THE WordPress Mega Extended Post: Why Rock Stars Choose It; How New Bloggers Use It

Screenshot of the Rolling Stones Official Website

Screenshot of the Rolling Stones Official Website

What do the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and Katy Perry have in common?

All three use WordPress for their blog.

As the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jaggar, once said:

  “When I can’t get no satisfaction with my website, and blogging becomes a beast of burden, I just start me up a new WordPress blog, paint it black and make it sweeter than brown sugar. Time is on my side, because I’ve got this brilliantly epic blog post here under my thumb so I can refer to it whenever needed.

So just hold onto your hat because all the dirty work has been done for you here. You can’t always get what you want, but you can learn how to use WordPress, so bookmark this post and flip the switch when ready.”  My imagination

Ah yes, Mick is a big fan of Build Your Own Blog. Such kind words. He….okay, so he didn’t actually say that.

But the Stones are using WordPress these days, so somebody must dig it.

Maybe it’s Keith…

Other Famous WordPress Users

Rock stars aren’t the only ones digging WordPress.

Did you know The New York Times, CNN and Reuters all use WordPress, too?

Even large corporations like Best Buy, SONY and UPS use WordPress for their blog needs. (Source)

Must be something to this WordPress, eh?

You better believe it. There’s a reason why millions of people use WordPress and become fans as they figure out all the super cool features along the way.

This post has a lot of information, so it’s quite lengthy. I decided to provide a Table of Contents up front so you can easily navigate to the parts that interest you. Just click on the section you want.

Table of Contents

Part I : The Amazing WordPress Story

  • Brief History
  • What does “free and open source” mean?
  • WordPress Facts Infographic

Part II: Impressive Numbers…So what can WordPress do for me?

  • 15 WordPress Features
  • How to Designate or Switch Roles for Users Involved with Your WordPress Blog

Part III: Getting Up Close and Personal with Your WordPress Dashboard

  • Dashboard Overview
  • Creating Editorial Content with WordPress
  • How to edit your rough draft
  • Using Visual Editor to make changes to blog posts

Part IV: How to post photos on your WordPress Blog

Part V: Using Categories & Tags

Part VI: Publish Your Post: Hit the Blue Button–Feel the Rush

  • Tools inside Publish
  • Visualize Your Blog Posts Dripping in Awesomesauce

Part VII: The Web Page–What Makes Them Different Than Blog Posts

Part VIII: How to Create a New Web Page in WordPress

Part IX: What is a Parent Page and How Do They Make Child Pages?

Part X: Do Pages Have Comments?

Part XI: What are Pingbacks?

 

That’s what the purpose of this post is all about–taking you through an epic overview of WordPress to find the answers you need to help your blogging.

It Starts With “Ease-of-Use”

WordPress is easy.

Ease-of-use is one of its biggest keys to success.

You will not find a better website building system out there that combines high quality alongside user friendliness, in my opinion.

Seriously, WordPress is something you will eventually enjoy using after you get more acquainted with it.

I know it’s new. I know it’s different. For some of you, WordPress is a change, and change is something we normally resist.

Now, I wouldn’t be including WordPress in my setup guide if I didn’t believe this…I’m no techie myself. I don’t have a website development or design background. I like technology, but I’m not really someone you would call a tech geek.

Learning WordPress was new to me too awhile back. I’m glad I gave it a shot and took a little time to learn how to use it. I am still learning things though, but when I first started using WordPress it didn’t take me long to figure things out enough to post content and make some adjustments in the design and such.

To help you get acquainted with WordPress, let’s start with taking a look at the story behind the brand.

Part I: The Amazing WordPress Story

WordPress is web software people use to build efficient, gorgeous blogs. The blogging tool and CMS (Content Management System) is created and supported by a network of community volunteers that reaches the hundreds. Together, they provide the thousands of themes and plugins you can choose from to make your site a stellar experience for visitors.

First launched in 2003 by two guys named Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, WordPress grew to become the world’s most popular free and open-source software.

What does “free and open-source” mean?

WordPress has two dominant traits that make it special:

A. Free software license means users are not restricted by copyright law, the software has a license that grants a user the right to “modify and redistribute” the software. The source code is openly shared to invite and encourage volunteers to continuously make improvements to the software.

(As a user of WordPress, you don’t have to think twice about this, unless you’re a tech geek who wants to help enhance the product. Most WordPress users do not engage in this aspect, they simply enjoy using the product and the benefits included.)

