Wednesday, December 16, 2020

New Website: First Thoughts

I've been playing with Django again and playing with Google Cloud services though I may end up trying Amazon's AWS Services. Part of it is to remember what I used to know as well as learn what's new in the cloud service world. It's been close to a decade perhaps a little more since I've really played with it. It's kind of fun getting back into it even though I'm not a coder in and real sense, but I can do simple stuff - like a django website.

Arisa and I are preparing for when we "retire" from regular work jobs. However, we'll never have enough money that we can stop working so we are loosely planning our "second careers". We both have begun our own journeys along completely separate path than we would have ever imagined. We hope to combine our separate "specialties" into a multiple service wellness business. For me that means Yoga, Meditation, and whole food, plant-based dietary lifestyle coaching. For Arisa that means Reflexology and Kikou (気功), or it's more well known Chinese name of Qigong. It is similer to Reiki (霊気) which is probably more well known in the US than Kikou. Since we are thinking about that, I figure I can kill two birds with one stone and start on our new website as I learn django and all this cloud computing stuff.

While we need to add more detail and think out exactly what we are going to be doing as a business I can guess at some of the first things we are going to do that I can create at least an outline of the online presence or website we'll need. Here is my very first crack at it, I'm going to try outline outcomes we'll be looking for and how the website will support that. From that I can define the basics modules I'll need to develop for the website that I can then start building in Django and deploy to Google Cloud.

First and foremost, we'll want to be able to draw potential clients to our website. So let's say somebody looks for Qigong in Cleveland we want to be on that first page of Google or other search engine results. Google also has Google Business and those other synopsis blocks that show up on a search results page. See the screenshot which shows the box I'm referring to when I search for Cleveland Vegan

They have a similar box in Google Maps, here's a link to what I mean using Cleveland Vegan as an example again. So we'll want a landing page for these and that should be the root level of our website. This of course is obvious.

From there we'll want to be able have a section of the site that describes who we are, what our vision is, and what our services are and a way to contact us. An "about" section. We'll want to have a section that details our availablility or a schedule of yoga classes for example and ways for clients to sign up for sessions or classes. This may include embedding mindbody perhaps, or even creating our own that can leverage APIs to pull in schedules from say Yoga Studios where I am teaching.

In order to entice new clients as well as engage with current clients and develop a community we will leverage a variety of "media" styles including the traditional blog, vlogs and recorded workshops, or short how-tos, etc. We may leverage the vlog and or just to a podcast - I'm guessing we can kill two birds with one stone on that by doing a Youtube live and posting the video version to our vlog and the audio only version to our podcast section. So we'll want a multimedia section.

On the top level page, we'll want to have a listing of all the new content so that people can easily find our newest content. In my head I'm thinking simple rss feed embedded on the top page. Obviously navbars etc need to be easy to understand so users can to to the information they want or need. In the end though here is what the structure looks like in my head:

Site Outline
Top Page
Learn with Us(blog/vlog/etc)

Pretty basic I think so I think I can build it all in Django - I'm pretty sure there is already enough examples of everything I want to do to make it easy.

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