If it’s not yet obvious, we LOVE WordPress here at the WordPress PAD. We’d marry WordPress if we could, seriously. But alas, it’s not legal and well, sort of gross if you think about it. So, let’s not. Let’s instead focus on how to get the best out of WordPress. Our Love Affair With WordPress is a series we’d like to continue until you cry mercy and tell us enough already, we get it, we give up, we’ll join you in your love lust with WordPress, sheesh…or something like that. We love to blog. We love talking about how we love to blog. It’s a sickness we want no cure for.
First thing’s first. What is WordPress? Well, it’s a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Gibberish? Not really. But, to put it simply, WordPress is a very, very, very good and free blog publishing platform. What’s a blog? A blog is a regularly updated journal or chronicle of articles and other bits of information such as images and links, published as web pages. What makes WordPress a superior blog publishing platform is that it is free, user-friendly and the web designer and developers dream because it’s easy (and fun) to customize. This benefits blog readers too since many plugins can be used by many people creating a more dynamic and social blogosphere.
We love both WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Wordpress.org is for self-hosted blogging. Meaning you register your domain name somewhere like Namecheap.com, then sign up with a web host of your choice like Lunar Pages or Blue Host and install your blog on the purchased server space. This is great for optimal control over design and development. WordPress.com, on the other hand, like Blogger.com is a hosted blog platform. Meaning, you have less control over how the design and layout of your blog looks and the domain name is not unique and has a wordpress.com extension (www.yourblogname.wordpress.com). I think it’s a good idea to try WordPress.com’s free hosted blog to get familiar with blogging in general and blogging with WordPress specifically. I have one blog on WordPress.com for personal use and another I use as sort of an administrative log for tasks. Blogs are wonderful that way. You can do with them what you wish. Both my blogs are private ’cause they’re gibberish to anyone else but me.
So, if you’ve decided that a self-hosted WordPress bog is right for you, you’ve made the right choice. Here are some excellent websites to get familiar with WordPress and blogging in general:
- The WordPressPodcast
- Getting Started With WordPress
- WordPress Themes
- Smashing Magazine’s list of 83 beautiful WordPress themes
- WordPres Widgets Blog and WordPress Widgets list
- WordPress plugins
- Mashable’s list of Mutimedia plugins
- Weblog Tools Collection
- Performancing (blogging blog)
- Problogger (blog monetizing blog)
- The Blog Herald
- Add This
Also, we suggest checking out a few blog networks and directories like 9Rules, B5Media, The Blog Catalog and definitely check out Blog Carnival. It’s also good to just go to WordPress.com and peruse the blogs already there to network and see what other bloggers are doing. If you’re looking to be the next big blog community online, check out what th most popular blogs have in common at Technorati’s Popular blogs page.
Yeah, I know those are a lot of links and a lot of information to go through. But, we suggest just perusing. Don’t get bogged down in the details. We’ll get into the details later as this series progresses.
Next time on Our Love Affair With WordPress, we’ll go over the Essentials of Blogging. Stay tuned!