Today's topic on building blogs and professional sites as a freelance writer comes from Zac Schuessler. Zac points out that you don't necessarily have to create one or the other. If you like working on a blog platform, you can use one to run a more basic site (or a combination professional site / blog).
In particular, Zac brings up the subject of magazine-style (or non-blog) themes for WordPress, which allow the user to create a more static-looking site with all the conveniences of blog posting.
I've been using magazine-style themes on several of my sites for a little while now. I love them. While there are some great premium themes out there (usually less than $100 for rights to use the themes), you can find some pretty nifty free ones too. I've used both. Here are some examples of sites set up on WordPress with this type of theme:
- Jhmattern.com - This is my PR firm site. It's run with just a basic free theme, and allows me to have the appearance of a static site, while also having an integrated blog (all from one WP installation).
- Learn-Networking.com - This is one of Zac's sites. He's using a premium theme from Solostream.com here (one of my favorite theme providers).
- FreePressReleaseWriting.com - This one is also mine, and it's using a free theme called Mimbo. This theme is a little more complicated to work with, but if you're familiar with WordPress, you should be able to handle it.
- XNAGameDev.com - This is another of Zac's sites. Here he's using an edited version of the free Morning After theme.
- AudioXposure.com - This is my indie music webzine about to finally be relaunched! It's using a premium theme - Brian Gardner's Revolution theme.
The greatest thing about WordPress as far as I'm concerned is that you can pretty much make it do whatever you want it to. You don't have to be a designer to make a decent-looking site with it, and the backend is easy to use. There's also a seemingly neverending supply of new (and gorgeous) themes being released.
If you want to host your own WordPress blog, but aren't sure where to start, later this week I'll be giving you a step-by-step on installing it and adding themes while I install a copy for one of my own sites to be developed.
Do you have a favorite WordPress theme that you think would be good for more than just blogging? If so, share it here in the comments. You can also check out some more examples of magazine-style wordpress themes in this older post on my other blog - Jentrepreneur.com: Revisiting Magazine-Style WordPress Themes.