Seven Important Considerations When Starting With WordPress or Joomla for Website or Blog Sites

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Important Considerations So you want to put together a website or a blog. You’ve heard of WordPress or Joomla and you think they may be the right tool for you. Read on, wide-eyed newbie, as I have some valuable survival tips for you.

Easy isn’t easy, if you are really new Important Considerations!

When you read up on tools such as WordPress and Joomla, you will soon encounter statements that tell you how easy it is to use the tools. Coming from experience, that isn’t really true. Not that anyone is lying about it – Joomla and WordPress are amazing tools. Compared to other ways of working on your website, they do make it substantially easier to get things going. You, as a new user, will still find things confusing and frustrating until you’ve gone down the road a bit.

Joomla and WordPress offer templates or themes to help you style your site. At first look, it seems as though they give you control over everything. That depends completely on how the template designer handled the logo. (WordPress calls them themes, and Joomla calls them templates) From within the theme options on some themes, you can specify a logo image or a header image. On other themes, you must manually edit a PHP file to point to your logo image. If you are just beginning, keep it simple and choose a theme that lets you upload the logo directly, or perhaps even use a text logo. Don’t get stopped because you can’t get the logo to look exactly like you want it to on your first pass.

Things don’t look exactly how I’d like them to look. How do I fix that?

The short answer to this is you may not be able to fix them. Decide how important it is that the particular elements look just like you envisioned and go from there. My rule of thumb is: If it is 80% of what I was looking for, then I’ll go with it for now. You’ll get to the first 80% in a short time, whereas the last 20% is usually much more difficult to achieve. Tweak your site as you learn more and have the time, but don’t let this stop you. Is it functional? If the answer is yes then move on to the next item for now.

Read the Manual.

Maybe that’s obvious, but we live in a world where the user interface suppose to be intuitive enough to just start working. That can be true of simple tools, but both Joomla and WordPress are very powerful and flexible. Experience has shown that these tools get easier to use as you learn the basics.

Play and Have Fun!

Creating a website that serves your purpose and looks good is fun. Take some chances and do things with forms, templates, themes, colors, and the other tools available. If you make a mistake that you can’t recover from, you can always have your Joomla or WordPress re-installed to default settings. My learning was aided greatly by trying to fix mistakes that I had made.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization Important Considerations

Unless your site is being used by a captive audience, you want the search engines to be able to find you. There are many ideas on this topic and I’m sure they have merit in the right setting. My own opinion is that if you write good content, the people that need your content will find you. When writing your site content pay attention to what your clients would search for and write in their terms. There are many considerations but the most important thing is to start the process, and keep working on it on a regular basis.

If your site is perfect today, tomorrow it will no longer be perfect as the rules will have changed. Avoid shortcuts when thinking about SEO and focus on content. If you happen to find a shortcut that works for you, it could eliminat by the search engines tomorrow and render all your time spent useless. Good content will continue to pay for years. One quick word of advice – don’t leave any empty spaces where you can add content. Every time you upload a picture you have the chance to add a description. Make that description useful for the search engines to identify your site.

Pay a Professional Important Considerations?

Ok, so if you work with either WordPress or Joomla and you are not having fun, consider outsourcing the project to a professional. You can probably make up for the money that you spend by being able to pay attention to your core business instead of trying to hack your way through the technology.

In Summary Important Considerations:

It’s easy to feel like an idiot when working with tools that many portray as easy to use. If it is worth it to you, you can stay the course and in no time you will feel like an expert. If you find yourself frustrated, take a step back and read the documentation and do some searching on your problem. Whatever your problem, you are NOT the first to have it. The answer is out there!

Bob Langys is a lifelong nerd with a passion for solving problems. His passion for solving problems and working with technology has led him to a career in networking and IP Telephony and afford him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of businesses and solutions. Recently he has specialized in using Cisco equipment on Asterisk IPBX systems. Bob’s work with networking and VoIP has developed the need to express ideas via the web, leading Bob to work with Joomla and WordPress on a variety of websites. For more info checkout his personal website at: