Recently started your own blog? Don’t know what to do next? Confused about how to design your blog on WordPress? Well, if your answer to all these question is ‘Yes’, then you\’ve come to the right place. To get started on setting up your WordPress account, and to get acquainted with the options of this powerful platform; here’s a detailed guide for getting yourself through the initial stage.
Option one: The first thing you need to do before moving on to working with WordPress, is making your WordPress account or if you\’ve already signed up with a hosting site, then you should simply install WordPress script on your domain name. Usually, this option is available on the cPanel inside Softaculous, if you\’re using DirectAdmin then WordPress will be available in Installatron. Go to that section and install WordPress on your blog. You will be prompted to choose the password and username for your account; follow the instructions and complete the account setup. After which you can login to your wp account by going to the URL:
Option two: The other way to set up your blog is with WordPress which is much simple. In this method, you have to purchase the domain name directly from WordPress, and also set up WordPress as your default host. By this, your website will solely be dependent on WordPress.
After signing in WordPress, you will be lead to the Admin panel. This is where you basically control everything which the visitors will see on your blog. On the left side, you’ll see a column with numerous tabs. Here’s what they all do –
The dashboard will give you a quick overview of what’s been happening on your blog lately. Latest comments, your traffic (in case you have set up WP as your default host), updates for your themes and plugins etc. As a matter of fact, it is a quick overview of your blog’s recent activities (ranging from internal to external).
This will be your most visited tab in the Admin Panel. Whenever you’re about to add more content, or a blog post to your WP site, you hit the Post tab and click ‘Add New’ to add a new post to your blog.
To organize your posts in suitable categories, click the ‘Categories’ option in the posts section and add in categories that your posts are related to. For example, if you have News blog, you’d have to make categories like ‘Internal affairs’, ‘External affairs’, ‘Industrial News’ and ‘Politics’. And whenever you’re about to add a new post, you would add it under the respective category so everything stays organized and in shape.
This is where you come to add images and videos to your blog posts. But you wouldn\’t need to come here much since you can add the same stuff from the ‘Edit post’ option in the posts tab. However, when it comes to your website’s logo and favicon, then this is the place which you would most likely visit.
You would most likely visit media more for cleaning up un-used images. There will be times when you upload duplicate images and to save space on your web host, its best practice to remove un-used images.
Well, as far as this section is concern; the name says it all. In this section, you can view all the recent comments on your blog. And to your interest, WordPress also allows the admin to moderate the posted comments by visiting this section.
For more advanced users, there are other commenting plugins that you can be used such as Disqus, Facebook comments and LiveFyre to name a few.
With ‘Widgets’, you can display your organized posts on your blog. You might have seen blogs with columns showing posts according to their headers, such as ‘Most Popular’, and ‘related posts’.
Widgets do not just end there, you also do the same with your blog by searching for your desired widget and dragging it to the sidebar of your blog. Some of the most used widgets include the Facebook like button, twitter follow button and the most popular post widget. Moreover, you can also organize these widgets according to the theme. For instance, the widgets mainly come under one main box in the design view. However, as per your theme, sometimes a few sidebars can also be customized with multiple widgets.
Another good use widgets is to use the text widget to include advertisements when you are ready to monetize your blog.
This is where things get interesting and innovative for WordPress newbies. There are several themes you can apply to your blog to make it look attractive. Choose themes according to your design plan. If you want to modify your theme yourself, then you should apply a child theme so you can change it without worrying the changes will go missing when you update your theme.
WordPress has the largest pre-made themes on the planet. To start you can check out this post on some amazing free professional WordPress themes. If you\’re looking for something paid, you can check out this list of paid WordPress themes.
You can use this feature to modify and add pages or categories to your default menu. However, most people only tend to add pages to the default menu bar. But just for your ease, let us mention an important piece – in order to add pages to your menu bar, you first need to create a page. After that, simply go to the menu section and create a menu. Now scroll down a bit and you will see the Pages box over here, click on anyone of the pages and then select the “add to menu” option.
Here you will find all the element files (css and html codes) of your blog. Folders will be labelled according to the element so you can open up and change elements according to your needs. But be sure to copy the original code somewhere so you can restore the previous settings in case of any unwanted problem.
There will be times when you will not be able to edit the files in Editor. This is because the file permissions are set to read only. You can easily fix this by going into your web host control panel and manually changing the permission to be read and write.
Plugins will give you extra options and capabilities to add to your blog. As a matter of fact, plugins are features that are not available in WordPress. For example high end widgets that will display stuff based on complicated categorization that WordPress does not offer.
There are many plugins available on the Internet that can really expand your WordPress installation into something else. You could even turn your WordPress installation into a cart! However, make sure that you read the description first; otherwise, you might end up installing an unwanted plugin and possibly creating unwanted tables in your database.
This will let you add user accounts such as authors, contributors and subscribers so other people can join in on your blog with the authority that you yourself have assigned. You can give permissions to accounts according to their duties.
You can further expand Users by using plugins. An example of a plugin to expand this user module is Adminize. You can control what your users see or can\’t see. Very useful if there are certain sections of your Admin Panel that you want to hide.
Say you’re shifting from blog to blog, or hosting server to hosting server, you’ll also need to shift your content likewise. To do this, ‘Tools’ can be used to ‘import’ content and shift easily from platform to platform.
Although this is the last option, but still, this is where you should come first as it\’s the most important section. Here you can change your settings for posts, comments, visitors, and other entities so you can have the foundation set up for your blog properly.
Spammers and malwares are literally everywhere, and the only way to stay away is to apply anti malware masks. In your blog’s case, you have to install some protection plugins. There are many worthy of being considered, but the best that we recommend are Askimet, and CAPTCHA for comments. WSD Security is another good plugin that you can use to protect your blog as it scans and lists out a list of file permissions that you should have.
Now that you’re fairly acquainted with the WordPress options, here’s a brief guide on what to do to get started on designing your blog.
There’s something you should know about themes, there is no short cut to hitting the bonanza. But, there are some reliable options you should acknowledge before making your decision.
We highly recommend that you use child themes. Although this will require a small amount of CSS and HTML knowledge, but nothing you can’t get through. With child themes you can customize the original theme and add up on headers, font, color and other options. The plus point is that you have the original theme still backed up for insurance.
If you\’re looking for a premium and user friendly WordPress experience, we recommend that you should buy a premium theme that will simplify almost everything and will allow you to make complicated changes via simple clicks and installations. All it takes is a little cash.
With premium paid themes you will also naturally get better support if you run into bugs or trouble. Chances of you having the same theme with tens of thousand websites is also slimmer as opposed to hundreds of sites with the same theme.
The style sheet is where your bog is translated from codes to visual. If you want to add your own custom code on a blog page, you can do it in a jiffy by going to the style.css option and then by inserting it in its assigned location in the style sheet. Hit upload and the code will be saved, go refresh the page and see your changes.
Well, this is pretty much it with the guide. After you have set up your WordPress, you can check out these awesome plugins that every WordPress website should have. We hope that you guys found our noob-proof guide useful. Do keep returning for more tutorials!