This site has been created with WordPress, and this page provides:
- some initial information for people who may be interested in using WordPress to build their own site
- some background information on major changes which are being made to WordPress (end of 2018). It comes under the project name of Gutenberg
- periodic posts on the latest WordPress news
- links to some useful resources
- and ways that I may be able to assist you (if you live in my neck of the woods).
There are two fundamental flavours of WordPress. They are WordPress.org and WordPress.com. This section describes the main differences between the two approaches.
There is a new editor in WordPress. The Gutenberg editor (aka the new block editor) was officially launched in December 2018. The emphasis is on producing richer content by separating different types of content into blocks. This article summarises the rationale behind Gutenberg and highlights some of the main features
There has been significant activity in the WordPress ecosystem as Gutenberg neared the time of its launch. Periodic posts relay information on WordPress actual (and proposed) changes.
WordPress resources contains links to various useful articles and videos on WordPress matters. The majority of them relate to Gutenberg, and its implementation, at this moment in time.
Assistance with WordPress contains information on the ways that I may be able to help you to set up and maintain your own WordPress website or blog.
Background on WordPress Options
There are two basic flavours of WordPress. They are WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is the easiest and arguably the quickest to use. It provides access to the latest version of WordPress, and it will host your content. There are various pricing plans, currently free, premium and business. They are summarised here. A fourth option is to use the free plan but purchase a custom domain – this is where you want to use a specific URL for your website rather than the default WordPress-generated URL.
The business plan (and only the business plan) on WordPress.com allows various customisations, particularly in the form of plugins, to provide additional functionality and modified themes to change the look and feel of the site.
With WordPress.org you download the WordPress software plus any required plugins and themes to build your own tailored solution. The question here is where you download them to? It could be to your own PC, but more likely it will be to a hosted site. The cost of this type of website will typically consist of: domain name registration, a hosting package from an ISP and possibly plugins / themes (some are free and some are not).
In summary, WordPress.com is probably the best option if you want to minimise the amount of effort and expertise that is required to create and maintain a website. Alternatively, go down the WordPress.org route if it is more important to create a fully functional, comprehensive website. However, do understand that this route requires that you maintain and update the WordPress software, the plugins and themes.
The Gutenberg editor
Major changes are being made to WordPress. They come under the code name of Gutenberg. Work started early in 2017 and the first official release appeared in WordPress 5.0 which was launched in December 2018.
The focus is on a new editor. WordPress’s original editor, now called the Classic Editor, uses the TinyMCE software which can be found in various places on the Web. It provides a blank canvass with a number of formatting buttons (a sort of poor man’s Microsoft Word). It is particularly popular for use on forums.
In essence, everything in the new Gutenberg editor will be in blocks. There will be text blocks, image blocks, video blocks, embedded blocks for including content from other apps, et cetera .. et cetera. It is called the new block editor.
WordPress’s objective, they say, is to provide the ability for a user to create a rich set of content. Obviously, the more recent offerings of some of the competition in the Content Management System (CMS) area are driving WordPress to protect its premier place in this sector. It is currently far and away the most used product. It is claimed that around 32% of all websites use WordPress. The main competitors to WordPress are arguably Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Drupal.
Some people say that Gutenberg is a page builder. It is not. There are various page builders which currently operate as WordPress plugins. One assumes that the organisations that have developed them will produce Gutenberg-friendly versions of their products.
In lieu of any succinct information on the options that are currently available to users with the advent of WordPress 5 and Gutenberg (aka the new block editor), I have penned the following which I hope will be useful .. FAQs on WordPress 5 and Gutenberg.
The Resources section includes links to various articles and videos which will tell you more about Gutenberg.
I periodically pen posts on WordPress news. Links to these posts are shown below with the most recent appearing at the top of the list.
- WordPress.com front-ends February 10, 2019
- FAQs on WordPress 5 and Gutenberg January 16, 2019
- Second December 2018 Update December 20, 2018
- December 2018 Update December 4, 2018
- November 2018 Update November 13, 2018
- Experience with Gutenberg on WordPress.com – Late Sept 2018 October 5, 2018
- September Update September 13, 2018
- August Update August 3, 2018
- May Update May 18, 2018
Slightly more information on WordPress was written pre-Gutenberg. If you have dabbled with WordPress or read some of the bumf on the Internet then this article simply provides a few basics which may help in your choice of approach.
Here are some links to Gutenberg. Beware that there have been many changes to Gutenberg during its development. Therefore, any resources here or elsewhere that are dated before (say) September 2018 should be treated with a degree of caution.
Firecask – A Guide to the Gutenberg WordPress Editor (added Feb 2018)
A Tour of the Gutenberg Editor for WordPress by Rachel McCollin is worth a read to give you a flavour of the editor at this stage of its development (added May 2018).
https://testgutenberg.com/ allows you to have a play with the Gutenberg editor (added June 2018).
A brief four minute video introduction to Gutenberg is worth a look, particularly if you have not followed any of the above links thus far (added July 2018).
Gutenberg Plug-in Compatibility Database can be used by WordPress.org users to find out if any plug-ins that they use are compatible with Gutenberg.
If you want to keep abreast of WordPress-related news here are a number of sources:
This website was built using WordPress. It is fairly straightforward to construct and maintain websites / blogs in WordPress, particularly if you can keep things relatively simple.
I have helped various individuals and small organisations to set up their own websites / blogs. They include small local charities, clubs and local councils. I have subsequently provided sufficient training to allow them to maintain these sites.
The “look and feel” of WordPress websites is controlled by the use of themes. This particular website currently uses the Independent Publisher 2 theme which is aimed at “wordy” blogs / websites. Here are some examples of other websites that I have helped to set up:
Ascot Volunteer Bureau uses Twenty Sixteen, a currently popular theme.
Sunningdale Parish Council uses Twenty Fourteen, another popular theme. It is categorised as a magazine theme.
Eton Town Council. I advised them on the best way to build their website and provided some ongoing mentoring. ETC uses the Twenty Fourteen and Cubic themes.
SADGA (Sunningdale & District Gardening Association) uses Twenty Ten, probably the most popular theme which has now been retired (i.e. it is not available to new users). SADGA makes heavy use of the blogging capability with a large number of pictures.
Emma King Barrister initially used the Twenty Fifteen theme which is aimed at smaller devices such as tablets. It has now switched to the Franklin theme.
If you are a small local non-profit making organisation
… you are located in East Berkshire
… you would like your own website
… you have some experience of using office software (word processing, spreadsheets etc)
… and I consider you a worthy cause
then I can, subject to availability, help you to set up your own website and/or blog free of charge. My assumption is that, after some training and “hand-holding”, you will be able to maintain the site yourself.
Please note that the offer of free assistance refers solely to my time. There are various ways to host a WordPress website, from free to paid plans, some of which are described here. Any costs that are incurred in hosting your site will be borne by you.
If you are interested, fill in the contact form.