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Starting a WordPress Outside Blog... What I Have Done So Far...

For several months I have been playing with a blog.  With all of the talk on Active Rain about having control over the content of our posts... and ever since the problems Active Rain had months ago with their Server Errors... I have been curious to see just what a outside blog would look like.

What I have done here in this blog post... is most definitely done to share information with you... but also to put together on one LONG page... all of the various "themes" that I kinda-sorta like.  I occasionally go to the site and switch the themes... just to play with them, see what they look like, and of course... see if they "grow" on me.

WordPress Theme #1 - Koi


So... I started playing with them.  The WordPress blogs in general, and some of the "themes" in particular.  I went to and just nosed around... trying to make heads or tails of what was there.  It is kind of funny to me... at least right now it is... but as I was muddling through all of this... I really downplayed what I had done... and just about asked myself... "just who do I think I'm fooling, here?"  I'll never learn this stuff.  Well... slowly but surely... I am picking it up.  What... a trudge... of... a... job !

WordPress Theme #2 - Paperpunch


One of the things I found very frustrating, was that I am not... I repeat... I am NOT very "techie" oriented.  It has been a real struggle for me to even do what is shown in this blog post... as far as putting together these different "themes"... and actually inputting blog posts onto the blog.

What I have learned on Active Rain has been an incredible help.  Just the writing of posts, submitting them, adding pictures, adding links, doing wrap-around text, and even embedding YouTube music videos into my AR blog posts.

WordPress Theme #3 - Twenty Ten


In view of my frustration at not really knowing what to do... I started searching for some sort of source... some kind of series of tutorials.  It was very much like groping around in the dark.  It is also a hard way to learn... but, then again... whatever I DO learn... I will have "earned"... and I also will "remember it."

WordPress Theme #4 - INove


I looked all around the site, and really could not find any "tutorials" listed as such.  Again... more frustration.  There is an incredible amount of information on the website... lots of examples of the different "themes" that are available.  Also... there is no charge... no fees required to start and continue a blog.  But, as far as coming with some sort of "training"... this, like in anything... could show that "you get what you pay for." 

Well... not training... so that is a drawback... at least no training that I could find... but again... there is no cost to a blog.  The more complicated version... does have a variety of fees and prices... but, then get more... and more capabilities to do more whiz-bang'y stuff.

WordPress Theme #5 - Spring Loaded


I then went to the WordPress "Group" on Active Rain.  I had hoped that there might be a series of blog posts that went through setting up a very basic... an "extremely" basis WordPress blog theme.  Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places, but I could not find much to "sink my teeth into." 

What I probably need to do... is devote at least an entire day scanning all of the posts, and bookmarking a good twenty of them to really jump into at length.  That would probably be a great idea.

WordPress Theme #6 - The Journalist v 1.9


Then... I thought of YouTube.  There is just about anything anyone could want... on YouTube... or so I thought.  And really, there IS a large "catalog" of YouTube WordPress videos... but because WordPress seems to come out with so many basic upgrades... each time they do... things get changed around a bit... as far as what to do and how to do it.

WordPress Theme #7 - Monotone


I tried to follow a few of the "How To" videos on YouTube... and really didn't do all that badly with them.  At least I was able to follow along well enough to actually "get" myself to "launch" a blog.  Then, I finally had something there that I could play with, and something that if I "messed it up"... it really didn't matter.

One of the shortcomings of all of the WordPress videos on YouTube... is that there are so many of them... and they are not very well "dated."  Which means, of course, that many of them are out-dated.  I worried that so many of them being being so outdated might confuse me even more.

WordPress Theme #8 - Cutline


So... I named this blog... MyOlderSister'sBlog.  If you are wondering just who "My Older Sister" is... it is ME.  One of the first blog posts I wrote on MyOlderSister... was the story about why I named it that... and some personal things that made that name important to me.  It can be accessed at

Basically... I am the oldest in my family.  All my life I wished I had an older sister.  Then somewhere in the recent past... I decided that the only way that was going to happen... was for ME... to become my own "older sister."  But... I digress.  Back to this WordPress stuff.

WordPress Theme #9 - PressRow


I also thought of Active Rain as a possible source of either some actual tutorials, or perhaps I could find someone who could either direct me as to where to go, or someone who themselves could be a source of "how to" stuff.

