I thought it was a good time to share with everyone my experience of using WordPress. To start with, like to briefly point out the other options I considered. Note I have very little hands-on experience with the other options mentioned, so my thoughts are totally bias
Alternatives to WordPress
The main alternatives seems to be Blogger backed by Google and Tumblr backed by Yahoo. Both are great choices and all have free accounts for beginners such as myself. The reason I chose WordPress over these is because WP offers its software for free and allows you to install to your own servers. I happen to have had a hosting account which I have not made good use of for last few years so this was a good opportunity for me to get some use out of it. If I didn’t already have a server sitting there doing nothing then the choice would have been pretty difficult.
Different versions of WordPress
As I mentioned earlier all blogging sites have free accounts, this means your blog will be hosted on their servers using their domain such as www.WordPress.com/yourblog. Each also have various paid options depending on the amount of premium features you require. A lot of comparison sites out there claim it is more expensive to use their premium packages than hosting the site yourself. I have to say I disagree and quite a few of the premium packages work out to be cheaper overall than plain hosting packages from pure hosting companies. Of course you wouldn’t be able to do with the site whatever you like, but in reality blogging sites are extremely customizable and caters for more than what most people require. I am currently seriously considering moving away from my current hosting provider to the full premium solution offered by WordPress once my current contract expires.
Setting up WordPress
As mentioned I decided to use the WP software with my existing hosting provider. Most Linux sites worth using will have some solution ready to help you install WP at a click of a button. Honestly it really is that easy, and although I hit some technical difficulties at the beginning, my host provider support was able to resolve within 10mins. I have to say this was one of the easiest and most stress free installations I have ever done.
WordPress themes are a major selling point for me, its variety and quality blew me away. Before I set out to start a blog, I had a very set idea of what a blog is and should look like, but WordPress completely changed that for me.
Its selection of themes and colours have really blurred the lines of your typical blog with that of an expensive looking designer website. So much so that people are using WordPress sites to run business websites which offer the best of both worlds, namely ease of maintenance with a professional look and feel.
One of the best features of WordPress is that it allows lots of different plugins which compliments and enhances its existing functionalities. My favourite is JetPack
It offers functionality to help integrate your site with social networks so you can promote your posts automatically. Keep detailed stats for page access, spelling and grammar checks as well as better integration with the rest of the word press community.
Quite honestly, if you are currently thinking about starting up your website, whether it’s for keeping your family updated or site for a new business. I would be hard pressed to suggest anything else other than trying one of the blogging solutions be it WordPress or Tumblr. The functionality offered is so rich, it beats most other pure hosting solutions out there which offer nothing more than a pack of Themes.
Have you used WordPress or one of the other blogger sites before? Or simply have some tips to share? If so please share your comments below, would love to hear about your experiences of them.