imagination go wild:

  • If you are a web designer you can build a lot of websites for your clients super fast!
  • If your client needs changes you can change them instantly with our add/remove function
  • If you are an internet marketer, you can launch as many sites as you want quickly!
  • You can use our product as a starting point for your custom design, use the functionality you need,  and change the design as you wish!

I would have loved to have had a tool like this when I started freelancing! And I know there are quite a few designers already piecing together sites using WordPress, premium themes and custom plugins! But now it will be even easier than before!

More features LabZip will provide:

  • More than 80 WordPress popular plugins which work together with themes and do not break any code
  • Video tutorials showing you how to customize designs, use WordPress to implement custom advanced features
  • Support forums, where you can get your questions answered!
  • ManageWP implemented so you can manage all your clients’ sites or your own sites from one place (we have a custom collaboration with them!)
  • Responsive designs

I don’t know, but for me it seems like a win-win for everybody!

Labzip homesite

If you want to learn more, visit Labzip and watch the preview video there! We would love to hear your thoughts about this wonderful product (which is currently a web version while the WP plugin is being built).

We would love to answer your questions to help us understand what features you would love to have in Labzip and what features you value the most!

So far we have received a lot of interest from marketers who want to build a lot of websites, but not many freelancers or individual site owners though! How would you use Labzip and would it be useful to you?

FounderTips – Blog for Web Designers that are into Internet Marketing

Several months ago I created FounderTips because I was delving deeper and deeper into internet marketing, but that type of content isn’t really appropriate for 1WD ! For some time we worked there, created quite a few marketing articles and interviews with very successful people who have created their businesses, both big and small, online and are living their dream.

While these articles are very unique and interesting, I feel like we were lacking the focus that would make us stand out from all the other marketing blogs. A few weeks ago something hit me – many designers are really bad marketers! They often struggle to earn really good money online. Some designers start blogs to get more traction, but still struggle because of the amount of competition.

But there are so many really good ways designers can create their own products and earn extra income from freelancing. I realized that there isn’t a blog dedicated to marketing for designers!

And here is where FounderTips found it’s place!

Foundertips website design

We will focus on two types of content generally:

  • Interviews with popular designers and developers succeeding by selling their service or product online like Jacob Cass for example.
  • Marketing advice for designers to help them create their own products to sell.

You may be thinking , “I don’t feel like an expert in this niche, how could I sell anything?” Oh boy, it is much easier than you think, you just need to take action and become good at it.

Here are some ways designers can make more money by creating products:

  • Write an e-book about something you are an expert in!  Check Sasha Greif for example, how he created his ebook Step by Step UI design!
  • Create and sell themes on marketplaces like Themeforest. Orman Clark used his blog PremiumPixels and freebies to really push his themes!
  • If you are a web designer, collaborate with a developer to create an app which will solve a problem!
  • Collaborate and create your own theme shop! A lot of designers are collaborating with WooThemes to earn extra money.
  • Create a blog reviewing some useful premium tools and WordPress plugins and earn affiliate income from them! I know quite a few guys doing just that!
  • Use Labzip to quickly create beautiful and functional WordPress websites and earn great money as freelancer!
  • Start building a mailing list on your blog and communicate well with your readers! They can really help you spread the word or launch your next product!
  • Create a video course teaching something you are an expert in, sell it as an individual product or create a premium membership on your site!
  • Create premium icons, fonts, plugins – learn how to market them and earn money on the side!
  • Become a writer, there are quite a few design blogs paying good money for articles! At 1WD we are paying $75-100 for each article!

Ebook launch sasha

There are so many ways you can succeed online! But I don’t think there is a good place to teach you that! I know, I know, you love web design, you love coding, but even if you are the best designer out there, you earn only when you work! If you do not work, you do not get paid!

What happens if you fall sick, have a family crisis or just want to travel for a bit? You don’t make money!

That’s why setting up some passive income can be really beneficial! If you have a theme on Themeforest, it still sells even if you are away! If you have an e-book on Amazon? It still sells even if you’re sick!

I have learned so much about marketing and traffic building, I really think I can teach you a thing or two. Even if marketing isn’t something you need to worry about wouldn’t you like to read interviews with some of the worlds top designers?

Let me know what you think! Here is our new site FounderTips, which already has 52 published articles, so you can start reading right away!

Conclusion

This is definitely a period of big change for 1WD, and the whole team behind it is working very hard to make it all happen! I know, I asked you already for a lot of feedback, but with good reason. We need you to help us make the right choices and improve the overall experience here! We are in a beautiful place where we can afford to make anything happen, but we need a bit of your guidance!

Do you feel like we are moving in the right direction? How do you feel about our new projects: e-books, FounderTips, and Labzip?

Remember, if you are interested in reading about the e-book launch you need to request it in the comments or on Twitter!

193 Written ArticlesWebsiteGoogle+

Dainis is 25 years young man, who struggled for 3 years while studying in design academy and working for local design agency, because of ignorant teachers and agency boss. He couldn't believe this is all life could offer to him! And then he discovered true Internet possibilities, he was lucky to find his passion early in life and take advantage of this beautiful Information (Internet) Age! Now he is committed to help others succeed, to help others take charge of their life and follow their passion! His goal is to open Your eyes and help unveil Your true potential!

63 Comments Best Comments First
  • Leo

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 10:07

    1

    So how do I request for the ebook?

    This is going to right direction. Congratulations on the new 1WD and looking forward to see higher quality content.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 11:10

      2

      Just mention that you would be interested, Leo :) Thanks, I am really hoping it’s the right direction..and better community site :)

      0
  • rukky oweibor

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:12

    20

    Thank u for your reply. It sure answered a lot of my questions.
    As a favor… Can u also chip in an article on magazine style home page customization for wp? That is, things to consider while creating a home page, (page size, how to implement good attraction marketing …etc ) and most importantly a practical example in how to design a great dynamic and minimal magazine style home page…
    Also…an article on megamenus (just like that of bettercodes.org ) will be a welcomed idea.

    Thank you very much. You are amazing.
    PS: by “booking system”, I meant, having a site calandar where site members can book my services for consultation…just like booking a flight online.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:07

      24

      Rukky, I don’t believe there are such article, because each theme is different. I would suggest to find magazine theme that suits your needs the best, so you don’t need to even customize it a lot, just using theme options in WP dashboard. Doing so, you don’t have to worry how to build that home page.

      But if you want to delve into that deeper, learn more about A/B testing – http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/landing-pages-101/ I compiled this article a while ago, you cannot know anything 100% before you don’t test it!

