Wordpress assistance

needawebsiteThis 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 the Twenty Sixteen theme, 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 on the welcome page.

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.

WordPress 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. However, it is important to note that WordPress.com does not allow such customisations.

WordPress.org provides the necessary foundation for such customisations. Here you download WordPress itself plus any plugins and themes to build your own tailored solution. The question here is where you download them to? It could be 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 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 comprehensive website.

Slightly more detailed info on WordPress

If you have had a quick dabble with WordPress, or simply read some of the material which can be found on the web, then you may find that this brief document is of some help in making some basic decisions and getting you going.

Upcoming changes to WordPress

Major changes to WordPress are in the offing. They come under the code name of Gutenberg. The first release should appear later in 2018. It will concentrate on a new editor. In essence, everything in the new 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.

A slew of YouTube videos appeared when the first test versions were made available in mid 2017. Frankly, I would not recommend any of them. They were produced too soon and major changes have taken place since then. Much of the current material that can be found (May 2018) is aimed at expert WordPress.org users.

I have found a couple of articles which I consider are suitable for individuals with relatively simple websites / blogs who are probably WordPress.com users. I will add further links here as and when I find them.

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 Gutenberg development here are a number of sources:
WP Tavern
Gutenberg News
Gutenberg Times.