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10 Responses

  1. Mark,

    I first landed on this site via a search, and have been so impressed with your detailed tutorials, I am writing a post to share this site with my readers. I’ll be publishing it on Thursday 2/7/08 on my site. It’s titled: WP Tutorials – Where Were They When. I am supplying links to your main page, your YouTube page, as well as to your McBuzz blog.

    You’re doing such a great service for all WP users, I just had to come by and share my thoughts.

    Thank you so much for all of the work you have put into these tutorials. This will be a site I will frequent often.

  2. Thanks so much for the detailed info. You know, I used to have WP photo blog for my family and now and hoping to learn how to use WP to make a simple website for my university department… nav bar at left, banner at top, etc. Is there any reason i couldn’t just use a bunch of static pages (no blog) for the various pages of the site? Is there any trick to this?

    Thanks a million if you have time to answer this.


  3. Jeff,
    No problem. You can definitely create a WordPress site made up of static pages and no blog. See my tutorial about how to make a static page your home page for details. When you make a static page your home page, the blog disappears until you designate another page as the blog page. If you don’t designate a blog page, there will be no blog on your site. Technically it’s still there, but no one can access it.

    If you are creating a site for a university department, I recommend you talk to an administrator or IT department person about the best way (or the required way) to host such a site. They may want you to host it on a university server, or they may not care. But I would think the university has policies about this kind of thing.

    If you choose to use a free service like, you will not have as much control over the data as you would were it hosted on a university server. Check terms of service for more about that.

  4. Mark, thanks. Could you recommend a WP theme that might give me a typical two-column bus/univ style site? At WP’s site I didn’t see any that seemed right. Your tutorials are terrific and I thank you again.


  5. Here is the best source I know of:

    Be sure to pick one that is WordPress version 2.3+ compatible.

  6. Mark,

    I have been playing with a free blog for several months now. I was looking to learn more about WordPress when I found your tutorials on YouTube. Thanks for the great videos! I have two questions. Since I found you, I thought I’d ask a reliable source.

    1. Are there any additional plugins for the free blogs other than what is listed under “widgets” in the sidebar?
    2. What version of is the free site?

    Thank you so much. I look forward to learning more from you!
    Jan Phillips Moss

    • @Jan Phillips Moss
      Thanks for your kind words and your questions – both of which are very good!

      1. One of the major differences between the free site you get on and a WordPress site that you host on a third party service like or (some call this the “full version” of WordPress) is that you cannot add any widgets or plugins to the version. You are limited to the sidebar widgets that are already installed under Appearance > Widgets, and you cannot upload any plugins yourself.

      It’s a significant difference, because a lot of the power of WordPress derives from the fact that there are hundreds of talented developers creating new, usually free widgets and plugins all the time. And you can also hire one of them to create a custom widget or plugin to do something you come up with yourself.

      The same is true for themes. On you are limited to the themes that are already installed. You can’t upload one created by someone else, and you can’t upload your own custom theme. If you pay something like $10 or $15 a year, you can edit the style.css file of a theme, but, again, much of the power of WordPress comes from the fact that you can do a lot more with a theme using the full version of WordPress than just edit the CSS.

      You can customize and add to the PHP files for the theme. This means you can completely change the layout of a page, not just fonts and colors. You can have multiple page layouts: pages with 2 sidebars, pages with 3 sidebars or no sidebars, different sidebars on different pages. You can insert code for things like Constant Contact email signup forms or any other 3rd-party CRM (customer relationship management) service you want to use (AWeber, for example). You can do specific things to optimize for search engines that there’s no way to do on You can use Google Analytics (a huge plus for most business websites). The list goes on and on.

      2. This is actually a good question. If you view the html source code for a WordPress site in your web browser and look for the generator meta tag you can usually see the WordPress version number if the site uses the full version of WordPress. But on sites, the generator tag just says “”. I will need to talk to some who knows more about it than I do like WordPress Expert Lorelle Van Fossen (a great resource, by the way).

      The short answer is that, to my knowledge, uses the most recent publicly available version of WordPress – after they finish beta testing. Right now that’s 2.7.1.

  7. Stunningly awesome support and information, Mark. You’re an amazing resource! I have had to stumble through a lot of the issues and resolutions you’ve so artfully presented here, and I’m far from done. I’ll be tweeting your glories! Are you on Twitter? (I am, as – tweeting about higher education and solutions for communication on the web.)

  8. how do you set up easy columns to work on your blog. can you place polldaddy poll in the column.

    • @justmystupidopinion – To create columns on a site, you can create a table layout using HTML, but that is difficult if you are not familiar with HTML. Moreover, I’m not sure that will work with a PollDaddy poll because that is done by the PollDaddy widget. You have no way of inserting it into a table. If any readers know a better way, let us know.

      Now, if you were hosting your blog on a self-hosted service like BlueHost or HostGator, you would have lots more options because you would be able to add a WYSIWYG editor plugin like While I’m on my soap box, I’ll also advise you to register and use your own domain name. You can do that even if you host your site on

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