It never ceases to amaze me how people weigh up their priorities.
In the vast majority of cases, beer bloggers use Blogspot. I think it’s because when they started spinning yarns it was the only viable option for getting the word out.
Today there’s still only one option, in my book. It’s just that that option has changed.
People: if you blog, use WordPress!
If you don’t like making decisions or you enjoy procrastinating, then this may well be the easiest thing you ever do.
Why should I use WordPress?
- The user interface is simple and slick
- Track your visitor numbers and engagement with incredible stats
- Huge range of fantastic themes
- Massive selection of plugins to help you customise almost every element of your site
- Phenomenal support via forums and fellow users
- Amazing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- When you stop halfway through creating a masterpiece post, you get to click Save Draft. Now if that isn’t a CAMRA-endorsed, action, beggar me!
I cannot speak highly enough of this platform.
What do I do next?
- Choose whether you want to use the absolutely free version of WordPress or the far, far superior self-hosted version of WordPress
You can use the free version, if you like. I don’t, but it’s better than *******.
Okay, I’ll host my own WordPress installation. I’m feeling brave, and you have marvellous legs. What the hell do I do now?
You need to get a web hosting account. Or if you work in a university or in an IT department (at which point I should really be asking why the hell you’re reading this in the first place), you can host WordPress on your own server, you crafty devil.
Web hosting accounts are so damn cheap, they totally dismiss any rationale you may have for continuing with your blogspot or blogger site.
So which web host do you recommend, sister?
I’m all about Clook. Because they’ve not failed me once, and because for a few dollars a month I can add about eight domains to my plan. And no matter how many people come visit my site (I can dream…), I never run out of bandwidth.
Ok I’m Clook-ed up. Now what do I do?
Well, in the interests of your own safety and sanity, and my reputation, at this point I gotta tell you you’re gonna need a domain name. Something evocative, something sublime. I use GoDaddy because it’s simple and they love you like you do bread and butter pudding.
I won’t go into more details at this point – tell me if you want me to in another post – but what you need to do now is:
- Go back to your welcome email from hostgator and look for where it talks about nameservers. Something like…
You need these to tell GoDaddy so they can take the domain name you just bought and give it a home at hostgator. Hostgator will host your new website, see, so one needs to move to the other…
Have a breather – take a draft. Log on to your Control Panel using the deets in the email you just got to welcome you to the hostgator clan (incidentally, these guys have just installed foosball tables and no end of mad, crazy good stuff for their staff in new offices. Happy staff, happy customers. Figures.)
Next you need to specify the domain name you just bought at GoDaddy. Add in a username, the folder on your web hosting account where you want your site to be (don’t worry about this stuff for now – but for organisation, go delete the .com bit from the location field because folders look stoopid with .com on the end).
Submit that and in about a minute you should have a ‘success’ type message. A folder has now been created where your site will be, and hostgator has linked your site (that you did all that nameserver malarkey with, earlier) to that folder.
Ok, surely you got light at the end of the tunnel… You mentioned WordPress. How does that fit into this ballache of a gig?
Patience, Jedi dear, for sunlight approaches. In fact only one final section of actions separates you from an Epiphany. You now need to go to Fantastico De Luxe – which is towards the bottom of your hostgator cPanel/control panel. Then do this:
- Click it
- Click WordPress on the left hand column in the next screen (under Blogs)
- Click New Installation on the right hand side
- Where it says Install in Domain, select your domain name/new home on the web.
- Complete the rest of the fields, hit Install WordPress
You’re probably concerned that people will miss all the great work you’ve done so far at Blogger or Blogspot.
- Export all your existing articles using this guide. It’s a cinch to import this stuff into your new WordPress site – like so.
- Redirect people who go to your old blogspot or blogger web address by following these great instructions.
Not bad for a Thursday afternoon, eh? Now it’s your turn to be incredible.
If you have any questions on how to blog better, give me a shout.