WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Joan | Blog

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

There’s a big difference. 

This post gives you the information based on user experience. It is not full of the usual comparisons and statistics about the different kinds of software to use for a website. I’ve used WordPress since 2006. I am not a developer but I found WordPress is an excellent software to power a website. Especially if you don’t know how to code.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with creating the abstract concept of the Web writes in his book Weaving The Web, “I never intended HTML source code (the stuff with the angle brackets) <href> to be seen by users. A browser/editor would let a user simply view or edit the language of a page or hypertext as if they were using a word processor.”

The WordPress end product is a word processing content management system intended for the user. The code operates in the background and you’re interacting with the commands and using the content management system known as WordPress. 

WordPress.com Explained

WordPress.com is a hosting platform. This means your website is hosted on WordPress.com servers.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com offers you a free startup site with a website or blog with a free theme. 

A free platform has limited uses. One of these limitations is you have WordPress ads on your site. Another is restricted memory and technical service. 

Anytime something is free, it means upgrade to WordPress.com plans.

WordPress.com

Eventually you’ll come to the point where you want to do more with your website.

You can upgrade your free account and stay with WordPress.com. Within the WordPress.com environment you are subject to what is specific to WordPress.com

WordPress.org Explained

WordPress.org is the information resource website. It is NOT a Hosting Company.

WordPress.org provides the codex information. Codex is a library of information for developers.

WordPress.org is Self-Hosting

This means you are going to manage your WordPress website yourself, but you’re going to need the services of a Hosting Company to occupy space on their servers to store your website files.

Self-hosting implies you download WordPress to your computer and start using it and then publish it to the web. This is what developers do. This is NOT what you should do.

 

WordPress is Open Source Software

Open source means developers from all over the world contribute to the WordPress core code. WordPress has become one of the most widely used software applications to power a website.

WordPress.org recommends hosting companies that meet the requirements of WordPress. WordPress.org provides the codex information. Codex is a library of information to help developers and designers with using code to build WordPress websites. The entire website uses this core software code to operate. 

Self-Hosting

Self-hosting means having your own website hosted on a Hosting Company’s server. Your website must have a domain name.

Your website is independent from a platform and you can use any WordPress Theme and any Plugins you need for your website. 

The Hosting Company will have a WordPress install feature in the back panel. This is where the WordPress core software is imported into your website, from the WordPress.org repository, the official, updated WordPress core software.

About WordPress Themes

All themes come with a GPL license, (general public license) valid for one year.

WordPress Themes

Theme Developers have created gorgeous themes. Depending on the arrangement with the Theme developer, you may have to purchase an upgrade to continue to use the Theme, or worse, find another Theme.

 

Theme Checklist

  • When was the theme developed?
  • Is it updated regularly?
  • Is there tech support?
  • Are there tutorials?

Follow the Designer's Lead

Something I learned; follow the designer’s lead and you’ll have a professional website.

Following the Designer’s Leed

The designer is the one who thoroughly understands the framework of WordPress and the design element to complement the content within your site. I found one such designer, Nick Roach. The lead designer and CEO of Elegant Themes.

With each Theme I have used in their Theme repository, I find the element of clean, open design. From this vantage point you’re using the Theme for your website’s intended purpose

In 2013 Elegant Themes produced the Divi Theme.

The Divi Theme is for every type of user. A beginner, a designer, and a developer. Here’s a little known secret; designers and developers use the Divi Theme to build professional websites.

I’m not a developer, but I designed my websites using Divi, without having to know code and I followed the designer’s leed with the premade layout packs that come with the Divi Theme.

To answer the question: which theme should you use, my recommendation, the Divi Theme.

Elegant Themes is a reputable company. The Divi Theme is updated regularly. There is sufficient tech support and built in video tutorials for every module.

I have been a member of Elegant Themes since 2010. In 2015 I found out about Elegant Themes affiliate program (this is my affiliate link).  I’m comfortable recommending their Themes and services based on my experience. 

