Just three little letters. .COM vs .ORG, as in WordPress.COM, vs WordPress.ORG. When I set up my writing website almost a year ago, I’d heard that the provider of choice was WordPress. I Google’d WordPress, signed up, and created the website you can still find at www.michaelwgriffith.wordpress.com. What I didn’t know at the time was the .COM version is an adequate, but stripped down version of the .ORG version.
Now that I’ve completed my first book, and will finish the second in the near future, it seemed like a good time to get my website up to snuff. Labor Day presented the perfect opportunity to get my new site running, without eating into my writing time. I still have a fair amount of work to go, but like how it’s looked so far. For my writer friends, here’s what I’ve discovered, and what you need to know if you’re considering WordPress:
1. As mentioned, use WordPress.ORG instead of WordPress.COM.
2. .ORG has so much more built in flexibility that it’s easily the better choice. You can turn .COM into virtually anything you want. No limits.
3. Wordpress.ORG’s own “how to” instructions are terrible, and frankly, intimidating. Just go to YouTube, and enter “build WordPress.org website.” Easy.
4. Spend a lot of time looking at themes (what your website will look like). You can do that now at WordPress.org, for free. Just realize that you’re looking for functionality (what the site does), and not the colors and pictures they have on the current theme. All of that stuff is changeable.
5. Armed with your YouTube videos, and perhaps a high school or college student, you’ll be able to get your site up and running with little effort.
Most right-brained writer types I know get intimidated when thinking about building a website. I’m no programmer, nor do I want to be one, but the thought of spending a fair chunk of three days building a website might scare off just about anybody. The core site was up and running with a different theme in a couple hours. The rest of the time was going back and forth with pictures and colors, and transferring some of my old blog posts to the new site.
If you decide to do it, drop me a link when you’re done. I’d love to see what you come up with!