It’s a very attractive book and it seemed to a complete novice like me to offer a lot of really useful guidance. The author explains the most popular ways of establishing a blog, some of which sound really easy, like using Blogger or WordPress.com. But another option is to have a self-hosted blog via WordPress.org (which is very different from WordPress.com, it seems). The big advantage of doing it the self-hosted way is that you can create your own website, as well as a blog.
I really wanted to have a website, with a blog embedded into it, rather than just a blog, so I thought that the self-hosting option might work best for me. I read around it on the internet and decided it was something I could just about manage if I put some time and effort into it. I’d describe myself as fairly computer-literate but I’m not an expert computer geek by any means.
First step was to get a webhost and buy a domain name (that’s the catherinegowthorpe.com address). I compared various webhosts, and went for Vidahost which gets good reviews in the UK. This was fairly straightforward but I did need to contact them with a query almost straightaway. The reviews I’d read suggested they would respond quickly. I timed it and the response to my query came in 12 minutes and sorted me out, so well done Vidahost. This is one satisfied customer.
Next step was to install WordPress, which Vidahost organised for me, so no hassle there. Then I had to think about a theme, which provides the basic look of your website – although there are loads of options for creating your own design. There are many free themes but some people recommend going for a paid theme because you get a better product. I remembered reading something about this on the website of a quilter in Australia – Brenda Gael-Smith. Brenda not only produces lovely quilts, but also provides web design services, so she knows a thing or two about this website business. She recommends the Prose Theme by Genesis which has the huge advantage (for me at least) that you don’t have to write any code in order to tailor the theme for your own use. (I’m prepared to put a bit of effort in but I draw the line at writing code ). I read lots of information and reviews on the internet about the various options and eventually bit the bullet and bought a copy of Prose ($84.95 if you’re interested).
I’ll talk about the next steps in another post as I’ve already run on a bit….. If you want to ask me any questions about this, drop me an email or leave a comment, and I’d be glad to let you know more of the detail about the decisions I made