Last week, For The Church was kind to publish an article I wrote called “Blogging for God’s Glory.” In it, I encourage Christians to care about the quality of our art, not simply because it reflects on us, but more importantly, because it reflects our God. I shared 35 questions to consider as we bloggers ply our trade. I discussed things such as:
Purpose & Audience: Why am I blogging, and who am I trying to reach?
Commitment: How much time and effort will I give to blogging?
Networking: How will I connect with readers and other like-minded bloggers?
Money & Growth: How much money will I invest in blogging and what might be the returns?
Near the end of the article I wrote, “There are a dozen technical, behind-the-scenes details that you’ll also want to consider, but let’s leave them for another day.” Well, today felt like a good day to cover some of these technical questions.
I realize this post will not give “warm-fuzzies” to you about the gospel. It doesn’t for me either. I also realize many people who read my blog don’t have their own blog. But for any like me who have floundered for a season not knowing the difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org (and what does URL mean, and a bunch of other techie things), I hope this post helps you as much as it could have helped me three years ago.
Technical: What behind-the-scenes details do I need to know?
- Am I capable of handling technical tasks such as setting up the blog, formatting posts, and creating forms to capture email addresses? If not, who can help me?
- Which categories will go in my blog header, such as an about page, a publications page, and a contact page?
- Will my blog contain only written posts, or will I include video and audio posts? If I include audio and video, do I have the equipment and the technical expertise to pull off these other forms?
- Is the name of my blog the same as my website address, commonly called a URL? Have I purchased a URL yet?
- Of the many different blogging platforms, will I use Wordpress, Squarespace, Blogger, Medium, or something else?
- If I use Wordpress, the most popular blogging platform, do I know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and what might be the pros and cons of using each? (It’s been said that Wordpress.com is like renting a house and WordPress.org is like owning a house.)
- If I use Wordpress.org, am I comfortable keeping my “plug-ins” up to date? (Plug-ins are added features you can incorporate into your blog to customize it.)
- Will I email readers using the email service included by some blog platforms, or will I use an email service provider, such as MailChimp, Emma, or Constant Contacts?
- If necessary, am I able to use HTML, the web coding language, to finetune the look of my blog?
- Do I understand the term blog hosting, which describes who stores the content uploaded to the blog? Who will host my blog?
- Will I set up my blog to capture email addresses, often called a lead magnet? If so, can I offer to give an ebook, short story, or infographic in exchange for contact information?
- How will I store these email addresses, and how will the storage system relate to my blog hosting platform?
- Will I check how my blog appears through several different internet browsers, such as Chrome, Explorer, Safari, and Firefox?
- Does my blog templet work seamlessly with mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers?
- Will I first write my blog posts with a word processing software like Microsoft Word, or will I write my posts directly on the blog? If I write in Microsoft Word, do I know how to transfer posts onto the blog?