Setting up this WordPress site feels like trying on clothes in a store without a changing room. If you are the changer you feel the need to constantly apologize for the visual trauma observers may experience. If you are the observer, well, the experience is either very entertaining or mildly mind-boggling. I hope your experience here is the former of the two.
Deciding on a category for a post, like this post, sets in motion a dominoes chain-reaction for me. The WordPress Tricks category doesn’t seem quite right, but to rename that category causes another chain-reaction. So, to make it easy for both of us I will redefine the category without renaming it.
- WordPress Tricks is about useful things I discover which may be worth sharing.
- WordPress Tricks is also about some of the sneaky little tricks WordPress pulls to make a blogger’s life interesting. In all fairness, maybe those sneaky tricks are a product of an easily baffled blogger’s brain.
Either way, I hope your visit to this category will be entertaining, educational, or both.
Now some education.
When I started this WordPress journey I didn’t understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. What I learned was choosing WordPress.com for my blog was nice and easy, and that’s appealing to someone new to blogging. However, I soon discovered the trade-off for that convenience. Since I am using WordPress.com as my hosting provider, I have to live with their restrictions.
- I cannot add plugins without paying a high price for their business plan. A higher price than that of a hosting provider.
- I cannot edit the HTML code if I want to customize my site beyond the customization choices they allow.
- I have to either settle for a website that looks rather clunky, such as, RichardFarleyAuthor.wordpress.com or fork out extra money in order to have an address like RichardFarleyAuthor.com, but still be very limited as to the first two items in the list above.
In retrospect, I wish that I had purchased a plan from a hosting provider that includes a free domain name. Then downloaded WordPress from the WordPress.org site and enjoyed the full freedom of a site that I own. Yes, I would have lost a little convenience, but the flexibility and control would have made it worthwhile.
My advice for the new blogger is this. Go ahead and use the free WordPress.com service. Learn all you can about design and layout options available. Then, when you are clear about your future direction, set up your own site through a hosting provider. You will get a lot of free experience before you shell out your money.