Advocates for (FOSS) free and open source software like WordPress say this decreases software costs, boosts the stability and security (against malware in particular), protects privacy and gives users more control over hardware.

B. Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that doesn’t hide its source code. All open-source software like WordPress thrives in a public arena of collaboration. WordPress is one of the best known examples of what’s called an “open-content” movement.

As of June, 2014, WordPress continues to be the most popular blogging system on the web.

While researching WordPress, I found a sweet infographic that gives some “interesting facts” about WordPress that are a bit mind blowing.

Hat Tip goes to visual.ly for providing this fantastic infographic.

Interesting WordPress Facts

Wow. WordPress is on over 72 million websites throughout the globe.

Part II: Impressive Numbers…So what can WordPress do for me?

15 different things, actually.

There are many features listed right on the Features page of WordPress.org. I want to go through the list and share how each one has been helpful for me personally.

1. Simplicity – Coming from a writing background, not a tech background, I can vouch for the simplicity of using WordPress. Does that mean you never need to look something up or ask for help? No, but finding answers is normally simple just by going to one of the WP forums and talking directly to the creator of the theme, or plugin or whatever part you need help with.  That is what makes feature #2 a key reason to use WordPress.

2. Community – There are literally hundreds of online WordPress communities where people volunteer their time to help answer your questions. Of course there are blog posts and tutorials about WordPress on their site. Sometimes I’ll direct someone with a WP question to one of these pages on the WP site.

The WordPress community also has events called WordCamp or Meetup where you can learn. This vibrant community is the heart of WordPress.

3. Flexibility – You can use WordPress to create just about any type of website imaginable. If you need a blog for business or pleasure, personal or public, visually oriented or copy dominant, to promote your band or book, to provide news and commentary, or form a community of like-minded folks, there’s a theme out there just right for you. Just add some plugins, or if you want to get your tech on, build an application just right for you.

4. Effortless Publishing – I find this WordPress claim to be true. Publishing a blog post or web page really is as simple as creating a document. Plus, adding media (like photos) is easier than doing so on a document. Their tools help to make this easy.

5. Publishing Tools – Starting a blog article or web page, stopping for a while then continuing is easily managed with WordPress. Once the blog post is done, you can publish immediately or schedule it to post whenever you choose.

6. User Management – I get questions about whether or not WordPress offers a multiple user experience. The answer is yes. You can setup individuals to be administrators, editors, authors or contributors. Each has its own parameters of access to the internal dashboard. I use this with people who write for my blog. They are given the “author” access.

Here is a rundown of the WordPress User Roles including each level of access, privileges and responsibilities:

Administrator – Can do it all. Admins are the only ones that can add more admins, make someone an author, invite new users or remove users, or change someone’s role. Admins also have complete control over pages, themes, settings, posts, uploaded files, imports, everything. And admin is the only one who can shut down an entire website, so think seriously about this before giving anyone else this much power.

 Editor – Gets access to all posts, comments, categories, pages, links and tags. They cannot create their own posts, but can edit, publish or delete any post or page. Also, if you want someone to moderate comments for you (including deleting spam) or clean up your categories, tags or links, and that’s it, just make them an editor.

Author – When you want to offer someone the chance to create content for your blog and that’s all, the Author access enables the person to write copy, add photos, edit and publish their own posts. Authors cannot create, change or delete pages, or make changes to other posts by other users.

Contributor – If you want to enable someone to write and edit their own posts, but not be able to publish them (maybe you want to do that yourself), you can make this person a Contributor. Also, once an article is published by an Admin, the Contributor can no longer edit the post.

Follower – These are folks who have no editing privileges. They only receive updates. This is only something another WordPress blogger can do. This is separate and not to be confused with someone who subscribes to your email list.

Viewer – Sometimes people ask me if they can setup a blog that’s private–a site only certain people can see? The answer is yes. With a private WordPress blog, Viewers are like Followers. When you designate someone a Follower, they have no access to editing posts or pages. All they can do is read the posts and comment.

Please note: You can switch your WordPress blog from a public site to a private site easily at any time. Then, you would simply change your Followers into Viewers, which need individual invites to become Viewers.

How to Designate or Switch Roles for Users Involved with Your WordPress Blog

A. First, find Users in your Dashboard in the left sidebar. Place your pointer on “Users” and you will see three options drop down: All Users, Add New, Your Profile. Choose Add New

Dashboard Users

B. Next, you simply fill in the needed information as seen in the next photo. You need an email address and website URL to complete the process. You can see there is a drop down box containing all the User choices. In this case we are making Sloane Thompson an Author. After everything is set, click the Add New User button at the bottom.

