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Technical overwhelm? I’m here to help

Technical Overwhelm

© puck90, Overwhelmed, via Flickr

Whenever I publish a quick and easy post that explains a blogging issue in simplistic terms, there is always some well-meaning blogger who feels he has to add in something I've missed out.

And the item I've omitted to mention is usually at a much higher level than real beginner bloggers can cope with, hence leading to technical overwhelm.

It's not a numbers game

WordPress is a very successful, albeit technical, platform for blogging and simple CMS websites. (CMS means content management system, which allows the author to add content very easily into special editing pages that are designed to look like word processing applications.)

It can be used at many different levels at varying degrees of complexity. Good job too, or there will be plenty of frustrated web developers who would have abandoned it many years ago.

It is extremely versatile, and over the years many super-duper clever techie people have created plugins, widgets, themes and applications for all sorts of functions, to make their blogs and websites perform how they want them to do.

But sometimes it's not necessary, and can even be detrimental, to include or use every single new fancy gadget or gizmo, just because it's there. And for beginner bloggers, being bombarded left, right and centre with all this new stuff can definitely lead to technical overwhelm.

Understand the basics first...

Sometimes it's necessary to read the instructions first before you put something together. How many of you have a husband who snubs the construction manual when putting together a wardrobe from IKEA, for example, only to find he's landed with an unused extra screw, or a door that doesn't close properly because the fittings aren't the right way up?

Laying out what is needed in front of you, like all the pieces of a wardrobe kit, may look impressive, but unless you're into jigsaw puzzles or relish a conundrum, this will lead to serious technical overwhelm.

However, if you were able to understand what all these bits and pieces did, especially in relation to each other, then the process of putting them together in a meaningful and coherent way will make much more sense.

You see, with blogs, CMS and all that, there are some items and functions that are really very easy to cope with, certainly once you've been introduced to them before. As with everything, the unknown seems totally impossible, whereas meeting it a second time the whole process looks like a doddle, and you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Become a beginner expert!

The number of times I have shown something that WordPress can do to a beginner blogger, and the light bulb comes on and you can see the understanding in their face, this is nothing more satisfactory to me.

And it's wonderful to see them try it again for themselves, tentatively at first, and then with more confidence. "Oh, I can do this!" is the usual cry I hear.

But the answer is to limit what you tell them, reduce the amount of options on offer, analyse and provide the most important essentials that will contribute toward success. You don't have to include everything in a fruit cake, sometimes a few well-chosen ingredients will bring forth a much better tasting result.

So what I will be giving you in my 'how-to' posts (find them from the appropriate category listed on the sidebar) are easy to use, immediately satisfactory, extremely versatile solutions to simple problems that beginner bloggers regularly come across.

And without a hint of technical overwhelm anywhere!

Now it's your turn

I have a selection of beginner bloggers' problems up my sleeve, but the real ones come from you. I only see the ones that affect me, or did in the past, whereas people see things differently from others, and need or expect different results or answers.

So my call to action (which every blog post really ought to have) is to ask you to put what you need me to explain in the comment box below. Nothing is too simple or stupid, that doesn't exist in the WordPress world! Go on, what are you waiting for?

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Alice Elliott writes the Beginner Bloggers blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She specialises in simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Why not also visit her award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog to learn some more.

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  • Sarah Arrow says:

    but that’s what we bloggers do Alice, we add to the conversation! Albeit it’s not always helpful but we add it in. I have similar issues in the blogging challenge. Someone invariably brings up on a weekly basis 1. Where to find images 2. Triberr for marketing 3.oh I’ve forgotten the third one… My age is catching up with me. Something’s are just too much to undertake as you complete the challenge as well. We muddle through it though 😉

    • And I’m grateful for your conversation Sarah. I like to see everything as helpful in its own way – a positive attitude can only bring in dividends, especially if you are able to turn it to your advantage.

  • Susanne says:

    Hi

    You explain very clearly the difference between the two types of WordPress platforms – but what other options are there please?

    I will need a ‘techie’ to set my blog up for me so is it better – right at the outset – to pay a little extra and get a ‘dotcom’ website set up? And is this something you need to subscribe to annually? And will you own your own blog or does the ‘dotcom’ or ‘technie’ have some ownership?

    Sorry if this is an idiotic question but I’d rather pay a bit more and make my blog look fantastic than have someone or other have input or control.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Susanne, these are not idiotic questions.

      To get a ‘dotcom’ blog as you call it, you will need to go for the WordPress.org option. Here you will need to pay for a domain (web address) and a hosting package. And yes, these will incur annual payments to keep them going.

      But this does mean you do ‘own’ your blog. You have complete control over what you do on it, such as advertising, getting subscribers, adding payment systems to sell products and including various digital marketing tactics if you know how.

      And you have the freedom to make your blog look and perform how you want, rather than be subjected to a fixed format. In other words, your world is your oyster.

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