      About booking system, simple plugin will do like this – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/booking/

      0
  • Steve Kamn

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:22

    26

    Thanks a lot Dainis Graveris, I really thinking much more on Organic Traffic by Search Engines – and finally decided not to rely on them. Your article and suggestion has strengthen my concept. You are absolutely true, that social networking and user engagement is much much better than rely on Search Engines especially GOOGLE.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:29

      28

      Steve, thanks! Of course, search traffic is awesome, but it’s not lasting (unless you convert it..and get people in your mailing list for example). We waste too much focusing on generic SEO, not giving necessary attention to REAL readers, commenters, social interactions, which are lasting!

      0
      • Steve Kamn

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:39

        29

        Thanks Dainis Graveris!
        I am happy that you are practical and share your real experiences – the “Comment Engagement” is a solid evidence of your professionalism and sincerity to the readers.
        I want to take one more suggestion that will definitely be much beneficial for me and other Blog Owners. What set of social networking sites will you recommend for the beginners as it is difficult to decide among hundreds.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:45

          30

          Steve, well I don’t like to pray what I don’t know..I am sharing only from my real experiences!

          About social icons, that’s an easy question! Minimalism and icons together with it are coming to be really popular – http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/freebies/minimal-icons-2012/

          I would suggest to pick minimal icons (with color on mouseover like we have), but it’s really not important what you pick! As soon as you pick icons which fit with your site design, all of them are from ONE icon set (to fit icon style) you’ll do just fine!

          Decide ones, which are simple or just browse through other blogs and check what kind of icons they use. Then just use related keywords to find icons on Google or FindIcons.com.

          I would search for minimal icons there..and on Google using keywords like – minimal social icons psd 2012 ( i like new ones, that’s why I put year there too :))

          0
          • Steve Kamn

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:56

            31

            Thanks for your time and valuable information.

            0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:59

            32

            Sure, hope it helps! If you need anything, let me know! :) Also can buzz me on Twitter!

            0
  • Devesh

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 12:51

    4

    Hey Dainis,

    Congratulations on launching your own products. It’s really great to see how you’re taking 1WD to a whole new level. Keep up the rocking work, Dainis.

    Have a great weekend.

    -Dev

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:22

      5

      Hello Devesh,
      thanks a lot for your kind comment! Well, we cannot move backwards..and really cannot stay the same, so glad to hear it makes sense as the right step forward!

      Enjoy your weekend as well!

      0
  • Rhianon

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 12:30

    3

    That ebook sounds great! I would be interested as well, time to start working with responsive design myself.

    I love this site, thanks for revealing so much about what’s going on.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:23

      6

      Rhianon, ok, that’s good :) You are interested about launch process or ebook about responsive design? If so, ebook is here – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086I7XGM .

      Any more feedback on new ventures, seems right for you? :)

      0
      • Rhianon

        Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:37

        7

        Thanks for the link. $2.99 is a steal.
        And yea, I would be interested in your personal experience as well :)

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Saturday, June 16th, 2012 15:20

          10

          Ok, cool glad you’re interested :) I need few more requests and I will start compiling article together! :)

          0
  • Leo

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:37

    8

    I’m interested in the ebook. Is it the link to amazon? Sadly readers outside US can hardly have easy access to get it.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 15:19

      9

      Leo, it’s not and issue, because you can use your local Amazon.. books are also on UK, FR, ES, IT, DE.. and I have bought books through Amazon from Latvia, Spain. It’s really not an issue.

      0
  • Tobias

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 01:39

    14

    I really like your openness. More sites should follow your example. I think it creates a more personal connection with your followers. It’s a simple step to make. Not like you need to reveal all your deepest secrets. Just some insights, thought process and agenda are really nice to read about.

    Can’t be fun to manually review 38k comments!

    What did you learn from the unpopular survey plugin? Are you going to use it again or a new approach for next time?

    I hope your new web host is more reliable and service minded. I have bad experience from a few hosts myself. The worst were really awful. We often had long downtime and noone from support returned our phone calls. The list of nightmare examples is long. For example they actually by mistake sent another customer’s server to us instead of our own.

    I’m definitely interested in reading your case study!

    Labzip sounds interesting. I will take a closer look at it later and try to weigh the pros against the cons. Mostly I think what matters for me is on what level I can customize it and how much time it saves me instead of creating everything from scratch. The biggest concern for me is how much I as a developer would lose in skill by using a service like Labzip and also don’t want to be too dependent of a third party provider. I guess it all comes down to how you prioritize. If you save time on some task you have more time to focus on other areas.

    I like FounderTips. I just tried to subscribe to their RSS but couldn’t find one?

    Personally I like to read of others experience and especially their mistakes and lessons learned. EVERYONE makes mistakes, especially when inexperienced. What differs is, I think, how to deal with it. How they move on and how they work to avoid similar scenarios in the future. I know some people that before they start a project, list every possible complications/scenarios they can think of so that they are as prepared as possible if the worst should occur.

    Thank you for 1WD!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:01

      18

      Tobias,
      oh thanks for such in depth comment!

      Hah, better for other sites not to follow this example..we have more chance to stand out! :) I try also not to be too personal and mix in some useful tips so even such boring news article can get a bit more entertaining!

      It’s no fun at all, 800 pages left..heh.. :)

      About survey plugin – it was really badly taken, but still more than 1000 responses in total? It is outstanding value to understand what readers want! I think now I will keep it on much smaller scale, just talk with people directly, ask them some feedback on FB, Twitter. In general, rarely there is a need for such big survey and data – its super important just when you feel there are big changes needed to be done. But if I would need more feedback I would use KissInsights again, but for super short time!

      Oh wow, that’s terrible experience with hosting! It’s a bumpy ride until you find the ones which can satisfy you!

      It seems like I need to start writing that case study, glad to see it’s getting some interest!

      Thank you, would love some feedback on Labzip – now we don’t have message very well explained. Exactly, Labzip cannot replace custom created site, but it can replace some time consuming tasks, letting you sometimes just pick templates to finish job quickly and make your client satisfied..or just launch your own project in one day..to give it a chance!

      About FounderTips, yes – that’s my bad! Changed theme recently and forgot about that! Silly me!
      Indeed – be prepared for the worst, but expect just the best outcome!

      Thank you, Tobias!

      0
      • Tobias

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 12:58

        39

        Dainis,
        I think the survey issue is fascinating. It’s of course not good if it lowers the user experience. Perhaps it’s possible to integrate it differently for your next attempt, i.e. cookies or external page?
        1000 responses sounds perfect. The accuracy doesn’t increase so much after that.
        May I ask if you noticed any deviation for your traffic during the survey period?

        Labzip really look like a good option for me. I have many ideas for projects that I’m eager to begin with, but the problem is spelled TIME. I’m sure you know how it is. Especially now when you have 800 old pages to work with :)
        I have a question about Labzip. If I purchase it, is there any limit on how many pages that I can use it on?

