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 Post subject: A Little Help with Getting Started on WordPress Please
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:18 pm 
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I am looking for some information for someone who has never blogged or had my own web page. But I am trying to get started. :shock:

I have a lot of questions though and most of the websites either do not answer them or there answers give me more questions than when I first started. :?

One of my main questions right now is should I start off with a "free" blog on WordPress until I get established or start off right now with "buying" my own domain and having it hosted? Also if you use the free blog on WordPress do you still need to download there program or is that only if you are hosting on your own website ?

Also if I use there free blog does that severly limit what I can and can not do? Like using the custom templates, feedburners, and linking to other sites that I really like?

I have a ton more questions but I think that once i get these answered I "should" at least be headed in the right direction.

I appologize if some of these are very "noob" questions but I am trying to learn and reading all of the blogs that have been introduced on here I am really aspiring to write and live up to the high expectations some of your blogs have set.

Thank you very much for your time and any assistance at all you can provide.

Bel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:28 am 
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OK, here are a couple of rough answers:

- WordPress.com is what you call the free version, which will come with a selection of plugins and templates to pick. If you want more customization on that environment, you'll need to cough up a small fee
- WordPress.org is the home of the opensource codebase which powers the former. In order to use that one, you'll need a webhost which runs a MySQL database and PHP for you. There are free webhosts out there BTW but they often come with some drawbacks.
- Natively, WordPress.org ships with only 2 templates and 2 plugins, but you have not only access to everything other people have written and published for WordPress, but also the full code, not merely the templates but the rest.

If you're testing the waters and not sure if you'll be motivated enough to stick to blogging, I recommend using WordPress.com at first. You have a fully functional blogging platform with a couple of restrictions, but it will be some time before you start get annoyed by them.
If you have an interesting hosting opportunity or already your own domain (and some experience setting up web applications, although WordPress is actually one of the easiest things out there), then by all means go straight to self-hosted. Total control is what you will get in that case, from the start.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:39 am 
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If you're not self-hosting, I'd recommend blogger over WP

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:14 am 
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Horns wrote:
If you're not self-hosting, I'd recommend blogger over WP


Horns, I have to disagree with you here.

For those already on blogger, moving to wordpress.com is a lateral move and unnecessary.

However, if you're not quite ready to commit to self-hosting and are just getting started, WordPress.com is a much better choice than Blogger.

While it's true that more customization can be done with Blogger, WordPress has several extremely important features that Blogger does not.

For example, Bloggers new commenting system, with requirements to register or use a possibly confusing OpenID, is extremely unfriendly to commenters, and really I've been discouraged from commenting on a lot of Blogger blogs since that took effect. There are no such issues on WordPress.com

On top of that, the trackback system employed in WP and not in Blogger is absolutely invaluable when trying to encourage community and grow your traffic. The fact that it's not available on Blogger blogs is a big enough strike for me to nearly write off considering blogger for a new blog completely.

However, I am interested to hear why you feel Blogger is the better choice.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:55 am 
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Thank you so much for all the information so far but reading your answers led me to another question.

If I start off just using the free blog for WordPress and than decide to make the move to hosting everything myself id it fairly easy to make the transition over ?

Thanks again. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:42 am 
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Yeah, I think so. You can just import blog posts from Blogger or Wordpress into a new install of Wordpress. It's pretty awesome.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:13 am 
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Belgarath wrote:

If I start off just using the free blog for WordPress and than decide to make the move to hosting everything myself id it fairly easy to make the transition over ?


Yes, it's very easy and quite painless. Heck if I have to, I'll walk you through at some point if you ever get around to it.

I don't suggest going out of your way and dropping the cash for your own webspace and domain name yet UNTIL you're sure of yourself. It's a pretty big commitment.

Go with wordpress.com and try it out. Get accustomed to the interface and it's capabilities.

But most importantly, no matter what platform you decide to choose, just start writing. Set a goal for yourself. Get content out there. Be read.

Bottom line: Bloggers who don't blog aren't bloggers.

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 Post subject: Re: A Little Help with Getting Started on WordPress Please
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:50 am 
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Belgarath wrote:
Also if I use there free blog does that severly limit what I can and can not do? Like using the custom templates, feedburners, and linking to other sites that I really like?

Bel


Others already answered most of your questions. Let me address this, and I'll make one additional point.

(I should emphasize that with a self-hosted install, you ONLY pay for your domain name, <$10 year, and your web space, which is $100 - $120/year tops; WordPress is free.)

Wordpress.com (free WP) allows you to add widgets just as a self-hosted installation does.Therefore, you can certainly use FeedBurner, and you should, because if and when you move to self-hosted, YOU are the only person who has to do anything to get your new site on the same feed--and that is exceedingly simple to do.

Custom templates have been discussed; to reiterate, on Wordpress.com, you're somewhat limited, but there is still a large variety. You just can't modify them much (which is generally not an issue).

As for linking and the like, not a problem at all. Take a look at the various WP bloggers here: Many are self-hosted, but many are on Wordpress.com as well. At first glance, it's quite difficult to tell them apart, other than the URL.

Now, the additional point I wanted to make: From your initial post, it sounded like you have the wherewithal and commitment to self-host your own blog. If you're sure that's what you want to do, then by all means, dive right in. As Matticus said, it's not difficult (trust me on this!! :D), and any number of us would be willing to take you step-by-step.

Good luck, and hope to see your blog soon!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:11 am 
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honestly, if I wasnt self-hosting i think i'd have gone back to blogger - on wordpress.com there are so many things you cant do. no wowhead tooltips for one, and that's a big thing for most wowbloggers. You can find tons of codes for free templates for blogger, whereas with wordpress.com you really are stuck with only what they have to offer. even if you fork out for the rights to change the css code there are a lot of things that they still don't allow.

If you're willing and able to set up your own self-hosted blog then go for it, otherwise Blogger might be the better option for you over wordpress.com.
just my 2p's worth ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:04 pm 
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First I would just like to thank every single one of you for ALL of your information.

After much thought and taking all things into consideration I have decided to sign up for the free blog at wordpress.com and than after 3 months evaluate my goals from there. If I like what I am doing and am sticking with it than I will most likely move over to a hosted website with domain.

Once I get everything set up I will be sure to post the link so you can all see what you have helped create.

Thanks again,

Bel :D

P.S. -- After starting to work on my page I sure have a lot to learn so please keep an eye out for me since it looks like I will have more questions as I progress in this endeavor. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:00 am 
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As promised I did start my own blog and wanted to post the link here : http://gbhwarcraft.wordpress.com/

I have also posted it in the introductions but since the responders here really helped me get started if any of you could make suggestions to improve it I would certainly appreciate your time and effort.

Thanks,

Bel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Belgarath - I'm a bit late to the discussion and it sounds like you're already made a decision.

I recently went through the same decision process, deciding whether to move a well-established free wp.com blog to self hosting. I've written an overview of what I found out http://nedruid.com/wordpress/. It's pretty basic and most of the points have been covered by other posters, but check it out just in case there is any of value in there for you.

Good luck.


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