As I and a bunch of other bloggers in the region have founded Chandigarh Bloggers Alliance – I am working my level best to educate more and more people in and around Chandigarh about blogs, bloggers and blogging. When I introduce my friends at college to the word blogging, the first question that they ask me (even before I tell them how setting up and maintaining a blog is so easy) is that Do they need to be hardcore programmers, or web developers to be good bloggers?

It is difficult (but very interesting) to tell them how programming and blogging are related to each other and what factors decide the extent to which one should know programming to be a better blogger. Thus comes this post that will tell you in what cases will you need to learn elementary programming, and in what scenario you should be a avid programmer. Or, in what scenario you don’t even need to know what programming is!

Most of the bloggers that read Inspirit Blog are either already bloggers, or want to start blogging and gathering tips, tricks, thoughts and ideas on why to blog and how to blog. This post (in some way) would be useful to both of these sections of my readership. Let’s proceed to the subject of this post.

You don’t need to know anything about programming when:

Today, starting a blog is as easy as A B C. You go and register for a free account at free blog hosts like Blogger or WordPress – this step takes a minute to complete. The next step is to chose a theme (or design template) which takes a few seconds depending on how hard is it to chose a color scheme, for you, to go with the subject of your blog. When you are done with this, you type in your first blog post in the Rich Text Editor (also called WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get) and hit the publish button to become a “blogger”!

In this case, you don’t even need to think about the word PROGRAMMING! The blog software (blogger/wordpress) etc is already loaded with all the basic features and installed for you. Once you sign up for an account, all you need to do is write and hit Publish.

You need to know something about programming when:

Sometimes you may not be happy with the images that came with the default template that you chose. Or you may not like its alignment. In other cases, you want to format your blog-post into tables so that everything is ordered and placed well, you may need to add alt text to images, some attributes to the hyperlinks so that they open in either the same window or a new window.

In case your blogging software (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc.) do not allow easier ways to do these – you need to have a very elementary knowledge of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) so that you can make minor changes to your template to serve your purpose. In case you want to add third party functionality to your blog, you’re required to copy-paste some code snippet into your blog template.

In this scenario, knowing where and how to insert the code would be goof. It is helpful for anyone to know what anchor tag is or how to add various attributes to links and images. You don’t need to learn HTML (or PHP, XML, etc. whatever your blog uses) hardcore! Just a basic understanding of what does what, would do.

You need to know everything about programming when:

You need to know everything about programming when you’re planning to make your own custom themes, or you need to tweak it to the extent that looking up the code, or moving snippets here and there won’t solve your problems to your satisfaction. In this case, you need to know what all programming languages are used by your blogging software to render a blog.

Generally, you need to know HTML and CSS for the design of the blog, while the PHP functions, Javascript, etc add functionality to the blog. If you know all (or most of these, as required) you’re a developer because what you’re doing with these languages is web development.

A special case, in which you must have in-depth knowledge of (not necessarily HTML, CSS or web related languages) programming languages is when programming (or that particular programming language) is the subject of your blog. You cannot write a good blog without in-depth knowledge of the subject of your blog.

There are various free tutorials and cheat sheets available online that can help you in getting familiar with basic. Also, if you read blogs (like this one!) you’ll find various tutorials on how to do the most basic things for your blog – like how to make a link open in a new window or tab or How to customize Feedburner RSS Email Subscription Form. If you get stuck somewhere, search the internet and you’ll always find something resourceful. Read books on programming, web design and development if you need to, or for the sake of interest. You may not need to be perfect, but knowing at least the important and frequently used code certainly helps.

Not being good in programming won’t decrease your value as a blogger – as long as you’re writing great content and marketing your blog well. But having some knowledge is certainly an added advantage that will give you an edge above the others. It all depends on how passionate you’re about it, how bad do you need to learn programming or how keenly interested you are in knowing how things work.

32 thoughts on “Should you know Programming, if you are Blogging?

  1. Very nice topic to clear the myth. I am sure this will help a lot of people to get started 🙂

    Mohit Anejas last blog post..What do you think of this illustration??

  2. Nice topic I’d have to add on the “some” portion that a user really just needs to know a little of CSS (via dreamweaver) for a WP customization rather than actual programming.

    Nathan Drivers last blog post..Better with Age

  3. If you are just doing a blog journal or one only for family and friends, then no it is not needed and Blogger or WordPress.com will work.

    If you have no tech knowledge and want a site and blog and are any sort of professional it is worth it to hire someone to get it set up and configured.

    If you do like tech stuff and learn it easily, then there is a lot of information out there to help you learn. It just takes a lot of time and sometimes your time is worth enough to you or you can make more money with your time, so it is best to hire someone.

    Wills last blog post..Toxic Ignorance

  4. nice one…

    You don’t have to know anything about programming! Not one signal thing. When I seen “hardcore programmers” haha I thought that was funny.

    If there was anything a beginner blogger should know it’s going to be Information Tech related such a Web Administration. I’m talking the basics such as, Root Paths, Linux or Windows OS, Installing Scripts and backing up, restoring databases.

    Overall the hardest part of blogging is the blogging it self!

    Sweet article Ab maybe we’ll see some new bloggers from your readers!

    Brian

    bbrian017s last blog post..Gatekeeper’s will destroy your confidence, Cold Call Marketing Techniques.

