i’m just going to apologize in advance…
i know that behind the scenes blog stuff like plugins and widgets can be really boring to read about if you are not into blogging. but for the past four years, i’ve learned alot about blogging and wordpress. it’s taken me a while, but i’ve finally figured out how to make my blog look and perform the way i want it to.
well for the most part.
at any rate, i thought today i would share with you some of nuts and bolts about my blog. and also, some of my favorite plugins for 1) functionality and 2) presentation.
so first things first. i have a self-hosted blog using wordpress.org software (which is separate from the free wordpress.com blog service that i started out with). i registered my domain name (mindingmynest.com) with godaddy and it costs approximately $15/year. in addition, i use liquid web for my web-hosting (an online service that provides storage space) which costs about $75/year.
if this sounds like another language, well you’re in good company…this is the extent of my knowledge of having an internet presence. thankfully, all of the above-referenced services have wonderful customer service and are extremely helpful for those of us who are techno-challenged.
so the next thing to know is that what you see at my blog is determined by my blog theme (or template). i use the the free, wordpress twenty-ten theme, but there are literally hundreds of websites that offer premium ($) wordpress themes with all types of design aesthetics.
are you bored yet? just wait…it gets better.
now…all of those things i’ve just talked about affect the basic functionality and layout of my blog. but the way to really customize a wordpress blog is by the use of plugins and/or widgets.
the following is a list of my favorite wordpress.org plugins:
- jetpack for wordpress (there are so many plugins that come in this bundle…i highly recommend it!)
- akismet (you would not believe how much spam comes through my comments and akismet filters it all out so i never have to see it.)
- custom page order (i like being able to arrange my about me, contact, blogroll, pages underneath my header image)
- exclude pages (often, i’ll use a ‘page’ as a central repository for pictures or other links and exclude pages let me hide it from the page list under the header image)
- link within (shows related material at the bottom of each post –a nice way to keep some of my older material in rotation)
- pin it button for pinterest (admittedly, i don’t have a lot of ‘pinable’ content, but this plugin adds a small red pin button when you hover over an image)
- wp gallery custom links (a huge thanks to my friend barb for sharing this awesome plugin which lets you create a photo gallery with links to blog content)
so i hope i haven’t completely bored you to death. and i know that i really glossed over alot of the plugins, so if you have any specific questions, feel free leave them in the comments or contact me via email. i’m happy to share the limited knowledge that i have learned over the past few years.
i would just like to close here by adding this – if you’ve ever thought about starting a blog…just do it. you can start small by using the free blogspot or wordpress platforms. they are both really easy and user friendly. and just speaking from personal experience, having a blog has been an incredibly gratifying avenue for self-expression.
go forth and blog.