Weekly Stir: 1/21/19

I thought last week was hard. Things went up a notch this week!

I continued to spend extra hours on a new project for work that has a tight timeline. I also spent a massive amount of time improving the performance and responsiveness of Money Stir. Every page of the site loads better on all devices. I got the website Google Pagespeed score to a 100 on desktop and about 92 on mobile, which is a massive improvement from where it was at before the changes. In a future post, I’ll walk through exactly what I did.

I kept true to my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday publishing schedule. And I woke up consistently at 5 AM most days, which allowed me to get a lot done.

I won’t go into the details on how I’ve improved the performance of the site yet, but below covers the other changes I implemented:

  • I implemented a new style for the pagination on the home page.
  • The image quality on the home page is improved, but it still isn’t 100% what I want. I’m trying to balance quality with performance, and the process is frustrating. It is better than what it was, but the blurriness of the images still bothers me.
  • Each page looks better on phones and tablets. Most of the work dealt with tweaking the CSS and targeting media queries.
  • I replaced the social sharing buttons on the site with custom code. Unfortunately, I bought a social sharing WordPress plugin that I’m no longer using. Going custom allowed me to have things displayed exactly how I want.

I have not spent as much time promoting the site. Traffic is still coming in, but not as much as I want. I do have some interviews publishing on other sites this month and next month that will hopefully help my SEO rankings.

Outside of the regular content schedule, these are the priorities for this week:

  • Get the image quality on the home page where I want it.
  • Start promoting content on Pinterest.
  • Figure out a reliable online site that I can use to create and edit images. I’m not a graphics artist, but I need a way to create and modify images for the site.
  • Add a loading graphic that displays while images are loading on the home page.
  • Continue to figure out a good content producing rhythm. Producing quality content will always require time, but trying to come out with a long post in one session is difficult. By starting on the content sooner, it’s easier to go into more details with each iteration.
  • I want to get to a spot where I can focus on two priorities for Money Stir: creating high-quality content and promoting the blog. It is hard to do that when I spend massive amounts of time tweaking the site HTML/code. If I can get the main things figured out, that should free up the time to focus on my main priorities for the blog.

New Site Content

15 Habits that will Ruin your Financial Future
I’ve made mistakes in the past, and this is what I’ve learned from those mistakes. How we spend our money and time can give us insights into our core issues that prevent us from pursuing our goals. Everything in this list I’ve either struggled with in the past or is what I’m working on now.

Betterment to Vanguard: Detailed Transfer Process
My traditional IRA finally transferred from Betterment to Vanguard. I walk through the full process and my initial reaction to Vanguard. It took almost a month for the funds to settle into the new account.

Marriage and Money: Avoid Disaster!
Marriage is difficult when both partners are not communicating with each other and are not 100% honest. On top of that, our issues can make us emotionally distant from each other. I go through what I learned in my marriage and how we turned things around to be closer than ever.

Financial Update

Given the crazy schedule this last week, we ended up going out to eat more than usual. The main issue was not creating a meal plan. This week I want to do a better job meal planning. We are still on budget with our categories though and should be fine through next week.

We are one week closer to consumer debt freedom. Barring any unforeseen issues, we are on track to pay off our last personal loan where our mortgage will become our only debt.

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