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One Million Visitors to Vagabond Journey

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SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- For five years I have been blogging, for two and a half years I have been publishing on Vagabond Journey.com. Since November of 2007, I have worked daily on this website. I watched traffic grow from only a couple visitors a day, to twenty, to 100, to 500, a thousand, two thousand, to what we get now — which is nearly three thousand. Last night, Vagabond Journey.com brought in its one millionth visitor.

I suppose thanks is due to the people who visited this website 1,000,000 times. We really appreciate it.

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This is also a good time to post a few notices about Vagabondjourney.com.

1. The domain names www.vagabondjourney.com/travelogue and travelerphotographs.com are now no longer associated with me or Vagabondjourney.com in any way. They were sniped by a spammer, are are now being held for ransom — I can get my domain names back if I pay money.

I believe strongly that the domain name registrar, godaddy.com, allowed for this to happen. It is my own responsibility to keep payment on my domain names up to date, but it is also the convention of the industry for domain registrars to notify their customers when their domain names are about to expire so that they can be renewed. Godaddy.com in no way notified me that these domains were about to expire, and on the day they became available publicly they were scooped up by the SAME spammer — I know the same party took both domains as they now have “sites” on both of them using the same cookie cutter CMS template.

Godaddy.com also auctions off domain names, I do not know what role this could have had in my not being notified of the impending expiration.

What did I loose from this:

On Openroadsong.com I only had a main page with a link going to this travelogue. For over a year I cultivated incoming links to this page, and when I moved the travelogue over to Vagabondjourney.com I just but up a redirection link. I lost one point of page rank, as the links are no longer transferred on to my current travelogue.

Travelerphotographs.com had around 100 pages up on it that would bring in around 100 visitors and $1 daily. This site is now lost.

What did I learn from this:

Never trust a domain registrar to notify me when my domains my expire — sometimes they don’t, and they are fully willing sell my domain names to other parties.

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The automatically created No-Follow links in the comment fields of the travelogue have been removed. If you enter in your website URL or put up an active link in the comment form body, it can now be followed by search engines. So leaving comments will improve your site’s page rank.

I did this because I feel as if I can properly moderate the comments on my own blog — I do not need an automated code to do it for me — and if someone leaves a relevant link in their comment then doing so will further help define the topic of my page. It is also my impression that if someone is going to take the time to leave a comment on my site, if they are going to contribute content to my pages, then I want them to be able to put up real links to their own websites. This is the least I can do.

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For many years, this travelogue was published with Blogger technology. Last summer — 2009 — I made the move to WordPress, and have not looked back since. In every way, publishing with WordPress is superior. Not only are my posts and comments on my own server, but the entire blog publishing system is as well. I can now access, change, alter, or break any portion of this travelogue — no part of it is run by a third party — it is all mine. I have only just yet began to test the waters of what WordPress can do — or what I can make it do — but from what I have seen so far, there will always be a long road ahead: there will always be something more to add to Vagabondjourney.com, something more to improve, something more to adapt, change, run with.

I could not ask for anything more.

In going with this change, I had to split the blog into two sections — the 900 entries published via FTP with Blogger and the ones that were newly published starting last summer with WordPress. I have since blended the two blogs into one — a move for the future — and have spliced in the 900 entries published with blogger into this travelogue.

The result was that the URLs needed to be changed — I will not go into the specifics of it — and I needed to create a redirect file to have the traffic going to the old entries transferred to the new ones. This would mean that I would have had to create a file that had all of the old URLs listed with the new ones. This would take a lot of time — I did not want to do it. So I took a short cut. I put up a redirect shortcut code that was suppose to transfer the old URLs to the new automatically. It only works around 50% of the time. For the remaining 50% of the time the redirect code does redirect the traffic, but it does so to the wrong page.

I will soon correct this. For now, I am manually changing all of the urls that I can find that do not redirect correctly.

It is good to have all of the travelogue in the same place. I can now edit the template to all of the pages, make site wide changes, and moderate comments on older entries. The travelogue can also now be fully be browsed by category, to do so just find the appropriate dropdown menu in the sidebar. This was another move for the future, being able to navigate this travelogue seamlessly only makes it a little stronger.

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This website has gone through many changes over the past two and a half years. Hopefully, it will keep changing — always getting a little better each day.

I must thank the readers of Vagabondjourney.com for dealing with these constant changes through the years, and for continuing their constant show of support. We have now brought in our millionth visitor, and I must thank you all for it.

The best part of running this website is the family of readers who have gathered around this journey. I know many of you by name, you were once strangers with no connection to me at all, but through your comments and emails you have become friends. These friendships are one of the main reason why I keep doing this.

Thank you!

Walk Slow,

Wade

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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates, Website Construction

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap