#DigitalSmart: Beginner’s guide to WordPress
Want to start your own blog or website? Clever you! Starting out with your website or blog that is well structured and planned will save you from a lot of long term hassle. WordPress, which supports more than 60 million websites, is a free and open source content management system; the user-friendly and easy-to-learn interface makes it an excellent tool for beginners.
In this blog, we will take you through a tour on how different platforms work, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and basic WordPress sign-up. In a nutshell, learn how to make your new site or blog of your own.
Differences between .com and .org
Numero uno – There is a WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The difference is clearly notable related to domain extension, however, it can be really confusing at times (especially if you are a beginner!)
WordPress.com provides you with a fully hosted site from WordPress itself.
With this platform you can:-
- Choose from various themes
- Upgrade to a custom domain
- Integrate the site with social media channels
- Have access to traffic stats
This option is ideal for those who have a good understanding and knack of writing content but lack coding skills.
WordPress.org is a perfect platform if you want extra functionalities like hosting, as it permits you to host a website yourself.
The benefits are:
- Install any custom theme you like, or customize your own with PHP and CSS and install third party plug-ins
- Transfer the site to its own domain and enjoy the benefits of having a ‘.com’
However, there is a catch, in an .org version, the Drawbacks are:
- You will be responsible for back-ups and maintenance
- Requires a higher level of technical knowledge and responsibility
An additional cost, depending on the chosen hosting side, will be levied
WordPress.com is apt for ecommerce, businesses, techies, bloggers, and for all those who like to operate a free yet quality site.
If you decide to pick wordpress.com then we would suggest you sign up and try a free version first, as it is convenient to transfer a WordPress.com blog site to its own domain.
The setup is convenient and you can easily modify the name of your blog site any time in the future.
As you reach, the stage of naming your blog site, don’t get your heart and mind set on one option; chances are it will be taken! On reaching the sign-up screen don’t get frustrated if every combination of your original chosen name has been taken, relax, and continue looking for the best available selection. There can be a possibility that all your hits and trials do not match up. Be assured that it is going to take some time and patience, but you will crack it eventually. (And, it will be worth it!)
Once you’ve selected the name, the next step is to pick a blog site template.
There are hundreds of templates available on WordPress and you can choose as per your requirement (mostly are free and a few paid).
However, our advice would be: don’t worry about picking the best one if you have just started. In fact, don’t even give it more than a minute’s time. Start with a standard, free template (something simple and readable) and don’t worry about customizing it. These changes can be made at later stages.
You can play around with the themes once you’ve published a few blog posts.
Content before design
That’s the key. No matter how confident you are about your writing style and tone, remember – it always doesn’t work out that way. If you’re new to writing it can take time to get your ‘voice’. For example: If your articles are addressing serious issues, then do not opt for Comic-Sans heavy, bright pink template. That may ruin your blog.
Always remember that a little tweak to colors, fonts, and images can make your site more fitting around your tone.
By default, WordPress.com will install “Twenty Seventeen” free theme that comes with features like running video animation (generally paid themes offer such advanced functions) hence a lot of users end up using it. This is a great theme to start with and it is always advised to write some posts first, then get back in and find a suitable, perhaps more fitting theme for yourself.
Now that you have got your basics in place, you can keep tweaking and exploring all the new behind-the-scenes settings and customs.
Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below whether the above options worked to sustain your site planning & creation project.
Contributors: Neha Sethi @nehacsethi | Gaurav Advani @qaurav_advani