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 07:29

          44

          Tobias, in other cases I would never get as many responses as I got now..this popup was annoying, but it got results.. the same way as Popup Domination plugin for email subscriptions – it gives amazing results but annoys regular visitors soo much!

          No, I didn’t notice any deviation!

          Oh about Labzip you should note that plugin is still in process, now it’s more like a web version you can use. But there is monthly payment 25$ or one time purchase for specific child themes you can use together with those another plugins and top functionality.

          For now, I know myself site is a bit messy ,but practice is already there!

          0
  • Rifatalmamun

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 01:17

    13

    I am very interested for the ebook.I love this site, thanks all.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:19

      15

      Thank you :) Vote counted +1 :) Two to go i think :)

      0
  • rukky oweibor

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 00:59

    12

    Hi
    I am new in the world of real web design… I played with wordpress once or twice. I have been visiting your blog for two years now (since you where 21 ..I think )(•͡.̮ •͡ ) . You inspired me to create my first blog . Pediaboy.com … The only problem was… Even after implementing all security tips… I always got hacked.
    Also…I had very poor maketing and Seo skills and my blog totally flunked. Now, I want to create a site that talks about database, Unix and general tech news. So, I have some questions.

    1. What plugins do you use for your site that keeps it so secure.
    2. How do create my home page to look like website like imdb.com or ieee.org or yahoo.com where articles from different categories are displayed at the home page? How do I get the various categories to show the latest headlines and excepts.
    3. I am using pagelines platform free because of its flexibility… What do think of that theme? Is it too heavy?
    4. What is the best plugin for seo?
    5. What caching plugin do u use?
    6. I live in Nigeria and we currently don’t have access to paypal or other means of doing online transactions. How can I buy your book and labzip? Any other payment options?
    7. What’s the best slide show plugin and
    8. How do I create a membership site with a mailist and site booking system?

    Please note that I currently don’t have money for premium plugins. But I don’t mind if u list them along side any free ones that can make my site archieve its functionality.
    Great article….
    Thank you.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:37

      17

      Hello Rukky,
      thanks for your kind comment! Glad to see long time reader here..appreciate you coming back here even now!

      I am surprised, how did your website get hacked..how did process look like? I am asking because, WP generally has quite good security, I am not using anything specific to secure this very same site too much, but what I do is to have regular backups of DB and FTP files – even if something goes terribly wrong you can always restore site to the last backup version!

      1. Just backups
      2. I would suggest to search for magazine style WordPress themes, they generally have a lot more information on homepage.
      3. As soon as Pagelines does the job, I cannt say anything bad about it. Generally I prefer personally to customize existing themes to suit your needs instead, gets really good and fast result usually!
      4. I am using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin and really vouch for it!
      5. Caching, cannot say for sure, we are using CDN (cloud hosting) together with hosting and they pick CDN plugins. I would suggest close to free service if you are interested – Cloudflare.com
      6. I know we also accept credit cards and on Amazon it’s also through credit cards, really do not see an issue there :)
      7. There will be coming an article about image,slider, gallery plugins – keep an eye on it in next few days!
      8. What did you mean by site booking system? Using Labzip you will be able to create membership site super easy and mail list is separate thing. You need to pick company who will send your emails and gather them like Aweber.com for example.

      Most sites I listed are free or have super cheap plans (or free trials) together with them! Hope this response helped!

      0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 20:43

    11

    Oh finally I’m done. It took me 10-15 minutes to read this article word by word. I just want to say that, given the fact that I’m one of those who answered the survey, it feels good that you’re actually listening to us. That’s a great personality Dainis. I wish you all the best. With all those mistakes, troubles and problems, I know you learned a lot. And oh by the way, if you wanna share something to me (lessons), I’m glad to hear from you. I just switched to WP blog :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:25

      16

      Oh hey Manuel, thanks for stopping by again! Heh, yes that feedback was irritating for readers, but well, glad I got that information.. :) Hah, yes – it may seem bigger sites do not have them and there are just rainbows and happiness, but everybody is struggling from time to time..:)

      Can you be more specific? I can share my experiences, if you have specific question in mind, generally it’s harder! But well, I am writing now aprox 1 article per week generally sharing what I can!

      Congratulations Manuel, how are you feeling after the switch to WP? :) What finally made you do the changes? :)

      0
      • Manuel Garcia

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:11

        19

        Well, actually I’m a self-supported student (up to this moment) that’s why it’s hard for me to pay the monthly bills. But I made a strategy and that is creating a blog in blogger platform (which is free) and monetize it to earn money. I save all those earnings until the day I switched to wordpress. Now, I need to strive harder since I have to pay monthly while studying. Study in the morning, write 1 article per day and do the social sharing stuff in the evening.

        But, it feels great thinking that my blog might possibly achieve what 1WD is now today.

        So far, I don’t have specific questions because the things I need to know right now is too wide. It’s just that I don’t know where to start. But since you are now writing 1 article per week, maybe I’d wait for those to learn more from you.

        Thanks.

        0
        • Manuel Garcia

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:17

          21

          And take note, I’m always here at your blog every 2-4 hours to check if there is a new update. I personally love your articles (with due respect) compare to others.

          0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 06:56

            22

            Thank you Manuel, glad to hear you enjoy my writings :) Heh, we keep regular writing schedule and usually post in the same time, so you don’t have to check that often!

            0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:02

          23

          Oh self supported? How do you earn extra income than? Through freelancing?

          But expenses as self hosted aren’t really that big, I mean hosting 5$ per month, domain 9$ per year.. Besides your blog is not that small anymore, it should bring some motivating side income! How do you monetize it besides BSA ads and Adsense?

          Do you do any affiliate promotion?

          IF you have such busy day I would even recommend to switch to 1 article per 2-3 days, but really get out there! Submit your articles to community news, Designbump, Designfloat..comment on related articles, do some guest blogging!

          Writing daily drains you fast and if you don’t promote articles hardly enough, they don’t even get necessary attention!

          Blog is a start and you are achieved much more than many others! Just mixing writing with promotion and monetization parts is key!

          In my articles I cannot promise I will focus on marketing, blogging advice since this is more design blog..and people want to see here more articles about that.. but FounderTips can be a good place for that with valuable interviews and tips shared there!

          I really would love to focus on FT and just marketing, blogging, product building advice, but a lot of things needed to settle on 1WD before that. But Agota with interviews is awesome!

          0
          • Manuel Garcia

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:18

            25

            Yes, I do freelancing but not online. :) Well, if you will convert those money into our currency, it’ll be a big expense. In the contrary, if I will earn that amount i’ll get more.

            I monetize it through Adsense and BSA only. Do you have any advice for that? I don’t have any affiliate ads since (i think) it’ll be hard for a starter. My blog needs to drive much traffic just to earn through affiliates.

