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Blogging at the next level

(13 Posts)
cityrat79 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:30:18

So I've actually had a blog for about 10 years, but have always used blogger.com, never had my own domain etc.

I think it might be time to start blogging "properly", with my own domain, website design, etc. I have skim read Blogging for Dummies, but the edition I have seems several years out of date (doesn't even mention Twitter!) so I have a few questions, some technical, some stylistic:

1. Is WordPress the way to go? The book I read said you can download a copy of it (rather than edit live to the site) - is this still the case? I couldn't work out how.

2. I have noticed that Etsy sells "blog templates" for WordPress - is this advised?

3. My tone is not at all mumsy. The word "hun" makes me barf, as does any mention of "linky linky" or "full-time mummy" (no objection to SAHPs obviously, but just that particular term makes my teeth tingle). How would you recommend blogging with my acerbic style without alienating the community that apparently is so important to build?

4. What do you actually need to spend to get a small blog off the ground - domain registration, sure - anything else? Do I need to buy blog hosting?

Thanks in advance, I will probably have 900 more questions. (Equally if there is a guide somewhere that I have missed, please do call me stupid and point me in the right direction.)

olderthanyouthink Wed 28-Sep-16 19:40:52

Web dev here, I spend almost all of my time working on Wordpress

Wordpress is the way to go it think. It's scaleable, secure, popular & a huge % of website use it. If you want some functionality, someone probably already made it.

I've never used an etsy theme or bought one. My main concern would be quality of coding and updates. Sometimes Wordpress update mean the theme needs tweaking, do updates come with? If so for how long?

There are 2 wordpresss .org & .com. .org is the one you can download and then upload to a server (for most hosts you don't even need to do this). .com is like blogger (you can have your own domain here but is not flexible because you can use those etsy/custom themes and you can't get the zillions of plugins that add functionality.

Can't help with tone, I have a blog but it's a portfolio piece really and full of dummy content

Costs:
Domain ~£10/year (price can vary depending on name and top level domain)
Hosting ~£50/year (could be cheaper but there is such a thing as too cheap, doesn't need to be "blog" or "Wordpress" hosting just need to meet min requirements)
Wordpress FREE
Theme FREE - £££££ (the stuff I do at work is eye watering, freelance I'd charge maybe £200-£300 but that's custom)

MissTeriName Wed 28-Sep-16 19:50:23

(Only 'expert' in Wordpress.org) But I would never use a theme from Etsy. The potential for bad code and hacking would be too much. The themes that are included in WordPress should be fine for a blog. You really only want to be buying them if you're creating a different type of site.

Decide on who you want to read your blog and stick to that tone. It helps to be yourself though. No point trying to be someone else. If you want to be acerbic, then be so - but be prepared for negative comments. If you want to be fluffy, then be fluffy wink

cityrat79 Wed 28-Sep-16 20:04:44

Ooh, lovely. Who would you recommend to host the site? My Google-fu has turned up a couple, but they mostly seem to be promoted in reviews by people who are being paid!

Re: a standard WordPress template, would it be easily identifiable as "off the shelf" if I'm trying to create a more professional blog? (By which I mean, less amateur-looking.)

Thank you so much for your help!

olderthanyouthink Wed 28-Sep-16 20:06:31

blush sorry for typos, was doing it quickly and on a phone.

I supposed a theme could be bad enough to be hacked... For a standard blog I'm sure you'd have to be trying (or maybe really ignorant) to make it hackable... Tbh if I were to use a third party theme I'd used a popular one from a trust worth source (and then customise to avoid looking like everyone else). But it's preferable to have someone you can hold accountable for stuff not working/ going wrong.

The ones that come with Wordpress tend to give the wrong impression, IMHO, you'll be competing with the sexy bigger blogs, you don't want to look like the "started but didn't commit to blogs".

olderthanyouthink Wed 28-Sep-16 20:10:39

I use freeola, I sort of inherited it from my techie dad. A family friend/client uses 123-reg. never had problems with either, but friend/client and I have both used 123-phone support and found it useful as both techie and non techie people.

cityrat79 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:02:46

Thank you! So if not Etsy and if not a WordPress template, where should I look for a template? I don't want to pay silly money as it may not end up a commercial venture...

MissTeriName Thu 29-Sep-16 00:01:27

Themeforest is the biggest collection, although there are loads of other options. This should keep you busy for a while! themeforest.net/category/wordpress

Use the filters and look at the life previews. See you in a week!

MissTeriName Thu 29-Sep-16 00:02:04

Sorry, live previews.

olderthanyouthink Thu 29-Sep-16 07:51:09

You still need to be careful with themeforest, they do have some beautiful themes but quality has been know to be an issue with them.

Buyer beware

olderthanyouthink Thu 29-Sep-16 07:52:32

Actually this link might be better

cityrat79 Thu 29-Sep-16 09:35:36

It's a minefield, isn't it?

olderthanyouthink Thu 29-Sep-16 10:08:05

Nah, piece of piss (I've been working with Wordpress for 2 years so maybe I have a bit of an advantage here grin)

Feel free to ask away

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