In which Eefje starts learning how to build her own website

You may have noticed that I changed the name of this blog from Nifty Eef to EefjeS. I’ve been thinking about how I present myself online. I’ve been EefjeS on twitter for years, and it is a really acurate way of describing myself. So why should I not use it in more places? (My first name being Eefje and my last starting with an S, and at the same time it can be read as multiple Eefjes.) An other aspect of my online presence is that I have split my tumblr into two blogs. I still have my regular tumblr filled with fandom, feminism, and whatever tickles my fancy, but the second one is a curated collection of inspiring things. I want it to become an archive of other peoples work that I enjoy and want to learn from. See it here. I took the idea from Austin Kleon, who has his tumblr integrated in his website. I’m currently reading his book Show Your Work which is one of the reasons I’m thinking of all these things the way I am.

Also: this week I finally secured my own domain and hosting. What! I didn’t have that already? No I did not.

I’ve wanted my own place online, really my own, for years now but I just never got around to it. I want to learn how to do this myself, run wordpress (the .org version) and build my own theme. But I don’t have any knowledge on how to do that so I have a lot to learn before I get to where I want to be in that area. I was planning to start this at some point when I had time for it, but life never really slows down so I just have to start.

The thing is, waaaay back when I had a weblog with techie friends that was our own place something went wrong and there wasn’t a recent backup. We lost a large chunk of posts, that sucked big time, and it really made me worried. Wouldn’t I accidentally mess it up and lose all my content when I try this on my own? It already went wrong with people who know much better than me how all of this stuff works. So I moved to here, to wordpress.com. It’s just really easy not having to worry about such things.

But now I’m ready for more control. I want to design my own website, I want to have a say in whether ads appear on it. I want to be more in charge over how I present myself online. So I’ve got my own domain. Right now, there won’t be anything for you guys to see there, just an empty wordpress site, because the first things I am focussing on learning are at the backend of things. Like how to do backups. 🙂
I am learning by googling how to do things, and trying them out. It’ll be a lot of trial and error before I get to the point where I feel secure enough to actually move this blog to my new website.

I’m working on making backups by hand right now, and that seems to be going well. Next up is learning how to restore from said backup, and to set up something automated in addition to doing it by hand regularly. WordPress.org is open source, so people work with it all the time and share what and how they’re doing it. There is a vast treasure of wordpress knowledge available for those who seek it. It is daunting though. I am pretty smart but I start from knowing absolutely nothing. So while I look up how to do backups and figuring that out doesn’t seem to be that hard, building themes is a whole other ballpark. Even the tutorials that I’ve found that are for people who have never worked with wordpress before, do assume that you’ve got some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Which I barely have. But I haven’t really gotten started on them yet so once I start actually following tutorials I’ll get a much better sense of which knowledge gaps I’ll need to fill.

On the other hand, I felt incredibly stupid needing help setting up email. I made the adresses just fine but for getting them to work in my mac email I needed the support of my hosting company. And I really feel like I should have been able to figure it out myself, because it isn’t that complicated. So maybe I’m just not as smart as I think I am. My domains are eefjesavelkoul.com, eefjesavelkoul.nl and eefjes.com. They all refer here. Sadly, eefje.nl is already taken by someone who posts recipes in Dutch. And you can reach me now at info@eefjesavelkoul.com or info@eefjes.com, because I did get them to work. 🙂

4 Comments

  • Great! let me know if you need any help or questions answered.

    • Thanks! I've had a couple of people offer, so if I get stuck I'll ask everyone. 😀

  • Nice! I've been wanting to learn more about WordPress theming myself, but it's been hard to find something that fits what I know. Most tutorials I found so far are either at the level of 'How to change the header color of your WordPress theme' or 'How to code extremely complex and elaborate CSS' – not a lot of them are somewhere in between. I do find Lynda.com to be very helpful – though it's not free, it has a ton of good tutorials on all kinds of technical stuff.

    • I'm in the same boat. 🙂 I haven't had time yet either to really get into it. I'll look into Lynda.com! Though there is so much free tutorials and instructions online, not to mention the wordpress codex, that I am going to try and do this with free resources first.

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