Category Archives: Blogger Vs. Wordpress

How to start a blog on Wordpress

How to Blog: How to Start a Blog on WordPress

How to Blog 12 easy to follow lessons and tutorails from A Royal DaughterHow to Start a Blog on WordPress

Catch up on this series by setting your very first blog goals, planning your personal brandingwriting a mission statement, and creating your custom logo. If you’re looking for how to set up a blog on Blogger, you can find out how here.

Before you invest in WordPress, please read this post comparing Blogger vs. WordPressWhile I personally love WordPress, I know it isn’t for everyone, and I want you to make the most informed and best decision for you! Here’s a quick pros + cons of blogging on self-hosted WordPress.

Pros:

  • Content ownership: you own your content, the copyrights to your content, and the ability to decide what appears on your blog.
  • Optimized SEO: WordPress themes (Especially Genesis and Thesis) have built-in search engine optimization, allowing you to write, evaluate, and edit your posts before you ever hit publish. (FYI: my pageviews more than quadrupled within 3 months of moving to WordPress, and google searches continue to make up about 50% of my traffic!
  • Enhanced ability to set up an online marketplace, or other website qualities.

Cons:

  • Cost prohibitive. I’ll go into my own personal cost to move ARD to WordPress below, but juts know that using the WordPress platform is an investment.
  • Limited design ability. Customizing a WordPress theme is not nearly as intuitive as it is on Blogger, and there aren’t quite as many tutorials out there to help you through the process. However, WordPress has oodles of helpful forums for troubleshooting design problems.
Note: this post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase using one of my links, I receive a small commission for referring you. Affiliate income goes directly to our make-a-baby fund, my husband and I really appreciate it when you shop through A Royal Daughter!

Cost of Starting a blog on WordPress

There are cheap-enough ways to launch a blog on WordPress, since there are plenty of free WordPress themes to choose from. The biggest cost upfront is the monthly hosting costs.

Many of you asked what I spent on ARD when I switched from Blogger to WordPress.

  • Hosting: I chose a 3 year plan to host aroyaldaughter.com with BlueHost. That brought the cost down to about $4 a month, but I had to pay it all up front. Total cost: $145.
  • I purchased the Genesis Framework because I had heard so many great things about it. Total cost: $60.
  • I also purchased the Pure Elegance child theme, which I then customized. Total cost: $20.
  • Total cost to launch my blog on WordPress, for the next three years: $225. That’s roughly $75 per year. Not a bad investment, right? For me, it was totally worth it.

How to start a blog on WordPress

I’m going to show you how to set up a WordPress blog on Bluehost. You will need to have an account with Bluehost, and as you progress, they will prompt you to create an account with WordPress.

1. Once you have purchased your domain + hosting, log into your hosting server and click on the CPanel (control panel). Under Website Builders, click on “WordPress.”

How to Start a Blog on WordPress

2. You will be prompted to install WordPress on your domain. Click “Start.”

How to Start a Blog on WordPress1

3. Select the domain to which you wish to install WordPress.

How to Start a Blog on WordPress2

It will tell you something is already there – just keep clicking through to install WordPress. You will be prompted to create an account with WordPress, including the e-mail + password that will be associated with your account. You can use the automatically populated information, or select your own.

How to set up a blog on WordPress with Bluehost

4. Once WordPress is uploaded to your hosting site, you can access the WordPress dashboard by logging in at yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/ where you will sign in with the information you selected while in your hosting company’s control panel.

At this point you should have already purchased your theme + child theme. I will be demonstrating with Genesis + the Runway child theme.

Click on Appearance > Themes

How to Install Genesis on WordPress

Click Install Themes and then select “upload.”

How to install Genesis on WordPress1

Locate the (zipped) Genesis file that you previously downloaded when you purchased the theme, select it, and upload. Once it has uploaded, click “activate.”

How to install Genesis on WordPress2

To install the child theme, repeat the process (Install Theme > Upload) and select the child theme (in this case, Runway), and click Install Now. You will have to activate the child theme, and at this point your blog is officially launched!

How to start a blog using Genesis and a Child theme

How to Customize a Genesis Child Theme

Customizing a child theme (especially something basic like Runway) is fairly simple, but unless you’re ultra CSS-savvy, you are limited in what customizations you can make.

This tutorial assumes you have already created a custom logo for your blog.

1. Log into your dashboard, and click on Appearance > Header. This page will tell you the required dimensions for your website/blog header. In this case it is 1152 X 100 px.

