Although WordPress is a great platform for you blog, there is a learning curve when you first begin to use it. As you learn more about WordPress, you’ll find that there are some great things that you can do with it. Here are 12 common questions about WordPress as a blogging platform and the answers to those questions.
Question #1: What’s The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
WordPress.com is a blog hosting site. It can be used for free or as a paid premium version that offers a few more options. When you use WordPress.com, you do not have many options of what you can do with your blog. You only have the plugins that come with the package, and you cannot add your own plugins. You have limited control of your own content. You are also very limited in how you can monetize your blog.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, offers almost unlimited options for your blog. You do have to have your own hosting to house your WordPress.org blog, but it considered by most pros to be the best platform for profitable blogging. There are many, many themes and plugins available- many of them free. You also have much more flexibility and ownership of your content when you are self-hosting.
Question #2: Can I Use Google Analytics With My WordPress Blog?
Yes! IF you are using WordPress.org (see the last question). WordPress.com does not allow integration with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a powerful tool to track the statistics of your blog. This post from WPBeginner has instructions for integrating Google Analytics for your WordPress blog.
Question #3: Where Can I Find A Theme For My WordPress Blog?
This post has some great information about finding a theme for your blog. There are paid themes and free themes available. Still not sure where to start? Check out Top 10 WordPress Themes (many of them are free!).
Question #4: How Can I Add The “Continue Reading” Option On My Blog Posts Instead Of Showing My Complete Post On The Page?
Sometimes when you have a long post, you may want to have only part of it visible on your main page where readers are scrolling. This way readers can continue to scroll down and see multiple posts. Using this “Continue Reading” option is very easy.
After your post is complete, choose the location where you would like the post to stop and click the “Insert Read More Tag” button on your editing toolbar.
Also, if you have a Genesis Theme (and I highly recommend them – they’re so user-friendly, especially for newbie bloggers!), you can set this to happen automatically for each post, too, via your Genesis Theme Settings.
Question #5: How Can I Get the “Related Posts” Pictures At The Bottom Of My Posts?
When a reader has enjoyed the content of a post, it’s nice to have related posts linked at the bottom, so that the reader can be led to other posts on your blog. There are several plugins that will show related posts. One of these is nRelate Related Content. I also recommend checking out LinkWithin.com for an option that is really easy to install!
Question #6: How Can I Place My Pages Into My Menu Bar?
Having a menu at the top of your main blog page can help readers navigate. Use the Pages option in the left side bar of your dashboard to create pages. Then add your pages to the menu.
On your dashboard, click on “Menu” under the “Appearance” option.
Check off the pages that you want to place on a menu. Then drag into place on the “Menu” column.
Voila – you’re done!
Question #7: Where Do I Find WordPress Plugins – And Which Ones Do I Need?
If you have a need for a particular function on your blog, there is probably a plugin that has a solution. There are plugins that can make your blog run faster, catch spam comments, provide a blogging calendar, allow social sharing of your posts, and much more. This post has instructions on installing plugins and a list of 9 popular plugins.
Question #8: How Do I Back Up My WordPress Blog?
It’s critical to make sure that your blog is backed up regularly. If things happen and you lose information, you’ll want to have a backup. There are several paid and free options. The absolute best option I have found – and it’s only $5 a month – is vaultpress.com. They are worth that fee – and more! Why? You can use free plugins to back up your blog, but a lot of them won’t totally back up your blog – just your content, not your design, sidebars, etc.. Plus it’s really hard to actually restore your blog if you need to.
With Vaultpress.com, it’s easy to install – completely backs up your blog – and takes the click of a button to restore your blog if you need to.
Question #9: What Happens If A Plugin Causes Trouble With My Blog?
It’s important to update your themes and plugins immediately when an update comes out. This can prevent problems because often developers will update the plugin to fix an issue that the plugin has. It can also keep your blog more secure and keep hackers out (read about how I learned this the hard way)!
If you are getting an error on your site that seems to be caused by a plugin, you can go to your File Manager through your web host and access your plugin folder. Copy those files to a new location and name them something like “plugin-old.” Then in the original plugin file, begin removing the plugins one at a time until you find the error. If you have tried each one and are still getting the error message, the problem may be in a theme instead of a plugin.
Or… if you have Vaultpress.com as mentioned in the last question – you just click “restore” on your last backup and your blog will be up and running again!
Question #10: How Can I Recover My WordPress Password If I Forgot My Email?
If you forget your WordPress password, you can often recover it easily through your email. However, occasionally you may forget an email that is linked to your blog. If this is the case, you can still recover or change your password to be able to access your blog. This article from WPHub gives two options for doing this.
Question #11: Why Should I Choose WordPress Over Blogger? Isn’t Blogger Easier?
Sometimes beginning bloggers choose Blogger as their platform because it seems so much easier to use. But there are some important reasons why WordPress is a better choice for your blog. (And you can find great tutorials to make WordPress easy here.)
- When you use Blogger, your content is owned by Google, not by you. If Google decided to close down Blogger as a blogging platform, your content would be gone.
- With WordPress you have so many more options to customize your content. With themes and plugins you can add whatever you like to your blog.
- When you self host, you can make sure that your content is backed up regularly so that if something ever happened to your blog, you could recover it.
Question #12: How can I move to WordPress.org if I am using Blogger?
If you’re convinced that there are so many more options with WordPress, but you’re frustrated because you use Blogger and don’t know how to transfer, take a look at these transfer resources I recommend (or you can just have us do the move for you, too).
What Other WordPress Questions Do You Have?
Share in the comments below!