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Making the Switch – How To: The Ultimate WordPress Guide!

Jan
11

7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

I know I’ve told you my contemplations about moving to WordPress, and the followup, but what about what happened in between? What about the actual move? That’s what this post is for – to show you how you can make the move to WordPress, too. I promise it’s easier than you think if you take your time and stick with the decision.

STEP 1: There are two versions of WordPress? Help!

Yes, there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

The difference between the two, in simple terms, is that the .com version is entirely free. When you sign up, it’s much the same way as when you did with Blogger. However, be aware that if you have a custom layout/theme, or want a custom layout/theme, you won’t be able to have it. WordPress comes with over a hundred theme options for you to choose from, and there are “Premium” ones you can pay for, but you must use one of their themes. You can change the header and sometimes colors, but that’s about it, unless you want to upgrade for $30 to be able to add CSS and change fonts.

Make note, though, that even though you can’t customize much, you can have your own domain.

On the flip side, the .org version is free to download. However, it requires an installation, as opposed to the .com version which is just you signing up for a blog account like Blogger. This is where everyone asks, Why do I need to install it? You need to download and install it because, while it is free, the hosting is not free. Granted, WordPress can host if you pay, or you can find cheaper hosting sites. Most hosting sites usually come with a free domain, too. So if you aren’t hasty you can get a two-for-one kind of deal for your site. By using the .org download, you can have an entirely custom layout/theme; you’re not limited to what WordPress has to offer.

The problem is that many people fear the installation, so they put off the move.

If you’re afraid or confused about the WordPress installation process, these guides may help you:

A user step-by-step guide to installing WordPress.

The official WordPress installation guide.

STEP 2: Do I have to install WordPress on my own? I’m horrible with computers! Help!

The good news is no, you do not have to install WordPress on your own if you don’t want to. How is this possible? Well, you have a few options:

  • Ask your layout/theme designer. If you’re having a custom layout/theme made, your designer may offer installation services for free or a small fee. You might think you don’t want to pay, but think of the hassle it’ll save if you’re really that uncomfortable with the thought of installing on your own. If they don’t list installation as a service, ask! Most designers I’ve been referred to have offered to set up everything I needed for WordPress. Plus, asking can’t hurt.
  • Some sites/programs will do the installing for you. For example, the web host Fantastico has the ability to automatically install applications to a website. In short: It will do the work for you!
  • Use visualization to your advantage. Don’t like to read long installation guides? No idea where that file goes or what a client is? No problem. Use a video guide to help so you can have someone not only show but talk you through the process. The video guide below starts at the very beginning, before even downloading and installing WordPress; it begins with getting a host and domain.

 

STEP 3: OK, I know there is a .com & .org WordPress. Which is right for me?

So now you know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. But which should you use?

Whether you have a domain or not, if you’re unable to or don’t care to get a custom layout/theme, WordPress.com is your best bet. It’s free, easy to sign up and super easy to import everything from Blogger.

If you have a domain and host (or are at least wanting/planning to self-host) and have your own custom layout/theme, then downloading the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org is what you need to do. You’ll have the freedom to make your site exactly how you want it to be without the limitations on customization of WordPress.com.

STEP 4: I’m still not sold. What, exactly, does WordPress look like?

Click through the thumbnails to see what WordPress looks like! They’ll show what the Dashboard and Post Editor look like, what’s it like looking through themes and the Import and Widget pages. For a comparison, you can also check out the WordPress.org Dashboard and Post Editor; the other menu tabs are all relatively the same.

WordPress.com:

          

WordPress.org:

  

 

STEP 5: I can do it!

Yes, you can do it! You’re so close!

You know the differences and you’ve got the guides and screencaps. You’re ready to switch to WordPress and you’re ready to do so with confidence. Just believe in yourself and take your time.

REMEMBER: As you’re making the change, nothing you have on Blogger will be destroyed. You can import your posts to WordPress without losing what you have on Blogger.

So, no pressure!

The end! You made it!

I hope this How To post is informative enough and answers the questions you may have about WordPress. I’ve tried to reply to every little question I’ve gotten. If there’s something you’re still confused about or you just have a general comment, please don’t hesitate to ask/post in the comments or on Twitter; I welcome and encourage all feedback.

