Two of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome when starting out on WordPressdotcom is theme choice and basic site set up. Up until now the first resources have been Learn WordPress.com and your own theme’s Showcase page, which gives detailed set up instructions for each available theme. While these resources are useful, they can be too long or not concise enough if all you want to do is get your site set up and running quickly.
In addition to Build Your Website in 5 Steps and Set Up Your Blog in 5 Steps, WordPressdotcom recently added specific Tutorials for niche bloggers, but they are really great for anyone just getting started. Currently offered are:
Each tutorial is full of suggestions and tips for selecting a theme, editing your About page (more on that in a future post here), adding a Contact page, setting up a static front page, creating a customized navigation menu, adding images, sharing to social media, adding mailing lists and many more topics. If you want to dig deeper into each of these topics, links are included to separate articles in the WordPress.com Support site, as well as to each tutorial’s demo site so you can see what the final results look like.
These tutorials are an excellent resource for new users, especially when done together with Blogging U’s courses on everything from Blogging 101 to Building a Business Website.
UPDATED: A new site tutorial: Build a Site to Help Sell Your House Tutorial
With the upcoming Automattic Annual Get-together (Automattic being WordPress.com’s parent company), many of the support options usually available to even those WordPress.com users with paid upgrades will be temporarily closed or minimized and support requests will be channeled to the Community Support forums for assistance. Yikes!
Those of us who regularly volunteer in the Community Support Forums are well acquainted with user frustrations when it comes to getting a timely answer to an urgent question. What doesn’t always seem obvious is that answers to many of the questions asked in the forums can be found in one of the best resources around – The WordPress.com Support Site.
Continue reading “Use the Support Search, Luke!”
WordCamp Jerusalem took place this past Wednesday and welcomed a very nice turnout. I’ll write more at length about the full conference a bit later. What I want to write about now is a not uncommon perception that I encountered during WordCamp.
During one discussion about using WordPress to help change the world, I ventured to mention that WordPress.com could be a solution for non-profits looking to set up a secure site, and was rebuffed by the presenter that WordPress.com (the “c” word) is not a fully developed alternative to running a standalone WordPress install or is something to be used “temporarily” until you can set up a standalone WordPress install in the future.
Of course, developers, who usually are the main participants at WordCamp, have little or no interest in promoting or recommending WordPress.com because they can’t use their coding skills to create a website here and, as a result, can’t earn an income from it. While that may be true, it certainly hasn’t stopped people like Om Malik, Michael Arrington, Dan Ariely, The British Museum, TED Talks, flickr and quite a number of other WordPress.com (and WordPress.com VIP) users, everyone from authors to non-profits to zoologists, from setting up shop here. (Check out the WordPress.com Showcase!)
(If you want to see the reasons why I believe WordPress.com can work for a wide variety of people, you can read my posts here and here.)
Also sadly, many developers are not aware that WordPress.com has a developer resources site for those who want to make apps available to the more than 30 million websites hosted here. Let me repeat that number: 30 million websites. Here, too, I understand devs resistance to creating apps for WordPress.com, which is a for-profit company run by Automattic, and not the open source project of WordPress.
Regardless, I truly feel that while WordPress.com may not be the right solution for absolutely everyone, it is the best solution for everyone else.
Not just the “how” but also the “why.” Excellent advice. Planning is the key and this is true for WordPress.com bloggers as well.