ebookclassics

2015 Book Blog Discussion Challenge – Tech Stuff

2015-Discussion-Challenge3

Although I’ve been blogging for a few years, I find there are still quite a few things I don’t know or understand about the technical side of things. So I thought I would put it out to all of you in the book blogging community to get your thoughts.

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Disqus – I noticed a lot of bloggers use this for comments. If you use Disqus, do you like it and why? How do I get it?

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Self-hosting – I’ve toyed with the idea of self-hosting since I began blogging, but I’m cheap. What are the major advantages/disadvantages?

* * *

Graphics/Videos – I like using some graphics and posting the occasional video if it’s relevant. I haven’t tried using GIFs before because even though I like them, I don’t want them to take attention away from the text. How do you feel about graphics in a post?

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WP Plug-ins – Do you have to be self-hosting to get/use them? What plug-ins to you use or recommend?

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Search Engine Optimization, etc. – Do you use SEO or do anything special to help people find your blog? I have turned something on in my settings and have seen my blog in search results, but otherwise not sure.

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Thanks friends!

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22 comments on “2015 Book Blog Discussion Challenge – Tech Stuff

  1. River City Reading
    February 11, 2015

    Several of your questions kind of tie-in to self-hosting…one of the major advantages to self-hosting is being able to use plugins (including Disqus, which you can’t use on .com). If you can imagine a blogging trick or problem, there’s probably a plugin for it (including SEO!). I never used wordpress.com, but switched from Blogger to self-hosted WP about a year ago and it’s been great and definitely worth the $80 or so a year for hosting fees.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 12, 2015

      Oh wow, thank you shedding light on these questions! I’m sure that will help clarify things for lots of us. I know it’s not a lot of money to self-host, but I just haven’t made up my mind if and when I want to make the leap.

      Like

  2. Naomi
    February 11, 2015

    Here, I cannot help you, but I will be checking back to see what others have said! Good questions!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 12, 2015

      Have you been thinking about self-hosting?

      Like

      • Naomi
        February 12, 2015

        I thought about it from the beginning, but decided against it, because of my impatience with anything technological. It was a big enough project for me to learn how to blog on WP. But, I thought once I got going, and if I stuck with it, I might switch someday. Right now, I just don’t have the extra time to spend on it. But, maybe at some point… What about you?

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          February 12, 2015

          At the end of year, I always start thinking about it as a way to start the new year, but don’t get beyond that point. I still have no idea if I’m going to make the switch.

          Like

  3. My Book Strings
    February 12, 2015

    I can’t help you much either. I’ve considered self-hosting as well, but am hesitant because of the technical stuff. For work, I took a class recently about editing for the web, and the take-home message was to keep blog posts to about 500 words and use graphics as much as possible to draw attention and keep attention. But I’m not sure if that is something you absolutely HAVE to follow if you are just blogging for fun and as a hobby.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 12, 2015

      I was wondering how much more work would be involved too. At the same time I would like more flexibility in design and if there’s a way to make the blog better to navigate and for people to find.

      Like

  4. lauratfrey
    February 12, 2015

    I have all the same questions!

    As I understand it, some pros of self-hosting are that you can use a whole lot of themes, not just the ones that come with regular WordPress. Or if you know what you’re doing, you can make your own or customize a lot more than you can in WordPress.

    Also you can monetize… I was looking into a joining an ad network last year, but I couldn’t do it unless I self hosted.

    I hear there’s a plug in that will automatically cross post all your reviews to goodreads, amazon, etc.

    The downsides for me are: I don’t really know what self-hosted *means* 🙂 and also, I find when a blog goes self hosted they completed fall off my radar, because I read blogs in the WordPress reader and they don’t show up there anymore. Same with comments, I don’t see alerts that someone has replied to me because it shows up in Disqus or whatever, rather than WordPress.