I couldn’t take the thought of bloggers missing out on this move simply because there’s not enough info out there for them to better understand WordPress, and/or because they’re hesitant to leave the comfort zone of Blogger. Going by what I’ve seen on Twitter, a lot of bloggers actually want to make the move – they just don’t know how or why they should. Hence, the reason for my creating this post.

If you’ve stuck around until the end of this, I thank you and wish you the best of luck on making the switch to WordPress!

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Making the Switch, Pt. 2: It’s official!

Jan
05

9 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

I’m proud to say The Grammarian’s Reviews has a new home. And it’s quite beautiful, all thanks to Cialina. I never thought switching from Blogger to WordPress would be so easy, but aside from some very minor setbacks the transition has been painlessly smooth.

And let me just say that I’m already in love with WordPress and its features. Really, guys. Things are much more seamless over here. Editing is so much easier, updates are quicker, and importing took a matter of seconds. Remember when I wasn’t 100% sure about the switch? Well, I’m here to say that I’m sold. I wish I’d made the move sooner, actually. You never know what you’re missing until you gather up the nerve to try.

Things are still a bit rocky as I get settled, but please take the time to go and subscribe to my feed (to the right). It’s also best if you leave all comments over here, too. Any comments made at the old blog will not show over here.

I hope you like what you see! So far the initial reactions have been positive and fully supportive (love you guys!). I’ve also received multiple questions about making the switch from Blogger to WordPress, and I just wanted to remind you that if you do have a question or comment for me, feel free to leave a comment here or catch me on Twitter. I’m happy to hear what you think and help answer any questions you may have.

Again: Make sure you subscribe to the feed so you can follow my posts. Just because there’s no GFC doesn’t mean we have to lose our connection!

Last, but not least: Welcome to the new TGR!

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Making the Switch – Blogger to WordPress.

Jan
02

10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

I suppose this is an official statement of sorts, as well as an impromptu and unbiased voice of reason regarding Blogger and WordPress platforms.  You see, I’m here to say that The Grammarian’s Reviews will be switching to WordPress.

I know Blogger users are asking Why? and What’s wrong with Blogger? and What’s so great about WordPress? And I’m here to answer those questions:

Why?
While blogging is fun, I’ve always felt the need to treat it in a professional manner. I want TGR to reflect this sense of professionalism; I want TGR to take the next step. While 500 followers may not seem like a big deal, I do think it’s a step in the right direction.  TGR can continue to grow, and I want it to be able to do so.

What’s wrong with Blogger?
I’d be lying if I said nothing was wrong with Blogger. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been using Blogger for over a year now and have become comfortable with its design, posting and dashboard elements. Any bumps that come along in the road I’ve always blown off with a nice Twitter-rant session. At the end of the day, Blogger was still the Blogger I knew well and that was good enough for me. 

But thinking back on it, Blogger has been problematic. From posting to commenting troubles, I’ve had my fair share of freak outs over the complications.

What’s so great about WordPress?
In all honesty, I’m still figuring out the answer to this one. It’s a learning process. After asking around on Twitter, a lot of the responses said WordPress has better SEO.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization = “the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines.” (thanks, Wiki!)

What does this mean? It means WordPress improves the chances of your blog showing up in results on search engines like Yahoo or Google. Which means your blog may stand out against others, which also means more readers and notoriety.

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a sweet deal to me.

But SEO is only one of the great things about WordPress. After playing around on a test account I discovered several nifty features, including a Copy Post option (which would be awesome for memes), easy widget tabs and areas, and a Links tab to compile all the links you may use on a day-to-day basis on your blog. I’m also a fan of the way it tracks comments and provides site feedback.

I could sit here all day and try to tell you the pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, I think it’s best for you to take the time to explore WordPress on your own. Even if you’re entirely lost from the moment you sign up.  Click around.  Read the “Help” tabs.  And most importantly, don’t be afraid. I know a lot of bloggers, myself included, express fear over making the switch.  Nobody wants to lose all of the sweat and tears that have gone into the making of their blog. But there’s nothing to be afraid of. There are guides all over the net to guide you in the exporting/importing process. And the best part? You can import your blog to WordPress and not lose any of the content that’s already on Blogger, so the move can be slow and steady.

