Build Your WordPress.com Site-The Tutorials

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

How to Choose the Best Theme for Your Business Website

Excellent suggestions for anyone selecting a theme for their brand new site or changing their existing site’s theme, not just businesses. 10/10!

The WordPress.com Blog

Building a beautiful website for your business begins with choosing a theme — a design that controls page layout, widget areas, and default style. With more than 350 free and paid themes on WordPress.com, selecting a theme for your business website can feel overwhelming, but you can make it easier by focusing on these three questions.

What Am I Publishing on My Website?

Draft a visual map of your website to help you plan your site structure and decide what you want your homepage to look like. Will your homepage contain static information about your business like a welcome message and business hours or do you want to showcase your latest blog content?

In a theme overview page or when trying out a live demo, look at how the theme handles Widgets— tools or content blocks that you can add, arrange, and remove on your website. Widget areas can include…

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Use the Support Search, Luke!

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!”

Your Readers Are People

Excellent advice from Happiness Engineer James Huff about being true to your audience, WordAds or not! (via Google Plus embed)

The Secret Recipe of Comment Spam Comments

Because it bears repeating.

It seems there’s been a recent uptick in the number of spam comments getting through Akismet’s filters. If you see comments like these waiting for your approval (i.e. *not* already in your spam folder), mark them as spam and only spam. Do not put them in the trash folder.

On the other side of the pond, UK users who are customers of BT or Sky broadband have been finding that their comments are inadvertently being marked as spam. If you are a user that fits that description, please fill out the contact form on the Akismet website or email the folks at Akismet support (support AT akismet DOT com) and make sure to mention that you are a UK community member and your Internet Service Provider.

Related: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/whats-the-deal-with-spam/

Lorelle on WordPress

Articles about blogging tipsMr. Louis Vuitton just sent me a message in my blog comments I’d like to share with you. I share this touching message because it is highly educational when it comes to the art of spam comments, and serves to remind us of why we love having Akismet, the best comment spam fighter, on our WordPress sites.

It is really self-explanatory, but if you need translation, I will do so after the following quoted comment. I’ve broken it up into sections to make it easier to read.

{{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the
{internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.

I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting…

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Looking for HELP!

Once you start your WordPress.com site, it won’t be too long before you seek some extra help in understanding what makes it tick. While every new member of the WordPress.com community receives a “Welcome” letter with a link to the WordPress.com beginner’s tutorial, Learn WordPress.com, many answers can be found on the excellent WordPress.com Support Site, which all community members should get acquainted with.

There will come a time, however, when you may want or need to contact WordPress.com Support directly through the “Contact Support” form in order to solve a problem. After walking you through the most common problems encountered, followed by searching for a possible solution, the Contact form opens allowing you to post your question in more detail. What many people don’t realize is that Support requests posted on the “Contact Support” form may be directed to the Community forums for assistance.
Continue reading “Looking for HELP!”

Hacked!? Not So Much: Your WordPress.com Account and Security

This past weekend a number of WordPress.com users discovered that a spam post promoting a “make money from home” scheme had been published on their websites without their prior knowledge or consent.  Many of those sites had not posted for some time while others had recently posted. What was common to them all, apparently, was the use of the same password for both their WordPress.com site as well as on other sites they logged into and which had been cracked.

Pete Davies, who works for WordPress.com, posted this response in the Community forums:

Thanks for letting us know about this. We also noticed something suspicious. We have reset the passwords of all affected users and have sent them an email to let them know. If there was any spam posted and not removed before we got there, we also went ahead and cleaned that up.

It is very likely that you were using the same password on WordPress.com that you used elsewhere. Recently, a few large services — LinkedIn, Yahoo, eHarmony, and Last.fm to name a few — have suffered well-publicized security breaches that have exposed email addresses and passwords. Although the passwords are usually stored securely, simple passwords can be decrypted or “cracked” in a matter of hours using modern technology.

Hackers gather the lists of email addresses and passwords from these services and then try to use them to access accounts on other popular services, like WordPress.com. If you used the same password multiple places, then your account can be compromised. That is what happened here. We do have measures in place to protect password guessing or “brute force” attacks but in this case, since the password is known beforehand, there is no need for a hacker to guess.

You should have a strong, unique password for every account you have on the internet. We have some more information on selecting a strong password in our Support section, please read through it:
http://en.support.wordpress.com/selecting-a-strong-password/

If you have any additional questions about the security of your account, please contact us using the form on this page:
http://automattic.com/security/

We take security seriously, and are happy to answer any questions you have.

via Spam post? « WordPress.com Forums.

More information on keeping your WordPress.com account secure can be found in the WordPress.com Support doc on Security.

The importance of having a unique password for every internet site you log into cannot be stressed enough and, if you use a public computer (at work, the library or at university) to connect to the Internet, the importance of logging out of those sites and clearing the browser’s cache and cookies each and every time is equally important.