            And Yes, it’s really hard to write per day but I must since I’m the only one working on it. But then, looking forward to a new level.

            About blogging, I understand. I experience the same way whereas I want to share my blogging techniques but still, I need to focus on design-related articles since it is a design blog. And by the way, thanks for the advice :)

            One more question, are designbump and designfloat really helpful (for starters who don’t have much authority)?

            0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:27

            27

            Manuel, did you notice that when 1WD started I wrote 2-3 posts per week? When I got exams there were even few articles throughout the whole month! But what helped to put it aside from other blogs was how I spend the same or even more time to promote those articles in design world!

            Of course they are, they bring in traffic which counts up over time! Hell, in few days you will see huge article with community links..and we try to put our articles in each of them daily!

            About affiliates I didn’t mean just affiliate banners, but for banners I would suggest to use Wix – they really work amazingly well on 1WD!

            You need to push more affiliate articles, in roundups mix in also some premium selections which are really outstanding but cost few bucks. I can say honestly there are times when I prefer premium stuff more than freebies, because of documentation and support I can get.. for design elements – they are usually just better than what is available for free!

            Themeforest, codecanyon, graphicriver works really good for such selections, the same is about theme shops with affiliate programs!

            Heh, yes, you need to respect your readers and focus on topics which are driving traffic and getting readers more excited! But I feel you..I don’t feel anymore as designer, but more like marketer, online business builder, social media marketer..and SEO basics guy.. Those skills just were more usable than just knowing how to create awesome designs or coding tutorials.. You need to understand your 5% you are best at and focus on them, trying to outsource everything else.

            0
  • Bamidele Onibalusi

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 08:07

    33

    That’s a lot of changes, Dainis!

    I’m familiar with some of them already, and I’m excited with the way things are turning out!

    Wishing you the best with future projects :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:40

      35

      Thank you Onibalusi, indeed these are really big changes, curious myself if we’ll smash and burn or do just fine.. :)

      Thanks for wishes, we definitely could use some luck as well! :)

      0
  • P.Muhammed Jafar

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 00:13

    54

    Hi Dainis, Yesterday I read this article…
    A great thanks for your effort and sharing…We are always with 1WD.
    You know one thing, yesterday my Website pmjcreations.com was affected with one malware injection.
    Actually I am innocent, and I am not a malware spreader.
    So yesterday I was very busy with the cleaning and restoring my files…
    Anyhow could you write an article about various security issues and guidelines for protecting our sites from this kind of attacks…
    Its really strange and helpful…
    Thanks again for your 1WD…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:01

      55

      Hey P.Muhammed,
      thank you for appreciation, glad to have you to believe in us! :)

      How that malware injection looked like? What exactly happened?

      You can read about some simple steps you can take with your WordPress installation and explanation what causes the most problems, like not upgrading WP, plugins, leaving some holes in installation – http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress

      I would also suggest to ask your host to do your database and hosted file backups once weekly! It costed to me 50$ extra dollars, but I can now sleep more calmly in nights! :) Even if everything crush and burns, i still have my backup and could loose just max 1 weeks updates!

      0
      • P.Muhammed Jafar

        Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:10

        58

        I don’t know Dainis how my site got Malware injection…
        My Antivirus warned me when I was accessing my website yesterday that, “Web Attack: Mass Injection Website Detected”. So I checked my Web Master tool and confirmed that site has been infected.
        After I immediately contact my Hosting provider and I restored my Server account and whole website files.
        Now Google withdraw their warning message from search query.
        And its not Word Press based site. I don’t know WP even.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:25

          59

          Oh..what is it hosted on? I have recently just experience with WP, with other sites there are different specifics..different possible holes..

          0
  • rajasegar

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 23:56

    53

    First of all, my hearty congrats to Dainis and the team of 1WD, this was a great post, absolutely down-to-earth bringing the practical difficulties and realities of running a great blog with good content, i would say you guys are really determined and dedicated folks, my best wishes for 1WD and hope you guys keep up the great work in the future…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:04

      57

      Thank you Rajasegar! Glad to hear you think so, it means a lot to me and my team! We will keep up the same old great and hard work, which is in 1WD core already! :)

      Your comment really cheered me up! Thanks!

      0
  • Robert

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 22:35

    52

    You should be at the top of Google’s favorites list….you’re certainly at the top of mine. I have your feed at the top of my igoogle homepage and read your articles regularly…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:03

      56

      Robert, thank you, I thought we are pretty good in terms of like-ability, but that’s exactly why I don’t understand changes 100%, I know what could be improved, but that’s still a big picture!

      But a lot of good things came out of these changes and site is getting improved because of that push! Robert, which kind of articles do you enjoy the most and would like to see covered more here?

      0
  • (mt) Matt

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:37

    60

    Sorry to hear about all the issues you’ve been running into. Happy to hear you are ready to make the move over to us though. I’m guessing we can provide some stability to help out with all the madness. Feel free to contact us by phone, support chat, or Twitter if you need help or have any questions. Good luck with the move!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:46

      61

      Thank you Matt,
      actually I wrote an email 3 days ago asking about some details of server we should pick, but didn’t get any response for now! Can you check that please?

      Thank you for suport!

      0
      • (mt) Matt

        Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:59

        62

        Sure thing. Do you remember what department or who you sent it to? We don’t usually do support through email, unless it’s done through sales.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 13:09

          63

          I think it should be through sales, rybarra at mediatemple.net

          0
  • Luis

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:30

    34

    Count with one more asking for your experience launching an eBook. :)

    When we have a site there is always work to do and of course in the long run one good thing is to have patience. The other is perseverance. Loving to work on a specific niche is the third thing and your team seems to have all of them and that’s why in my opinion you had sucess.
    Content, marketing and everything else comes after.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:43

      36

      Thank you Luis, it seems like you are doing pretty well yourself with DevGarage! Heh, ok, that is enough..one more task for me this week to complete that article! :)

      Yes, passion, patience and smart continuos work is what makes or breaks your business and success!

      0
      • Luis

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:48

        37

        I have a great team of authors that I assembled in last few weeks. :)

        So, the sky is the limit. Let’s see how it goes in next few months.

        Go for it. It is a good article idea.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 12:46

          38

          If there’s no secret how did you do that? How did you find those authors? At least I havent been too successful using job boards, usually the best people are existing readers and followers on Twitter :)

          0
          • Luis

            Monday, June 18th, 2012 11:17

            51

            There is no secret really. DevGarage is a new blog, so it doesn’t have almost any reader or follower.

            So to start I had to go after writers contacting them directly. Not job boards but sending mails. :)
            Many didn’t replied to my mails but many did and with some of them there were ideas and we started working on those ideas. This strategy make sense because my blog is very small. But on a site like this one I would choose another strategy.
            It doesn’t make sense you contacting writers in most cases in my opinion.

