Building my blog – a newbies guide to the galaxy

This is not a guide, it is merely a collection of my blog-ramblings, a collection of things I found to be useful while building this website from the ground up, a collection of to-do’s and a list of things I want to accomplish in my quest building this blog and over time become a blogger.

I have always been a serious person, with a well proven procrastination issue and often too preoccupied with other things and I had a rather halfhearted go to get a blog going. I have been talking about ‘my blog’ for years, I had several domain names, several ideas and pretty much all of them never got airborne. Thinking about it, I always been more of techie than a writer and found I was spending a lot of time building, tuning and customizing various sites, and the whole thing kind of stranded halfway through, becoming too complicated as ambitions was outrunning skills.

I realized I could put some effort into having a blog and at the same time fulfill some goals on my bucket list.

I sat out to define the purpose of building a blog and a plan was brewing. Previously I did not spend much time on thinking about the purpose, or the reason if you like, and I was formulating the purpose of having a blog. Furthermore, I realized by doing so the puzzle somehow started to show and the goals became more measurable. Having a purpose gives me opportunity to adjust as I learned new areas and as new ideas develops. At the same time, it gives me the opportunity to come back and adjust and remind me self about my goals.

Why

  1. Ensure I stay curious and keep learning new skills
  2. Use for references as I must spare my keystrokes and time
  3. Supporting my speaking career and expose me to future speaking opportunities

What

  1. Build and learn to run a WordPress blog in Microsoft Azure and go as far for as little cost as possible
  2. Learn to run and optimize and secure a WordPress blog using free Cloudflare service
  3. Learn the minimum requirements to run a WordPress blog, define the ‘must have’ plugins and explorer the possibilities

How

  1. Add content regularly
  2. Share knowledge about the topics I care about and work with daily.
  3. Writing around 1,000 words per post – if post require more than 1.000 words, I will consider writing multiple posts

Getting started

Part of my plan was to ensure basic knowledge to get started, baselining my ambitions with skills, and ensure I stay focused. So I started out doing hours of research, after all basis knowledge should be expected. I am privileged to have access to Pluralsight. I highly recommend their courses, and I started out to watch the following courses;

And then, days of internet searches, quite a bit of trial and error and more research – for a start I can recommend these resources;

Get going

While preliminary configuration of a WordPress site is simple, I quickly found myself searching all over the internet for configurations options. I somehow needed a game plan.

WordPress core configuration

  • General Settings.
  • Reading Settings.
  • Profile Settings – Your user settings.
  • Permalink Settings.
  • Handling Site Health challenges.
  • Modifying number of WordPress revisions.
  • Modifying author URL to hide e-mail address – do not create usernames based on e-mail address, I will tell you why!
  • Managing and modifying profile picture on Gravatar.

WordPress Pages

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/pages/

WordPress Posts

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/writing-posts/

WordPress Shortcode Blocks

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/shortcode-block/

WordPress Plugins

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/plugins/

WordPress Properties

I need to fully understand WordPress post properties

WordPress Themes

I have spent way to much time, money and resources looking for a WordPress theme. Way to many themes requires myriads of plugins, and way to many require to upgrade to *pro* versions and still the effort to make the theme look just close to the samples is rather complicated. So, for now I have parked the task and will explorer to build my own theme – stay tuned.

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/using-themes/

WordPress Search page

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/creating-a-search-page/

WordPress security

Do I need some security software, to monitor and validate posts, comments, uploads etc.?

WordPress backup

Do I need some backup solution, to backup configurations, pages, posts, comments, uploads etc.?

WordPress linking

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/using-permalinks/ | https://codex.wordpress.org/Linking_Posts_Pages_and_Categories

WordPress Featured Image size and post thumbnail

Reference: https://blog.snappa.com/wordpress-featured-image-size/

Make your web pages fast on all devices

Reference: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Qualys SSL Labs

Get a top score on Qualys SSL Labs SSL Server Test. The service performs a deep analysis of the configuration of your web server.

Security Headers

Get a top score on https://securityheaders.io/. The HTTP response headers that this site analyses provide huge levels of protection and it is important that sites deploy them. The service provides an easy mechanism to validate them, and further information on how to deploy missing headers.

Explorer the possibilities, functionality and cost using Report URI – looks like they has the best, purpose built platform for receiving and monitoring CSP reports.

Reference: https://content-security-policy.com/

Configure Office 365 as SMTP gateway

Reference: https://peritumstudios.com/wordpress/using-office365-to-send-emails-in-wordpress-via-smtp/ |
https://www.pixelfire.com.au/configure-o365-smtp-wordpress-contactform7/

Configure Twitter Cards

Reference: https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/twitter-for-websites/cards/overview/abouts-cards |
https://business.twitter.com/en/blog/twitter-cards-101.html