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Sunday, February 27, 2005

So, where is the website going?

I have spent a huge amount of time on my website (initially called www.youtravelcheap.com) in the last 2 months. And what am I going to do now? I am going to completely reorganize, redesign and even rename it!

Why, you ask. Well, as I started writing articles for my website I realized that my focus was no longer going to be just on budget travel, but that I was really much more interested in travel as a form of discovery, adventure, exploration and learning. I truly view travel as a way of expanding one’s horizon. All this of course stems from my own life journey and my realization that I need to stretch the envelope of my own life.

So I decided I had to rename the website. The new site is going to be called www.travelandtransitions.com and it will have a completely new look and feel to it. Of course I have to get all my content from the existing, template-built site into the new site which will actually no longer built with a online template-based site builder, but with a real web design program. That’s a huge challenge for someone like me, who has no web design background whatsoever.

In addition, this new website is really what I want to dedicate most of my time and effort to in the long run. Of course I am still actively involved in running my full-time business, but over the last couple of years I have brought competent people on board that help me run my company which will increasingly allow me to spend more time on my new website.

Naturally becoming a webmaster doesn’t happen overnight. I am going to have to learn lots of new things in different areas: web page creation, search engine optimization, online publicity and marketing, newsletter creation and related webmastering skills. It feels a little overwhelming right now, but I am thinking I am making good strides. Over the last week alone I have been plugging through a pretty hefty book on search engine optimization (Search Engine Optimization for Dummies) (not as dry as you might think) and I have a much better theoretical understanding of this baffling topic now.

My web designer and I sat down and in a few hours she taught me the basics of web page creation. I still want to do the bulk of the work myself, simply because I feel I need the knowledge, then later on I can involve designers and other web specialists to help me with the venture as it grows.

However, for now it’s basically just me, doing this on a minimum budget and expanding my knowledge as I go along. I am hoping to be able to recreate the existing content over the next month or so on the new site.

Then I plan to power straight ahead with content creation and traffic building since in the long run I really want to take this from a personal interest site to a true web portal that specializes in travel, particularly all sorts of travel other than sitting on a beach in an all-exclusive compound with a marguerita. In addition the website will also deal with life issues such as life changes, career changes and strategies for creating a better life for ourselves, whatever that might be.

See, travel comes in many different shapes or forms. Life itself is essentially a big long journey, with different itineraries, milestones, detours and destinations. I will keep you posted as I go along on this journey of transforming myself into webmaster and web publisher. Hopefully I'll be able to demonstrate that if a total non-techie like me can acquire basic skills in this field, everybody can.

Related articles:
The beauty of a midlife crisis - what made me start this website
My own personal mess - running a full-time business while trying to find enough time to create this website
Reflections of a new writer - my thoughts when I first got started



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