I started using WordPress only after trying every other blogging software out there. I started on Blogger, moved to Xanga and then went back to Blogger. I started a LiveJournal and tried TypePad, but never got very far with either. I ended up choosing WordPress simply because of the number themes (designs) available. As you’re likely aware, I’m pretty vain and like for my blog to be pretty – I’ve probably spent an equal amount of time on design as I have content. (A sad comment indeed if this is all I have to show for it.)
Now that I’ve been with WordPress for a while, I’ve come to appreciate other features of the tool.
- Incredibly easy to customize. Whether you’re starting with an existing theme or creating one from scratch, you can do some pretty incredible things if you know PHP and CSS. When I first started customizing themes, I knew nothing at all about CSS and only a very, and I mean VERY, small amount of HTML. Today, thanks to WordPress and Firebug, I’ve figured out how to customize almost everything.
- Ridiculously easy to use. This largely has to do with my job, but WordPress is a very easy tool to use and train to use. Once you get into the dashboard and poke around a little bit, it’s a straightforward and well-thought-out tool.
- Plenty powerful. Again, this is largely related to my job, but this blogging tool has the capability to be a robust CMS (content management system) that can power fairly large sites. While creating completely unique pages would require some extensive PHP knowledge, creating a smaller site is a cinch with WordPress.
- Active development community. When I first decided to go with WordPress, I didn’t realize how critical this would be. Whether I’m looking for a plugin that will do something my blog can’t currently or trying to resolve a problem, I can almost always turn to the community for the answer I need.
- Totally free. WordPress is a completely free tool. There are some costs when it comes to your URL and hosting, but WordPress itself is free.
If you’re thinking about getting into blogging, I recommend heading over to WordPress.com and setting up a blog today. You’ll get a nice introduction to the best blogging tool on the planet, and, best of all, it’s completely free!
One last thing, if you’re trying to decide between using WordPress.com or self-hosting (installing WordPress on a custom URL), I recommend self-hosting. It’s true that you can use WordPress.com and pay for some upgrades to get a custom URL and blog design, but that ends up being more expensive than self-hosting. However, if you don’t have any technical know-how (or don’t know someone who does), WordPress.com isn’t a bad option.
So what did I miss? Why else is WordPress awesome? Or, what faults am I blind to?