            Btw, thanks for your visit.

            0
  • leo

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:01

    40

    Dainis, may I know what plugin did you use to create related post / for further reading?

    The recent YARPP was somewhat abandoned and I was looking for other alternatives.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:31

      41

      Leo, sure, we are using this plugin, really like it’s feature to select custom posts which are more appropriate then auto generated ones – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-post-relationships/

      0
      • leo

        Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:38

        42

        Thanks Dainis for generous reply. If I have few hundred posts does that mean I’ve to go to each post and edit the related posts using the plugin you recommended?

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 06:52

          43

          Leo, no, at least we have it in a way, that if none of related posts are selected it randomly picks related. So there should be something in place already..it would help if you go through the most popular articles and add related post manually for better fit however.

          And yes, we have customized version of that plugin with thumbnails, not sure how it will look exactly on your site.

          0
  • Dhoyin

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 08:52

    46

    Whao! Thanks for being so open. Have learnt a lot from this post, I still struggle to get my blog going but I guess we just have to keep taking calculated steps with good faith. Am voting in favour of the ebook, I will love to read about your experience creating and selling the ebook.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:05

      47

      Dhoyin, sure, glad you enjoyed this article! Well said – calculated steps with good faith! Mostly it can be safe bet if you learn from others, but sometimes you need to take risks especially when you grow bigger!

      Thanks, I am working on that ebook article already!

      0
  • Martin

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 08:35

    45

    I heard from other folks who fell to the penguin update of Google as well but they never got a real clear picture what went wrong. I see you deal with the same issue. I don’t understand Google on this. If we are doing something ‘wrong’ okay and we get penalized but at least tell us where we went wrong so we can fix it!

    For suchs a huge company it’s always a real pain to get help from them especially on suchs important matters.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:16

      48

      Martin, I feel you, this is big time of confusion with Google, I cannot figure it out fully as well. But all we can do is push more on best practices, clean up existing website and hope for better days! And no matter of Google, by cleaning up site and using those practices we are improving site and user experience anyway!

      0
      • Martin

        Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:34

        49

        That’s true of course but it would make life a lot easier if Google told us what we did wrong. How hard can that be? If they are able to penalize us they know why so why not add a reason for it.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:48

          50

          heh, they change the rules, we need to adapt as small players, it would be nice from them to give us more help, but Internet is changing and Google is changing with it. I mean moving to social, mobile is big step for everybody.

          0
  • (mt) Matt

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:37

    60

    Sorry to hear about all the issues you’ve been running into. Happy to hear you are ready to make the move over to us though. I’m guessing we can provide some stability to help out with all the madness. Feel free to contact us by phone, support chat, or Twitter if you need help or have any questions. Good luck with the move!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:46

      61

      Thank you Matt,
      actually I wrote an email 3 days ago asking about some details of server we should pick, but didn’t get any response for now! Can you check that please?

      Thank you for suport!

      0
      • (mt) Matt

        Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 10:59

        62

        Sure thing. Do you remember what department or who you sent it to? We don’t usually do support through email, unless it’s done through sales.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 13:09

          63

          I think it should be through sales, rybarra at mediatemple.net

          0
  • P.Muhammed Jafar

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 00:13

    54

    Hi Dainis, Yesterday I read this article…
    A great thanks for your effort and sharing…We are always with 1WD.
    You know one thing, yesterday my Website pmjcreations.com was affected with one malware injection.
    Actually I am innocent, and I am not a malware spreader.
    So yesterday I was very busy with the cleaning and restoring my files…
    Anyhow could you write an article about various security issues and guidelines for protecting our sites from this kind of attacks…
    Its really strange and helpful…
    Thanks again for your 1WD…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:01

      55

      Hey P.Muhammed,
      thank you for appreciation, glad to have you to believe in us! :)

      How that malware injection looked like? What exactly happened?

      You can read about some simple steps you can take with your WordPress installation and explanation what causes the most problems, like not upgrading WP, plugins, leaving some holes in installation – http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress

      I would also suggest to ask your host to do your database and hosted file backups once weekly! It costed to me 50$ extra dollars, but I can now sleep more calmly in nights! :) Even if everything crush and burns, i still have my backup and could loose just max 1 weeks updates!

      0
      • P.Muhammed Jafar

        Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:10

        58

        I don’t know Dainis how my site got Malware injection…
        My Antivirus warned me when I was accessing my website yesterday that, “Web Attack: Mass Injection Website Detected”. So I checked my Web Master tool and confirmed that site has been infected.
        After I immediately contact my Hosting provider and I restored my Server account and whole website files.
        Now Google withdraw their warning message from search query.
        And its not Word Press based site. I don’t know WP even.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:25

          59

          Oh..what is it hosted on? I have recently just experience with WP, with other sites there are different specifics..different possible holes..

          0
  • rajasegar

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 23:56

    53

    First of all, my hearty congrats to Dainis and the team of 1WD, this was a great post, absolutely down-to-earth bringing the practical difficulties and realities of running a great blog with good content, i would say you guys are really determined and dedicated folks, my best wishes for 1WD and hope you guys keep up the great work in the future…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:04

      57

      Thank you Rajasegar! Glad to hear you think so, it means a lot to me and my team! We will keep up the same old great and hard work, which is in 1WD core already! :)

      Your comment really cheered me up! Thanks!

      0
  • Robert

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 22:35

    52

    You should be at the top of Google’s favorites list….you’re certainly at the top of mine. I have your feed at the top of my igoogle homepage and read your articles regularly…

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 05:03

      56

      Robert, thank you, I thought we are pretty good in terms of like-ability, but that’s exactly why I don’t understand changes 100%, I know what could be improved, but that’s still a big picture!

      But a lot of good things came out of these changes and site is getting improved because of that push! Robert, which kind of articles do you enjoy the most and would like to see covered more here?

      0
  • Dhoyin

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 08:52

    46

    Whao! Thanks for being so open. Have learnt a lot from this post, I still struggle to get my blog going but I guess we just have to keep taking calculated steps with good faith. Am voting in favour of the ebook, I will love to read about your experience creating and selling the ebook.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:05

      47

      Dhoyin, sure, glad you enjoyed this article! Well said – calculated steps with good faith! Mostly it can be safe bet if you learn from others, but sometimes you need to take risks especially when you grow bigger!

      Thanks, I am working on that ebook article already!

      0
  • Martin

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 08:35

    45

    I heard from other folks who fell to the penguin update of Google as well but they never got a real clear picture what went wrong. I see you deal with the same issue. I don’t understand Google on this. If we are doing something ‘wrong’ okay and we get penalized but at least tell us where we went wrong so we can fix it!