If you’re still not sure

about what do do about your website…

Knocking Yourself Out to be Like Everyone Else

Knocking Yourself Out to be Like Everyone Else

Have you ever felt as though you need to fit in, but you want to express your individuality at the same time? We are one among many, and we compare ourselves to others all the time. We’re also evaluated, classified, and counted more than we want to be.

But aren’t we unique and different?

We are, but we won’t always be true to that difference, until we are more sure of ourselves. Taking a closer look, here is a poem I wrote that speaks to the depth of my problem.

Like Everyone Else

Fear dances in your head,
the traditional lays it’s frightening images before you.
Pay homage to the wisdom,
as your father, grandfather, great grandfather,
and generations before you did.
Your new idea hangs lamely in the air,
will they scoff and laugh.
Preposterous, impossible, yet it isn’t new.
It is as ancient as you.
© 2016 Joan Margau

Fitting In

This is a full time job if you are going to fit in, you have to have the “right profile.” You’ll have to be “cool,” follow the right people, and put perfect pictures of your life online. Your “persona” will be someone you think you’re supposed to be. A new trend sets the pace. An “influencer” tells you the best way to do something. All you have to do is just follow their “blueprint,” and you don’t have to think for yourself. It’s all done for you, just follow the secret method.

The problem is everyone has a secret method. If you compare the methods, it’s two different ways of doing something. Each method is unique to the person who promotes their particular method. This is not to say you cannot learn from someone else’s experience. But if you adapt what you are doing to be like everyone else because they are successful, you’re knocking yourself out to be like them.

How do you get from being like someone else to being true to yourself?

It’s an obvious answer only when you stop and think about it. You have to develop your own style and know yourself. The way to do this is to improve your mind, and be aware of yourself.

The process of thinking is actually an automatic activity, through responses to the five (and sometimes) six senses. Our interaction leads to the thought process of the mind and of course our feelings. When we want to be like everyone else, we give up on ourselves.

Our individuality is shaped by our worldview through what we experience. For instance, there are many subjects that shape our view; art, literature, religion, politics, self-awareness, family, observation, reading, instruction by learning, conversation, and mediation, but not necessarily in that order. We are shaping our individuality when we improve the mind. We start to think for ourselves, and not let someone else think for us.

Improving the mind isn’t something newly discovered. One of the minds that steered me in the direction of accepting the fact I was knocking myself out to be like everyone else was Isaac Watts. His writing was in a different time, but the truth of what he wrote is timeless.

The improvement of the mind

The action and process of improvement of the mind was a preoccupation of Isaac Watts, the well known English minister, theologian, and logician. His book, The Improvement of the Mind (1741) was widely read, and still is today. Watts wrote poetry, prose, and hymns. He spoke Greek, French, and Hebrew, and was known as a Dissenter. Not a good idea in those days, depending on the ruling monarch of the time.

He wrote the Art of Reading (1721), A Guide Called Logic: or the Right Use of Reason (1724), and The Improvement of the Mind (1741). These works became textbooks and educational theory for more than a century. A digital copy of the Improvement of the mind is available in the Google Play store.

“There are five eminent means or methods whereby the mind is improved, in the knowledge of things, and these are observation, reading, instruction by lectures, conversation and meditation…” (The Improvement of the Mind, 1741, Isaac Watts: 22).

Observation

Observation shapes our ideas and experiences resulting in opinions. It lays the foundation of knowledge. We obtain a variety of ideas from an outward perception. Differences of opinions are normal, otherwise we have to think the same way, under someone’s idea umbrella.

We see and know things as they are and how they appear to us. We can be influenced by our observation of others, especially if they improve our mind and contribute to our existing knowledge. Influence through observation can be inspirational. But we should not be so influenced we let go of who we are, in favor of wanting to be like someone else because they are successful.

Reading

Reading transfers knowledge to us. We review the text, observe, and interpret the meaning in context with our observation. Our online experience has put us into spending a good deal of time reading. Just what are we reading?

It depends on whose work you read. The purpose of the interaction when reading is a comparison rather than an outright adoption. What if you were doing what you wanted to do from the start, and it was the one thing you needed to do, but abandoned what you were doing, because you thought you weren’t doing it “right.”

