Discover Blogging: Episode 14 | Ready, Steady, Go...
Having discussed WordPress.com 4 Plans in detail in Episode 13: Putting things in perspective, it's time to jump into action. My sincere apologies to keep you on hold! Let us dive into it. I had suggested in Episode 8: Get Started to keep a few things ready to sail through this part smoothly. In line with that, just keep in mind your objective.
First things FirstWhat do you want to achieve? To help you visualize that, I take help of the description of the objective, from the WordPress.com homepage, which you may want to accomplish. So I am reproducing it here verbatim:
“Design your success story with a powerful website : Every website starts with an idea. WordPress.com provides the design, features, and support to bring it to life. Choose your theme, pick a domain, select a plan, and start building your future.”
“Create your blog and share your voice : Plug into the biggest community of publishers online. WordPress.com has millions of users waiting to find you. All the features you need and more. Choose the most popular blogging software on the web for your online home.”
So if you have a specific purpose like building an online business, website is the right choice. It’s a common observation that the niche sites (focusing on a specific topic like health & fitness, relationships, self-management, etc.) fair better than blogs from earning an income perspective.
If not, and you want to publish regularly or for the sake of your hobby, then go ahead with a Blog. I am not saying it’s not possible to monetize blogs but they just seem to be secondary to web-sites. Websites though require more planning, effort and time to create. If unable to decide right now, don’t worry! Even if you start with a Blog (i.e. stream of your posts on the homepage), you can modify it (in Settings) easily to convert it to a site with a static homepage.
Get your hands dirtyEnough talking... Isn’t it? Let’s do it now! Go to WordPress.com. Starting is fairly easy. You just need to click on button ’Get Started’ and follow through. I have taken the screen-shots of the steps which you can check by clicking on the image below. It will open a Google Photos album and you will be able to see all the steps I have re-produced below:
Step 1 of 5. Let’s create your new site. And... I choose ‘ Start with a Website’
Step 2 of 5. Choose a theme:
I choose one of the themes offered, named Harmonic – the middle one in the picture (below) for Step 2. The offered themes may be different at different times. I don’t need to be selective at this stage as I can always change my theme later. The themes shown here are the free ones. WordPress.com, from time to time, adds new themes to its library of free as well as paid (premium) themes.
Step 3 of 5. Let’s give your site an address:
I enter a name in the address-box and as you can see in picture for Step 3, it lists the Free (the first one) sub-domain address and the custom domain options (with paid plans) below it, for which I need to upgrade. The first few names I entered were not available. After trying a few times, I get one h2bdemo.wordpress.com (just thought of shortening ‘how to blog’ and came up with h2b) available. I select h2bdemo.wordpress.com and it’s still at that address. You may visit it too as I thought of keeping it live for demo purposes. Besides I have my new website hosted at wordpress.com: eXperienceBlogging.com.
Step 4 of 5. Pick a plan that’s right for you.
As I mentioned in the WordPress plans section, they may show up in your local currency instead of USD if you are in a different location and (may be) based on the browser settings as well. I choose the Free plan (for life) and go ahead. I can upgrade it later whenever I am ready.
Step 5 of 5. Create your account:
As you can see, the username is the sub-domain (by default), I chose earlier in step 3. Let me not change it. I enter my email-id and choose a password and click on Create My account.
And Bingo! It’s Done ! Ready to go. I click on Continue button. The blog (or site) is created and let us see the next things to expect afterwards. You can see the message 'We are ready for you to get started' and it also suggests to verify the email address provided in step 5. I verify from the mail received in my mail-box and I click on Continue button. It takes me to the WordPress page, millions of people have fallen in love with and I am no exception! Please refer to the image below:
WordPress: My Site SectionThere is a left side menu. You can also see speech balloon like rectangle welcoming you to WordPress.com. I follow them as it walks me through important features of the Editor. At the end of the walk-through, I see my web-site in action.
As I am logged into WordPress.com, you can observe:
- a toolbar on top and,
- a rectangle with shortcuts in the bottom right.
This rectangle has shortcut-links to the same places we can navigate from the My Sites link in the Admin bar but they come handy in opening the current page or post for editing or customizing the theme directly from the site.
Create your first post and publishAt this stage, you can create your first post and publish now. If you need help, you may like WordPress Learn resource: follow this link. Here you will find some basics explained like the difference between posts and pages, how to upload an image, etc.
WordPress.com has a video collection of tutorials helpful for beginners. Here goes the link. Anytime, you need to see how to do some basic stuff, you can check it out.
End NoteYou may also like to add content to your About page by following the instructions in the above link/s, if needed or by clicking on About link in the header menu and clicking Edit in the bottom-right rectangle, which will open it in the Edit mode. Let me end this episode here. If you have followed through, Congrats for creating your new WordPress site! Happy Blogging and Thanks for stopping by!
✧ Disclaimer: My blog posts include reviews of products helpful for bloggers and have affiliate links. In this post, it is WordPress.com. I have purchased, used and tested it thoroughly. I earn commission if you buy a paid plan using the link. Rest assured, it doesn’t cost you extra and you pay the same price. It helps me to fund the costs and time spent on my blog and site. Thanks for using it.