This week I’m finishing up a project to help a new friend and client, Bobbin Beam a voice actress and female voice over talent, migrate their website to wordpress. Specifically, we migrated two websites and consolidated them into a WordPress installation so that everything could be managed under one roof.
Our first and primary goal was to migrate from Quick BlogCast to WordPress. GoDaddy’s Quick BlogCast service is pretty decent as far as proprietary services go, but it doesn’t have the scale and flexibility of WordPress on many levels. (nor imho the effectiveness at getting results and being easy to use and manage).
Setting up WordPress for the first time itself is not that simple. Easy to use, not easy to setup and that goes double, maybe triple when you have written close to a thousand blog articles over the years and want to migrate them safely to WordPress!
Goal 2 – Migrate Static HTML site to WordPress
Our second goal was to also migrate her static html website for her voice acting business into WordPress and consolidate things in a clear, organized and professional way. It also needed to keep the business and blog somewhat separate.
The original site was built with html templates and was well built. There were not a lot of html validation errors, it wasn’t broken or anything. However, it was not easy to manage and it was not integrated with the blog, and it required an entirely separate discipline to update it, that or hiring a web developer to do basic things. So the solution to migrate it to WordPress, simplified things significantly, will make the website management easier as well, but more importantly will tie the blog and website together in ways that will build the synergy out for both parts of the site.
Bobbin writes some good blog articles on voice acting, the industry, the tools of the trade and more, but what she really does best is work as a voice actress!
Goal 3 – Make life easier for Bobbin & Give her a Site generating more business so she can do her thing!
I was somewhat familiar with this concept already, as this is what I often do for many clients from all walks of life. There were a couple differences here. First, Bloggin is already an accomplished blogger, she just needed a better blogging platform. Second, I’ve worked with other voice actors on their websites in the past. I was introduced to Bobbin by Dave Courvoisier (aka @CourVO ). Dave is the CBS anchorman in Las Vegas and a voice actor himself. I originally met Dave back in 2008 at Voice 2008 in Los Angeles (The night before I was up on stage during the magic show called up as a volunteer by magician Chuck Jones part of the entertainment for the awards ceremony). Yep, some of us web developers do get out and hang out in other circles, like a conference for the best of the best when it comes to voice actors and actresses. In fact, back then I was at the conference with my good friend of many years, Joe Klein who was presenting, and our mutual friend and voice of god voice actor Bill Fortune.
Joe and Bill have been in voice acting for decades. Joe literally wrote the standard rates to be used in markets around the country for voice actors in SAG and AFTRA, and his stories from Casablanca Records are nothing short of amazing. So if you are earning union rates for voice acting, you can thank Joe in large part.
Anyway Joe knows EVERYONE and knew Dave from Vegas. He introduced us and 4 years later Dave introduced me to Bobbin. Along the way I built Joe’s new site and Dave’s Blog Courvo.biz, which was a migration from Typepad to WordPress, and a seasonal site called VOATodday.com. I’ve had a little experience with the industry, and especially with some of the websites in the industry.
Anyway the voice acting world is kind of a small world. 🙂
With this project there were a couple technical challenges that don’t come up often. Things like:
- How to display mp3 files for the voice portfolio in an html5 method that will work on mobile browsers
- How to get all of those Quick BlogCast images out of Godaddy, into WordPress, and replaced in the database
- How to salvage the SEO juice and backlinks and help actual people avoid 404 error dead ends on the site
- Even How to deal with a relatively new StudioPress theme (Luscious) which has a quirky Featured Image issue Bobbin and I both discovered at the same time, and I wrote up in their forums for Luscious theme, which StudioPress is now digging in to…