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Decided to take the leap and convert your entire site to WordPress yet worried about the process? No matter where you’re coming from the process can be a intimidating and I bet you’ll have some nagging questions about it all. Hopefully, this post will help answer some of those questions and put you at ease.

#1 Can I keep my domain name?

Absolutely. Domain names (if registered under your name) can follow you through any web host, site publishing tool or content management systems. The only time a domain cannot be transferred is when the original web host or web design person/company plays dirty and holds your domain hostage by refusing to change where it points to or refusing to transfer to another registrar without payment.

Most of the time, this is not an issue and you will be able to keep your domain.

#2 What will it cost? What kind of investments would I have to make?

WordPress (.org) is open source software which means you won’t have any licensing fees. That does not mean there are no costs. If you’re coming from a platform like Blogger where you’ve never paid for hosting or in some cases don’t even have a domain name, then those are the two costs that cannot be avoided.

Beyond that, additional costs only come in if you decide to purchase a premium theme, hire a designer, buy premium plugins or purchase books and informational guides. If you think you might need or want these, it would be wise to set aside some money so you have room to play.

#3 Can I set up a test site while I move?

If you are starting fresh with a brand new domain the answer is yes. If your domain is currently going to the old site, most web hosts can provide you with a temporary URL where you can access and work on the site before flipping the switch.

#4 My pages are static HTML. Is there an easy way to transfer them into WordPress?

Alas, you may be disappointed here. While there is a plugin that could help, what you have to keep in mind, static HTML importers require your pages to be uniform and well formed. Hopefully yours is. Plan on spending some time to clean up the imported pages as some may look a little strange after importing. If you only have a handful of pages it’s probably simpler to just copy and paste.

#5 Will I lose my readers or content?

WordPress has many importers and converters to help you move your content. Chances are, there will be no loss. You’re more likely to lose some formatting than entire pages and posts.

As for losing readers, followers and traffic, if you were operating on your own domain before and keeping that domain, they will still find you on your new site. In that sense, you won’t lose your traffic nor links pointing to your posts. If you were using someone else’s domain like sittingonmybackporch.blogspot.com and now getting your own, you can’t have them follow you automatically. However, you can and should modify your old site to display a prominent banner to announce and advertise your new site.

#6 What will happen to the URLs of my old pages? How do I redirect them?

If you try to keep your page and post names as similar as possible, WordPress can attempt to guess and redirect people to the right place. Sometimes, the automatic redirect doesn’t work as it should. You can help it along by using a plugin called Redirection to specify exactly which pages direct where.

You should also make sure you have the ’404 Not Found’ error page set up properly to catch the pages that fall between the cracks.

#7 Can I handle this by myself?

That answer lies in what you know and how determined you are. If you know even a little bit of HTML or HTML/CSS, you’re in a better position. If you know a tad of PHP you’re head and shoulders ahead. If you know none of that but are very determined and motivated, yes you can, but be well prepared to face major frustration. Getting a guide, set of tutorials or connecting to a group of WordPress knowledgeable people will go a long, long way.

A blogger who attempted the switch all by themselves had this to say, “The problem is not the lack of free tutorials but too many of them! It takes huge amounts of time to separate the good and bad ones, and on top of it all, I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Save your sanity, get help.” Great advice from someone who’s been there.

Lynette Chandler is the web tech go-to-gal to marketers and bloggers online since 2004. She teaches them about WordPress, related web technologies and invites you to grab free training at http://TechBasedTraining.com/free-training/?&aff_id=1694

 

This video provides budget friendly marketing suggestions on how to advertise and speak directly to your target audience.

Free Giveaway: http://www.setufreeva.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Email-Marketing-Comparison-Sheet.pdf

 

I’ve always considered myself a decisive person.  I don’t make spontaneous, knee-jerk decisions about things that have long lasting ramifications.  For example, weekend getaways are planned, birthday celebrations are planned – sometimes even lunch and dinner menus are planned.  I like to plan.  Having an outline of what I would like to do is comforting to me.  So why am I unable to decide upon a target market?

