Writing your first post on WordPress is pretty straightforward to be honest, (as long as it is already installed if you are self hosting). This is the case with most blog hosts now, so I will assume WordPress is already downloaded and available. If it is not please feel free to contact me for further assistance.
The first step in the process then is to log in to the WordPress dashboard. To do that you will need your username and password, and also the details of where to log in. The where to log in part can be different for different types of accounts. It will be either WordPress.com, WordPress.org or from your self-hosted domain provider. If self hosted the address should be http://your_site.com/your_blog/wp-admin or http://your_site.com/wp-admin.
Regardless of where you log in you will see the following image:
Simply enter your details into the relevant boxes on this form and you will get to your WordPress dashboard.
The WordPress dashboard can seem a little complex at first, but don’t worry. It does all become clear and easy to use once you learn more about the different sections. For today the focus is only on adding a new post and you can do that with a couple of easy clicks. There are actually several ways to add a new post, but lets go with the easiest for now.
Along the top bar of your WordPress dashboard you will see on the right side a Hi, and your name/username. On the far left side you will see a WordPress icon, a house symbol and then your site name. If you look along a little bit you will see a + New. This + New button is used to add something new to your blog.
When you place your mouse over the +New button a drop down menu will appear that looks like this:
It may be a different colour but the first option on the list will say post. Just move your mouse down to there and click the word post. Doing this will open a new page on your dashboard which looks like this:
Once you get to this page it is time to start writing your first post.
The blank bar at the top of this page just under Add a New Post is for the title of your post, and the white space under all the little icons is where you type the contents of your post. This part works pretty much like any word document you may have used before. You can type any content you want to appear on your blog on this page.
What you write here is not public until you publish it, so feel free to play around with what you want to write. You can use the icons along the top to edit accordingly until you get everything written the way you want it.
The icons toolbar also works just like a word document. Place your mouse over each icon and you can see what each one does.
I must admit my own first post was rather short and said something along the lines of “hello world, this is my new blog. I’m completely new to this whole blogging thing so really not sure what I am doing yet…. I do intend to talk about my work from home activities”.
I have obviously learned a bit since then 😉
If you need some suggestions about what to write in your own first post you may like to read How to Start A Blog; Practical Steps and Advice.
As you write your content do make sure to save your work. You do this by clicking on the save draft button over to the right of your screen just below your name. There is also a preview button here which you can use to see what your post will look like when it is published.
When you have started writing your first post you might like to add some pictures to it. This is a simple process too.
To add a picture you will need to have it saved to your computer first. Make sure you know where to find it in your computer files. When you are ready to add the picture move the cursor to the place on your blog post page where you want the picture to be positioned.
Then look just above the white box that you have typed your content in. Just above the toolbar icons you will see the Add Media button, click on this and it will open another screen.
At the top of this screen there are 2 tabs. One says upload files and the other says media library. Click on the tab that says upload files and you will see an upload screen which you can drag the picture into or upload by searching in your computer files.
Now one final step to add the picture to your post.
The picture you have uploaded will appear in your media library and will have a tick at the top corner. Over to the right of your screen you will see an image details section as shown below. At the bottom of this section is a green insert into post button. You can fill in the details in the picture section if you wish, however at this point it is not necessary to do so.
When you click on the green insert into post button the picture you have uploaded will appear in the blog post editor screen.
Once you have written everything you want to add to your post, and have added any pictures to it you should preview the post before publishing it. To do that simply click on the preview button over to the right of your screen just below your name and beside the save button you used all the way through typing….. you did that right? Never forget to save because the auto save doesn’t stop you losing content if you have just typed it!
There can be some little changes you want to make before your post actually goes live and view able by the public so try to read your post as if you didn’t write it. Make sure it makes sense and you are happy with how it looks on the page. Check for typos at this stage as well – it is amazing how many can slip through.
After you have checked everything and you are happy to get the post onto the internet simply click on the green publish button just below the save and preview buttons. There will be some additional icons above the publish button that provide you with more information and choices. Ignore that for now and we will discuss them further next time.
Congratulations you have just written and published your first blog post on WordPress! If you are anything like me you will want to look at it again now it is live. This time click on the view post button in the top tool bar and you will see how your blog looks to everyone else.
Chances are it will look a bit plain, but don’t worry we will look at how to change that next time too.
If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others. Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!