I hope these answers clear up some of the confusion pertaining to making the switch from Blogger to WordPress. If they don’t and you still have some questions, feel free to ask in the comments or on Twitter (@thegramsreviews) and I’ll do my best to help or just give a fresh perspective.  Just keep in mind that I’m not a WordPress pro; much of what I’ve discovered has been through my own exploring and help from my good blogger friend, Amanda.

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Blogging Slump!

Dec
22

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Hello, bloggers!

I bet you thought I disappeared again. Wrong!

I’m very much still here – and on my Winter Break!  What does this mean? It means I have a lot of time to dedicate to reading, reviewing and catching up with all of my blogger friends.  I missed you guys!

There’s just one problem: I’m in a blogging slump. I don’t have much to read at the moment, and what I do have is just odds and ends (books I’ve had but never been tempted to read). At the moment I’m in the middle of Ditched by Robin Mellom, but let’s just say that I’m feeling like I know why it was ditched.

So I need some help. What do you think I should read?  Have any favorites lately?  New releases? Comment and let me know about it! I wanna get back into the swing of things ASAP!

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Why I love verse novels – featuring Ashley!

Oct
12

8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

featuring Ashley from Basically Amazing Books!

Basically Amazing
Ashley is awesome, if you didn’t already know. Need a book review? ASK HER! Seriously. She knows what she’s talking about, and has not given me one bad recommendation yet. She is the Book Recommendation Queen.
She’s also a lover of Contemporary YA books, and is hosting a GREAT event:
??Click to check it out and sign up!

It’s no secret or surprise that I love to read. I mean, seriously – I run a book blog, am guest posting on a book blog and books show up enough times in conversation that, if counted, I’d border on the obsessed. But, with how much and how often I read, I have come to the conclusion that all books are not equal and that (unlike with people) I’m allowed my biases and prejudices when it comes to reading.

