Before I started my own self-hosted WordPress blog, I used a WordPress.com blog. All the articles claiming WordPress as being the best blogging platform available were indeed true. WordPress is the King. Even running a freely-hosted domain, I was blown away by all the things that I could do to customize and spice up my blog.
What made me hesitate in deciding to switch to a self-hosted blog was the level of maintenance it required on a regular basis. Sure, I knew some HTML and CSS, but was that enough? I needed to do my homework and I am glad I took the time to research everything I needed to know on how to properly manage things in the future.
For those of you unsure of changing to your own domain name, here is an article that highlights the reasons you should stay. It is simply to maximize your breadth of knowledge if you ever decide to take that next big step. If you are a newb blogger and currently own an unimpressive “yourdomainname.wordpress.com,” this article is for you.
<!--more Continue reading--> tag, you can shorten long posts so that only an excerpt is shown on the front page. This will eliminate the long load times you might have experienced as only a segment of each post is displayed. Alternatively, press this button instead (see below)
Once you publish the article, the post will look like this on your front page:
If you would like to customize the text link message, simply press space after “more” and enter your message. Example:
<!--more Continue reading-->
You may have noticed that the level of traffic your blog receives with a WordPress blog tends to be somewhat higher than other blogging platforms. The reason is because WordPress places your posts in its global tagging database, search engines through Ping-o-Matic!, and are indexed on sitemaps. If you would like to spread the word about your latest posts to farther areas on the web, you can send updates to your Twitter and Yahoo! profiles.
First, click on “My Blogs” located under Dashboard.
From there, select on whatever service you prefer under the Publicize column.
You will need to authorize the feature by signing into the corresponding service and approving access.
Now you’ll find a “Publicize” section under the Publish bar while drafting your newest posts. You can alter the message to your liking as well. Lastly, publish as usual, and WordPress will send updates to the authorized services.
Do you Digg this post or what?
Digg is a popular social news site where you can find the most popular stories on the Web. Submitted stories get voted up by people and the more “diggs” a story receives, the higher the amount of recognition it garners.
For bloggers like you and I, this means directing traffic to your blog. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as submitting all of your posts to Digg and having everyone see it. If one reader likes what you have to show them, then he/she will digg it and hopefully this will lead to a domino effect.
Drooling about the prospect of increased traffic to your blog? You should be. But be warned. Only submit your most popular articles to Digg, otherwise Digg will not reciprocate kindly. To learn more about the ins and outs of how Digg works, check out this article here.
So… how to add a Digg button to your posts? Follow these steps:
- Register an account on Digg, if you haven’t already.
- Copy the url of your post.
- Submit the post on Digg by pasting the post’s url. The page will reload and you’ll end up in a page stating that the post was submitted successfully. Copy the url of that page.
- Enter this code to your post in the appropriate format:
Having published a recent article, you may want visitors to pay more attention to it. As you know, if you continue publishing successive articles, the older posts will get pushed back down the page. To prevent that, you can mark a specific post as “sticky” so that it will remain on the top of your homepage for as long as you desire. Any articles you publish from there after, will be not be displayed on the top of the homepage but rather the sticky post(s).
To mark a post as sticky, check the option “Stick this post to the front page” under the Publish settings on the edit page of your posts. Then click on Update.
Note: It’s best that you only mark no more than two posts as being sticky.
Schedule a post to be published at a later date
Rather than manually publishing a post at a specific time, you can set the date and time at which the post will then be automatically published.
Click on the Edit link located under the Publish bar and to the right of the bolded date and time in the edit page of your post.
Set the date and time which you wish to have the post published.
Click on Schedule when you are done adjusting the date.
Now the post will be published at the specified date and time you set.
Enjoy learning by viewing? Hell, yes!
WordPress is the best blogging platform alive. Nothing comes close to it in scale and capabilities. Blogger is nice…but really? If you happened to use WordPress and had to compare it with Blogger, you would be lying if you said that Blogger was far superior. Unless, of course, you work for Google.
Got any useful tips on how to maximize a WordPress.com blog? Share them below in the comments section!