Archive for WordPress

Should you set up a WordPress blog using WordPress.Com or the WordPress.Org format for your online or offline business?

Let’s put a few of the facts into place and you decide which platform is best for for your needs.

WordPress.Com is very much like the other well know blogging formats, such as Blogger, and Type Pad.  They are all blogging platforms that are owned by blog companies.  Blogger is a free blog platform that is owned by Google.  Type Pad is owned by Six Apart Ldt., and users are charged a yearly fee to use the system.

WordPress.com is a free format that owned and operated by Automattic, which is the team that discovered and developed WordPress in the beginning.  WordPress is initially free, but there is an extra charge for some upgrades and advanced features.

WordPress.Org is a blog platform that was built by Automattic but you own it.

Common Features of WordPress.Com and .Org

1.  Both platforms are based on the same basic software.  The look is the same and they have many of the same features.

WordPress.Com Advantages

1.  It’s free and very easy to set up.  Everything is taken care of, spam, backup, security etc.   You don’t even pay for hosting from a separate company.  In other words, it’s all encompassing.

2.  One of the best features is that fact that no one can get into your account by hacking it because of the security that’s in place.

3.  Your posts are backed up automatically so there is no need to purchase an extra back up system in case something goes wrong.

This system is superior if your want a carefree blog that requires very little of your attention to maintain and operate.

WordPress.Com Cons

1.   There are  hundreds of free themes are available for you to choose from.  However, you cannot run a custom theme.

2.  The code is set.  You cannot change any of the code behind your blog.   In other words, you cannot customize any of the code to make your site look or operate differently.

3.  You cannot customize your site by using additional plugins above and beyond those that are already set into the platform.

4.  WordPress is owned by Automattic.  Which means there are a set of definite standards and agreements you must abide by.  Any violation of these agreements may cause your site to be shut down.  Such is the case with Blogger and Type Pad.

WordPress.Org Advantages

1.  It’s free. It is a very basic shell of WordPress… which allows you the freedom to customize your blog for your particular needs and look.

2.  You may put on any theme you like.  There are hundreds of themes to chose from.  Many are free.   Pro Themes range in cost from fifty dollars to several hundred… depending upon the theme features.

3.  You may upload any plugin that is available.  There are thousands of plugins so you can customize your site to your exact needs and desires.

4.  You have complete control of the code behind your blog.  (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been behind the scenes changing a few things around… and I’m not a tech. wizard.)

5.  Biggest plus!  You own the site and have full control!   Another company does not set rules and regulations.  You can never be shut down by not conforming to the company’s policies.

WordPress.Org Cons

1.  You will need purchase the services of a good web host.  The cost will run from about seven dollars to twelve dollars per month.  Made sure your chose a large reliable host that can handle a high volume of traffic.

(I highly recommend Hostgator or BlueHost. They are both large companies and their customer service is excellent.  (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called customer service and had them handle a problem kindly and efficiently.  Those folks are smart)

2.  It requires more technical knowledge to set up and run.  (Once you get the swing of things… it’s a breeze.)

3.  You are responsible for stopping spam.  (There is a wonderful free plug in that handles this for you.)

4.  You have to handle your own backup.   (There is a plugin that will back up your wp blog system.  However, I recommend Mozy which backs up all of your computer files along with your WordPress blog.)  I once lost 4 years worth of artwork because I didn’t have a good backup system in place… but that a story for another time.

Which Do I Suggest?

I think it’s obvious which I prefer.  I use WordPress.Org because I have a business and want full control.

1.  As my blog grows and evolves, I want to be able to make the changes and upgrades necessary without limitations.  With the availability of plugins… that option is always open to me.

2.  I enjoy the flexibility of choosing and changing themes as I wish.

3.  Yes, there are a few costs involved… but the expenses are far below the real value.  I find the cost minimal.  All businesses have operating expenses.

4.  Setting up a WordPress.Org site is not has hard as one may think.  If you need assistance, here are many folks out there willing to help… including me.

5.  Again… because my blog is an vital part of my business, I want full control.  I don’t care to be at the effect of a company who has the option to shut down my blog… for what ever reason.

There you go… Of course you can choose which once suits your needs the best.  Which ever you choose… I have to say the WordPress is the finest blog and website platform out there.

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  If you need assistance setting up a WordPress Blog… just let me know.  I’d be glad to help!   Go to the bottom of my About page for my e-mail address.

Technorati Tags: blog, blog format, blog platform, blogging, WordPress

Categories : WordPress
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Here are a few additional WordPress features that will enhance your blog posts.  If you missed my first post on  WordPress Features, you’ll want to take a look.  (It includes the Kitchen Sink.)

The “Custom Character” feature is great if you’re into specialty niches.  I’m a designer and I use the copyright strike frequently.  It’s great to have it so readily available.  ©

→ → → Take a look at this feature and see if there are symbols you can use to make your blogging easier and more exciting to your readers.  You’ll love it!  ♥ ♥

The “Quote” feature is wonderful too.  I like the fact that it not only changes the look of the font and indents the quote… but it put it into a gray box so it really stands out.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington.”

