So now that wordpress has been installed, we can have a look at setting up wordpress and running some of the most important features included in this software package. You will have allready had to pick a URL for the admin page when installing the software. I probably should have said this in a previous post, but I’d recommend not setting the Admin page as your main page, because you can mess the site up big time. This is what happened to me. I didn’t realise what I was doing and set up my admin page under chriswinterhoff.com. It backfired massively as you can imagine, visitors would see the administrator log in screen as opposed to the wonderful content I was about to post. And the best thing was … I couldn’t figure it out after an hour of hunting in the wordpress settings, consulting google and searching the C-panel. In the end I had to remove WordPress and reinstall it again. This time I was wiser though: If you set it up as [your domain].com/wp-admin/ you’ll have a nice and clean entry point to write your future blog posts. In fact I even think it is the default setting when installing the software… oh I wish I would learn not to fiddle with default settings.
Anyhow, the first thing to note is that when you sign up and log in, you’ll get to the “dashboard”. This is the menu of the whole wordpress software and allows you to navigate between different plugins, widgest, settings and most importantly, manage the content of your site.
When you signed up you will have also noticed that WordPress asked you to pick a username, which if you were thinking like me, you would assume it wouldn’t be visible on the actual blog. Think again! I made the mistake of signing up with a username I invented when I must have been 11. When I did finally post my first blog post I was horrified to find that it had been written by ollo123. Now you might thank, that’s a bit more interesting than just using the name Chris, but if you’re trying to build something semi serious, Ollo123 doesn’t quite cut it. I changed it by hitting the top right button where it says Howdy, [username].
Once you open that window, you can scroll down and change some of your username settings. However, the actual username you signed up with cannot ever be changed. Ohhh noo, you shall forever be known as littleprincess86 or spookmastaaa (hehe, hello Patrick!) or Ollo123! Joookes, of course you can change what your name appears as under the “nickname” section. Having your real name will naturally give you some social validity with your audience though you may want to build a different kind of rapport… really depends what kind of site you are building!
Under the settings tab you can also set up an email address for anything admin related. I would recommend using something dead simple such as firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn’t really matter what you put down, because you can always autoforward any email to your normal email address. However, it just keeps everything neat for you and I like to be able to have everything organised like that 🙂
The last important thing to mention is the appearance of the blog. The theme of my blog is currently very bland and boring, yet incredibly simple and that’s why I like it. I will change it at some point in the next few weks and will show you how you can purchase or install a difference theme that does not come with worpress automatically. But for now this will do.
Wordpress does come with a few free themes that you can install very easily. On the left hand side, selecting the Appearance tab followed by the Themes button will reveal a few themes you can select for your blogpost. Having an aesthetically pleasing blog will help you rank much higher in search engines, so it’s not something to snuff at. Google uses site design and feel in order to filter out the serious from the non-serious blogs/websites. So it basically translates into this: if you look after your site, it is moree likely that you also post good content. But at the start of your blogging adventure, this is fairly irrelevant as you should be focussing on getting to know all the blogging features.
That’s it, those are the most important features to get you going and enable you to post away. Hopefully I haven’t missed anything, but please shout if I have!