Yesterday I achieved my massive Site Table of Contents in this post, My Site Table of Contents – I did it! Today, I’m going to share with you how I created it, and the benefits of spending a weekend organising my site.
The Working Process
Below is my process. Some steps may be slightly different from how Lorelle did it.
- Step 1: Read this post at least three times: Blog Exercises: Organise Your Content
- Step 2: Download Firefox as my new web browser. Download CoLT Firefox Add-on in Firefox. CoLT stands for Copy Link Text.
- Step 3: Open a plain text editor. (I used TextEdit on my iMac.)
- Step 4: Copy all URL of my posts on my Archive page to my plain text file. It will look like this:
- Step 5: Create a rough list of Categories. Move the above URL links under each category accordingly.
- Step 6: Turn the above links into perfectly formed HTML anchor links with CoLT.
The outcome of an example of a perfectly formed HTML anchor link will be:
- Step 7: Adding simple yet important html tags under categories.
It took me a while to even consider attempting the task. Once the technical parts were sorted, the mental activity of sorting the posts under each category was like a game, and it involved drinking many cups of tea.
From the process, I’ve gained both technical and non-technical knowledge.
Try out new things
Be brave to try out new technology — even the programs that you’ve never heard of. Before the exercise, I didn’t know anything about Firefox and CoLT. I was so scared. I thought my computer was going to blow up. The thought of ‘downloading’ programs was scary enough. Now I’ve used both, I’m amazed at their brilliance. I’ve also learnt a few html tags and tried using them logically. The html tags look scary, but once I’ve learnt them, they speed up my organisation process and boost my confidence.
Post titles and post slugs
- I realised some of my posts had numbers as Permalink, not post title.
I’m not sure why WordPress use numbers as Permalink in some of my posts. I think these are re-blogged posts and posts sent via emails.
- I sometimes use short phrases in my post slug to replace long post titles. While organising my posts on this task, I realised such a short post slug could pose a problem – because I forgot what the original post was from the name of the shorter post slug. For example, I have a post slug ending with Just Tilly, but the post title is actually called How many ways can you view Tilly? and this is a post about using WordPress’s Speaker Deck Slideshows. This makes me wonder whether a prettier, shorter post slug is a good idea, and whether I should make each blog post title more self explanatory. For example, perhaps I should have changed the post title How many ways can you view Tilly? to Using Speaker Deck Slideshows to enhance your post.
See at a glance
Once my posts had been moved under different categories and sub-categories, I could see at a glance what I had written in the past 15 months. I’m still trying to digest the 195 posts I’ve written, the topics, the depth of my posts, and their relevance. I’ll also try to analyse my strength and weakness in my writing, and the scope of my topics, based on this list.
My Site Table of Contents is not static, and I’ll keep moving the files regularly. I think I’ll go back to some posts (especially earlier posts) to edit them, to link them to my future posts, and polish the language. There are a lot of stylistic issues to deal with too. I’m also considering deleting some old, badly written posts.
Would you delete your old posts if you’re not happy with them?
Lorelle said it brilliantly in Connecting All the Pieces of Your Site Together:
It’s perfectly fine to edit past posts to link to posts in the future of the chronological order, part of the space and time, timey whimey Doctor Who relativity. Intrasite links link to the future as well as the past on all your published posts.
Where should I go forward from now?
I’m not in a rush to have a ‘perfect’ site, as this site is a process of my learning and it is never going to be perfect. And I love learning from my mistakes, and seek advice and support from this wonderful WordPress community.
I feel like a ‘naked’ blogger, showing all my posts in the Site Table of Contents. And, it definitely feels like airing all my laundry in the public.
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