Starting a blog is a great way to set yourself as a thought leader, build a following, and get found by search engines for what you do. I’d like to run through this from a high level to give you some food for thought and by all means book onto our WordPress Training Workshop to get yourself started on the right footing.
Where do you start?
So you want to start a blog. Great idea. But what do you need to get your website online? So many questions!
- Which platform should you use?
- Where should you buy your domain?
- Should you self-host or use a hosted platform?
- Which plugins are needed?
- How do you pick a good theme?
Just performing a quick Google search will show you that there is a plethora of different software available to help you start writing and publishing your thoughts online. These will come in two different styles, with different levels of complexity, hosted or self-hosted.
With a hosted platform you are outsourcing the “complexity” of needing to set up a hosting account and install the software of your choice, but this then means that you have to do things their way. Whereas by taking a little technical overhead yourself you can cut your cost by more than half.
Whichever way you look at it, with a market share of circa 35% according to WCTechs “Usage statistics of content management systems” report, WordPress has got to have something going for it. In fact, this blog post that you are currently reading is built using it, with the latest Gutenberg editor giving an easy visual way to create content, but the power to code if I need to.
One feature that I love that isn’t found on many other platforms is “Revisions” which gives you a way to roll back the page changes that you have made to any point from document creation. On some other platforms, when you move an item, to delete/rewrite a block of text, as soon as you hit that save button the previous version has gone. Your only way to get that back is to recreate from memory.
Once you have your site up and running, one of the first decisions will be choosing the theme you will use and there are two main trains of thought to help in that decision… A Generic or Specific theme.
If you choose a specific theme designed either for a target market niche or business function, the layout and design decisions will probably have been made for you and your job is to just make your content fits into the space provided.
On the other side of things, a generic theme gives you the options to build what you want. This means you have more design decisions to make, but that the finished product will be more unique to your brand. To do this we recommend a great developer friendly lightweight WordPress theme – GeneratePress
The final piece of the puzzle is to chose whether you would like your website home page to show a list of your latest blog posts of some static content.
This setting can be found in WordPress under Settings => Reading, which as default will show “Your Latest Posts”
If you would like to switch over to a static page you will need to create a minimum of two pages; one to build the static content of your homepage to show off your brand and maybe talk about your products and services, then one to show your latest posts.
If you do enable this setting, the page that you setup to hold your latest posts will hold no content in itself as this will all be overridden by WordPress.
I hope this gives you a few pointers to get your blog online, but if you need a little more help why not book onto one of our WordPress Training sessions or set yourself up with our cPanel hosting package to start your blog today.