With all automobile/mechanic references aside (thanks Dad), this page is devoted to the background and technology that makes Kitchen Cyclone run. While I do all of the cooking, photography, and food blogging, this section is better left to “The Husband,” who has spent countless hours getting the blog up and running. I will let him pass along his insights, tips, and recommendations so that if you’re interested, either for our sake or in case you would like to start your own blog, maybe it can be of some use. -Jodi
~ From “The Husband”
Well, as my wife mentioned, I am to provide you with a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into “Kitchen Cyclone.” Some thoughts and disclaimers:
– While I believe I have maybe an intermediate level knowledge of computers and technology, I am by no means an expert. I don’t have a Computer Science or Information Technology degree, but I have had some on-the-job experience with basic systems-type work. That being said, I will do my best to explain the fundamentals of this site.
– I am a slightly impatient person when it comes to getting things going. By that, I don’t mean that I lack the patience required to study, research, and understand, but that when it comes to building a site my goal is to get it up and running and operational as soon as possible. For me, that means a LOT of initial hours spent at the computer working on design and plugins and tweaks and publishing and modifying and then republishing, etc. From the time I originally signed us up for Bluehost on a Friday, I probably invested no less than 25-30+ hours through just the following Tuesday sitting behind the laptop and working. Crazy as it may sound to some, I kind of enjoy it.
– Disclaimer: Some of the links provided on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you decide to click on a link to a company and eventually make a purchase there, we will receive a portion of the sales proceeds.
All that being said, the following is information that I hope may be of value to you in whatever capacity you decide to use it for.
1. Hosting: Your site will need a server to sit on as its home. I spent a LOT of time researching various hosting companies, and let me tell you….there are a ton of them out there. Some examples are GoDaddy, iPage, justhost, FatCow (really), and bluehost. I put a fair number of these together on a comparison spreadsheet that I drew up and used a number of factors to decide which one to go with. Ultimately, we chose “bluehost” as our first option, but then over time decided to switch to “Godaddy” at https://www.godaddy.com. Some of the deciding factors in this included cost, integrated domain registration (this is the web address of the site, i.e. http://www.kitchencyclone.com), storage space, customer service, and reputation.
2. Building your site: This site uses the “WordPress” console to build the various pages and posts along with all of the other little things that you can see (and many running in the background that you can’t). WordPress can be looked at as a hosting company (similar to GoDaddy), a provider of Themes (more on that in a bit), or a provider of the tools to make whatever Theme you are using work. This last part is what we use.
When logging into my admin section of GoDaddy, they provided the means to upload and install the WordPress management console for the site. This was very intuitive and didn’t even require me to leave the GoDaddy server to accomplish. This “control panel” has a number of tools that come with the default programming to build the basics of the site. There are also additional plugins and downloads, and if you’re more technically savvy–coding options available for creating intermediate-to-advanced site features.
As mentioned, I’m not a computer programmer so I had never used WordPress before. I’ve also never built a website before (so if you don’t like it, give us some time to keep figuring things out), but it’s doable with some research, some tinkering, and a whole lot of patience.
3. Themes: Most websites/blogs are formatted based on a Theme. This is basically a template that someone created and made available either for free or for purchase. Some examples of various Theme providers are “Elegant,” “Genesis,” “WordPress,” and “Thesis.”
This site runs off the Genesis Framework, which has so far been very good and fairly easy to work with.
Whichever theme you choose, it is downloaded from that company’s website and then uploaded into WordPress for use as your design template (at least that’s how it worked for me).
4. Plugins: There are a number of plugins I use to make our site work the way it does. Some of them are as follows:
5. Props/Kudos: My shameless plug here goes out to the team at http://pinchofyum.com. Their section and insights in their “How To Start a Blog” section have been invaluable. We are also big fans of their “Tasty Food Photography” book!
We wish ‘pinch of yum’ continued success in all that they do.
Well, those are the basics. Over time, I may decide to add more to this “How to” section. But for now, I’m still in learning mode. Call it exploratory learning if you will.