“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
Thomas A. Edison
I always like this phrase because I think it can be applied to just about anything, especially blogging. Nobody is perfect and no matter what is your previous experiences or knowledge there will always be something you don’t know. Luckily – you CAN LEARN!
But the only way to do it – is by trying. If you don’t even attempt to accomplish a task you will not be able to complete it and it is especially true when it comes to working with WordPress. While it gets simpler and easier to use with each new version, new iteration – it still requires a certain level of knowledge. And even if you are a techno-geek, there are tasks, associated with blogging you will not be familial with and yet, have to be completed.
Blogging Success Through Trial and Error
As info product developer in blogging niche I see time and time again questions from customers that could have been easily addressed by customers themselves, IF they tried to actually do them.
Yes, sometimes it takes more then one attempt to succeed but this is where that quote comes into play!
Luckily you don’t need to try it 10,000 times to learn and master a process. As WordPress becomes more and more popular – for every task you need to complete there are plenty of step-by-step guides available. All you need to do is invest a few minutes into using Google or whatever flavor of search engine you like to search and than actually follow appropriate guide.
Here are some more specific examples…
1. WordPress Blog Installation
wp-config.php controls how your WordPress blog access database. If for some reason you blog install failed or didn’t work properly – simply delete or rename that file, create new database, if you have to, and start over!
2. Blog Upgrades
Backup is crucial! And there are plenty of options available, just search for “WordPress backup” to learn how to properly do it. You really only need a database backup (MySQL dump) and few folders/files that are unique to your blog, everything else is easily replaceable. Once you have the files/folders and MySQL backup – you can easily restore your blog to its original glory if something fails!
TIP: Test the process, several times until you are confident you can easily do it. All you need to do is install a new blog into a sub-directory of your main domain and play around with it until you are confident! So if your main blog is installed into http://yourdomain.com just create a new folder public_html/test/ and install new blog in there to play with it to your heart content so you don’t have to experiment with live production blog!
3. Bad Plugins or Failed Plugins
Unfortunately this is very common, especially when people choose to install poorly supported, outdated or even “premium WP plugins” that developer stopped supporting. More often then not it will manifest itself during WordPress core update when some function that plugin was relying on is changed or no longer available.
At this point you will get either strange messages / error on your blog front page or completely blank page. Blank page is rare but if you get it – it will require disabling ALL plugins, however if you get an error message on your front page – generally it will show you path to plugin that generates that error, something like:
Fixing this problem is documented in multiple howto’s on web but here is short version:
- Rename plugin folder – this will disable it!
Use FTP client or just access via cPanel and rename the folder – this should bring your blog back to life if no other plugins have problem, repeat process if needed.
Once you blog is alive – just update plugin is available or contact developer for support.
4. Content Creation Specific Problem or SEO questions
This one can cover any number of questions related directly to content, link building, SEO. Really, there are more tutorials than I care to count on web that will provide you with answers on just about anything.
The only tip I can give here – look for answers on reputable blogs. If you see something posted on blog created for AdSense or not very active, chances are – it could be incorrect or outdated.
These are just a few tips designed to help you be more comfortable using the system you have chosen – WordPress. Don’t be afraid to experiment! You only benefit in process!