1. Setting up your first blog

Here’s a few things to get started when setting up your blog:

  1. Make sure you are logged in. Go to blogs.reed.edu and click on the login button. You should have a black nav bar show up at the top of your browser window.
  2. Change your display name. Each blog entry generally will have the blog title, then mention the data and the author. By default, the author’s name (called display name in WordPress lingo) is your username, which generally isn’t what ideally should be displayed. View directions on how to change your display name.
  3. Access your blog. After logging in at blogs.reed.edu, select your blog from the My Sites menu option at the top left of your browser window.
  4. Change your blog name. After logging in and selecting your blog from the My Sites menu option, select the Customize menu on the top black nav bar.Click on Site Identity.
    site-identity
    Change your Site Title (perhaps to the topic of your blog, or your name) and Tagline (which will be like a subheader to further describe your blog at the top of every page).
    site-title
  5. Change your theme. This will change the appearance and general layout of your blog. After logging in and selecting your blog from the My Sites menu option, select the Customize menu on the top black nav bar.
    change-theme
    Click on the Change button in the Active theme area. Try out a theme from the left nav bar by rolling over it and choose Live Preview.
    live-preview
    If you like the theme, click on the blue Save & Activate button when you’ve found one you like.
  6. Change your sidebar items. You may want to have different items (called widgets) on your sidebar. After logging in and selecting your blog from the My Sites menu option, select the Customize menu on the top black nav bar, then click on widgets.
    widgets1
    Select the Primary Widget Area.
    widgets2
    Choose the Add a Widget button.
    widgets3
    Click on drag-and-drop items to the widget area (the left column); drag-and-drop to rearrange their order. Popular widgets are Search, Recent Comments, and Recent Posts, Tag Clouds, and Categories. Read more info about menus and widgets.

After doing these customizations, there’s a lot more to explore. You may want to know the difference between posts versus pages or categories vs. tags, or want to know how to edit posts, how to create menus, or how to link to youtube videos. Visit the WordPress Tips for more tips.