WordPress Add User

C. You will automatically move to your list of Users, and you will find the person in alphabetical order of your User list. Like this…

WordPress User List

I can literally add a User to my blog in 60 seconds (as long as I have the entire information ready at my fingertips.)

Now let’s continue looking at WordPress features…

7. Media Management – Uploading photos and videos to my WordPress blog is really easy to do. WordPress now has even added some editing tools you can you to make your photos look enhanced or just different, like on Instagram.

8. Simple Theme System – This is one of the best selling points for WordPress, in my opinion. There’s no equal amongst the various blog tools when it comes to how distinct you can make your website look with a theme, and then how easily you can change the look at any time just by replacing the theme with a new one. Simple.

9. Plugins that Enhance or Extend – When you need to add something, like a cool testimonial box, just place the plugin in the appropriate spot, and your website has something new to offer, like social media share buttons, forums, spam protections, SEO tools, calendars, or forms.

Here is where you go to put in a plugin. Put your pointer on Plugins there in the left sidebar of your dashboard, and then click on Add New.

WordPress plugins

You will then see this below. You can look up Plugins by name or by popular tags.

Plugin Install

So let’s suppose you want your blog Search Engine Optimized (SEO), there are many different SEO plugins to choose from. I’m a fan of WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Whatever plugin you have saved on your computer (best to have it in a zip file), you can next click “upload” and begin installing.

Let’s continue with the next WordPress feature…

10. Built-in Comments – Apparently there are other blog services out there that don’t have built in comments, and that’s a dirty shame in my book. Comments are how your audience connects with your content. Fortunately, WordPress has this covered.

11. Multilingual – 70. That’s how many languages WordPress offers. If you’re interested in displaying your blog in a language other than English, check out this Codex Introduction.

12. Smooth and Easy Installation and Upgrades – Even “just one click” easy install. That’s what Blue Host offers in my setup guide on Step 2.

13. Importers – If you have a blog that’s on a different platform you’re unhappy with, or if your current hosting service is about to bail on you, WordPress has importers for Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, Tumblr and WordPress. Easy to shift your blog if needed.

14. Own Your Data – People really have lost their entire blog due to their host unexpectedly folding up shop. I haven’t experienced it personally, but the experience sounds painful to say the least. With WordPress, no one else can access your content, so you truly do own your blog.

15. Freedom – WordPress is under a GPL license, which provides you with a lot of leeway in how you can use it: install, use, modify, distribute as you see fit. WordPress is proud to be an open source software product.

Now that you’re thoroughly convinced about WordPress being awesome, dive into the basics of using WP once you own a new blog.

Part III: Getting Up Close and Personal with Your WordPress Dashboard

This is how your dashboard layout will look (or something similar).

You can see there are several different things you can do quickly here.

The “Welcome to WordPress” box is where you can change themes, edit pages, add pages, manage widgets, turn off or on comments, and learn more about starting. (Click to enlarge.)

Dashboard Full View

You will also find the At a Glance box where you can see your total number of blog posts, total number of pages, total comments, how many are in moderation, and the name of your current WordPress theme, including a link to it.

Activity shows your most recent blog posts, along with the most recent comments. If you get a lot of spam like me, this enables you to quickly mark those recent comments as spam, or you can quickly approve new “legit” comments.

Quick Draft is a quick navigation to putting content on your blog. This is a nice feature when you want to jot down a new idea for a blog post but don’t have time to really get into it until later. Your latest Drafts are visible so you can get back to one you’ve been working on fast.

Lastly, there is WordPress News, which provides breaking news on WordPress.

Creating Editorial Content with WordPress

You can manage all your Posts in a blog on the Posts Screen that’s found in your left sidebar of the dashboard at the top, called Posts. This is where you can start a new blog, edit or delete.

Categories and Tags are also applied here. These are to the right of the post draft.

Posts

So here’s a swift visual guide to posting content on your WordPress blog:

First, you can either use the Quick Draft on your dashboard or put your pointer on Posts atop the left sidebar as seen below. Then scroll down and click Add New…

Posts Add New

Next, you will see Add New Post, where you find everything you need to create a blog post, including your title bar, body copy box where you write and add media. Then you have your Publish manger in the upper right.

