Quick FlashBack: Why WordPress Rocks

Ten Reasons (Okay, Eleven) Why WordPress Rocks

It’s been a busy weekend, folks. So, since I originally thought this was running at fellow Liberty States Fiction Writer Nathan Rudy’s blog today–it ran on the first Wed of April instead–I figured I’ll do another catch-up thing and run it here. If you’re here for the first time, welcome and to you this is all new!

So I was hopping through the blogosphere, dealing with some technical blog-post issues when I realized it might do many well —including myself—to sing the praises of WordPress: my blogging software of choice (WP, from here on in).

Disclaimer: I’ve never used another type of blogging software. This article is based solely on my experience with WP and not intended to take away from other brands, if you will.

First, please allow me to credit multi-published author and LSFW secretary Caridad Pineiro for introducing me to WP. Several years ago, this ever-generous-and-amazingly-patient soul gave several hours of her very packed schedule to this ridiculously green newbie writer. Caridad did her best to show me how to create a site and add content that evening. I took notes but may as well have written in Polish, Slavic, Chinese or some other foreign language; I couldn’t make sense of my own notes.

That was in the fall of 2008. Took until the following spring before the ‘a-ha’ moment happened. (I wrote about it on my first post, I was so excited.) I was at least a year into the process before it all started making real sense.

I’ve been blogging with WordPress ever since. Back then, I learned first and foremost: write my posts in a word-processing application then copy and paste into my blogging software. (I’ve lost information and/or changes writing directly into the software. Plus, I have my own draft of the article on my hard drive and/or backed up otherwise. Although WordPress is most likely in no danger of this at all, I’ve read the horror stories of bloggers whose blogging companies shut down and all their posts lost.)

Okay, on to the reasons I’m very happy with WordPress:

(1) Support: (a) “Happiness Engineers” have always gotten back to me via email, usually within 24 hours of my query. Responses have always been helpful and subsequent questions always answered by the same HE; (b) tons of support articles and WordPress TV (video help) available with one click on ‘Help;’ (c) forum of fellow WP bloggers willing to chime in with their experiences on a given topic.

(2) A multitude of free themes designed to meet different blogging needs/likes. One click is all it takes to change the look and feel of your blog, and more custom options (i.e., headers) than I can share about. (This is great for someone like me who gets tired of the same look after a while.)

(3) Inexpensive domains ($24/year), though some folks have described the .me domain as ‘cheesy.’ (I’m still thinking about that one. My website costs a lot more than that to host.)

(4) Newsletter subscriptions of choice: I subscribe to fellow bloggers’ blogs and at least three of WP’s informational blogs. (The latter keep me updated on many things WordPress! J) I also subscribe to The Daily Post, “an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks atWordPress.com.” These lovely folks post blogging ideas and tips to help bloggers get the most out of their blogs. There are also daily and weekly post challenges, photo challenges—you name it. Each is delivered straight to my inbox.

(5) I LOVE this feature: number of comments, likes, etc feature posted at the top of my screen when I’m signed in to WP and reading mine or any other WP blog. Clicking on this lovely little number at the top shows me who “liked” and/or commented on my post. Best of all: this same feature shows responses to my comments at other WP blogs; this means I don’t have to remember where I commented in the event there was a response! Cool, right?

(6) Also at the top of my screen: access to a new post screen on the very WP site I’m visiting. If I’m inspired to write a post of my own, I don’t have to leave the article that inspired me! (For those of us who have the focus of a flea, this is a godsend. J)

(7) My favorite: Reblogging: An awesome feature recently re-introduced (and very similar to the PressThis! share button at the bottom of my post.

Here’s how it works:

I’m at someone’s blog and read an article that totally speaks to me. I hit reblog. I get the option of writing a little intro before hitting send. Now that write-up becomes my next post and is instantly delivered to my followers’ inbox as well. Easy-peasy promo for the fellow blogger and instant content for mine. Awesome, yes? (And on that note, check out the WordPress landing page. Freshly Pressed offers a page of thumbnails to a variety of blogs. Promo from the WP folks themselves to help get your name out there and drive traffic to your site. Ask social media maven Kristen Lamb what making Freshly Pressed did for her blog! Not sure what it takes to get picked but I’m hoping to get there one of these days!)

(8) Simple importing/exporting of content: more on that here.

(9) Maybe it’s coincidence, but seems like many of those making a name for themselves in the writing world (i.e., Kristen Lamb, Sean Platt, etc) recommend using WordPress. Honestly, I’ve yet to read different.

(10) This is the newest reason: badges for celebrating milestones. Cool and fun!

(11) Way more features, incentives and ideas that I’m by no means aware exist. BUT: go to WordPress.com and start looking around. Promise you’ll come across something that meets your needs.

So, there you have it. MHO of why WordPress is the way to go if you’re looking to start a blog or switch from the software you’re currently using. Now, the audience participation part: assuming you’re a blogger too, which software do you use? Are you happy with it? Why or why not? And as a blog reader, do you notice any difference between blogs hosted by different companies?

Again, I thank you, Nathan, for having me here! For those of you who liked what you read, won’t you please take a moment and help spread this content into cyberspace by clicking one of the share buttons below? Thanks for taking the time to read!

My thoughts on a great, romantic weekend read on Friday. Hope you stop in!

Have a wonderful day!

Joanna