Getting Started with WordPress

Blogging is an important aspect of book publishing. This series on blogging with WordPress provides a starting point.

Last week, focusing on WordPress, we talked about two options: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In a basic way, WordPress.com is analogous to Gmail, while WordPress.org is more like Outlook (or in the extreme, it could be like an in-house email server). The differences are the amount of effort to get started, the degree of control, the number of options, and the level of technical expertise required.

WordPress.com, like Gmail, is an online tool. You log in, set up your account, and begin using it. It’s basic, powerful, and easy to use. It provides some options, but not too many.

WordPress.org, like Outlook, requires more effort to configure, while giving more options, greater control, and increased flexibility. This is what we’ll go over today. (An extreme example, like setting up an email server in-house, is setting up your own webserver and adding WordPress to it. Few users, however, go to this extent.)

WordPress.org is a self-hosted option, that is, the user needs to find a host, usually tapping a company that specializes in webhosting or WordPress hosting (as opposed to setting up their own computer to host it).

I use GoDaddy to host this WordPress site. This is mainly because I already had an account and could add WordPress at no additional charge. With my account already active, it was just a couple of clicks to add WordPress.

If I was starting from scratch, I’d likely use BlueHost and there are two helpful videos to make it easy. Michael Hyatt put together a comprehensive 20-minute tutorial, while Jeff Goins has a more concise 8-minute version. (I believe they earn a small commission when you set up your WordPress account using their tutorial, but it won’t cost you anything more.)

Aside from GoDaddy and BlueHost, there are many other hosting options.

While WordPress.com can be completely free, there are two costs associated with WordPress.org. The first is an annual domain registration, usually around ten bucks and a monthly hosting fee, starting around five dollars, but which can go up to twenty or even more for high-volume, feature-rich, robust hosting.

Next week, we’ll peak inside WordPress and talk about its various components.

[If you want to mention a different hosting company, please add it in the comments section. Feel free to include a link to a tutorial.]

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