Post creation

How to Edit Your Rough Draft

After you have started a blog post, you can leave it and return hours later or months later. Your post will be saved in the All Posts list. Just click on it after you scroll down from Posts. You can also do this to revise a post that’s already been published. So yes, you can change/update articles years after posting if you want to.

Here’s some help sorting out what you see here. (Click to enlarge.)

Post editing

Now let’s look at how to go about editing a blog post.

Using Visual Editor to Make Changes to Blog Posts

In the upper right corner of your blog content box, you will see two tabs: Visual and Text. Looks like this:

Visual Editor

This editing tool provides a simple, straightforward content editor you can use like a word processor to format your blog content.

There are two rows of editing icons in your visual editor (or three depending on your theme. We will just focus on the first two rows.)

Row 1

This is what the display of first row icons looks like:

Visual Editor Row 1

  1. Bold
  2. Italic
  3. Strike through
  4. Bullet points
  5. Numbered list
  6. Blockquote (a way to draw attention to quoted text. Theme styles will vary.)
  7. Align Left
  8. Align Center
  9. Align Right
  10. Insert/edit link
  11. Unlink
  12. Insert More tag
  13. Proofread/Spell Check
  14. Toggle Distraction Free Writing
  15. Show/Hide kitchen sink (the second row of icons)

Row 2

Visual Editor Row 2

  1. Formatting – various styles, depending on your theme
  2. Underline
  3. Align full
  4. Select Text Color
  5. Paste as plain text
  6. Paste from Word
  7. Remove formatting
  8. Insert custom character
  9. Outdent – shift text to left
  10. Indent – shift text to right
  11. Undo – cancel last action
  12. Redo – redo last action
  13. Help – get more information on using the editor, and keyboard shortcuts.

Alignment

You can align the text and your photos by using the correct icons in your Visual Editor.

Left

Align Photo Left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right

Align Photo Right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Center

Align Photo Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we’re on photos here, let me show you how posting photos in blog posts works with WordPress…

Part IV: How to Post Photos on Your WordPress Blog

You will be happy happy happy with how easy posting photos is with WordPress. Inside the dashboard, you have a Media Library where all the photos you have used or will use later are stored.

Your Media Library pops up when you click on the Add Media button and it looks like this:

Media Library

You can drag and drop or select the photo you want to use with the file selector. Or upload one from your computer. You can even add photos directly to your media library to be used later.

Sometimes you will need to resize your photo to help it look good in your blog post layout or page layout.

If you decide to change the alignment or size of a photo in your blog post, just click on the photo in your Edit Post where you create posts, and click on the photo. Two small boxes will appear in the upper left corner of the photo. The red symbol is to delete the photo. To edit, you want to click on the other box that looks like a landscape pic. Here’s what it looks like:

image edit example2

Once you follow the red arrow and click on that box, a larger box will appear where you can make the edits in size, alignment, or you can delete the URL link in the photo, or change the link.

This is what you should see:

image edit example

Have fun with your blog photos and make sure you give credit when using an image that has copyright restrictions. Flickr is a photo sharing website, and they have a section called Creative Commons, where you can find photos that have the proper license that enables people to use them as long as you mention the owner.

If you need some visual inspiration, WordPress dot org has a sweet page called Showcase that highlights some WordPress websites used by famous people (like Beyoncé) and well known businesses (like Time.com, Facebook Newsroom and the Dallas Mavericks.)

Part V: Using Categories & Tags

Both categories and tags help your blog posts get more traffic and engagement, and using both together is called taxonomies. But the two need to be used correctly to be beneficial.

One of the best analogies on categories and tags is to look at categories as the table of contents for a book, and tags are the index. Categories are more general, while tags are more specific.

By giving your blog posts a category and 1 to 3 tags, you’re helping search engines like Google to latch onto the keywords that are most relevant for your blog.

I’m sure I’ll go into more detail later on about using tags in WordPress. There’s a helpful article on the Woo Themes website called Best Practice for Using Tags in WordPress

Part VI: Publish Your Post: Hit the Blue Button–Feel the Rush

Once you have everything squared away, from spell check to your categories, tags, and SEO optimizing, you can zero in on the Publish module in the upper right of your Post. Looks like this:

Publish Blog in WP

You will be hitting those top two buttons “Save Draft” and “Preview” as you create the blog post.

Once done, you have a few other options before clicking Publish:

Status: If you’re inside the blog as an Author, you can scroll down below Draft and click Pending Review so an Admin. can come along later and review, then post your article.

