How To Use Wordpress
If you have heard about people blogging on the Wordpress platform you may be wondering how to use Wordpress. It is not difficult and you can actually be up and running in a relatively short amount of time. Bear in mind that there are two distinct versions of Wordpress. There is the self-hosted version, Wordpress.org which is open source software. There is also Wordpress.com which uses the same technology. Both are brought to you by the same team, and they share many of the same features. There are several differences. The primary difference is with Wordpress.com, you will not need to worry about hosting and managing the software, while with Wordpress.org, although you will be responsible for hosting, updates, backup, and the like, you will be able to upload themes, plugins, and have complete control over your blog. Wordpress.com is free and easier to setup. Wordpress.org requires a web host which will run $7-12 per month, or thousands of dollars per month for a high traffic site.
If you want to know how to use Wordpress to blog, you will need a few things (some items on the list may be unnecessary, depending on whether you use Wordpress.org or Wordpress.com):
- A computer
- Internet access
- A web hosting account, preferably with a company that offers one-click Wordpress installs (ask about this, trust me).
- A domain name
- An email address
To use Wordpress.org:
- Register your domain name. This is how people will find your blog. Your domain name is your blog’s “address” and you will need to purchase and register the domain via one of the many domain name registrars available.
- Create a database. This step is critical as Wordpress.org cannot function without a database. The actual step-by-step instructions for creating the database will vary as different web hosting companies have different interfaces. Your hosting company should be able to help you set up the database.
- Install Wordpress. Next, you should download the Wordpress software and install it following the easy directions provided by Wordpress. Again, some details may vary depending on your hosting company.
- Select and install a theme. There are many “themes” or looks for your new Wordpress blog. Select one that you like and click “Install Theme.” It’s that easy.
- Customize your Wordpress blog. There are many customizations you can perform on your new blog to reflect your taste. Some of these include adding “plugins” that perform different jobs. For example, there is a plugin that automatically backs up your blog. You will notice an entire library of plugins with descriptions and user ratings.
- Start blogging. Now that you have your blog installed, it is time to begin blogging. You will want to add content on a regular basis to keep your readers returning. By selecting “New Post” you will be prompted to get started.
To use Wordpress.com:
- Sign up for an account. You can do this by visiting Wordpress.com.
- Enter your username, password, and email address. This is all the information you need to get started.
- Agree to the terms of service. Review the TOS and click “agree.”
- Select your URL. The URL is what people will enter into their browser to find your blog.
- Check your email for the activation link and confirm.
- Once you have activated your WordPress.com account, login to WordPress.com utilizing the login form at the top left of the home page. One you log in you can start blogging.
- There are many benefits to using Wordpress.com. Wordpress.com offers web hosting, unlimited database storage with redundancy and backups, automatic software upgrades, helpful community support forums, multi-lingual administration and themes, real-time traffic statistics, comment tracking, blog and post rankings and other features not available on other blogging platforms.
- The Wordpress blogging community is extremely helpful. If you get stuck, or have questions on how to use Wordpress, there are wikis, blogs, videos, and experts that will assist you.
- If you choose the self-hosted version you will be 100% responsible for the success of your blog. Take the time to select a good hosting company and learn as much as you can about Wordpress.org.