Control your blog

Manage everything from the Dashboard. You can access the Dashboard from menu under the blog name in upper left-hand corner of window.

Within dashboard, the options available to you are listed in the menu on the left-hand side. The main options that you will want to use are described below. Let’s start at the bottom with ‘Settings’.

Settings > General – set the title and sub-title of your blog, the email address is is linked to, your time zone. You can also upload a photo of yourself to display on the blog.

Settings > Writing – choose the options that you want to use when composing blogposts. These are pretty self-explanatory. Default settings are pretty good.

Settings > Reading – this gives some control over how your blog displays to the reader

Settings > Discussion – Important controls over how you handle commenters. The defaults are OK but make sure that you insist on commenters leaving their name and email (no anonymity allowed).

Settings > Media – Useful control over how photos and video are displayed on your blog. Think about how many pixels wide a web-page is these days when choosing the image widths.

Settings > Privacy – Control who is allowed see your blog. You will need to change the default to make sure to open it up if you want people to read it and comment.  For maximum visibility, check the option “Allow search engines to index this site.”

Settings > Sharing – Do you have accounts on other social media sites (e.g. facebook , Twitter?) If os, it may be a good idea to allow the blog to connect to these so that your friends/followers see when you’ve posted. Remember — it’s about building an audience.  You can also add buttons to make it easy for visitors to tell others about your amazing blog.

Appearance > Themes – choose a layout/colour-scheme

Appearance > Header – upload a photo to use as your banner image (if you want to)

Appearance > Widgets – choose items to display various pieces of information on your blog (e..g. recent posts, calendar, flickr images). Choose wisely.

Appearance > Menus – for now, don’t use the ‘Menus’ option

Appearance > Headers – Control the image and appearance of the blog header

Appearance: other setting – explore for yourself

Posts > All posts – review and edit your existing posts

Posts > Categories– themes that recur on your blog (allow organisation/searching). Every new post should be assigned to at least one category.

Posts > Tags – keywords that are mentioned in your blog (aid searching. It’s helpful to think of several tags for each post you write.

Media > Library

Upload files (photos, audio, video?) that you want to include in blogposts. But beware, the storage offered by WordPress is likely to be limited – you have 3 GB) so you probably only want to use the media library for images. Experiment to see how uloading works.

Once you have added a picture to your library, you will be able to insert it into a post. When writing, click on the little camera icon at the top left of the text-entry box (beside the text ‘Upload/Insert’). In the dialogue box that appears, click ‘Media Library’. Find the image you want and click ‘Show’. Check the settings that you want (most of the text-entry fields you can ignore) and then click ‘Save all changes’ at the bottom left to insert the image. If it goes wrong, don’t worry. You can go back later and adjust.

For other, larger files, use accounts elsewhere (e.g. Youtube, flickr and then link to the content). To insert an existing YouTube video, click on the ‘Share’ button on the YouTube page for the video and copy the URL. Then paste that into a new line in your blogpost. WordPress should automatically display the embedded video.

 

Links

Useful for creating a library of links that you can use on your blog (e.g. to create a blogroll – a list of your favourite sites that appears permanents on the home page). The blogroll can be displayed by adding the links Widget (see Settings > Widgets above) to your page – drag and drop.

Pages

By default, your blog starts out with just one page – this is where all your blog posts will appear. But you can add additional pages; in most themes, these will appear as tabs. The pages (or tabs) can be nested to create drop-down menus. This gives great flexibility in the way that you organise your site.

Pages > Add new– Give the page a title and add any text you want to put.

If you want it to appear as a tab along the top, select the “No parent” option under “parent”.

If you want it to appear as a sub-ordinate to an existing page – i.e. as a menu item for an existing page/tab, then select an existing page as the parent.

The ‘order’ number helps you to define the order of pages as they are display (as tabs) across the top of the home page. For your first new page, give it an order number of 1; increment this number for each new page that you create. You can always refine this later when you have your web-site structure sorted.

Typically you will only want to allow comments on the main page of your blog. But if  you create a page where you want comments, use the ‘Quick Edit’ option (available from the Dashboard window that allows you to see All Pages) to switch on comments for a particular page.

Comments

Use this feature to control comments – approve, trash etc once you have some.

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