My one true bookish love has always been and forever will be Contemporary in all its many forms. It can be mysterious, thrilling, romantic, suspenseful, terrifying, heartbreaking, soul-shattering, uplifting, and so many other things. But the Contemporary fiction that I’ve always been drawn to most, the ones I love more than any others, are almost always the stories that deal with really tough issues, that break my heart and shatter my soul, genuinely mourning the fact that they aren’t actually real (coughJellicoeRoadcough).
But then, I discovered something new, something that blew my mind and changed me. These stories, these intensely emotional and powerful stories were also told using poetry. I was really confused the first time I picked up a verse novel (I was really quite young) because I didn’t see how a book could be told through poetry. I don’t have the aversion to poetry that many people have (most likely because I grew up with a dad and grandpa who could spout a poem to fit an occasion, to teach any lesson or to lighten any mood) but even still, I didn’t think you could use it to actually write a book (apparently 13 year old me missed the fact that The Odyssey (which I read) and Paradise Lost (which I didn’t) were also poems). But, I read it anyway and Oh. My. Goodness. Did things ever change. 
I think my first verse novel was Stop Pretending: What Happened when My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones. But I don’t remember a lot about it or the experience, other than being really interested and intrigued by it. But then, in college, I kept hearing about Ellen Hopkins and her novel Crank that used the addiction and decline of her own daughter as inspiration. I went to the library and checked out Identical, the only Hopkins novel available. It’s a big book, almost 600 pages, but when I opened it, I realized it was told in a series of poems and the style and the writing, and its ability to tell the story completely blew my face off. I’m not even kidding. I remember getting about halfway through the book when I realized that the poems that initiated the perspective shift between sisters actually contained a poem within a poem that often had an entirely different meaning, a sort of read-between-the-lines effect and I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing. I immediately went back to the beginning, needing to read all those poems again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything
By the end of the book, I was a wreck. A wreck in the very best way, that is only possible after having your soul eaten alive by a book, being utterly consumed by a character and just needing the story to go on, to be real. And I admit that I was incredibly shocked by how much power and emotion and force Hopkins packed into those pages. Such few words, but so much feeling. 
And so, I started to actively seek out verse novels. And after finding some insanely amazing verse novels, some great reads, some good, some bad and some incredibly disappointing, I think I’ve finally reached a point where I sort of understand what it is about verse novels that really just draws you in and makes it impossible to breathe when you are reading one of the greats. And, on the flip side, I’ve discovered what doesn’t work as well. 
It’s a hard thing to really identify and put into words that will make sense to anyone who isn’t me (because such is the way with all realizations that are more feelings than thoughts) but as best I can say, a verse novel is so powerful and offers such a strong connection to me, as a reader, because everything except that raw power and emotion and that umph that feels a little like you’ve been punched in the stomach and can’t breath has been stripped away. You don’t have the room or the time or the space for fillers and descriptions so instead of being able to take time and use the setting or other characters or their history do the talking, you rely on so few words that the emotions and feelings are the only things left, and it’s impossible not to feel. There is also an urgency to a verse novel that is impossible to capture in a prose novel.  
But to everything there is an opposite and verse novels, just like prose novels, are not all created equal. And a piece of my heart mourns every poorly written verse novel, because it could have been so great. But some verse novels try to be prose, written in stanzas instead of sentences and I tell you, it does not work. When a verse novel tries to incorporate the same amount of detail that is found in prose, or implement too many side stories and additional ‘things’ it begins to fall apart and the magic of the verse is lost. 
Verse novels are meant to be sparse. It’s like make-up; use sparingly and it can accent and highlight and accentuate all that is good and beautiful about you, but use too much and you end up looking like you are trying too hard, don’t know how to handle the make-up brush and look fake
I love verse novels because they don’t pull their punches. They don’t sugar-coat. They are. They exist. They exude raw emotion and depth and dare you to discredit them. They cajole and lull you into a false sense of complacency and then they eat your heart for breakfast and and wear your soul as a hat. And the craziest part of that? It makes you happy and eager to do it again. 
It’s very true that the same can be said for a well written prose novel. But right now, for this post, I’m talking about verse and there is something magically special when you truly find those verse novels that connect to you that make you believe in the power of the written word. And when you find them, it’s definitely something to hold tight to, and to share with the world. 
And on that note – Let me share with you some of my most highly recommended verse novels:
*The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder: This is one of my absolute favorite reads from this year and Lisa has seriously mastered her writing. This is the book I recommend most highly to ‘verse virgins’ as a starting point. This story just pours from the pages, takes your breath away and reaches inside to touch you. I’ve read all her novels now, and while this is far and away my favorite, all are worth reading. 
Identical, Tricks or Impulse by Ellen Hopkins: Pretty much anything by Hopkins is worth reading, but these three are my favorites. They are long, powerful, painful, raw and real. But be warned – Ellen Hopkins is not for the faint of heart and her novels handle a lot of tough subjects and she doesn’t shy away from them in her writing (incest, rape, child abuse, teen prostitution, suicide etc). Not everyone likes reading about those topics, so know about that before you start with these ones. But if you do or can read about these subjects, then Hopkins is a phenomenal writer who should not be missed. 
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech: This is a MG title and while it’s missing some of the complexity as the books written for older teens, it loses none of the emotion and the confused feelings of our young narrator are so transparent. I’ve read and reread this one, and am reminded why Sharon Creech was one of my most favorite writers when I was a kid – Because she somehow knows and understands. Because she gets it. And that is clear in her writing both to the eyes and the emotions. 
I’m always on the lookout for new verse novels to love, so if you have a favorite, please, share! And if you are still unsure whether verse is really for you, let me know. I’ve convinced quite a few others to try one, and none have been disappointed so far!
——————-
?The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan: Just wanted to add a personal favorite of mine along with Ashley’s! David Levithan is amazing to begin with, but when he writes in poetry it’s all the better. Told through longer poems, The Realm of Possibility is one of the first verse novels I ever discovered. It’s beautiful.
?** Thank you so much for the great post, Ashley!
It was awesome to have you on the blog! **

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Wanted: Guest Posters!

Sep
17

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Remember when I said I was going to be busy with school in the upcoming weeks? Well, school’s about to become a bit more hectic for me. Paper due dates are looming, job interviews are right around the corner, studying cannot be put off, and summer work needs finishing.

