Bye-bye, WordPress.com — it's been real.
Hello, readers of TeachingtheCore.wordpress.com — welcome to the same exact site, minus the “.wordpress” part! Since starting Teaching the Core back in the spring, I've wanted to make the site a place where I could learn alongside likeminded educators about both the Common Core State Standards and teaching in general. After only a few short months (and almost 50 posts), I can already say that it's been an awesome journey. Here are some things I've learned:
- There's a vibrant and encouraging community of teachers on Twitter. Before starting Teaching the Core, I didn't really “get” Twitter. The past few months have shown me what a resource it can be.
- There are many teachers out there who apply their energies and talents to being problem solvers instead of merely being problem pointer-outers. We can all agree that no set of standards is perfect, and that teachers, not standards, are the change-makers in the classroom. But there are also plenty of reasons to support the Common Core (here are some of mine, in case you missed them) and leverage its foci for students in our classrooms.
- It's easier to generate traffic to an edublog through social media than it is through search engines. One cool feature of WordPress.com is that you can see exactly where your viewers are coming from, and, predominantly, people come to Teaching the Core through avenues like Scoop.it, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other blogs. Of the 100 or so views that happen on my blog per day, only a handful come from search engines.
- Writing is the key to getting people to read your blog. I know that's pretty lamely obvious, but really: if you write regularly on a blog, you are creating more and more content that people can search, access, link to, pin, tweet, etc. Even though I wrote about the required texts of the CCSS more than a week ago, that post continues to draw people to the blog, and then people can read other content that I've created since then.
So, why the move to TeachingtheCore.com? After all, this move did cost some money (less than $100, but still), and it did take a fair amount of time to carry out (the theme I was using on WordPress.com is only free if you're using WordPress.com, so I had to find a new, free theme that would give the same basic structure and feel to readers). Here's the short of it:
- I want the address to be easier to remember and easier to link to.
- I want the address to be easier to find in search engines. Like I mentioned above, most traffic to Teaching the Core has come through social media — and that's awesome — but it's also limiting. If someone is looking for an everyday teacher's take on the Common Core State Standards, I'd like to increase their chances of finding the blog.
- I want to open up some customization and analytical options. I'm a nerd at heart, and nerds love diving deeper into nerdy stuff. Switching from WordPress.com to a blog hosted elsewhere allows me the chance to really be able to tweak the blog down the road, and it also allows me to use Google Analytics for the first time in my life, which has really cool, beefy statistics that are fun to study.
And for the sake of transparency, there you have it: those are the reasons I've moved to TeachingtheCore.com.