In my latest post, I spoke about the pro’s and con’s of a free blogging platform. While there are many different free blogging platforms on the market, I’d always recommend using WordPress.com. That’s because it’s the easiest platform to upgrade from, should you wish to do so in the future.
In fact, it’s on WordPress.com where this very blog got it’s start, so all of this is going to be rather nostalgic. That’s because today, I’m going to be teaching you how to create a free blog using wordpress.com.
1. Visit WordPress.com
Don’t confuse WordPress.com with the self-hosted option of WordPress.org.
Click the ‘get started button’ in the top right hand corner.
2. Decide On Your Site ‘Type’
WordPress powers a whole host of different websites including e-commerce stores, blogs and pretty much everything in between. For this example I’m going to be choosing to select a blog. Rest assured you can change your site ‘type’ at any time.
3. Choose Your Theme
Again this is something you can change later should you wish to do so…
4. Choose Your Domain / Website Name
If you’re struggling for ideas then simply type in a keyword into the search bar and let WordPress do the hard work for you. Alternatively if you’ve purchased a domain name then this will be assigned here.
5. Choose A Plan
In this case we’re going to be focusing on the ‘free for life’ plan.
6. Create An Account
To complete the sign up process of your free blog using WordPress.com simply enter a valid email address and password.
7. Confirm Your Account
Head to your emails where you should find an email from wordpress.com awaiting your confirmation. Click confirm, this should redirect to your website within your browser.
8. Start Customising
Click on the customise button in the bottom right hand corner of your blog.
This should then load this page…
Here you’ll be able to change the title of the blog using the tab ‘site identity’. You’ll also be able to add a tag line / slogan and a logo should you wish to do so.
You can change the colour scheme of your blog using the colours & background tab.
Add some personality to your blog by changing the font using the font’s tab.
You could choose to add a header image to add some branding or further personalisation. Personally, I’m not a fan.
9. Customise Menu’s
Next we’re going to be customising menu’s. Most of the standard themes on WordPress.com have two menu’s.
The first menu is the primary menu. This is used for basic navigation to other pages within your blog. Provided you don’t want to change any of the page titles, add additional pages or adjust the navigation in any way. Then this is fine as it is.
The second menu is the social menu. Here you’ll be able to update and adjust the links with your relevant social media links. I.e. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page.
10. Add Widgets
Widgets allow you to cusomise actions within your page. Different themes will come with different widgets pre-installed. The theme I chose came with a text widget and a search widget.
There’s around 50 different widgets you can add without installing any plugins. They include; Twitter timeline, upcoming events calendar, RSS feed, Instagram feed, Google Translate etc…
11. Add A Post
Now you’ve finished customising your site, you’re ready to submit your first post. Most themes will come with a sample post. Either delete it or edit it. If you delete it then you’ll need to click new post.
There’s also customisation to the right of the post that will allow you to adjust your post requirements. These aren’t essential for basic publishing, but worth knowing as you continue to add personality to your site.
12. Edit Pages
Any pages you have added to your site, or pages that remain are going to require editing. To do this, use the navigation bar to select the page you would like to edit. Then, click the edit button.
This will then allow you to edit the page just like you would a blog post.
There we have it. Everything you need to get started with how to create a free blog using wordpress.com. As always if you have any questions, concerns or would like to see a follow up post to this one let me know in the comments below.