Tag Archives: wordpress.com

WordPress News: Getting your blog started right

Lots of people want to get out and start a blog to share their great content. However, not many people know how to create a healthy and thriving blog.

WordPress News

How to start a Blog

Starting a blog is free at WordPress.com by select the create a site option. From there, follow the steps laid out for you. There will be an option to pay for advanced features, but payment is not required. When you complete the steps listed, you should have selected a theme, site name, and several other cool features.

Creating Content

There are many things you could do once you set up the foundation of you site. It is recommend that you acquire the content for your site fairly early on in it’s development. getting content. This is most likely the main reason you started your blog anyway. The content is what is going to attract your readers and keep them coming back—not the flash pictures or nifty features.

WordPress posts

Successful blogs prioritize content creation. According to writer and blogger Eric Hines, “Cash is king in the market; content is king in writing. ” On all of his sites, he lays out a publishing goal or scheduled so his reader are satisfied.

Getting traffic on a blog

Getting your blog seen by people is all about marketing. The stronger your presence on social media the higher chance that people will find your blog. Getting social media accounts on multiple outlets is recommend if you can manage maintaining that. Link your site on social media sites by going to Dashboard>Setting>Sharing and linking all the social media outlets there.

Social media icons
Here is what the Sharing Setting looks like.

Want more about starting your blog?

For more information about getting your blog to a great start make sure to check out get your new blog off to a good start by Michelle W. and Make 2015 a Great Blogging Year by Ben Huberman. Both of those are great post on WordPress.com under the news section talking about finding success in blogging.

WordPress.com Theme Submissions Suspended

It used to be that you could only submit a new theme for WordPress.com if they had invited you to. That all changed at the beginning of 2014 when WordPress.com announced that they would add a submission form to their site for anyone who would like to sell their themes.

How Theme Developers Feel

There have been mixed feelings about how well that has gone. Theme sellers are excited to have the opportunity to submit their themes freely, but at the same time, allowing so many people to submit themes is slowing down the approval time for the themes. That can cause some frustration among sellers.  Theme creator, Mike McAlister said on his own review of how WordPress.com submissions were going:

I’m not talking about weeks long, I’m talking about months long. Each Array theme review has taken at least a month, usually longer. Our latest theme for WP.com, Camera, took 4 months from the day I submitted it to the day it was released.

There have been other complaints with the new submission process as well, especially for people who design commercial themes. They are saying that WordPress.com is not spending enough time promoting the commercial themes. Some of them are abandoning their desire to sell to WordPress.com and are returning to other buyers like Themeforest.

What Automattic Says

Right now, this is what the theme submission page at WordPress.com says.

Screenshot of the submission page text for themes on WordPress.com.
When contacted about why it took down the theme submission option, Automattic said:A Screenshot of a quote that Automattic gave about why they took down their theme submission form. While theme creators may be upset by the take down of the open theme submission form on WordPress.com, it should be helpful for them to realize that WordPress is working on getting the system updated so it won’t take so long for their themes to be approved. Automattic did not give a date on when their form will be available again.
Hat tip: WP Tavern

How Does WordPress Make Money?

Automattic Companies and Businesses logos.

Who owns WordPress and controls the copyright and profit?

Simply put, WordPress states in its license that WordPress is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and that it is that it is owned by the contributors. This means anyone, including companies, third-party programmers or foundations that provide funding own WordPress. As a result, the single copyright of WordPress is held by thousands of individuals, all represented by the WordPress Foundation, the trust established to further the mission of the open source project called WordPress. Continue reading How Does WordPress Make Money?

Interview with Chief Steve Moody

Steve MoodyChief Steve Moody is a Fire Fighter with a passion for sharing his experiences in WordPress. He has been a Chief Fire Fighter in Eldorado, Kansas for one year now after moving from another district for several years. He has been a Chief Fire Fighter for 16 years, 36 years as a fire fighter but is trained in EMT too. He has a personal WordPress.com site called Chief Steven D. Moody.

Chief Steve Moody

I happen to have chosen him to interview since I have worked with fire fighters for several years and couldn’t see them having the time to write down their stories but I sure did want to know them. So I was eager to interview Steve. Steve was humble. He said his son would probably be more interesting to interview about WordPress since his son got him started. But he was wrong. Continue reading Interview with Chief Steve Moody

Interview with Jennifer Daly: College Art Instructor

A portrait photograph of Jennifer Daly.

Jennifer Daly is an art professor who teaches at both Shasta College and Butte College in Northern California. She also co-owns a nonprofit consulting business called Daly Professional Services. She has incorporated WordPress into both her career and life.

When and how did you first start using WordPress? Since then, how long have you used it?

I started using WordPress in 2007. I had been using Blackboard and WebCT to provide students information online for a couple of years. Neither one was really designed for art students. They are very rigid in the layout and format, and not very visually appealing. While in grad school, one of my professors, Byron Wolfe, was using Typepad and a blog format for communicating with his students. I really liked the simplicity and elegance of the system, but being in grad school, I couldn’t afford to pay for a blog, and found WordPress. I have used it every semester since then. I started out with a WordPress.com site and then migrated to a self-hosted site about three years ago.

What was the appeal of WordPress? Why do you use it?

I loved the ability to completely customize my courses and the flexibility that comes with the Plugins.

What is your job title and career focus? Do you use WordPress in your job?

I teach photography at Butte College and Shasta College in Northern California. I am also the co-owner of Daly Professional Services, a nonprofit consulting business. We use WordPress for all of our websites.
Home page of Daly Professional Services consulting business.

