Build a blog

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Build your own WordPress blog.

The first 3 steps below set the core structures that relate directly between yourself, your business, organization or the purpose of your blog and its identity on the web, the security of that, and the ability to deliver your blog effectively, efficiently and with a level of security and confidence.

1.  Decide on a domain name

You can choose to host your blog site with a web-host that provides you with a free domain name that will be a sub domain of theirs.  eg  http://your_name.their_domain_name

This is perfect if you have more of a personally oriented blog or your blog doesn’t require domain uniqueness.

If you do want uniqueness, consider what your blog is about and choose a domain name that suits best and check with a domain registrar for its availability and cost. Your domain name is part of the branding of your blog and the business or organization that it represents.

2. Choose a blogging platform

There are many blogging platforms and options for you to take. The most popular by far is WordPress. An environment where you need no knowledge of computer coding. Some basic understanding is handy.

WordPress is a core framework that has many inbuilt standard functions providing a basic solid structure to easily manage the “front end” and what’s exposed to the public, and in what way, if it recognizes your user role and provides that user a front end display accordingly. This is all controlled from the “back end” or Administrator and is native to WordPress.

3. Choose a Web Host

If you want the simplest form, where you simply subscribe to an account and receive access to your WordPress blog site area, where the web-host does all the technical stuff, leaving you to do only the creative input. These usually have a shared sub domain for free. You can host your WordPress blog with a provider like

  • www.blogger.com
  • www.Rainmaker.com
  • www.wordpress.com
  • www.bluehost.com

If you want your own shared server where you can have your own domain name, multiple Email addresses in your own domain name and still get back end technical support from your web host you can host it on providers like

  • www.bluehost.com
  • www.godaddy.com
  • www.lunarpages.com
  • www.HostGator.com

There are many options, so choose the one that suits your situation best.

CONGRATULATIONS..!!!  You will now have a WordPress native core framework with a public and user managed Front-End and a password protected Administrator management Back-End, running on the default theme for that version of WordPress.

In your browser, go to http://your_domain and you will see your native WordPress Front-End. This is where the fun begins.
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You are now ready to look into the Administrator Back-End area of your blog.

4. WordPress Administrator

In your web browser go to  http://your_domain/wp-admin  where you will be asked for your Administrator Username and Password and when entered, access to the back-end Administrator will occur.
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This is where your developer can jump in or if you want to, this is where your fun begins.

Lets start with the Main WordPress Administrator vertical menu down the left hand side.
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Dashboard

The Dashboard is a central location for reporting of WordPress basic Statistics, quick checks of some components, Activity and Notifications  areas and Update facilities.
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Posts

This is where all Posts submitted to this WordPress blog collect and can be edited individually and managed individually or by selected categories or tags. You can of course add new posts and delete unwanted ones.

Categories are a way of identifying, ordering and grouping together in a hierarchical way, posts with a similar content base or theme.

Tags are a way of identifying posts with a similar content base or theme that don’t need to be ordered or structured like Categories. Tags can be converted to Categories using the Tag to Category Converter.
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Media

Media is where all Images, Video and Audio files are displayed in a library. Currently there is no Media in this native WordPress blog but you can change that very quickly. Media is where you upload and manage all images, photos, video and audio files used with this WordPress blog. There a Library facility to help organize your media files especially when you get a bunch of them in there. You can edit image files individually and manage them singly or in selected multiples.

Something to note: When you upload an Image file WordPress in its native state will (RESEARCH & ADD)

Add New is a tab where you can upload new media files into the Media Library in your blog by either dragging and dropping files onto the Upload New Media page or by selecting them from your local drive. Please note that the WordPress default maximum upload file size is 2mb.
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Pages

This is of course where the pages used in this WordPress blog are listed and can be edited individually and managed singly or in a selected group. A page is a permanent part of the blogs structure and sometimes used only for the Front-page, Contact-US, About-Us.
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Comments

If you have comments from website users enabled, this is where they will appear.  If the Comments are set to be Moderated, this is where the Administrator or the approved moderator for that posts comment can approve, leave pending, or delete each comment before it is displayed publicly.
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Appearance

Themes

The Appearance area displays all the themes installed in this WordPress blog. One of these themes must be active at all times, and of course, this is the theme being used on the front-end and displaying publicly. This theme can be changed simply by activating the newly chosen and installed theme and then by checking the results in the Front-end. If you want to return, its a simple matter of activating the original theme which will restore it to the previous theme design.

