Enjoying computers and blogging

Blogging is a journey

laptop, notepad and coffee

Blogging is a journey, not a destination. On that premise, here are some of the steps taken since January to get The Computer Mouse off the ground. (Updated)

Context

First, a little context. I haven’t been the brightest bulb in the pack. Instead of staying consistent over the years, I made the mistake of changing this site’s domain name a few times and redirecting the previous domain’s pages. Bing has had no problem keeping up; however, I’m trying hard to be seen by Google again.

The original site’s more popular pages were all about custom ROMs for Galaxy phones. I used to compile pages of up-to-date ROM lists and was a Recognized Contributor for a few years over at XDA Developers. As the need to customize smartphones waned (for me at least), I decided to bring the computer content to the forefront. Going with the domain name, thecomputermouse.com, I felt it was time to stop focussing on the ROMs and put those pages in the Archives section.

We middle-aged stiffs are always talking about the past, so let’s get back on track.

The road ahead

There is plenty of stuff to do to get this site into shape. Last year, after changing to this domain name, we switched hosts and then finally changed to WordPress. We don’t intend to have ads on this site, although it will be OK for writers to link to their own app or author page if they want, plus include the occasional useful affiliate link to recommended apps, hardware, or services.

F5 – Refresh

Instead of posting a new post per update (which would go to the top of the blog on the home page), we’ll probably just be updating this page. So, if you’re curious about this old guy’s technical fumblings or what goes into setting up this blog, just refresh or revisit this page.

2021

With all of that out of the way, here are some of the things that have been going on here recently to get this blog off the ground.

Bought and paid for legal documents

Blogs and sites have needed to have documents like a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions page for years. I’ve had a couple of basic free legal documents in the past; however, it was time to stop being lazy (yep, blog posts, etc.), so this time, a kind legal professional via Fiverr.com drafted the ones here.

Bought Awesome Fonts Pro

We’ve happily used the free version of Awesome Fonts before, especially depending on the WordPress themes we’ve experimented with in the past. In my quest to improve the page speeds here, I went with Pro to help keep the font collections small.

As it happens, though, we haven’t implemented Awesome Font yet. I’m still testing it and other options (SVG, other font families, etc.) from a page speed (and visual) perspective. Anyone who likes to test page loading speed knows that it can get quite addictive, even if it is rather pointless a lot of the time.

Bought WP Rocket

The WordPress plugin WP Rocket is a paid caching plugin that instantly improved page loading speed. Before that, I was using a popular free plugin to get pretty good speeds, but as the saying goes, `You get what you pay for.’

Lighthouse test (in browser)

Uploaded a video

We uploaded a short and quick video, Building Computers – An Introduction for beginners (video montage), to complement our Building Computers page. We filmed it a long time ago but recently decided not to waste our filming efforts, and put it to good use.

Introduced our Friends and affiliates

We don’t want to have unsightly random ads on this site. We want to introduce you to tools, apps, and services that we ourselves pay for and recommend, though. So, we have added a friends and affiliates page to which we will be adding a few more essential partners over the coming weeks. So, stay tuned for those.

We’ve started looking for guest writers

When I first started writing about computers, I came across many people in my daily life (as an English teacher in Japan) who seemed quite intimidated by computers. (I meet a fair few retired folks in my work.)

Being pretty much addicted to computers since the ’90s, I wanted to quickly show such people how fun it can be to have a computer. Sure it could be an Apple Mac, a flavor of Linux, or what have you. However, I’ve been using Windows for years, so I’ve focused on Windows.

To improve this site, we need more writers to bring their own energy, expertise, and enthusiasm to the mix. This, in turn, can help out our visitors, who I’m sure would appreciate a change of pace here.

So, I’ve started by asking a couple of people (2, I think so far) if they would like to write about their own apps (free or paid) to introduce to readers. It costs them nothing and helps to improve the content here. It’s a win-win, so long as the visitor has something to take away from their experience. This will probably be a step that improves as the site starts to prove itself in time. Until then, some writers might be a little reluctant. Getting this site back on the first page of Google might help.

We are looking for partnerships

If you can offer any apps, services, discounts, or giveaways to our readers, please contact us. We love giving stuff away (especially to those who get involved in the comments), and we are sure you would like the extra exposure.

Always open to advice

We are always open to advice on every front. Even more so from a design perspective. I’ll be the first one to admit that I have more enthusiasm than talent, hence why we use Fiverr for some of our needs. You can help us out by leaving a comment here and there, or maybe you’d like to write a post or two. We will find ways to reward community members for their support.

Keeping things simple

One of the goals here is to have easy to see and easy to find content. Of course, that should be a goal of all sites. We do like to keep up on tech news, so we follow quite a few tech sites. We will only post types of news that you can apply or use right now, though. As we have mentioned, we don’t want posts to get hidden amongst a sea of affiliate links or ads.

Therefore, we will only have select ads on this site for things that we use and enthusiastically recommend.

Check back for updates

We should be updating this page from time to time. If you can offer any opinions or advice, feel free to leave some comments around the site. We will be giving away a few things to helpful contributors. Thanks for reading!

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