The complete guide to setting up and running a WordPress site

Earlier this year I embarked on a series of in-depth articles detailing how you can set up your own WordPress blog, using my own relevant experience and expertise. 

This turned into a three-month long 10-part epic with various digressions into other semi-related blogging matters. Imagine Lord of the Rings but slightly less wordy and definitely less ork-filled.

This compendium is as an attempt to condense my own sprawling epic into one handy guide.

Here you will learn: the differences between and, how to set up your blog, advice for writing your first post, using the dashboard and content management system (CMS), essential widgets, themes, plugins and customisation tips, advice for SEO best practice, how to move your blog to a self-hosted site and lots more. 

This guide should be used for a general overview, however links to all the original articles will be included with each relevant chapter, as they will be necessary to read for more in-depth detail.

Are you ready? Let’s begin…

20 essential WordPress plugins

This is the eighth and final instalment (for now) in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

Last week I covered the big move from to A move that will have now opened up the highly exclusive and endlessly varied world of WordPress plugins.

A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on feature to your website or blog, offering additional functionality. 

These can be developed by WordPress itself or by a third-party company and range in function from social media integration to automatic search engine optimisation to spam comment filtering. There’s a huge array of choice.

Only users (those who host their own site and who don’t mind getting their hands dirty with coding and other technical matters) have access to these third-party plugins.

So this week I’ll be recommending the most vital of these plugins for your brand new site.

Voxeo Labs brings voice calls to the browser without plugins

Thanks to the growth of VOIP, more and more phone calls are being routed through the internet, and telephony-as-a-service platforms like Twilio are giving developers new opportunities to do interesting things with Alexander Graham Bell’s invention.

Today, it’s possible to talk to a friend on the other side of the globe using desktop programs like Skype, or to click a button on a website and conduct a phone call in the browser with a merchant thousands of miles away.