Launching a WordPress Blog EBook – Revised Edition 2.0

Launching a WordPress Blog EBook Edition 2.0 by Tina Clarke Microsoft MVP – Expression Web and Pat Geary Microsoft MVP – Expression Web

Revised and Updated for WordPress Version 2.7.1  and available for FREE download NOW. There is a pdf version for MAC Users thanks to Scott Glasgow.

Launching A WordPress Blog Free EBook.

Learn to install and setup your own WordPress Blog with this easy to follow tutorial.

This Launching a WordPress Blog EBook is focused on giving a guideline for installing WordPress on your own host with your own domain or a sub-domain. It is intended as a beginner’s ebook and covers the basics. There are some advanced techniques included as well. It is essential that you start with Getting started with a WP Blog and follow step by step each page. Tick off each step as you go so you know you are following along. Having been through this process we have found this is truly the best way forward.

This checklist can be printed from the book and will give you an idea of the topics Covered Include:

  • Getting started with a WordPress Blog
    • Check List – Print This
    • Requirements for Installing WordPress
    • Installing Database
    • Download WordPress
    • Configure wp-config-sample file
    • Configure a FTP Client
    • Installing WordPress
    • Setting up WordPress
    • Options Permalinks
    • Configure WordPress Categories
    • Setting WordPress Preferences
    • Installing WordPress Themes
    • Creating SEO Titles in WordPress
    • Disable NoFollow Attribute in WordPress
  • Desktop Blogging Clients
    • Windows Live Writer
      • Setting Up Windows Live Writer
      • Creating Posts
      • Inserting Images
      • Options
      • Publishing
    • BlogDesk
      • Installing BlogDesk
      • BlogDesk Configuration
      • Creating Posts in BlogDesk
      • Inserting Images in Posts
      • Publishing with BlogDesk
      • BlogDesk Options
      • BlogDesk Extras
  • WordPress Essentials
    • WordPress Plugins
      • Akismet Plugin
      • Sitemap Plugin
      • WordPress Database Backup
      • WordPress Ready Contact Form
    • How Trackback and Pingback works in WordPress
    • Moving a WordPress Blog
    • Moving Servers
    • Upgrading WordPress Program
    • WordPress API
    • WordPress Tips

Download your FREE Launching a WordPress Blog EBook NOW.

Written by Patricia Geary - Visit Website

Using WordPress as a CMS

I have been using WordPress for blogging for a couple of years now. Ever since taking Cricket Walker’s SEO Training Course and one of the lessons was The Benefits of Blogging. I moved the blog I had from blogger.com to my own server and installed WordPress following her tutorials. I wanted it to look more like my own creation so I started playing around with various themes and quickly learned not all of them are created equal.

My next step was working on an eBook on with my fellow MVP Tina Clarke on Launching a WordPress Blog which is offered F REE to anyone interested. It is soon to be revised to cover the latest version of WordPress 2.7.

Today I had the opportunity to watch a video produced by fellow MVP, Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Using WordPress in Alternate Configurations – My WordCamp Whistler 09 Presentation. After watching it I am again excited about WordPress and what I can do with it. Morten suggest using it more like a CMS which is the abbreviation for Content Management System. He shows you how using WordPress and Expression Web 2, you can customize your site so it looks more like a web site and less like a blog yet still functions as a blog. The site he uses in the tutorial is one he did AnnyChih.com which is fantastic. You can watch Using WordPress in Alternate Configurations – My WordCamp Whistler 09 Presentation and see for yourself how it is done. He also provides the code snippets you will need to try out his suggestions.

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is the newest MS MVP – Expression Web and the author of  Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Expression Web 2 in 24 Hours (Sams Teach Yourself — Hours) (affiliate link.)

WordPress Automatic upgrade

Last night I spent about half an hour upgrading four WordPress blogs using the new WordPress Automatic upgrade plugin.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade allows a user to automatically upgrade the wordpress installation to the latest one provided by wordpress.org using the 5 steps provided in the wordpress upgrade instructions.

I tried it out first on my test blog but it was so easy and quick following the instructions, I upgraded the other three.

To do a new installation of the program:

Step 1: Download the plugin from wordpress.org and unzip it.

Step 2: Upload wordpress-automatic-upgrade folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory

Step 3: Activate the plugin

Screenshot activate automatic upgrade plugin.
Click on the thumbnail to view a larger screenshot.