  5. It is definitely true that it will add advantage on your side. When you know some html, javascript and perl keywords. You will not just copy and paste every free code in the internet. You can resize, modify the text-color and many more.

    It is a very interesting post. Keep it up.

    Charles
    Money Making and Blogging Tips
    http://www.resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com

  6. Interesting post. I know that I refer newbies in WordPress to the Theme Editor and the Template Tags article in the codex. These are two resources I use all the time to help and fix all of my designs.

  7. Pingback: How to Get Started Freelancing | Diligent Design
  8. I think most people sooner or later should know programing even if they only blog. Everyone likes to have a unique design or add something special to thier blog so the more you know the more you can do.

  9. Any time you want customization it is always good to have some very basic knowledge of a programming or formatting language. Formatting languages are easier to learn fortunately, and that’s whats necessary for formatting a website page. The easiest way to learn is by studying html code by viewing its “source code”. Any browser enables someone to view the source code of a webpage.

    Notation Software Music Editor & Music Maker – Personal Composers latest published blog-post ………. Sister Mary

  10. its not necessary but it definitely wouldnt hurt. It could make things a lot easier, depending on what you want to do with your blog.

  11. Many people have blogs that make extra money and do not know programing. Like everything else it does not hurt and will only help if you learn some of it. You do not have to know everything but anything you learn can and will help make your blog a better site easier to use and maybe help get more traffic from search engines.

  12. I feel that it is important for bloggers to know about SEO. Prgramming will help them (mainly HTML), but I am not sure it worth the effort. Bloggers should focus on writing good stuff. And as said, also know how to promote it on the web. Thanks for good post.

  13. I don’t quite understand what you mean by programming? HTML will certainly help, depending which blog software you use it may also be useful to know some basic PHP or something but I don’t think that it is vital. You could just use wordpress.com!

  14. and for the programmers who doesnt able to generate the content, could write lots of blog platform templates.

    MSs latest published blog-post ………. BarackObama hacked. Is Twitter Secure?

  15. Ya know, I’ve definitely gotten by without programming, but I slowly started to learn how to hack up others code to try and alter templates I might’ve been using. I’m now learning more proper programming beyond altering other people’s stuff as there are just too many features that I want to be able to include in a site/blog.

  16. For me blogging and programming are two entirely different things. Programming then further can be bifurcated to further branches and PHP is most common. It is good if we know a little bit about programming but I think full time blogger needs something else than that, like content, PPC campaigns or revenue.

    Mikes latest published blog-post ………. News

  17. The problem that we don’t have enough time as blogger. As internet marketer need to do a lot of think including posting an article and link building. If we should learn about programming than we will stuck in front of computer for more than 12 hours everyday.
    .-= Ruri@Free article directory´s last blog ..A Bunch Of Accurate Cinematic Film Plot Summaries =-.

  18. Hi, I agree with this point that you gave. Blogging is very accessible and very easy for now to adopt by the aspiring bloggers. But as you said a blogger also have to have a knowledge about programming, for you to know how to manipulate your theme and page…. Thanks for the information it it helps a lot..

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    After reading about the Flip UltraHD’s addition of an HDMI output, larger screen, and longer battery life I decided to sell my 4 month old Flip MinoHD and purchase the Flip UltraHD. Since the MinoHD is very sleek and diminutive in size, my first reaction to the UltraHD was that it was quite a bit larger and bulkier to hold, and has taken some time to get used to. However, unless you’ve used a MinoHD the larger size of the UlraHD will probably be less noticeable. I found the camera controls on the UltraHD to be slightly easier to operate vs. the touch sensitive buttons on the MinoHD. As far as video quality between the two, I compared two different videos and both are about the same, however, the colors appear to be slightly more vibrant with the UltraHD.

  20. I’m thinking if you find a great template to work with, no programming skills should be necessary. I personally love to program myself and am glad to have the knowledge. Great posting to encourage beginners to start online.

  21. It’s not compulsory for you if you are some famous and can hire a designer to modify and give some tweaks to your blog. But if not then it is really recommended to have some knowledge in programming. It should not be in-depth but you should know how to tweak those designs

  22. Absolutely. Having a level of html / php / css knowledge is a must. I think it is essential to have the ability to be able to pop into the code and be, to at least, understand where you could copy and paste other code that you would like to use (such as installing a web form, analytics tracking code, etc) without always relying on a plugin.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Karl
    .-= Karl Foxley@SEO Company´s last blog ..Who Else Wants Access To The Largest Database Of CommentLuv Enabled Blogs On The Internet =-.

  23. great post. found this information very useful. Thank you very much
    .-= brad´s last blog ..Spyware Frequently Asked Questions (faq) =-.

  24. It’s a greet topic for the blogger. Yes all the points are very true. First you have to decide which purpose you are going to open your blog. Is it for personal or for business purpose or it’s an official blog. I think in personal blog programming is not a matter, but if you are promoting your brands then you have to know about the programming and can change the blog design according to the product. It’s always better to know about the programming. For the simple blog no need to experiment with programming.

  25. If you are a simple user then no need to know about the blog design. Simply registered account and create a blog and post your first comment. That’s it. There is a lot of themes are available online and you can replace your blog themes well.

  26. If you’re just into blogging just becuase you love to write, then you don’t need any programming knowledge, but if you’re making a blog because you want to make money out of it, then I suggest to learn programming.

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