Five Years, Upgrades, Donations

Park Preview is just two months shy of its 5th anniversary and it finally happened. I ran out of space.

For 5 years my only costs for running this blog have been time and gas money, and an occasional admission or parking fee. But now the WordPress free ride has come to an end.

For those who don’t know how the WordPress blog platform works, anyone can sign up and run a blog for free. The catch is that ads not of your choosing appear on your posts and you only get 3 GB of storage space.

Text takes up almost no storage, but photos do. I reduce the resolution of my photos before uploading so they use less space, but the previews have 10-20 photos each on average so it all adds up eventually.

WordPress offers three paid plans, with each tier offering more storage space and more features. Currently the cheapest plan is $53 per year. ($48 plus tax.) With that plan you get your own unique domain name, 6 GB of storage, and the ads are removed.

I’ve always hated the hideous ads. But I couldn’t justify paying an annual fee to remove them when I’m low income and this blog is a labor of love, not a source of income. However, running out of storage space meant my only choices were to either pay up or stop adding new content. So I paid.

The benefit to my readers is you’ll no longer see those horrid ads on my posts. Yay!

The new domain name is:

It turns out that one of those predatory domain name resellers bought up two years ago, which really ticks me off. Though I suppose it’s a compliment that statistics indicated my site was successful enough to bother with.

The .com extension is the most commonly used one, and thus the default when people try to find a website. Which is of course why I wanted to use it now, and why they registered it before I could. Those [expletive deleted] want me to pay $1900 to buy back my own name! Never gonna happen.

You don’t need to change browser bookmarks or email subscriptions to the new domain name. The old web address that includes WordPress in the name will continue to work just fine. But if you ever need to recommend this blog to anyone at least is a lot easier to remember and pass on. Yay!

For $53 per year I now have 6 GB of storage for all the photos. Hopefully the additional 3 GB will last me another 5 years before I’m faced with the decision to quit or pay $100 per year for even more storage. Yikes!

Even though I abhor asking anyone for money, I decided to add a donation button to the Park Preview sidebar anyway.

If you find my park information useful and feel so inclined, donating a dollar or two to go towards paying the annual fee to keep the blog going would be much appreciated. No pressure though! This blog remains a labor of love and I certainly do not expect payment.

And since we’re here, even though we’re two months early, I want to sincerely thank all of my subscribers for helping to make the first five years of this blog a success.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I posted my first park preview in March 2015. Things have evolved a lot since then, and sometimes gone in unexpected directions to keep things interesting for me. It has been a lot of fun. Here’s to another five years!

Donate Button

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is the third anniversary of when I started this blog. Time flies!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of my subscribers who have joined me on my journeys through parks and various other places. When I started out I wasn’t sure if anyone would find me in my little nook in the vastness of the web, but it was something I felt compelled to do anyway.

These days I average around 20 visitors per day on days I don’t post. That’s a tiny number compared to popular blogs, but considering I’ve done no promotion of any kind, I consider it a success. When people do look for Seattle park information they are finding me, and I hope I’ve been helpful to them.

Here’s hoping for another fun year of blogging!

MIA and a Photography Video Rec

I’ve been missing in action lately because I’ve been having a rotten month. First my tablet died, which was totally demoralizing because it not only contained my app that keeps all my photos organized, but also took with it several blog posts that I’d been working on. Hours of work down the drain that I have to recreate.

Then I got an infection, so spent a week in pain and feeling generally crummy.

Then a friend died unexpectedly, which has hit me hard.

So yeah. Haven’t been feeling up to the work needed to get back on track with blogging yet. Just getting my replacement tablet partially set up took a couple weeks, and I still don’t like it nearly as much as my previous tablet. I’m dreading having to go through all my photos on my laptop and reorganizing again! (They’re just stored by date not subject, and retain a lot of pics that need deleting.)

My plan is to try to dig into things again after the holidays. So I’m not gone, just hopelessly delayed forĀ a bit.

I did just watch an interesting video on YouTube that’s worth mentioning. It’s about using intuition to improve your photography. So much about photography is technical, even guidelines about composition. This video talks about how to simplify things and follow your instincts in order to capture more creative images. For those who read my Photography for Beginners series, you know I like to stress that the most important thing is to please yourself, and the video directly addresses that. You can watch it here.