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Creative Usability with WordPress.com Blogs

Taking a few notes from a recent article I wrote on Usability Isn’t Expensive. It’s Practical. Usability is Useful., Abhijit Nadgouda @ iface decided to take his WordPress.com blog, a blog with no control over the look of the WordPress Theme or any core programming files, WordPress Plugins, or templates, and put into practice what he is learning about usability.

As with any other new thing, a new visitor of your website might feel a little alien to it. He/She can take up some time to learn a few things, see what features are available, understand behaviour of your website. This is because he/she does not know what to expect. The learning happens through discovery or experience which can either be the hard way or time consuming. The learning becomes even more important if there is more than reading on the website – like e-commerce or interactivity…This is also profitable for you as website/blog owners – more comfortable your users get, more of your website will be read.

The article lists some specifics that WordPress.com bloggers should take into consideration like using Links Manager to add most popular posts and adding a site map and help Page to guide users on using your blog.

Over and over again I hear people complaining about the limitations that WordPress.com blogs puts upon the blogger. Here is an example of how the limitations make the blogger think about the bigger picture and how to do creative things with what they have to work with. Making lemonade out of lemons.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 15, 2006 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I’m new to word press, and see that I have a great deal to learn in looking at your site. My first question is whether this site here is the do your own WordPress blog, or one where you have your own server/host, and you have compelete control and editing abilities. I ask because I see your links on the sidek including the site meter link which I understood you couldn’t do on the do it your own WordPress software.

    Thanks,

    Guy

  2. Posted March 15, 2006 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    If the URL says name.wordpress.com, it’s the free WordPress blog from WordPress.com. You can add a sitemeter link easily with the Links Manager in the Administration Panels of your WordPress.com blog following the new instructions provided by Sitemeter. I have NO control over the WordPress Theme or template files with WordPress.com, except for the new WordPress Widgets which allow customization of some sidebar functions in only a few WordPress Themes available on WordPress.com.

    I’ll be writing about the Sitemeter button and link for WordPress.com blogs soon. It doesn’t give you all of the information it would if you were using it on the full WordPress site, but it gives you some traffic information. If traffic is a concern and interest of yours, then go with the full version of WordPress so you have more control over major SEO features. If you just want to blog, then go with the free WordPress.com blog.

    I also have several full version WordPress sites, so I’m familiar with both.

    WordPress can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. That’s the fun of it all. Good luck with your new site and let me know if you have any specific questions. I get lots of ideas for posts from my fans. Thanks!

  3. Posted April 14, 2008 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Hi there.

    I would like to ask lorelle what your thoughts are on the divide between creative stuff like what you have talked about like usability and the strick world of seo and if they should work better together? please feel free to email me back.

  4. Posted April 14, 2008 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    @ james:

    There is no “strict” world of SEO. SEO is an evolving, ever-changing concept of how to get your site found by search engines and users. The process of “search” continues to change. So I’m not sure what you are asking. Creativity can mean improved SEO or actually getting in the way of SEO and readability and usability. The question is too vague to give you a good answer.

    Also, as SEO evolves, you should know that the use of keywords in the name of a comment form, rather than a “name” is very poor SEO technique. It is no longer an accepted method of communicating with a website or blog owner as it is impersonal and viewed as spammy.


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