How Things Are Organized

It’s been a while since I wrote a technical post. My apologies if I do. This one might appeal to those propellerheads who read it – or maybe not. Feel free to skip it if you want to.

However, writing a post like this helps me keep a clear head on how things work around here, and I can also refer to it later if needed. So indulge me. Please.

The subject matter is how my shared domain website is structured. Pretty exciting stuff, eh? In a nutshell any domain on the internet has a root and a number of subdomains.

The Root of the Domain

You’ll find this at https://104vaughan.ca It is a rather boring, static page that contains the following links:

  • A link to the current Almontage blog, powered by WordPress.
  • A link to a legacy blog over at Blogspot. Most of the posts from there are on Almontage anyway.
  • A link to a historical, hand-coded website I did back in the 1990s. Most of the technology is antiquated, the links are dead by and large, and it’s pretty primitive stuff. It is what it is. I learned a lot about websites from making it. End of story.

There’s a lot more on the root domain but you’ll never see it. There are tools for importing files, installing more software, configuring email and so on.

The WordPress Subdomain

This is where most of the action takes place. You find it at https://104vaughan.ca/wp

It is possible to install WordPress on the root, but this isn’t really a good technique – especially if you plan to do more installation or maintenance. The preferred method is to have WordPress on its own subdomain – or folder if you like. That is what I did when I installed it, and that is what the /wp in the address means.

Once you have the software installed and your theme in place, Bob’s your uncle if you want to start blogging. WordPress and your theme take care of the heavy lifting, and you can mostly just use the default look and feel until you get more familiar with stuff.

WordPress has been around since 2001 in one form or another – longer than Facebook and Twitter. The folks who designed it wanted to make it easy to write and publish articles and that is what it does best. You can design a whole website with WordPress to advertise and sell things if you want, but I like it best to have a simple blog format.

In the standard format, WordPress and your theme present each article on a separate page. The “Home” page for the WordPress subdomain is an archive. My Ganesa theme shows the 10 most recent posts and a navigation section to go back to page 1 if you want. I added an archive section in the sidebar which is based on month and year.

There’s lots more you can do to customize – like have categories for Lifestyle, Fashion, Culinary, Photography – but that’s if you have a particular type of niche blog in mind. I keep it simple.

WordPress isn’t the only website development software available – there are competitors like Drupal and Joomla. But I prefer WordPress for a blog.

The Bottom Line

It might seem like overkill to go through all the hassle of getting your own domain and installing the software if you just want to write a few posts. And it isn’t really necessary. All you need do is sign up at Blogger.com or WordPress.com and you can get going right away.

I went a bit further because I enjoy the challenge, I wanted to own my own writing, and I didn’t want ads on my site. It’s a bit more expensive, but in my view it’s worth it. Almontage doesn’t have the same look and feel as 20,000 other blog and that is a good thing too.

That’s the end of my technical rant for today. I hope it brought some light on the darkest, shortest day of the year.

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