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Wordpress is a free online system that hosts websites and blog posts in a secure manner. It has many free features such as built-in and custom website designs, syncing options for Facebook, Twitter, etc, and is easily accessible from different devices. Wordpress is useful for starting a business site, blog, or portfolio. Wordpress also includes a stat option that helps the creator view the number of people who are accessing their site. For a small fee, you can upgrade for custom business tools and even your own domain. 

Creating a Website, Blog, Portfolio, or Online Store

Go to the Wordpress website.

Sign Up

Wordpress at first doesn't ask you to sign up.

To Create a Website: 

  1. Click on the blue"Get Started" button on the left side box.
  2. Choose from one of the four types of websites you want to create: Blog, Website, Portfolio, and Online Store (The most commonly used by professors is "blog".)
  3. Choose the type of design/theme you would want for your blog, website, portfolio, or online store.

    Online Store

    For the online store, you will need to pay at least $25 a month in order to keep this running. This is not the only option that doesn't come free.

    (You can choose to skip the design/theme selection by clicking on the link provided on the bottom right corner of the page)

  4. You will be prompted to choose a site address.

    Website Address

    You will not be able to change this in the future. Some options may require you to upgrade to premium.

  5. Select the "Plan" that is most convenient for the purpose of your website. The four options are: Free, Personal, Premium, and Business.

  6. Type in your email and password to create an account. (Your username is your website address).
  7. Click on the "continue" button.

Customizing Your Theme Design

After clicking on the "continue" button, you will find that this will take you to your main working screen. This will have a control panel of options on the left hand side (looks like the image below).

Wordpress blog customization navigation bar

To customize the title of your page:

  1. Click on the "Site Identity" tab. 

  2. Enter the name you would like your website to have in the "Site Title" box.
    (In this tab you can also add a "Tagline" and add a logo if desired.)

Customizing Theme Colors:

  1. Go to the control panel.
  2. Click on the "Colors & Backgrounds" tab to change the color of your website. You can also click on the "Header Image" located on the control panel.

Customizing the Fonts:

  1. Go to the control panel.
  2. Click on the "Fonts" tab. This will allow you to change the style of the font, the size of the letters, and gives you the option to change both the title ("Header") and paragraph ("Base") font.

Customizing Content Options: 

  1. Go to the control panel.
  2. Click on the "Content Options" tab. This will take you to a screen with various options that may be all selected. You can select and de-select certain content by click on the boxes that may or may not have a check mark in them.

Customizing Front Page: 

  1. Go to the control panel.

  2. Click on "Static Front Page" tab. This will take you to a screen with two options: "A static screen" and "Your latest posts"

    "The Static Screen" means that the main homepage will be constant every time someone visits your website.

    "Your latest posts" means that the main homepage will be changing. Whenever you write a new blog post, it will be the first page someone will see when they visit your page.

Changing the Home Menu Panel

Go back or stay on the control panel. 

  1. Click on the "Menu" tab.
  2. Go to your email to "confirm your email" (this will allow you to change the options displayed on your menu)

    Email Confirmation

    If you did not receive an email of confirmation in your personal email inbox (the email you signed up with) click on the "Resend confirmation email" in the "Menu" tab of the control panel. Or, you can provide Wordpress with a new or different email address in which you will use for their site. The email may be in your junk mail if you don't see it in your inbox.

  3. Click on the "Confirm Now" button in the email.
    email from wordpress to confirm your email address

  4. Refresh the page and click on the "Menu" tab again. 
  5. Choose between the "Primary" and "Social Links" Menus for your Primary and Social Links Menus. 

    The Primary Menu is the one that is seen in the corner or top portion of your page. 
    The Social Links Menu is the one located towards the bottom of your page. 

    The Primary Menu option spells every word out so that viewers are able to read the options.
    The Social Links menu option simply shows icons. If you choose this for your primary menu, you will only see "W" which stands for the Wordpress page it will take viewers. If you select this for the social links menu, it will show the social media icons for each individual platform.

  6. Click on the pencil next to the social media menu or the primary menu to edit what options you want available on those menus.

First Blog Post

Within the front page, you may see that there is already wording in it. Within this wording, there is a link that will take you to a new blog post template. If you already like the front page setup, you can simply type into the different boxes and edit the images on that front page. 

  1. Click on the link "Start a new post"
  2. Start Typing in your Title
  3. Under the Title and options bar, you can start typing your body paragraphs.
  4. Use the options bar to fix the body paragraph
  5. The right hand side panel is very helpful as well: Add images, change the post format, add location, or delete your post.

Additional Resources