Setting up your wordpress blog

Since I have been teaching blogging to my students at ASU this semester I thought it might be a good idea to post the How To here. Happy Blogging!

  1. Go to http://wordpress.com/
  2. Click the “Get A Free Blog”
  3. Fill out the form by choosing your blog address – commit to it because you can not change the address name!

Note the user name and password can be any thing as only you will know what it is and write it down somewhere so that if you don’t blog for a while you can log in again.

Fill out completely

Click “CREATE BLOG” at the bottom of the page

Blog Domain will be: yourname.wordpress.com

4. Check Your Email to Complete Registration

5. From your e-mail click the link to activate your blog – it will open to a new window and say: Your account is now active

6. Go to WordPress.com

7. Log In with username and password

8. Will open to your dashboard. If you don’t see your side the Dashboard list running down on the left hand side of your screen THEN go up to the upper right hand side of your screen to where your name is, hover but don’t click on your name, you’ll see the pop up come up, scroll down to where your blog name is, again hover but don’t click, another pop up will happen and you will see Dashboard on the list – click Dashboard!

Your Blog is now set up! Yay!

NEXT – Creating a post:

  1. On the left hand side list of your Dashboard – click on “posts”
  2. Click on the box next to “Hello world!” post that is auto generated and trash this. You do not want your first post to be the automatically generated post.
  3. Click on Add New Posts to create a post. The window that opens will look like an email almost. Create a Title, write your post, add in pictures (see notes below) and then when you are done – make sure to hit PUBLISH on the right hand side or you will not see your post and it will just be a draft. Once the “waiting” circle has stopped spinning you can click “view post” at the upper right hand top of the page to see what it looks like. If you have found anything you are unhappy with either click the back button or click “edit” under your post. You can then make changes and the click UPDATE, which now appears where it once said PUBLISH to save those changes.
  4. To Create A Title: Fill in a title at top small open window – remember to choose a title that is something catchy that you might search when you are looking for something online.
  5. To type text – Use the large box below (make sure the grey tab “visual” is selected unless you know html (NOTE: visual is the default) The other tab says “TEXT” – you don’t want that!
  6. The menu for type formatting is also right there above the big box much the same options as in Word. If you can not see both lines of formatting options click the button that looks like a little computer on the top row, all the way to the right. If you hover over it, it will say “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink”
  7. To add photos, video, audio, PDF’s, Powerpoints or other media ls – click on the icon next to “Upload/Insert” that looks like a little Camera with a Music Note Behind it and follow the step by step instructions. Make sure all photos or other media meet the DPI settings or they will not load. Generally the same as for a LOW RES e-mail or facebook.
  8. To add in a hot link: Highlight the word(s) or the image that you want to link – the button in the menu that looks like a chain link will highlight  – click on that button, a New Window will open,  under Link URL: fill in the web address you want to link to, under Target: always select “open link in a new window”. Do nothing with title.  Click “insert” It will automatically return to your post page and that which you highlighter will now be a different color and will be a link.
  9. If you want people to be able to comment, scroll to the bottom of you post page and Under Discussion – click “allow comments”

NOW – Making it your own!

  1. On the left hand side list of your Dashboard – hover over but don’t click on Appearances
  2. Do Click “THEMES”
  3. Look through all the themes and Choose a theme – don’t over think it just choose one – you can change it 10 minutes later! Also, you can buy a theme or template and “plug” it into your site at any time from WordPress or from a third party such as Theme Forest. They Range from between $15 and $80. This does not mean your site is hosted like a website, it just means with a paid for licensed theme you can do more customization because the FREE themes are limiting.
  4. Also under Appearances, hover and then Click on widgets. WIDGETS is where you select items you’d like to have appear on your blog such as Archives or calendar or categories. When you find one you want just drag it over to the right to place it under “Sidebar” OR “Footer” and give it a title. As an example you may want to title archives – previous posts.
  5. Under Appearances you can click on background and upload an image to be your background design, sometimes just uploading a color block does the trick – to give you a color of your choosing.
  6. Also under Appearances you can click on Header. This is where you can look at the pixel size for your theme and go and create a header in Photoshop or one that you scan in and create a custom header for your blog. Follow the instructions on the header page to make this happen!

OTHER THINGS TO DO:

  1. Hover over Settings, Under Settings on the left hand side of the Dashboard you’ll find: Users, that should only be you – unless you want to have a shared blog then you can set up others.
  2. Under General: remove the “Just another WordPress.com weblog” all together or add your own sub-title or leave it blank to have no text there. Make any other changes needed and upload an image if desired. At bottom click on “save changes”
  3. All others under Settings– just do a quick click through to make any changes that seem appropriate for your needs.
  4. Tools – unlikely that you will need to make any changes under this option.
  5. Upgrades – no need to add and $$ on at this time – maybe something to investigate down the road.
  6. The only other tab you may want to mess with is the links tab, towards the top of the Dashboard,  – if you have a website you may want to link it to your blog. Click on the links tab on the left hand side (mid way down) REMOVE ALL linked items that are auto generated there such as: wordpress.com. If you want to add your own then Click “add new”  Name it and then paste the web address in, add a description if it makes sense to do so. Do not worry about Target, links relationship or Advanced at this time. Click the “add link” to the right. Do this for as many locations as you want to link.

TAGS:

On the right hand side under Post Tags:  type (titles for content) for your post each time you post inside the box that says “add new tag” then click the “ADD” button. This creates your tags cloud. Once you have a tag under a specific thread of content you need not type it again. Instead click on “choose from the most used tags in Post tags” this will drop down all your tags to choose from.

CATEGORIES:

Categories – you can do this same thing to create and use categories – treat these like a menu of options you might have on a website.

PAGES or TABS:

To add pages or tabs go to your Dashboard on the left hand side and hover over PAGES, click on ADD NEWW. When this window opens create the Tabs or pages (same thing) by naming them and saving them. These will now appear on the top of your site or at the footer, depending on your theme. To add things to these Pages or Tabs, just go back to pages, choose all pages, click on the one you wish to add to, click edit, when it opens make your changes, select Update and you are done!

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6 responses

  1. This information was so helpful to me! I was able to set up my blog in no time at all. Could not have figured it out for myself; I am not very techno-savvy. However, Cyndi’s directions made it easy.

  2. I was completely avoiding setting up the blog I’ve been saying I would do forever because it seemed too complicated. Usually people’s interpretations of the instructions are more confusing than just doing it yourself. But, as with “Spencer” I found your steps to be spot on. Really. And very easy, which, I’ve decided after zillions of head-scratching moments putting things together with “instructions”, is truly quite a skill.

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  3. Thanks for sharing! This was awesome! So much easier than the pages and pages of instructions I found online! I have lots to learn about blogging in general but this definitely got me started down the right path! Thanks!

  4. I have the blog set up and have posted for some time. The problem is that when I open the blog it goes straight to my posts. How can I enter what the blog is about and an about me that people will see first??

    Thank you!
    Judy

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