Blogelina offers a Blog Makeover Service to help you set up a WordPress blog. I tested out the service so I could tell you what it was like. I know sometimes people are not sure about purchasing a service without knowing the details. I chose to have my Callista’s Ramblings blog made over.
Blog Makeover Service
Blogelina will purchase GoDaddy hosting in your name, install WordPress, install a Studiopress theme (Genesis + child theme) and 10 important plugins. Also included is The Basics of WordPress e-book and Free Access to 40+ WordPress video tutorials. If you want access to the Studiopress life time service, there is a separate fee of $24.95. (I recommend this.)
The package is flexible. If you already have hosting, she can work with it. If you already have WordPress installed, that’s okay too. If you have any other special requests or issues, contact her and she’ll discuss your individual needs.
How Does it REALLY Work
After purchasing, you will be directed to a thank you page that asks you some very basic information such as contact information and whether you need hosting or have WordPress installed. If you are in need of hosting, you will provide your full address and phone number to set up the account.
A few days later I heard back (great response time!) Since I already had a domain, hosting and WordPress, I was asked for my login information and which Studiopress theme I would like. I imagine that if you didn’t have hosting you would be given information on your hosting account and you’d go from there.
I do want to note that you must choose a theme that is shown on this studiopress page. There are some user created themes that are not part of what you can choose. So if you are planning ahead of time, before you purchase the service, make sure the one you want is there.
At this time I was also given access to my WordPress e-book and videos so I could get acquainted with WordPress before my site was even ready.
The WordPress and Blogging Resources
Note: If you don’t want my opinion on the included resources, skip down to Step Three to see how the blog makeover went.
The WordPress Blog Setup file actually shows how to set up WordPress on your own but also includes lots of helpful tutorials on how to customize your settings, install and manage themes, plugins and widgets and do basic tasks like create posts or categories. It has helpful screenshots which is important. It also comes with a checklist so you can keep track while you take the tasks given.
My only issue was I would have liked a bit more explanation on why we are being recommended to choose certain settings. I didn’t necessarily agree with the setting suggestions for everything but it will help someone new to WordPress to get set up and you can always change things later if you find you like it a different way.
Also included is a short guide on creating a blog with Blogger (which of course you don’t need if you are using WordPress). It’s also a bit out-dated since it was created using the old Blogger.
The SEO cheat sheet was very basic .The Facebook Page Workbook had good information but is also out-dated so the specific explanations on how to do things and screenshots won’t help you at all. The twitter marketing guide has phenomenal information. Some of suggestions may be slightly out-dated, but twitter hasn’t changed as much as Facebook or Blogger so it doesn’t affect the resource as much.
The video tutorials were nice although I was surprised they weren’t made by Blogelina herself. There is a set of basic videos which includes things such as adjusting your settings, installing plugins, adding media files, getting a Gravatar and basic things like that. The advanced tutorials included updating WordPress, using Windows Live Writer (I recommend this program but the video is sadly out-dated as the program looks totally different now,) Using Static Pages, using Google Analytics and Disqus.
A little while later (8 days in my case), I was sent an email:
“I have installed your theme. Congratulations on your new look!
I also installed these plugins that I use and highly recommend for making things easier with your blog. Be sure to check out the links to know how to best use them”
It was a nice surprise and naturally I went running over to see what my blog looked like. (see image below) I know the basics of using WordPress so I was able to go in and customize the theme the way I wanted and add my own header. If you are brand new to WordPress though, Blogelina can help with some basic customizations.
I also took a look at the provided plugins to see what they were and how they worked. In the end, I have three or four that are installed but I don’t currently use (but may in the future) and two that I uninstalled because I preferred a different one I was already using. If you didn’t already have a WordPress site though, the included ones are fine to start with. Most plugins are free so you can easily delete or even reinstall the ones provided later on if you so choose.
What If I’m Not Happy
Blogelina offers a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not happy with how you or your blog are treated.
A Summary of My Experience
I am satisfied with my WordPress Blog Makeover from Blogelina. She worked very quickly and was very helpful along the way. The whole service is regularly $99 but is currently on sale for $79. I think that’s a great price for all that included. The accompanying resources were a nice touch although I’d like to see them updated. I don’t know that I’d recommend them to be bought separately but since they are included, they make a helpful addition.