November marks the one year anniversary for JuneauReview. It all started with a simple idea, to create an avenue for locals to get and make reviews of Juneau sites. I wanted a local site with a local perspective. Who else besides the people who live, work, and play in Juneau who know the area any better.
This launched me on an incredible learning experience, particularly from my perspective in IT.
First of all, I needed the infrastructure that to support JuneauReview. If it is not obvious, I am running a WordPress CMS. JuneauReview is hosted by iPage. So far my experience with iPage has been good. We have a VPS hosted account running on a GenuineIntel: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2660 v2 @ 2.20GHz. Server Version: Apache/2.2.31 (Unix) Server Built: Aug 17 2016. We have Cpanel running on top of WHM, getting an additional boast by using keyCDN. KeyCDN is reasonable and combined with their cache plugin, reduced my page load by seconds. I selected the Reviewer Theme from SomoThemes for a quick launch. For now the Reviewer has worked. I must give thanks to WPBeginner as they have been a valuable resource.
After establishing the foundation, it was all about building content. I set an ambitious goal of 1 review per week. I first thought this would be a simple task, but having done many now it is a little involved. First I had to decide on the topic(easy part, Juneau has tons of things to do). Then I had the task of writing the article and ensuring proper SEO. What’s the point of writing a review, if no one reads it? Finally we added and optimized our own photagraphs from our own adventures across town. At my 1 year mark I have 69 articles. This exceeds my goal of 1 review per week.
But I must thank my additional author, TNick. Not only does TNick contribute to reviews, she also oversees all the editing with her more literary background.
I have been pleasantly surprised after one year with my results. And my visitors must have been surprised too. Here is my past year visitor count:
You can see the SEO impact beginning in April and our tourist impact (season is Apr-Sep.) There were 7,730 views for the year. My top 3 reviews are RainForest Farms – 234, Mar y Sol – 188, The FireWeed Factory – 151. Not bad considering all my visitors after March are organic visits from the big search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) based on my SEO alone.
Not only was it an exciting journey of learning about the technical aspects of website management, it gave me a new appreciation for this small town of Juneau. There are eight categories in which I covered as much as I could (shops, trails, food, and drinks.) The motivation to add content to this site forced me to get out and explore, in spite of Juneau’s constant rain and cold weather. I experienced amazing trails, great food, and a greater appreciation for the history of our state capital. Beyond your typical expensive tourist arrangements, there are many hidden inexpensive gems worth experiencing. We want this website to be a resource to help you enjoy some of those simple pleasures.
A lot of time and effort has been put into JuneauReview to make it the best it can be, or at least the best I can make of it so far. But it has been a great learning experience. My time spent reviewing what I have done so far has been very pleasurable.
I hope for great second year. I hope to put more effort into the next year to create better exposure for JuneauReview. The site only gets better as it grows. We plan to not only continue with 1 review per week, but we will also circle back and update our previous reviews to bring them current and better.
Thank you for visiting JuneauReview.com and please come back as we will continue to grow bigger and better into our second year. And if you happen to visit one of the highlighted venues or excursions, don’t hesitate to add your comments. That’s what this website is for!