Visibility: Many of you ask me about the WordPress ability to control who sees your posts. This is where you designate your blog post as one of three options–Public, Password Protected, or Private.

Publish immediately: If you prefer to schedule your post to publish at a later time, click edit, then you can schedule the date and time you prefer.

SEO: A gray dot indicates nothing has yet been done with SEO. Here, I use WordPress SEO by Yoast, and once I finish using this plugin (that’s below the article) and it’s complete, the dot will be green in color. A dot that’s yellow means some optimizing has been done but there is something not complete, according to the Yoast plugin.

You’re Blog Post is Ready! Prepare for Glory!

Publish Button2

Visualize Your Blog Posts Dripping in Awesomesauce

What if your blog posts are so good, visitors start flooding to your blog wanting to know more about you? It’s possible, you know. You’ve studied Step 5, right? You’re soaking up my emails and blog posts…you might be surprised just how quickly your audience grows.

Are you prepared to satisfy their curiosity?

Folks are going to want to know more about you. More about your blogs’ purpose. What is it selling?

Who are you? What’s your story?

Bloggers need more than just blog posts… you’ll need a few added Pages to your website along with a blog.

Do you have an About Page ready? What about an FAQ page? You do at least have a home page…don’t you?

Creating a Web Page with WordPress is about as simple as posting a blog. Let’s jump into Pages now, okay?

Part VII: The Web Page–What Makes Them Different Than Blog Posts

Then you think of what to put on your web pages, determine what information you want to share is TIMELESS. In other words, what do you want to tell all your visitors up front, all the time, tomorrow, next week, and next year.

You don’t want your About information to get buried in a blog, where it’s much harder to find. You certainly don’t want your Contact information to be in a chronologically ordered blog–makes sense to make a Contact Page that’s always one click from your home page.

Both Pages and Posts look similar in setup. Both have a Title and Content. Yet Pages do not have categories or tags.

Ready to start setting up your pages?

Part VIII: How to Create a New Web Page with WordPress

In your dashboard, not far below Posts, you will see Pages.

Once you have created a page or many pages, they will be stored here. If you need to go back and change something on a Page, you will click All Pages where you will find all your stored pages together. Just click on the specific page and you can edit it like a blog post.

Let’s say you don’t have an About page yet. To make one, you would simply go to Pages in the left sidebar, then scroll down to Add New.  You’ll notice how similar it looks to a blog post.

Add New Page

Here is an example of one of my Pages already saved in All Pages.

About Page

When the Page is ready to be seen for the first time, hit that blue Publish button. When you make a change to web page, just hit that blue Update button like you see above. If you don’t, your changes won’t show up on the page.

Be sure to optimize your Page as well, using whichever SEO plugin you have installed.

Part IX: What Are Parent Pages and How Do They Make Child Pages?

No need for a biology lesson here.

The pages you see across the top menu items are known as parent pages.

Parent PagesWhen you hover over a parent page (by putting your pointer on Privacy, for example), pages that drop down underneath are known as the child pages.

Here’s a visual of child pages from wpsites.net

WP Child Pages

You can create as many pages as you need. All the organizational setup of placing child pages under the parent pages is done in the Pages>Add New, where you find this box to the right of your page content.

Page Attributes is where you click under Parent, where a drop down of all your pages, both published pages (live) and saved pages not up yet.

Then you select a Template if you are using one, and then the Order of each child page.

Page Attributes

Boom. Done.

Part X: Do Pages Have Comments?

Some websites do, some don’t.

Here on this website, we don’t. I haven’t seen a need for comments on my pages per se. But that’s just my own choice. You certainly can have comments on Pages with WordPress. I see other websites offering comments on their web pages, but I’ve noticed the comments are pretty sparse.

Part XI: What Are Pingbacks?

Pingback example There’s a type of comment on WordPress called a “Pingback” that you’ll see in the comments section that looks like the one above.

This occurs when someone links to your blog post on their blog. This will only occur if both you and the other person have enabled pingbacks on each of your respective blogs.

This is true in reserve as well–when you include a link in one of your blog posts, a pingback shows up in that site’s comments.

Each WordPress theme is different, so your pingbacks may not look exactly like the example above.

If your blog is private or you have blocked search engines, pings will not be sent.

Wrapping Up This Mega Extended WordPress Post

“WordPress is a gas gas gas!”  – Jack Flash (spoken while jumping.)

Be sure to bookmark this blog post so you can always come back quickly as you continue to master WordPress.

