Last week I ran a workshop for people wanting to start learning to blog with WordPress.

 

WordPress is head and shoulders above other blogging platforms, in my opinion, but it’s not the easiest thing to learn to drive and there’s a good reason why it’s advisable to start learning to blog with WordPress.com.

3 women working at computers

There are many businesses and individuals who have found themselves the “proud owner” of a WordPress.org site, which is similar to WordPress.com but has several key differences too.

WordPress.com blogs are hosted by WordPress, unlike WordPres.org blogs which need a hosting account on which to be set-up and run.

The security issues and necessary measures to keep hackers out of WordPress.org blogs/websites is the main reason WordPress.org isn’t the version of the WordPress platform I introduce for beginners, especially on a course where I may not see the people attending again. I would be doing these people a disservice if I let them go away with a blog that could cause them more “trouble” in the future than they bargained for.

WordPress.com is safe, secure and relatively easy to get going with, once the basics are mastered. WordPress.org offers a wider range of features and functionality but, essentially, the interface is the same.

My reasoning for starting with WordPress.com is simple. Start blogging within the safety of the harbour walls of WordPress.com then, when you’ve grasped the basics of sailing the boat, consider venturing out into the exciting, but potentially risky ocean that is WordPress.org?

Q – I don’t want to start with WordPress.com and then have to start again with WordPress.org? A – You can  migrate content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is not my long-term recommendation for any business wanting to major on achieving “success” in Search. However, the fact that content can be migrated from WordPress.com to WordPress.org makes it not only a good choice for novices, but for anyone wanting to try their hand at running a blog/website using a CMS (content managed system).

The first aspect of blogging I teach any group is not to do with WordPress at all, but to do with understanding why images need to be “optimised” for the web. Not just resized in terms of actual size, but also in terms of file size.

Next we get onto the actual business of configuring a post. the following screen-shots are meant as a reminder for those 17 people who attended the course and kept me running around all day. It was fun though.

The WordPress.com dashboard

 

screenshot of wordpress.com dashboard

Selecting “new post”

screenshot of WordPress "new post" page showing layout

Writing and publishing

The workshop lasted a whole day, allowing participants to get quite a long way with not only posting blog posts, creating pages, assigning categories, uploading images,etc. They also learned about and configured widgets and were guided around the various settings, related to management of the blog/website. There was also opportunity to customise the look of the blogs, trying out several of the available free themes.

Attracting comments on your blog can be a challenge, but with 17 on the course we achieved a healthy number of comments on each other’s blog posts. Fun to create and send and fun to receive, approve and then see featured as a comment on their blog.

It was rewarding for me to see the smiles from the group by the end of the course, reflecting their sense of achievement at being able to take something tangible home with them.

I will be running further WordPress workshops in the future. If you’re interested please get in touch and I’ll keep you posted with dates.

Consider subscribing to this blog by leaving your email address (see right hand column). You’ll receive all new posts (nothing else) direct to your inbox. How neat is that?

Other articles you may find of interest

10 blogging tips for beginners

How to get started with a blog

WordPress.com or WordPress.org for business use?

Estblishing an effective web presence 

Popping a few social media balloons

Share This