    For suchs a huge company it’s always a real pain to get help from them especially on suchs important matters.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:16

      48

      Martin, I feel you, this is big time of confusion with Google, I cannot figure it out fully as well. But all we can do is push more on best practices, clean up existing website and hope for better days! And no matter of Google, by cleaning up site and using those practices we are improving site and user experience anyway!

      0
      • Martin

        Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:34

        49

        That’s true of course but it would make life a lot easier if Google told us what we did wrong. How hard can that be? If they are able to penalize us they know why so why not add a reason for it.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 09:48

          50

          heh, they change the rules, we need to adapt as small players, it would be nice from them to give us more help, but Internet is changing and Google is changing with it. I mean moving to social, mobile is big step for everybody.

          0
  • leo

    Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:01

    40

    Dainis, may I know what plugin did you use to create related post / for further reading?

    The recent YARPP was somewhat abandoned and I was looking for other alternatives.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:31

      41

      Leo, sure, we are using this plugin, really like it’s feature to select custom posts which are more appropriate then auto generated ones – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-post-relationships/

      0
      • leo

        Monday, June 18th, 2012 05:38

        42

        Thanks Dainis for generous reply. If I have few hundred posts does that mean I’ve to go to each post and edit the related posts using the plugin you recommended?

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 06:52

          43

          Leo, no, at least we have it in a way, that if none of related posts are selected it randomly picks related. So there should be something in place already..it would help if you go through the most popular articles and add related post manually for better fit however.

          And yes, we have customized version of that plugin with thumbnails, not sure how it will look exactly on your site.

          0
  • Luis

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:30

    34

    Count with one more asking for your experience launching an eBook. :)

    When we have a site there is always work to do and of course in the long run one good thing is to have patience. The other is perseverance. Loving to work on a specific niche is the third thing and your team seems to have all of them and that’s why in my opinion you had sucess.
    Content, marketing and everything else comes after.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:43

      36

      Thank you Luis, it seems like you are doing pretty well yourself with DevGarage! Heh, ok, that is enough..one more task for me this week to complete that article! :)

      Yes, passion, patience and smart continuos work is what makes or breaks your business and success!

      0
      • Luis

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:48

        37

        I have a great team of authors that I assembled in last few weeks. :)

        So, the sky is the limit. Let’s see how it goes in next few months.

        Go for it. It is a good article idea.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 12:46

          38

          If there’s no secret how did you do that? How did you find those authors? At least I havent been too successful using job boards, usually the best people are existing readers and followers on Twitter :)

          0
          • Luis

            Monday, June 18th, 2012 11:17

            51

            There is no secret really. DevGarage is a new blog, so it doesn’t have almost any reader or follower.

            So to start I had to go after writers contacting them directly. Not job boards but sending mails. :)
            Many didn’t replied to my mails but many did and with some of them there were ideas and we started working on those ideas. This strategy make sense because my blog is very small. But on a site like this one I would choose another strategy.
            It doesn’t make sense you contacting writers in most cases in my opinion.

            Btw, thanks for your visit.

            0
  • Bamidele Onibalusi

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 08:07

    33

    That’s a lot of changes, Dainis!

    I’m familiar with some of them already, and I’m excited with the way things are turning out!

    Wishing you the best with future projects :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:40

      35

      Thank you Onibalusi, indeed these are really big changes, curious myself if we’ll smash and burn or do just fine.. :)

      Thanks for wishes, we definitely could use some luck as well! :)

      0
  • Steve Kamn

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:22

    26

    Thanks a lot Dainis Graveris, I really thinking much more on Organic Traffic by Search Engines – and finally decided not to rely on them. Your article and suggestion has strengthen my concept. You are absolutely true, that social networking and user engagement is much much better than rely on Search Engines especially GOOGLE.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:29

      28

      Steve, thanks! Of course, search traffic is awesome, but it’s not lasting (unless you convert it..and get people in your mailing list for example). We waste too much focusing on generic SEO, not giving necessary attention to REAL readers, commenters, social interactions, which are lasting!

      0
      • Steve Kamn

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:39

        29

        Thanks Dainis Graveris!
        I am happy that you are practical and share your real experiences – the “Comment Engagement” is a solid evidence of your professionalism and sincerity to the readers.
        I want to take one more suggestion that will definitely be much beneficial for me and other Blog Owners. What set of social networking sites will you recommend for the beginners as it is difficult to decide among hundreds.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:45

          30

          Steve, well I don’t like to pray what I don’t know..I am sharing only from my real experiences!

          About social icons, that’s an easy question! Minimalism and icons together with it are coming to be really popular – http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/freebies/minimal-icons-2012/

          I would suggest to pick minimal icons (with color on mouseover like we have), but it’s really not important what you pick! As soon as you pick icons which fit with your site design, all of them are from ONE icon set (to fit icon style) you’ll do just fine!

          Decide ones, which are simple or just browse through other blogs and check what kind of icons they use. Then just use related keywords to find icons on Google or FindIcons.com.

          I would search for minimal icons there..and on Google using keywords like – minimal social icons psd 2012 ( i like new ones, that’s why I put year there too :))

          0
          • Steve Kamn

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:56

            31

            Thanks for your time and valuable information.

            0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:59

            32

            Sure, hope it helps! If you need anything, let me know! :) Also can buzz me on Twitter!

            0
  • rukky oweibor

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:12

    20

    Thank u for your reply. It sure answered a lot of my questions.
    As a favor… Can u also chip in an article on magazine style home page customization for wp? That is, things to consider while creating a home page, (page size, how to implement good attraction marketing …etc ) and most importantly a practical example in how to design a great dynamic and minimal magazine style home page…
    Also…an article on megamenus (just like that of bettercodes.org ) will be a welcomed idea.

    Thank you very much. You are amazing.
    PS: by “booking system”, I meant, having a site calandar where site members can book my services for consultation…just like booking a flight online.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:07

      24

      Rukky, I don’t believe there are such article, because each theme is different. I would suggest to find magazine theme that suits your needs the best, so you don’t need to even customize it a lot, just using theme options in WP dashboard. Doing so, you don’t have to worry how to build that home page.

      But if you want to delve into that deeper, learn more about A/B testing – http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/landing-pages-101/ I compiled this article a while ago, you cannot know anything 100% before you don’t test it!

      About booking system, simple plugin will do like this – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/booking/

      0
  • Tobias

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 01:39

    14

    I really like your openness. More sites should follow your example. I think it creates a more personal connection with your followers. It’s a simple step to make. Not like you need to reveal all your deepest secrets. Just some insights, thought process and agenda are really nice to read about.

    Can’t be fun to manually review 38k comments!

    What did you learn from the unpopular survey plugin? Are you going to use it again or a new approach for next time?

