Phew. After lots of huffing and puffing I finally got this up and running. Who would have thought that setting up a seemingly simple blog such as this would be so much trickier than I originally thought!
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
Indecisions. Indecisions. Indecisions.
There were so many considerations.
For all ye aspiring webmasters 😉 – here are just some of the hurdles one must brave and navigate should they wish to start a website:
- Figure out blogging platform or Content Management System (CMS) – there are so many options including Typepad, Medium, Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.com or even something like Squarespace…
- After lots of back and forth, I finally decided on WordPress – understanding that I would be sacrificing simplicity for control and customizability.
- WordPress.com or WordPress.org – yep even after having decided on WordPress of course it’s not that straightforward. I learnt that there’s also a difference between the managed service WordPress.com and the self-hosted open source WordPress.org…
- After weighing up the pros and cons I picked the self-hosted solution – once again understanding I would be sacrificing simplicity for control and customizability. Yep I tried WordPress.com and there is so many limitations for the free tier. They won’t even let you install a single plug-in and that’s one of the main benefits of WordPress.
- Great now I need a web host – there are so many out there. I finally narrowed it down to Bluehost and Namecheap. Bluehost as I have heard lots of good things about them and they have a strong reputation online. Namecheap because I’ve heard good things about them and they are competitively priced. For now I opted for Namecheap as I don’t envisage the traffic load on my site will blow up anytime in the near future.
- After setting all that up and installing WordPress – I needed a theme which basically is what dictates the visual design that you see on this site. After doing my research I went for the Genesis Framework. I like the minimalistic, lean and clean style of this.
- Next I had to figure out what WordPress plugins to install. Of course the problem with this is you will see tons of articles like this which give you a list of 37 “Essential WP Plugins” that you “must have” but on the other hand you have lots of people warning you that you shouldn’t keep installing plugins or your site could be at risk of getting bloated and becoming slow. All this was pretty confusing but in the end I just made a call and moved on.
- Then I needed to design a logo – this can also take a long time. There is no end to tweaking and refining. Again I just made a call after awhile as I’ve been learning to time-box lately and just make a decision and run with it which is a concept I learnt from J.D. Meier’s excellent book Getting Results the Agile Way.
- Lots of tweaking of plugins and theme settings to get the right look I wanted. WordPress isn’t drag-and-drop and isn’t the simplest to use as mentioned before.
- Setting up an automated backup solution – because it is always a good idea to backup your work!
…and all this is just the beginning…
The first baby steps towards starting a blog.
It felt really good seeing it up and seeing it running and that first famous WordPress “Hello World” post!
Now the real work of creating content begins.