My first choice was the IT/Finance industry, and then I focused on executives.  After I thought I found my true calling in the non-profit industry.  Everyone has a cause.  Furthering a good cause will warm the heart – if not the pocket – I should be content.   Shouldn’t I?   I do like to help people, organizations, causes, so it appeared to be a perfect match.  It was a perfect match until someone suggested that I investigate the possibility of becoming an Author’s Assistant.  Wow – a new shiny object to follow.  But where does that leave my business?  The answer:  on the treadmill – moving but going nowhere.  Am I afraid to succeed?  I have become my own roadblock.  Another way to view this situation is to believe that nothing happens before its time.  OK – so I call “time” now!

I have a very patient business coach and I recently “won” two laser coaching sessions with another business coach.  Both persons are successful business owners who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise.  So the time is now.    The stars are aligned – the moment is here – all the clichés that relate to seizing the moment translate to me as:  get off the treadmill and start to climb the ladder.

Stay tuned for the journey.

The word legacy is a small word with a lot of gravity and depth.  It may conjure up thoughts of financial inheritance, rights of passage to head of household or an imprint in history.

My coach asked me a similar question last year “what would you like your legacy to be?”  Thinking about perpetuity caused me to evaluate my business plan.  My business will be the foundation for my legacy.  It will give me the platform to partner with people and/or organizations for which I have synergy.  My business will also give me the opportunity to participate in supporting causes I believe in  - women, children and hunger.

For me, creating a legacy is not only how much money I’ve made but how did I use that money to help support the causes I believe in.

Have you thought about your legacy?  How would you like to be remembered?

Do you have a cause, hobby or interest that you would like to spend more time on?  Or do you want to spend more time on income-generating activities within your business so your business will be your legacy?  Perhaps you can’t because daily administrative tasks are bogging you down.

I’m here to help.  Transition those tasks to me @ www.setufreeva.com – then go build your legacy!

This week, April 18th to 24th, is National Volunteer week. People volunteer for various reasons, some may be – hands-on learning experience, filling a temporary need or for the give back/pay forward feeling.

Are you contemplating a major life change like opening a business? Perhaps you are considering becoming a virtual service provider…you may be wondering – “how can I apply my skills to this new venture?” Test the waters by volunteering. Volunteering is a win/win situation – you gain hands on experience, increased confidence and other warm and fuzzy intangible feels while providing a needed service or task to a cause, organization or individual.

I volunteer virtually and on-site – it’s time-consuming but extremely gratifying. So I’m encouraging you to seek out a need, identify a cause, offer yourself in the form of volunteerism – it pays!

You can try these sites for opportunities: volunteermatch.org or Volunteers of America or countless others.

If you decide to volunteer – please tell me about it! I’m looking forward to your comments.

As I stated in Part 1 of Women and Money, the theme of the Total Woman Business Conference was finances.

Another impressive presenter that day was Helen Kim, Money Relationship Mentor.  She discussed our sub-conscious relationship with money – stressing that we need clarity about what money means to us.  She referenced four character types relative to their action or re-action to money.  They are:

  • Under-earner – characterized by excessive volunteering, under-billing of time, bartering as a way to avoid money transactions, content to perform “cave jobs” – projects that keep them isolated. They also avoid raising rates and may resent people who have money.  They have a general belief that the harder you work the more money you’ll make.
  • Debiting – a vicious cycle exacerbated by a sense of entitlement – “I deserve…”  Helen states that debting is the manifestation of unmet needs.
  • Overspending/Over-shopping – we are in business to make money; simple arithmetic shows that we should not spend more than we make.  This type of money relationship can be triggered by:
  • Loneliness - shopping fills the void
  • Avoidance - shop to avoid an issue/problem
  • Control – you are in charge when you are spending
  • Fear – you make purchases for the sole purpose of giving it away – to abate the fear of abandonment

Helen suggest that you stop and ask yourself “how do  feel?”, “what am I shopping for?”, “do I need it?”  She also suggested a resource by April Benson “To Buy or not to Buy”

  • Under-spending – characterized by feeling you are undeserving of good fortune or a fear that you can’t handle money or a concern that you’ll “show-up” your parents by surpassing their income level

Do you see yourself in any of these character types?  Perhaps, like me, you straddle two of these types.  Through education, sharing and a more conscious awareness of our actions and reactions to money – we will have a balanced, comfortable relationship with our finances.

