Places and Pics Website

Perhaps someone reading this will be inspired to create their own website.  Otherwise, this page is probably not of much interest.

The Name

Picking a domain name was one of the more difficult aspects of creating this website.  A few ideas jumped out in moments of brief creativity, but those names were generally not available.  Some names were attached to legitimate websites, the rest were “parked,” their owners hoping for a sucker, er, I mean buyer, to give them a wad of cash just for the name.  Other names sounded clever and interesting but weren’t well-matched to my type of travel, which is focused on parks, hiking, and the outdoors; they could be great names for someone else’s website.

What remained was a long list of so-so names.  “Placesandpics” seemed a little more catchy than the others, easy to remember, and vague enough to include every sort of travel and photography.  I have no particular affection for the name though, so if someone offers me a “wad of cash,” they can have it.

CMS and WordPress

Because this website will be updated often with new pages and new photos, a CMS (Content Management System) website seemed the most appropriate, compared to a simpler website technology or a static pages website.  Of the available CMS software packages, I’ve found that WordPress is the fastest to set up and easiest to use.  Even though WordPress was originally developed as a “blog” software and I don’t use the blog or post features on this website, it’s still a good choice because of the available themes, plug-in tools, and easy-to-edit format.  Millions of online stores, business websites, and non-blogging personal sites have been created with WordPress.

One thing that makes WordPress especially attractive is the existence of a portable software program called Instant WordPress.  Instant WordPress replicates all of the server and database functions of a hosted WordPress installation and installs right onto a PC.  This allows a potential WordPress user to test, configure, experiment, and compare WordPress without needing a website hosting service, or even a decided website name.  Instant WordPress doesn’t actually even install on a computer, it just unpacks a series of files and folders.  This means that Instant WordPress is completely portable and can run from a USB flash drive.

Unpaid Plugs

Anyone considering an independent website will, minimally, need to register a domain name and then arrange for the domain and website to be hosted somewhere.  Those decisions can be difficult, confusing, and potentially expensive.  For a quick and painless setup, I chose to register the domain with NameSilo, and selected Scala Hosting for the WordPress hosting.  NameSilo is an accredited registrar, less expensive than most others, and with a solid reputation.  Scala Hosting is under $3.00/month for an unlimited number of websites and virtually ‘unlimited’ server space.  Since I already had a Scala account, that choice was a no-brainer.  Scala has a full c-Panel with Joomla, WordPress, and dozens of other software packages included at no extra cost.  I am a repeat customer of both Scala and NameSilo, and have been quite happy with each.


Many pages on this website contain an area for reader comments.  Comments related to the photos, locations, or commentary are welcome and encouraged.  Write a story of your own visit, recommend similar nearby locations, or contribute additional visitor tips.

All photos and other website content are protected by copyright.  No unauthorized distribution or reproduction is allowed.  However, I make no copyright claim over reader comments; you write it, you own it.  Likewise I am not liable or responsible, under United States law, for any user-submitted comments.  That being said, here are some rough guidelines for this website’s comment areas:

  • Political, religious, or commercial spam will be immediately deleted.
  • Any foul language will be edited or deleted.
  • Personal insults, especially towards other readers, will not be tolerated.
  • Attempts at defamation or libel will be deleted.


I’m certainly not qualified to teach a class in website development, nor even qualified to give a short lecture on the features of WordPress.  But if anyone has questions on how this website was put together (theme, plug-ins, configuration settings, etc.) I’m happy to answer to the best of my ability.  Just use the form on the Contact page.  Any feedback, comments, or questions are welcome.