Blogging with WordPress

If you have decided that you might like to have a go at blogging whether as a pastime or as a potential business, there are quite a few programs out there that you can use free of charge (which makes a change!).

WordPress is one of the many free available software programs that allow you to set up a blog relatively quickly.

I think that WordPress for me has been one of the easiest things to use. I am not in the least technically minded and I do struggle with that side of things but for my money – or lack of it, WordPress is pretty easy to at least get going in a fairly basic way.

The only things you need in the short term are an email address and a username; you get a password and an activation code and can start up practically immediately. You can install it either via your hosting company or by FTP, if you know what that is!

If you have a Cpanel & Fantastico through your hosting company, there will usually be a facility there, or just make a search of the help files and find a WordPress install option. Depending on the hosting company it might be a simple one click installation. Whatever you do, keep a note of your database name, username and password. I keep mine in a text file on my desktop, just in case. You will also need to decide where to install the blog; it can either be in your domain root or in a subdirectory. You will usually get good support from your hosting company if you find it a struggle.

You can also install it via an FTP program, by downloading it to your computer and then uploading it to your server at your hosting company, but you need to create a database and change the configuration. The WordPress support is pretty good for all of this.

So what are the other advantages of WordPress? There are loads of templates which can easily be changed, you can put your posts into categories, do spell check, post text, audio and video files and get pretty neat statistical data. There is a facility to keep your blog private which can be important to some people and you can autosave and schedule your posts, which you may find useful if you are on a roll and post a number of entries that you want to publish over a few days.

I have found that the support offered to users is pretty good, important for those of us who are technically challenged and there are a number of active forums in which you can get help pretty much every hour of the day.

If you want quick free software to get a blog up, I don’t think you will go far wrong with WordPress at least on a basic level. Like everything else, there can be a lot to learn to get some of the more advanced features but you can be up and running pretty quick!

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