There are too many how-to-do it faster, better, and quicker. Don’t waste time, all you need is five minutes to change your life, in three easy steps. This kind of reading can cause you to abandon what you are doing, and knock yourself out to be like everyone else, thinking this is what you should be doing.

Was I that gullible? Yes, most definitely, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post.

Instruction by lectures

If we think about the journey of instruction, we could start with the oral instruction. The tradition of passing on the stories of nations to future generations. The open debates on the senate floor in ancient Rome. The schools of instruction in philosophy and theology. The universities, education institutions and higher education. Every century has instituted a form of instruction by lectures.

If Isaac Watts was our instructor he would expect the result of all instruction to improve the mind, not persuade. If we want to learn we will be enthusiastic in our approach. Instruction by lectures will be exhilarating, and we will always be learning. This is an ideal situation, and this is our experience today. Our life is rich with learning, and there’s no shortage of instruction by lectures.

Conversation

“Conversation is another method of improving our minds, wherein by mutual discourse and inquiry, we learn the sentiments of others, as well as communicate our sentiments to them, in the same manner.” (Watts, 22.)

The principles of conversation were posted on the wall in my English classroom in junior school. Each day a different student had their turn to read the principles to the class. Even if you missed a day of school, you still took your turn to read the principles aloud. This way no one could say they weren’t aware of the principles.

  • Speak only when you’re spoken to
  • Don’t interrupt the person when they are talking
  • Listen politely first and then respond
  • Speak clearly and pronounce your words
  • Don’t shout
  • Don’t use swear words

You were only able to have a conversation if you followed these principles. We had the strict supervision of our teachers. You had to follow the principles or there was no conversation. This resulted in meaningful conversing with your peers and teachers. We respond to everything the way we first learn something.

Today our conversation is significantly enlarged. In addition to in-person conversations, we are having a digital conversation in real time with a person behind their keyboard.  The principles of conversation, learned in junior school still apply. Conversing through computers is a paradox, and a delight. Online conversations are borderless and rich with diversity, and are the perfect opportunity to express your opinion.  Although the rules I learned weren’t for online conversation, they still apply.

Online conversations are very different. They happen in the privacy of your mind. Your written response is more of a meditation and thought contemplation. We’re thinking about how we speak, in writing.

Meditation

“It is by meditation, that we fix in our memory, whatsoever we learn, and form our own judgement of the truth or falsehood, the strength or weakness, or what others speak or write.” (Watts 22).

Meditation is the practice of contemplation and reflection. This is how we come to know ourselves. It is the process of being still in the silence, to know yourself. But not as you would be defined by someone else’s opinion of you. You would be defined by your own reasoning and ability to determine the true from the false, the good from the bad, and the right from wrong.

What we speak and write online is as a meditation.

The writer is often in mediation as they write. The words reflect the streams of thought, through the keyboard, and onto the computer screen. The writer contemplates and writes from the depth of their being. It is a world of silence and unspoken words, the movement of the mind through ideas and expression.

Meditation is not only in the form of writing, it is in the form of contemplation and is a very ancient practice. The art has been practiced by the wise sages and doesn’t know a specific time period. The subject of meditation is finally being revived in our modern lifestyle. It is the single most beneficial action anyone can do for themselves. Spend fifteen minutes a day in silence. It doesn’t have any secrets, there is no cost and there are enormous health benefits.

There is continuous learning and improvement of the mind, but it will be as an individual enriched by learning.

The day will come when you have observed, read, learned by lecture, conversed and meditated. You will know who you are, and waste no more time knocking yourself out to be like everyone else.

Creating Blog Post Content

Creating Blog Post Content

Creating Blog Post Content

The buzz around content creation, content marketing, and content in general, is getting louder. The subject of content has become complex. This article opens the dialog about content from the reader’s point of view. The one who is on the receiving end of the content produced.

The Web is the go-to place for information, and after twenty-five years of using the Web, we’re good at researching and reading. These days we’re reading content generated on a consistent, or automated basis. Experts, authorities, and opinions abound in a quantity of content, and we’re wading through a surplus of information.

“The content bubble is about to burst,” says the marketer creating content.

“No says the advertiser,” content is here to stay and has to be quality content.”

