April 2017

April 2017 Newsletter

The Eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that last month’s newsletter was February 2017 and this month’s is April 2017. “What happened to March 2017?” you may ask.

I asked myself the same question when I realised that I only managed to publish the newsletter last month!

The real reason is just to change the focus from the previous month to the coming month.

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Blog Stuff

Last month, my school report said: “Must do better”. This month, I am already in detention until I get the “What’s in your toolkit?” article published.

In my defence, it has been a very busy month. Putting the house on the market; trip up to Gateshead to see my niece in concert at the Sage Theatre; a few days in Scarborough; followed by a journey to Ilfracombe on the other side (and end) of the country, to do some house hunting.

Also, I have revised the menu layout on the website and added a plugin to help visitors find Related Content. Many visitors read the article that they have found via Facebook, Twitter or Google and then leave, unaware that there are other great articles on the site that they may be interested in.

I have already noticed an increase in visitors navigating around the site rather than bouncing back from whence they came; so it seems to be working.

Social Media

After a flying start on Twitter, the rate of new followers is steadily increasing and, at time of writing, stands at 702, an increase of almost 400 throughout March. Similarly, on Instagram, I am beginning to increase my followers.

April 2017 Postcard

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Facebook

The real prize, however, is to increase my Facebook followers. Facebook is where I get the most “qualified” traffic to the website. It does, however, require a lot of promotion to various Facebook groups. If I can grow my Owners World Facebook Page following, I can get my content to more people who would really enjoy it and find it useful.

Please, if you like any of my blog articles, it would really help me if you would share them using the buttons on the left-hand side of the page (or bottom of page if you are on a mobile device)

If you’re not currently following Owners World on Facebook, just click on this button

and you will be automatically notified whenever I publish a new article.

I only post about once per week, so your timeline won’t get filled up and, if you decide it’s not for you after all, it’s easy to unfollow.

I am also on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest where I post / tweet and retweet photos of classic, retro and race cars regularly. Just use the buttons below to find me, have a look through my posts, and then follow!

Car Stuff

Again, I wimped out on working on the cars this month. Not just the cold weather but, as mentioned earlier, I have been very busy with getting our house ready for sale. “Getting the house ready for sale” loosely translates to “Take everything out of the house and put it in the garage.”  The house sold within the week … just need to find somewhere to live!

As a follow up to my brother’s MGF engine rebuild adventure, initially it failed the MOT  on its emissions. A quick change of ECU cured the problem and he is now set for more unbelievably cheap top-down summer motoring fun!

I went with my eldest brother to a driving experience day that his wife had bought for him. He loved it! 10 laps of a small circuit laid out at Bourne End, driving the wotsits off an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. What’s not to love?

Aston-Lambo

They have a selection of packages where you can learn to drift in an MX5, or drive a monster 1000 HP Nissan R35 GT-R (you can find more details at driftlimits.co.uk – bear in mind that these are “experience days” rather than racing tuition)

Coming up

The “Car Season” is well underway now, with the opening round of F1 going to Ferarri, the NEC classic restoration show last weekend and millions of pictures on Facebook of owners bringing their cars out of hibernation and taking advantage of the slowly improving weather.

I’m off to Brands Hatch next weekend with another Midget and Sprite Club member for the HRDC race meet. Hoping to see some great classics giving their all in some close racing.

I also promise to do some work on the Frogeye this month, not least of all, because I will need to transport it across the country to its new home at some point in the next few months.

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Geek Stuff

I’ve managed to do a few tweaks this month on the website which has been a bit of light relief.

I have added follower counts to the social follow buttons. The biggest challenge here is signing up for developer access for each of the platforms so that you can get the oAuth codes to access the API’s. After that, a little PHP and CSS to retrieve and format the counts and I am pretty pleased. I think I will need to cache the counts at some point for performance reasons, but for now, it’s working well.

Earlier, I mentioned that I had revamped the menu structure. This is generally straightforward from within WordPress, however, I wanted to split the menu so that the main menu items were left justified on the menu bar, but Contact and Newsletters, were right justified.
This meant that I needed to update the WordPress child theme (where you should do all of your customizations) to add another menu location. Again, a bit of PHP and CSS and job done.

The final little tweak, was to add a plug-in for showing related articles in the sidebar. I have chosen the YARPP plug-in, not just because “it’s for the greater good” (reference to a really funny film, Hot Fuzz) but because it’s got great functionality and is easy to position where you want it. I just need to keep an eye on performance over the coming month (using GTmetrix) to make sure it doesn’t slow down the page load speed.

This Month

I already have a few ideas for April: Brands Hatch, work on the Frogeye, MASC meeting and maybe a trip to the ACE Cafe. Add that to Easter and the house hunting shenanigans (back down to Devon on Wednesday) and it should be another busy month.

Hope you enjoy the better weather in April and manage to get out driving, meeting and fettling!

Thank you for reading and please share, comment and like any of the Owners World articles. It’s a real boost to know that someone is reading and really helps to get the blog moving.

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Spread the word

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that you found it enjoyable and useful. If you have, please spread the word and share it!