Do You Plan Your Blog or Play it by Ear?

October 25th, 2011

WordPress is used for more than just personal blogs. It powers some of the most popular sites on the web.

You may be planning to start the next greatest WordPress site, but what’s your approach? Do you plan ahead and dive into an expensive hosting plan (maybe even buy your own server) and start loading on the heavy-duty cache plugins, or do you start small and grow as necessary?

Starting small may be the safe approach, but if your goal is to be huge, first impressions can make a world of different.

Personally, I prefer to just play it by ear and grow as necessary, but what’s your preference?




  1. Ipstenu (31 comments.) says:

    A bit of both. I have a general idea of what I want when I build my sites out. Not that I’m always right, but I have the general idea.

    With that in mind, when I bought the hosting I’m on now, it was actually an UPGRADE from my previous package, but on the same host. I bought the low end, after specifically asking ‘How upgradable is this?’ They promised I’d be able to move up or down, as I wanted, with free transfers between their servers. I also didn’t lay on the caching plugins until I’d reached VPS state (though that was more a choice of “I have 3 domains, why do I have three separate hosting plans? COMBINE AND CONQUER!)

  2. Amrut says:

    It’s somewhere in between. Use an affordable VPS with a good host if you *have to. That way you can scale up if needed. 99 sites of 100 wouldn’t need any more than that to start with.

    Use CloudFlare, easy to keep things going and switch without a hitch. Seriously.

  3. Jamie Northrup (7 comments.) says:

    I used to always just dive in, but now I plan a lot more before launching new websites, I’ve found it pays off and gets results quicker, both in terms of money and satisfaction.

  4. saibhreas (1 comments.) says:

    I tend to just jump in, then back engineer after it gets a feel about it. Probably a lot more efficient ways to do it.

  5. Evilcyber (2 comments.) says:

    In my opinion, a mixture of boths pays off.

    Planning allows you puts some structure into your content and lessens the pressure of deciding what to write on next. On the other hand, you also should keep some flexibility to run articles that cover breaking news and clearly will be at the forefront of the reader’s attention.

    • Evilcyber (2 comments.) says:

      Argh, I entirely missed the subject of this article :D

      • Jen McGahan (1 comments.) says:

        Naah, EvilCyber, it’s all related. I don’t own any servers — In fact I blog and do email marketing — but it’s interesting to see how different sectors and industries all fret over the same things! “Do I take a bite at a time, or serve up the whole dang whale?!”

  6. Jos (5 comments.) says:

    Ten years of playing it by ear and still not sure where it’s going to go. But a fun ride nonetheless.

  7. S3bY (1 comments.) says:

    I find combining the two of the the best sollution! Starting something without a plan is always a good ideea! But along the way, the original plan might not as good as it seemed in the first place! So addapting is the best solution!

  8. Paul Salmon (1 comments.) says:

    I prefer to play it by ear myself. I only grow when it is necessary as I don’t see the benefit of added expenses, especially when starting out. As I need a new service, I will usually purchase it a little before I would actually need it.

  9. Christi (1 comments.) says:

    If you want to be successful it’s best to have a plan. With that said, you need to be flexible and allow for blogging on timely topics that are of interest to your readers.

  10. David (1 comments.) says:

    Hay guys, Personally I have a couple of blogs, and when I started them I generally had an initial plan or idea of direction. However most of them seem to stray a little depending on the comments. Its actually kinda interesting to see where they go…

  11. david kimberley (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve been playing them by ear which has to stop. Too often i’ll work on a blog only to find in a day or two that my work was for nothing as I then find I want to go a different direction or that what I wanted to do isn’t possible with current plugins and themes.

  12. Mike Reeson (1 comments.) says:

    I think it’s important to be flexible in your blog posting schedule, and to just write a little every time a thought comes to mind that you think might be of interest to your readers. But be sure to write enough to keep your readers coming back.

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