And finally… don’t forget the “Insert Link” WordPress option.  Use it to provide additional important content for your readers by referring them to additional material with in your own blog site.  It’s called “Internal links” and it’s  a wise course of action for SEO purposes.

Also, use it to send your readers to other blogs for additional information that may reinforce content or material that may be of interest and benefit to your  reader.

Tip:  You have to highlight the words in your copy that you want your reader to click on before the “Link” icon will light up and be active.

If for any reason you want to remove the link… select the highlighted link in your copy and click on the broken link feature… and the link will disappear.

There… you have a few more of my favorite WordPress features that you can use to enhance your blog copy and make you content a lot more interesting.

Happy Marketing and Promotion

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  When you are using the “Insert Link” option.  Don’t forget to highlight and link your keywords.  When you highlight a keyword, it’s called an “Anchor Text” hyperlink.  There is no SEO advantage to the words “Click Here”… and you want to take advantage of every SEO opportunity that’s available.

Anyone else have feelings about this?

Technorati Tags: anchor text, Internal links, Word Press Features, WordPress Options

Categories : WordPress
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There many creative WordPress options that are available to you when writing a new post.  Many of these features and options are not used or under used when an author writes a post.   I’d like to call attention to 4 my favorite WordPress features that you may not know about and will want to consider when creating your posts.

The “Add More” WordPress Feature

The WordPress options are found just under the title box in the row of little boxes with icons in them.

This “Add More” feature is the 12th box along the row.  If you want to split your page into two parts… this is the place to do it.  Simply place your cursor where you want the split to occur and then click on the “Add More” box and your post will be divided between two pages.

Now why would you want to do that?  SEO of course.  Google thinks your readers are staying on your site to check extra pages.  The more pages your readers click on… the better your rankings are for the post.

Note: This feature shows up on your home page… not your comment page.

The “Kitchen Sink” WordPress Feature

Can you believe that a Kitchen Sink has been included as a WordPress feature on your “Add New Post” page.   Yep… it has.  Like the “Add More” feature, it’s located under the title box and it looks like this.

Read More→

How about you, what do you think?

Technorati Tags: blogging, color, kitchen sink, wordpress feature, wordpress option

Categories : WordPress
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There has been much discussion on how to use blog tags or post tags  correctly.  At WordCamp Utah 2010, it was confirmed that “Post Tags or Blog Tags” are used for the soul purpose of searching for a topic, rather than an invitation for the search engines to find locate your site, index the information and rank your page.

Purpose Of Post Tags Or Blog Tags

1.  Tags link readers to related content

2.  Post tags group your content by subject in more detail than a category

3.  Tags are viewed by search engines but don’t give you page rank, nor add you to their databases.  Blog tags only define your content for searchability.

How Can Post Tags or Blog Tag Benefit Your Reader?

Use tags to help your readers find related information.  For instance, if my reader wants to find out all that I have to say about using “Keywords,”  all they have to do is type in “keywords” in the search box of my site.  Every post where I have discussed “Keywords” will come up for them to read.  That is if…. I have put the word “Keywords” or “Keyword” as a tag when I wrote posts discussing keywords.

In other words, Tags are ultimately for the “reader” not the “search engines.”   When you are deciding on tags, look at your post and determine which words would help your reader find the post or a related post,  if they searched for it.

What Post Tags Are Not

Post Tags Are Not Categories.  A category is a broad grouping of posts.  Post Tags are similar, but they are used to describe your post in more detail within the category.  A category is superior to a Post Tag in the hierarchy of organization and they are independent of each other. (Search engines look at Category tags.)

You don’t have to include Post Tags… but every post must be listed under a Category.

Keep Post Tags Simple

Often, I see a list of post tags a mile long that show up at the bottom of a post.  It’s not necessary.  Only use 4 or 5 tags, at the most, to help your readers locate information on the same topic or similar topic in a variety of posts you’ve written.

Notice the tags I use when I posted on video equipment.  If my reader searched for any of these words… this particular post and related posts will come up.   I used these terms for the convenience of my readers… not keyword searches.

There are Tags that are far more important than WordPress Post Tags and they are Title Tags.  I’ll be discussing Title Tags in my next post.  Stay tuned.

Happy Marketing and Promotion!

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  By the way… Save your many keywords for All In One SEO.  I’ll be discussing this subject in a future post.

Please comment below...

Technorati Tags: blogging, blogs, categories, Tags, WordsPress

Categories : WordPress
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Sep
06

WordPress – WordCamp Utah 2010

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WordPress – WordCamp Utah 2010

Last week I attended WordPress… WordCamp Utah 2010, which was held at the University of Utah.  Two years ago, WordCamp Utah 2008 was held not from my home, in Utah County.  After attending two years ago and learning so much, I was determined not to miss the 2010 session.  And, I was not disappointed.

