Six Ways Blogs Are Changing the Web

social media toolsCall me biased, but blogs are changing everything and WordPress is leading the charge.  Millions of blogs have sprung up over the last few years and transformed the publishing world.

This represents a big opportunity for your business.

A Little Context

In the early days of the Internet, websites were static creatures. Once a site was published, that’s pretty much how it stayed. Websites were built by programmers and even minor changes required contacting the designer or a specialized web manager.

Then came the blog.

Blogging turned the once-boring website into an ever-changing, dynamic creature. With the advent of the blog came blogging software and the ability to quickly publish content.

With more than 9.5 million downloads of its latest version (as of this writing), WordPress on a self-hosted server is one of the most popular blogging platforms available. But WordPress is no longer just for blogging.

Ease of use combined with open-source development has turned WordPress into a powerful tool for building full-service websites. At this point it’s safe to say that WordPress is changing the way we use the web.  In fact, Social Media Examiner is driven by WordPress.

Here are six ways WordPress is changing the web:

#1: The Power of Publishing for Anyone

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440 he forever changed the way we communicate. What took days or even weeks to produce could now be quickly mass-produced at a fraction of the cost.

And while history has yet to determine the impact of blogging platforms such as WordPress, there’s no question they’ve changed the way we publish information. It’s now possible for anyone to quickly reach a global audience for only pennies.

With a blog, anyone can publish information, voice an opinion and potentially reach a global audience.

Now, armed with little more than a cell phone, a high-school journalist can attend the same function as a Washington Post reporter, publish her version of the event and if she can attract the audience, compete on the same playing field as the Washington Post.

This puts the average citizen in a very powerful position. Along with the ability to quickly reach a global audience, incorrect information or an angry consumer can quickly do damage to large corporations.

#2: Anyone Can Build and Manage a Website—Today

WordPress is democratizing the web. Thanks to its ease of use and low cost (free), almost anyone can launch a website. Although hiring a designer has its advantages, it’s possible for an individual with little programming knowledge to launch a very nice-looking site for the cost of a hosting package.

Most web hosts offer programs such as Simple Scripts or Fantastico, which will install WordPress with the click of a button. WordPress’s “Famous Five-Minute Install” is now about a five-second install. Even better, it doesn’t require FTP uploads or messing about in the server database.

Once installed, WordPress plugins, themes and upgrades can all be installed from within the WordPress control panel with the click of a button.

Some themes come with extra widget options allowing for advanced design with minimal programming.


Publishing and changing content is just as easy. If you can manage a word processor, you can publish content in WordPress.

WordPress content management system makes it easy to edit and publish content.


#3: Blogs Can Power Entire Websites

In the old days, a blog was a place where somebody wrote about his cat. Not anymore. Businesses are finding that blogging software makes it easy to quickly change and publish web content. While many businesses are working to incorporate blogs into their websites, many more are using WordPress to build their entire website.

And it’s not just small businesses using WordPress to build their sites. Companies like UPS and The Wall Street Journal Magazine are building high trafficked, advanced websites using WordPress. Take a stroll around the WordPress Showcase and tell me if you can see the difference between a website and a blog.

UPS Racing is a WordPress site.


#4: Sharing and Commenting Aren’t Just Encouraged, They’re Expected

Blogs by their very nature are designed to be shared and comments are encouraged. As the separation between websites and blogs blurs, so has the way businesses are expected to communicate with their customers. It is no longer safe to hide behind the corporate walls. The discussion will go on with or without input from the company. Dynamic websites give businesses the ability to influence where their customers go for information, manage the discussion and quickly respond when the need arises.

#5: Professional Websites Without a Web Designer

Thanks to the fact that WordPress is an open-source program, there are thousands of plugins (modifications) and themes (templates) available that can make WordPress do almost anything you need it to do. Photo sliders, contact forms, podcasts and more can all be added using plugins.

Premium themes such as StudioPress allow users to install professional-looking websites with minimal or no programming knowledge. The Headway theme even uses a visual editor that allows users to drag and drop content and design pages without the need for CSS or PHP programming.

While professional design has its advantages, for small businesses or the budget-conscious, it’s possible to build very powerful websites at a very low cost.