Over the Labor Day weekend... I just happened to stumble upon an Active Rainer who said he was a WordPress blog builder.  We exchanged comments back and forth inside the blog post where I stumbled upon him. 

Because it was the Labor Day weekend... he asked if I could wait until the Tuesday after the holiday for him to get back to me... with what he said, or seemed to imply... would be lots and lots of information.  I have yet to hear back from him.  It's been three weeks since we "talked."  I will NOT use his name, here.  I am sure something must have come up.

WordPress Theme #10 -Andreas04


Somewhere after that, I again stumbled upon marti garaughty's Group... The Art of Marketing You.  I exchanged emails with marti that night and the next day.  He told me he was going to be starting a very basic "non-techie" series of posts about WordPress... which, although I have not yet had the chance to read any of them... being in this "30 in 30 Challenge" has taken up so much time... I DO know that yes... marti has started the series... and is calling it "WordPress in Plain English."

From the little I have seen of the beginnings of this series... I think it will be a great help to me.  However, I DO also know... that the learning involved in all of this will definitely be a type of "patchwork quilt" as far as knowledge is concerned.

WordPress Theme #11 - Quentin


What I have assembled here in this post... is a sampling of thirteen examples of some of the over one-hundred "themes" that users have available to them... if they choose to go with the mode. 

Also... as you can see... if any of these thirteen samples of themes are "readable"... it is possible to write a series of blog posts as one is learning... and then experiment with the different looks of different themes... to find one that you like... by changing back and forth between them... and making comparisons.

What I have also found EXTREMELY helpful... is that the monitor on my computer is very wide.  23 inches wide.  What that allows me to do is pull up TWO of these themes at a time... and compare them side-by-side... as a help in trying to choose the eventual theme I will go with.

WordPress Theme #12 - Misty Look


The "theme" that I've been using on my WordPress blog right now... is the one right above this paragraph.  It is called Mistylook... by Sadish.  Here is a link to that blog.  MyOlderSister's Blog

Now, if you click on it, and take a peek... please remember that I do NOT have much of a clue as to just what the heck I am doing... so please "go easy" on me. 

There are so many different kinds and looks to the available "themes."  Some like the ones I have chosen... are more "traditional" in style.  Others, are much more "jazzed up"... probably giving them a much "younger" or "current" look.

WordPress Theme #13 - INove


Here above... is the thirteenth "theme" I have selected to share with you.  If you look closely, you will see that it is NOT MyOlderSistersBlog... but something called "Nice Catholic Girl from Cleveland."  I started that... again, just to play around with a blog to try and learn... but also... this "Nice Catholic Girl" blog gives me a place to stretch my Liberal Progressive Catholic viewpoint.  But... once more... I digress.  Back to this WordPress stuff !

WordPress Theme #14 - Coraline


This is another... the fourteenth WordPress Theme I have just added to this post.  It is a new theme for WordPress... and has replaced another theme called Cutline.

It is fairly crisp, kind of set up as a "news" blog, and has two of the "widgets" on the right side that I like... one in "bullets" listing some of the recent posts, and below it, another "bullet" listing the links to other blogs.


What I would love to do in the comments section of this post... is to really hear your ideas on what I have presented here so far.

For you "newbies" to WordPress... which I consider myself one of... what do you think of this stuff ?  Too basic ?  Too "baby'ish ?"

When I first saw these... especially # 12... Misty Look... I thought it was pretty cool.  Now, I am tending on thinking it is fine for just a personal blog/diary/journal... but wonder how far I can go with it ?  Just thinking out loud, here ?

Have any of you done anything with WordPress yourself ?  Perhaps have you even STARTED your own WordPress blog ?  If so, did you choose or ?  And, if you have started a WordPress blog... could you put a LINK to it in your comment... puhleeze ?

Also... if anyone has a SOURCE of WordPress training videos... if you would share that information... that would be great !

And... as is always the case on my posts... please, if you have questions... ASK them.  There is a great probability that someone else... reading this post... already HAS the answer for your question.  And, I invite them to just "jump in" with that answer.

By the way... I am closing in on the end of the "30 in 30 Challenge."  This is post #28.  It is also the most extensive one I have done.  I hope it isn't too long.  And... if you have got this far... thanks so much for reading all this stuff.  I very much look forward to your comments, questions and answers, and suggestions !

Comment balloon 67 commentsKaren Anne Stone • September 24 2010 12:30AM
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