    I hope your new web host is more reliable and service minded. I have bad experience from a few hosts myself. The worst were really awful. We often had long downtime and noone from support returned our phone calls. The list of nightmare examples is long. For example they actually by mistake sent another customer’s server to us instead of our own.

    I’m definitely interested in reading your case study!

    Labzip sounds interesting. I will take a closer look at it later and try to weigh the pros against the cons. Mostly I think what matters for me is on what level I can customize it and how much time it saves me instead of creating everything from scratch. The biggest concern for me is how much I as a developer would lose in skill by using a service like Labzip and also don’t want to be too dependent of a third party provider. I guess it all comes down to how you prioritize. If you save time on some task you have more time to focus on other areas.

    I like FounderTips. I just tried to subscribe to their RSS but couldn’t find one?

    Personally I like to read of others experience and especially their mistakes and lessons learned. EVERYONE makes mistakes, especially when inexperienced. What differs is, I think, how to deal with it. How they move on and how they work to avoid similar scenarios in the future. I know some people that before they start a project, list every possible complications/scenarios they can think of so that they are as prepared as possible if the worst should occur.

    Thank you for 1WD!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:01

      18

      Tobias,
      oh thanks for such in depth comment!

      Hah, better for other sites not to follow this example..we have more chance to stand out! :) I try also not to be too personal and mix in some useful tips so even such boring news article can get a bit more entertaining!

      It’s no fun at all, 800 pages left..heh.. :)

      About survey plugin – it was really badly taken, but still more than 1000 responses in total? It is outstanding value to understand what readers want! I think now I will keep it on much smaller scale, just talk with people directly, ask them some feedback on FB, Twitter. In general, rarely there is a need for such big survey and data – its super important just when you feel there are big changes needed to be done. But if I would need more feedback I would use KissInsights again, but for super short time!

      Oh wow, that’s terrible experience with hosting! It’s a bumpy ride until you find the ones which can satisfy you!

      It seems like I need to start writing that case study, glad to see it’s getting some interest!

      Thank you, would love some feedback on Labzip – now we don’t have message very well explained. Exactly, Labzip cannot replace custom created site, but it can replace some time consuming tasks, letting you sometimes just pick templates to finish job quickly and make your client satisfied..or just launch your own project in one day..to give it a chance!

      About FounderTips, yes – that’s my bad! Changed theme recently and forgot about that! Silly me!
      Indeed – be prepared for the worst, but expect just the best outcome!

      Thank you, Tobias!

      0
      • Tobias

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 12:58

        39

        Dainis,
        I think the survey issue is fascinating. It’s of course not good if it lowers the user experience. Perhaps it’s possible to integrate it differently for your next attempt, i.e. cookies or external page?
        1000 responses sounds perfect. The accuracy doesn’t increase so much after that.
        May I ask if you noticed any deviation for your traffic during the survey period?

        Labzip really look like a good option for me. I have many ideas for projects that I’m eager to begin with, but the problem is spelled TIME. I’m sure you know how it is. Especially now when you have 800 old pages to work with :)
        I have a question about Labzip. If I purchase it, is there any limit on how many pages that I can use it on?

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Monday, June 18th, 2012 07:29

          44

          Tobias, in other cases I would never get as many responses as I got now..this popup was annoying, but it got results.. the same way as Popup Domination plugin for email subscriptions – it gives amazing results but annoys regular visitors soo much!

          No, I didn’t notice any deviation!

          Oh about Labzip you should note that plugin is still in process, now it’s more like a web version you can use. But there is monthly payment 25$ or one time purchase for specific child themes you can use together with those another plugins and top functionality.

          For now, I know myself site is a bit messy ,but practice is already there!

          0
  • Rifatalmamun

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 01:17

    13

    I am very interested for the ebook.I love this site, thanks all.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:19

      15

      Thank you :) Vote counted +1 :) Two to go i think :)

      0
  • rukky oweibor

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012 00:59

    12

    Hi
    I am new in the world of real web design… I played with wordpress once or twice. I have been visiting your blog for two years now (since you where 21 ..I think )(•͡.̮ •͡ ) . You inspired me to create my first blog . Pediaboy.com … The only problem was… Even after implementing all security tips… I always got hacked.
    Also…I had very poor maketing and Seo skills and my blog totally flunked. Now, I want to create a site that talks about database, Unix and general tech news. So, I have some questions.

    1. What plugins do you use for your site that keeps it so secure.
    2. How do create my home page to look like website like imdb.com or ieee.org or yahoo.com where articles from different categories are displayed at the home page? How do I get the various categories to show the latest headlines and excepts.
    3. I am using pagelines platform free because of its flexibility… What do think of that theme? Is it too heavy?
    4. What is the best plugin for seo?
    5. What caching plugin do u use?
    6. I live in Nigeria and we currently don’t have access to paypal or other means of doing online transactions. How can I buy your book and labzip? Any other payment options?
    7. What’s the best slide show plugin and
    8. How do I create a membership site with a mailist and site booking system?

    Please note that I currently don’t have money for premium plugins. But I don’t mind if u list them along side any free ones that can make my site archieve its functionality.
    Great article….
    Thank you.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:37

      17

      Hello Rukky,
      thanks for your kind comment! Glad to see long time reader here..appreciate you coming back here even now!

      I am surprised, how did your website get hacked..how did process look like? I am asking because, WP generally has quite good security, I am not using anything specific to secure this very same site too much, but what I do is to have regular backups of DB and FTP files – even if something goes terribly wrong you can always restore site to the last backup version!

      1. Just backups
      2. I would suggest to search for magazine style WordPress themes, they generally have a lot more information on homepage.
      3. As soon as Pagelines does the job, I cannt say anything bad about it. Generally I prefer personally to customize existing themes to suit your needs instead, gets really good and fast result usually!
      4. I am using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin and really vouch for it!
      5. Caching, cannot say for sure, we are using CDN (cloud hosting) together with hosting and they pick CDN plugins. I would suggest close to free service if you are interested – Cloudflare.com
      6. I know we also accept credit cards and on Amazon it’s also through credit cards, really do not see an issue there :)
      7. There will be coming an article about image,slider, gallery plugins – keep an eye on it in next few days!
      8. What did you mean by site booking system? Using Labzip you will be able to create membership site super easy and mail list is separate thing. You need to pick company who will send your emails and gather them like Aweber.com for example.

      Most sites I listed are free or have super cheap plans (or free trials) together with them! Hope this response helped!

