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No doubt you’ve noticed that we’re on a sprucing up spree with the CNCCookbook site. First we updated the overall design of the web pages with a crisper more modern look and feel. We added a Home Page to help new visitors understand what exactly the site was for. That’s all been window dressing, but today we’re unveiling our biggest change yet: a new Blog that’s fully integrated with the www.cnccookbook.com site.
When I first started the CNCCookbook site, it looked kind of like a blog, but it didn’t use blog software. Each page was handcrafted by me in Dreamweaver. I have no good excuse for this except that it was easy and I never dreamed we would have so darned many pages. While it looked like there were individual articles on the home “blog” page, it was just formatting, and you couldn’t get a link to an article, let alone see an article on a page by itself (the exceptions being certain special articles in the Cookbook, Projects, and other non-blog sections). Looked at this way, CNCCookbook.com had about 300 or so web pages. This was bad for readers who found it hard to find things and the huge pages very slow to load.
Worse for us, it was bad for Google. When you slam a bunch of articles into one page, whether it is the blog home page or one of our archive pages, Google just sees that giant page as one article. It turns out Google quits looking at a page after it reaches a certain length, a certain number of keywords, a certain number of photos, etc. It doesn’t ignore the whole page, just the rest of the page after it hits its limits. And to Google, the page looks like a rambling messy diatribe about a lot of random topics. When that happens, your search traffic is hampered because Google can’t send them to you. Even so, we have nearly doubled our search traffic in the last 12 months, so thank you dear readers for searching us out despite these self-inflicted obstacles. We appreciate it!
Today, we have well over 1100 web pages for Google to look at–almost 4x as many as the 300 we had yesterday. This is because the individual blog posts all now have their own page. I’ll be eager to see the search traffic impact of it, but it can’t help but be good. This means a lot of other things as well. You’ve got an RSS feed right on the blog home page. Comments are available inline for every article. And, we have the ability to add WordPress (the blog software we use) plug-ins to help enhance the experience.
Until now, we have relied on a little WordPress blog located at cnccookbook.wordpress.com. This little blog gave us the ability to have some of these advantages, but was not part of the overall CNCCookbook.com site like the new setup. For that reason, we will over time be decommissioning cnccookbook.wordpress.com. It’s no longer needed, and I won’t miss having to double post everything there. For those of you who were used to using it, please now use the page reached via the “Blog” menu pick from any page on the site. I have copied all the content over from the cnccookbook.wordpress.com blog, including all the comments. If you want to make new comments, please make them on the new blog. If you’re getting an RSS feed, or have subscribed via email, please shift your feed or subscription over to the new blog.
This will be the last post we make on cnccookbook.wordpress.com. Changes to www.cnccookbook.com are nearly complete, at least for this major run. Since we’ve had our focus on the web site, we haven’t been updating the software as often, and it’s time to get back into that. I’ve had lots of great suggestions and feedback from customers, so it won’t be hard finding things to do.