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!!

Windows 8

I’ve been using Windows 8 for a month now and thought I should write a page about the basics of using Windows 8. Most of the things that I’ll be talking about have to do with the new Metro Interface. But I’ll talk a bit about the Desktop side of it as well.

Start Screen

Start Screen

This is the start screen. As you can see it has all the apps which appear as live tiles. The tiles have two sizes – small and large. And they have two options live tile on or live tile off. To change these all you have to do is right click on the tile and it gives you the option to make the tile smaller or larger depending on the size it is now and it also gives you the option to turn the live tile on or off. The size and live tile on/off function depends on the app. Some apps don’t have the option to make the tile smaller/larger or turn live tiles on. You’ll notice that the tiles are already grouped. Tiles can be moved within the group or to a different group by just clicking on them and dragging them around.

New Group

Creating a new group

To create a new group, you have to drag a tile to the center space between two groups till a small bar appears and then you can leave the tile in the new group. Then you can move other tiles to this group. To name a group go to the bottom right corner of your screen and click on the ‘-‘ (minus) sign there. The tiles becomes smaller and it’s easy to view the groups in this screen. Now right click on the group and you find the option to name the group. The tiles in this screen can be the icon for the apps in the metro UI or for programs in the desktop. So depending on the app/program, when you click on the tile it may open here or in the desktop screen.

Charm

Charm

Charm

Next we come to the Charm. To bring out the charm bar you have to take your mouse pointer to either the bottom right corner or the top right corner of the screen. Moving the pointer to just the right side will not bring out the Charm, you have to go to the corner. Once the Charm appears and you move your cursor over it, the time and date appear on the lower left corner of the screen. The Charm has five options in it.

  • The first one is the Search function. Depending on where you bring out the charm, the search functions differently. For example if you are in the start screen and bring out the charm and click on search, then it searches for apps with the name you typed. But while using the music player if you bring out the search, then it can be used to search for songs, artists, albums etc. Many of the apps don’t have a search function in them because the charm search is used as the search feature within apps.
  • The Share feature can be used to share content from on app onto other social networking sites or things like that.
  • The next one is the Start button. This is pretty straightforward, it takes you to the start screen. Clicking on the windows button on the keyboard also does the exact same thing
  • The Devices button is used to connect to other devices like a second monitor and stuff, but I haven’t still checked out this function much so I won’t be explaining anything about it.
  • The final button is the Settings. This has a lot of things stored in it. The first thing – to shut down the computer this is what you’ll need to click on. Then click on power and then shut down. Other general information like the internet connection, keyboard, notifications, brightness and volume are also in this place. At the bottom it has PC settings. Clicking on this opens a whole new app with all the PC settings like the general settings, lock screen, start screen images and a whole lot of other such settings. Another thing about this is that when you are inside an app, clicking on settings also shows you the settings of the apps. For example when you have opened the mail app and the click on this settings it shows the accounts, options, help, about, feedback, permissions and rate and review. All of these are associated with the app and not with the general computer settings.

General functioning of Windows 8

In the start screen, left-clicking on the top left corner of the screen makes it toggle between the different apps that are open. While toggling through the screens, the desktop will only appear once, meaning the different programs that are running in the desktop will not be toggled through. The desktop almost functions like a single app. In the desktop mode or the start screen moving the pointer to the top left corner and dragging it down (without clicking) will show you all the apps that are currently open. Here also the desktop will be one of the apps in the side bar, this will not show you all the programs open in the desktop individually. Moving the pointer to the bottom left corner of the screen and left-clicking will take you directly to the start screen, unless you are already in the start screen. In that case it will take you to the previously used app. Here again, if you were working in the desktop and came to the start screen – then clicking on the bottom left corner will take you back to the desktop.

Apps

The main new thing about the windows 8 is usage of apps. Right now there are some pretty cool apps already available in the windows store and Microsoft is hoping that many more apps will be made for the windows store. To open an app you just need to click on the tile of the app. If you are not able to find where the tile for a particular app is, then you can always use the search function in the charm to find where your app is. All apps don’t need to have a tile in the start screen. You can just delete the tile of apps you don’t frequently use and only keep those you do use. To see all the apps/programs that are currently installed in your computer – right click on the general area (any place other than on a tile itself). When you do this an option will appear on the bottom right corner of the screen called “All apps”. Clicking on this will take you to a screen that will show you all the installed apps. This includes the apps and the software/programs installed in the computer.

Once you open an app, right clicking on the general area brings out all the options that are available for a particular app. For example in the calendar app, right clicking on the screen brings out the options to view the calendar as day/week/month and also the option to add a new calendar event is also available only when you right click on the screen. The search and settings options in the charm should be used within an app to search for things and change setting of the apps respectively. To close an app, move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen and this will automatically change the pointer into a ‘hand’. Now click and drag it all the way down. This will close the app.

When you’ve moved the pointer to the top and clicked (after it turned into a ‘hand’), instead of dragging in all the way down if you drag it to either of the sides then the app ‘snaps’ to that side and now two apps can be viewed at the same time. This can also be done by moving the pointer to the top left corner of the screen and then moving the pointer down which will show you all the apps currently running. Then you can right-click on any of the app and then click ‘snap left’ or ‘snap right’. One of the apps will occupy about 25% of the screen and the other app 75% of the screen. You can run the music player in the smaller screen while working in the larger screen or something like that. Those who have used windows 7 will know that dragging a program all the way to the side re-sizes the program to fit half the screen. This option is still available for the desktop programs.

Desktop

The start screen has a tile that you can click which will directly take you to the desktop. The Desktop side of Windows 8 is almost identical to Windows 7. The main difference is that the start menu is missing. So if you want to open programs you have to go the Charm and search for them or alternatively you can pin them to the Taskbar or create an icon for it in the Desktop. If you right click in the bottom left of the screen while in the Desktop, it brings out a small menu. This contains the Control Panel, Device Manager, Task Manager, Run, Command Prompt, Power Options etc., Most of the other things here are similar to Windows 7 so if you’ve used that before there is nothing that difficult here.

Desktop

Apps I find useful or interesting

The first picture in this blog is my start screen. And those are the apps I use frequently. The official Mail app from Windows 8, Skype, WordWeb, Bento (News app), Calendar, Jetpack Joyride (Game), YouVersion (Bible), Quick Note, Milligram (Instagram), Official Music app, Tunein (Radio), Fresh Paint and MusixMatch (Song lyrics)

My thoughts on Windows 8

Once you get used to how things work in Windows 8 it is quite easy and fun to use. It generally feels much faster, but this could also be because I’ve just installed the OS newly. The only downside is the fact that some times it becomes a hassle when you have to work on a program running in the desktop and an app in the Metro UI. Lots of new apps are being added to the Windows store so I expect that there will many useful apps there in the future though apps are quite limited as of now.

Check out my personal blog if you have the time!!