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City Homestead WebmasterWhat does it take and how much does it cost to run this multi-blog network site?  This page is set up to explain the breakdown of software and costs of running this site.

DOMAIN NAME

Cityhomestead.net is registered through HOVER.  If you would like to register your domain name, please consider using our affiliate link so we can get credit for the referral!  Thank you!

PLATFORM

Our primary platform is WordPress.  Upon default installation, WordPress has enough functionality to set up a Website with no additional changes.

It is very easy to use and it’s free.  Costs are incurred when it is enhanced, such as through custom templates,  code changes, and plugins.

In addition to WordPress, we have added several modifications, listed below under FUNCTIONS.

RECURRING COSTS

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HOSTING

We host our site with TMD Hosting.  Currently we are subscribed to their VPS Plan for $39.95 / month.  This plan is recommended if you are setting up a simple blog network.  Otherwise, you may be happy with a start up plan.  Click the banner image to be directed to their basic plan.  Our plan will increase as soon as our site grows with traffic and other activity.  We are currently on the upper end of our resources usage under this plan and will have to upgrade soon.

We have tried many hosting companies and have settled with TMD Hosting.  Been with them for a long time and decided on June 14, 2018 to become an affiliate member.  Here is our affiliate link if you need a great company who has an incredible support ticket system.

INTERNET ACCESS

We use T-Mobile for our Internet access.  When we are near a wi-fi, such as at a Library, we try to upload our videos there instead of our T-Mobile Hot Spot.  This, by far, is our most expensive expense, but it’s the only option we have to manage our site and YouTube channel. 

It works well while we are on road trips, and in our off-grid office. 

We have their unlimited plan plus phone services for about $114 / month. 

WPMU DEV

We manage all of our WordPress sites through WPMU DEV for $49 / month. 

PLUGINS

Several of our plugins are premium, even though there are free versions available.  Prices for each of the plugins are shown under the FUNCTIONS heading.  Not all plugins have a recurring fee; however, in order to continue getting updates and supports, it is best to either keep your license up to date, or make a donation to the developer if it is not a licensed plugin.

THEMES

We use the Atahualpa theme by Bytes For All.  We paid $20 for their support forum.  They will be a part of our yearly site budget.

This theme works very well for a WordPress network site.

EQUIPMENT

CAMERAS

Our primary camera is an LG T-Mobile phone.  With as much as we pay per month for our Internet and Phone services, we need to get as much use as we can.

We don’t know what camera set up we will upgrade to yet.  Baby steps!

We definitely want a drone some day.  We love the drone shots other homesteaders take of their gardens, road trips and other interesting views of their homesteads.

COMPUTERS

Currently using an old laptop for Web development, video editing and office work.  It’s a Dell Inspiron.  Seriously need to get an Apple for rendering videos.  It takes HOURS and HOURS to render just one video!

PHONES

T-Mobile LG Smart Phone

FUNCTIONS

ADS MANAGEMENT

  • In Post Ads by WPMU DEV – We are trying this ad placement plugin to see how it works.

BACKUP & RESTORE

  • UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore by UpdraftPlus.com – Allows us to make back ups of our entire network of sites.  If we mess up the site, we can restore it…but let’s hope we never have to try the restore feature!
  • SnapShot by WPMU DEV

COURSES / PLANS

  • CoursePress Pro by WPMU DEV –  This is how we build our infrastructure plans.  Members can see all the details of how we manage our homestead and other projects.

COMMUNITY

  • Communities by WPMU DEV – We use this for our members to have a community environment.
  • Membership 2 Pro by WPMU DEV – We switched to this membership platform because it works across a WordPress network.  Log in once and you have access to all the blogs you have signed up for.

DESIGN

  • Content Views by CVSOFT LLC – This is what we use to create our index pages.  I displays sub pages under a parent page.
  • Elementor – A very cool page builder.  We use this to modify the Atahualpa WordPress theme.  It’s a drag and drop page designer.

ECOMMERCE / SHOPPING CART

  • MarketPress by WPMU DEV – We chose this shopping cart because it has a global product feature that works across of all our sub blogs.

MAINTENANCE

  • Hummingbird Pro by WPMU DEV – This speeds up our Web site and enhances server loads.
  • WP Super Cache by Automattic – Allows us to clear out all the cached content, so the site refreshes with new images, new content, etc.
  • WP Optimize by UpdraftPlus.com – Lets us clean up our database.
  • WPMU Dashboard by WPMU DEV – Lets us manage all of our sites from one dashboard, even if it’s on a different domain than cityhomestead.net
  • Yoast SEO by Team Yoast – This is how we maintain our search engine optimization.

PAGES & POSTS

  • Category Post Widget by TipTopPress – Adds a widget that shows the most recent posts from a single category.
  • Pay With A Like by WPMU DEV – This allows to hide content that we want to promote without people having to register with a member plan.  Think of it as a marketing tool.  For instance, we provide you with a recipe, or a plan, in exchange for you sharing our site.
  • Post Type Switcher by John James Jacoby – This is one of favorite plugins.  Create a post, but later change it to a page instead of having to create a page and copying the contents of a post over to the new page.
  • Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails by Martin Stehle – We use this on the home page to create a list of our most recent public blog posts.  We also use it on our member’s only blogs.
  • Reusable Content & Text Blocks by Loomisoft – An extreme time saver!  Instead of creating the same content over and over again, this plugin lets us create once, use many time.
  • WP List Pages by Custom Taxonomy by Andrea Piccart – This is the plugin we use for our EPISODES page. It allows us to create an archive of posts.

SECURITY

  • Defender Pro by WPMU DEV – Provides security against attacks on the site.

STATISTICS

  • Google Analytics +  by WPMU DEV – Stat tracker plugin.