WordPress.com provides a content management system enabling you to create your own blog(s)/ website(s) with a combination of dynamic and static pages for free.
You can choose a theme from a range of different styles, many of which can be customised for your needs through adding ‘widgets’. Widgets are essentially tools that you can add to the sidebars of your blog – for example, a calendar, slideshow of pictures, Twitter feed, etc… Pictures, slideshows, maps and videos can also be embedded easily into your posts. Polls can also be added via ‘Polldaddy’ – you register with them once and can then add as many polls as you like to your site(s).
WordPress blogs can be private, with invited users only, or public. They can have one or multiple authors, with different permissions easily assigned to each contributor. Allowing people to comment also creates conversations around your posts (these can be moderated).
Stats provide you with details about traffic to your site – where people have come from, what they searched for and which posts are the most popular.
Themes also have a mobile interface, allowing you to view, write and add images to posts while on the move. Please see my example blog post.
- http://www.fleapalmer.com/?p=581 - links to WordPress blogs created by BSc Cruise Management students as part of their ‘Showcasing Cruising’ assignment.
Manage your own WordPress site
If you want an even more enhanced site, with embedded interactive SlideShare, Prezi and MindMeister presentations which need plug-ins in order to work, or you would like to create your own theme/ design, see WordPress.org. Here you will find details of recommended web hosts (where your site will live) and how to download and install WordPress.
Whichever option you choose there is lots of online help and support, including forums for very specific queries.
Examples/ Case Studies:
Pros of using WordPress:
- Easy to use website comprising of static web-pages and a blog
- Free templates can be customised for an individual look
- Additional content can be added through ‘widgets’
- Lots of online help and support
Cons of using WordPress:
- Not supported by the University
Other blogging platforms
Examples/ Case Studies:
- http://discoveringecolecon.blogspot.co.uk/ – Dr Lynda Rodwell (Ecological Economics)
- http://plymouth-electron-microscopy-centre.blogspot.co.uk/ – Dr Roy Moate et al. (Microscopy)
- http://www.hydrographic-academy.co.uk/ – Dr Richard Thain et al. (Marine)
Find out more:
See ‘Set Up Your Blog With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide‘ from makeuseof.com