Then the Blog Squad (which may or may not still exist) introduced me to Typepad and sold me a book that gave me step by step instructions on setting up my very own Typepad site. Loved that right along with MySpace and for almost a year posted at least 2 blogs daily. I like to write.
But let’s face it, the platform for business-based website is a self hosted WordPress platform. Ah, WordPress. It and I have been together almost a year now and I think we’ve stopped circling each other like strange dogs. (If you just want to dabble, use the free version of WordPress.org, WordPress.com. Transferring between .com and .org is going to be easier than transferring from another platform all-together if you can find anyone who can do it in the first place!)
WordPress is gloriously imperfect from a non-technical viewpoint. There isn’t anyone that you can shoot an email to who will respond within 24 hours with instructions. That said, there are plenty of folks out there willing to teach you how for less than I paid the Blog Squad years ago, and once you’ve got the basics, it’s pretty simple and straightforward.
My switch to WordPress was initiated by my then coach who said that Google loves WordPress and will send WordPress blogs to the top of its search reply pages. Changing from Typepad to WordPress was an adventure in horror stories and bank account drain that lasted about 6 months. When the dust settled, the site still wasn’t working the way I wanted it to so I was off again to find someone to help me fix it once and for all so I could take over the day to day goings on of it.
Disclosure: Kathleen, the Savvy VA, who is hosting this blog post, is my Queen in shining armor who finally rescued me and made it all work. Without her compassionate understanding I probably would have curled up in a little hole and gone luddite. But this student was ready, and my teacher appeared. She got me and WordPress on speaking terms and the relationship has grown from there.
As I mentioned above, I consider myself a non-techie. Still, WordPress is set up so that I can pretty much add or delete navgation bar items, static pages and my blog happily and with little trouble. The interfaces for linking and adding photos are great and I’m sure, were I more technically inclined, there would be a number of other things I could do with it.
VAs – that is, Virtual Assistants – those marvelous people you never meet who can help you run your on-line business – are all whizzes at WordPress. It is their first language. So if you are planning on running a business on-line, and are planning on growing to the point of needing help, it is easy to find people who know how to use this platform and who can give you advice and/or set it up for you in a short shift (which equals less drain on the bank account). Even if you don’t grow to the point of needing help, many of the software interfaces you will use, for instance AWeber (or 1ShoppingCart) base their training on WordPress and how their own software interfaces with it. This is good for non-techies because you can just follow along exactly without trying to figure out how your current platform is the same as or different from WordPress and what you have to do to get around that. People who create themes for websites and blogging platforms love WordPress. So you have lots of themes to choose from when you set up your site – which means you don’t have to pay a programmer the big bucks to design something special for you.
In other words, WordPress is the platform against which all else is measured and on which most free and inexpensive applications available out there in the Net are based.
Recently WordPress even made it really easy for a non-techie to go in and make her own banner. Not that I’ve tried it. But they are always working on making it better (which means I need to upgrade my site, which, by the way, I haven’t yet done) and easier. It gets to the point of “why bother with any other platform” because everyone out there is focusing on WordPress.
If you go with the .org version of WordPress you will need to have a host site. That sounds scary if you’ve never done it, but just Google “web hosts” and browse. There are even great articles comparing hosts and costs. I use Bluehost.com (and they pay affiliate for referrals, so if you want to check them out, check in with me first!) and am very happy with them. They (and I’ll plug AWeber here too) have happily held my shaking hand through website backups and answered all my questions as if the questions were the most important thing they have to do (well, taking care of customers is the most important, but you know what I mean), and walked me through whatever I needed step by step, again and again. Which is to say: all the help you need to make your WordPress site work for you (as in make you money) is out there, is friendly, is easy to access, and is ready and waiting to help.
I’m happy that I made the switch to WordPress because all the help that’s available out there let’s me focus on the things I do best: write and create programs.
Come on over and visit me at my website, TammyVitale. And keep coming back. Because I change it daily – add, subtract, edit, rearrange. Happily and easily. And remember I am a non-techie! Thanks WordPress (and Kathleen, too!).
Tammy Vitale spends all the time she saves by having Kathleen fix her site, coaching women entreprenerus and solorpreneurs and making jewelry and ceramics. She is in the process of creating tutorials for artists (http://www.SellYourArtKeepYourSoul.com) and how-tos for folks who just want to be creative: http://tammyvitale.com/workshopsretreats/how-to-make-a-spirit-doll/. She offers free daily inspiration in your inbox at: http://www.WyldeWomensWisdom.com. You can reach Tammy at: [email protected]