Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning and Growing

I have been working on the website for and have made a few improvements. Most of the changes have come to the feature articles for the houses that are being advertised there. I have made the features a little easier to read and it is much easier to see the pictures. I have also added some borders around pictures and have added some background color. I am pleased with the way that the project is beginning to come together.

I have talked with a local builder who has a couple of houses that he may be willing to advertise. I would love to get them because they would help me to be fill in a couple of other categories on the website. I need to begin to take some time to start selling the service now. It is stable enough for me to be able to start doing that.

I do need to develop one more template before I get too far into it though. Not everyone will benefit from a full-blown feature article like I have done for the three homes advertised on the site right now. I need to develop a nicked down version that will include a main picture, the basic details about the property, a short description, and a few thumbnail pictures. It really shouldn't take me that much to do it. I already have most of the raw materials in my existing features.

Doing that will allow me to have some pricing flexibility too.

Today I got my Content Management Bible in the mail. It is a huge book - over 1,000 pages! I have read through the preface and the forward and a couple of other introductory bits and it looks like the book will be very readable and helpful. I hope so. I bought it with the hopes that it would assist me to get a better idea of what I am doing in developing the Joomla site.

In the next day or two I also need to get started on the tutorials for the scripting language PHP. It will allow me to be able to add searches and other functionality to the websites. (It will also help me to understand what the heck I am looking at on my Joomla template.) I hope that there aren't too many more layers that I have to add before I am able to start making good headway on the Joomla site.

One thing is certain though - there is no better teacher than experience. The more I work with this stuff the better I am understanding all of that information that I have crammed into my head. I am beginning to understand when to use different elements and how to put them to work for me. I'm far less frustrated than I was.

The more I work on this project the more I realize just how big a bite I took off. I think that if I had realized what I was getting into I would have been far more likely to write this business off as a crazy dream. It still feels that way sometimes now, but I am beginning to feel more confident that the tide is beginning to turn and I am finally starting to get to a level of competency in my basic knowledge. I am not saying that I am competent to the task yet, but I do feel like I am getting much closer. Of course the new book may bring me back to my senses!

I guess the biggest puzzle that I am dealing with right now is how to get my website to show up in the search engines. I have submitted it to Google and Yahoo!, and have worked on my meta keywords. So far I haven't been able to find my site using the most general key words in the search engine. I definitely need to find a way to get to the front page.

Well, that is all of the shop talk that I will bore you with for now. If you get a chance to check out the site please do. If you want to make suggestions to improve the site feel free to do so. You can email me at the link on the main page. If you know someone in my area who could use my service please let them know (or me.) And if you have the answers to any of my various conundrums please share!

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