tutorial: how to setup a wordpress blog

Do you want learn more about setting up a blog in WordPress?  Today I am going to share with you how to setup a WordPress blog. This post is for those of us that don’t want to use blogger or other blogging software but want their own domain name.

How to create a new website

In order to run a website you need a few things.

  1. a web site
  2. a host
  3. a url

Think of your website as a house.

house

You need land to build your house on.  This is called a WEB HOST.  You can do this with free sites or you can pay to put your “house” on someone else’s land (host).  On this site I pay for my own hosting and have my own unique URL.

land

You need an address so people know how to find you.  This is just the same as your street address and receiving mail in your letterbox.

mailbox

On the internet, this is called a URL

or a DOMAIN

or WEB ADDRESS

and usually starts with “www.”

For example, the address of this site is www.stringandscissors.com.au

You will probably need to pay an annual fee for the URL and the hosting costs.  Many sites that sell URLs also sell hosting services. Personally I use godaddy.com for my URLs and hostpapa.com.au for hosting.  These are just my preferences. I do have one URL that I pay for via webaccess and I used to use ixwebhosting for many years but had problems with them so I moved hosts.  ixwebhosting admin interface was much easier that hostpapa is but I guess I am still getting used to it. I am not affiliated with any of these services, nor do I receive any payment from them.

Changing Domain Name Servers

What does this mean? Well, it means that if you have purchased your URL from one provider and have hosted your website with another provider, you will need to change the domain name servers to point to your new host in order to see your website at your new host.

Think of this like setting up a redirect at the post office when you  move house.

There are always 2 domain name servers (DNS), they are always a pair. You will need to change both of them.

The first step is to find your host DNS. Then go to the provider of your URL and set the DNS there.  For godaddy this is what I see. They were set to godaddy servers and I changed them to point to hostpapa servers.  To change them, select Manage.  If you have purchased your URL from another site you should find similar functionality under managing domains.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.44.57 am

Installing WordPress

After you have all this set up the next step is to install WordPress. This can be done via  your host so before you choose your host make sure they have WordPress as one of the default applications. This means you will be able to automatically install it within the host service control panel. On hostpapa you will see the panel below, but you should be able to see a similar list on other hosting sites. See under the word Blogs (below) it says WordPress.  This means it will install at the click of a button, rather than you having to upload it yourself.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 6.21.55 pm

Configuring WordPress

Once you have WordPress installed you will be able to login the admin panel. The Site Admin login is contained in the Meta panel on your site’s home page.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.50.32 am

The admin panel allows you to do everything to configure your domain. WordPress will have been installed with a theme and some information logged so as to allow you to see what it looks like. Normally this will be a post titled “hello world”.  I recommend leaving this post there until you get things set up and have posted your first post.

Login to your admin panel to see the various tools you can use to customise your site.  The side menu will look something like this.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.53.40 am

 

Let’s go step by step through the basic options.

How to create a WordPress post

To create a WordPress (WP) post, select the Add New button under the Posts section. This will display a heading section and a blank area where you can write your post. Here is the post I am writing now. You can see my title and the text I am writing. Create your post here and then select Save.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.01.32 am

A bit more about saving….

The panel on the right hand side of the screen allows you to save your post. You can select Save Draft to save but not publish your post, Preview to see what it would look like once published, or Publish to make it visible on your web site.  This panel also shows you how many times your post has been updated, in my case 13 revisions.  Practice writing and publishing a post.  Play around. This is computing, almost nothing is irreversable.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.04.56 am

 

View all posts by selecting All Posts from the left hand menu under Posts. Add a new post by selecting Add New from the left hand menu or using the button on the Edit Posts page. View all posts by selecting All Posts.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.09.54 am

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.09.48 am

Here is a view of the all posts page.  You can also add a new post from here.  You can see some of my posts below are in draft, others are published.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.13.04 am

 

What are WP Categories and Tags?

Categories allow you to classify your posts into different groups. I use both categories and tags, but you may only want to use one or the other.  Categories appear as a list, with or without the number of posts.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.20.16 am

Tags appear as a “cloud”. The higher number of posts, the bigger the font size. You will need to add a widget to make this happen. I will show you add widgets in a later post.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.20.21 am

bulb Tip: tags entered as plural and singular will show up as separate tags. For example, cushion and cushions.  You need to be accurate when creating tags unless you want to end up with lots of similar tags.

 

Create categories by going to Categories on left hand menu under Posts.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.08.45 pm

Use categories by ticking them with the Edit Posts page.  Use tags by typing the in the Add box as per image below. This will bring up a list of tags you have used before. For example, if you type setup it will show both website setup and wordpress setup. Alternatively, select Choose from the most used tags to see a list of what you have entered in the past.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.11.28 pm

In future posts I will be covering:

  • What is the difference between a WordPress page and a WordPress post
  • How to add pages
  • How to add media to your WordPress pages and posts
  • How to change your WordPress theme
  • WordPress settings
  • What are widgets and how to add them to your WordPress site.
  • What are plugins and how to add them to your WordPress site