mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
The friend who I did a favor for by installing Wordpress just send me a panicky email. The host changed the name of the inlog script to prevent an ongoing brute force attack from succeeding.

I wrote about it about five months ago: this is the website for the professional 2 year 'become a bellydancer' training. The one that had far to few people signing up in the past two yearshas had a succesful run on the next six months since we updated the website. I wrote an email explaining in normal people's words what was happening with a brute force attack, and that it was important to first check whether the email was genuine (it came from a company name that I wouldn't associate with the host).

Second to NOT CLICK on the links in that email or enter a password.

Third, that she needed to work the security plugin I installed in the back-end five months ago or find someone who would work it for her. I concluded with saying that since the new website, they had more students which means that the website is valuable enough to pay people to maintain it.

I knew this would happen the moment she asked. I knew my self taught Wordpres skills are limited and I would be insufficient at some point in the future. For them to sink or swim, that's the big question! And for me to stand by and let it happen, it's one of the hardest things to do.

In other sink-and-swim news, I am amazed at how little initiative people are showing. I explained to a friend four years ago how to alter dimensions of an image for online use, and she has so far never even tried it. The Fakyma dancers know I am not going to edit the video material we have. I already provide the 500€ camera, uploads to youtube, send them the files through wetransfer and cut clips into smaller pieces I was very clear about not spending hours on editing OR building a website. They have been talking about taking a course in video editing for about two years without ever editing one single clip.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Remember when I said I had a huge digital archive? I found a lot of english pages of my previous website and I thought that it would be neat if other dancers could see more of my costumes online.

But I don't need the stress of managing yet another website or adding regular updates. I decided to reuse and repurpose (after all, that's what I like to do with costumes too!). I opted for creating a free wordpress blog on www.wordpress.com. I quickly learned that most of my LJ posts can be copy-pasted into wordpress, including the pictures. That made things a lot easier. I also learned how to make a portfolio.

My tutorials and the old images are from my old website. I have better images from my book that I will include. The page on making an easy belt and the lycra mermaid skirt already had a makeover. In the next couple of months I will improve the tutorials when I have the time. I just wanted the stuff I made to live on the internet once more.

With a bit of pride, this is my English website on costuming:
https://kyriascostumes.wordpress.com/

Please let me know if there are structural things I need to change. I already noticed that my writing has gotten better through the years and there are a lot of typos in the blogpost. For some reason my tags aren't working the way they're supposed to, but maybe that's because I am logged in. Once I am happy I will start posting about the website on social media and such. And Andalee, if you need more material for bellydance at any size, let me know!
mekyria: (dancer in neonlights)
I added a SEO tool when I redid my website in august 2013 but never took the time to figure it out. But! it has a new interface which makes it easier for me.

I found out that my SEO sucks. I sometimes doubt about the seuggestions of the tool but I decided to do it anyway because I'm guessing that the tool does a good job based on it's ratings. But it is a lot of work so I only did the three most important pages on my website: classes, workshops and performances. It raises the interesting question:what would happen if I actually get more gig and workshop requests? How the hell would I manage that?

However, I prefer being found and asked to do a gig and then politely decline. My ego works like that. Things I did:

1. meta tags (old school! should have known this one!)
2. naming your page. I named my page 'classes' but obviously I should have named it 'bellydance classes'. I then went back through my navigation menu to shorten all the navigationbar links back to 'classes'
3. using the meta tag in a heading in your page. (apparently this is like the holy trinity and you have to use it thrice)
4. adding ALT tags to your images (people will now find my website if they are looking for images of bellydance classes. neat)
5. expanding the text to the adviced 300 word minimum per page
6. including an out of site link if appropriate
7. changing the URL so it includes the meta tag
8 I used the keywords in the first paragraph of the text (this increases the ranking position)

What I did not do:

I ditched the suggestion to use shorter words and write shorter sentences as I thought long and hard over my content before writing it down and I made it as short as possible. I am not ditching 'oriental' because other people consider it a difficult word.

I did not expand the titel to 40 characters because I lke my title to actually cover the content instead of add words to get more hits.

I did not increase my keyword density. Using 'bellydance classes' in every sentence wears out quickly

For the wordpress peeps, I used the free yoast plugin. When did you last update the SEO of your website and what tools did you use?
mekyria: (2004 rood kostuum)
With reworking my website, that is. I ended up buying the theme 'qualifire' for 40 usd and I spend every free hour in the past two weeks on learning to work with this theme. In short, I recommend buying a theme though a lot of things are not as neatly done in the backoffice as it could have been. I don't feel like recoding stuff myself so I am happy with how it turned out. The only downside is that there is a belly dancer on the other side of the world that uses the same theme as a basis for her website. Our content is completely different though, and since the theme is for sale on the internet it is not a matter of 'you are copying my website!'

New features:

-frontpage slider. I really wanted one, on account of me staring at it like a cat staring at a washing maching in motion. It's fascinating and creates the illusion of a dynamic page and things happening.

-I changed the focus on the website. In short, I am selling classes, workshops and performances and that is what I repeat. For myself ad nauseum, for a random person landing on my website it is helpful to have a quick overview of things. It took rewriting of the text (shortening) and adjusting the images

-found a solution for the failing nextgen plugin. I still haven't found the cause, but instead went with prettypicture because it works.