“Content marketing is dead,” days the chief information officer.

“What do you mean,” says the reader, “this content is the same as the last article. I’m looking for a simple explanation, but what has this got to do with what I’m looking for.”

The way to simplify something complex is; state the obvious and return to the origin of the contextual definition.

The obvious issue about content; there are two people involved in creating content. The person who writes the content and the person who reads the content. So just who is reading the content? Unless the person engages with you after reading the content, you may not know.

The genuineness and the originality of the content will reach the reader.

Content should complement and supplement existing knowledge Click To TweetRespecting the person you are communicating with is the first step to resolving the complexity of creating content. Instead of relegating people to a particular group, understand people are individuals, and they have prior knowledge.

Defining Content

Content is the material in speech or literary work. It is presented in a form, or style, to promote ideas, a message or a thesis. A thesis is a statement or theory put forward to be maintained or proved.

The creator of the content within a book, a literary work, is a writer, and an author if the book is published.

The Web gives everyone the opportunity to write, or create content. Written and visual content exist within a website. The prompt of “What’s happening?”  “Join the conversation.” “What’s on your mind,” invite you to create content.

“Hello world, this is my blog,” continue the sentence and tell your story. For some it is easy, for others it is unpleasant. Staring at a blank page, and what do you write?

A writer will answer you immediately with the latest story or content running through their mind. Their imagination is captivated by the subject and they will tell you all sorts of interesting facts about what happens when you write “hello,” and connect with the world.

On the Web, the content of a thesis, a sales pitch, and a conversational blog post are all content. All this content finds a home on a Website. There are no hard and fast rules about when and where you can publish content on the Web.

Continuing on in our thorough definition…

Content is defined as a literary work having a marked style intended to create a particular effect. A sales promotion, for example, has a marked style with a particular effect. But a sales promotion isn’t a literary work.

A literary work is a formal style of elaborate writing. An author uses a formal elaborate style of writing. Writing content for a book and the Web are two entirely different kinds of writing.

The Blogger

Logging onto the web and writing in the log was called a weblog, so named by Jorn Barger. In 1997 Peter Merholz shortened the word to “blog”. Blog content was written with an informal conversational style. The personal blog was a single person who wrote content into the blog. The blog built social relations with readers who subscribed to the blog because they enjoyed reading the content.

The word blog was used as a noun and then as a verb to post to one’s blog devised the term Blogger. The original blogger platform product was developed by Evan Williams from Pyra Labs. Blogging became popular in 1999. In 2003 Google bought the platform and this became Blogger. A very popular blogging platform but not in the WordPress software.

Blog key on a keyboard.The blog was a personal account of events in life. The entries were journals. The blog has evolved the writing of a blog rather than a personal journal. It is an information source, a means of communication. In fact it is a vital tool of communication on the web.

A blog opens the conversation. One of the major changes of our interaction on the Web was being able to comment and interact with the person who wrote the blog post.

Another change was the introduction of forum software. We now have online communities and forums contributing to the discussion and learning through the blog.

WordPress Blog

Another popular blogging platform is WordPress started in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and David Little. The project was picked up to improve the blogging software dilemma Mullenweg was using. As a result, WordPress has grown to be one of the most popular softwares used for blogs and websites worldwide. There are a variety of different publishing platforms for blogs and websites.

The Web is a publishing platform for commerce, education, research, and personal communication. The World Wide Web is the largest electronic database of it’s kind, and almost everyone has Internet access worldwide.

The original purpose of the blog was communication in real time. WordPress started off as a project offshoot from b2/Cafelog, developed by the French programmer Michel Valdrighi. The blogging software dilemma was resolved. Today, we press words with WordPress, one of the best blogging platforms to have a blog, and create blog post content.

The key to getting content published and read on the Web is to consider the reader. The content in the blog post should not be full of advertisements or distractions. Keep the content free of clutter. The purpose of the blog post content is to inform. Ideally, you you’re writing about a subject that is interesting to you and your readers.

Layout Content

A layout is how the parts of something are arranged. 

The layout of a Web page or post page is built within tables and specific column widths.

