Content Marketing, Search Marketing, , Technology, WordPress

Blog-Tipping: Hamelife

Hamelife is a blog dedicated to parents who want to be different. Parenting is something near and dear to me. I have one son starting at IUPUI this fall and a daughter in middle school.

I was a young father and probably made every mistake a parent could. I’m a firm believer that somehow in the miracle of life, God allows parents to make any mistake and still have great kids – as long as we love them with all our hearts and put them ahead of ourselves!

I’m going to pay more attention to hamelife and pass on the mistakes I’ve made so others won’t have to go through the embarrassment!

Here are your Blog Tips:

  1. Your implementation of the Cutline theme is fantastic. It’s an amazing theme with a geourgeous layout that is optimized and built to for great usability. I especially like how you utilized CSS for your logo and byline, but maintained the content for Search Engines to read. Well done! The first tip is for you to add a Sitemap, though! This is a roadmap for search engines to easily navigate your site content without having to actually figure it out themselves.

    My favorite Sitemap Plugin is the 3.0b7 version of the Google Sitemap Plugin. I’ve personally modified it to submit to Yahoo! as well and sent the code to the author but he’s not built it into the next release yet. I hope he’ll incorporate it.

  2. Once you get your sitemap in place, the next thing is to update your robots.txt file with the location of the sitemap. This is a fairly recent addition to the Sitemap specification, but better to take advantage of it now rather than later! Here’s how it should look:
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /wp-
    Sitemap: http://www.hamelife.com/sitemap.xml
  3. Rory specifically requested I touch on whether or not the blogging category should be its own blog or be part of hamelife. I’ll take the wimpy way out and say that I think, ultimately, that’s up to you. However, I can understand if folks comment on that – since the two topics are really quite different.

    Just a thought, but is there a means for you to make a Parenting page and a Blogging page that people could go directly to along with two feeds, one for each? I think this could be accomplished utilizing a Tagging plugin like the Ultimate Tag Warrior and tagging each post with “parenting” or “blogging”. It may take some work, but it would be really cool!

  4. I also noticed when I tested a URl, like http://www.hamelife.com/parenting that an ordinary 404 page comes up. Check out my post on customizing a 404 page – it’s almost like creating a custom search engine for your site.

Hamelife is a sharp site with priceless content. Rory has a few tricks up his sleeve as well. Check out the hamelife menu up in the top right… very unique (and fun!). Thanks for letting me tip your blog, Rory.

How to get your Blog Tipped

If you’d like your Blog Tipped, simply follow the directions on my Blog Tipping Post.

3 Comments

  1. 1

    Thanks for letting me tip your blog, Rory.

    Are you kidding, Doug? I am so thankful to you for casting a helpful eye over the site. I need all the advice I can get, and I really appreciate the pointers you have given.

    First off, I am blown away by your compliments. Thank you so much – they are enormously encouraging.

    Now, I wonder if you could help me with your further tips:
    Point #1 – The M of hamelife takes a visitor to a sitemap. I used the Sitemap designed for Cutline. Do I have this configured correctly? Or should I move directly to Point #2 and configure my robots.txt correctly?

    My robots.txt actually reads:

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /wp-content/
    Disallow: /wp-admin/
    Disallow: /wp-includes/
    Disallow: /wp-
    Disallow: /feed/
    Disallow: /trackback/
    Disallow: /cgi-bin/

    and I have it located in hamelife.com/wpblog/robots.txt. Something doesn’t seem right with this – I feel like it should be located elsewhere, but I’m not sure how to do it. I could use the help.

    My set up is to have the blog in hamelife.com/wpblog, so I don’t have it in the root directory. You can see how confused this is getting me!

    Point #3 – Thank you for your suggestion, I’ll have to think more about it. I’m leaning more towards a second blog. I know it means keeping two lots of content, but I’m learning to be a bit more laid back about this blogging thing – not be so stressed.

    Point #4 – I’m looking at your WordPress 404 article as we speak. It is excellent advice and I will implement it as soon as possible.

    Thanks again, Doug. Your help is much appreciated.

    • 2

      Hi Rory,

      I would recommend putting your robots.txt file in your root directory. You could get a little fancy, though, and put a redirect in place in your root .htaccess file.

      Redirect robots.txt http://hamelife.com/wpblog/robots.txt

      I would still put an XML sitemap in place as well using the plugin I specified in 1. An XML sitemap is in accordance with the Sitemap standard. This sitemap will rebuild with every post and automatically ping the search engines as well. It’s very good.

      If you put in the sitemap and it’s in the wpblog directory as well, you can also put a redirect to it as well:

      Redirect sitemap.xml http://hamelife.com/wpblog/sitemap.xml

      Use caution and backup your htaccess file (it may be hidden so be sure to view hidden files with your FTP software) in case you hose it up!

      Then be sure to add the sitemap line to your robots.txt file. If you’ve got the redirect line in you htaccess file, you could use either URI… I would probably default to the literal, though:
      Sitemap: http://hamelife.com/wpblog/sitemap.xml

  2. 3

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