When I arrived… I looked around to discover I was not the only “mature” face in the crowd. (If you get my meaning.)   However, I have to admit, there were far more bright young people in attendance than boomers.   And…that was okay with me… I loved being surrounded by so many bright young minds, all chatting away in “tech talk.”

I came to realize how much I have learned in the last couple of years.  I actually knew what they were talking about… at least 80% of the time.  That is a pretty big leap for me considering so much of the “tech talk” sailed over my head the last time I attended.

In fact… I actually contributed to the conversation during one of the lectures, offering helpful information to a participant who asked a question.

I left the seminar with the confidence that WordPress is by far the best blogging and web site format on the planet.  And, that WordPress is still in its infancy as far as Internet web sites are concrerned.  Those who are using WordPress for their businesses are miles ahead of those who are not… in the way of simplicity, ease and SEO capabilities.

I was so busy taking notes, I almost forgot to take photos… but I have a couple to share with you.

WordPress Stars

Look at these smart young bucks all lined up waiting to get into a class.

Here are three of my favorite people.  On the left is smart, bright Jake Spurlock, who is my webmaster.  He took me under his wing when I hardly knew what the dashboard was for… and patiently answered my questions and helped me with my first site.  He worked on BuddyPress for WordPress.  It’s a social networking plug in.

In the middle is Matt Mullenweg. He is the founding developer of WordPress (at the age of 19.)  And, at the old age of 26,  is still one of the brightest minds in the business.  He and his team are constantly developing new ways to improve the WordPress core structure.  I am impressed with his dedication to us and his high ethical standards.

He’s also the developer of Askismet and Ping-O-Matic.

On the right is Joseph Scott. He works out of his home in Salt Lake City and was the “bug” man for WordPress.  In otherwords… before an updated version came out..he’s the guy who located and fixed the bugs in the code so WordPress will would work efficiently  for you and me.  He’s now working on Akismet… so it will work even better to keep “Spam” off our sites and out of the comment area of our blogs.

Yep… that’s me with Matt Mullenweg who graciously posed with me so I could verify that I was there.  (He’s either very tall… or I’m particularly short…. I believe it’s the later.)

Anyway… I had a great day and I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned in the next few posts… so stay tuned.

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  If you ever have an opportunity to attend a WordCamp in your area… by all means do it.  It will be well worth your time.

P.P.S.  This photo was taken at WordCamp Utah 2008.  My sis, Sheila Atwood, and I are right in the middle of things.  See what I mean about being surrounded by young bright minds!

What about you? What do you think?

Technorati Tags: blogging, wordcamp, WordPress, wordpress format

Categories : WordPress
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Have you ever had your WordPress site go a bit screwy?  Perhaps the front page doesn’t look right.  Perhaps you can’t navigate around your site easily.

General WordPress Problems?  Plugins or your theme is the culprit!

Before I tell you how to fix it… I need to give you a bit of background.

Two years ago… my sister, Sheila Atwood, and I were just getting into WordPress.  It was greek to us… and we needed someone to help us put up a site.

Online… Sheila found a Utah “WordPress Geek” dinner group that met once a month.  It turned out to be a very casual arrangement… dine… and chat.

What a find!  Sitting in one room were some of the smartest computer programmers, SEO and WordPress geniuses you could find.   Smart young people who are in the know!  (We found our genius webmaster, Jake Spurlock.)

At first… we just sat and listen to these guys talk among themselves about WordPress…and nothing made much sense to us.  But as time went on… we came to understand more and more.  Now we can pretty much enter the conversation and not look foolish.  In fact… we do pretty darn good!

At the first meeting we were introduced to Joseph Scott, who resides in Salt Lake City.  He works for Automattic  who is “WordPress.”  Joseph is the “bugman”… the guy who finds and fixes all the little WordPress glitches.

One evening I was complaining that the front page of my site looked screwy.  Joseph said, “Most problems that cause your site to act up comes from plugins or your theme.”  It’s not a WordPress problem.

Perhaps a plugin has not been updated for the newest versions of WordPress or a plugin is not compatible with your theme.

Joseph suggests:  Deactivate all of your plug-ins.  Reactive each plugin one at a time, until you find the culprit.

Some times just reactivating the plugin will fix the problem.  Other times you may have to remove the plugin and upload it again.  And… if the problem persists… you may have to deactivate or remove a particular plugin all together.

With so many WordPress plugins and WordPress themes available… there is no guarantee they will all work together in the WordPress format all of the time.

I did exactly what Joseph suggested… I deactivate all of my plugins and re-activated them one at a time… and my problem cleared right up… immediately.

There you go… Just a little WordPress tip that may come in handy someday.

No need to call your webmaster when you have WordPress problems… You can “Do It Yourself!”

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

P.S.  If following Joseph Scott’s suggestion doesn’t work… Call for help!

Technorati Tags: plugins, themes, WordPress

Categories : WordPress
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