This next section show how disruptive content can be when placed in the wrong place or out of context.

There are specific areas for content within the framework of a web page. The problem is not the layout of the tables, it’s with the content.

The deadline begins

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The Norman Nielson Group conducted tests in 1997, on how people read on the Web. They discovered people don’t actually read the content they skim read.

Why Content on the page isn’t read

  • The content on the page has now disrupted your attention. The click me button on the right is distracting.
  • The countdown is an advertisement because you’re running out of time.

You have now lost the thread of the discussion we are having about creating blog post content.

Creating Blog Post Content

The content survives if the definition of content is understood. The content is read when there is a clear eye path and no distracting information to interrupt the reader’s concentration. How many times have you finished reading a blog post and retained the information? Not too many. Even in this post I interrupted the flow of content to illustrate the point of how we should think about creating blog post content.

Creating content in a blog post needs planning. We are used to writing a composition. An article with a beginning, a middle, and an end. A blog post is a powerful communication tool so take time to think when creating blog post content. 

When I’m not all over the Web, I’m writing and marrying the content with the design. Writing content and design is usually a match made in heaven. With WordPress, it’s in real time. Follow me on Twitter

Are You A Writer

Are You A Writer

Are You A Writer

Today everyone is a writer of some sort. The Web demands communication in writing. We do not realize how suddenly the Web came upon us and how much pleasure we get out of using it. The more you use the Web the more you write.

In reality, writing is an opinion expressed in writing. Once your writing is out in public, another mind will find it and form their opinion of your writing.

This article discusses what a writer is in a more in-depth way. It is time to depart from the easy to do and quick tips we read. If writing were easy, we would all be bestselling authors overnight.

The promise of success in writing is not a guarantee, only a dedication and an application to the principle that governs the practice will give you a return on what you put into it.

3 Exclusive Tips for Writers

  • Practice
  • Practice
  • And more practice

You can learn to write and go to college and obtain a degree. Earning a writing degree does not guarantee you can write. It puts letters behind your name that give you an authority because we respect learning.

The idea that anyone can do anything is true. But you have to make sure you really want to do it and then dedicate yourself to accomplishing what you want to do. Have to and want to are two different kinds of activity.

The call of the writer is deeper than a method or technique.

The best advice is usually the writer’s personal experience. If you want to write read On Writing Well by William Zinsser. He explains the essence of writing from his perspective as a writer, an editor, and an author of seventeen books about writing. This is only one book but this book in particular has over a million readers.

We use the word “tip” because we want a shortcut, a timesaver. When you are a writer there are no shortcuts.

  • Writing encompasses the totality of who you are.
  • Writing is a privilege one never takes for granted.
  • Writing must come from your heart and your head without dollar signs in your eyes.

The Writer Label

  • Journalist
  • Journal writer
  • Writer published author
  • Copywriter
  • Blogger

Writing for the Web

The varieties of content for different avenues of communication have a purpose. We are not used to writing for a purpose to communicate a particular message. The Web makes communication easy through the content management systems we use.

The World Wide Web is a relatively new phenomenon and has only been around for our personal use for twenty-six years. The Web was the brainchild of one man who perceived how people could access information through the Internet without complex code protocol. Sir Tim Berners-Lee brought the idea of the World Wide Web to the physicists and mathematicians at CERN laboratory in Switzerland in March 1989. The idea of people having access to information on a private computer did not go over well. In 1990, Berners-Lee submitted another proposal. This time it was accepted and the concept of the World Wide Web, the space that contains the information we access came into existence.

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the Web was “a system in which sharing what you knew or thought should be as easy as learning what someone else knew.” Weaving The Web by Tim Berners-Lee with mark Fischetti. The Web gained usage through people wanting to access information. The browser was the graphic interface that made it easy to connect to the Internet without knowing computer code.

The Web is a sophisticated tool and requires new skills to negotiate the ever-increasing information highways at Nano-second speed.

The Copywriter

Not many people know what a Copywriter is. The term Copywriter is often confused with Copyright associated with intellectual property rights. Some think a Copywriter is a writer who copies writing.

Copywriting is associated with promotional or advertising writing. The tone covers communication with businesses and customers.

