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Writing and Publishing

Getting Started with WordPress

Blogging is an important aspect of book publishing. This series on blogging with WordPress provides a starting point.

Last week, focusing on WordPress, we talked about two options: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In a basic way, WordPress.com is analogous to Gmail, while WordPress.org is more like Outlook (or in the extreme, it could be like an in-house email server). The differences are the amount of effort to get started, the degree of control, the number of options, and the level of technical expertise required.

WordPress.com, like Gmail, is an online tool. You log in, set up your account, and begin using it. It’s basic, powerful, and easy to use. It provides some options, but not too many.

WordPress.org, like Outlook, requires more effort to configure, while giving more options, greater control, and increased flexibility. This is what we’ll go over today. (An extreme example, like setting up an email server in-house, is setting up your own webserver and adding WordPress to it. Few users, however, go to this extent.)

WordPress.org is a self-hosted option, that is, the user needs to find a host, usually tapping a company that specializes in web hosting or WordPress hosting (as opposed to setting up their own computer to host it).

If I was starting from scratch, I’d likely use BlueHost to host my website. Check out Jeff Goins’s concise 8-minute video to make it easy.

Aside from BlueHost, there are many other hosting options. Just do a search for “website hosting providers” or, even better, as your friends for recommendations.

While WordPress.com can be completely free, there are two costs associated with WordPress.org. The first is an annual domain registration, usually around ten bucks and a monthly hosting fee, starting around five dollars, but which can go up to twenty or even more for high-volume, feature-rich, robust hosting.

Read more posts about WordPress.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

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