Using a Free Blogging Service vs. Blogging on Your Own Hosted Site

Using a Free Blogging Service vs. Blogging on Your Own Hosted Site is a slideshow from a July, 2008, presentation by Mark McLaren of McBuzz Communications.

Who can learn from this presentation? Anyone who is new to blogging or at a beginner level of blogging.

Topics covered: Free blog services like and; Third-party hosted blogging; How to decide which of these is best for you; What is a Plugin? What is a Theme? And what is a Widget?

First used as part of a live presentation at Social Media Camp Seattle 2008, these slides have been modified to include much of the spoken component given by Mark McLaren at Social Media Camp.

How to Make an Email Link vs. Using a Contact Form

When I have a minute, I will make videos to cover these topics, but in the meantime, here are some tips regarding making and using email links in your WordPress site — versus using a contact form.

In the video “How to Make Text into a Link” I show how to make a text link. Use this technique, but instead of inserting a web address with http://… “ into the Link URL field in the Insert/edit link dialog box, insert a “mailto:” link. That is, “mailto:” plus your email address. For example, “”

Don’t bother changing the “Open link in the same window” Target option. That does not matter because this is an email link and not a link to a web page.

You can put in a Title for the link, like “Send an email to your name” or “Contact your name by email”. (That will show as popup text when someone rolls over the link.) Then click the Insert button to create the link.

link like this

I strongly recommend that you do not put your email address in a web page unless you also install a WordPress plugin like this one: Email Shroud WordPress Plugin

If you don’t use the EmailShroud plugin or something like it, robots will happily find your email address in the page and they will copy it and begin sending you spam. Lots of spam.

The other alternative is to use a contact form.

If your site is hosted by, you can use their easy contact form. See “How Do I Make a Contact Form?

If your site is hosted by a third party like or whomever, you can use the Secure Formmailer Plugin for WordPress from Dagon Design. The Dagon Design plugin is excellent. If you are comfortable downloading and installing a plugin yourself, give it a try.

%d bloggers like this: