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6 WordPress Features for New Bloggers
By: Christopher J. Ryan
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WordPress (WP) is an industry leader in content management, providing high-quality backend blog platform technology that is especially useful for beginners and intermediate skilled users. The interface is most user-friendly and very capable of producing high-quality content and design. Joomla requires the user to be a bit more tech-savvy and knowledgeable.

You can use WordPress for private domains via FTP upload. WordPress also offers hosting and domain plans, but it is more cost-effective to go elsewhere. (Host Gator and Moniker are great choices.) The focus today will be WordPress’ free blogging services — here’s how you can sign up if you’ve always wanted your own corner of the Web!

6 Great Features at WordPress.com: 
  • Browse their Theme Directory to choose the blog style. Performing Google searches shows additional results for third-party themes. After all, it is open source!
  • Plugins are a great way to customize and analyze your blog, from anti-spam tools to search engine optimization packs to social network integration, etc. but are restricted in free WP accounts.
  • Enter the Widget. Similar tasks can be performed with widgets to showcase your content, with plugins in absentia. There are reviews and rating systems to help choose widgets, if you are unfamiliar.
  • Sharing and collaboration is a WordPress staple. If you are an administrator, you can create a user name for other accounts (people) as an administrator, editor, author, and writer and invite followers. The user roles is a nice lead to the next point:
  • WordPress has a strong, active support center and forum community. From FAQs to editorial review, they are there to help.
  • The WordPress Dashboard is the gateway to your customization tools, content creation, and sharing needs. The theme, widgets, links, media, comments, et. Al. are highly customizable to create a unique blogging experience for the blog owner and the reader.
But! There is always a catch.

A caveat of the free WordPress blogging services is: no external analytics. For the experienced blogger, this is a big deal because we want to create and measure benchmarks, track progress, and optimize our presence on the Internet. Google Webmaster tools and Analytics — poof! Sitemaps/XML — poof! (You get the idea.)

If WordPress has an Achilles heel, it would be the analytics sector, but this isn’t their area of expertise. WP does offer site stats [for free accounts] but they’re cheesy in comparison to Google tools. In the Digital Pivot community, members are always searching for insight. You have a tip? I like tips. Here are some Q’s to get started:
  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is your favorite WordPress feature?
  3. Where do you blog?

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About the Author
Christopher J. Ryan is a Writer/Blogger, grokking the human experience. Passionate about content, business/marketing, and digital lifestyle design. Obsessed with good Internets and all things digital. Follow me on Twitter, @TopherJRyan.
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