I’ve talked about the technology that keeps me personally going and the gadgets I carry – but traveler is only one part of travel blog. The other is the pixels you’re staring at right now and as foXnoMad has grown, so has its digital legs. This blog turned 6 years old this week and I wanted to share with you some of its major components and how they help to keep things running while I’m off traveling for things to blog about.
For Your Eyes
Probably the first component of foXnoMad you’re likely to notice outside of the website itself are the photos scattered throughout each page. Until sometime in early 2011, I was hosting those pictures on my server directly, though browsing through them was cumbersome to say the least.
I’ve since been using SmugMug, making it much easier for you to browse my travel photos and letting me upload absurdly large images. You can also buy physical copies of my pictures if any catch your fancy. Or read comments from aliens for free.
Behind The Scenes
When it comes to hands-on maintenance, I do all of the coding required to patch up any problems or make design tweaks here and there. I also do upkeep on my server, hosted by Media Temple. I enjoy optimizing and programming in general; working on projects like trying to make pages load faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. Though I’ll likely be giving up the bulk of those responsibilities when I begin hiring staff in a few weeks.
- This entire blogging platform, where I type in my articles, place photos, and blog about backpacks you can ride is WordPress. (A software package so powerful, I still can’t believe it’s free.)
Those are the absolute basics. There is still quite a bit more of gear and guts running behind the scenes and services like Cloudflare; but I won’t bore you with details or giveaway all of my secrets.
Staying In Touch
Google may or may not be doing evil but they certainly are helping me keep in touch with many of you. My daily email updates (well, they’re actually sent 3 times a week) which send my stories directly to your inbox are handled by Google’s Feedburner service. Those emails go out when Americans are killing afternoon hours at work, before Europeans have had too much evening beer, and just late enough in east Asia so many won’t notice the ocasional typo.
- My bi-monthly newsletter is powered by Aweber and I often drop in first word about giveaways there. If you haven’t signed up, it’s free and you can read the next edition in a few days.
I know they’re not really blogging services but I spend enough time on Facebook and Twitter that I can’t not mention them. Both are where you can get real-time updates from me, see what I’m eating, and finally find out what those airport workers waving orange sticks are saying.
How I Keep foXnoMad Free For You
Many of these services cost me money but your use of them is completely free – and how I want it to stay. I get my income from advertisers who want to promote their travel and technology products and services to you. (Along with the ebooks I’ve written.) Some products links, like those you’ll find in this post, earn me a small commission. My content however is never for sale; banners and ads above posts are labeled as such. And if I recommend any products to you, it’s because I’ve used them myself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this past week of birthday posts with a look at the circuits that help blogger and travel blog moving on the road.
Hi Anil, Thanks for the great tips. Honestly, managing photos (between editing, watermarks, smushing/optimizing, re-sizing and bandwidth issues) is the bane of my blogging life. I’ll be sure to check out SmugMug.
Hi Micki, I’m happy to hear you found this post useful. SmugMug and Wp-Smush it plugin will help you reduce the time you spend with all 4 of those issues. Also, it’s very easy to re-size images with them, simply by tweaking the photo links. SmugMug has saved me considerable time with the less-fun side of blogging 🙂
Cheers for the list, mate. I have heard some good things about smugmug, defininately am going to investigate it further sounds like a massive time saver for photos.
It’s really user-friendly and like many of the other services above, the customer support is fast and efficient. I’ve had a great experience with SmugMug.
I too use smug mug and love it!
I’ve not heard of SmugBug but have just signed up for the trial, looks a good service
I think you’ll find it worth sticking around with, enjoy!
Hey, Anil, I really like your Countries page! Can I ask how you do that? Is that a plug-in, and does it interact with Smug Mug automatically? Or did you do it manually?
Mind if I borrow your idea?
Hi Linda, it’s a manual process and feel free to use the idea 🙂