I realize most people in my position would take a break from their blog, but I’m not willing to do that. So how am I going to keep The Grammarian’s Reviews running?

Guest posts, of course!

It makes perfect sense to me. While I can still post some days, all of you fabulous bloggers can help me to fill in the rest (and gain more recognition, to boot!). I’m all for promoting other bloggers, and I have to admit that I do need a little help here.

You’re probably wondering how this works. Am I assigning topics or letting you run freely? Just imagine your lovely post sitting right here:

Are you imagining it? Good.

If you can see it, I will post it.

However, I do have just a few requests:

Keep it YA! – While I have talked about Adult fiction on this blog, it is primarily a YA haven. So please keep that in mind.

I love grammar. – If you haven’t yet noticed, I do a feature very near and dear to my heart, called Grammar Bit (link!). I haven’t had one in a while, but there are currently 13 bits available to help people with their grammar woes. My point: If you’d like to do any sort of post pertaining to grammar, I’d love you forever.

Please be respectful. – I’m more than willing to promote your blog on my own blog, but please be respectful of the books or authors or whatever mentioned in your posts.

Basically, anything goes. Have you been wanting to discuss your favorite cover but it won’t fit into your own blogging schedule? Do it here! Want to get the word out about a book you think deserves more recognition? Do it here! I’m open to your ideas – after all, it’s going to be your post!

If you’re still interested, fill out this form.
——————————————————-
?Many of you keep asking me for topics, so here you go!
GRAMMAR
– Grammar pet peeves: which grammatical mistakes bug you the most?
– Come up with your own Grammar Bit!
– Why do/don’t you care about grammar?
BOOK TALK
– Favorited/Hated cover(s).
– Promote a book you love that you think doesn’t get enough recognition.
– Book peeves: What are some of your biggest book peeves when it comes to YA books?
– Books that have really good sequels.
– Talk about a specific genre you really enjoy and want others to know about; why should they give it a try?
– Versus: Vampires vs Unicorns, Love Triangles vs Single Relationships, Insta-love vs Actual Romance, etc.

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I’m featured!

Aug
19

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Today you can find me over at Amanda’s blog, On a Book Bender, for her very first Who am I Stalking? feature. Come check out my answers to her bookish/grammar questions!
?Don’t worry. She’s not really stalking me. I think.

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Vlogging: This is How We Roll.

Jul
07

14 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

A vlog, or video blog, is a blog post that contains video content. Sounds simple. Making one? Not so simple.

But vlogs are invading the book blogging blogosphere (Say that 3x fast!) like crazy. They come in handy for talking about all things related to books – and for sharing squeals of excitement, bloopers and even pets (I’ve seen some really cute puppies.).  Mostly they’re used for memes such as, and most notably, In My Mailbox. You know you’ve seen ‘em or have made one.

I haven’t taken that extra step yet. I actually haven’t been convinced that vlogging is the way to go. Is it necessary? Do other bloggers prefer it to regular posts? Why?

So that’s where you guys come in. I wanna know: do you prefer vlogs to regular posts? Why or why not? (I know, that sounds like an essay question. Ew.) 

*As if it wasn’t obvious enough, I’m trying to decide whether I should incorporate vlogs on the blog. I’d really appreciate your feedback!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love Book Blogging.

Jun
21

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN REASONS WHY I LOVE BOOK BLOGGING?
1. The books. No, I don’t mean the free ones. I mean all of the books introduced to me through all of you fellow bloggers, tours, memes, etc. My TBR list is very long because of this – and I love it; I will never not have anything to read.
2. The people. Seems obvious and generic, right? But truthfully, we all know book bloggers have their little niches. And I’m so happy to have gotten to know some of you. I hope it continues.
3. The practice. Not only do I get to better my writing, but also my blogging skills. And that entails everything from publicity to HTML.
4. The authors. When I first started blogging, I had no idea authors were so receptive to the book blogging community. But after hosting several interviews and giveaways, I now know that authors ROCK. I’ve come across some of the kindest people, easily approachable and ready to share their work with their readers.
5. The discussion. If there’s one thing I LOVE, it’s talking about books. Anything and everything related to books. This is the ultimate book-talk forum.

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