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5 Easy Steps to Get Started Blogging in WordPress

Even though the initial blogging fever of a decade ago has cooled off, it’s never out of style to create a blog of your very own. The great thing is: now it’s easier than ever to get set up and started writing, and there are a variety of platforms out there to launch your musings into the electronic world. WordPress is a classic and established choice, having been around long enough to have fine-tuned the art of the blog, so naturally I wanted to highlight them here. There are only five easy steps between you and your very own professional writing space, so let’s get started!   1. Clarify your purpose I know this isn’t a technical step, but in my opinion, it’s the most important one. Why do you want to blog? Is there a particular subject you are passionate about or have experience with? Is this blog going to be for your business, your family, or just your personal thoughts? Make sure you sit down and brainstorm a clear direction and “theme” before you go through the actual set-up process. Trust me, it will save you a headache later and will increase the likelihood that you’ll stick with it!   2. Decide whether you need WordPress.com or WordPress.org Yep, you have two main choices here and they are quite a bit different in terms of use. To build on the simple graphic above, I highly recommend you do some research on which version will suit your needs the best. There are a variety of articles out there on the web, as well as the pros at the Digital Workshop who can point you in the right direction! But to give you a brief sum up: Choose WordPress.com if you want something that’s free, simple, and requires very little maintenance. This is the best choice if you’re on a budget, don’t care about too much fancy personalization, or are just writing for the fun of it. Choose WordPress.org if you have a business, an established social media following, or want to create revenue off of your writing. This isn’t free (you need to pay for web hosting and domains), but does offer the perks of plugins, customization, and ad sales opportunities.   3. Register Come up with a blog name that you really really like, because you can’t change it later! Whether or not you choose to go with a custom domain (www.bloggingisfun.com) or let WordPress handle that (www.bloggingisfun.wordpress.com), it’s important that you find a name that sums up the results of your brainstorming session from step #1. For example, if you want to blog about sports, choose something like “Rebecca’s RBI Rundown” instead of something like “Rebecca Writes”. Remember, you want to attract readership and most of us navigate through links of related content. If I want to read about cooking, I am going to click on a blog with a clear culinary focus. Once you decide on a name that is available, it’s as simple as clicking on “create blog” and following the instructions sent to your email address. Then you’ll be directed to your very own Dashboard, which will serve as your home base and is the launching point for writing, changing appearance, and viewing comments/statistics.   4. Fine Tune Once you have an official WordPress site, you can choose and activate a theme. There are many to choose from with a variety of colors, patterns and layouts, so pick one that suits your style and content matter. You can change this later (and however often you’d like) so don’t fret too much! If you...

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WordPress: Why You Should Consider Using a Child Theme

It is estimated that 1 in 5 websites use WordPress as a framework. No, that is not a typo. It is a staggering number to think about when you consider how many millions of sites are added each day. Every WordPress site’s design is governed by a theme, which controls the appearance, layout and functionality. There are free themes available, but to get a custom theme design for your website, you may hire a developer to create your theme. No matter which direction you decide to go, it has been my experience that, at some point, everyone wants some additional control of the design of their site. In this situation, you can pay for a developer to make changes to your site or you can attempt to do it yourself. This is when a “child” theme becomes important. A child theme is a feature of WordPress that allows the user to create custom styles in your theme. A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the “parent” theme, as defined by WordPress.org. In other words, you can make dynamic, style changes to your site without effecting the original code. According to a popular theme provider, “85 percent of our customers customize their themes, and only 35 percent use a child theme when doing so. This may be due to a lack of understanding as to what a child theme is, or due to the perceived difficulty of creating one.” With that in mind, if you are ready to make simple design changes to your site, don’t be afraid to dive in and try a child theme. What is one of the best features of using a child theme? Even if you make a mess with the child theme, you can always fall back to the original parent theme without consequence. That should help give you some confidence to get started! While creating a child theme is actually very easy in practice, it may not be for everyone. You need some basic knowledge of cascading style sheets, or CSS, and information on how you will connect to your web server to upload the child theme file. However, CSS is an intuitive language to learn, and connecting to a web server is as simple as finding the credentials that your host provides for you. How important do I think child themes have become? In the web design class I teach at the Digital Workshop Center, I have begun incorporating some lessons about how CSS can be used for child themes and beyond. It has become an essential topic for any WordPress web designer, and I hope that you use child themes properly when you decide you need to update the design on your WordPress site as well. [Orginally published in the Coloradoan on...

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WordPress for Everyone, Continued: Themes & Plugins

Every WordPress site must have a theme. After you select a theme, you are ready to write and publish your heart out. A theme is simply a downloaded file that contains a “look and feel” for your site. Themes are usually installed into WordPress itself by the site owner, within the Dashboard.

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WordPress for Everyone: What is It & How Do I Get Started?

Free speech on the internet is available for the taking today. The tool that empowers this people’s revolution is called WordPress. If you can write and operate a computer, you can publish your own WordPress site: a website that can be anything you like!

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Intro to WordPress: Why Use it for Your Business?

In the digital world, a website is crucial to a successful business. Starting a blog or website can be time-consuming, however – making it important to find software that is easy to learn and use. There are many tools on the market that provide similar results, but Wordpress stands out above the rest because it has more features and is fully customizable. It is a great web management platform, and its software and hosting is completely free.

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Understanding WordPress and Why it is So Popular

What is WordPress and why has it become so popular?

Every day, more small businesses are trying to keep up with technology by utilizing the latest trends on the market.

One of the hottest current trends is WordPress, which began as a blog platform for websites.

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