My absence from the Blog Herald in the end of last week was due to me participating in a very cool event called 24 Hour Business Camp here in Sweden. Some 90 web entrepreneurs, split over 52 teams, gathered to create a web project each in 24 hours time.
Naturally, I went with launching a blog. I chose WordPress as my blog platform, although any other hosted one would do as well, of course. However, since I consider myself a WordPress expert, and given the immediate time crunch, I went with what I knew.
Now, 24 hours is a lot of time if all you want to do is to install a blog, setup permalinks, and slap on an existing theme. A decent theme is easy enough to customize, and then you’re basically ready to go. I didn’t do that, I built an add-on theme (or child theme, as they are also called) for my Notes Blog Core theme. That is something in-between, because the core is there, but not the defining elements.
And you know what? Everything went smoothly, despite the fact that I worked on a netbook (!) the entire time.
Despite everything working out the way I intended (I have done a launch or two since starting to work with the WordPress platform…), some things are way too easy to forget. Or rather, way to easy to underestimate time-wise, like:
- Small graphics take time to get together. If you want something more fancy than your average RSS feed icon, you’ll have to fiddle with it.
- Writing informational pages is easily forgotten. The about page, a policy page, possibly an advertising or contact page… These needs to be done!
- Setting up external accounts. It may be easy and straight-forward to setup a Feedburner account, but it still takes time. If you want to use several external services, you’ll loose more time than you’d think.
- Finding and installing plugins. Just knowing what kind of functionality you want isn’t enough, you should be prepared on exactly what plugins to use, otherwise you’ll spend way too much time comparing similar ones.
Add time for installing the blog platform of choice, or perhaps even setting up MySQL databases and whatnot. I had all this covered, and I also had a local WAMP install so that I could work should the internet connection go down or just be slow. And there were issues with it, luckily resolved in time.
If you need to launch a blog in a short period of time, be sure to be prepared. Don’t just take things as they come along, that will surely give you loose several extra hours, which is both stressful and annoying when you have a deadline.
I managed to launch in time, and you can see the result – Börja Blogga – although you probably won’t understand it since it is completely in Swedish. There is, however, a short presentation in English on the live blog. You can also vote for the project (please do, that makes me happy) until the end of January.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.