Hopping on the Blog Bandwagon: Why you should be a WordPress.org Groupie

Post by  Fajr Muhammad

 

I have a confession: I am a full blown, unabashed WordPress groupie. Me and WordPress go way back and our relationship gets stronger by the day. In return for easily managed content, an extensive plugin library, keyword-rich permalinks and built-in search engine optimization, I have to spread the gospel of WordPress to every blogger, shop owner and elderly person who will humor me. Consider this your induction to the cult of WordPress and with over 16 million installations you are in good company.

 

Each blogging platform has its own unique features: Blogger is affiliated with Google (enough said), Typepad has an inexpensive pricing model,  Wordpress.com has the ease of WP without the need for hosting (and without the ability to monetize). However, WordPress.org seems to be in a class of its own. (Do I sound like a groupie yet?)

 

Here are some of the great benefits to using WordPress.org

  • Content Management Simplified: WordPress uses a standard WYSIWYG editor similar to document software, however for the fast lane you also have the option of editing the HTML of a post.
  • Theme Playground: And who doesn’t love a playground. There are literally thousands of WP themes to choose from, many of them free and with a amazing design and functionality right out of the box. And with a little chutzpah you can tweak the HTML/CSS of any theme and tailor it your needs.
  • Endless arsenal of plugins to extend your theme’s capabilities: So while themes handle your front end, plugins handle your back end. Comparable to themes, there are thousands of plugins that can do almost anything imaginable. Need a slideshow, but don’t know a lick of javascript, there’s a plugin. Want random inspirational quotes displayed, yup they got that! The possibilities are endless.
  • Community of developers, designers, coders, you name it they know it!: No blogger is an island, and with the WP community behind you you don’t have to be. WordPress is open-source meaning that it is open for development and millions of developers, designers and “enthusiasts” create themes, plugins and stalk the forums!
  • Google loves WordPress: Despite Blogger being a Google property, the mighty search engine has an affinity for WP. Google loves fresh content and with over 16 million publishers that’s a hella lot of new content.
  • Totally controlled by Y-O-U: Maybe this is just the control freak in me, but WordPress is installed and run by you. You dictate how far you can take your site, when and how to monetize. There are few restrictions, outside of common decency.

 

The stellar thing about setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog or site is that it literally takes minutes. If you have purchased a domain name and hosting account, your host provider should have simple interface to set up your WP site. Some of the hosting providers that provide easy installation include:

 

Once you have installed your WordPress site, the world’s your oyster. Well maybe not the world, but the world of WordPress for sure. Here’s a quick resource guides full of links and articles from my fellow WordPress groupies

 

Setting Up

 

Cool Themes

 

Must-Have Plugins

 

Now that you have a cheat sheet of sorts, go forth, create WordPress blogs and prosper!

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34 Responses

    • Bree

      Ahh, was just about to write an identical comment, V! Have been with BlueHost for ages now and can’t fault them.

      Reply
    • Beautifully Invisible

      Ditto on the BlueHost love… I actually had signed up for GoDaddy initially and switched to BlueHost. I find that GoDaddy is both pricey AND not user friendly.

      BlueHost is great!

      Reply
  1. fuyume

    I’m with you on this. I’m a WP groupie and damn proud of it. My blog traffic went up a lot since I switched and the appearance is a million times better on wordpress. I could rave about WP all day 🙂

    Reply
  2. matita

    Hey, I’m a WP groupie also! =)

    Seriously, I’m on WP.com planning on going for WP.org and I have only good things to say about it.
    For someone with no CSS knowledge whatsoever, I find WP very easy to manage.
    There are so many plugins and themes available that the hard thing to do is really to choose.

    WPShower (http://wpshower.com/) as some good ones to choose from as well.

    Reply
  3. Christy

    Slow Southern Style is currently on blogger but I use WordPress for a regular writing gig that I have. Eventually I’ll make the switch but it’s such a pain to move everything!

    Reply
  4. Fajr | Stylish Thought

    Yes! WordPress Groupies unite!
    @Matita: WPshower is a great site. Thanks for the link!
    @Christy: Transferring over to WP can be a pain, but they have a cool import plugin and if you backup you should be ok

    Reply
  5. Marissa

    I think I’m one of the few who hasn’t felt a need to leave Blogger. When I started my blog, I didn’t want to invest money in it because I didn’t know where it was going or if it would last. For free platforms, I found Blogger to be more flexible than WordPress.com. I’ve heard great things about WordPress.org, but I haven’t found a single thing I can’t do on Blogger that I want to do. Until I hit a roadblock in Blogger, I just don’t see the point of switching.

    Reply
  6. Laura Connell

    I’m also a WordPress junkie and thanks for this post. The plugins like Share This can sometimes cause slow loading times. Not always but if blog seems slow that could be the reason. Akismet has been a godsend.

    Reply
  7. Julie

    Hi!

    I’m a wordpress junkie myself and I love this post. However, I have to alert people that GoDaddy had some issues with hacking onto blogs to make them route traffic to spam and malaware websites. This issue has been resolved, but I’d be aware of that fact when choosing a hosting company.