Step 4: Run the plugin

Screenshot automatic upgrade plugin run.
Click on the thumbnail to view a larger screenshot.

WordPress automatic upgrade upgrades your wordpress installation by doing the following steps which are outlined in the wordpress upgrade process:

  1. Backs up the files and makes available a link to download it.
  2. Backs up the database and makes available a link to download it.
  3. Downloads the latest files from http://wordpress.org/latest.zip and unzips it.
  4. Puts the site in maintenance mode.
  5. De-activates all active plugins and remembers it.
  6. Upgrades wordpress files.
  7. Gives you a link that will open in a new window to upgrade installation.
  8. Re-activates the plugins. NOTE: This part of the process did NOT work for me. I had to go in and reactivate all of my plugins.

The plugin can also can be run in a automated mode where in you do not have to click on any links to go to the next step. NOTE: I did NOT run the upgrade in the automated mode.

Once I finished the process, I double checked my plugins, my theme, and the changes I had made to make sure they were all still working.

There is a FAQ section you should read first. Once the blog was updated to the latest version I then explored the new look.

NOTE: There is a problem with the Dragon Site Map Generator with the newest version of WordPress in that if you limit the number of items per page, it will not advance to the rest of the map. I changed the items per page options to 0 (unlimited) and it now works. Not an ideal solution but it works for now.

Here is a list of Themes compatible with WordPress Version 2.5.

Here is a list of plugins that have been tested for compatibility with Version 2.5.

Designing a WordPress Blog Theme Using Expression Web

This particular site use WordPress and is a Blog. I am not very knowledgeable where php is concerned so modifying the code to set up a blog is not easy for me. But I keep at it and hopefully get it done so the blog will continue to work and the code will validate. While browsing the Expression Web forum this morning, I noticed an interesting post Designing a WordPress Blog Theme Using Expression Web. Since Expression Web is my HTML editor I went to read this with a great deal of interest.

I’ve been working with Expression Web for about 6 months now and I’ve found that above all other things, what sets this program apart from the competition is it’s handling of CSS. More specifically how easy it is to not only write CSS from scratch but also to modify existing code for fantastic results. Case in point: The new look of this blog. If you’ve visited before you’ll notice that I recently upgraded it from the dull look of a standard WordPress blog to something altogether different. And what will (hopefully) surprise you is that once the design was conceived (which took some time) the actual coding only took a couple of hours! All this thanks to Expression Web and how it handles CSS code.

People often ask me how to make their WordPress blog look great. In the past I’ve always told them that it’s a lengthy process and you really need to know a lot of code to get to where you want to be. That’s just not the case any more. I am willing to go as far as saying that with some basic training and a rudimentary understanding of html, anyone can make significant and functional changes to their blog using Expression Web without ever knowing what CSS is and how it works (this technique will work on any blog or other website that uses CSS btw.)Rather than just blabbering on and on about how great this program is for designing and re-designing blogs (and no, I’m not on the Microsoft payroll even though I’d like to be – hint hint people!) I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make changes to your blog by tweaking the CSS code with Expression Web.

Interested in learning more? Visit the above link to read the complete post along with step-by-step instructions and screenshots. Now to go and try it out. Happy Blogging!

Choosing a WordPress Theme

Once you have installed your wordpress blog and it is working as it should, it is time to think about what theme you will use. Remember, not all themes are created equal. For me, this was the hardest choice. I wanted the theme I chose to:

  • Validate out-of-the-box or, at the least, have very few errors or warnings
  • Have a fluid layout so that it would resize with no scrollbar at 800×600 resolution
  • Was easy to customize the style sheet

Lorelle vonFossen has an article Choosing a WordPress Theme on her WordPress Blog that I can highly recommend. There are lots of free themes out there or you may choose to buy one of the premium themes or even have one custom designed for you.

I found most of the features I was looking for in the theme I choose, Misty Look by Sadish Bala. However the header image did not reflect what the subject of my blog was about so I went looking for a new header image. In searching, I found Free Web Page Headers where I found exactly what I was looking for. I changed the colors in the style sheet to reflect the colors of my new header and made a slight adjustment in the widths so that the page resized to 800×600 yet still looked good at higher resolutions. Make sure you check your chosen theme in more than one browser and at more than one resolution.