I’ll be here if you need to contact me for any questions or feedback.

Time is on your side. Just stay steady and allow your dreams to run free like wild horses.

And remember, if you need an emotional rescue, I’ll do my best to be your knight in shining armor (okay, that’s enough Stones song references for one post.)

Hang fire. (Seriously, I’ll stop now.)

Author Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.

14 comments

  1. Deidre   •  

    Matt, this is extremely informative and all inclusive. What a great resource for figuring out what to do on WordPress whether you want to blog for fun, professionally or for a corporation. I appreciate you taking the time to map it out so clearly; there’s a lot of information! But the table of contents was a great idea to allow you to go only to that information you need. That makes it useful for bloggers regardless of level of expertise. Thank you for this!

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hi Deidre!

      Thanks for dropping by! Glad to see this post is helpful for you.
      Come back again soon, okay?

  2. Sean Rasmussen   •  

    Champion effort, MKL.

    I’d hate to ask how many hours (days) you spent putting this together (editing, proofing, etc). I can spend 6 hours on a good post some days. You just took it to another level!

    If you ever have spare time on your hands and want to write a mini blog post (say 1400 words), then I’d be proud to have you as a guest on my blog.

    Keep up the great work mate.

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Ha ha, yes, 1400 words would feel like a “mini blog post” these days. 🙂 I will take you up on the guest post offer, mate! Thank you kindly.

  3. John Breese   •  

    Alright brother it’s on!

    I hope you took your vitamins and said your prayers, because I’ll be coming at your with a 10K-word post, brother.

    Watcha gonna do when Postamania runs wild on you?

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      John, I know you’ve started working out and all, but seriously, you’ll need to bring your A-game. 🙂

      Hey, I do like the “fight club” looking logo.

      • John Breese   •  

        Matt,

        If that’s a challenge, it is most graciously accepted.

        I will take you up on that, with the ultimate winner being our readers.

        And thank you for the logo compliment. Shout out to Jonathan Millett for the design.

        • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

          Absolutely, John! The readers will definitely be the winners of this online grudge match. 🙂

          Seriously, you’re a friend of Build Your Own Blog and its exciting to see The One Hour Startup continue to evolve and provide good information for online entrepreneurs.

          See ya around.

  4. Julie   •  

    Thanks as always Matt for the encouragement, support and resources for helping us blogging novices get started.

    I chose WordPress.com for 2 reasons. 1. It was free to me and 2. My friend’s blog “Love – drenched Life” is on WordPress and I really liked her format and layout. I have been surprised and blessed by my decision to start my blog here on WordPress.com.

    Surprised at the community support, the readership base, my fellow bloggers sites’ and support, the ease of setting up and managing my blog. Blessed by a huge, in my opinion, readership base and the initial number of followers was unexpected and rewarding. I have enjoyed very much my readers feedback, support and encouragement…it far outweighs the negativity I received from family and friends.

    I had wanted to start a blog in preparation for my upcoming mission trip to Haiti as I planned to blog about my expectations, preparations for the trip itself, and finally the experiences I was expecting to have when I go there.

    I have found an amazing opportunity with my blog to espouse my beliefs, my opinions, my innermost thoughts, feelings and heart’s desires. That in and of itself has been my reward for doing this blog. I have received so much joy from writing daily on topics that come to mind, sometimes days in advance even minutes in advance.

    Thanks Matt.
    J.E. Morse

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Great to hear, Julie. Love to see new bloggers who are passionate about blogging, like you.

      As you continue to develop, you may (likely, imo) desire a website/blog upgrade to meet your growing blog needs. When you do, my blog setup guide (using wordpress.org) will be here for you. 🙂

      Congrats! Hope you’ll drop by again sometime.

      Cheers,
      Matt

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hey Julie!

      Guess what? You won a free WordPress t-shirt!

      Last week I posted on the Build Your Own Blog Google+ page that I would give a t-shirt away to the person who left the best comment on this blog post.

      You have been declared the winner. Congratulations!

      Email me at matt@buildyourownblog.net to let me know where you would like for me to send the t-shirt.

      Thanks and see ya around!

  5. Mike   •  

    You really helped me a lot Matt, I appreciate this post

  6. Brent Jones   •  

    Thanks for another gem, Matthew. I think I have a pretty good handle on WordPress, but always nice to get a refresher.

    Question: Is there any benefit to using child pages? Since I generally use themes with custom menu options, I’ve never seen the need to create a child page. Thoughts?

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