Deciding on a blogging platform is a lot like dating, there’s a lot of choice out there, some look great but their flakiness starts to emerge further down the line, some are reliable but just a little dull and some, well you should just avoid altogether. So, why pick wordpress.com?
What is WordPress? WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. – ithemes.com/tutorials/what-is-wordpress/
WordPress.com is blogging simplified, it’s not going to laugh at you if you have no idea what a HTML or CSS is, it’ll hold your hand and make everything easier for you.
It’s pretty courteous, it takes care of hosting, you don’t have to nag it to back itself up or update, nope, wordpress will do that all for you and for free.
So, the flaws of wordpress, where to begin…
I’m someone who really cares about how everything visually looks, and this was going to be especially important when it came to an online platform for my work. For this reason, I was disappointed that the there was a limit on free themes available, some of the other more aesthetically pleasing themes are out of my price range as a student. There’s also a limit to how much you can edit elements within the themes themselves which I found frustrating.
For example, this is about as much as I can edit the look of my theme, a simple background colour change and choice from a few fonts, and disappointingly I can’t change the colour of the hover button on my menu bar. Sigh
I’ve encountered high frequency of glitches and problems when it comes to blog and page layouts, I’ve spent many minutes trying to get images to line up or integrate with text only to find when I hit publish the position of the image has completely changed. I’m not sure yet how to overcome this issue except with a lot of fiddling and trying and retrying until I get it right. This was a big problem when I was publishing some of my photography blog posts which were very image heavy, on this page for example – shutter speed blog post. I wanted images side by side with a caption underneath, this wasn’t possible, I could have them side by side but without the caption or one underneath the other with a caption. Little things like this become extremely infuriating once you deal with them for the 12th time that day.
Having published a few posts, and tagging a few of those I have noticed a small amount of traffic on my site and even received a few likes and follows. Like any other social platform where you can follow an account and keep up to date with posts, I have had some
interesting weird follows. Note one account that followed me who only posts strange and frankly, quite sexist jokes.
I’ve chosen to have my site visible to the public as it makes my life easier, I don’t have to keep giving my password out to tutors or classmates and I don’t have to log into wordpress anytime I want just to look at it myself. This also means my site and the content I post becomes visible by everyone and technically could be accessed by google searches if I optimised my pages so they climb higher up search rankings. However, I have no need for this feature as for now my intent is to showcase my work for university applications and current tutors rather than attract a lot of outside attention. For any posts that I haven’t completely finished with or want to come back to later I save it on admin and editor so only I can view it, it won’t be visible in the reader or to the public. A feature I haven’t taken advantage of yet is ‘Publicise’ tool, a service that connects wordpress to your social media sites so you can share your posts automatically across your platforms. It’s easily switched on and off and can include as little or as many social media platforms as you want, it’s a great way to build up an audience and share your content easily without too much effort. This video perfectly explains how to access, use and change the publicise feature on WordPress
<span style="color:#ff0000;">ANOTHER FLAW WITH WORDPRESS</span> <span id="mce_SELREST_start" style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0;"></span> When we tried this exercise in class, wordpress kept reading the html code we were inputting and formatting it. Useful sure, but annoying. I've enjoyed learning the very basics of coding and hope to continue to expand my knowledge and seeing what else i can create with it
Obviously I must have done something wrong here because all the text I input isn’t showing up, but that’s something I can work on, as you can see below this is what it looked like in the html code editor.
So do I like WordPress.com?
In short, yes. It’s simple but there’s enough to it that I can successfully blog and present a portfolio effectively without overcomplicating things for myself or spend hours fine-tuning and editing. I need to figure out what I need to do with my front page, what content I want on there, the front page is the first impression so I’m not sure if I want a static page or something more dynamic and interactive. One of the most effective parts of my site so far is the navigation bar, I set up blog categories to appear on the bar to make navigating to specific posts easier for tutors and I eventually would like to set up dimensionally correct feature photos for each post so everything looks visually dynamic.
I’ve begun this process with my ‘blog’ page, and I want to continue expanding this with research, reflections and really getting into what interests me, the visual representation of women’s mental health in mainstream/social medias. I’ve begun reading and making notes from essays, a snippet of which I will share below;
The medical conception of mental illness in women has changed over time, but for decades the (overwhelmingly male) artistic representation remained surprisingly consistent: messy hair, disjointed speech, glassy eyes, inappropriate nudity. For centuries, men have reframed mental illness as something romantic, even sexy. Based in the antiquated diagnosis of "hysteria," men's representation of women's mental illness has overshadowed the stories of their (often non-consenting) muses. - Broadly
I’m hoping having a blog with wordpress will encourage me to expand my work and post more as it is so simple and easy to use and for the first time, I can bring some sort of organisation to my thoughts and ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how much my blog with develop over the course of the year.