-redid the blog part of my website. For students and dancers, this is probably the most interesting part because it contains unique content geared towards dancers. I deleted some of the older posts, did a bit of editing on other posts and added a banner picture to each of them so the blog page looks good. While I was at it, I made some extra banners for future use

-updated my photoshop skills. Turns out that photoshop is a standard program on my work desktop and since it is the legal version, it works perfectly all the time!! For all the new pictures and banners I used the 'save for web' option. I should be using png as a standard, but haven't gotten around to it. 

Click if you want to view
mekyria: (thee drinken)
I tried to update my plugins and my wordpress website decided to break down on me. Something with insufficient php memory, tracked it down to the nextgen plugin. I tried to fix the plugin but the error was persitent, so I killed it. And then I noticed that I lost my customized theme...

I put a bandaid on it, meaning that I installed the Customizr theme, added an integrated responsive slider (you know, those moving images on the top that you can click on) and did a quick rewriting of my text and images. It is not as good as I want it to be, but it could pass for now.

I tried several (free) slider themes but this was the best that I could come up with in short notice. I cross checked the website on my iphone, ipad and pc, but next week I'll ask the guys if I can use our testroom to test the website across all platforms. I am happy that this theme works well on mobile devices, ran into trouble with some of the other themes that didn't work as well on phones. Tons of people use their phones to quickly find a dancer so that is one of my priorities.

It is a good reminder that I wanted/needed to update my website thouroughly this year. I have wanted a responsive slider for a while now and after trying several plugins first, I feel that an integrated slider works best for my current needs. It also means that I have to get back behind my home pc, get photoshop up and running and create killer images for the sliders, as it will be the most important feature of my website.

I also want to get some good videomaterial so I can make a promo clip for performances, one for classes and one for workshops. That should do the trick into dragging my website into this century and making sure I stand out from the other dancers in my area.
mekyria: (nikkij Ice queen big)
I vaguely remember that I once had the time to update my website on a regular base. That must be.... three years ago? Much to my own dismay, I haven't had time to work on my websites or even do basic stuff on them. I did a quick sweep to clean things up and make it more manageble....

Read more... )
Like I said, I am not sure if I am still alive and kicking on the dance front, despite my weekly classes, the theater projects, the hafla's I am participating in, FaKyMa and Sense of Bellydance.
mekyria: (Default)

A dancefriend asked me to show her around Wordpress so I m gathering examples of wordpress sites for belly dancers. Thought my flisties might be interested too.

http://ranya.net/
Custom made theme by Dreamstar Studio's

Bahar Bayram: http://medamcamp.org.au/
theme: sliding doors

emma: http://emmabellydancer.co.uk/
theme: twenty eleven :-)

Belly dance at any size: http://bellydanceatanysize.com/
Andalee's new project! Looks taylored from a theme, I can't find the theme in the coding though

Kitty kohl: http://www.kittykohl.com/
theme: cloriato-light

My own website: www.buikdansereskyria.com
theme: twenty ten. I know, very outdated, I'm thinking of changing it to sliding doors.

And some random googling:
shanti: http://shantibellydance.com/?page_id=2

well, now that I'm googling, I conclude that there aren't many examples of well done wordpress websites for bellydancers besides the flistie websites. or are there? to be continued....

*edited to add Emma's website*

mekyria: (Default)
I have grossly neglected my websites in the past year(s), due to being Career Woman and all that. I did a quick update round, but it appears that the free wordpress.com websites have disappeared because I can't access them after I log in. The website states that ' I haven't gotten a blog yet, start here!'. Well, I have two, thank you very much, and I need to update at least one of them so GIVE ME MY BLOG BACK ALREADY.

This only proves how little you can trust free cloud services like wordpress.com, even though they are very nice and trustworthy in general. Glad that I host my bellydance website on a server in the Netherlands, granting me full control. The reason why I updated my website is because I was called by a lady for a booking next Thursday and I realized that I hadn't updated my online calendar for a while. I did ofcourse update my website earlier this year to reflect the VAT going up from 19% to 21%.

Next week is insane: I'm doing a (close to charity) gig with FaKyMa on wednesday in Zoetermeer, a christmasparty performance in Bussum on Thursday (party thrown by surgeons, they pay the standard deal without complaining. Yay!) and performing in the Stairway on Friday (It's a local club, quite famous with the general public, I'm doing full blown bellydance with veil and zills). Saturday I celebrate my birthday, woohoo!! Sunday is wedding dress shopping with [livejournal.com profile] ikaiya.

Talking about belly dance adminsitration, I should also sit down and make the bill for last semester's classes and the trial class in September. I could use the money for the Aziza Dreamcamp next year. I have HUGE first world problems, being that I am planning my holidays for 2013 and I have to choose between going to New York for the Belly Dance Theatrical Festival, or to Aziza's Dream Camp in Belgium.  Woe is me! *faints while holding her hand to her face*. Ranya and Anasma, or Aziza and Hisham? What Would Flisties Do?

I digress. I have to figure out how to get control back over the two public websites, being the event website for RonDom Buikdans and the troupe website for Sense of Bellydance. I'll start out by the wordpress faq, will post back on the result.
mekyria: (blue dress with veil)

I need to update my Kyria- Bellydancer website and I decided to give wordpress a try. Sofar it's okay to work with, not as easy as Joomla! for me, but maybe my mind works better with that CMS system. See my testpage for the current lay-out.

I'm uploading a couple of plugins to create forms and contact information. I doubt that there will be a whole lot of people who want to follow me around through social networking sites, but I think it might help to discern my website form all the other sites. I'm not sure about this lay-out, will fiddle some more next weekend.

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