We’ve all been there: you want to create a simple but pretty featured image on each blog post, but the images you have on your site have the wrong dimensions; or you don’t have the Photoshop-skills to create something with the correct dimensions that works for your WordPress theme. Well; we had the exact same issue on our hair restoration & rejuvination site Union of Barbers. The product photos we used had the exact wrong dimensions; making the featured image look silly and the site look completely unprofessional. We went looking for a nice solution; and actually found a little gem of a WordPress plugin called “Featured Image Generator”.
Plenty of new and seasoned webmasters are getting on the “blog wagon”. But is it all that great as a revenue producing strategy? Is it possible to make a good income, even replacing your current job? How should blogging really be used, and what should be the focus of your blog? Basically, the question is “how realistic is the business model of a professional blogger”?
Before we begin our analysis, right off the top we should say, that professional blogging is not a bad business model. In fact, there are thousands of successful bloggers making incredible amounts of money from their blogs, but in reality in proportion to the number of blogs on the internet, very few make real money. The biggest problem can be traced back to what a blog was meant to be. It was a “web log”, a journal or diary of sorts where an individual could talk about her daily activities, and loyal followers came to watch her progress.
WordPress.com is an exciting blogging platform that can help you get on the internet with no cost and little work. Unlike wordpress.org where you install the script on your own hosting account and domain, wordpress.com does not require web hosting nor domain names. Everything is stored right on the wordpress.com site and you are basically up and running in a matter of minutes. That sounds like a whole bunch of advantages, no?
So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress.com as a blogging platform…
Blogger.com is a free blogging platform owned by Google that allows you to instantly publish your information whether it be articles, pictures, videos, personal stuff, or business content. It even works very nicely in conjunction with a ready-made website. As with wordpress.com, you won’t need web hosting, you won’t need any technical skills – it’s very easy!
For example, if you sell wedding shoes so your main site is ecommerce-driven, and you want to quickly set up a blog to provide tips about how to choose the right shoes, Blogger gives you that ability without having to make a new website or using a different script on your existing website. All you do is link to your Blogger page from your regular website and presto, you have an informative blog and your customers are happy!
But, like all free accounts, there are reasons for and reasons against using the site. Here are some of the main ones.
If you are a novice web developer, you will be confused about the content management system (CMS) that must be implemented on your website. Plenty of software packages (free and proprietary) are available and only the adept web administrators can identify the vantages of a suitable CMS. In the succeeding sections, I will be explaining the advantages of Drupal. Examples of notable websites developed using Drupal include the official website of the Whitehouse and this car theft website. In fact, many other portals maintained by the federal government make good use of the same CMS platform. Despite humble beginnings as a blogging platform, this web publishing package could conquer heights (and minds) effortlessly.
If you plan to make your website search engine friendly, then you must develop the portal using Drupal. Increasing the page ranking of a website will play out to be highly feasible to the web administrator. Another term that you might come across is “modules”. Modules are nothing but plug-ins meant to augment the overall functionality of a website. Innumerable modules are available for Drupal. Hence, you can customize the portal according to your necessities – swiftly, easily and effectively. Conflicts between modules might arise sometimes; you must be wary of such consequences before implementing them on your website.
TypePad is a powerful blogging platform that works a little different than other blog creation sites. It is a subscription based system meaning that it is not free, which distinguishes Typepad from Blogger or WordPress.com. Users choose a monthly package from three choices, the Plus package, the Unlimited, and the Business Class. Prices range from $8.95 to $14.95 to $89.95 per month. A fourteen-day trial offer is available but you still must provide billing information and your subscription ends only if you cancel the service. Even though it is not free, TypePad is still considered one of the most popular blogging sites.
Following are listed some of the reasons why users like TypePad and reasons why they dislike it.
WordPress, Movable Type and Textpattern were free CMS platforms. ExpressionEngine, on the other hand, is a proprietary platform developed by EllisLab. I fully understand the queries that might pass through your mind – should one opt for ExpressionEngine, especially when there are other free alternatives. The bottom line is simple as well as straightforward; those who have no working knowledge of PHP will find the ExpressionEngine to be exceedingly useful. In simpler terminologies, the novice web administrators will like this CMS platform. The various flavors of ExpressionEngine along with their subtle differences will be outlined in the following passages.
ExpressionEngine is available in three flavors – Core, Personal and Commercial. The Personal and Commercial versions are priced $99.95 and $249.95 respectively. This is a onetime fee, though. The Core version of ExpressionEngine is available for free. If you ask me, I would suggest you to familiarize yourself with the Core version before jumping ships and purchasing the pricier versions. The Core version does not come with technical support too. In case of doubts, you will have to consult the official documentation or ask for support from the community forums.
There exist countless sorts of web publishing systems. Although most of them function alike, these systems are designed to augment the functionality of a website in their own ways. WordPress is a common example (for an effective desktop web publishing system) that is widely employed these days. Certain power users who look forward to optimizing their websites utilize Textpattern. The advantages (and the disadvantages) of this web publishing system will be highlighted in the rest of the paragraphs. Some of the web administrators concentrate on developing websites that include dynamic content, and it is they who prefer Textpattern.
You must understand that Textpattern is an Open Source offering. In plainer terms, there are millions of developers working in tandem to ensure that the end user can enjoy one of the best experiences while deploying Textpattern. The Open Source tag, likewise, enables literally anyone to download the CMS for free and utilize it on their websites. You need not have to worry about support and documentation – they are also available freely in the form of discussion forums. It is quite natural to have doubts about deploying Textpattern effectively – head over to the official forums to participate in the discussions held there.
Movable Type is a web-publishing platform just like WordPress. Although it is relatively unknown in comparison to other leading publishing technologies, Movable Type is still being opted for manifold reasons. You have to consider something – almost all the web-publishing technologies include the same feature set. You are free to opt for one among them.
As a rule of thumb, it is better to concentrate on one web-publishing platform – instead of being another “jack of all trades”. I would strongly recommend you to test these technologies and select one amongst them – for the time being, allow me to demonstrate the features of Movable Type.
WordPress is a leading “web publishing platform”. Many website administrators effectively deploy the same on their websites. In fact, the user base of administrators who seek the aid of this platform is always in the rise. The following sections serve as an introduction to WordPress – certain advantages of the same platform will also be discussed extensively. The rise of the internet paved the way to the rapid development and utilization of web technologies. All of a sudden, the masses started to create websites, as if there is no tomorrow. Ease of use was one of their primitive requirements. Needless to state but mastering WordPress is a simple and straightforward process.