Everything You Need to Run a WordPress Blog
Of the major blogging platforms, WordPress has the most resources available to its community. WordPress users have access to thousands of themes, plugins, articles and tutorials that make it the most customizable and flexible option for bloggers. Because there are so many resources out there it is sometimes hard to know what is available and where to find it. Hopefully through this article you will find some new resources that will help you to make your WordPress blog more effective.
If you have been using WordPress for any length of time you are no doubt familiar with the use of themes (essentially templates that control the look and layout of the blog). There are literally thousands of free themes that you can download for use on your personal or commercial blog. Additionally, you can customize a theme or create your own (or hire someone else to do it for you).
The best places to find themes are:
- Theme Viewer
- Alex King’s Theme Directory
- List of Themes from the Codex
- WP Theme Park
- 83 Beautiful Themes Your Probably Haven’t Seen
The WordPress system installs with all of the essential functionalities, but plugins are also available that will help you to improve your blog in just about any way you can imagine. Like themes, most plugins are developed by individuals or companies (not by WordPress) and there is a wide range of support and documentation. Most plugins require only a simple download.
Plugins can help you to stop spam comments, monetize your blog and RSS feed, improve your internal linking, allow for ease of use with social media sites, and much more (see our list of favorite plugins to find some of the best).
There are a few directories that are available to help you find the plugins that you are looking for:
If you can’t find an existing plugin that accomplishes what you need, you can leave a message at the WordPress forums and many times a developer will be willing to create one.
Search Engine Optimization is a concern for most bloggers. While WordPress has been created to be search engine-friendly , there are still some ways for users to enhance several aspects of SEO (see our articles SEO Basics for Blogs and New WordPress Blogs: 12 Steps to Set Up for Success).
The following articles and resources will help you to get the most from search engines with your blog:
- WordPress and SEO from the Undersigned
- Optimize WordPress for Search Engines from Geek Notes
- SEO Plugins for WordPress from Wolf-Howl.com
- All in One SEO Pack for WordPress from Uberdose.com
- Get Your Blog Out of the Supplemental Index from Chris Garrett
Resources for Creating of Customizing a Theme
Even with all of the great themes that are available, most WordPress users would like to make at least some minor changes to the theme. Other, more adventurous, users may be interested in developing their own theme from scratch. Whatever your goal is, there are others who have already been there and documented the process.
The following resources will help you with creating or customizing a theme:
- Creating your own theme
- Secrets of WP theming
- Dissection of a theme
- Anatomy of a theme
- Make your own theme
- How to create a template or theme
- So you want to create themes huh?
- How to create a WordPress theme in 5 minutes
- A guide for the design-challenged non-geek
Blogs that Focus on WordPress
One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with WordPress and to enable continual learning is to subscribe to blogs that focus on WordPress-related content. Our choices include:
Other WordPress Resources
- The WordPress Codex – Most of your questions can be answered at the Codex. The Codex documents all aspects of WordPress and it’s probably the best place to learn (especially if you’re a new to WordPress).
- The WordPress Forums – In addition to the Codex, support can be provided through the forums where users interact. Post your question and other users will likely answer. Be sure to search the forum first, the answer to your question may already be there.
- Tutorial for developing a plugin
- How to write a simple WordPress plugin
- Things you should know when using post except
- Theme Generator
Looking for hosting? WPEngine offers secure managed WordPress hosting. You’ll get expert WordPress support, automatic backups, and caching for fast page loads.