Getting started with WordPress.com

By using blogging software to reflect on your readings and submit assignments, you practice using this technology, which is more than a “blog” it is a content management system. By customizing your WordPress.com space, you develop your personal design aesthetic. By categorizing blog posts, you are becoming literate about Web 2.0 technologies and folksonomy.

Finally, creating a blog at WordPress.com can serve as a beginning step to a self-hosted site.

1) Create your blog at WordPress.com

  • Create your blog! Go to Word Press.com ; select the new account button and follow the prompts. Notes:
    • There are millions of WP sites; that means the short names are taken. Consider using your full name as your account name (no spaces). This will make your WordPress URL <yourname.wordpress.com>.
    • Use an email account that you can access in the lab. You will need to activate the blog by clicking on a link in an email from WordPress before you can move forward.
  • Activate your blog
    Log in to your email account and find the WordPress mail that contains instructions. Click the link and your blog will be live! This step “proves” you are a human and not a ‘bot.

2) Edit default settings

  • options –> general: Make the name (separate from your login) distinctive but don’t angst over this. You can change it. Ditto the sub-head. (Some themes display the sub-head by default; some do not.)
  • options –> general: Change the timezone to [-8 / Los Angeles or San Francisco]
  • posts –> categories: edit “Uncategorized” and rename it something meaningful, even if it’s just “Miscellaneous”. You can also add new categories here or when you are creating a blog post.
  • settings-> privacy: You must make your blog public — whether or not it is included in search engines or public listings is your choice.
  • settings –> discussion: To avoid spam, enable Users must be registered and logged in to comment but disable comment moderation.
wordpress dashboard

1- Title and TimeZone

wordpress dashboard - edit categories

2 – Edit “Uncategorized”

wordpress dashboard

3 – New Categories

wordpress dashboard

4 – Privacy Settings: Must Be Public, May Block Search Engines

wordpress dashboard - discussion

5 – Settings For Discussion Management


3. Change the design (Appearance)

  • Experiment! Make sure your site is readable (dark text on light background – not the other way around)
  • Be sure your design shows this minimum set of sidebar widgets. You can change the elements in the sidebars by playing around with the widgets.
    • Archives
    • Categories
    • Pages

Congratulations! You have now created a website that integrates static pages with blog posts!

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