How to set up a blog
If you’re ready to set up your blog, this page is for you.
Not sure if blogging is for you?
There are three easy ways to set up a blog.
|Piece of Cake
Visit wordpress.com and sign up. This process should take you five minutes as it’s about as easy as setting up an email.
There are a number of other sites that offer this service such as blogger.com.
Advantages: It’s free and instant. It’s secure. It’s fun.
Disadvantages: Your blog will be in the wordpress.com domain. It could be things like ILikeDogs.Wordpress.com or SaveTheSquirrels.Wordpress.com. It can’t be stuff like myblog.com or SquirrelsForFriends.ca.
Set up your blog through your Web hosts control panel. Hosts such as HostPapa.ca have a button called Fantastico that automates the installation of WordPress. There are many hosts that support WordPress. This should take you 10 minutes.
Advantages: Your blog and email can be in your own domain name. For instance, MyOwnWebAddress.com. You will be developing an asset that you own rather than the wordpress domain. You may receive customer support from your host.
Disadvantages: There is a charge for hosting and support. I think I paid about a hundred bucks to Hostpapa for three years. Domain costs 20-30 bucks per year.
Manually install WordPress software on a Web server. This is more technical but can save money.
Advantages: You already pay for high speed internet access so why not use the same service for hosting.
Disadvantages: You need to be computer savvy. You need a computer that’s always on. If your internet access provider goes down, so does your site.
Once you’ve been through the above process there are two things to do. Customize and start blogging!
You customize and control your blog from the address yourblog.com/wp-admin. You just add “wp-admin” to the end of the address of your blog and log in (it stands for Word Press Admin). You’re credentials for logging in will have been chosen by you when you installed the blog.
The look and feel of your blog comes from the theme which is found under Appearance in your admin panel. If you click Appearance, Themes, Install Themes you can browse and search available themes. Choose one, install and activate it. Through the Widgets menu (also under Appearance), you can drag and drop to customize further. Your theme may even add a special menu to your admin panel to customize the theme.
The content of your site is comprised of Posts and Pages. Your admin panel will have a menu item for each and an “Add” button to add a Post or a Page. What’s a Post and a Page you may ask?
Posts are like diary entries. You create each one with a subject and a body like an email and click the Publish button to make it appear at your site. Posts appear on your site in reverse chronological order. You can categorize your posts too. You make up the categories and users can click a category from your site to see posts under that category. The category list will appear on your site based on the Theme you have chosen (you can move it around with Widgets). You can also add keywords to the post. They are called tags. You make up tags as you go. For instance if it was a post about a wiener dog, you may tag it as “dogs” or “silly dogs”. A list of tags can appear at your site as well so users can find all the posts that go with a tag.
Pages are Web pages. They don’t have categories and tags. They can be organized to a hierarchy or not. You create the pages and a list of pages will appear at your site for users to click on (based on your chosen Theme). This is often used for stuff like “Contact”, “About” and so forth.
You can make your site Post oriented or Page oriented. This is in the settings of the control panel. If it’s post oriented, then when you arrive you just see the posts in reverse chronological order (that’s usually how a blog is set up). You have to click on a page to see a page. If the site is Page oriented you can program it to show a certain page when the user arrives. They would need to click a link (category, tag) to see the blog posts. You can also create a special blog page and when they click that the blog entries come forward in revers chronological order.
Pictures and video are a great idea to include. When you’re typing in a page or post, you can click the little attachment button and insert images into your content. For videos, you can go to youtube and get the embed code (select share/embed when viewing he video). You can then paste the embed code into your content. You need to be on the HTML view of your content (vs the default Visual view).
You can add special functionality to your site through plugins. Jist like Themes under Appearance you can add the Plugins under the Plugins menu. Here are a few.
Akismet: This comes with WordPress. It helps make sure that spammers don’t create garbage comments on your posts and pages. You just need to activate it.
Google Analytics for WordPress: Used in conjunction with a Google Analytics account this can tell you about the visitors to your site. It will tell you what country they’re from, how they found your site, how long they stayed and what they looked at. You’ll find out which pages and posts are popular.
Share and Follow: You can have a facebook like button, tweet button and so forth. Your visitors can easily share your content with their friends.
Faster Image Insert: If you add a lot of images and galleries, this can speed up your content creation.
SyntaxHighlighter Evolved: Only needed if you are going to talk about technical things and need to quote computer code.
Watermark RELOADED: This can mark your images with text so they are traceable back to you