OneManOffice: WordPress

I’m starting a new series of posts today, to share some of what I’ve learned about great software for running a low-budget, single-person home office.  They will be grouped together under the category OneManOffice, pending the creation of a catchier, less sexist name.  (Suggestions welcomed here.)  

For the first post in this series, it seemed right to begin with the software that I use to manage this website: WordPress.  There is lots of other software out there that will let you write a blog or manage a website, but I have been very pleased with WordPress.  

What’s so good about it?

  • It’s free.  WordPress is open source software, which means that downloading and installing it is completely, 100% free.  You can either create a free WordPress blog on, or install WordPress on your own website (more on that in just a moment). 
  • It’s easy to use.  WordPress offers a straightforward dashboard for writing new posts and pages.  It was recently updated to version 2.5, which (IMHO) improved the dashboard quite a bit.  If you want to try it out, I would suggest creating a free blog at so that you can get a feel for the software before committing to it.  
  • It’s highly customizable.  WordPress has an enormous community of developers and designers who create themes and plugins for it.  A WordPress theme lets you customize the layout, colors, and overall look of your website, and there are hundreds – maybe thousands – of themes available for free.  (For example, my theme was created by N. Design Studio.)  Plugins let you add new capabilities to your website, like podcasting, stat-tracking, or linking to related content on the web, like I do with my Sphere Related Content plugin. 

Like I said above, there are two options for using WordPress.  The first is free blog hosting at  If you would like to have your own website (like, you will generally have to pay for it, but the prices are low (e.g. $10/month or less) for a personal website.   We’re not talking here, so there’s no reason to pay an arm and a leg. A lot of website hosts will install WordPress for you, and, as long as the hosting company meets the minimum requirements, you could install it yourself.  WordPress provides a list of recommended hosting companies, and there is also a group of WordPress experts who can install WordPress for you.

To keep it easy, I’d recommend finding a web hosting company that provides a “one click install” of WordPress.  It’s just like it sounds: you click a button, and the hosting company does the rest.  I use DreamHost, and I have been very happy with them.  (P.S. If you sign up for DreamHost via this link, I will receive a 10% referral fee for the life of your account.)  But DreamHost is just one of many excellent web hosting companies.  Shop around so that you can find a decent price and the features that you think you’ll use.

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