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Old 25-12-2014, 10:36   #1
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Cruising blog - website templates

Hey guys,

So I'm trying to set up the start of my cruising blog. The idea is to make a general blog where I can gather some information on the crew, the plan, the boat, the prep and of course the trip!

I've read a lot of blogs by fellow cruisers so far, and it seems like most of them fall into two categories; those that don't really mind the look of the website but just want to get the info/message across, and those that seemingly put a lot of effort into making the whole not only fun to read, but also nice to look at.

Since I know that webdesign is ridiculously complicated (compared to your average boat refit at least ), it makes me wonder if those "professional" blogs are put together by the IT-competent owner him/herself, or are website templates. And more importantly, what templates . I've been looking left and right for nice wordpress templates, but all my searches come up with commercially oriented hits...

What do you guys use? What do you think? What blogs have you read recently you found really nifty?
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Old 25-12-2014, 10:58   #2
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
Hey guys,

So I'm trying to set up the start of my cruising blog. The idea is to make a general blog where I can gather some information on the crew, the plan, the boat, the prep and of course the trip!

I've read a lot of blogs by fellow cruisers so far, and it seems like most of them fall into two categories; those that don't really mind the look of the website but just want to get the info/message across, and those that seemingly put a lot of effort into making the whole not only fun to read, but also nice to look at.

Since I know that webdesign is ridiculously complicated (compared to your average boat refit at least ), it makes me wonder if those "professional" blogs are put together by the IT-competent owner him/herself, or are website templates. And more importantly, what templates . I've been looking left and right for nice wordpress templates, but all my searches come up with commercially oriented hits...

What do you guys use? What do you think? What blogs have you read recently you found really nifty?
The problem I have with "blogs" is that most read backwards. You read the latest post, then have to scroll down or go back to an index to read the previous entry, etc. They are hard to read this way. This one: Golden Trawler:* Golden's Voyages does allow you to click on "next post" or "previous post", at least for some trips.

Because I live in a house and don't want strangers to know I'm gone until I'm back again, I use facebook to post to boating friends and then put everything together in a MS Word document and convert it to PDF. Actually, I write in MS Word and copy each day's information to facebook.

Here are a couple of mine:

http://www.widman.biz/indigo/HIGH_COTTON_IV.pdf

http://www.widman.biz/indigo/HIGH_COTTON.pdf
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Old 25-12-2014, 14:12   #3
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

We use sailblogs, which falls into your first category. It's just for family and friends to follow, as we look for an anchorage in Florida , or cruise the beautiful Bahamas.

We have followed along from the beginning, a few blogs that probably fit into your second category. It must take a huge amount of time to set these up, and keep updating constantly. One we like is Zero to Cruising! Contact Mike Sweeney. He is very active in answering questions from his readers.

Another is WORLD TOUR STORIES Alex and Taru sailing around the world.Travel blog. Lifestyle blog. Sailing blog. Maybe Taru will reply to your contact. She also puts a huge amount of effort into her blog.

Best wishes. Merry Christmas and have a great new year with your adventure.

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Old 25-12-2014, 16:37   #4
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

If you do it via Wordpress or Tumblr (both are free) you can use any of their hundreds of free templates available. Most of the "professional-looking" blogs you see are actually standard wordpress or tumblr templates. Best wishes! .
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Old 26-12-2014, 02:36   #5
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

I use WordPress, and found it to be nice looking and rather simple to navigate after its set up.

http://sailingdeltablues.com/
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Old 26-12-2014, 04:29   #6
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

I use Wordpress as well, but I find it has some limitations also. But then I haven't structured it as a true day by day journal. As such it doesn't allow me to do what I can on a true web site i.e. bookmark jump to the latest entry. To work around that I just insert the latest onto the top of the page of the work log. (Well, if it does, I haven't found it.)

There isn't a panacea.
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Old 26-12-2014, 05:27   #7
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

When I started my Zanshin Blog I knew almost nothing about HTML and PHP, but managed to check out some sites which I liked and used their general layout, I started (and remained) simple without complex CSS. I still don't know much about websites, but continue adding pages and it takes almost no effort to create a new file (based on existing ones) and fill it with content. So far, the blog has 1916 pages and over 7,000 pictures
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Old 27-12-2014, 04:02   #8
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

Wordpress here as well. Very easy and the temps that come with it can be customised well I find. Any questions please give me a yell.
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Old 27-12-2014, 07:14   #9
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

Wordpress is simple. I use it with Dreamhost, easy install, you can set it up and then play with the eye candy later.
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Old 27-12-2014, 07:40   #10
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

We haven't done it yet, but plan to make a few changes to our blog to make the cruising posts more readable. Since the most current post is always on top and the posts for a cruise read backwards, I plan to redate the posts for completed cruises. By redating I can show the posts in order rather than last first. I have done this in the past and it solves the problem. Since we cruise and post extensively, this takes some time and effort but makes it easier for readers. We use Google Blogger and have since 2008. Chuck
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Old 30-12-2014, 04:04   #11
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

+1 for Wordpress.

Lots of free templates available. Fairly good support via forums and developer contact.

Get some ideas from what others are doing out there and plagiarize away.


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Old 30-12-2014, 04:16   #12
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

We use Wordpress for our blog: zartmancruising dot com. There's lots of options, and plenty of tech support. My wife has had a post prepared and put it up on the fly while we were briefly in range of a ship's wifi signal, so it can be done reasonably quickly.
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Old 30-12-2014, 05:11   #13
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Cruising blog - website templates

We use blogger/ blogspot. Templates seem ok but we could probably improve the layout a bit. Lots of options including emailing posts. The biggest problem is keeping it updated and interesting. Posts tend to be ...had a good sail, 20K wind, nice day, sailed into perfect anchorage...wow..beautiful..
With a pic or two. This gets monotonous after a while!
Primarily we set it up as a journal to keep track of our adventures for ourselves as it's hard to keep track of otherwise. Facebook also works but it's probably best to set up a FB page as a group rather than individual to avoid it being cluttered with bs.
Lots of blogs are set up as a more commercial type venture and very professional. I don't really have the time or inclination to do that, but it is the modern version of sending cruising articles to sailing magazines so I have respect for those that make them work, like sailing around the world and but fuzzes. Lots of glitzy and hype on some in return for some gear sponsorship, selling photos, t shirts , mugs, maybe some charter time with the hero's of the blogs.
The blogger app works pretty well and I'm trying to use it more to keep more up to date.
Open app, write a few lines about the day/ week, select a few pics taken with the iPad and publish and it's done. One limitation is it doesn't allow you to set a post date so they're a bit out of order which I think I'll have to fix up via the PC.
Www.sephinacat.blogspot.com
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Old 30-12-2014, 05:29   #14
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

We also used Blogger/Blogspot to create wrinklesinoursails.blogspot .com. They have enough templates built in to make your blog look somewhat custom and attractive. We did find creating posts with pictures to be a bit clumsy, so we installed an iPad app called Blogsy to add the postings. This combo works fine for us.

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Old 05-01-2015, 11:24   #15
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Re: Cruising blog - website templates

I used blogspot, which became blogger, for years and years. Unfortunately, the formatting and functionality seems to have gotten worse and worse. It got very buggy with the mobile version. Also, if you look at the statistics, it draws a lot of junk clicks from clickbaiters.

Finally switched to Wordpress in 2014. It seems to be more stable with better statistics. www.svgimmeshelter.wordpress.com

We just used our own photos to customize one of the free design templates.
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