Managing your theme

In our previous tutorials, we’ve shown you some of the basic things to consider – from creating and setting up your blogs, to posting your content and adding links and images.

In this short tutorial, we will show you how you can customize the look of your blog/website. Here, we will focus on the theme of your blog. Technically speaking, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details, used to customize the look and feel of (typically) an operating system, widget set or window manager. (Wikipedia)

In short, it is the appearance of your blog; its motif. The multitude of themes – whether paid or free – available for you to download and use, allow you to have different customization for your blog. It kind of enables your blog to have a personality. It can be a free theme which can be found on your Appearance panel (or can be downloaded from www.wordpress.org) or a premium (paid) theme. One difference between the two is that you will get more technical support when it comes to the paid theme. You could also expect most features of the premium theme to be optimized and are really top-notch. However, that doesn’t mean that the free themes aren’t as good. They are, really. But you really have to check the developers of such themes, and see how they respond to technical queries from people using their themes in their blogs. When creating your first blog, it is important to learn from the free themes first, instead of shelling out about $70 or $80 or $90 for a premium theme. Once your blog picked up and becomes successful, then you could opt for a more professional, “premium” look. Continue reading

Posting an article in your blog

In the previous post, we learned how to register a WordPress blog. (Here’s why WordPress is the preferred platform for your blog.) In this post, we are going to familiarize ourselves with the WordPress Dashboard. Although, the images used in this post were taken for a hosted WordPress blog (not a WordPress.com blog),  the Dashboard of both platforms are very similar. You can follow the tutorial below using either platform.

Moving on, it is important to be familiar with WordPress environment – the Dashboard (Figure 1) – something like the “command and control center” of your blog or website. The Right Now panel contains the number of Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags, and Discussion (a snapshot of your blog’s Comments section). The QuickPress panel will enable us to publish short posts quickly. In the left-hand side of your Dashboard are the sections and their subsections.

The WordPress Dashboard

You could also see other “panels” in your Dashboard. They include Recent CommentsRecent DraftsSite Stats, etc. Do not be overwhelmed by these panels; we will use each of them as we go on. For now, we will concentrate on the basics. At this point, it’s important to be familiarized with the environment.

As a sample post, we will show the step-by-step posting of one of our partner blog’s articles (written by yours truly), which is about the recent doodle of Google (Figure 2). This article has an image and some hyperlinks to other articles in the web, so it’s a nice example because we can also show you here how to include an image in your post as well as add hyperlinks in your article. Continue reading

Things you need to start a blog

Things You Need to Start a Blog

Now that you know what a blog is, the second question that you are probably thinking is “How do I start a blog? What are the things I need?”

You can blog for free, or you can buy your own domain and pay a hosting company to store your blog files. The latter is usually called self-hosted blogging although strictly speaking, most self hosted blogs are hosted by commercial companies. For now, we will discuss free blogging which is very ideal for starters. Hosted blogging are for more experienced bloggers.

To start a free blog you only need to be connected to the internet. There are many free blog hosts on the internet. Some popular free blog hosts are WordPress (there are also hosted WordPress blogs), Blogger, and Tumblr. For our first tutorial series, we will use WordPress. Continue reading

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