    I like the occasional and sparing use of gifs. Though there are some gifs that are so played out. I don’t need to see Kristin Wiig saying “Are you fucking kidding me” ever again.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 12, 2015

      Wow, a plug-in that cross-posts to Goodreads, etc. would be amazing. With self-hosting, I hesitate because there seems to be quite a lot involved from registering the domain to getting a web host to learning how to actually use the WordPress program and plug-ins. But I would like more control over design and functions for my blog.

      Like

    • Naomi
      February 12, 2015

      I noticed that the self-hosting blogs are harder to keep up with, because they don’t always show up on my newsfeed, and I never know if someone has replied to a comment. I have to remember to go check (which I never do). I didn’t know if that was just me doing something wrong, but I guess not. I wonder how that problem could be prevented. I kind of like our little WP community right now. 🙂

      Like

      • ebookclassics
        February 12, 2015

        I didn’t know self-hosting blogs don’t show up in newsfeeds. But I stopped reading my WP feed once I started using Bloglovin.

        Like

  5. Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks
    February 12, 2015

    I think that shorter posts are more attractive to readers, especially if they include a few graphics, because who is going to sit through a 1,000+ word blog post that has no pictures or quotes or anything (unless the topic is insanely interesting)? I typically just scroll through those and I’ll stop if an interesting word or phrase catches my eye. But if a post has TOO MANY graphics, I also don’t read the actual post because I’m too distracted.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 12, 2015

      Good points! My eyes glaze over if a post is too long and then I’ll just skim it. I like graphics and GIFs, but if there are too many I also mentally check-out.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I switched to self-hosted this summer and I am really glad that I did! The biggest benefits are the plug-ins and themes you can use. I especially recommend UBB from Creative Whim, which allows you to automatically fill in and format your book information (author, publisher, date, cover image etc). Creative Whim also has an awesome theme called Tweak Me with TONS of customization options!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 27, 2015

      Sorry for the late response, I’ve been sick for almost two weeks! Thanks for sharing your experience and UBB sounds awesome. I would love a tool that would format book information for me.

      Like

  7. curlygeek04
    February 15, 2015

    I have a lot of the same questions. I’m pretty content to stay with WordPress since I like the way they make it so easy to follow and read other WP blogs. Plus my time is pretty limited so I need blogging to be pretty easy. I also don’t like a lot of graphics. But I know my blog could definitely be jazzed up a little. It’s great to read these suggestions.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 27, 2015

      I haven’t used Blogger, but I’m quite happy with the WordPress so far in terms of useability and function for someone like me who knows so little. I would really like to take things to the next level, but not sure if I’m ready or have the time to keep up with whatever that may be.

      Like

  8. Terri M., the Director
    February 23, 2015

    I moved from Blogger to a WordPress self-hosted site in September 2014. There are lots of tutorials out there (Parajunkee and Creative Whim/Nose Graze) have great ones about moving from Blogger to WordPress. I’m sure there are other that show step-by-step how to move from WP.com to self-hosted WP if that’s what you want to do.

    I use Disqus on my site because I can reply to comments via email which is handy because I don’t have be tied to my computer to interact with visitors. There are tons of plugins for WP like the Ultimate Book Blogger (UBB) plug in and SEO plug ins to help with that stuff.

    Ultimately you should do what is comfortable for you. I moved because my knowledge of HTML was being limited by Blogger. A WP self-hosted site has given me a bit of breathing room, but I still have lots of 3rd party tools I used to manage everything.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    Like

  9. ebookclassics
    February 27, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I would like to capitalize on all of the tools out there for bloggers, but just worry it would take more time than I can commit. Do you mind me asking what you mean by third party tools?

    Like

  10. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
    March 9, 2015

    I have wondered about Disqus and self-hosting too! Still have not decided, but it’s very interesting to read everyone else’s responses.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      March 10, 2015

      I really like the way Disqus functions, but I guess this means I have to decide whether to self-host or not. If I take the plunge, it probably won’t be until next year.

      Like

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2015 by in Bookish Thoughts and tagged .

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