Feb 03 2007

Why I Use WordPress As My Blog Platform

Published by MsQ at 3:46 pm under Blogging, General

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger asks :Which blogging platform do you use and why?

Specifically:

  • Which Blog Platform do you Use?
  • Why do you use it?
  • What do you love about it?
  • What do you wish they’d improve?
  • What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

Before I answer those questions, I’ll give you some background. I first read Steve Pavlina’s How To Make Money From Your Blog post. I had no real interest in blogging until I read this. This is an excellent post. It’s very long, but Steve discusses everything from your motivation behind blogging to frequency of posting to the various types of blogging platforms and available software. Steve recommended WordPress. Steve also linked to ProBlogger. I read through Darren’s Blogging For Beginner Series.

I mentioned that I had no real interest in beginning my own blog until I read Steve’s post. What I liked about Steve’s blog is that he is all about helping others. Yes, he makes a nice income from it, but that is not what he’s about. As I read through Darren’s posts, I saw that he wanted to help others as well. I was very impressed (still am) by their willingness to share how they became a success. I call being able to work from home and help others at the same time pretty damn successful.

Both opened my eyes to the possibilities of blogging as well as the cooperative and interactive nature of the blogging community. This inspired and encouraged me to begin blogging.

Now I’ll answer Darren’s questions:

Which Blog Platform do you Use?

I am running WordPress 2.1 on my own domain using a hosting service.

Why do you use it?

I chose WordPress because:

  • It’s free.
  • It’s well documented.
  • There is an extensive list of available plugins and more being written all the time.
  • Other users are very willing to share their knowledge.

What do you love about it?

  • It’s easy to install. You can have a blog up and running in a very short time. I signed up with a hosting service, purchased my domain and installed and configured WordPress in a day. Granted my blog wasn’t ready for prime time, but it was up and running.
  • There is a wealth of material on it. So many bloggers are using it, I can always find information. I haven’t researched other platforms so can’t discuss how it compares to them.
  • Free themes! I love the fact that there are so many free themes available. You can easily change the look and feel of your blog with a click. I am currently using Sadish Bala’s incredibly popular MistyLook theme. It’s beautiful, well-written and Sadish provides excellent support. All free! Check out his site here.

What do you wish they’d improve?

I am pretty comfortable with computers and thought that setting up WordPress was fairly straightforward. Based on reading the support forums, there is a learning curve for most people, especially if they want to add more features to their blog.

I agree with BlueFur’s comment on Darren’s post:

“For improvements I think they may want to have a Beginner version which comes with 20 or so of the most common themes and plug-ins already built in.”

What type of blogger would benefit from using it?

  • A blogger who thinks he may want to add features to his blog in the future.
  • A blogger who wants flexibility.
  • A blogger who wants more control.
  • A blogger who may be interested in gaining some technical skills (PHP, MySQL, CSS, XML, etc.)

I chose WordPress because I wanted a blogging platform that would not only work “out of the box” but would allow me to be creative. I could have started blogging with Blogger or Yahoo or even Wordpress.com. I wanted more control, which is why I purchased my own domain, and searched for a hosting service. Hosting services are amazingly cheap now and make it easy to navigate your site via a Control Panel. Another draw to WordPress is the fact that I can enhance my technical knowledge. I wasn’t all that interested in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) until I tried to tweak my theme!

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Why I Use WordPress As My Blog Platform”

  1. DigitalRichon 04 Feb 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the links to blogucational info…still relatively new to this, and what I am learning I have struggled through on my own. I think its time to read up on the basics.

    DigitalRich

  2. ackon 05 Feb 2007 at 1:54 am

    If you don’t mind sharing, what hosting service did you pick? (and the obligatory why? ;-) )

  3. MsQon 05 Feb 2007 at 11:19 am

    ack – I wasn’t planning on discussing my hosting service but OK. I first did a lot of research. I read reviews on hosting services as well as asked around.

    As with anything, even good hosts get bad reviews.

    I was tempted to go with a highly rated and well-known host. But it was also relatively expensive. I didn’t want to make a big investment in the event that I decide blogging was not for me. As a somewhat technical person (I consider myself geek-lite, not a geek) I wasn’t afraid to tackle a less GUI-driven hosting service.

    My host offered 3 free domain registrations, MySQL, PHP, FTP, lots of storage and a whole slew of things. Plenty of GUI stuff, too. I just checked and they have improved their package, offering even more domains.

    I may end up writing about what I did to find a hosting service and what questions I asked when looking for one at a later point.

    I was very impressed with my service when I first started. They have interactive chat and the support staff come on line quickly. The turnaround for an issue is pretty good.

    BUT.

    Lately I have experience slow and hanging pages. I get intermittent “cannot connect” errors. Hmmm. They could be going through growing pains (adding new servers, memory, etc) or..they could be going downhill. My guess is that latter as they have sent me a “Power Upgrade” notification which I hope means that they are upgrading whatever is causing all my hanging/slow issues.

    If I receive more comments on what to look for in a hosting service, I’ll try to write something up sooner rather than later …

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply