Your Blog – Getting Started: Lesson #7

Look for this image and click the get started button.

It’s time to start your blog. At WordPress.com look for the illustration on the right to help you start building your site. Before setting up the blog, however, please read through the following steps.

Step #1

Your blog needs to have a name to use as a part of the blog’s address (or URL — letters that stand for universal resource locator). The words you choose will be a semi-permanent part of the address. For this course our blog address is https://familyblogclass.wordpress.com. Think carefully about what name to use for your blog site’s address. For instance, if you are making a family reunion blog, personalize your address just a bit. (I expect that FamilyReunion.wordpress.com was taken long ago). In a web address you seek a combination of short and descriptive. It’s possible to edit this later on, but that means notifying your readers of a change of address.

Step #2

The title on your actual blog home page can be more descriptive. While the address for our course blog is http://FamilyBlogClass.Wordpress.com, the title at the top of our blog is slightly different. I used Start a Family Blog Class as the title on the homepage.

Use this mini-image to help you start your blog.

Step #3

When you set up your blog, WordPress will ask you to add a tag line, so you may want to think, at least a bit, about what you will use. Consider this a much-abbreviated mission statement. On my blog, AsOurParentsAge.WordPress.com, my tag line is “Timely topics for adult children with aging parents.” You can edit and re-edit your tag line.

Step #4

Decide whether your blog will be private or public by checking the box at the bottom of the page. If your blog is public, it lives out on the web for everyone to see, and people can easily search for it. This will be especially helpful for people in your family who always search for things rather than making bookmarks. HOWEVER, you may want more privacy. If so, click the privacy button. If a blog is private, you will need to send the link to anyone who will be reading your posts. This step completes the initial blog setup.

NOTE: A private blog can have approximately 25 users (I’m still searching for the exact number). If you want more users to access your private blog, you will need to pay WordPress a yearly upgrade fee.  Info about free WordPress features     Info about paid upgrades   

Step #5

Choose a theme to determine  what your blog looks like. This takes some time, because WordPress offers dozens of choices. You can choose and preview any number of themes. When you find the one that you like, click the activate button.

Step #6 

Draft your first post in a word processor — but don’t put it in your blog until lesson #8. If you find yourself highly motivated and excited, it’s ok to figure out things and work ahead. You can use these posts later as reference points. Have fun exploring!

Next – Lesson #8:  Writing Posts and Choosing Your Blog Settings

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