Greetings! So, you want to start your own blog do you? I don’t blame you – they’re fun, addictive even and let you tell the whole world what you think!
There are a great many vehicles for you to use for your blog, but today we’re going to learn about WordPress – the same blog platform that RU uses! WordPress.com is the free version – not to be confused with WordPress.org which lets you download software and requires a hosting company. Same company, different setups entirely.
Our first lesson will show you how to sign up for WP, name your blog and change its appearance. Ready? Let’s dig in.
- First, let’s go to http://www.wordpress.com
- See the big orange button that says sign up now? Give it a poke.
- Now let’s come up with a username. This needs to be something you’re going to REMEMBER, so think of it carefully.
- Ok, got your name? Add in your password, email. Click the box by legal flotsam. What is legal flotsam? Basically it means that you aren’t misrepresenting yourself (I’m the REAL Nora Roberts!) and that you are responsible for what you’ve posted. If one day you decide to flame every single editor at a big publishing house and they decide to sue you for libel? Yeah, that’s YOUR problem, not theirs. Please remember, anything you post on your blog can and possibly will be read by anyone in the world. Including your ex-husband, your fourth-grade teacher and your mother-in-law.
- Now click the radio button by ‘Give me a blog!”
If your name was already chosen, the same screen will come back up and make you choose a different username. Sometimes you have to be creative, so think of several great usernames.
- The next screen lets you choose your blog URL. Think carefully about this step. Mine is monarchcottages.wordpress.com. My web design company is Monarch Cottages, so my blog will highlight new projects I’ll be working on. You cannot change your URL once you’ve completed this page.
- The next line is the title of the blog. Feel free to change it now, but this step can be changed at a later date.
- Leave English checked, and make sure the privacy box is checked.
Check your email. Usually it arrives in a few minutes, and then you’ll need to click the link to accept the WordPress agreement.
Ah, there’s mine already.
Another browser window opens that says “Your account is now active.”
You can now click view your site or log in.
- Go on, view your site, then click the back button and let’s log in.
- Put in your username and password – remember? Sure you do.
- Click the ‘remember me’ box, and then log in.
HOLY MOLY! WHAT’S ALL THAT????
Take a deep breath, and we’ll go through it step by step.
This is called your dashboard. This is the action behind the blog. This is where you’ll spend most of your blogging time, and we’ll get more familiar with it next time.
However, *rubbing hands together in glee* let’s change the appearance first. There are millions of themes out there, and one of them is going to be juuuuuust right for you, Goldilocks!
On the left hand side is a button that says Appearance. Go ahead and click on it, then if ‘Themes’ isn’t already highlighted, click on that as well. The theme that is currently used for your blog is at the top. Mine says Twenty Ten by the WordPress team. Below that is Browse Themes – Random, A-Z, Popular, Recently Added.
There is also a search button, so if you are determined that your blog feature flowers, type in flowers. Truly, I never have much luck with the search feature unless I’m looking for a specific color. I almost always look through Popular or Recently Added.
So, here’s your homework assignment for the week. Go through the themes and pick out one you like. Go ahead, try a few on for size by clicking the Preview button under each theme. Don’t like the preview? Hit the ‘x’ in the corner and you’ll be back at the original screen. When you’ve found one you’re happy with, click the Activate button.
Now, you’ll notice at the top of the screen your new theme name. And in a yellow bar across the top of the page it says, Visit site.
*Waiting for the oooh and ahhhhs*
Come back ??? for Lesson Two and we’ll learn a bit more about your dashboard and the difference between Posts and Pages.