Learning About Wordpress 1

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I have tried to avoid using WordPress for many years. I write web applications and WordPress is a blogging platform first and foremost rather than an application framework. WordPress wouldn't work for the the sorts of things that I wanted to build. I always thought that MODX was a far superior content management system, it gave me the creative freedom to develop the sort of sites I wanted to build, and was more of a framework around which I could build applications.

But WordPress has plugins and the variety of things that those plugins can do has increased over the years. And those plugins are what people want, and WordPress is very easy to use. 

And according to Wikipedia:

"WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites."

WordPress has it's critics but there is no denying that it is a success. People use it. And those people are my potential customers. So I needed to bight the bullet and dig in to WordPress and find out more about it.

So to that end I have decided to start a couple of blogs to find out just why WordPress is so popular. And I can compare it to blogging with MODX as this blog is a MODX blog. 

One of the first things I realise is that with a MODX site I can have multiple blogs within the same site, for example in this site I have this blog, a blog about MODX, and the Journal (an attempt to do 100 blog posts in 100 days). You can't do that with WordPress, well not as far as I know; other than maybe setting separate installs in separate folders.

To assess WordPress I'm going to attempt to write two blogs on subjects I am interested about at the moment: making flapjacks and fermenting food. I figure I have more chance of using WordPress if I am actively using it for things I am interested in. And if I have two I can try different things on them. That's the plan!

So to that end I have registered two domains makingflapjacks.uk and fermentigfood.uk

There are a couple of options to get a WordPress website up and running: I could use WordPress.com where you can get WordPress hosting and there are a choice of pricing plans with varying support and functionality; but I am going to go with a regular web hosting company because that is going to give me more options to play around with the code, which is something I want to do (I may try to develop my own plugins at some point).

So I went with TSO Host which I have used for a while and have found reliable and who have decent support. And I went for their Cloud Hosting package, again, because it has worked well for me in the past and I like the fact that all your domains are separate as compared to cPanel hosting where they are all directories in the same folder. Each domain is separate, clearly demarcated and has the potential to be scaled.

So in both cases I used the Install Application option to install WordPress which was straight forward and has given me two base installs to play around with. So that is what I am doing now, and which I will write about in my next post....

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Mike Nuttall

Author: Mike Nuttall

Mike has been web designing, programming and building web applications in Leeds for many years. He founded Onsitenow in 2009 and has been helping clients turn business ideas into on-line reality ever since. Mike can be followed on Twitter and has a profile on Google+.

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