When we first started TheTimeChamber, we threw ourselves into it. We learnt to code, we added content and features and were continually on the look out for ways to improve the website. Each time we returned from an explore, we instantly jumped into researching where we had been and begun writing a page about it. It has also meant that the bookcases have started to creak a little. Soon we discovered that the old way we managed the website was not adequate and our enthusiasm for updates started to wane. We found that we had slipped into a series of six monthly ‘mass updates’ and there was always something more interesting to do. It didn’t help that only one of us knew how to code. A stagnant website is not good for visitors, or search indexes.
About 18 months ago we started to rethink how we would run the website and started to look at content management systems. We trialled various platforms and finally settled upon WordPress and about a year ago the website was relaunched.
Lets be honest for a second here, things have not really changed in how we run things. We still don’t update frequently and mass updates are still common place, although the blog receives a bit more attention than before. I guess we can relate this to the website, or exploring, not being either ‘new’ or ‘exciting’.
WordPress has revolutionised how we run things behind the scenes. We now have the ability to edit pages as and when we need to and from anywhere in the world. This means that if we see a mistake, it doesn’t just sit there glaring at us like an unfed cat. And if we have found some new information relating to one of the pages we can add it almost immediately. It has allowed us to draft out a page months before we even post it, allowing for a much more thorough research process to be carried out. We do suffer from occasional memory problems and forget the direction that some blog posts were heading in, resulting in a large number of drafts drifting aimlessly through the ether. But the best thing is that the formatting and layout is now 100% consistent.
Is it worth it? Yes. We receive a modest 7,000 visitors a month, which translates to about 30,000 pages views (some websites claim much higher, but it depends on how you read the stats). It is nice to know we are being read by people searching for things as it keeps us going. We have also been Archived by the British Museum and we have been mentioned by magazines, councils and various news websites such as the Huffington Post.
So what is next? To be honest, we haven’t a clue. There are some sites we have lined up for the summer. We also have a backlog of things to upload which we plan to tackle in the coming months.
We may even write a few more photography based tutorials.