I have been using WordPress for quite a few years now, and throughout these years it has been a continuing journey on improvement, thanks to the constant upgrades that the WordPress community has been providing in terms of platform and plugin functionality.
One thing that was always unavoidable however, is the relationship between setting up WordPress and having a web host. I finally got tired of using a third-party web host and setting up WordPress, because it meant I would have to shop for a host, watch my bandwidth and watch the costs, which meant losing my focus on the main task at hand, which was to write.
At this age, I have gone quite beyond the idea of having control, to having a marked preference for a managed service where I am free to focus on my core service.
(To sidetrack a little over here.)
So I been incubating this idea about my own Celtics fan site for a while now. Writing at NBA DU (or USSDU as it is now) is proving to be interesting experience, but there are times when I had to throttle ideas because it might overload the USSDU site with Celtics content. Niche sites have their uses, and in this circumstance, having a Celtics-oriented site would allow me to write to my heart’s content without fear of spamming content.
The idea wasn’t going to do any good sitting on its arse though, so I began work on getting the site up yesterday.
And we get to the part about the web host and WordPress, which made me wonder why I had not used WordPress.com’s hosting previously. This was a good time as any other to try it out, so I went ahead and began with the setup.
Naturally, free stuff always come with their caveats. In the case of using WordPress.com, the limitations came in the form of having access to limited themes. On my own web host, I could damn well use any theme I liked so long as I uploaded it. Over here though, I was limited to what WordPress.com offered, which was a mix of free and premium (we call it paid) themes. I’m not really pleased with this, but of course I understand the rationale behind it – you definitely do not want customers uploading random PHP pages that could potentially lead to security breaches.
Picking the best option at hand, I settled for Chunk, which honestly suited most of my requirements. It had a bold header, a clean and readable layout, and that was the bulk of it. I wanted a sidebar though, which was not something Chunk could offer. I also wanted more customisation on colours and fonts, which meant that I had to upgrade to the premium option at an annual cost – I’m still holding out on this because I’m not 100% certain it allows the use of the font I want, so I’m waiting for a reply on this.
But for something free, the site is looking good enough right now. I’m still trying to find out whether the use of photos off Getty or AP are allowed on a site like mine, albeit without much success. Are editorial licensed images allowed? I did some reading and it seemed like that kind of licensing did not allow for the use of photographs on sports blogs either. Without them photographs, the posts tend to be a trifle plainer, but if I were to choose between getting into trouble over the use of copyrighted images and not having them, I would prefer to stay safe for now.
This entire thought process took the better part of yesterday’s afternoon and night, and kept me working all the way past 0200hrs – talk about an overdose of enthusiasm.