I design simple websites for small companies, friends and family. SoI’m not a novice to web development. But I’ve never created a weblog until Evil asked for my help to create his site. Like most people, I started out with some research and googled for “Starting a blog”. Man are there a lot of suggestions and opinions out there.
The most common opinion to start off with is to buy your own domain and find a weblog host. Ok, so I registered evilwordsmith.com at netsol (I’m partial to netsol, so don’t get me started) and we were on our way.Next to find a hosting service. Back to google and more searching.Everyone says to stay away from blogger.com. Ok, when I see more than50 anti-blogger posts; I’m not going to waste time arguing with those.Just about everyone likes WordPress. Great, that narrows the search. I finally found a little place called WebbleYou.com.The price is more than right, and let me rave about the customer service! Not only with the initial transaction, but the support I’ve received while trying to set up my first blog site has been wonderful! So I have a domain, have the host, updated the DNS and now what.
Sadly, WebbleYou went out of business. They made some suggestions about other hosting services. And I did a little research about those places. I finally decided on BlueHost.com. They’ve been pretty good so far, but be warned, you can’t rent space monthly. They require an annual contract. Their price however isn’t bad and even though you’re paying for the year up front, it’s cheaper than some places that allow for monthly contracts.
There are two pieces to this type of site. The hosting service which allows you to create your own email addresses, manage your hosting site and so on. Then there’s the WordPress service, which provides the framework for your blog. So the first thing to do is set up the hosting service customization. That’s pretty standard easy stuff, so that’s done.
Now it’s time to set up WordPress and to chose your look and feel with all the gazillion presentation packages out there. Few tell a novice how to customize their packages in detail. They assume you know PHP, know what you’re looking at and how it all comes together. pft!I’ve been highly disappointed. On the opposite side, WordPress has some pretty nice tutorials to help you get through all the jargon and get down to what you need/want to do.
I finally found a theme that the client (the husband) liked. And I started a little customization. After clicking every button in the WordPress administration console (I hate reading manuals), I was able to find out how to define the Blog Title and slogan. Found the section for adding links, and defining categories. I like it when sites are intuitive!
So it’s up and running. Organized. And tada! Now, to make my own artistic customization. And what’s a site without a counter? .. more to come..