Added 9/29/19: How to Build Your Own Website
Added 8/17/16: Another guide to starting a WordPress blog can be found at Website SetUp.
Added 4/4/16: If you’re starting out on your first website, you’ll find a beginner’s guide at First Site Guide.
Added 5/27/13: Thanks to Kate, who left a comment directing me to a great infographic about WordPress. The infographic can be found on the Winithemes blog.
In honor of the occasion, Dougal Campbell suggested a 10th anniversary blogging project. This post is my contribution to the project.
When WordPress was released in 2003:
- I had been online for more than five years, using Publisher to create my early sites, then progressing to FrontPage, then to Dreamweaver.
- I had a page called “news,” which I updated manually with information about my books and events.
- The closest thing to social media I knew about was a web ring, in which the members were linked to each other and visitors encouraged to travel from site to site.
- It never occurred to me that it was possible to have an interactive website where visitors could communicate with the site owner.
- If I had even heard of blogging, I wasn’t sure what it was, and I had no interest in learning.
When I first started using WordPress in June 2006:
- My blog was an addition to my Dreamweaver website, and WP was a blog platform, not a content management system.
- I used Fantastico to install and update WordPress from cPanel; I often had to wait weeks after a new release for the update to appear in Fantastico, but that was much easier than having to download WP to my computer and then upload it to my server to install it.
- I didn’t get my first comment for months.
- Memes and group writing projects were popular.
- I took seriously the advice to visit other blogs and comment, and I made a lot of great blogging friends.
Since I’ve been using WordPress:
- DoFollow has gone in and out of fashion, in a large degree based on Google’s changing algorithms.
- I’ve written 1400 posts, received nearly 25,000 comments, and contended with more than two million spam comments.
- The popularity of memes and group writing projects has declined.
- Many of my blogging friends from the early days have quit blogging or have significantly reduced their blogging as they spend more time on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and the ever-expanding social media landscape.
- My entire site has been built on WordPress for several years now, and my associate Jan McClintock and I have created WordPress sites for our author clients and won’t even consider using any other platform or program.
My 7th blog anniversary is coming up June 11th. Jan is working on a new WordPress design to be unveiled for the anniversary. Be sure to come back to see the updated site. I’m very excited about it.
When I think back to the days of creating a website in Publisher and having to go in every couple of weeks to update the “news” page, I really appreciate the flexibility and functionality of WordPress! No matter what you want to do, there’s probably a plugin for that.