Tag Archives: blog

starting a blog - the basics

Starting a blog: the basics

I hope to eventually create my own tutorial, but today I discovered a fantastic resource that has tons of useful information for beginning bloggers – Amy Lynn Andrews. But she has SO much info it can be overwhelming, so rather than make you wait for my future course or wade through all of hers, I’ve curated her most basic, most pertinent information right here.

18 Tips for New Bloggers – Lots of reassurance and encouragement as you wade into this new world

How to Find (or Re-find) Your Passion – Great questions to help you explore what you care about enough to blog about long-term

How to Choose a Domain Name – And one place you can do so. (You might also refer to my post, Where should I register my domain?)

How to Start a Blog – VERY thorough; includes how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site.

The Trouble With Blogging – On comparing yourself against others

Hope you find this helpful! As always, please contact me with any questions you’d like to see answered here. Or if you’re ready for someone else to do the heavy lifting, request a free, no-obligation price list! 🙂

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How your website is like a camper: a simple explanation of some confusing terms

I’ve given a detailed explanation of web hosting, domain registration and such elsewhere. Here, I’d like to provide a simple word picture that might help make it simpler to understand.

Imagine that your website is a camper. It’s like a camper because it’s got contents, it has a style, it can be moved from one place to another, and it needs somewhere to park. Let’s also suppose that you’ve given your camper a name: Roadrunner.

The name is like your web address, also called a domain or URL. (See the aforementioned article for more a more detailed explanation. We’re keeping things simple here.) So when someone walks up to your camper, or arrives at your website, they know it’s yours because they recognize the name.

your website is like a camper

(I haven’t created  a graphic for it, but you could also change the name of your website/camper, everything else remains – it’s still your property.)

Maybe you start out with your camper in Monument Valley. But after a while, you get tired of the heat, so you decide to head to the Redwood Forest.

website is like a camper

Same camper, new location.

In the same way, a website can be moved from one host to another. If you get frustrated with some aspect of one host — say, their customer service leaves something to be desired — you can move your website elsewhere.

Now, let’s say you get tired of the yellow color scheme and the font on your sign, so you decide to change things up a bit.

same camper, new color; same website, new theme

This is like changing the theme, fonts, color scheme, or other design elements on your website. It still has the same contents, the same name, and the same location, just different styling.

WordPress sites make it pretty easy to make small design tweaks. Depending on the theme you’re using, you may only be able to change a few things, or you may be able to make significant changes. Look under “Appearances” in the navigation on the lefthand side of your WordPress back end to see what options are available.

If you want some changes that are more complicated than you can do — or you’d just like some friendly coaching while you learn — I know someone who can help!  😉

Contact me.

Request a price list.

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See more help for beginning bloggers.

 

 

Find free images to use on your blog

Sure, you can use Google Images, but those aren’t always copyright free — and you should use only copyright free images or images for which you’ve purchased copyrights.

You may already know about low-cost options like iStock and StockFresh. But here are a few good sources for images that are both copyright free and cost free:

owl eyes from Photo Pin

Photo Pin – Good quality images, for the most part; the search results can be a little wonky, though. (The image above is from Photo Pin. Photo credit: Hamed Saber via photo pin cc )

Morguefile – The search works fairly well, but the image quality is very uneven. There’s a lot of bad stuff (bad composition, terrible lighting, no creativity, etc.), but there’s also the occasional gem.

Wikimedia Commons – This collection leans heavily toward historical, technical and scientific collections. For example, you can find drawings by Van Goghmaps of cities, or anatomical plates of the human body. (Art nerd heaven!)

Here’s a post listing four other sites (in addition to Photo Pin) that are good sources for free image.

WordPress theme: Oxygen

WordPress theme: Oxygen

Note: I have now used this template to build a site, and I recommend it highly! Very flexible.

Note to web developers new to this theme: Almost everyone runs into a wall trying to figure out how to get the home page to display a large slide show at the top, as shown in the demo and in the Hope site showno here. (Proof: the WordPress support forum is littered with “How do I get the Showcase Page to work in Oxygen?!” requests.) Here is the simplest, clearest explanation I’ve found.

Here’s the site: Hope Community Church, Andover KS

Showcase page template.
Slider.
9 font families and a custom link color
3 custom menus
Widget areas: up to 7
Font(s): heads – very condensed, stylized sans serif; body – condensed sans serif, possibly Helvetica. Nine font families available.