Largest Homeschool Blogging Community Upgrades to a Whole New Way of Blogging Life

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine announces the launch of their newly updated and improved online community—HomeschoolBlogger.com.
By: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
 
Sept. 2, 2010 - PRLog -- Gray, TN, September 1, 2010—Recently HomeschoolBlogger.com (HSB)—the largest and free homeschool blog site in the world—got a clean, fresh, new look with an exciting combination of new features, as a result of implementing an important software upgrade.

According to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine publisher/owner Gena Suarez, “The plan behind the change is to tie great blogging in with the ever-expanding homeschool community to usher back in the 'blogging craze' that hit when HomeschoolBlogger was launched in 2005. It was a lot of work, we pushed forward, and now we're doing it. This is a major upgrade, using the popular WordPress platform and will mean a whole new way of blogging life for our members at HomeschoolBlogger.com."

As of August 2010, HomeschoolBlogger.com received thirteen million page views—JUST in the month of August alone!  Month after month, the site gets many millions of pages viewed. Primarily comprised of homeschool parents (mainly moms) and homeschooled students, one of the draws to HSB is the ease in discovering new blogs by other homeschoolers and connecting with those of similar homeschool and family interests. This online community has a safety-net feel as opposed to other blog sites, where using a random blog button could turn up any sort of undesirable content. The upgrade changes provide the potential for HSB and its community to really blossom.

Change is not always easy, however. When sites get upgraded, some people lose interest in learning a new system; it may take a while to adjust to the way things will work. On the other hand, some people sacrifice community for upgraded features and workability. But with the brand-new blogging software, HSB combines an easy-to-learn system and amazing features attractive to this vibrant homeschool community.

Two words seem to describe HSB: community and functionality. Members contribute to an extraordinary, family-friendly blogging platform where importing a blog into HSB is simple. Using new importing and exporting features, a blog can move from MovableType, Textpattern, Grey Matter, Blogger, b2, WordPress, and many others. This means one can seamlessly import a blog to HSB and become part of the community while holding onto all previous content.

HomeschoolBlogger’s Senior Editor, Kristen Hamilton, oversees the site and its Company Porch blog. Along with several other authors, she contributes helpful homeschool-related posts on a variety of topics relevant to the entire blogging community. She assists members when needed and keeps an eye on new blogs to identify inappropriate content.

Kristen states: “HomeschoolBlogger is comprised of a large group of bloggers who make
HSB their home base. This is the largest upgrade in our five-year history and makes the community even stronger with its exciting new features. It runs on a WordPress platform, allowing for great features such as WordPress themes, separate pages, easy blogrolls, better spam protection, and an improved comment system. In addition, bloggers are able to schedule posts for later, easily back up posts, and work on collaborative projects without sharing passwords. The greatest news is bloggers enjoy these new features and still maintain the great HomeschoolBlogger community.”
Here’s a closer look at some of those new features at HomeschoolBlogger:
•   Intuitive user interface—This is one of the most versatile web systems online with its user-friendly features. A “What You See Is What You Get” editor works seamlessly with the HTML editor for posts. Plus the system provides advanced image uploading and in-browser image editing.
•   Widgits—Add tools such as search bars or calendars by clicking and dragging.
•   Backups—A new exporting feature allows backups to be created with the click of a button with instant saving capacity.
•   Spam protection—The new WordPress system enables tools such as an integrated blacklist and open proxy checker to manage and eliminate comment spam.
•   Pages—Manage non-blog content easily. For example: manage static “About,” “Contact,” and “Mission” pages through the HSB system.
•   WordPress blogrolls links—Create, maintain, and update any number of blogrolls through the administration interface, reducing the amount of installation and load time. No need to plug in Javascript or HTML from other sites.
•   WordPress themes—HSB provides a full theme system with ease of creating blog designs and formatting. Select multiple themes with totally different looks, even switch designs daily.
•   No rebuilding—Changes made to templates or entries are reflected immediately across the blog—no need to change code on every single page.
•   Password protected posts—Assigning passwords to individual posts will hide them from public view.
•   Collaborative workflow—Friends and collaborators can write entries with different levels of permission. Multiple people with unique logins can write on one blog! Create profiles and groups to increase socialization.
•   Cross-blog communication tools—Full support for Trackback and Ping-O-Matic. These tools help bloggers build traffic, establish relationships, and obtain maximum exposure to search engines.
•   Full user registration—Allows visitors to register and maintain profiles on a blog. Optionally, comments from non-registered users may be closed, or posts from lower-level users may be hidden.
There’s even more exciting news to share, because we’re working hard to offer additional improvements. A new “listen and learn” opportunity that is already making waves in the homeschool community is the introduction of FREE “Online Webinar Classes.” More than 3,500 people have already signed up for these classes since they were launched in July. These useful classes provide a vibrant lineup of topics to help homeschoolers plan and prepare for their home and school responsibilities—at no charge. These topics were among those discussed in recent classes: “Think Biblically, Live Godly, and Serve Practically,” “Ten Stumbling Blocks to Writing,” and “Solving Your Science Struggles”; additional topics will be announced soon! Participants can easily sign up for these inspiring classes at HSB FREE Classes.

Bloggers looking to communicate and connect with other homeschool families should head on over to HomeschoolBlogger.com. With this fabulous upgraded system, HSB provides a whole new, top-of-the-line blogging experience for all to enjoy in a safe, secure environment.


The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
P.O. Box 8426
Gray, TN 37615
1-888-718-HOME(4663)
www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com

To request further information or a copy of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, contact Gena Suarez at publisher@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. Please include your name, publication/website, and mailing address with your request.

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About The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is the leading Christian homeschool publication worldwide. This approximately 160-page magazine is a trusted source of information packed with important, up-to-date news; practical information; and inspiring content for the enjoyment and education of homeschooling families. Their mission is to produce a high-quality, Biblically based magazine that stands alone as a practical resource and introduces relevant products and services to the home educator. TOS-based ministries include a blogging community (HomeschoolBlogger.com), an online store (TheOldSchoolhouseStore.com), and The Old Schoolhouse® Speakers Bureau (HomeschoolSpeakers.com).
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