#6: Websites Can Now Do More

As it gets easier and less expensive to create websites, they are expected to do more. Internet users expect a certain level of professionalism and often pass judgment based on a quick read of a company website. Sites that are not up to par reflect on the company as a whole.

However, this does create an opportunity for small businesses. As costs come down and ease of creating professional-looking websites increases, small businesses can create websites that compete with much larger corporations.

What do you think?

Are blogging platforms such as WordPress changing the way we use the web? Have you used blogging software to build your website? In today’s world of the Internet, is there a clear separation between “blogs” and “websites”?  Let us know your thoughts and ideas below.

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About the Author, Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico is a copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs. You can follow him on Twitter @jlcommunication. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    Hey Jim, they are definitely changing the way we view the web.
    You are right, it’s now easier than ever to create and maintain a blog. And the power is impressive, if you know how to leverage it. Our opportunities are endless, and I don’t think everyone truly understands the power we have at our hands.

    A kick-ass blog can be your CV / main branding portal. YOur gateway to customer community and your direct connection to everyone on this blue planet. Sooo much to do, so less time ;)

  • http://www.cloveorange.com Annie Smidt

    I agree, and I adore WordPress. I love that people can do things themselves, or get their business online for more or less free. I would like to re-emphasize, however, (on top of your brief mention) that professional design and, equally importantly, content strategy can take a website from “at least it’s something” to something far more compelling and super-effective (in terms of sales, hits, whatever your goals are). Even if a site isn’t totally custom, built from the ground up, a designer and/or content strategist can it up several dozen notches — which is especially important if you are trying to build a business site that stands out from its competitors and gets noticed. For many blogs and personal sites, perhaps this is less important, depending on the goals. There’s something really wonderful and charming and very 80s/90s paper zine culture about people just going for it and expressing themselves on the web, whatever it looks like. Yay, a place for everyone!

  • http://www.citycliq.com/ CityCliq

    Fascinating article. I’m really impressed with the results some businesses are getting out of their WordPress Blogs. It is much more powerful than I have admittedly given it credit for.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.prussakov.com/ Geno Prussakov

    Great post. Re point #4: I fully agree. But does Seth Godin think the same way too?

  • http://www.julieheinrich.com Julie Heinrich

    I agree wholeheartedly on #4. It has always been a goal of mine to seek out favorite blogs and new blogs each day and comment on a minimum of 5 blogs. I know that other bloggers in my BlogHer community do that also. It is just a simple, efficient way of building community and letting your voice be heard.

  • http://www.sdicorp.com/Resources/Blog/tabid/77/articleType/AuthorView/authorID/24/lkunz.aspx Larry Kunz

    There’s no question that blogs have changed the way that companies interact with customers and prospects on the web. And it looks like the next big thing might be video. Do you see a trend toward integrating video with the current technology — to the extent that we’ll further redefine what we think of as a “website”?

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Great post…I loved the WordPress/Blog low down and couldn’t agree more. I use Posterous and while I love that platform I know that eventually I will need to make the move to a self-managed WP platform.

    Also, thnx for those links, weill def check them out.

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    I wouldn’t mind if people chimed in on their favorite WP theme or source for WP themes.

    Thesis seems the be all the rage…pros and cons?
    Rockettheme has a nice bundle of themes…any opinions? Pros and cons?
    Woothemes seem to be quite nice as well…same Qs as above…let your voices be heard people :-)

  • http://www.mitchellfanning.com Mitch Fanning

    Hi Jim,

    Great post.

    Funny, I recently wrote an article suggesting we should “retire” the word “blog,” “web log,” “blogger,” “blogosphere,” and any other derivative of the word.

    Why?

    They’re outdated and, at times, associated with the stereotypical image of the rogue “Internet marketing guru” who plots world domination from their basement and uses excessive hype to bait naïve prospects with empty promises.

    Perhaps it’s just the way these words sound to the average “non-techie” business owner or CEO. To those who don’t eat, sleep, and breathe the Internet and social media it might sound more like a rubber chew toy a two year old puts in their mouth.

    Over the past ten years there’s been a new generation of people starting blogs. They’re building audiences, creating influence, and generating profits.

