biz.leoraw.com with style

In between everything else in life (I am awaiting the films for the Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival, getting ready for the Jewish holidays, planning a bar-mitzvah, spending much of my late afternoons doing homework with a second grader, and updating various other websites) I found a theme for http://biz.leoraw.com/ and modified the theme so it would fit the look of the rest of https://www.leoraw.com/.

I hope to write two posts in particular on the new site:

  1. Choosing a theme, why I chose the “Panorama” theme, and how I modified the theme
  2. Permalinks: what is the best SEO strategy for permalinks for one’s blog?

There is a lot that goes into setting up a new blog; perhaps I can make a post with a checklist of what one might consider in setting one up. When I feel “Websites for Small Biz” is ready for prime-time, I will link it up with the rest of my site and start tweeting some of the newest posts.

Coming next week (at about this time) to this blog: an interview with the creator of NJ Playgrounds.

Interview with Hannah Katsman of CookingManager.com

cooking manager 2010

What made you decide to set up this new blog? What goals do you hope to achieve?

Over the years I’ve met experienced homemakers who don’t save leftovers or store food safely. And many people never learned how to cook from scratch. I’m lucky to have learned kitchen management at home from the most efficient cook I’ve ever met–my mother Touby z”l.

Cookbooks are usually about buying a set of ingredients and following instructions. I like to look at the whole picture–starting with what you have in the house, then choosing recipes and meals according to your specific needs. I want to teach people how to get from menu planning and shopping through cooking and cleanup without becoming exhausted or throwing away half the food at the end.

I see CookingManager.Com as a legacy to my mother, who died almost twenty years ago. She developed a chronic illness that forced her to work using the minimum number of steps. My mother believed that resources, including time, money and energy, should never go to waste. Originally I thought about a book or a website, but since I’ve been blogging for several years I decided on this format.

Why did you set it up with self-hosted WordPress (as opposed to using Blogger or WordPress.com)?
Self-hosted WordPress is used by most successful bloggers. Blogger has little flexibility and WordPress.com’s free service doesn’t allow advertising. You have to pay for self-hosted WordPress, but you own your own content.No one can close you down, as has happened on free platforms. And WordPress is superior when it comes to getting traffic from search engines.
The difference between Blogger and self-hosted WordPress is like the difference between renting and owning a home: Owning is a responsibility and sometimes a headache, but a good investment and ultimately more satisfying.

Who is your target audience for your new blog?
Anyone who wants to save money and time when making home-cooked meals. It can be for people setting up a kitchen for the first time, growing families who find they spend too much on prepared food, or people on special diets who cannot use processed products.

What was the hardest part of setting up the blog?
I’m still intimidated by coding, design and technical details. Keeping up with my post schedule has been a challenge over the busy summer.

The fun parts?
Writing, and interacting with my readers. I love to help readers with their specific problems, like what kind of pressure cooker to buy or how to use meat drippings to flavor future recipes. One mother of eight wrote that she learns something new with every post. I am still finding my voice on CookingManager.Com, so if you have questions come join the conversation while my audience is still small. ๐Ÿ™‚

If someone wants to set up a professional blog, how can one get advice on doing so?
Most people offering professional advice also have a public website. Before spending money, spend time on a few different sites to see if the style and focus is right for you. I highly recommend Leora, who advised me on setting up the WordPress blogs and designed the banner for A Mother in Israel. I also like Problogger.net, DailyBlogTips.com, and Nice2All.Com.

Don’t worry about missing a great offer as there will always be another one. If you don’t want to spend you can find hundreds, if not thousands, of free WordPress marketing articles and tutorials including WordPress.org, an active forum that helped me numerous times.

Has using Twitter helped promote your new site?
I haven’t developed my Twitter account much yet,( twitter.com/cookingManager), but I plan to. In the meantime I use it mostly for posting links to new posts. You can follow me both there and at @mominisrael, where I tweet more often.

Are you looking for guest posts for your site? What kind of posts would you like?
Mimi at Israeli Kitchen contributed a delicious chick pea recipe, and I would love to have more. I’m not a “foodie,” but I’ve realized that readers appreciate simple recipes too. And a few have sent me their own recipes to publish. See the tab “Submit Recipe” on the front page.