How to Customize a Genesis Child Theme

2. Before you save your new header, be sure to unclick “show header text with image.”

How to Customize a Genesis Child Theme1

3. You’ll also need to click on Appearance > Themes > Customize, and delete Site Tagline (but leave the Site Title).

How to Customize a Gensis Child Theme

4. Okay, are you ready to do a teensy bit of CSS adjustment? I hope so, because there is one last step we have to do to get your custom header finished up.

Click on Appearance > Editor > Stylesheet

How to Customize Runway Child Theme

5. Search for the following code:

#title {
font-family: ‘Fjalla One’;
font-size: 58px;
font-size: 3.625rem;
letter-spacing: 5px;
margin: 40px 0 8px;
margin: 2.5rem 0 0.5rem;
}

and delete everything within the {  }.

6. Search for the following code:

#title a{
color: #000;
}

and replace “#ooo” with “transparent”

How to customize Runway Child Theme1

Save your changes, and now your new WordPress blog has a customized logo! Congratulations, you’ve just launched your custom, self-hosted blog on WordPress!

How to start a blog on WordPress

Resources + Engage

Blogger to WordPress Transfer

How to Start a Blog (or Website)

Migrate from Blogger to WordPress

How to Create a Blog with WordPress 

Free WordPress Themes

If you’re on WordPress, what is your #1 favorite plugin?

If you’re not on WordPress, why are you considering WordPress as a blogging platform?

 

How to Blog: How to Start a Blog on Blogger

How to Blog 12 easy to follow lessons and tutorails from A Royal DaughterHow to Blog: How to start a blog on blogger

So you’re thinking about starting a blog. You’ve thought long and hard about your purpose and you’ve spent time setting your very first blog goals, planning your personal branding, writing a mission statement, and creating your custom logo. It’s time to get your blog set up!

Before you learn how to start a blog on Blogger, it is a good idea to research the difference between Blogger and WordPressIn case you haven’t done the research, here’s a quick pros + cons of setting up a blog on Blogger.

Pros:

  • It’s free. Unless you purchase your own domain (scroll down for more information) there are absolutely no start up costs associated with blogging on blogger.
  • Third party advertising is allowed. This means if you ever wish to monetize your blog you can set up advertisements on your blog.
  • User-friendly. Creating your design on Blogger is fairly intuitive, and there are tons of resources out there to help you with a design.

Cons:

  • Google technically owns your content. You can read more about that in Content Ownership.
  • Creating strong SEO (search engine optimizations) is more difficult on Blogger
  • Limited design options. If you want to setup an online marketplace, or run your blog more like a website, there are limited options for creating that kind of site on Blogger.

If you decide to go with WordPress, check back later this week, I’ll be walking you through setting up a blog on WordPress.

How to Start a Blog on Blogger

In the interest of full disclosure, some links included in the post are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I earn a small commission for referring you. Income earned through affiliate partnerships goes to our make-a-baby fund, we really appreciate it when you shop through ARD!

1. Set up an account with blogger.com

2. Log into the dashboard and click “new blog”

How to start a blog on blogger

  • Under “title” enter the name of your blog. Example: Best Blogging Resources.
  • Under address enter the url (it will be followed by .blogpsot.com) that you wish to use. Blogger will automatically tell you if the url is available or not.
  • Click on “create blog” and you’ve just launched your new blog!

But let’s not leave it there, let’s customize it a bit, okay?

How to set up a custom domain on Blogger

1. Log into your dashboard and select “settings”

2. Under Publishing, click on add custom domain.

How to set up set up a custom domain on Blogger

In the past Blogger had a super easy way to integrate a custom domain purchased through GoDaddy, but that service is no longer available and you now have to manually verify ownership of your domain.

In this example, I purchased the domain from GoDaddy, and I’ve also purchased domains through BlueHost. I personally prefer BlueHost, but because of GoDaddy’s long-standing relationship with blogger, I went ahead and used their service because I was a little more familiar with their dashboard.

3. Click “Add Custom Domain” and enter the url of the custom domain you purchased.

How to set up set up a custom domain on Blogger2

If you click on settings instructions you will see something that looks like this:

How to set up set up a custom domain on Blogger1

Choose “top-level domain” and read through those instructions. They might seem confusing, but just familiarize yourself with those steps, then come back to where you’ll input your custom domain, and click “save.”

4. When you click “save” Blogger will prompt you to verify your ownership of the domain. It will give you the codes you need to plug in to your domain dashboard.

How to set up a custom domain for Blogger

5. Log into GoDaddy (or wherever you purchased your domain!) and click view your domains. Select your domain and click “launch.”

