Control your blog

Manage everything from the Dashboard. This should display by default when you log into WordPress.

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 tagline of your blog, the email address is is linked to, your time zone. You can also upload a site icon if you want to but not all sites have these. Make sure your site is ‘Public’ or it may not be assessed!

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

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 > Traffic – Some control over showing related content and how pages load on mobile devices. Default settings are pretty good.

Plugins – Additional elements that you may want to add to your site. You can ignore those since they are not available to free accounts.

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.

Themes – choose a layout/colour-scheme; use the ‘Customise’ button to modify any chosen theme

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

Media – 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 Add  icon at the top left of the text-entry box. In the dialogue box that appears, click ‘Media’. Find the image you want and click ‘Insert’.

Once the picture is inserted, if you click on it you can control the display (e.g. position, caption, size). The edit button gives more options; adding ‘alt text’, for example, is a way to include readers who may be visually impaired).

For other, larger media files, it may be advisable to 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.

Blog Posts – access the list of published and draft posts for editing. Click on the post title to edit. In edit mode, there is a menu on the right hand side that offers more options. Make sure to create categories to organise your posts. Tags are also useful for searching – it’s helpful to think of several tags for each post you write.

Site Pages – By default, your blog usually starts out with just one page – this is where all your blog posts will appear. But you can add additional pages, which may 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. Note that you may need to customise your theme to make added pages visible (see above).