What are some of your favorite posts on the new site? Why are these your favorites?

Leora, thank you so much for the interview. I’m looking forward to feedback from your readers.

•  •  •

Leora’s Note: This post was updated with Hannah’s new header and blog layout. The header was designed by Leora.

Street Fair on Raritan Ave 2009

I used a plugin called WordPress Gallery Slideshow to create this slideshow of the annual Highland Park Street Fair on May 17, 2009. There was also a 5K Run in the morning that ran close to my home; you can see one tired friend who did a great job of running pictured in his lime green t-shirt in the slideshow. The run was in memory of Riki Jacobs, a Highland Park resident and social justice advocate who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

One advantage to slideshows as opposed to posts of individual pictures is that sometimes you don’t have a lot to say about each photo, but you have a lot of photos to show. See if you can find the photo of me squinting at my daughter who has taken the picture. Raritan Avenue was crowded and diverse, as it always is on Street Fair day.

I liked the booth of paint your own bags the best. For $3/for a plain white canvas bag, kids painted the bags with acrylic paints. More on the paint your own bags booth in a coming “Guess what it will be” post soon.

Friday Has Arrived


Update: Thank you to Judy for identifying the blue flowers as scilla.

On My Blog

Today’s Flowers: Daffodils

The Drupal Experiment
I plan to post more about Drupal in the coming months, and I hope to write about Drupal vs. WordPress. Non-technical readers, I hope you will read these posts, as it is helpful for me to know what you can or cannot understand. Perhaps I will also post about an installed WordPress blog like my own and one hosted on WordPress.com, like that of Ilana-Davita.

Passover is Fun
I especially enjoyed the comments of Melissa (who is celebrating Passover for the first time) and of Mojo (who relates his one Pesach experience).

A Photo of Three Bowls of My Pottery
(how I long to get back to throwing on the wheel: someday!)

Landscape Workshop

Nature Notes: Germination

Four Cups in Watercolor

Scheduled for Saturday night: Another What Do You See post, featuring a cityscape by my daughter.

Elsewhere in the Universe

Email Notification Added

I added a little WordPress plugin called Subscribe to Comment that allows you to check a little box on the comment form so you can get follow up comments in your email. A reader asked about it, so I decided to implement the plugin. Feel free to try it out (I always enjoy your comments, in general, all of you!).

I found a recommendation for the plugin on this WordPress blog called WebDesignerWall. If you like funky, beautifully designed web pages, it’s worth a peek.

There are a multitude of WordPress plugins, and some seem quite fun. Simple Recent Comments is one I must do soon. Maybe I’ll add it to the bottom, along with a list of archives of posts. I should try out some simple stats package, but those you won’t see. Unless I tell you. Oh, yes, I could tell you…another post idea!

And here’s an experiment with a blockquote that has a different border and background than the one I standardly use. More fun with WordPress.

As an additional experiment, I am going to set this post to be published at 3:15 am EST.

Juggling Frogs, Tag Cloud, Comment Spam

For all those who care to know about fellow bloggers: Juggling Frogs is reportedly fine and busy preparing for a family simcha (celebration). Nice to hear good news.

A few days ago I created a Tag Cloud for my sidebar. What’s a Tag Cloud, you ask? Go down to where it says Popular Tags. If you roll your mouse over one of the tags, you can see how many posts I have done that have that tag. And if you click on it, you can read those posts. Now, being an artist, I wanted the smaller tags to balance more nicely with the larger tags. So ideally I would want some little tag that begins with an ‘a’ or a ‘b’ to balance those larger ones. That’s just more interesting than starting my cooking for Shabbat.

Finally, I am pleased to say that Akismet, the anti-spam module that comes with WordPress, let Therapydoc post a comment without my having to take it out of spam, where it previously put her comment. So my fears of having to check continually to see if I have false positives in my Akismet comments were unfounded. This stuff works, after all. (Basically, I like WordPress).