How to Claim DNS on GoDaddy

Click on DNS Zone File, then select “edit”

How to Set up a custom domain for Blogger through Godaddy

Click “Quick Add” and enter the code provided in Blogger.

How to claim DNS in GoDaddy for Blogger1

  • In the left column enter the url of your custom domain, and in the right column enter ghs.google.com.
  • Add a second line and in the left column enter the code short code provided by Blogger, and in the right column enter the long code provided by Blogger. 

Be sure to save your changes. It will take up to 48 hours for GoDaddy and Blogger to communicate the changes to each other, so if it doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry! Just be patient, and check back every few hours to see if it has redirected.

How to Add a Custom Header

Last week we created a custom font-only logo using paint.net. Here’s how you’ll install that logo.

1. Log into your dashboard and click on “layout”

2. Under the header gadget, click “edit”

How to Add a Custom Header to Blogger

Upload your header, select “instead of title and description” and click “save”

How to Add a custom Header in Blogger

If the header doesn’t look centered, you can use this tutorial to center it.

Top 5 Blog Design Tips:

1. Keep it simple. If you’re just starting out and you’re not comfortable making many changes to your design, keep it as simple as you can: white background, dark font sized at 12 or 14 pt, and very few gadgets.

2. Limit the sidebar to only one. We read left to right, and keeping the distractions to a minimum, and on one side of your content, will allow your readers to focus on the main event: your writing. My personal preference is a sidebar to the right of the content, but everyone has their own preferences!

3. Big pictures. When you upload your pictures don’t shrink them down too small. The general rule is that pictures should be sized at least 600 pixels or wider.

4. Justify your text left. Again, we read left to right, and centered text is straining to the eyes. Imagine trying to read a magazine or newspaper article that had centered font! Your eyes would be strained from focusing and refocusing. Justify text to the left for optimum readability.

5. Love your design. Remember, you’re branding yourself! Use colors, fonts, and graphics that represent who you are behind the computer screen, and embrace it! Eventually you’ll want to use your brand across all social media platforms, business cards, and maybe even business letterhead. Don’t settle for a logo, work with it until you have something you absolutely love!

Start a Blog on Blogger

Resources + Engage

Looking for more tutorials on how to customize your design on Blogger? Here are some great resources:

Hopefully my tutorials will be helpful!

The Cutest Blog on the Block

Designer Blogs

Design It Love It

What kind of tutorials would you like to see in the future?

Do you have your own domain? Will you keep it when it is time to renew?

If you chose to blog on Blogger, what was the deciding factor for you?

 

 

From Idea to eBook Online Course

Blogger Vs Wordpress What about GFC

Blogger vs. WordPress – GFC & RSS

This is part three in the series Blogger vs. WordPress.

Many of you had questions about the different ways to follow a WordPress blog, since GFC is no longer available for non-google websites.

Blogger Vs WordPress What about GFC

First of all let me clarify a couple of things.

GFC functions exactly like an RSS feed, except that instead getting to choose which reader (i.e. google, yahoo, etc.) to use, the follower reads the blog via their blogger reader. Did you know that all those blogs you follow via GFC will also show up in your google reader? It’s true! And the other big difference is that the GFC widget displays follower numbers + a tiny thumnail picture of the most recent followers. And that is very appealing to a lot of people.

But can I get on my soap box for just a few minutes?

Y’all, numbers, whether they are GFC numbers, subscriber numbers, twitter followers, or facebook likes – they are very, very misleading, and they rarely provide an accurate assessment of the vitality of a blog.

Someone can have 1300 GFC followers, but only average 5-10 comments per day. Meanwhile, they’re getting tweets, retweets, facebook shares, pins, and e-mails. Those numbers definitely speak to the vitality of a blog, but those are numbers that are rarely seen, and even harder to track.

I think that’s what prompted the creators of Klout to come up with a way to measure influence on social media.

To learn more about Klout, check out my Klout 101 post.

Giving up GFC was not an issue for me at all. I fully understand that it in no way represents the activity, success, or vitality of my website.

<<steps off soap box>>

Now to answer a couple of reader questions:

Rebekah at Living & Learning asked:It may be the world’s dumbest question but can you explain (or point me in the right direction) how exactly an RSS feed works?

And

Amber at My Three Bittles asked: Can you talk about the ways to follow/unfollow a WP blog! I’m so used to GFC and I know that WP doesn’t offer that, so would it just be through RSS subscription?

I’m guessing you want to know how RSS works functionally, rather than technically? For how it works technically, check out RSS-Tutorial.com.