    Individuals and organizations aren’t just “logging the web,” anymore – they’re creating businesses and media properties. They’re thought-leaders and online publishers with real business models.

    So let’s replace the funny-sounding word with something that gives the medium a bit more respect it’s so rightfully has earned. Let’s come up with a better term than “blog” to describe the new generation of online publishers who are out there creating real relationships and businesses.

    Any suggestions?

    @mitchfanning

  • thegiggletest

    I also think its a great way to get people involved in something.

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    WordPress is the future of the internet.

  • vboscaino

    I absolutely agree. I have put together a number of WP sites and have found it to be incredibly easy and actually a lot of fun. Great template tools such as Thesis, Socrates, Affiliate Themes etc. make it even easier to customize content and functionality.

  • http://www.jononfire.com/ Jon Butt

    Great article, Jim.

    I’ve been telling folks for so long that all they need is a WordPress blog, decent hosting, decent domain name and a modern theme and they are off and running. There are thousands of free videos on Youtube and the like to explain how to do virtualy anything with it. Why pay for anything else?

    JON

  • http://twitter.com/kathyswanson Kathy Swanson

    Jim, I’ve been educating my clients for the last 12 months on a very siilar topic “the website as you know it today is going away” and will be replaced by a social conversation stream. Much like what is evolving in the email space with text messaging. I totally agree that blogging tools like WordPress and micro blogging like Twitter are leading the way but ecommerce widgets on FB will make ecommerce sites a thing of the past. It’s quickly evolving and if companies don’t jump on they’ll find themselves in the same place many did back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when they didn’t have any web presense. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/SmurfGG Shirley Thomas

    I especially agree with point #3. A little while back, websites were these cold online brochures, promoting the companies. Companies’ blogs give a kind of personal touch and instant updates where customers can feel connected to the people behind the scene.

  • Qotal

    Reminds me of a site I visited recently Anyclip.com. They are an internet search engine where you can find any clip from any movie ever created. They have yet to acquire the movie rights so you find the scenes, but not view them yet. However, they have recently added an awesome blog, Spliced, which is constantly updated on the ins and outs of the movie industry. It’s a great way of attracting visitors to their site.

  • http://www.accidentalseeker.com/ Karen Talavera

    Totally agree! Blogs will become the new tech infrastructure for the solo-preneur/author/independent expert web site and WordPress is a fantastic solution for newbies. Not sure about the blog being the backbone behind big company sites, but I think a blog needs to at least be a component of most conventional sites. Just built my new blog The Accidental Seeker on WordPress Thesis and loving it. Talk about democratizing the Web – take away the design and coding barriers like Thesis and other WP themes do, and there’s no reason anyone can’t have a dedicated online platform they control. It’s about time.

  • Ron

    Maybe this is the wrong forum to ask this, as a matter of fact I’m pretty sure it is, but maybe someone can offer insight anyway. I run a self hosted WP blog with about 40 entries on it and I’m noticing that the postings are getting jumbled. I’ll do a search for a specific post and the title of the post will come up high on search results but the description below the title link won’t match that entry. The title link will display XXX and when I click, it takes me to the posting for YYY. This happens about 20% of the time and I’m wondering if there’s something I’m doing wrong. I’m using All-In-One-SEO plugin as well as XML Sitemap, Simple Tags and it’s the Arjuna Theme. Any help would be hugely appreciated!!!

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    I absolutely LOVE wordpress! I chose my specific blog design because the design looks more like a website than a blog. Powerful article! Thanks!

  • http://www.7thwavemedia.com Roohi

    I’ve been building commercial websites for more than 16 years – some large (think complex financial trading platforms and the precursor to Match.com) and some small (sites for small businesses and individuals) – and just yesterday, I was thinking how absolutely floored – and thrilled – I am by how easy, quick and efficient it is to build a website now with WordPress. These days, I talk about the incredible benefits of technology and social media – thank goodness for progress – I’m so looking forward to whatever else is coming at us in the future :-)

  • Qotal

    Karen,
    I actually think that blogs are a great things for companies because they get the employees involved. When you are given a chance to contribute you tend to feel as if you have a share in the company, and it becomes more than just a place you work at. Take the anyclip.com I mentioned earlier – most of the blog postings are written by Anyclip employees. It is an opportunity for them to express and share their love of movies with the world. It’s a huge boost to motivation.