The context for this writing is through marketing strategies using specific avenues of communication about a company, the people, the products and services offered, and the purpose.

The Web has given us Websites and the opportunity through writing to communicate and do business with people and make connections. We have built a new profession, e-commerce integration, and online business operations.

The Copywriter represents the user and the marketer represents the product. Of course, this is a very simple definition of a Copywriter. For a better one I would suggest reading Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. If you delve into the origins of Copywriting you will find eloquent writing going beyond writing advertisements. It is an extensive, in-depth style of writing covering every aspect of interaction between the buyer and the seller in products and services.

Copywriting is going through a revival as people discover how difficult effective communication in writing really is. Copywriting is definitely  beyond tips to “write great content.” Unfortunately, we have implemented too many easy-to-do instructions to save time. The time it takes to do the writing is irrelevant, what matters is the writing itself. Does the writing convey the communication.

The Web has a new writer.

The New Writer

  • Produces perfect quality writing every day.
  • Increases web traffic 100%.
  • Writes relevant articles that maximizes engagement.
  • Is superhuman and can produce “great content” based on fifty-two things every writer knows to do.
  • Buys into anyone can do it scenario.
  • Generates content no one reads.
  • Artificial Intelligence will produce content at rapid speed.

The True Writer

  • Does not complain about writing and has time to write even at three o’clock in the morning.
  • Will exercise patience and has no illusions about their writing.
  • Believes writing benefits others through the story or information.
  • Serves the craft of writing realizing writing existed long before they did.
  • Understands the different labels of writing and does not go overboard about the definitions.

Writing a Book

There is a book urgently waiting inside you to be born. As the mother of the book, you experience birth pains. You agonize about the platform you will use to publish your book. An e-book is free to publish.  Also easing the birth pain is the money you can make from the book.

If you want to write to make money, take a deep breath and sit down. This is the wrong reason for writing a book.

books

Books

When you are honest about being a writer, you will do the writing first. You will write the book because you are dedicated to writing it. Not because someone will hold your hand, every step of the way and this is how you will write it. Neither will you need something to motivate you or a template already formatted. The tools you choose to use to write should be simple but they won’t write for you.

The book you want to write should have deep significance to you the author. The subject you are writing about has merit and your experience is the authority.

Within the journey of writing you will discover something larger than the prestige of being a published author, you will discover yourself. Writing is the expression of the inner dialog combined with information to supplement and explain the expression.

Writing is Work

The work to apply what you learn is paramount to anything you do. Nothing is easy, fast, or quicker. Writing is the one task that takes time and patience. To get the true meaning of the words you have to analyze them in the context of their accepted meaning. The definition, the synonym, the different cultural interpretations of the same word. All these details include the work.

Anytime writing is a have-to-do then you do it half-heartedly. The motivation to apply something you have learned should come because you care enough about the quality you want to produce.

Others cannot intimidate you, and it is no use comparing yourself to the greats of writing. You can only emulate or follow their example. Writing is a labor of love even though it will stretch you to your limits and show you the glare of life’s mirror.

Writing is Solitary

If you do not like to be alone then you will not spend time writing. The writer’s zone is when you forget about the time, the day, the weather, and you are “inside” the writing. The world is gone for a while and you are absorbed in the details of analysis, expression, and clarification.

Ideas become larger than life and you struggle to express them in words. The words expand and grow and then you must work to trim down the sentence structure to make sense.

A pen and paper, a computer, it does not matter the medium you use. What matters is you write and work at the writing. Repeatedly you review, edit, revise, and sometimes press the delete button and start all over again.

Writing Creates Vulnerability

What makes you think you can write? What is unique about what you write? Has it not all been written by someone else? For centuries, we have been writing. The ideas of the finest minds live on through their immortal writings.

Yes, but each person is unique and there is only one of you. Your spirit occupies your body. You cannot compare yourself to others or be like someone else you can only be you and write, if you dare.

Writing Brings Awareness

When you write in earnest, you will find out. You discover the true person you are. This is when you live fully according to what you think and know.

If you are a writer, you live through your writing. Are you a writer?