Tag Archives: Wordpress

How to Get Started Blogging in 5 Minutes or Less

I put off starting a blog for a long time because I thought it would be hard. I thought it would be technical. I thought I’d have to install scripts and tear my hair out getting them to work. At that point, most of what I’d read about blogs and RSS was just so much geek-speak.

Was I ever wrong!

When I finally got the courage to give it a go, I went to blogger.com and signed up for an account. To my amazement, I had a blog set up in about 5 minutes. My first post was uploaded to my site about 10 minutes later.

The only thing even remotely technical I was required to do was enter the FTP settings for the website my blog would be published on. But even that wasn’t a requirement. With Blogger, you can set up a blog on their site, Blogspot, and not even worry about FTP settings.

Since then, I’ve started 3 Blogger blogs on different sites. Blogger remains one of the most popular blog applications in the world simply because it is so simple to use and set up. If you’re a technophobe or don’t have the time to learn something completely new, I would urge you to drop by Blogger.com and take a look. You could be blogging – and enjoying the benefits – almost immediately.

Another very simple blogging tool is WordPress. This blog is my first WordPress blog, and I’m very impressed with how powerful it is – as well as simple.

WordPress is installed on your own website, but don’t let that stop you. Most hosts that have Cpanel already have WordPress ready for you to install. Look in your Cpanel for the Fantastico application, click it open, and then choose WordPress to install. It will automatically install it on your site for you, and you can start blogging right away.

If your host doesn’t already include WordPress in the scripts on your server, you can still pick it up at:

http://wordpress.org/

Then go to the WordPress Wiki for instructions on how to install it in 5 minutes:

http://wiki.wordpress.org/?pagename=5MinuteInstallation

WordPress is free, open-source software. It is very simple to install, even for technophobes, and has a lot of online documentation. There are also many sites with free WordPress add-ons and templates. I’m using a template for this blog that I picked up at Alex King’s site:

http://www.alexking.org/index.php?content=software/wordpress/styles.php

The WordPress Wiki is a wealth of information on all things WordPress, including installation instructions, help files, a long list of template sites, and all kinds of hacks and extras you can use to modify your blog and make it original.

If you’re a WordPress user, another place to visit is the WordPress discussion forum:

http://wordpress.org/support/

If you’re a new blogger, both WordPress and Blogger are very user friendly. There isn’t a long learning curve. And you won’t have to learn any new technical tricks. Why not give one of them a try?

The Right Blog Software Can Make A Blog Stand Out from the Crowd

Blogs are an easy way to get your voice out onto the Net. For the Web-It-Yourself, custom blogs are a great way to learn about web technologies and create something from the ground up.

With a little bit of tech savvy anyone can create their own custom blog. When choosing blog software or a blog service consider the following:

Support –

Implementing new software will create a lot of questions. Does the software have a support site/forum? How large is the user community? Is the user community helpful?

Is it Free? –

There really is no need to pay a lot of money for either the software or a service. Free doesn’t mean cheap. There is quality, free software available.

Easy Customization –

Is the software flexible enough to allow for customization? Can the colors be changed? Can style sheets be used? Are there custom plugins available that are developed by the user community? Is there a robust set of functions that can be employed to accomplish simple tasks? For example, some software offers one simple function that will produce a long list of links. This saves on the need for a lot of coding.

PHP based-

Don’t worry, it is not that scary. The combination of HTML and PHP can create a highly customized blog. Especially for those who like to dig around in the code, PHP driven software can provide a valuable learning experience.

Links –

Is the software able to manage links? Maintaining links manually in HTML is a tedious task. Any software that makes this easier is at a definite advantage.

Posts and Pages –

If you are familiar with blogs, you know that an entry in a blog is commonly known as a post. Can regular pages be created from the software as well? This allows for ultimate flexibility.

Content Management –

Can the software control elements for most or all of the website? Now, most blog software is not meant to accomplish this task. Search around and see if the blog software can be used to be a basic content management system. Some software is incredibly flexible and can accomplish this task.

It is said that a new blog is being created every second. Why not take the time to investigate blog software that will enable a blog to stand out from the crowd?

Webhosting For Blogging – Free or Paid Service

Blogging is an abbreviation of “web-logging”. The simplest definition of a blog is that it is an online log that is organized in reverse chronological order. It comprises of comments, declarations, links, or anything else of interest to the blog writer.

There are two basic requirements of starting your own blog. You need a software to run a blog and a place on the Internet to host your blog.

Taking into consideration the above mentioned two factors, there can be four categories of blogs:

1. Free Software + Free Webhosting

2. Free Software + Paid Webhosting

3. Paid Software including Price of Webhosting

4. Paid Software + Paid Webhosting

We have given descriptions of all these four options alongwith their pros and cons.

We have also given recommendations regarding the suitability of these options.

1. Free Software + Free Webhosting

This is a completely free way of blogging. Here you pay neither for the software nor for the virtual hosting.

But there are some drawbacks of this system. It offers very few features as compared to the paid services. You cannot post pictures online or design your preferred look for your site.

The companies that provide free software and free domain hosting frequently place a banner immediately above your site. This detracts the visitors from the look of your site. You also have no discretion over the content of the advertisements.

The key advantage of this system is that it is absolutely free. This option is extremely useful for a newcomer since he/she can try this method to find if they are really interested in blogging.