  • Sandi Krakowski

    EXCELLENT article! It makes those just starting out able to play with the big-guys. It’s also the best tool around to make a deeper connection with your audience. With Social Media and a blog connected companies can really make an impact on the internet quickly while years ago (I build my first company online in 1998) it tooks months to make some serious headway. I personally think WordPress will put some web designers and SEO people out of business if they don’t know how to service people well within this platform. Great piece, sending it to my list and my blog readers. :)

  • http://www.riseofthecenter.com/ Rise of the Center

    There are some GREAT themes out there for wordpress… but Headway is not one of the top tier.

  • http://www.arealchange.com/blog Sandi Krakowski

    I agree, Thesis is my absolute favorite and the one I recommend the most to all of my clients

  • Stephanie Nivinskus

    WordPress has completely rocked my world at as marketing consultant. It’s empowered my clients like never before–which is just beautiful!

  • Techno_pen

    WordPress.com and WordPress.org are variations on a theme. I asked David Risley (http://www.davidrisley.com/) of Confessions of a Six Figure Professional Blogger what the difference was and while WordPress.com is free, WordPress.org has a cost attached to it- but better for you if you are a) a serious blogger and b) are into monetizing your blog. So, yes, WordPress is great, but don’t forget there are two versions. It depends on what you want to accomplish.

  • Divya

    I enjoyed reading the article. It highlights the new trends set by companies for blogging and bridging the gap with the customers.

    Thanks
    Divya

  • http://www.enduracom.com Susan Vonachen

    Thank You – this is a great article to share with a friend who is new to blogging!

    Susan Vonachen

  • http://localmarketingsavvy.com/ Shelly O’Brien

    WordPress has really changed the game for solopreneurs and small business owners! They can now create a professional site that is affordable and easy to use… Today’s technology evens out the playing field a lot! Thanks for the excellent post Jim.

  • http://twitter.com/maureen_monfore Maureen Monfore

    I love WordPress! I am building an entire site (and blog) for my freelance copywriting business on WordPress. It’s amazing what you can get for so little money. I ended up getting some help with the technical details and I bought a professional theme so it wasn’t entirely free. There are many nice themes out there: http://themeforest.net/searches?term=business&categorieswordpress=1. Not bad for $30!

    http://www.mmcopywriting.com/ (Still a work in progress, but not bad!)

  • stevekhart

    This post should be retitled ” 6 ways WordPress is changing the web”.

    I agree, anyone and everyone could and does own a blog these days.

    Good article!

  • http://twitter.com/BarbOsier Barb Osier

    I saw my first WordPress website just yesterday – http://www.barkintheparkaustin.com. I was amazed at how dynamic and quick it was.

    Products like this really even the playing field, in my opinion, allowing the little guy to compete with the big guys in almost every area! I’ll be interested to see what others think.

  • Amanda Brandon

    I’ve found the WordPress platform to not only be a simple way to set up a site, but a business driver. As a freelance writer, most of my prospective clients are looking for this expertise. The good news is that WordPress has made it easy to be an expert. Great post!

  • http://nichenista.com Leah Steinbrink

    Very timely article. I’m in the process right now of setting up my blog, with WordPress, and I find it hugely rewarding. I’m a marketing/social media professional so I understand, AND PREACH, the benefits of blogging – the dynamic communication flow, employee involvement, transparency, reader engagement – but I find a large number of clients and friends who refuse to believe what I have to say about it. “It’s too much work,” or “I don’t really have anything to say,” or my personal favorite, “People might criticize us if they have the chance,” (well yeah, but you can respond and begin a dialogue – hello?) are the most common concerns I hear over and over again. Some people just don’t get it.

    I like what Kathy Swanson said above: “It’s quickly evolving and if companies don’t jump on they’ll find themselves in the same place many did back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when they didn’t have any web presence.” Agreed. The days of the static website are numbered.

    As for me, while those old clunky websites bore themselves out of a job, I’ll be busy posting on my blog, building my community and eagerly awaiting whatever cool new communication tools come next! And encouraging others to do the same. Thanks for the great article, Jim!