Functionally, here’s how you can follow via RSS:

How to Subscribe via RSS

How to Subscribe via RSS 1 PNG

How to Subscribe via RSS 2

And in case you want to add A Royal Daughter (or any other site) to your blogger reads:

How to Subscribe via Blogger

How to Subscribe via Blogger1

You can always follow ARD via Blog Lovin’ and Hello Cotton too! Of course, subscribing by e-mail is the BEST way to never miss a post! *hint hint*

Okay, I hope that answers a few questions for you! I’ll probably hold off on the rest of the Q & A’s until sometime next week.

Don’t forget about #DesireToInspire tomorrow! I’ll hope you’ll be joining us!

Signature

 

 

 

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Community Q & A with Mama Marchand’s Nest

Connect on Facebook

RDD: As a blogger, what is your biggest challenge for growing your community, and how do you deal with it?)

MMN: I think the biggest challenge when trying to grow community is balancing the quality vs. quantity aspect of blogging. In order to grow community, you need to to post on a very frequent basis. However, I think that a genuine community thrives on quality posts which may not always happen when you are posting frequently. I want to bring my readers good, thought-provoking writing which means that some days there are no posts. And it’s hard to grow your blog when you aren’t posting – make sense? I still really haven’t found the answer I guess!

Understanding SEO

Blogger vs. WordPress: Understanding SEO

This is part two in the series: Blogger vs. WordPress, and it does contain affiliate links.

The number one reason I moved from Blogger to WordPress is because of content ownership.

Once I decided I wanted to make the move to WordPress, I purchased hosting space from Bluehost and then did a bit of research about frameworks. One of the reasons I chose Genesis is because of Search Engine Optimization.

Understanding SEO

What is SEO?

Let’s say that every single website (that’s billions, y’all) is a like a piece of metal buried on a sandy beach off the coast of Southern California. Just like websites, the pieces of metal are of varying shapes, sizes, and weight.

For this illustration we’re going to use a metal detector to represent search engines (i.e. google, bing, etc.) When someone types a word or phrase into a search engine, it’s like a metal detector swooping across the sand in search for metal.

SEO sort of draws the most relevant metals (i.e. websites) to the top, making them stand out, and easily detectable. As if telling a metal detector to look for a lost wedding ring, and ignore coins and other scrap metal.

Let’s do a google search together, okay? Let’s search for “Lemonade.”

Google found more than 49 million websites that discuss “Lemonade” in one way or the other. How does it know which websites to bring to the top? SEO.

What is SEO

This video from Search Engine Land describes how SEO works even better than my little analogy above. If you really want to know more about it, go ahead and watch the video, it’s not uber techy or anything like that. I found it to be very helpful!

So why did SEO play a part in my decision to switch from Blogger to WordPress? Last fall I wrote several posts about purpose, knowing my voice, and embracing myself as a leader. Since I have a pretty secure understanding of what I think God wants  A Royal Daughter to be, it is important to me that people are able to find ARD when they search for things like Blogs about Infertility or Blog Design Tutorials, or Inspired Writing.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have anything built-in that boosts SEO. All of the work is manual, and time-intensive. But with WordPress I’m able to look at how each blog post rates in regards to SEO. Here’s a peek:

SEO In Genesis

So is it working? ARD launched less than a week ago, and already my pageviews are half of what they were for the whole of last month! That doesn’t automatically mean that SEO is working for me, but let’s take a look at five of the top ten organic searches that landed readers at ARD since last Tuesday: (I’m linking them to the recent posts that I suspected contributed to them landing at ARD.)

Blogger Vs. WordPress 2013
Christmas Wrapping Recycling
God Inspired Me To Write
Inspiration Out With the Trash At Christmas
Recycling Fashion Paper

I find that to be pretty exciting, don’t you?

For more (and definitely better!) information about SEO I recommend:

Tent Blogger’s SEO Series

Blogging With Amy’s Excellent SEO Gimme

Search Engine Land

SEOMoz’s downloadable Beginner’s guide to SEO

I’ll be back later this week for part three, in which I do my best to answer reader questions!

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Setting Goals Q&A with Mama Marchand’s Nest

Connect on Twitter

RDD: When did you first set goals for your business/blog? How do you hold yourself accountable to accomplish those goals?

MMN: I first set goals when I got “serious” about blogging – about two years ago. Since then, my readership has grown by leaps and bounds but not without struggle on my part. I question myself and my goals regularly, to make sure I’m staying true to myself and my voice.