This option is recommended for those people who would not like to pay anything or for the newcomers.

2. Free Software + Paid Webhosting

This option provides you free software but you will have to pay for the domain hosting.

There is a cost factor involved in this option. Minimum cost of domain hosting would be $5 per month but a realistic budget would be slightly higher, around $7-8. The annual registration fee for domain name would be about $10-30.

This system will let you do certain things that you were unable to do with the free one. Here, you can modify the look of your site and you can also post pictures. But free softwares have fewer features than paid ones.

This option is highly recommended because by just paying the cost of virtual hosting and domain registration, you can avail great features and flexibility.

3. Paid Software including Price of Webhosting

This is a subscription-based option. There are ongoing costs involved in this option.

You have to pay at least $6 per month for basic services and for advanced features the fee would be around $15 per month.

The cumulative cost for a year would reach up to $200. That makes this option a very expensive one.

Apart from customizing the look of your site and posting photographs online, you will be able to use a software that provides more features than a free one.

This option is recommended for people who do not want to be troubled with virtual hosting and software installation issues. This is the easiest possible solution. It offers great features but at a reasonably high price.

4. Paid Software + Paid Webhosting

This option provides you paid software and paid domain hosting.

The cost of the domain hosting ranges from $5 to $10 per month while the cost of the software would be at least $45 (one-time cost).

This option gives you great amount of flexibility. You can select your own domain name and have a feature-rich blogging software.

This option is highly recommended for businesses since the cost is not a major consideration.

How to Get a Blog on the Internet

Of all people in the world I was easily one of the most pessimistic about computers, the Internet and now that I even know they exist-blogs. I think blogs are pretty cool but I never thought I could have one. I thought the processes of getting a site; domain name and the actual building of the blog would just be out of my league. I’m a complete novice when it comes to technology, but I do like writing a journal, and I thought having a journal on-line would be both fun and make life simpler for me. No more writing with pens, other people can read my stuff and comment on it, and I could add pictures to illustrate my points and make things look more interesting.

Well, now I’ve got one! It’s awesome. I won’t lie and say it was easy, but I think if you hook up with a good web hosting company it’s not such a daunting experience as you might expect. I got a few work mates to help me. I went through a couple administrative hitches when filling in my personal information forms for the registration-just because I’m a bit silly in the head. We had a little trouble with the blog program we used, but these challenges were eventually overcome. My boss says he’s going to make a simple program that people can hook up easily.

I chose my domain name: canigetinfo.com.

I just want you to know the great feeling I got when I first typed in my domain name and my site came up! It was the equivalent to a person who’s afraid of heights being accepted into an astronaut’s mission into outer space. Or maybe it was like a turtle driving a Ferrari 300km per hour. Possibly it was like all the ants in the world getting together for peace talks.

It’s a real blast having this blog. I can write on it any time, anywhere, from my laptop, at an Internet café etc. I can write as much as I want, and I’m hoping one day my writing may inspire others to communicate with me about the subjects that I’m interested in.

Look, if you like writing about anything, and want to have your thoughts and opinions on the Internet, maybe meeting others similar to yourself in the progress; you have to get a blog and get it now. Don’t be afraid any longer, the world is in the palm of your hands; it’s time to get on!

Why WordPress is now my Blog of Choice

The more I use WordPress, the more I love it. It has 2 very important features that Blogger doesn’t yet support.

Number 1, you can set up WordPress to automatically ping all the RSS and blog feed directories every time you make a post. This is a very powerful feature if you want your blog to get a lot of traffic right away. On top of that, you’ll be quickly developing backlinks to your blog almost automatically.

Think about how long it can take you to build a regular site, get the search engines to index it, get backlinks to improve your listings, and then start getting traffic. A blog like WordPress can do all that “grunge” work for you automatically.

Number 2, WordPress allows the use of Categories. Categories are a very powerful way to improve the structure of your site both for human visitors and for the search engines.

Let’s say the topic of your site is Widgets. You could create a Category for black widgets, one for orange widgets, and one for green widgets.

Now when you add posts to your blog, you can choose which of your categories your post belongs to. Now your blog will archive your past posts not only by their month and date, as Blogger does. But also by Category.

So if you have a visitor who is especially interested in green widgets, they can easily find all your posts on green widgets. They don’t have to go through your entire archives to find them. With a blog that has been around for awhile and has hundreds of posts, that would be pretty discouraging. Using Categories makes it very easy.

Categories are also very search engine friendly. When you use Categories in your blog, there is a link on every one of your pages to your categories. Think about this: would you rather be #1 in the search engines for March 2003, or for green widgets, one of the main keywords of your site?

By using the Category feature, you will eventually have hundreds of pages on your site with links to green widgets, black widgets, and orange widgets. All those backlinks to those keywords can result in much higher search engine rankings.

Another neat feature is that you can easily create an RSS feed for each of your categories. Then every time you post to your blog, it could be pinging the Blog/RSS directories for each feed!

Compare that to putting up a new page on a traditional website. Even if the search engines find your new page right away, it might be a month or two before it actually gets indexed and starts drawing traffic. It might be a long time before it enjoys a first page position for its keywords.

It’s almost amazing how easy all this is with a well-structured blog like WordPress with Categories enabled!