Blog on my smugmug site or wordpress?

tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins
edited December 18, 2020 in SmugMug Support

Hello Everyone,

Not sure if I have the correct category, or even if i'm allowed to ask this sort of question here lol! And i'm really new to forums so i'm sorry if this is not the place for this type of question.

I was looking for a category like 'general' or something.

Basically, to stop me from having a melt down, i'm seeking help which is usually the better option :p

I'm wondering how it's viewed by site visitors to have a blog on a Smugmug site? Maybe people won't care, and it's definitely cheaper than using Wordpress. Though i'm aware Wordpress is free, it seems to be able do anything really constructive on it plugins are required.

Right now I don't have that kind of money hence me asking this question here.

I'm happy to work with Wordpress and figure it out, then when I can afford it, go down that route. but for the time being, i'm interested to know how seriously i'd be taken by having a blog on my Smugmug site?

Is it one of those big unwritten no no's that everyone just knows know one 'in the know' would do, or am I just overthinking this?

Thought and ideas welcome.

thanks,
Tom Lewis

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Comments

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MASuper Moderators Posts: 13,397 moderator

    I think blogs are good.

    My blog is on Blogger, main site on SmugMug.
    @Hikin' Mike has his main site on Wordpress with a subdomain pointing to his SmugMug site.

    You should do what works for you.

    You might be interested in the discussion at https://dgrin.com/discussion/comment/2112388.

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins

    Thanks @denisegoldberg, really helpful discussion :)

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisRegistered Users Posts: 131 Major grins

    I have a blog on WP with a subdomain pointing to my gallery here on SM. If you're interested in the details, difficulties, pros and cons of this, I have some blog posts about the journey, staring with this one:
    https://jimhphoto.com/index.php/2019/11/28/smugmug-and-seo-crickets-chirping/

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins

    Hi @jimh I'd really like to create a WP blog but need more experience with coding first to make it how I want it. I took @denisegoldberg advice and looked at blogger. It's a nice platform but eventually I would like something that is completely my own. Do you have a WP subscription for your blog @jimh ? It's neat how your site and blog are linked.

    I'm looking forward to learning what's needed to make a blog with WP but I think it will be a longer process so something like blogger will be perfect at the moment to get posting

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisRegistered Users Posts: 131 Major grins

    @tomlewis, what's a "WP subscription"? Are you referring to the hosting plan? I get it all through SiteGround, it's a package deal.

    There's a lot to Wordpress, I wouldn't call it "coding" but some knowledge of HTML and CSS is required for customization. And I think you'll find you need to customize things quite a bit to finally get what you want.
    You've no doubt heard this before but I wish I'd just started with WP and my own domain years ago.

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins
    edited December 19, 2020

    @jimh by subscription I mean, they keep asking you to upgrade your WP site as you make it. Is that necessary or can you just make it and host it somewhere ion you're got the knowledge?

    If you want plugins you have to have a business subscription, are they mainly for people who don't know how to code?

    I'm looking forward to the challenge though I have no experience with HTML or CSS, I'm learning. And no better way to learn than in the process of making something.

    I appreciate your comments Jim because I'm pretty new to all this, but I'm well acquainted with teaching myself something new.

    Edit: I just learned the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com, now things make more sense

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,263 Major grins

    @tomlewisphotogprahy said:
    @jimh by subscription I mean, they keep asking you to upgrade your WP site as you make it. Is that necessary or can you just make it and host it somewhere ion you're got the knowledge?

    If you want plugins you have to have a business subscription, are they mainly for people who don't know how to code?

    I'm looking forward to the challenge though I have no experience with HTML or CSS, I'm learning. And no better way to learn than in the process of making something.

    I appreciate your comments Jim because I'm pretty new to all this, but I'm well acquainted with teaching myself something new.

    Edit: I just learned the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com, now things make more sense

    You want the self-hosted version of WP so you need 'ORG'.

    Any good host will have WordPress already installed. All you have to do is pull the switch.

    WordPress itself is free. There are thousands of FREE Themes and Plugins. Depending on what you site looks like (or wants to), you may need (or want) to pay for a Theme.

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisRegistered Users Posts: 131 Major grins

    Hikin' Mike knows more about this. I've been through it all, but only once, about a year ago and I'll need to refresh my memory on a few things. But basically you get it all from your host. I don't recall needing a "business" account to use plugins. Some plugins are free, some are a one time payment or a subscription. I think I've been able to do what I wanted with just free plugins.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,263 Major grins

    @jimh said:
    Hikin' Mike knows more about this. I've been through it all, but only once, about a year ago and I'll need to refresh my memory on a few things. But basically you get it all from your host. I don't recall needing a "business" account to use plugins. Some plugins are free, some are a one time payment or a subscription. I think I've been able to do what I wanted with just free plugins.

    No need for a special account to use WordPress, Theme, or Plugins.

    In my 20 years of using WordPress, I've paid for ONE plugin ($25). That was for a slideshow that did some special effects. I don't use it anymore.

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins
    edited December 19, 2020

    Hi @jimh thanks for your help, the problem was, I made an account with wordpress.com instead of Wordpress.org, I wasn't aware there were two.

    @Hikin' Mike now I have a Wordpress site directed to a domain, with hosting.

