Unless you’ve been hibernating like a bear in a cave for the last year, you are probably already aware that WordPress is the premier platform for creating web sites both for personal use and business. That’s why everyone from professional bloggers to Fortune 500 businesses are using WordPress. It’s the easiest to learn, most flexible, most Google-friendly, and all around fun system for getting your word out and attracting fans, customers and prospects. And best of all, it’s FREE!
This article is for you if you know you want a WordPress blog but are not sure how to approach it efficiently and effectively. You know how these online technical things can go – before you know it, you’ve drank 8 cups of coffee, read a bunch of help forum articles, downloaded a bunch of junk, but are still spinning your wheels on the starting line. Well, not this time. You’ve come to the right article/blog post about getting going with WordPress.
First of all, unless this is your second day using a computer, you MUST use WordPress.ORG not WordPress.COM. This is because your site will look so much more legitimate if you use the.ORG version of WordPress. The problem with.COM is that your blog’s url ends up being like this: http:// taylorsnewblog. WordPress. com, which looks budget and ridiculous. If you’re just using WordPress to post photos of your new baby, great, use.COM, but if you’re trying to build a business, even a small affiliate business or something else like that, please do yourself a huge favor and download WordPress.ORG.
You can the WordPress files at, guess where… WordPress.org! Once you’ve downloaded the WordPress files you will need to upload them to your hosting account. You might have a hosting account with someone like GoDaddy or my favorite, Host Gator. With either of these two services, since they are large companies with great customer service, you can call them up and they will either walk you through it or if you get a really nice person on the phone they will just do it for you on their end. How’s that for easy?
Then, once you have the WordPress files in your hosting account, it’s time to pick a URL. You can register a URL with GoDaddy, who is the biggest in this business. So, go to GoDaddy.com and pick a URL (aka domain name) that makes sense for your endeavor. If you are trying to attract a certain audience to your blog, which I assume you are, then choose logical keywords and use them in your domain. For example, a domain name like http:// thecustompurpleknittedwinterhatstore.com is MUCH better for attracting traffic than a domain like http:// coolhats.com because you are selling specifically purple, knitted hats and that’s what your hottest, best customers will be typing in to Google when they’re ready to buy. You want to be specific and descriptive in your URL/domain selections. (A URL is the same thing as a domain name, by the way.)
Next is a step that took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the first time. I’m ashamed to admit it but I could not find the control panel (WordPress calls it the Dashboard) for my blog the first time. Here’s where it is, if you are using WordPress.org: go to http:// YOURBLOGDOMAINNAMEHERE.com/wp-admin That tricky “/wp-admin” part is how you get to your Dashboard. Once you’re logged in using the username and password you created earlier when you downloaded and installed WordPress in your hosting account, you want to do a “test post” to make sure your blog is working. To do this, just click on Posts on the upper left side of the Dashboard, then click “New Post”. Fill in a title and body text and hit “Publish” on the right. That’s it, now go back to your blog’s home page and check it out. You should immediately see your first post front and center.
From there, getting videos and photos and RSS feeds and all kinds of other goodies on WordPress is really a breeze. You can search the WordPress Codex (their help section) or check out my blog for more information and tips about WordPress. It’s such a widely used platform that there is a huge amount of good, free training information out there.
A final piece of advice: give yourself about 2-4 hours to get comfortable and familiar with WordPress. Everything is hard and/or confusing the first time you do it, including walking, riding a bike, playing an instrument, talking, and just about everything else. The nice thing about WordPress is that after only a couple hours you’ll be totally addicted and amazed by the easy of use, logical layout, and drag-and-drop style publishing. No HTML code necessary!
So, have fun with WordPress and use it as your main hub online. You are now free to blog till your heart’s content!