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Jan
20

What on Earth is WordPress All About?

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What on Earth is WordPress All About?

 

I remember in the not too distant past, when I had almost no knowledge about the actual process of building a website.

I knew what type of sites I wanted to build but didn’t even really understand just exactly what a website was. For any of you still grappling with this basic concept then I fully appreciate how you feel.

I got several so called experts to try and explain it, I looked up loads of video tutorials but I found it hard to grasp what I was being told.

Hey, perhaps I’m simple or something, but they all seem to pitch at a level that was way above my head.

So how do I build a website

Basically I ended up teaching myself through trial and error and a lot of heartache.

Because I know what it’s like to work in a fog, I’ve tried to explain what a website is in VERY simple terms here.

So I hope that helps for starters.

Then once I started getting my head round just exactly what a website was, I looked into actually creating one.

So…..taking the advice of every man and his dog I knew who seemed to have half an idea about website design….. I purchased Dreamweaver as I was led to believe this was the best software that would enable me to build websites easily.

Well all I can say is good luck if you start out as a newbie and try and get stuck into Dreamweaver.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an absolutely brilliant tool for the creation of websites and I use it now for certain types of sites.

It is however really designed for people who know what they are doing!!!!!!

 

Trying to get my head round cascading style sheets and javascript was hilarious thinking back(not at the time mind you!).

I really shouldn’t have tried, because there is no need to unless you actually enjoy that sort of thing.

The money you can make won’t come about by your skills at using Dreamweaver.

So at some in the future if you make a success of internet marketing, Dreamweaver is a very useful tool to have at your disposal, but at the moment, forget it.

After struggling with Dreamweaver for what seemed an eternity and then trying to learn html coding as well I began to seek out an easier way.

Better late than never lol.

I searched high and low on Google for information on the easiest way to build websites.

It was whilst I was looking through various offers and pdf courses being sold by internet marketers that I noticed something called WordPress being mentioned rather a lot and in particular(which really interested me) in relation to creating simple websites.

 

I’ve since realised that you can make fabulous sites with WordPress if you want, but at the time the simplicity word grabbed my attention.

Without doing much research I purchased templates and themes for various WordPress based courses sold by marketers.

Back came a load of downloadable files and folders half of which I couldn’t even open!!! PHP files…what on earth?

It became clear to me that building any sort of website/blog is not any where near as easy as the sales pitches make it out to be, especially if you

really are new to all the concepts.

I couldn’t get my head round WordPress at first…. despite it being sold as ‘simple’ all over the web.

 

I eventually found out that I was falling in to the classic mistake that many newbies make, namely trying to run before I could walk.

I found myself a local tech expert and he went through the basics of WordPress with me.

At first it really didn’t come naturally to me at all.

However with perseverance it started to become more ‘automatic’ as it were.

As with many things such as this, the more you do things the more it stays with you and the more intuitive at related concepts and software you become.

So what was this mysterious saviour of all newbie internet marketers? ….this mythical ‘WordPress?’

 

Well in our game it’s known as a content management system or CMS.

There are different CMS’s that you can use.

You may have heard of Joomla or Drupal for example…but it really doesn’t matter if you haven’t cos WordPress is by far the simplest and most widespread.

And the next question I can hear you muttering is “What the hell is a content management system?”, apart from the obvious retort that it is a

system that manages content.

Well you don’t say…. but what does that mean on a practical level?

 

Well there are two ways of going about using WordPress. You can

  • Create a WordPress blog
  • Create your own self hosted website

 Let me address these two methods of using WordPress.

 

Creating a WordPress Blog

If all you are interested in, is writing your thoughts and ramblings about life and the universe or whatever, ie. doing a blog,  then the former may

be ideal for you.

If you simply want to make a small amount of money from your views, interests, opinions and recommendations a WordPress

blog  might still be fit for purpose.

Here are a couple of examples of WordPress blogs

http://ownyourhealth.wordpress.com/

http://lustandrum.wordpress.com/

Notice that the URL of the blogs clearly have wordpress.com within them at the end.

This is because you simply build your blog on the back of WordPress who host it all for you.

