Argh, essentially this blog (and my other websites) begun to eat into my time a little too much, so I massively simplified things.
I had been using a very pretty modern looking website framework called Brooklyn. This was a great piece of software but over time I just found I was spending too much effort on it. I have a few paying clients now and it didn’t make sense to me to be spending hours tinkering with my own sites when I could be getting paid tinkering with someone else’s.
I’d also managed to get backtotravel on some kind of hack list. I think it was when I made the choice to include a credit card payment portal for my clients. My thinking was that once digital payments were going through the blog it must’ve flagged up somehow or gotten on the radar of some hacker groups. I spotted the hacks pretty quickly and never lost any money but ever since then I’ve been targeted on a daily basis by bots or unscrupulous individuals sniffing around for ways into the site. Every now and again they manage to gain access and inject some nasty code. Then I have to backwards engineer what they have done and close the hole. I’ve been playing cat and mouse like this for over a year now and it’s getting pretty tedious.
I have removed the payment portal and the site has been secure for a few weeks now but a new simplified blog framework with minimal customisation will certainly make my life a lot easier.
In the old blog I’d gone for minimalism. There were no menus really. In the new blog the menus are back. I’ve also included a little sidebar on the right with a search box and some category links. I plan to expand the sidebar with other useful features in the future.
If I’m honest I don’t think it looks quite as swanky as the old blog, however, I’m hoping the increase in functionality will offset my aesthetic concerns.
The Blog Page
I love my new blog page. Once again it’s not as swanky as the old one but it loads like lightning due to the tiny compressed images.
Biggest bonus, I get to have all my content on one long scrolling page.
I love the fact that I can just scroll to any article I’ve ever written in a split second rather than clicking back through dozens of pages to find what I’m looking for.
The Food Page
Oooh we snuck that one in didn’t we. Since becoming annoying vegans Navi and I have fallen in love with food.
No, that’s not accurate. We have become obsessed with food.
Over time we began recording the cooking instructions for our most popular meals so that we didn’t forget them. Navi has since turned that list into a simple recipe blog. This blog was originally hosted on a different domain (not backtotravel.com). Whilst we had our rational hats on we decided that it didn’t make sense to be paying for two domains when we really only needed one. So we combined them.
All the dishes are things that we’ve been able to create on the road with a very basic kitchen and minimal ingredients. Please let us know if you have any comments.
The Snap Page
This is where we plan to store our travel snaps. Just quick pics taken with our mobiles and uploaded real-time to the blog.
We didn’t really have anywhere manageable to put these memories before.
I have posted a few quick snaps on Twitter from time to time but I resented the fact that Twitter wouldn’t allow me to embed my feed on backtotravel without linking back to Twitter. The Snap page is my workaround. It’s kinda like our own Twitter feed, without the hashtags.
The Future of Backtotravel
I won’t lie, writing content has seemed a lot less fun for me lately. Quite often I’ve found myself several months behind in terms of my writing. In addition the last few articles have felt a bit generic to me. Like just going through the motions.
I went to China so I have to write about China, I went to Vietnam now I have to write about Vietnam… and so on.
Writing wasn’t like this in the beginning. In the beginning I enjoyed it. I want to get back to that feeling again.
I’m hoping the new look blog and its added features will inspire me to raise my game again. I want to try to post more regularly and focus more on the things that matter in the moment instead of churning out monthly country reviews.
Rip the Old Blog
I’m sorry the old blog has gone, but everything changes sooner or later.
Thanks for sticking with me.