Ok – you have set up your hosting platform and purchased your blog domain! It’s now time to configure your WordPress and Theme Design. Keep reading as I break down the important elements you need to start a blog on WordPress.
Make sure you take time to learn the WordPress Platform, dashboard and all the plugins that you can enable. Remember its a marathon – not a sprint.
WordPress Setup & Theme Design:
I recommend having your WordPress theme design for your blog ready to go. If you are still looking for a theme design – scroll down – I have a list of resources to find different theme designs.
1. Log in to WordPress:
Once WordPress is installed, go to www.yoursite.com/wp-admin (replacing yoursite with your domain name) and you should see the screen below. Once you get this page pulled up, sign in with the login info (email and password) you used to set up the WordPress accounts or hosting platform.
2. Your WordPress Dashboard and Admin Menu
Once you login you will see your main dashboard menu with some of your plugin information displayed on the right. Your WordPress admin menu is available on the left side of the screen.
Get familiar with this menu. This is where you will control the main aspects of your blog: setting up new pages, create blog posts or edit the public appearance or widgets across your blog.
If you click your blog name at the top of the page and click “Visit Site,” (or just type in www.yoursite.com), you’ll see what your site currently looks like based off the current design template and any content (i.e. posts or pages).
3. Purchasing Theme Design & activating your WordPress Theme
- Bites to Brands
- Restored316 Designs
- Fuel Themes
- Hello You Designs
- She Shoppes
- Kotrynabass Design
- Empress Themes
Design Tip: there are quite a few free designs templates you can use, but the paid versions often have much more extensive design elements and changes you can make,
In WordPress, a theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website. They can be changed, managed, and added from the WordPress admin area under Appearance » Themes.
Once you pick your theme design and purchase it. You will receive the design template as a Zip folder. Now, go back to WordPress admin menu, click “Appearance” on the left-hand side, and click “Themes.” And select “Add New” at the top of your page, upload the zipped file you just downloaded.
5. Customizing your site’s Appearance & set up your responsive WordPress theme
Once you have uploaded and activated your theme, go back to your WordPress Admin menu, click “Appearance” on the left-hand side, and click “Customize.”
This will bring you to a new section where you can customize specific elements for your theme design and blog. This will be different depending on what theme you purchase but play around with it and make changes to see what you can alter within your design.
6. Add plugins that do the work for you!
One of the big reasons I love WordPress is all the amazing collection of plugins that adds just about any functionality you can think of to your site. I have been blown away by the number of super simple plugins that took hours of work off of maintaining my blog! You can add forms, responsive design elements, tracking, pop-up alerts – you name it. I will be dedicating a whole post to plugins you should add!
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
4. Get WordPress ready for publishing & blog posts.
Head to “Settings” to set your blog name and description to help with SEO and Search Engines finding you. By default, your tagline will be displayed in your homepage title. And this is what people actually see when they are searching for you in the search results.
Now head to the WordPress Admin and click “Post” – its time to start publishing your blog posts!
Head to my Blog Planning & Content Creation post if you need help determining a content schedule and topic development!
Next blog series will focus on the best Plugins for your new WordPress site to ensure your website is loading quickly and is getting picked up by Search Engines. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss the next post!