New WP Engine Website

wp engineMy newest WP Engine website is under construction! My daughter and I are building it together. Since we like to go fishing a lot, we decided we’d do a website about pier fishing in our area of Florida. There are more than a dozen good fishing piers within 20 miles of our house, so we are going to do what I’ve found works best when making a new website: find something you like to do and make a website about it!

In addition to making the site together, I am doing a “case study” on how we put it together. As we build it out, that information will be available on the start a website section of this site. I’ll be chronicling the entire process.

Why WP Engine?

I have the WP Engine “pro plan” for a number of my sites. I migrated from Hostgator last winter because HOSTGATOR SUCKS! Let me explain.

I had a number of my sites hosted at Hostgator, including a big earning affiliate site. Right before Christmas 2015 (December 22 to be exact), my servers got hacked with malware. When I asked Hostgator to help me out, they wanted me to DO IT MYSELF or pay someone else to clean it up for me! Now I don’t know how to get into the php or MySQL or any of that other crap on my servers; I’m a blogger and internet marketer – not a frigging programmer! Had the malware attack occurred earlier in December or in November, it could have cost me a LOT of money in lost holiday sales.

They were so obtuse dealing with me, I swear I was going to lose my mind. Here’s what they said to me (the original reply was longer but this is the gist of their attitude):

At this time, we are no longer performing cleaning of accounts for our clients. This includes any malware removal or securing of accounts which have been compromised. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

When a money-making site gets hacked, it’s not an “inconvenience,” it’s a BIG PROBLEM and they took nearly a month to rectify it! Once I was back up, I left Hostgator faster than the Roadrunner blasting down the road away from Wiley Coyote!

That’s where WP Engine came in

They offer Managed WordPress Hosting. That means they manage the back-end of my sites and I deal with what I need to do to conduct my business. I don’t need to worry about C-Panels or databases or any of that stuff; that’s their job.

I was able to migrate my sites quickly and easily using their site migration tool and everything I needed to know was easily found in their “support garage.” When I had a small security issue, they dealt with it quickly. Their hosted sites load fast, too. I couldn’t be happier.

Back to the Fishing Site….

As the summer progresses, I’ll be setting up the site with my daughter and teaching her WordPress as we go along. The fun part is, we get to fish a lot! As I said earlier, I’ll be going through the process, step by step, of how we build it on this site.

Building out a website is a job. She wanted to do it so she could learn a skill and make some money online like daddy. I wanted to do it with her because it totally rationalized fishing a lot!

Stay tuned……

Rob Merlino Dot Com is BACK!!!

about rob merlinoIt’s been several YEARS since I wrote ANYTHING on Rob Merlino dot com! The reason is, I’ve been wicked busy with other projects like the Shark Tank Blog. I also had my site HACKED while it was hosted on Hostgator!

Long story short: I let Rob Merlino dot com fester in the netherworld of unpublished sites ever since it got hacked and I moved it to WP Engine. The reason I am resuscitating it is I have a lot to say about a lot of different things and I have more time to devote to the site now that Shark Tank is in summer re-runs and I’ve hired a few virtual assistant types.

While Rob Merlino dot Com won’t be my only project (more on that to come), I’d like it to become what I originally intended it to be: an outlet for my various rants and, more importantly, a resource for people who want to get started with making money online with WordPress blogs and websites.

Rob Merlino dot Com going forward

My initial goals for the site are twofold. It will be a repository for a lot of stuff I’ve written over the years on other blogs I’ve started and stopped. Right now, I am in the process of accumulating everything I’ve produced online that currently doesn’t have a home. In the past, I attempted to write several “make money online” type of blogs. I never got going because the first few attempts were BEFORE I made any real money online and the subsequent attempts found me too busy making money online to devote the proper attention!

Those old “make money online” posts are on this site somewhere, but a lot of the info is outdated. Going forward, I’ll be taking a case study type approach to building a web property. The first project will be a site I am building with my daughter. She wanted to do a lemonade stand in the weeks between the end of school and the beginning of summer camp. Instead, I suggested we build a website together. I figured she can learn some new skills AND make a few bucks, without sitting out in the hot Florida sun all day selling 50 cent cups of crappy lemonade. She LOVED the idea.

We will go through the entire process together, and I will chronicle it here on Rob Merlino dot com. The end result will be a fantastic resource for people who want to build a money-making website of their own. We will start from the brainstorming process, domaining, setting up the site, SEO and so much more. It will be a fun exercise for both of us!

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