  • http://moneyandrisk.com Kim | Money and Risk

    Jim,

    Excellent article. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I can tell you that some businesses I work with are building their ecommerce sites using some parts of WordPress. I believe in open architecture because you get the value of different viewpoints and experiences.

    @ Mitch. As a non blogger, non web person, regular business owner, what I heard when it was suggested that I start a blog is BLOB. All the people living and breathing the web forget that there are millions like me who don’t live on it. I thought you would get a chuckle.

  • http://www.localgoldmine.com Jeff

    Great srticle Jim,
    As a marketing consultant for small business owners I constantly run into do it yourself websites that really look like junk. the nice thing about wordpress blogs is that with very little website building knowledge a small business owner can put up a great looking website that looks like a pro did it.

    To all you do it your self website builders, stop trying to learn coding and find a sharp looking theme, get the right plug ins and do it right.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Yes, I do see video becoming more and more popular. Again, the software is at a point where publishing video is pretty easy. Pocket size video cameras now come with basic editing software built in along with the ability to directly upload to YouTube or other video sharing sites. YouTube provides the HTML code needed so that you can cut and paste the video directly to your site.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I’ve been using Thesis for a long time now and it is a powerful theme. My feeling though is that it is really a designers theme and I’m not a great designer. I’ve been playing with StudioPress lately and I really like the way their themes look pretty good right out of the box along with some very powerful widget features.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Excellent point. Although I’m not sure what we should call it, I think the main thing is that the lines between websites and blogs have blurred.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Thanks Kathy. The impact of Facebook as a replacement for ecommerce is an interesting point. Do you think that eventually FB will make the website obsolete? I think that the dynamic website (maybe that’s the new name Mitch was looking for) will still be needed as a hub for all social media (and other) activities.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Check the All-in-one settings. There might be something going on with the meta description for the site. Just a guess but it’s worth a try.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I haven’t played with Headway enough yet but I’m very curious to see the drag and drop concept in action. I like Thesis also but as I said earlier, you really need to be a designer to get it to look good and it does take some programming knowledge. However, from an SEO perspective and for basic design, I love it.

    I think the power for the non-programmer is the way some of the themes are using widgets for more than just the sidebar.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    For what I’m discussing above, I’m really talking about WordPress.org on a self-hosted site.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Hmm….that headline sounds familiar… ;-)

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    You’ve probably seen lots of WP sites but didn’t realize they were built using WP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OriginalPais Paris Tompkins

    Thank you, Jim, and I love my WordPress site. I have gotten many compliments on the appearance of my blogs, as well as on the content, but many commentators are interested in what template I use. I regularly update and add plug-ins, and I’m very satisfied with what I am able to produce, although I was little more than a great typist prior to using WordPress. Now I feel as if I am a real writer. Check me out at http://www.paristompkins.com

  • http://twitter.com/outsourceJim James E Fisher

    I’m really enjoying the ease of using Socrates Jim. check out my blog at http://www.outsourcingcontrol.com

    Mtn Jim

  • Jonas Hedlid

    I think that blogs are still seen as a non-serious, or at least a minor attractive prescence on the webb. At least so in my community. Blogs are for personal use and for gossiping, but WordPress and others are catching up but they’re not really there yet.

    /Jonas
    http://www.hedlid.com

  • http://www.tailleurdimages.fr Tailleurdimages

    Hello,

    I am glad to read about this article as while I created a WP blog to share my photographic work, I also had to deal with the question “why a blog and not a website ? “. Finally I decided for a blog, and I really feel happy about this choice, as its interactivity is what I was looking for.
    But I also had to deal with an other question, more difficult to me :

    Why to build a blog, and not to use a facebook profile ?

    The point is that you can as well share your work on FB, and many people (and artists) already do it. You even have a way to mesure the performance of your content. if one day FB decides to give more stats to owner of FB profiles + provide the ability to customize a little bit more its pages, I think that blogs may lose their interest. What do you think about that ?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    That was the original title Steve. I changed it to blogging because I knew plenty of people who are not bloggers would not understand what WordPress is.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Ron,

    I do not have the perfect answer. But I can tell you that the search function in WordPress is pretty lame. We installed LIJIT which uses Google technology just recently and it made a huge difference.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Sandi did not mention a headway theme Solomon…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Gotta love editors! :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Jonas,

    You are replying on a “blog.” Sometimes it’s not obvious that the website you are on is powered by a blog

  • http://www.sdicorp.com/Resources/Blog/tabid/77/articleType/AuthorView/authorID/24/lkunz.aspx Larry Kunz

    That’s good info. Thanks, Jim.

