Getting Started on Web Portals

Shhhh. Iz blogging.This is the post for the September 1, 2014 class meeting.

Today we’re diving into WordPress and learning about all the features built into the tool. By the end of today’s session, you have created a WordPress blog and done some basic configuration.

Creating Your Blog

If you want to create a blog on a site other than, hop to it. You are free to work at your own pace. Otherwise, follow along as we complete these tasks:

  • Create a username, password, and a name for your blog using the sign-up form on
    • Remember that your blog will be public.
    • Choose for the domain (the free option).
  • Scroll down to the bottom and click Create Blog (the free option).
  • Fill in the form to set your Blog Title and Tagline, and click Next Step.
  • For now, accept the default Theme by clicking Next Step.
  • Skip the customization step, and click Next Step. (You will want to look at all the Theme options before you put work into customizing things.)
  • Connect with Facebook or Twitter if you like. I recommend skipping it, and clicking Next Step. You can connect later when you have some content on your site.
  • Go to your email and find the confirmation message. You need to click the link in that message to finalize your blog’s setup.

Congratulations! You now have a blog. Let’s customize some of its settings:

  • Go to the Users tab on the left and then choose My Profile to update your profile and login information. You can change the way that your name is listed with each post, for instance. You can also change your password on this page.
  • Go through the Settings tab and update the information. In particular, be sure that you
    • Go to the General setting and fix the timezone. You can also change the Tagline here.
    • Go to the Discussion setting and decide when you want the site to email you.
  • If time allows, you can begin looking at the Themes that are available. Go to the Appearance tab on the left, and choose Themes. Be sure to choose the FREE link on the left. Please don’t spend money on a Theme. I don’t want you to need to spend any money on this site.
  • Finally, write your first post. Go to the Posts tab on the left and then choose Add New.
    • Write a summary and explanation of the decisions you made as you were working today. You will write this kind of post at the end of most class sessions from now on. It’s how you will document your on-going work and effort on the projects.
    • Be sure to click on the Text tab if you want to code your own HTML.
    • Organize your post with two headings: (1) What I Did, and (2) Why I Did It.
    • Talk briefly about the name and tagline you have chosen for your blog, any other decisions you made, and anything you are considering or hoping to do.
    • Publish your post, and send me an email ( with the URL to your first post. I will use the link to set up a megablog that includes everyone’s updates.


  • Read Chapter 1 of Writer/Designer so that you are familiar with the terms we’re using in class as we discuss multimodal projects.
  • Explore the resources in WordPress. We’ll spend Wednesday’s class session working on Themes, Widgets, and Menus. If you want to get a headstart, look at the information under Step 2 on the Assignment page.
  • If you need help or get curious, try the Support and Tutorials. Also remember that you can use the step-by-step tutorials at The Essential Training with Morten Rand-Hendriksen tutorial probably has a video for everything you need.