How does WordPress affect your job tasks? For example, is course planning easier or more complicated?

I think course planning is much easier on a WordPress site compared to BlackBoard and Moodle. The format is much more flexible, responsive and is much easier to navigate on a smartphone or other smaller form factor.

With your photography courses, is WordPress ideal for photography work? Why or why not?

I think that WordPress is perfect for photo classes. It works well for collaborative work and sharing. I can easily add slideshows for assignments or to help illustrate readings. It also allows me to add menus that are relevant for my classes.

Do you feel that anyone in any field can use WordPress successfully without being intimidated by it?

A tintype self-portrait of Jennifer Daly.

Yes. I often have students add content to the website. Many of them have limited computer skills and they have all found it easy enough to add posts and comments.

Has WordPress helped branch out your technological expertise? Is it worth the time and effort to use it?

I’ve done some web design work but it’s not my first love. WordPress simplifies so much of the design work for me and lets me do the work I want to do. I think WordPress has been pretty easy to learn and it isn’t a lot of effort to set up a site and manage it, even with rapidly changing content.

Daly’s current WordPress sites and websites include:

Daly’s past WordPress sites and websites include:

WordPress Plugin Review: The Social Contact Display

Have you ever wanted to use a WordPress Plugin that shows all of your social media accounts your WordPress site is connected to?

Social Contact Display WordPress Plugin provides a simple display for your social media that contributes to your WordPress site. For example, if you have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts which all contribute content in addition to your WordPress site, the Social Contact Display will display the links to those social media accounts with buttons, icons, or any other display setting the user chooses.

On their Plugin page, it is currently on version 2.3.7, although given how popular it is (with over 25,000 downloads), that version number will only change in the future with more updates.

It is very simple to install the Plugin, according to the Plugin’s installation page:

  1. Upload social-contact-display to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the WordPress Social Contact Display Widget plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets
  4. Locate the WordPress Social Contact Display widget and drag to your desired location
  5. Fill in the options and select Save

Continue reading WordPress Plugin Review: The Social Contact Display

Security Training Program for VIP WordPress.com Program

According to the WordPress.com VIP site, the staff behind the WordPress VIP Program hosted a course called “WordPress Fundamentals: Security, Performance, & Debugging” in San Francisco, California. This course was tailored for members of the VIP program, as it would help them to make their sites they build to be safe and scalable.

The WordPress.com VIP Program is targeted to large-scale businesses that want to use WordPress.com as a premium airtight hosting site. Members of the VIP Program have the benefits of access to site monitoring, a higher threshold for web traffic (easily “100+ million pageviews per day”), and access to other VIP features and services. Continue reading Security Training Program for VIP WordPress.com Program

Help WordPress Translate the Admin Panels Interface

For several years, WordPress users have had the option to help translate the WordPress.com interface for any of the 105 languages supported by WordPress. The tool is called the In-Page Translation.

Using the In-Page Translation is as simple as following 3 steps for WordPress.com users:

  1. In the Admin Panel, hover over your name/Gravatar in the upper right corner.
  2. Click on Translate WordPress.com.
  3. The In-Page Translator will appear on the left hand side.
  4. Scroll through the list to find a text string that you want to translate. Enter your best translation for the string and save it.

Continue reading Help WordPress Translate the Admin Panels Interface

WP News: WordPress 4.1, Blogging 201, and LoopConf

The Clark College WordPress class students review WordPress news around the world to bring you the latest news and WordPress resources during the academic year.

WordPress Development

WordPress Core Weekly: A summary of all the updates made to WordPress in the last week. Formerly known as Last Week In WordPress Core. Continue reading WP News: WordPress 4.1, Blogging 201, and LoopConf

The Word on WordPress for the Week of October 20, 2014

The Clark College WordPress class students review WordPress news around the world to bring you the latest news and WordPress resources during the academic year.

WordPress Development

Twenty Fifteen Theme in Development: Discussions have begun about the new Twenty Fifteen Theme for WordPress. This is the first chat summary from October 21, 2014. Continue reading The Word on WordPress for the Week of October 20, 2014

What Do You Need to Know To Use WordPress?

When it comes to WordPress, there are a few things that people should know in order to be effective WordPress users and authors:

What WordPress is and What it Does

Wikipedia offers an accurate description of WordPress that is nicely summed up:

“WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.”

For more information about WordPress, visit the About page on WordPress.org. Continue reading What Do You Need to Know To Use WordPress?

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

WordPress.com’s Transparancy Report

Among the more lovable pieces of web entertainment, one can not deny that watching the NSA and multimillion companies partake in political intrigue is one of those events in which you take up a seat and grab the popcorn.

While most sites are trying to combat the “threat” of government monitoring and takedowns, WordPress decided it clearly had nothing to hide in this game of political intrigue and released their WordPress Transparency Report on Automattic, the commercial company behind WordPress.com. Continue reading WordPress.com’s Transparancy Report

Write Your About Page in 5 Steps

Congratulations! You have written something that has inspired your reader to say, “Wow! Who is this author? I want to know more!” Now you just need a fantastic biography for your About page so your readers can get to know you.

5 Easy Steps to Biography Awesomeness

Your About page should be an introduction to you. It should tell your reader about who you are and why you are an authority on your specific topic.

Your About page should specify your background, training, and overall proficiency on your subject. It should spell out for the reader why it is that they should listen to you.

If your website is professional in nature, you might want to take some time to consider branding before you write your biography.

Continue reading Write Your About Page in 5 Steps