  • http://www.mitchellfanning.com Mitch Fanning

    agreed. Plus, it’s been a long week so for now “blog” will have to do. :)

  • http://www.CKRinteractive.com/ Kimberly Otsuka

    I believe that blogging has changed the web. I was having a discussion with my supervisor about blogging and journalism. It is scary to think that anyone can be a journalist online. All you need is a login and password. No diploma or education required. Blogging has definitely changed the way the internet works. I feel that jobs would be lost due to sites such as WordPress. Yes, this could be a benefit for smaller companies but what about web designers? How will their jobs be affected if anyone can create their own site? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used something like WordPress for a school project but I just feel that times are changing. Who knows what the future will be like for the internet and jobs?

    -CKR Interactive Intern
    http://www.ckrinteractive.com

  • http://twitter.com/Maggie_Hall Maggie Hall

    Jim – would love to know your opinion on Google’s Blogspot compared to WordPress.

  • http://currin.co.za Brian

    Wonderful article, and just what I need to help my clients and potential clients understand what I am trying to explain to them.

    I love WordPress and use it almost exclusively now for my own projects and my clients.

    http://webmarketersa.wordpress.com

    Brian
    Cape Town

  • debbiehemley

    Nice piece. I’m a big fan of WordPress self-hosted and WordPress.com– they are both extremely powerful tools for blogging. I’ve been experimenting with Zementa after reading about it in a post last week and its been great for finding images, related articles and tags. Was reading about Plinky earlier as a tool to give writing prompts. I love that people keep coming up with more and more tools to enhance the blogging experience.

    Thanks again for the discussion about WordPress (Blogs) or whatever you want to title the piece. It all works for me!

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I think that one possible problem with Facebook is that you’re always limited by the whims of Facebook. I think of FB as an extension of the activities on the main page. FB is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website (or blog) where you can expand beyond the capabilities of FB.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Buried in this article is my thinking that yes, web designers may soon become obsolete. Actually, I think they will need to be more like graphic designers and less like programmers. While I can build a very powerful site using WordPress, I’m not a graphic designer and I look to others to make it look really sharp.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I think it’s very limiting. If you’re creating a traditional blog where articles are posted chronologically and that’s about it, then Blogger might work. Most seem to outgrow it quickly though. I also think that for a business, it doesn’t look all that professional.

    From a business perspective, Blogger lacks the integration with the rest of the company’s website that can be so important.

    One of the advantages of WordPress is that it can do almost anything you need it to do. Because it is an open source program, there are thousands of plugins that can be used to add everything from photo sliders to special landing pages.

    Although it is free (which is always nice), if you’re at all serious about blogging I highly recommend WP. Web hosting is so inexpensive these days (I am currently getting it for $33/year for my clients) that it’s well worth the investment.

    If you’re looking to build a website, Blogger isn’t the tool to use. WordPress however…

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Oh, and the only cost for WordPress.org is the cost of web hosting which is becoming very inexpensive.

  • http://blondish.net Nile Flores

    With 3.0, you can take that WordPress theme and with both BuddyPress and the BuddyPress template pack, you now can convert your site into a fully functioning social network site. That, and install several blogs on one install.

    I have been blogging with WordPress since before it was forked from b2. I have been amazed enough to start speaking to the communities in WordCamp (spoke in WordCamp Chicago and intend to speak at another later this year) on thinking outside the box while designing your site and overall branding your site to reflect – you.

    I design using WordPress so much I ended up exclusively designing sites with WordPress. It became easier to do landing and squeeze pages too because of the flexibility of the CMS.

    Nice to see another person pointing out the positive notes on WordPress for website owners of any genre.

