1: Customization

Once you’ve signed up and logged in to your WordPress account (http://yoursite.wordpress.com/wp-admin), you should do some initial customization to make your blog your own.

Settings

In the WordPress Admin, spend some time in Settings (wp-admin/options-general.php)

  1. General: Update your Site Title and Tagline, Timezone, and Language.
  2. Writing: I like the post box to be a little longer than 10 lines, and <geek>I disable emoticon formatting, because it can interfere with pasting of code</geek>. Post by Email is all kinds of cool, and does what it says on the box.
  3. Reading: If this really is a blog, then you’ll want your latest posts to appear on the front page. If it’s something more static, like a business or band site, you might want a static, informational front page.
  4. Discussion: All kinds of control-freak settings.
  5. Media: WordPress automatically resizes images for you, which is great. Depending on your theme, you may want your default images to be bigger or smaller. If you don’t know what a pixel is, now’s the time to learn. Auto-embeds are clever, and let you embed video and images just by pasting the URL on which they appear.
  6. Privacy: You’re worried about privacy and have come to a blogging workshop? Sure, whatever.
  7. OpenID: Is a geeky way to use one site to log in to other sites, so you don’t have to remember a bunch of different passwords. Like “Facebook Connect”, but not run by Cthulhu.
  8. Domains: On your first day blogging? Sure, why not! Costs US$10/year to “map” a domain to your wordpress account, and WordPress will charge you US$5/year for a .com domain. Bargain!
  9. Webhooks: This page has been left intentionally blank.

Other Initial Customizations

Categories: “Uncategorized” is a pretty boring name. If you have a specific subject matter in mind, then chances are there’s a category that will fit. If you’re writing about food, it might be “recipes”. A music blog will have “reviews”. If all else fails, change “Uncategorized” to “Blog” or “News”.

Next Step: Start the Blogging!