Blogger Vs Wordpress Understanding Content Ownership

Blogger Vs. WordPress: Content Ownership

This is part one in the series: Blogger Vs. WordPress, and it does contain affiliate links.

Blogger Vs WordPress Why I Switched

“I will never ever move from Blogger to WordPress,” I told myself this time last year after reading several articles about the supremacy of WordPress and the inadequacies of Blogger. I resolved then and there never to be one of those kind of bloggers. You know the ones, right? They proudly make the move from Blogger to WordPress and then tell you that Blogger is worthless and WordPress is the only “professional” platform.

I’m holding true to my resolution, y’all. At least I’m going to try to.

Professionalism

Anyone who says that you can’t blog professionally on Blogger has never read, or at the very least gives little credit to Kelle Hampton, Kelly’s Korner, Living in Yellow, Danielle Moss, The Wonder Forest, Just Lovely Things, The Anderson Crew, and the Wiegands. Not only are these women “making it” blogging, but they’re doing it on the Blogger Platform.

There is no shame in blogging on Blogger. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

So why did I make the switch?

Content ownership.

Blogger Vs WordPress Understanding Content Ownership

Imagine if you will that the content on your blog is a beautiful grand piano. A family heirloom, in pristine condition, that you inherited from your great-great-great Aunt Gertrude. It not only holds monetary value, it holds sentimental value as well.

Unfortunately you have no room to put it in your two bedroom almost-an-efficiency apartment. So you call up your first-cousin-twice-removed-by-marriage Horace and ask him if you can store the piano at his place.

Cousin Horace has three sets of unruly twins, and a pot-bellied pig that lives inside, so while he’s willing to keep it (for free!) he can’t guarantee what may or may not happen to it while it’s there. You agree to leave your beloved grand piano with Horace (and the twins…and the pig) and as you drive away you have a sneaky suspicion that if Horace ever ends up in a financial bind, the piano might just disappear.

The piano is technically yours. But while it’s in the home of Cousin Horace (and the twins…and the pig) you’ve sort of given up most of the control of the piano.

You guessed it. In this little analogy, Cousin Horace’s home represents Blogger. And the grand piano represents your precious, valuable content.

You do own your content. You own the copyrights to your content, and if you discover that someone is plagiarizing your content you can even contact Google (who owns Blogger) and they will help you deal with it.

But Google owns the storage unit where all your content is stored, and according Google’s terms of service,

Block QuotesWhen you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

And there’s more:

Block QuotesWe are constantly changing and improving our Services. We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether.
You can stop using our Services at any time, although we’ll be sorry to see you go. Google may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time.
We believe that you own your data and preserving your access to such data is important. If we discontinue a Service, where reasonably possible, we will give you reasonable advance notice and a chance to get information out of that Service.

{Now would be a great time to point you towards How to backup your blog design and How to backup your blog content. Just in case you ever need it, you know.}

How WordPress is Different

Using the analogy above, imagine that instead of putting your grand piano in the care of Cousin Horace (and the twins…and the pig) you crunched the numbers and decided to rent a big indoor climate controlled storage unit at Public Storage. You invest the money to protect what is so very valuable to you, signing a lease that leaves you in complete control of what happens to Aunt Gertrude’s grand piano – so long as you continue paying your lease.

Having a self-hosted blog is sort of like signing a long-term lease on a Public Storage unit.

When I moved my blog to WordPress, I purchased server space for the next three years – from BlueHost – that’s sort of like renting a Public Storage unit for the grand piano. I also bought a framework – Genesis – that’s sort of like picking out the layout + options of the storage unit. And I bought a theme – Pure Elegance – which really has no correlation in this analogy, unless you paint and decorate the storage unit so the grand piano looked good sitting there.

The point is: I own this website.

Every word I write, every picture and document I upload belongs to me. I have exclusive access to A Royal Daughter 100% of the time.

Of course, being intangible and electronic, servers fail. (Remember a few months ago when that server up in the North East failed and no one had access to Pinterest, Amazon, Instagram, and a bunch of other websites? Those things do happen.) But barring server failure, a blackout, or a zombie apocalypse, I expect to have guaranteed access to my website. When I was on Blogger I didn’t have that guarantee. And I just reached a point where my agreement with Google wasn’t working for me.

So I made the switch. It was the right decision for me, but I know that it’s not the right decision for everyone. And that’s okay.

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Look for part two next week: Blogger Vs. WordPress: Search Engine Optimization. And if you have specific questions, please leave them in the comments. I’ll be doing my best to answer them in part three or part four.