I’m currently working on updating my blog and upgrading to wordpress.  Please bear with me as I make the switch and stay tuned for more interesting and exciting posts!!!

“Why switch to WordPress?”

Well I’m glad you asked, originally I was using a website called blogger to publish my blog.  I like blogger initially because it made setup easy and would FTP and automatically update pages for me when I made new postings.  The problem that arose as my postings increased in number was that the blogger category system doesn’t make much sense.  WordPress allows me to customize categories and subcategories to make the site easier to navigate for you!   WordPress is also full of useful widgets and plugins.  It lets me create a blog that is easy to navigate through my random content and very user friendly.

My blogger experience was overall quite enjoyable.  They make the template easy for you to setup and modify with very little effort.  Unfortunately the customization of blogger templates and themes was very technical.  If you have your blogger site hosted on your own domain (as I did) then you cannot install widgets!   The only way to update components of you blog was to do it manually in the code.  Being a tech savvy individual this was not too difficult for me to do but I foresee it being an issue for a less experienced individual.

WordPress is installed onto your server.  It uses PHP and SQL to maintain an updated and dynamically integrated website.  It allows you to customize just about everything you can imagine and you can also download a large variety of plugins, widgets and templates.   I found an excellent website for getting WordPress templates and downloaded several templates from there to customize later.  I also searched through the 4,000 available WordPress plugins and found the best few worth downloading.

All In 1 SEO Pack – This plugin allows you to customize and integrate your META data with your blog.  Definitely worth downloading, installing and configuring.

Buy Me A Beer – Lets you put a link at the bottom of your posts to allow people to donate money to you.  I set it up so that people can donate money to help me replace my stolen laptop.

Contact Form 7 – Lets you create forms for your website.  For example Contact Me

Events Calendar – Allows you to update an events calendar so your viewers can stay on top of upcoming events!  (coming soon!)

FM Tuner – Integrates your LastFM radio with your blog template!  (coming soon!)

Google Site Map Generator – If you don’t know what a site map is I recommend googling it.  This plugin creates one for you automatically!

Share This – Allows people to email your posts to others as well as spread the word through a number of social networking sites including MySpace, Facebook and Digg.

WordPress Reports – If you own your website and your not using Google Analytics or another traffic reporting service I HIGHLY recommend you set it up.  This plugin integrates your traffic reports with your WordPress dashboard so you can easily monitor your site traffic.

Lightbox 2.0 for WordPress – I like this plugin alot!  It makes it really easy to integrate light box with any link your using on your page simply by including this code in the tag:  rel=”lightbox”

WordPress E-Commerece – I haven’t setup this plugin or got it working yet but it definitely looks like its worth the time to figure out.

WordPress Greet Box – Lets you to configure a custom greeting box for users based on how they found your website.  Very cool plugin!

Suscribe2 – Lets readers sign up to receive email updates on new blog postings.

So over the next couple days I’ll be tweaking and updating everything to make my blog better for YOU the reader!  Stay tuned…