You can add and install new themes from a searchable online library of current WordPress themes or you can upload a theme from your local drive that you have saved or obtained elsewhere.

Customize

The Customize tab brings an area which displays the current settings for the currently active theme. This is where you can modify these settings to modify the layout, colors, images used by the theme, the menus and locations, the Widgets and their locations and the Static Front Page if used.

Widgets

The Widgets area provides a drag and drop management facility for Widgets which are pre-built components like Recent Posts, Custom Menus and Dynamic Lists for use in headers, sidebars and footers, sometimes installed by themes and plugins.

Menus

The Menus tab brings access to manage all menus in this WordPress blog. You can create new menus, change their location on the Front-end and add links to Pages , Posts, Custom Links and Categories. The menus can be organised and sub menus created from a drag and drop style facility. Remember to save the menu when you have made some changes.

Header

The Header tab takes you to the Customize area and directly to the Header image modify area.

Background

The Background tab takes you directly to the Customize Background image modify area.

Editor

The Editor tab gives you a text editor and a list of all your themes and their associated files. Unless you are familiar with coding this is best left alone.
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Plugins

The plugins tab displays all the WordPress plugins installed in this WordPress blog whether they are activated or not. You can activate and deactivate each plugin or delete. In true WordPress style you can also add new plugins from a searchable library online from within the Administrator or you can upload a plugin from your local drive that you have saved or obtained elsewhere.
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Users

The Users area is where you can manage all users associated with this WordPress blog. You will notice your User Account details and that you have the role of Administrator which gives you access to all areas. You can set new users to specific roles to allow varying levels of access. Options are Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor or Administrator. The default for a new User coming in via the Front-End is set in the Settings tab, and if enabled is natively set to Subscriber.
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Tools

In the native WordPress state, the Tools area has a few available tools by default.

Press This assists with creating posts whilst browsing the net. When you have the Press This button in the bookmarks toolbar in your browser and you’re on a page that you want to add components to a post, by pressing the Press This button it will open a new browser page with a new post in your blog with a copy the page or parts of it that you are browsing.

Categories and Tags Converter converts the categories of media components to tags, and tags to categories upon selection. This can help with managing media content.

Import is used to import posts or comments from another blog system into your WordPress blog and offers links that will synchronize.

Export will export all content, pages and posts from your WordPress blog to an .xml file on to your computer, that can then be imported into another WordPress blog with ease.
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Settings

Settings is where the administrator can change the core workings of the WordPress blog. Any changes made here reflect throughout the whole blog.

Site Title field appears in various locations in the Back-end to identify the blog being administered as well as where required in the Front-end.

Tagline field displays where required in the Front-end.

WordPress Address (URL) field is the full URL root path of your WordPress blog  eg:  http://your_domain/wordpress

Site Address (URL) field is the full URL path of your WordPress blog if you want the Front-page or Home page to be different from the root address above.

E-mail Address field is the email address for the Administrator of the blog and will receive notifications accordingly.

Membership is a check-box to enable or not, site-wide, whether a Front-end user can Register themselves as a WordPress user/member.

New User Default Role is a drop-down to select the default Role for the new user. The default is set to Subscriber, with other options of  Contributor, Author, Editor or Administrator.

Timezone is a drop-down to select the Time Zone that applies to your location.

Date Format gives you options to change the way dates display including a custom setting.

Time Format gives you options modify the way times are displayed including a custom setting.

Week Starts On is a drop-down to select the day of the week you’d like your blog to use as the start of the new week.

Site Language is a drop-down to select the base language of your WordPress blog.
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Design of your blog.

If you have something in mind or have some images and style ideas that’s great. Your choice of WordPress Theme will also influence and this greatly.

If you are starting from scratch and don’t really have any ideas you can choose a theme that you change very minimally. You may also need to consult with a web developer or graphic artist. There are also many image libraries and blogs to get ideas or look to outsource varying levels of your blogs design and technical workings. If you have some skills and can input, how much and what area is that in?

You may need a graphic artist to match icons, banners, images and colors or integrate the design from a style-guide, to or you might have a simple design with a few images and colors that you can handle yourself with the help of some inbuilt WordPress tools. Clean crisp graphics, that load quickly and fits in its surroundings are best, especially for the core graphics of your blog that load in each page and post. You can also purchase Stock Library images and animations that can match your requirements easily.

Functionality

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