I use WordPress.com to set up a web site (like this one, and these, too) for small companies or charities. This web site would act like an “on-line brochure” where people can find the information they need about you. It does not provide the ability to sell products, collecting money from customers. However, we can arrange for them to listen, view, and download media files or documents. we can also embed a calendar, and the web site can be automatically updated when you add new material.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
Primarily, we can use WordPress.com for the Web Site hosting. It’s free. You can overcome the limitations later, by upgrading to the WordPress.org which is more capable. WordPress.org provides free software for building the website, but you have to pay a hosting company to provide a home for your site when you build it. Your reward for this investment is to be able to install SQL, PHP, and start writing code to use as much computer power as you want.
WordPress: Web Site or Blog?
Normally the “Blog” – a list of stories, most recent first – is the home page of your WordPress site (the first page to appear). You may not think you need a blog, but if you want to publish your latest news items, or your latest announcements, then that is the same thing! However, you may or may NOT want the blog to come up first, but prefer a welcome page of fixed content to come first.
This Article explains how to make one of your “pages” into the default page, and make your “posts” (the blog) appear on the menu, to read when, and only when, selected.
Another big difference between a “website” and a “blog” is that the website tends not to “scroll” up and down, whereas a blog does. The heading and the menus stay put at the top of a website screen, so that the navigation menus remain always in place. The heading and the menus will scroll up and disappear off the top of the screen in a blog. Also the blog often has a large image at the top of the screen, stealing a huge proportion of the pixels available for your ‘content’. Therefore when we build a WordPress.com website, we will often remove the header image as well as changing the home page to be a static “page” rather than the blog page that shows the latest “posts”.
Tools for creating your Web Site
For making images to illustrate your website, the free tools may include Google Images, Microsoft’s Snipping Tool & Paint and Google’s Picasa for editing graphics.
Media Storage Tools
Wordpress can store some images that are embedded in your posts and pages, and documents that can be downloaded.
I use Bandcamp for storing audio, Google’s YouTube for storing video, Google’s Picasa for storing gallery images.
The advantage of these tools is that they not only provide the storage for your media files, but they also provide you with html code that you can copy and paste into WordPress to create an embedded player with its own user interface for choosing and playing media: such as next, previous, play, stop and pause, full-screen, mute, etc. You can then delegate the maintenance of that medium as a separate activity. A person could be given access to only Bandcamp where they can maintain the audio library which would automatically become available to users of the WordPress Web Site. Magic!
These could include Google Mail, Google Drive (Documents), Dropbox.com, CX.com and Otixo.com
The clever thing about “collaboration” tools is that people can edit the content concurrently. This allows us to all contribute to keeping up-to-date records.