WordPress (Michael Cruickshank)

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What is it?

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WordPress is an online tool that allows you to publish your thoughts and ideas, share any form of online media, and re-post things you like from other users in the form of an online blog. No code knowledge or internet mastery required – just basic computer skills. It provides a seemingly endless array of templates, many of which are customizable (and you can always pay a little extra for the really fancy ones),  for you to use on your site, so set up is easy. You can be up and posting on your new blog in less than a half hour. For those who are a little more adventurous and savvy on the internet can build their own templates from the ground up. You can use WordPress to ‘follow’ other bloggers, and you will be notified about updates on all your favourite pages. A highly dynamic and customizable tools that allows two way conversations between the site owner (you) and your audience (your followers).

WordPress can be used in library settings in many capacities, providing a free space to create a website where interactive sharing and feedback is important, such as writing groups, or book clubs. Many blogs about libraries and library innovations are posted on WordPress, among millions of other topics. Blogs are an excellent source of cutting edge information and keeping current with new developments, as well as a place for subjective observations and insights.

Signing up for WordPress

How do I get it?

Set up is fairly simple with 7 steps that will take you from nothing, to having your first post on your new blog.

1.  Go to the WordPress homepage, and select the “Get Started” button.

2.  Fill out the form provided, using a current and active e-mail address, create a username and password, and finally creating a blog URL address. All of these things can be changed and customized later on if you decided you don’t like it, so don’t worry about it too much.

Confirmation Email

3. WordPress will now send you an e-mail to the address your provided, to ensure security that you are who you say you are. Just check your e-mail and click on the link they provided you with to activate your account.

4. Set up your blogSetting Up Your Blog

You will be directed to a WordPress page where you can now start to set up your actual blog, just give a title for your new blog, a Tagline or quick description of the blog, and finally, your language of preference. Again, you will be able to change these later, so don’t get too hung up on naming your blog.

5. Choose a theme

Choosing an image

WordPress will now offer you a large array of different theme packages that will determine the over all look and feel of your new blog. Pick anything that strikes you, or that relates to the topic you are going to focus your blog on. While there are some high-end theme packages available for a price, there are plenty of free options available that are beautiful and highly customizable. You can select a theme and explore it, see what its options are, and get a sense of the look and feel of each one. Remember – you can change this later, so don’t fret over it. Enjoy the process of creating!

6.  Next, WordPress will give you the option to invite people from your existing social networking sites, (i.e. Facebook and Twitter)  to come check out your blog. This is a very easy process and a great way to let people know you are creating a new blog they might be interested in.

Your First Post

7.  Your are ready for your first post, and WordPress will guide you right to the page to do just that. You can add text, pictures, videos, links and much more. If you want to keep working on your post before publishing it, just save it to your Drafts and it will be waiting for you next time you log in. If you are happy with your debut post – click publish. Congratulations. You are a blogger.

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 Continue to Part 2

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