Tutorial: starting a blog with WordPress, part 1

Maybe you’re a rabid sports fan with lots to say about your favorite baseball team. Maybe you’re traveling the country and want to keep a journal about your travels. Or maybe you’re just some windbag who likes ranting about technology.

Whatever your hobby or interest, starting a blog is a fun and rewarding experience. And don’t worry – you don’t have to be a tech guru either. As long as you can browse the internet, use a word processor, and think of interesting things to say (harder than it sounds), you can blog.

Finding a blogging service

Before you start blogging, you’ll have to find a good blogging service. Here are a couple good ones:

Most people (including myself) will tell you that WordPress is the best. This blog is actually run on WordPress, and I give WordPress very high marks. Why?

  • It’s developed by a huge community, making it very safe and functional.
  • It’s got thousands of great themes, which help you customize your blog’s appearance.
  • It’s really very easy.

Signing up for WordPress

As you can probably tell, in this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to start a blog using WordPress.

To get started, you’ll have to sign up for a WordPress account. I’m going to follow along this tutorial by making a sample blog of my own – it’ll be about some cool new inventions that I’ve dreamed up (OK, I stole the pictures off the internet, but it’s just a sample.)

Choose a .wordpress.com URL, and choose a username and password.
Signing up for a WordPress account. You can get a wordpress.com domain name for free, or pay $17 a year for a .com domain name.

The great thing about WordPress is that WordPress will give you your own website name. You can get a domain name ending in wordpress.com (e.g. something.wordpress.com) for free. If you like, you can get a domain name ending in .com (e.g. something.com) for $17 per year.

Go ahead and enter your data into the form; your username doesn’t really matter (you’ll be changing your display name later.)

Once you’ve signed up, you can set your profile information – your name and a description of yourself. Then check your email for the verification link from WordPress, and follow the instructions. You’ll soon reach your new blog’s dashboard.

Check out part 2 for stuff on your dashboard and making your first post.

Published by

Neel Mehta

Harvard College. Web developer. Sometime philosopher. Baseball junkie.

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