You don’t need to buy a domain or hosting. Simply go to WordPress.com , follow their guidance and you can be

up and running in no time with your very own blog.

 

Well the way I said that makes it all sound really simple didn’t it?

If you are completely new to all this it can be very confusing at first.

People who blog regularly or give guidance about creating blogs, websites or internet marketing tend to forget that they are so used to doing these things that what seems ridiculously easy to them is far from it to someone who has never seen this before.

I’d suggest you spend a good couple of hours when you aren’t tired and won’t be disturbed AND when you are in the mood to learn new stuff getting to grips with it.

Eventually it will become simple to do if you perservere with it.

But as with all these sorts of things, once you get the hang of it you need to keep doing it, or your new found skills will rapidly disappear.

 

Creating Your Own Self Hosted Website

This is what nearly all serious internet marketers do. Buy yourself hosting that allows you to have numerous domains and use WordPress to set up websites.

Once you have learned the process you can have basic sites up and running very quickly…but again this is only the case once you are confident.

WordPress provides you with a framework if you like, to which you can add and manage the content that goes on your site.

That’s why it is known as a content management system. The setting up of a header, logo, page, articles, the menus, the sidebars, images, videos, blogs and comments etc etc etc can all be done with a few clicks of a button once you are familiar with how the system works.

You are also able to change the basic style/look of your site by the use of ‘themes’ which can be uploaded from various sources, free or paid. To start you off WordPress gives you a very basic ‘theme’ to use.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the nuts and bolts most people change the theme to a style more suited to the niche/subject of the website.

 

 

One thing that I didn’t realise when I first looked into WordPress is that it can literally make any type of website. I first thought on researching about it, that it was really just for bloggers and that’s all.

Well it’s true to say it was developed as a blogging system and it still is at its core. It has progressed a lot over the years however and nowadays can be used to make the most advanced and specialised websites if you so wish.

There are so many plugins and widgets that you can buy(some are free) which add various features to your site if you so wish. Plugins are just pieces of software designed to work with WordPress specifically.

Some marketers and tech experts may still prefer to work with other content management systems. Each to their own obviously, but if you are new to website creation it really is a no-brainer for me.

Use WordPress.

It’s free, it’s easier to learn and it creates great websites. It also has fantastic support and far more choice in the extras like plugins than other systems.

I recall starting to build a large authority site and enlisted the help of a local ‘expert’. He convinced me that Joomla should be the way to go for such a site. I was surprised at just how confusing Joomla was. It took me ages to get to grips with it. As a beginner it was HARD and not very intuitive.

Well I perservered and eventually it started to become second nature, but then the real issues set in.

I found that the available modules(equivalent to WordPress plugins), were far less. I also found compatability problems existed between many of the different components of my website. eg. one module wouldn’t work with another because one was  designed to work with an older version of Joomla and so on.

Now I know there are ways round these issues and many website experts prefer Joomla. The guy I was working with swore by it. But for me as a beginner it was so FRUSTRATING. It was just too hard!!

I’ve since realised that those who create websites for a living sometimes have an elitist view of things and can often look down on WordPress as it is relatively easy to do and they perceive it as a blogging tool, nothing more.

If you are starting out building websites in 2013 then I’d suggest use WordPress. It is far more than a blogging tool and can literally create any style of website you choose.

 

Okay, so there you have it. To me the simplest way to build high quality websites is to use WordPress.

This site is a WordPress site. I’ve deliberately left it in the style of a blog, because that’s what I want for this site. I’m putting up my ramblings, thoughts and tips on internet marketing for others to learn from.

I do have dozens of other sites, some are blogs, but many are not.

 

If you want to learn a lot more about the nuts and bolts of WordPress then you will find a series of help videos in the pages section of this site. They are really short and focus on just one aspect of using WordPress each time. I hope they help.

They are recorded by a fellow marketer and I have had permission to post them on my site. I’ll probably record a few of my own to fill in any gaps at a later date.

 

If you have any thoughts or comments please post them here and if you have a request for a help video with WordPress just ask and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks for listening,

Speak soon,

Andy Lunt

The Coffee Shop Marketer

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