      0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 20:43

    11

    Oh finally I’m done. It took me 10-15 minutes to read this article word by word. I just want to say that, given the fact that I’m one of those who answered the survey, it feels good that you’re actually listening to us. That’s a great personality Dainis. I wish you all the best. With all those mistakes, troubles and problems, I know you learned a lot. And oh by the way, if you wanna share something to me (lessons), I’m glad to hear from you. I just switched to WP blog :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:25

      16

      Oh hey Manuel, thanks for stopping by again! Heh, yes that feedback was irritating for readers, but well, glad I got that information.. :) Hah, yes – it may seem bigger sites do not have them and there are just rainbows and happiness, but everybody is struggling from time to time..:)

      Can you be more specific? I can share my experiences, if you have specific question in mind, generally it’s harder! But well, I am writing now aprox 1 article per week generally sharing what I can!

      Congratulations Manuel, how are you feeling after the switch to WP? :) What finally made you do the changes? :)

      0
      • Manuel Garcia

        Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:11

        19

        Well, actually I’m a self-supported student (up to this moment) that’s why it’s hard for me to pay the monthly bills. But I made a strategy and that is creating a blog in blogger platform (which is free) and monetize it to earn money. I save all those earnings until the day I switched to wordpress. Now, I need to strive harder since I have to pay monthly while studying. Study in the morning, write 1 article per day and do the social sharing stuff in the evening.

        But, it feels great thinking that my blog might possibly achieve what 1WD is now today.

        So far, I don’t have specific questions because the things I need to know right now is too wide. It’s just that I don’t know where to start. But since you are now writing 1 article per week, maybe I’d wait for those to learn more from you.

        Thanks.

        0
        • Manuel Garcia

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 05:17

          21

          And take note, I’m always here at your blog every 2-4 hours to check if there is a new update. I personally love your articles (with due respect) compare to others.

          0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 06:56

            22

            Thank you Manuel, glad to hear you enjoy my writings :) Heh, we keep regular writing schedule and usually post in the same time, so you don’t have to check that often!

            0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:02

          23

          Oh self supported? How do you earn extra income than? Through freelancing?

          But expenses as self hosted aren’t really that big, I mean hosting 5$ per month, domain 9$ per year.. Besides your blog is not that small anymore, it should bring some motivating side income! How do you monetize it besides BSA ads and Adsense?

          Do you do any affiliate promotion?

          IF you have such busy day I would even recommend to switch to 1 article per 2-3 days, but really get out there! Submit your articles to community news, Designbump, Designfloat..comment on related articles, do some guest blogging!

          Writing daily drains you fast and if you don’t promote articles hardly enough, they don’t even get necessary attention!

          Blog is a start and you are achieved much more than many others! Just mixing writing with promotion and monetization parts is key!

          In my articles I cannot promise I will focus on marketing, blogging advice since this is more design blog..and people want to see here more articles about that.. but FounderTips can be a good place for that with valuable interviews and tips shared there!

          I really would love to focus on FT and just marketing, blogging, product building advice, but a lot of things needed to settle on 1WD before that. But Agota with interviews is awesome!

          0
          • Manuel Garcia

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:18

            25

            Yes, I do freelancing but not online. :) Well, if you will convert those money into our currency, it’ll be a big expense. In the contrary, if I will earn that amount i’ll get more.

            I monetize it through Adsense and BSA only. Do you have any advice for that? I don’t have any affiliate ads since (i think) it’ll be hard for a starter. My blog needs to drive much traffic just to earn through affiliates.

            And Yes, it’s really hard to write per day but I must since I’m the only one working on it. But then, looking forward to a new level.

            About blogging, I understand. I experience the same way whereas I want to share my blogging techniques but still, I need to focus on design-related articles since it is a design blog. And by the way, thanks for the advice :)

            One more question, are designbump and designfloat really helpful (for starters who don’t have much authority)?

            0
          • Dainis Graveris

            Sunday, June 17th, 2012 07:27

            27

            Manuel, did you notice that when 1WD started I wrote 2-3 posts per week? When I got exams there were even few articles throughout the whole month! But what helped to put it aside from other blogs was how I spend the same or even more time to promote those articles in design world!

            Of course they are, they bring in traffic which counts up over time! Hell, in few days you will see huge article with community links..and we try to put our articles in each of them daily!

            About affiliates I didn’t mean just affiliate banners, but for banners I would suggest to use Wix – they really work amazingly well on 1WD!

            You need to push more affiliate articles, in roundups mix in also some premium selections which are really outstanding but cost few bucks. I can say honestly there are times when I prefer premium stuff more than freebies, because of documentation and support I can get.. for design elements – they are usually just better than what is available for free!

            Themeforest, codecanyon, graphicriver works really good for such selections, the same is about theme shops with affiliate programs!

            Heh, yes, you need to respect your readers and focus on topics which are driving traffic and getting readers more excited! But I feel you..I don’t feel anymore as designer, but more like marketer, online business builder, social media marketer..and SEO basics guy.. Those skills just were more usable than just knowing how to create awesome designs or coding tutorials.. You need to understand your 5% you are best at and focus on them, trying to outsource everything else.

            0
  • Leo

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:37

    8

    I’m interested in the ebook. Is it the link to amazon? Sadly readers outside US can hardly have easy access to get it.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 15:19

      9

      Leo, it’s not and issue, because you can use your local Amazon.. books are also on UK, FR, ES, IT, DE.. and I have bought books through Amazon from Latvia, Spain. It’s really not an issue.

      0
  • Devesh

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 12:51

    4

    Hey Dainis,

    Congratulations on launching your own products. It’s really great to see how you’re taking 1WD to a whole new level. Keep up the rocking work, Dainis.

    Have a great weekend.

    -Dev

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:22

      5

      Hello Devesh,
      thanks a lot for your kind comment! Well, we cannot move backwards..and really cannot stay the same, so glad to hear it makes sense as the right step forward!

      Enjoy your weekend as well!

      0
  • Rhianon

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 12:30

    3

    That ebook sounds great! I would be interested as well, time to start working with responsive design myself.

    I love this site, thanks for revealing so much about what’s going on.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:23

      6

      Rhianon, ok, that’s good :) You are interested about launch process or ebook about responsive design? If so, ebook is here – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086I7XGM .

      Any more feedback on new ventures, seems right for you? :)

      0
      • Rhianon

        Saturday, June 16th, 2012 13:37

        7

        Thanks for the link. $2.99 is a steal.
        And yea, I would be interested in your personal experience as well :)

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Saturday, June 16th, 2012 15:20

          10

          Ok, cool glad you’re interested :) I need few more requests and I will start compiling article together! :)

          0
  • Leo

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012 10:07

    1

    So how do I request for the ebook?

    This is going to right direction. Congratulations on the new 1WD and looking forward to see higher quality content.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, June 16th, 2012 11:10

      2

      Just mention that you would be interested, Leo :) Thanks, I am really hoping it’s the right direction..and better community site :)

      0

Comments are closed.

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