  • http://www.interimbusiness.com.au Kirsty Wilson

    A great post and now I must share it with all the businesses I’ve discovered recently who have no web presence at all … and it’s 2010! Most have no idea what is going on in the online business/social media communities and a blog is unheard of. I’m about to move my static business website to WordPress, after using it for a travel blog I have and just love it’s ease of use, functionality and integration with social media platforms.

  • http://www.pixmac.com Vita

    Jim, thank you. But don’t forget that the information in the blog is usually much more subjective than the old fashion media. So there have to be sperataion more on the information level. Who knows, maybe we don’t need subjective information :-)

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    That depends on how the blog is being used. I think the term blog really is outdated. Yes, there are websites or blogs that are nothing but opinion. But just because it is a blog, doesn’t mean it is subjective. Smart businesses are using “blogs” to put out information of need to their customers – “how to” articles or information the customers need.

    Of course, you could say that because it comes from a business it is subjective but reading a blog is like reading anything else. It is up to us as critical readers/thinkers to be able to distinguish between the objective and the subjective.

  • http://realestate-webpagesblog.com Parham Baker

    You know, there is a whole additional additional reason for bloggin. SEO!!! Our clients use blogs to drive traffic to thier websites, build links, get involvement which ultimately means more inbound links and “juice”. We also repost all blogs to Facebook and to Twitter. All of this is geared toward improving our clients positions in search engines, drive traffic to lead captures and more. In the business we are in, Real Estate, that is critical! Great Article!!

  • http://realestate-webpagesblog.com Parham Baker

    Jim,
    That is a big perhaps. If one is “blogging” just to voice an opinion, then perhaps. We use websites and blogs to capture leads, to feed our “drip marketing” programs, to tie all of the various social media together in a consistant and integrated branding approach. We are finding this leads to even more programming. We work in real estate, and are programming to bring higher levels of SEO juice for individual agents and properties. Things we could never have done even three years ago. Blog feeds Facebook, Twitter, LInked in. Property specific pages feed blog and agent website. On and on. As a programmer for over 30 years, “webstuff” for half that… I am hiring graphics people because I am too busy writing backends, themes, integrations, and more!

    BUT, point VERY well taken! One can create a web presence quite easily these days!!!

  • http://www.freelancefactfile.com Freelance Factfile

    A designer I work with now designs her sites almost exclusively using WordPress. I’ve started using WordPress recently for my blog and I’m now thinking of completely redoing my copywriting website and turning it into a WordPress site. Much easier to keep updated, easier for SEO etc etc.

  • http://twitter.com/Hope_Spark Susan

    With the all these blogs blooming, we need content curators, like digg or http://www.hopespark.com/

  • CampingEquipmentCo

    Interesting point here and as with most subjects, I don’t think we will ever be able to put our finger on 1 element and say that it is solely responsible or has a pivotal role in the biggest changes

    I think it’s a combination of factors and FB is just one of them – Twitter, WP, the “conventional” ecommerce site being others

    SEO and online marketing generally seems to be about achieving a balance amongst a plethora of tools…

  • CampingEquipmentCo

    As an ecommerce site operator, is it better to comment on other blogs and operate my own blog under my ecommerce brand or as a separate entity?

    I know there is an unwritten rule about appearing to plug your product on blogging platforms but you can still represent yourself under that brand without pushing your product yes?

  • CampingEquipmentCo

    As an ecommerce site operator, is it better to comment on other blogs and operate my own blog under my ecommerce brand or as a separate entity?

    I know there is an unwritten rule about appearing to plug your product on blogging platforms but you can still represent yourself under that brand without pushing your product yes?

  • CampingEquipmentCo

    Are you saying that most media channels eg newspaper, magazines, tv and radio are objective?

    I think all mainstream media channels are very much targeted towards their audience and content is heavily edited and biased

    The internet represents the biggest shift in the balance of power between traditional media channels and I applaud efforts that enable independent news reporting and commentary

  • CampingEquipmentCo

    Are you saying that most media channels eg newspaper, magazines, tv and radio are objective?

    I think all mainstream media channels are very much targeted towards their audience and content is heavily edited and biased

    The internet represents the biggest shift in the balance of power between traditional media channels and I applaud efforts that enable independent news reporting and commentary

  • http://twitter.com/modelmor Virginia Graham

    Do you know what theme socialmediaexaminer uses?

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