How to Create a Blog Using WordPress

by Jane Buchanan

Creating a blog allows you to share your thoughts, projects or stories with the rest of the world. Setting up a blog is easy even if you're a complete beginner. WordPress.com is a free and flexible blogging platform that's loaded with customization options, and you can have your WordPress.com blog up and running in just a few minutes, then customize its look and functions, and start posting blog entries.

Creation

1

Visit WordPress.com and click the "Get started here" button.

2

Enter a URL address for your blog. Free blogs hosted at WordPress.com have an "X.wordpress.com" address, where "X" is the blog name selected by you. The system lets you know if the name you choose has already been taken, so keep trying until the system accepts your blog name.

3

Type a username and enter a password twice.

4

Enter your email address, select your blog's language, then click "Create Blog."

5

Check your email inbox for an email from WordPress.com. Click on the activation link contained in the email to finish creating your blog.

Posting

1

Load your blog's admin panel by typing the following URL address in your Web browser's address bar: "X.wordpress.com/wp-admin". Replace "X" with the name of your blog. Log in to your blog's admin panel by typing your username and password.

2

Click on "Posts" in the left-hand column and select "Add New."

3

Enter a title for your new post and type the post in the large box under the editing icons. Use these icons to modify your text's appearance; they're much like the tools found in traditional word processors. For example, to center-align part of your post, select a phrase or sentence with your mouse, then click the "Align Center" icon.

4

Click the "Publish" button to publish your new post on your blog.

Customizing

1

Log in to your admin panel, click on "Appearance" in the left-hand column and select "Themes." Here you can load new themes and alter your blog's appearance without losing any posts you might have created. Browse the gallery of available themes and click on "Activate" under the theme you want to switch to.

2

Edit your current theme's options by clicking on "Theme options" under the Appearance category in the left-hand pane. These options are specific to each theme and depend on the features the developer has added to it. For example, the default WordPress.com theme allows you to add your Twitter username so that users can conveniently follow you on this social network. When done editing your theme's options, click on "Save all options."

3

Add widgets to your blog by clicking on "Widgets" under the Appearance category. Widgets allow you to add various types of items to your blog, such as Facebook "Like" buttons or a calendar. To activate a widget, click on it and drag it to one of the items to the right of the page. For example, to add the Facebook widget to your blog's sidebar, which is the area displayed to the right of your posts, click on "Facebook" and drag the icon to the Sidebar box.

Tips

  • check When creating a new blog, WordPress.com automatically publishes a standard "Hello World!" post on it. You can delete that post from within your admin panel by clicking on "Posts," selecting the "Hello World!" post and clicking "Delete."
  • check Insert audio files, pictures or movies into a post by clicking on the icons next to "Upload/Insert" on the Add New Post page.
  • check As an alternative to creating a free blog at WordPress.com, you can install WordPress on a dedicated server to, for example, integrate a blog into an existing website. The installation package is available at WordPress.org.

About the Author

Jane Buchanan earned a master's degree in computer science from the University of Virginia in 1991. Since then, she has worked as a journalist and copy editor for the "Daily Press" and the "Arlington Connection."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images