    I understand more how it works now.

    On Wordpress.com you have to have a subscription to install any plugin at all and I think it's supposed to be an easier way to build a site similar to Smugmug, from what I understand anyway.

    That's what I was confused about and it took me a few hours today to set it up but now i'm finally there, and i'm customizing my Wordpress site :)

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisRegistered Users Posts: 131 Major grins

    The difficulty of WP relates to its 'open' design and layered architecture. You can load a theme, which is mostly CSS overrides of the basic WP. Then you can selectively override things yourself, by adding your own CSS via the WP interface. Plugins insert hooks and add all sorts of code and CSS. You soon lose all track of what plugin, code or CSS is responsible for a feature of your site, and you find you break things when you make new changes or additions. In hindsight I should have documented everything I added or changed, and why.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,263 Major grins

    @jimh said:
    The difficulty of WP relates to its 'open' design and layered architecture. You can load a theme, which is mostly CSS overrides of the basic WP. Then you can selectively override things yourself, by adding your own CSS via the WP interface. Plugins insert hooks and add all sorts of code and CSS. You soon lose all track of what plugin, code or CSS is responsible for a feature of your site, and you find you break things when you make new changes or additions. In hindsight I should have documented everything I added or changed, and why.

    I hope you created a child theme. Never add CSS or other "stuff" to the parent theme. If there is an update to your theme, your changes are gone unless you created a child theme.

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins

    @jimh I plan to learn from your mistake, thanks for the advice.

    @Hikin' Mike I'm looking into child themes, very useful to know this. I'm sure il slip up somewhere else though.

    If I want a blog, I have to learn CSS. End of story.

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisRegistered Users Posts: 131 Major grins

    The bigger problem isn't technical, it's human nature. I don't do web sites for a living, and I'm getting older, so my ability to hang on to a lot of details probably isn't what it was, back when I was a working software engineer. So I fight with WP for a couple of weeks, figure out what I need to know to get my site the way I want it, and then I move on. 6 months later I see something I don't like, and I have no clue where to start, I have to review the whole thing. Back when I was working, I was really good about maintaining design documentation and readable code. Today, I kick myself for not following my own standards.

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins

    yes human nature, we start out with the best of intentions but it never really works out as we first planned does it. hindsight is a wonderful thing lol!

  • pekrpekr Big grins Registered Users Posts: 54 Big grins

    @tomlewisphotogprahy As I don't want to cross post, here is a link to my post abou how I built a simple Blog system by using just a pure SM CMS system. No coding, apart from some fancy article design display. I am an IT guy and thru ma carrier, I am fed-up with over complicated system with tonnes of layers, hence my quest for the simplicity :-)

    https://dgrin.com/discussion/comment/2113349#Comment_2113349

    But beware, you might find some usual blog features missing ....

    /Petr

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins

    @pekr Interesting stuff, thanks for the link! I've got myself a Wordpress site and I'm making a big push to learn html and CSS. valuable skills to have, plus it's very fun. Good to see you made a blog on your site. I plan to do something like this for the moment on my SM site and when I do a new project, have the article at the top of the page until I can actually code! Then il have my Wordpress site as a blog and direct it to my galleries on SM. Very long process I know but since we just went into lockdown here again in the UK I now have the time :)

  • jerryrjerryr Smugmug Customization Registered Users Posts: 594 Major grins
    edited January 9, 2021

    Hi -everyone - I like what Jack did here. He basically got rid of his Wordpress site and uses SmugMug for blogging - creating 'SmugMug Pages' for each of his articles. Saves him a lot of time, money and Wordpress headaches.
    https://www.jackmcintyrephoto.com

    Simple enough - I thought I would share in the spirit of ideas.

    Happy 2021 ! Jerry

  • tomlewisphotogprahytomlewisphotogprahy Cheltenham, UKRegistered Users Posts: 45 Big grins
    edited January 9, 2021

    @jerryr Brilliant stuff from https://www.jackmcintyrephoto.com this is something i've got plans to do for the moment until i've learned the relevant stuff for Wordpress, mostly because i'd like to get into web design so it's important for me to learn, but who knows maybe i'll do something else with my Wordpress and stick to SmugMug for my blog too. Thanks for posting this, and Happy New Year to you.

  • MrfunksMrfunks CardiffRegistered Users Posts: 9 Big grins

    So just having a look at this and using smugmug for a blog. not knocking what Jack has done here . but have a look at what google has actually indexed from site:jackmcintyrephoto.com and all his hard work creating a blog :(

  • alezanalezan EuropeRegistered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
    A bit of an old thread but I'd like to come with some input. I keep my main site on a wordpress installation via our webhost with a paid news theme. It is easy breezy to tweak and makes it easy to maintain and change if wanted. Normally I update the main site before every season (sports photography) and using Wordpress have also been our saver when going from selfhosted + Zenfolio via Photodeck to Photo Shelter to SmugMug. All this time our website has been running smooth and being indexed by Google which means I can follow all statistics years back in time. The main domain site is clear from dead links etc.

    The SmugMug install is on a subdomain which I used for previous ventures and epic fails with other hostings. I can highly recommend this method to keep your site fresh and neat :)
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