Even if you haven’t started your blog yet, you’ve probably heard of WordPress.
You might not be too sure exactly what it is, though, whether you need it, or how best to get it.
In this post, I’ll be demystifying WordPress, and explaining how to use it for your blog.
If you missed them, you might want to read the first two parts in this series first:
WordPress is a blogging platform, which means it’s a piece of software that runs on your website (not on your computer) to make it easy for you to publish blog posts.
It’s used by many large blogs, including DailyBlogTips, Copyblogger, ProBlogger, and many more.
WordPress comes in two different “flavours”, which can make things a little confusing:
- Hosted WordPress, from WordPress.com, allows you to set up a blog even without a domain name or any web hosting of your own. The WordPress company hosts the blog for you, and gives you a domain name with “wordpress” in it.
- Self-hosted WordPress, from WordPress.org, is the type of WordPress you install on your own website. This is what we recommend, and what all the big sites use. It’s a much more professional and flexible option.
If you’d like to know more about the differences, WP Beginner has a great summary here.
- There’s nothing complicated about installing WordPress, so don’t get bogged down reading tutorials online. Most webhosts (including our recommended hosts Dreamhost and HostGator) offer a “one-click install” process, where you literally just have to click a button. You’ll then have a few simple pieces of information to fill in, such as your site name.
- During the installation, you’ll be prompted to choose a username and password. For security reasons, it’s best to choose a hard-to-guess username and a hard-to-guess password. E.g. if your name is Bob, you might use Bob349 as your username.
- During installation, you’ll also see a box you can check to hide your site from search engines. I recommend you do this while you’re getting your site up and running: you don’t want visitors arriving before you’re ready. (Make sure you make your site visible again under your WordPress Settings à Reading à Search Engine Visibility.)
Do You HAVE to Use WordPress to Build a Successful Blog? (Ali Luke, DailyBlogTips)
4 Reasons You Should Never Use WordPress.com (And 4 Reasons You Should) (Sanj Sahayam, The Daily Egg)
Did this clear things up for you? If you still have any questions, pop a comment below.
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