February 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm #4205
Advice is free– lessons cost extra. Recently people have been asking me about or hinting at wanting to start a blog. On the one hand, I’ve been crawling around computers for over ten years now for one reason or another. On the other it’s not THAT difficult for mere mortals to do. The hard part is writing fresh content for your site “week after week”.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to start a web site or a blog that uses software to help the user build the web site. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with them….until….you want to take your web site somewhere else. I have no reason to leave a small orange (asmallorange.com for you geeks out there)– they have never given me a reason to do so. If I wanted to though, I can do that. If I built this site using Wix or another “template” based hosting service, I can’t do that. The software that actually created thw web site belongs to the hosting provider. “Using the hosting provider’s software”….THAT is the problem. Your hosting provider jacks up your monthly hosting fee? Pay up– and pay whatever they want== or they will kill your web site or blog. You’ve used their proprietary software to build your site– you can’t take your web site or blog anywhere else.
A .com domain should not cost you more than about fifteen dollars per year and hosting shouldn’t shouldn’t cost more than about ten dollars per month to start– if that. I run this web site for about ten bucks a month including the domain fee. No Bull.
To be fair, when I started this site a few months ago, I chose WordPress largely because I was familiar with it. If you already know Joomla/Drupal/etc. you will probably want to stay with that…you’ll have less learning to do. Another reason I chose WordPress years ago is because that LOTS of people know it. If I had a REAL problem, I could always hire someone to fix it for me (it hasn’t happened yet). Another good thing about WordPress is that it is “modular”. In other words, I can always change my theme (the look of my web site, the features, really almost anything about it, with ease. Technically, I could even re-make my entire site– from my cell phone– if I wanted to. Do NOT try that unless you really know what you are doing though 😉 But I do manage this site while I’m at work….all over my phone.
If you don’t know any blogging languages at all and you’ve decided you want to use WordPress, try reading “WordPress for Dummies”. It’s a good place to start.
Typically, you’ll want to purchase your domain name through your hosting provide to make managing your DNS easier (more geeks stuff). Before choosing a hosting provider, you will want to ask and make sure that they offer your chosen blogging software as a free feature. After you purchase your hosting, it may take a few hours to set up but not much more than that. Once that is done open your interface and install WordPress. into the root directory. A quick tip–if your domain name is myblog.com and you want wordpress to BE your website like mine is here, delete the “/wordpress” from the rectangle when it asks where you want to install wordpress. In front of you typically it will say something like “install to” or “target location”, then it will read “myblog.com” and then right next to it there will be a rectangle with the word “/wordpress” in it. Delete that and then continue…..
After WordPress has installed, go ahead and write a post or two just to “get the feel” of it. Once that’s done, you will probably want to start installing plug-ins. Plug-ins are what make WordPress what it is….the real “modular” of it. As a starting point, search for some sort of CAPTCHA software (it’s the stuff that makes you prove that you are a real person before you can post or comment). Without it, you’re going to be overwhelmed by SPAM and well….porn. Another good one is the W3 Caching software. It makes your pages bang open a lot faster– everything else being equal….more on this later…..
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