As I rebooted my blog, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time getting it back off the ground. I just wanted to get it up and running so I could focus on writing. I briefly considered using Tumblr or Medium, as my friend John suggests, but in the end I decided to stay with WordPress.
There were a couple reasons for this. For one, I’ve been using WordPress for a few years and know it really well; I know how to launch a WordPress site quickly (just because I spend most of my time in .NET land doesn’t mean I’m all of a sudden going to use OrchardCMS). But ultimately the main reason is that my content is my content; I want to own it.
Hosting Provider: WPEngine
A couple years ago I helped organize WordCamp Columbus and at the time Austin Gunter was working for WPEngine as their community evangelist (or something like that). He was there because WPEngine was nice enough to be a sponsor, and as this was still the early days of WPEngine, he was giving away a bunch of comped accounts and I snagged one. Instead of spending a bunch of time evaluating WordPress hosting companies, I figured I’d put that comped account to good use. So far, so good.
WordPress Theme: Make
Once you have WordPress installed and configured, usually the first order of business is to spend countless hours hunting through the thousands and thousands of themes in hopes of finding one you like. I had less than zero interest in doing that, and for about 2.5 seconds I thought of coding my own. But no.
I remembered awhile back Chris Lema wrote about a theme called Make. Not only does it get high praise from Chris, it’s from The Theme Foundry guys, a highly respected WordPress shop, so I knew it should be good quality. I installed the Make theme, got it going in a few clicks, and quickly had the makings of a nice looking blog.
I don’t have a need for tons of plugins, just these few:
- Akismet – For spam protection.
- Google Analytics by Yoast – For Google Analytics tracking.
- Jetpack – For various things, like the contact form, custom CSS, and email subscriptions.
- oEmbed Gist – For embedding code snippets in posts.
What You Won’t See
I’m not trying to make money from my writing, so you won’t find any ads or affiliate links in my posts or the sidebar. You also aren’t going to find any of those social sharing buttons. I figure I’ll always share on Twitter anyway, and people will most likely retweet from that, if they do at all. If someone wants to share on other platforms, they know how.