Starting a New Blog in WordPress

This article is about setting up a Simple Blog in WordPress.com. One thing you’ll need to know is that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different types of blogging platforms. WordPress.com is for simple and basic blogging and is free. But WordPress.org is for self-hosted blogs and you need to pay to get a domain first. So we’ll only be looking at WordPress.com

Signing Up

First you need to sign up for a blog. The four things you’ll need are Email Address, Username, Password and Blog Address. Any of these can be changed later if needed.

Getting started

Once you sign up, you’ll get an email to activate this account. Clicking on that link will take you directly to your blog. Here you’ll be asked to follow some basic steps to setup the blog. These are the steps

  1. Follow Some Interesting Topic – You can select topics you like here
  2. Follow Your Friends. If you log in through Facebook or Twitter here, it searches and checks if any of your friends have a WordPress account and lets you follow those accounts if you want.
  3. Set Up Your Blog – here you’ll need to give a Title, a Tagline and select a Language. As you can see my Title is Divinity (from my name), Tagline is Technology because I intend to write about things related to technology and Language is of course English.
  4. Choose a Theme – Here you’ll need to select a theme for your blog. I prefer to just select something randomly for now because once you write some content it will be better to check the theme then.
  5. Customize the Theme – customizing totally depends on the Theme. Different Themes let you customize different things. But basically if you want more control over customization and design you have to purchase Custom Design. But for a basic blog this is not needed
  6. Create your First Post – You can post Text, Photo, Video, Quote or a Link. After you create something or even without creating click finish to finish setting up the blog.

Clicking finish will take you to another page that has the below six tabs in it

  1. New Post – As the name suggests this is where you need to go to Publish a New Post
  2. Reader – If you Follow Blogs, those pages will appear here. You can add links here for you to follow.
  3. Notifications – Comments on your Blog, Likes, Reblogs etc are available here
  4. Stats – I love this page!! I like numbers!! This page has really cool analysis of views on your blog, views by country, webpages from where people have viewed your blog etc.. You can also see the Stats for each week or each month.
  5. My blogs – You can have more than one blog using a single Email to sign up. So this tab shows all your blogs. Each blog will have a separate web address like ‘example.wordpress.com’
  6. Freshly Pressed – These are random Blogs based on interests you picked when signing up.

Dashboard

Dashboard

To go to the Dashboard there are two ways, first way – Go to the top left corner where it shows the name of your blog, if you hover over it, there is a drop down menu that has the Dashboard. Or alternatively if you go to the top right corner of your screen, it shows your user name. Hovering over this brings a drop-down menu that has your blog name and in that again Dashboard is present. The Dashboard has many features in it. I will only be going through most important ones needed to setup a blog.

Posts – Here you can view all the posts you’ve made so far and then open them to edit or delete the posts here. You can also add new posts from this place

Media  – This shows the all the Media content (photos, pictures and videos) you’ve uploaded in your blog. WordPress has a limit of how much media you can upload. The limit is 3GB. It’s quite a lot and I don’t see myself finishing that quota any time soon using photos and pictures. But videos can be a problem so it is always good to just use Youtube links if you want to post video

Pages – In the same blog you can have many pages. So one of the pages can be your actual blog and you can use other pages to show some general information like about, contact us, history and mostly things that you don’t need to update very often. One of the pages can be your blog that you use to post things frequently (or infrequently)

Appearance

  • Theme – This is where you select the theme for your blog. It’s important to select a good theme and stick to it. Though you can change the theme anytime, it’s good to always use the same theme for a long time. There is an option to customize the page, but the features are very limited. There is a tab here called custom design. But this is something you’ll need to purchase for 30$ if you want to Custom Design your Blog or add your own CSS to it.
  • Widgets – These are additional little things you can add to your blog page. These can be added to the Sidebar or Footer Sidebars. There are many cool widgets that you can add to your blog. But it’s very important that you don’t add to many and make your page full of clutter. I’ve currently added the twitter widget that shows my current twitter feed, Archive widget that shows my older posts, Blogs I Follow in the Footer Sidebar and Blog Status also in the Footer Sidebar

Users – WordPress can be used to set up a website so you can actually give more people access to your website (or blog) using this page. You can limit what each person will be able to do within the website though using the User roles. You can check out user roles here

Tools

  • Import. If you already have a blog in Blogger or Tumblr or other such sites, WordPress gives you the option to directly import all that content to WordPress with a single click. You can then edit them a bit to make sure they are not out of alignment and stuff.
  • Delete blog. This is where you’ll need to come to delete your blog. Do note that you can delete your blog and all its content but you can never delete the account itself.

Settings – All your settings are in this tab. Things like your Blog Name, Tagline, Time Zone, Email Address, Media etc., are here

Add a New Post

There are so many ways to add a New Post. You can do it from the posts tab from the Dashboard or go to the top left corner where there is a ‘W’ and hover over it to get a drop down menu that has ‘New Post’ or go to the top right corner where is says ‘New Post’.

Opening the ‘New Post’ from the Dashboard opens a screen that says ‘Add New Post’ at the top. But opening a ‘New Post’ using the other two methods takes you to another screen that doesn’t have this title. I don’t see the need for these two screens. But you can perform the same functions in both these pages. The options here are pretty straightforward. Things you can do are in the picture below.

New blog

It’s interesting that you can’t change the font unless you use the html editor. But in most themes the font goes well with the theme so there won’t be any need to change it, but in case you want to change this, then the only way is to use the html editor

When you’re done writing content and adding images (if you want) you have the options to Preview the Post, Publish the Post, Save Draft or Cancel Post

Quick look at how to Setup the Blog

Sign up –> Activate –> Follow basic steps to set up your Blog –> Write some Content –> Preview it using different Themes to select the Theme you want –> Add widgets –> Publish your Post!!