Login to your dashboard at http://www.blogname.com/wp-admin . Enter your blog name instead in the obvious place.
You will arrive at the Home page of your Dashboard which has some help for the complete newbies with some links to get you started. The dashboard is a place you are going to spend a lot of your blogging life so you had better get familiar with it.
As soon as I open my dashboard, I always open another window to the front end of my blog so that I can quickly flick over to see what my changes are doing. Do that by clicking on your blog name in the top left-hand corner. The front end will look a bit scary at this stage but you are soon going to do something about it. Now you have the back end and the front ends of your blog side by side.
Blogging has been a part of our world for well over a decade so you will all know what a blog looks like and the different component of it like the sidebar, the post area, the header and the footer. We are going to play with all of that.
I am not going to tell you every little corner of the dashboard or we will be here all day. I am going to give you the steps to get your blog up and running. This post is about the initial set up and choosing a theme.
A bit of housekeeping
- Go to Users/All Users in the left-hand menu and click on it. Here you will find yourself as the sole user. If this is a joint effort perhaps with your husband, you can click on Add New at the top and add him. Otherwise we can leave here now.
- In the same tab Users, go to Your Profile. Here you can fill in as much information as you want to.
How to choose/install a theme
Now let’s do the fun part and choose a theme for you. There are two possibilities here:
1. If you have bought one, you will have it stored on your computer as a zip file. In the menu on the left, go to Appearance/Themes, and click on Add New.
Click on Upload at the top and upload your theme (zipfile). Simple, it’s done.
2. You don’t have a theme and want one of WordPress’s. Go to Appearance/Themes and there are some of the themes you can choose from (the screenshot directly above). To find more, click on Add New and here (see 3rd screenshot above) you can search for themes based on some of the criteria you enter on the screen. Tick on your preferences and click Find Themes at the bottom. A selection will come up. Look through them and you can click on Preview to see what they will look like on your empty site. Play around until you have found one you like and click Install Now. You can always change it later.
Now what you need to do is go to Appearances/Theme Options in your menu on the left and you will find a place where you can make a lot of choices on how your blog will look, depending on your theme. Keep a window open with the front end visible so you can refresh it with each change you make and be able to see what the effect is. Play around in here until you are happy. Also, once you have set up a bit more and your blog is looking a little fuller, come back and see if there is anything else you want to change.