New To WordPress.com and Confused?

create a website or create a blog

I rarely log out of WordPress.com but a few weeks ago I did. When I arrived at the WordPress.com page to log back in I was met with this image in the middle of the page.

This is what would have confronted you if you were new to WordPress.com.

Now, you would be asking yourself, do I want to create a website or a blog? What’s the difference? Isn’t a blog a website?

So maybe you would do what I did, and instead of logging in I clicked ‘Create Website’ and followed the screens to the point where I would actually sign up.

Then I went back and started again and clicked the ‘Create Blog’ and followed the screens to see where they would lead.

They both lead to the same steps via the same screens.

Huh?

WordPress defines a blog as follows:

“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.

So in its most basic form it is commentary ‘usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order’ – in other words like a pile of articles with the most recent on top.

So what about pages? Websites and blogs both often have pages – such as an About page and a Contact page.

Maybe websites have more pages that that. Maybe blogs tend not to have so many pages? Maybe, maybe…

In other words it is all very confusing, especially if you are new to blogging (sorry, website-ing) and WordPress.

Which is why I was pleased to see that the new screen that confronts people new to WordPress is this one that only presents one button. No longer is there a confusing choice between ‘create website’ and ‘create blog’. Compare this to the image at the top of this article and you will see what I mean.

create website

One last comment: What happened to basic English grammar? Why is it ‘create website’? Why not ‘create a website’ ?

12 thoughts on “New To WordPress.com and Confused?

    1. I am surprised the earlier version ever happened. Someone at WP must have had their nose too close to the screen (metaphorically) and simply not seen it from the visitor’s point of view.

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  1. This is long overdue, thank you for showing this new page. I have never understood why blogs are not thought of as websites. Blogs are sites on the web, so are they not websites? It is long overdue that the web community as a whole stopped thinking of blogs as not being websites. This has always made me irritable. 🙂

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  2. Good they took away that other button — it’s enough confusing as it is. IF the new blogger in question has made up his or her mind beforehand, to sign up for a domain … _nowhere_ do they tell you that you must sign up for a WordPress user-ID _first_. Otherwise it won’t work … at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Is it possible that someone has actually been listening to the conversation in the trenches, over the last few weeks?!
    Having said that, here’s the thing: with time being as tight as it is, and the fact that some of us just can’t work up the chutzpah all that often; it would be nice to get it right, the first time; as an object in motion, tends to stay in motion, and being brought up short is counter-productive ; )

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    1. Thanks, Deb. You sound like you can hardly believe that anyone listens to conversation in the trenches?

      I just gave a long reply to KokkieH about what I think is still wrong about the page, and what I think should be done. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’d be surprised at how regularly people contact support saying something along the lines of “How do I delete everything and start over? I created a blog but I actually wanted a website for my business.” Many people don’t realise that a blog is a type of website, and that you can just as easily use WordPress.com to make a traditional static website. Finding the right wording and flows to minimise confusion takes quite a bit of experimenting.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback that there are a significant number of people who are confused. I just went back and looked at the signup page again and the wording on the page is still a problem.

      The ‘Create Website’ button will get easy-going people to click, but for the thinkers among them the wording just above the button reads “WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.”

      And if that stumps someone and they go looking further down the page they will find “WordPress.com is the easiest way to create a free website or blog. It’s a powerful hosting platform that grows with you.”

      If I were new to all this, and I read down that far, I would really start to wonder what the difference is between a blog and a website. But nowhere does it say. Neither is there a link to anywhere that explains it. And you’ve just explained it in a couple of sentences. There should be that explanation, at the very least.

      Some people like a metacognitive overview. They like to know where they are in the landscape. For those people, there should be something that explains what they can expect and how they can get what they want.

      And it wouldn’t have to be a long or complicated piece of text.

      Then that second sentence – “It’s a powerful hosting platform that grows with you.” – is written by someone who knows what a hosting platform is. Actually, what the heck is a ‘hosting platform’? I mean, really – what is a ‘hosting platform’?

      If it does mean anything, then it is jargon and confusing to someone who is not familiar with the tech-speak. Personally, I think the phrase ‘hosting platform’ is a mashing of two concepts and doesn’t make sense.

      If I were designing the signup page I would take the job away from the WordPress people and hand it over to a world-class copy writer. I would get him or her to sit down with the volunteer support staff and get them to point out the language that newbies use time after time and the language the support staff use that satisfies the questioners.

      And I would ask the copy writer to write the copy.

      What do you think?

      P.S. I agree that getting it right is not always easy, and I 100% back the people who are trying to get it right.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am this person. I AM the one who wants to know where I’m going BEFORE I open the door and take a wrong turn. Although I’ve been reading others’ blog pages for years now, and have a rough idea of what I want for my own, I am NOT a programmer and know absolutely nothing about how to go about setting it up…
    I want to know the basics – these are the steps/ these are the options – of setting up a blog page (which may or may not become a more complicated site, down the road) and I only [barely] have time to do it once. Signup was enough of a gong show that took hours of false starts and backtracking; if I need to – paraphrasing KokkieH here – “… delete everything and start over.” this thing may never get off the ground.):
    PS. Thanks for this, David. I’ve been reading the comments back and forth between you and Rebecca, faithfully bookmarking pertinent posts for the day when I’d finally take the plunge. Trouble is, I’d always thought of it as a metaphor and now here I am actually dangling at the edge of a precipice, with nary a warning marker or “this way ” signpost, anywhere in sight.
    I will be back; but sadly time’s up, once again and I have promises to keep…

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