If you would like to have a better money relationship – check out some free giveaways from Helen Kim.

 

 

I recently attended the 7th Annual Total Woman Business Conference.  This year’s theme was FINANCES.  Traditionally, women have been under-paid as workers and even as business owners.  One of the presenters, Joyce Moy, encouraged us to examine our relationship with money.   She stated emphatically “you are in business to make money!  If not, it’s a hobby!”.

She has a very commanding presence and made a dynamic presentation.  Some points that struck a nerve for me were:

    • saving a minimum of $3/day will equate to $12k by the end of 1 year
    • if I fill a water cooler bottle with loose change – it equals about $4k
    • distinguish wants from needs; this sounds elementary but our consumption driven society encourages us to get it now or be left behind
    • ensure that your needs for basic survival (rent/food) are met – without it you will have many sleepless nights

She ended her presentation with a great goal setting acronym:  SMART; it can be applied to any goal setting exercise.

Specific:  set a specific target; i.e. I will save $1k

Measurable: you should be able to easily evaluate whether you have achieved your goal

Achievable: outline the steps that must be taken to reach your stated goal

Realistic:  your goal should be executable

Timeline: set a time for achieving your stated goal

Personally, I struggle with writing my goals down – financial and otherwise – preferring to keep them in my head.  After this inspirational talk – I’m going to write them down and post it next to my vision board!

Do you have written goals – financial and otherwise?  Do you periodically review and adjust them?  How do you celebrate an achieved goal?

Your comments are welcome and appreciated!

I am the owner of a virtual business – SetUFree Virtual Services.  In order to provide quality service, I must possess the skill and equipment to deliver.  Well, I have the skills but my equipment did not reflect the cutting edge quality I nor my company represent.  Thus began my search for a better, high performance machine…this is why I bit the Apple – I bought a Mac!

I’ve been a p/c user for years; so I expected to continue in that path.  I surveyed friends – virtual and non-virtual – and did my due diligence about p/c’s and Mac’s.  I enjoy providing administrative support virtually but I’m a technophobe – I comfortably reside in the realm of end-user bliss – so an all-in-one computer with minimal moving parts was ideal for me.

Entering the Apple store was like an epiphany – helpful, patient and knowledgeable customer service personnel as well as high-tech all-in-one computers – wow!  I purchased a 27 inch iMac with wireless keyboard and mouse.  With one credit card swipe I moved from the Dark Ages to the world of the Jetsons.  I am officially a MacVA!

Of course, I’m experiencing some growing pains, but that’s a small price to pay to be on the cutting edge of technology.  My new purchase opens the door to learn more skills – video editing – and offer more services.  I’m happy I bit the Apple!

February is designated as American Heart Month.  Today is “Wear Red Day” in recognition of this month’s observance.  Heart health is important to everyone and holds a special significance for me.  My mom had single by-pass surgery over 10 years ago.  The surgery saved her life and has afforded her a better quality of life.  I can never re-pay the gift given to me – a healthier mom – but I try to do my part.  I give blood 2-3x a year; I monitor my mom’s blood pressure and ensure that she maintains her medical regimen – diet and medication.

Please take a few minutes to consider your heart health as well as that of your loved ones.  Check out http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000 for more heart healthy info.

This week (February 1st to 7th) is designated as “Solo Diners Eat out Week”.  Personally, I don’t have a problem dining alone.  It is a conscious decision that gives me an opportunity to allow my thoughts to drift, take in the atmosphere and not have to concentrate on engaging my dining partners.

The life of a solo-preneur is full of conscious decisions also – we decide who we want to work with, we decide our hours of operations, we decide our service menu and area(s) of expertise.

So solo-dining or solo-preneur – the choice is ours!