WordPress is the best free blogging software and it just keeps getting better. There are three main ways to get a WordPress blog:
- from WordPress.com
- through a Web Host with a WordPress.org installation
- with a free educational version of WordPress MU (multi-user)
After many years helping educators get started with a ClassPortal / Blog / Web page, I’ve found that beginning with WordPress.com is the best way. The main reason is that you can get started easily, have access to the very latest version of the software, and can easily export your information if you ever want to host the blog in any other way.
Let’s Get Started
1) Go to WordPress.com
2) Click on the “Sign Up Now” button.
4) Chances are that the name you chose might already be taken. Consider adding numbers or varying your username to increase its uniqueness.
5) Once you have a unique username, you can see how it becomes the main part of your Web address. You can change the Blog Title to anything you want. It usually appears quite large at the top of the Web site.
6) To make sure that the person creating the blog is you, WordPress sends a confirmation email to your account. Click on the link to activate the blog.
7) When you click on the link in your email, you are greeted by the friendly message below. Keep your username and password handy and private. Beneath this information, you’ll see two links to your blog: basically the “behind the scenes” Dashboard where only you create content and the “public” face of the site that everyone sees.
8) A handy way to work on the blog is to use the right-mouse click to open each of the links in a new Tab (or window if you don’t have Tabbed Browsing). This way you can flip between the “inside” and outside” of your site as you build it to see if it looks the way you want.
9) Clicking on “View your site” reveals it in all its “default” glory. You’ll soon learn how to change the “look-and-feel” to something the you like better.
10) Entering your username and password logs you into the Dashboard.
Note: a new Dashboard looks like this:
The “Dashboard” you see may be a slightly different versions than this, everything works the same. Tthe functions are just slotted into slightly different places.
Either way, take a look around and explore.