Strategies

Your strategy for developing a website or a set of websites depends on your goal.  My own goal is to communicate, not to make money, so I have no ads on my sites except for a few lines of text referring the reader to other sites.

You may instead wish to make money from your WordPress website.  Apparently the best way to do this is with Google AdSense, and there are several plugins available for managing your ads.  They include the official Google plugin, but few people give it an excellent rating and some people give it a poor rating.  The main advantage is that as Google changes AdSense in various ways, its own plugin will be the first and for a while the best updated.

Whether or not you seek profit from your website, you may choose to have a small number of sites or a larger one.  Some people choose to have only a single site, even if they post a lot of new material. If they do, the division of material between pages and posts is important.  That may depend on whether you choose to have people who reach your site see a front page or your posts page.

An interesting compromise is to have what would normally be your static front page being instead your first post and then setting the reading order so that the older posts appear first.  I have only done that once, when the website was for a single work of fiction, an online novel.  In all other circumstances I have had the newer posts first.  However in all of those cases I have had visitors see a static front page first.  These choices are set on the Settings->Reading page on the dashboard.

People who choose to have the older posts first are usually providing a sequential exposition, or in my single case, fiction. People who choose the more common latest-first order are often presenting news.  My sister-in-law is a photographer who adds new posts with her latest photos of landscapes and wildlife in British Columbia, with the latest posts showing first.  I used the same order for posts with new ideas or new attempts to explain older ones.

In general, however, I have used posts sparingly, preferring multiple pages on a single site or multiple sites.  For some years now I have chosen to use multiple sites.

No matter what you do, someone who finds something on your site will see that post or page.  But if someone just goes to your site’s URL, you have much more control over what they see right away if you choose a static front page.  But a given site can have only one front page.  So I use multiple sites.  Many many sites.   Hard to maintain, but maybe better.  Who knows?

Every one of my websites include a “Network of Websites” page to explain this and list the most relevant related sites.  That page always begins with these two paragraphs:

  • My strategy is to have a large network of websites, instead of hiding my pages within a few of them, or posting them on a blog. If you do not see much content on any one website, it is because material intended for that site is on another one.
  • All of these sites are related to the main Social Technology site and have been added to the network at various times over the years. As well adding new material, existing content is being slowly redistributed or copied. That will take a while. For more information see my personal home page and then the Social Technology History page.

If you have more than a few sites I recommend such a navigation page, with something like those paragraphs.