    For myself, I like site5 and I’ve heard amazing things about bluehost and dreamhost.

    I like being able to tweek my theme or make one from scratch and have controll over how everything works on my website.

    WP FTW !!!

    Reply
  8. FlauntStyle

    Love this post. As someone who has been on the fence about switching from Blogger to WordPress, completely aware of the benefits, this post has given me the push (and info) I needed.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  9. No Guilt Fashion

    This is a great post, and I know I’ll be crossing over sometime this year. I’m just not ready for self-hosting yet. However, posts like this have me getting antsy and excited for when the time comes.

    Reply
  10. Fajr | Stylish Thought

    @Marissa: I used Blogger for nearly 2 years and it is pretty powerful. We’ll convert you sooner or later 🙂
    @Laura: Some plugins are notorious for causing site issues, thanks for the heads up
    @Julie: Yes Godaddy does have a few horror stories and I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers defecting
    @No Guilt Fashion: Glad it excited you!

    Reply
  11. Beautifully Invisible

    I love WP too! Switching over from Blogger was the best decision I EVER made.

    This is such a great post, and I agree with all of your points. Thanks for including the link to my tutorial, as well, you are a doll!

    Reply
  12. Henway

    WordPress is definitely by far the easiest blogging platform to work with.. it’s just plug and play. There’s also a ton of third party templates you can use.

    Reply
  13. Casee Marie

    This is such a marvelous post. I just switched to a self-hosted WordPress at the beginning of the month and I love it! For the record, I went with WebHostingHub and I’d recommend them wholeheartedly. They offer free domain registration, one-click WP installation and the most minimal downtime I’ve seen yet.

    Reply
  14. Eli

    I’m still with blogger, havent had any problems yet. Just with the comments like everyone else has (not being able to respond to them individually). But they’re pretty good about progressing and I’m pretty sure they’ll be fixing that too soon! the blogger in draft platform has been a life saver, to test out things before they come in.

    Reply
  15. JTwisdom

    I am really enjoying WordPress and bluehost. There are plugins galore so the sky is the limit to what you can add to your blog.

    Reply
  16. Monica

    Yess… wordpress is pretty awesome. The downside is that if you want ads you need to get a premium account where you find your own host.

    My favourite plugin would be Comment Luv (it’s being used here!) Such a great little idea.

    Reply
  17. Gemma

    I’m really happy with blogger at the moment. I like everything to be simple, I am the least technical person with a blog ever. The only thing that blogger isn’t doing for me at the moment is offering me an easy way to add an ‘about me’ page and other extra pages.

    Reply
  18. Angel

    A gazillion thanks for writing this article!!!
    I’ve been in love with wp.com since I got into blogging but I’m really hoping to upgrade to a self hosted wordpress blog!
    Thanks for listing some hosting providers.
    Very helpful! 🙂

    Reply
  19. zillz

    I develop WP sites. About 2 years ago, I switched my sites (5) from WP to Blogger… and I’m thinking about moving a couple to Tumblr.

    What I think that also should be discussed is the maintenance required.

    The cheaper hosts are barely adequate to handle growth of a dynamic application. Some technical aspects of maintenance are out of scope of the usual blogger and may require hiring somebody…or having somebody on call to handle such intricacies.

    And that can become a full-time job in itself…

    Reply
  20. Chelsea Rae

    I’m always timid about suggesting WordPress to people who want to start blogging because…you know, it cost money… but I really do love WP. I’ve been using it for almost four years, and wouldn’t change. I’ve also used both Blogger and Tumblr for various things, but neither are as good. We should start a WP army and fight awkwardly set-up blogging platforms!

    Reply
  21. de la Pen

    Right now I’m using wordpress.com and I also use blogger for my lifestyle blog. I must admit I’m thinking of making the transfer to wordpress.org just in case I decide to monetize the blog itself. Is this a hard transition?

    Reply
  22. Liane

    I LOVE the Thesis theme and agree – WordPress is great. But be careful about going too Plugin/Widget crazy. Install one a day and watch performance on your blog. Had my SEO guys tell me WIDGETS BAD LIANE!!! Some 10 year old in Timbucktu could be programming them for all you know – umm, true. Stick to the bigger, more well known ones until you can test one at a time.

    Reply
  23. pintsizedinFluence

    Thank you so much for compiling/sharing this info. I have decided to take a leap and hop on the bandwagon of blogging. This is an excellent resource for beginners. A Bazillion Blessings to You!

    Reply
  24. Todd P. Pennington

    Aside from these important tips and plugins, you should ensure that your blog is an SEO optimized so that you wouldn’t have a problem getting ranking on the SERP’s. Always remember, No matter how good your blog and how relevant your posts are but it’s not an SEO friendly type, I call it a dead blog and it’s really frustrating. You need to be on top so that your blog can be seen by the masses.

    Reply
  25. Kiwi

    I’ve been trying to move from WP.com to .Org, but I must be completely internet retarded because I can’t seem to get it right AT ALL.
    Am I missing something? Is there a simpler way to make the move?
    HALP!

    Reply
  26. Nesaconnect

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time and actual
    effort tto create a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a
    lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

    Reply