Archive | Business

Moving to WooThemes

So the last post before I lost the site was how I had moved this site from Thesis Themes to WooThemes (Canvas). I’ll most likely be moving some old sites to WooThemes and most new sites that will be created/is in development will be using WooThemes instead. And as this move was not part of the backup, here I am writing about it again.

The last cached version didn’t really go into the hows and the whys, so I thought I’d flesh things out a bit. So why am I switching frameworks?

The Cons about Thesis:

  • Thesis 2 had launched recently. It feels like a totally new framework. It has a lot of great things going for it. Unfortunately, most of these are/feels fairly technical. While I can write a bit of code myself, I do not consider myself a developer. Learning and then moving everything over to 2.0 is possible, but it will take a whole lot longer for me. I really don’t have the time.
  • I understand that Thesis 2 is still new, but again, I don’t have time to wait for it to settle in and have available all the plugins and skins that I will need.. like right now.
  • There is currently no clean upgrade path from Thesis 1.85 to 2.0. Again, this is a problem with that time thing.
  • I do not create all that many sites anymore and only have a few here and there. So the out-of-the-box-SEO benefit of Thesis no longer matters that much. Since I only have a handful of sites now, I have the time to tweak and manage the necessary plugins for the non-Thesis sites to fill in the gaps.
  • I don’t like how Thesis has functionality that overlaps what WP core does. An example would be the featured image functionality. This has caused some headaches on my end. Integration is not it’s strong point.
  • Most of my current Thesis sites are using 1.85. DIYThemes say they will continue to update and support the 1.x versions right now, but what about the future? WP will continue to evolve. With Thesis 2 being worked on, will 1.85 be kept up with? Where is it in the priority scale? I don’t like this uncertainty.

The Pros about WooThemes:

  • The theme I am primarily (almost exclusively) working with is the Canvas theme. It’s very easy to use with and is super intuitive. At this point, my requirements for the functionality of the site is basic. So as long as the foundation is solid, being able to “skin” it with custom CSS is good enough for me.
  • As mentioned previously, I don’t create all that many sites for myself anymore. I also am extremely picky in taking on freelance web design projects, so I don’t have to worry about that either. Now, I have the time to focus on just a handful of sites and I can keep things lightweight by just downloading the plugins for the functionality that I need.
  • WooThemes has terrific support and a great community. Things are constantly being updated and I can get the help when I need it. I feel like they will be around forever. It gives me a nice feeling of security.
  • My main reason for my move to WooThemes as opposed to other frameworks (Headway, Genesis, Catalyst) is that my primary source of income is from the sites/brands that currently sell things or will do so in the future. The shopping cart platform that I use is WooCommerce which is actively developed by WooThemes. They have fantastic plugins for the shopping cart and really fantastic support. So why wouldn’t I buy the themes from the creators of the shopping cart platform that I use? Integration between the two is seamless and easy. I like that!

So there you have it. These are the main reason for the switch. Of course it’s not to say that I am giving up on Thesis forever. I am just pursuing other options that make more sense to me given my changing business model. will most likely be the Thesis 2 playground once their documentation is more complete and as soon as I find the time to do so.

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It’s Been a Few Months…

I’ve been meaning to detail a bunch of on-goings, but blogging here is near the bottom of my list compared to everything else. Maybe I’ll write about it later, when time permits.

But in summary, here’s what happened in business and in my personal life:

  • I no longer have any outsourced people working for me. I was losing money on them and they didn’t fit into the new business model.
  • Did a major redesign of one of my publishing sites and ad revenue increased %500 (for serious) and page views are up 60%. I love not having to plead and hound on clients to pay me for my goddamn work
  • Retail channel: had a bunch of product launches and sales for my smaller items
  • Signed a release form for some of my products to appear as props in a commercial (not sure if it is national or local yet)
  • Started doing newsletter and email blasts again
  • WIP for a second brand/product line that targets a broader audience in the works
  • I got a part-time 6 month contract job for extra income. Found out that they will be offering me a permanent position with benefits. I couldn’t have asked for anything better: Security when sales are slow, only part-time commitment, AND paid time off, health benefits, 401k, etc.
  • Started and gave up on P90X (on the 7th week.. no time to work out), but am still continuing the diet and lost 12 lbs

Not much else going on other than working on the stuff listed above. I work 7 days a week from the moment I wake up to right before bed (smartphone allows me to work in bed). I do take a 2-4 hours off a week to play the Sims 3 though.

Looking back at it, 2010 was definitely a struggle. Since changing focus and priority, things are getting better.

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Being Effective Only Once A Day

I like to make lists. I make short term lists and long term list. I make lists for the day, the week, the month, and the year. I make lists for things I need to buy, people I need to talk to, and most importantly, I make lists for tasks I need to do.

“Gosh Ann, you are so organized and decisive!” you may gush. While I’d love to agree with you, that sentiment is far from the truth. The truth is that my lists depress the hell out of me and impede my effectiveness and productivity.

At the end of the day, my daily tasks list have way more things still on the list than things that are crossed out. This either means I am a lazy, ineffective shithead, or that I am unrealistic on what I can do during the span of a day.

While I’m fully aware that my tasks lists are pretty unrealistic, I do try cut them down. But I inevitably end up adding more things to the list, because I always feel like I can do more, especially when many things are crossed out. Yes, I am also fully aware that I might have some demented psychological problem.

Also, being alone and staring at a computer all day does not lend itself to optimism. So here I am kicking myself in the ass. The rationale then follows along the lines of “man, I suck at this” to “why do I even bother?” Once I get to that point, I abandon all hope of getting work done and just play video games all day.

Not so organized and decisive then.

But now, to feel better about myself, I’m simply going to lower my standards. And I’m going to stick to it dammit! I’ll just do one, single, most important and effective task each day and that’s it. If I do more that’s not on the list, then fine. But that one thing needs to be done and I am OK with it. I really can’t fight myself otherwise.

Things are much happier this way.

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