From my point of view, a geek is a computer enthusiast. At school he – or she – was good at math. When going for a degree, it will usually be in one of the beta sciences like physics or more practical (information) technology.
My background is in business administration. My first computer was as IBM PS/2 which I was able to purchase with financial support of my employer at that time. By then I was 27 years of age already. Since I am curious by nature and always eager to explore new territories, I have played a bit with the programming language BASIC. That was not my kind of fun. So, I guess I do not qualify for a geek. I am a non-geek.
However, I am very interested in the web and I enjoy building websites. In the mid ’90s, I started playing around with HTML. That was definitely more fun than programming. You are able to build a simple HTML page and display it in your browser within minutes.
About five years later, I was able to build a nice website for my own company. My mistake was using Microsoft FrontPage merely because it was part of my Microsoft Office suite, but that is a different story.
Creating websites the easy way
So, I like setting up websites. However, I consider coding with HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL to achieve that goal as the hard way. Fortunately, now there is WordPress. With WordPress you are able to focus on the important side of the website. That is not the technology behind the site, but the content: the texts and media files you want to share.
In case you choose to use only readymade templates with WordPress, you have less control over the logic and presentation of the website than when building it from scratch with HTML and PHP. But I think that is not really a setback when balancing it with all the good stuff. Furthermore, in the end it is always the user browsing the web and visiting your website who decides how a site will appear on his or her screen.
WordPress started a as blog engine – a tool for setting up blogs. Blog is short for weblog, a kind of a web diary. Since it origin, WordPress has evolved into a great Content Management System (CMS) giving you all the tools you need to build and maintain your website. And I expect that WordPress will become an even better tool. More powerful.
Throughout the world, thousands of geeks are building beautiful themes and powerful plugins. For this reason, creating a website offering a better user experience will become easier tomorrow than it can be done today already.
What this blog will cover
With this blog, “A Non-Geek Making Websites”, I want to share a bit of the knowledge and experience I have gained with WordPress. Sure, there are more websites out there with a comparable mission. And yes, a lot of information is already available on the net, but that is either scattered all over the web or written for peers with a more than average knowledge of web technology. This blog want to do things differently.
Next to building websites, I want to write about topics like maintaining a WordPress website and increasing the security of your WordPress site. Having a website is only the first step. You need to promote your website to attract visitors. So, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA) will be addressed as well. And maybe you could earn some money by displaying AdSense ads on your website?
Of course I will be reviewing templates, or themes in WordPress jargon. In the first place, it is very important to understand that there are all kinds of WordPress templates: for a personal blog, a company website, an online magazine, a portfolio or a web shop. Just to mention the most important ones. Most template sites do little more than repeating the information available on the vendor’s website.
When you are in the process of choosing a theme, it is not only the design that matters. Equally important, or perhaps more important, is the logic behind the design. How easy is it to setup the template and therefore your website? Does the template come with some kind of a control panel, or do you have to modify the style sheets manually?
These kinds of questions will not be answered by merely looking a photograph of a website where the theme regarding has been applied. This blog wants to take a review a little further.
Last but not least, I will write about plugins. A plugin is a small piece of software with a specific application that allows you to extend the core functionality of WordPress. Suppose the template that meets your requirements best does not have all the features you are looking for. What plugin(s) should you install to bridge the gap between what is does do and what you need?
So, I expect that “A Non-Geek Making Websites” has some added value to offer. Stay tuned!