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Why I’m Converting Several Blogs into Static Websites

Static Website to WordPressSince I’m no longer actively blogging, I think it’s time for me to convert some of my old blogs into static HTML websites. Why convert them instead of taking them down? Well, for the most part, a lot of the information on the various blogs is still relevant and continues to be helpful to some folks. As I convert the blogs to static sites, I can weed through the old irrelevant information and either remove it or update it.

Why the Conversion?

Simple. I’m tired of updating so many WordPress blogs. When I say updating, I’m not talking about adding new content. What I’m talking about is the never-ending necessity to update WordPress to the latest version along with the need to update the plugins.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why updates are necessary. I’m happy to see the people behind the software have not abandoned their products and allowed them to fall by the wayside. Not updating software is an open invitation for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities, so I’m thankful things are being updated. It’s just that it’s time consuming updating each blog.

NJFM WordFence Alert

Because I use WordFence (the free version), I get daily emails notifying me of “problems” on my websites because my software is out of date when a new version is released. In addition to the emails about problems, I get weekly activity summaries of countries and IP addresses that were blocked because of suspicious activity. This blog alone gets several thousand blocks a week due to suspicious activity. Really? This blog has been inactive for months. Why would anyone want to hack it?

Static Websites – A Playground for My Inner Geek

Another reason for the conversion is it excites my inner geek. Way back when I first started playing online, I created static websites. I had a blast learning HTML and a bit of CSS. I never really got javascript and PHP down, but I can hack it enough to make minor changes when needed. By converting my blogs to static websites, I get to revisit my inner geek and play around with code.

Aside from pleasing my inner geek, my converted sites will contain fewer vulnerabilities than my WordPress blogs. By keeping things basic, I don’t have to worry about updating plugins or anything like that, just set it and forget it. From what I’ve read, hacking a static site involves gaining access to the server. As long as my hosting company (SiteGround) continues to be vigilant in protecting its servers I’m pretty much in the clear. The other way of gaining access to a static website involves unauthorized FTP access.

Both of those vulnerabilities also exist with WordPress sites, but with WordPress and plugins, a host of other potential exploits exist. It’s the nature of the beast when you introduce more complex code. I’m not that advanced or experienced in coding so the coding on my sites will be simple.

Strolling Down Memory Lane

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like this so things have come full circle. I originally started this site because I wanted a place to store the notes I’ve jotted down on the new things I learned. Having a blog made it easy for me to find my notes when I needed them. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve kept NJFM online (believe me, it’s not for traffic or income). I’ve now come full circle. NJFM will once again serve as a repository for my notes.NJFM Notebook

Will I convert NJFM? I don’t think so. There are too many posts and too many comments here. NJFM will remain a WordPress blog.

What about the Money?

The income on the blogs I’m about to convert has slowed to a mere trickle. I’m not surprised since I haven’t added new content in years. I generally earn enough to get an AdSense payout each month, and a small monthly commission from Amazon (it pays my hosting and domain renewal fees).  However, lately, I’ve been crossing the AdSense monthly payout threshold by the skin of my teeth.Major Income Decrease

The reason I brought up the earnings questing is that when I first started out (back in 2008), I noted that converting a static website to a blog caused a major decrease in earnings (as much as 75%). I didn’t change the content, just the format. I know things have drastically changed since 2008, but I’m curious to see if changing the format from blog to website will reverse the lower income trend. It’s not the reason for the conversion, but it is worth noting, plus I love a good experiment!

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Ignatius September 8, 2018, 12:33 pm

    Hi Felicia,
    That definitely sounds like a good plan. Hackers do seem to attack WordPress all the time. I hope you get some love from Google from the switch to static sites.

    I’m not sure how much you want to feed your “inner geek,” but if you’re interested in working on your HTML/CSS/etc. skills, you might want to look at Free Code Camp. It is set up in a logical manner to build your skills, and you can do all the coding exercises right on their site. Here’s a link to the curriculum page. And, as far as I can tell, it is genuinely free. https://learn.freecodecamp.org/

    • Felicia Williams September 8, 2018, 3:20 pm

      Hey Ignatius,

      Good to hear from you. I’ve been terrible with keeping in contact with everyone so I enjoy getting comments from long-time NJFM friends.

      My inner geek thanks you for the link. I’ll definitely check it out.

  • Loretta Parker-Brown September 8, 2018, 1:34 pm

    Felicia, I keep a watchful eye out for your posts. I’m always wishing you the best in any of your endeavors.

    • Felicia Williams September 8, 2018, 3:26 pm

      Hey Loretta,

      As you can see, I’m really bad with FB. I log on occasionally but just haven’t warmed up to it. Probably the only person on the planet who hasn’t.

      Thanks for the well wishes. Things seem to be finally calming down on my end and I’m hoping to write more than once or twice a year. Hmmm, maybe I’ll work my way up to three times a year. 😀

      I just took a quick look at your blog and realized I no longer receive notifications of new posts. I don’t know what I did, but I’ve got to fix that.

      Hope all is well with you and your family.

  • Joni Brown September 27, 2018, 4:04 pm

    I was so glad to see you wrote. I have finally been able to afford a computer…am paying on time. However, until it is paid off I cannot afford the internet. I just happen to be at my daughters today and able to get on line. I was glad to hear you will not turn NJFM at this time. When I am able to afford the internet I plan on going back and reading all the info you have kept here.
    Good luck on all endeavors.
    Joni Brown

    • Felicia Williams September 27, 2018, 5:52 pm

      Hi Joni!

      So nice to hear from you. I’m glad you’ve got the computer and hope that soon things turn around where you’ll have internet access. Hang in there!

      Wishing you all the best!

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