This post is part of our question & answer series, and this question comes from Ranjeet :
I am planning to start an educational guidance blog. And for that we have started to gather all information. What I want to know is; do I need to have good programming skills to start blogging? Since I am not good in programming will it be necessary for me to start learning? If yes, from what should I start and which languages should I learn. Hope you will take a little time to answer my question. Thank you.
Thanks to Ranjeet for his question. This is a good question for us to address here, because it is a question that is on the mind of many new bloggers. So — in this article I will answer Ranjeet’s excellent question by laying out all of the information you need to know about programming languages (coding) as they relate to blogging.
Some of the questions we will address are:
- Do you need to learn coding for blogging?
- Which programming language is important for bloggers?
- Can you blog without any programming skills?
Blogging – Programming – Coding : To Be or Not to Be
First of all, if you are someone who wishes to have a blog and yet you have no knowledge of any programming language, do not worry!
You can blog without any programming skills at all.
That said, having any new skill is always an advantage, and is helpful in various ways. If you know any programming language at all, (HTML, CSS, PHP), it will be helpful to you in your online work, but if not, don’t despair!
One of the best things about blogging is that anyone without any technical skills at all can start and maintain a blog. There are many self-help guides and tutorials on the web which can help you to start and run your blog. For example: How to Install your First WordPress Blog.
Many people equate blogging with web design, and thus they think web design skills are a prerequisite to managing a blog. This is not true.
In order to start and maintain a blog, you need to have knowledge of the topic(s) you’ll be writing about, and have good writing skills to present that knowledge. The rest can be dealt with quite easily.
With that said, there are some programming languages which are useful in advanced blogging, especially if you have a technical blog.
In case if you are like me and you do not know these programming languages, I have a solution for this which I will propose at the conclusion of this article.
Which programming languages are useful for blogging?
HTML/ HTML5 :
HTML is the first and most basic language I can recommend. Though most blogging platforms like WordPress and BlogSpot offer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors, knowing HTML coding is always going to be handy. There may come a time when you will face issues with post breaking and formatting. Having HTML knowledge will be helpful in situations such as these. Additionally, when you want to place ads in your blog widgets or in the theme code, knowing basic HTML codes will make your work easier.
Still, HTML is the easiest language to learn, and within two or three hours’ time you can be someone who can talk, eat and walk HTML.
Note that if you have not already started to learn basic HTML, I would suggest learning HTML5 instead.
If you are a WordPress blogger, knowing PHP will be like having a magic wand. You can quickly fix many issues related to WordPress, and you can code your own plugin or theme.
PHP is a server-side scripting language which can be very helpful to your web development and to the enhancement of the capabilities of your WordPress blog.
If you are in college or are simply in the mood to learn a new language, PHP can certainly be helpful to your blogging career.
Moreover, if you are a good PHP coder, you can make money by creating and selling WordPress plugins.
Knowing CSS will help you to be able to quickly edit your blog theme. You can make minor changes like colors, padding and a few others to improve your blog. Particularly for WordPress themes, knowing CSS and PHP will help you to keep improving your blog day after day. CSS is a language which I wish to learn, followed by CSS3 .
A few additional notes of interest:
There are other skills which are not related to programming, but are useful to you as a blogger such as video editing and image editing. For video editing, you can learn any professional video editing software, and for image editing Photoshop is the best.
Apart from learning these types of skills, you may also wish to take a photography course. Knowledge of photography and the ability to take excellent photos is going to be very useful to any blogger in the long-run, and this type of excellence will make you stand out from the rest of the blogging crowd.
Do you know that it takes only 20 hours to acquire a new skills?
If you are looking for a single recommendation, I would suggest starting with Treehouse.
If you looking for a completely free solution, W3School is the best place to start learning to code.
Once again, if you are a person who possesses no coding skills whatsoever, not to worry! You can get along just fine with what is currently available to you, and you can add to your skills as time allows. You can also hire people from sites like oDesk and Freelancer.com to get certain types of work done for you, and you can focus on what you do best.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me via the comments section.
If you find this post useful, please feel free to share it with your network on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.