How To Set Up WordPress – Part 3

WordPress

In the previous part, we successfully installed WordPress and hid the website behind an Under Construction page. We’re now finally ready to add the first post, and make the website live.

If you see the “Under Construction” page when going back to your website, then you need to log back in. To do this, edit the address in your browser, and append /wp-admin to it, and then press Enter.

Adding your first post

Once logged in, you’ll be on the WordPress dashboard. In the top half of the screen, click the link “Add your First Post”.

Your choice of post title is important, not just for the readability of your blog, but also because search engines will use it for matching keywords.

In the content section, separate out your paragraphs using Heading 2, but not Heading 1. This is important, as Heading 1 is already used for your post title, and because there should only be a single Heading 1 on each page. Having more than one will confuse search engines.

Also, your very first paragraph does not require a heading at all. Blog posts shown on the front page of your website will display any first heading as normal text, which won’t look right at all!

Adding images to your post

If you want to include images in your post, which is a good way of breaking up the text of your post, first make sure they have good descriptive file names, that all the characters are lower case, and have hyphens instead of spaces. So for example in my first blog post, I have image files with names such as, “change-nameservers.png”, “wordpress-setup.png”.

To upload your pictures to WordPress, click the Add Media button in the post window. You can then drag the pictures you want to upload into the area provided. Once you’ve done that, you can then edit some information about each image on the right hand side of the page, as shown below:-

WordPress Picture Properties

The Caption and Description boxes should be blank, but do enter something in the Alt Text box. This can be something more descriptive and can include spaces. Search engines will notice images which include this information and it will improve the probability of your post appearing in search results.

Below that are the attachment settings. Change the Link To option to None.

Attachment Display Settings

Once you’ve done this, you can then insert the images directly in your post.

Select each one, and click the Insert into Post button. If the picture looks too small, click the image again in your post, and then click the small pencil symbol in the top left. You can then change the Size in the attachment display settings box to Full Size. Click Update when finished.

It’s a good idea to add an image at the very top of your post, making sure to set Alignment to Left and Size to Thumbnail.  This causes the first paragraph to flow around the right hand side of the image.  You can see this working at the top of this post, where the text flows around the WordPress logo.

Once you’ve finished editing your post, click the Preview button and you’ll see what the post looks when viewed by a visitor to your blog.

Search Engine friendly post names

On the front page, click on the title of the new post, which will display the post in full.  If you look in your browser’s address bar, you’ll notice the post address is something like www.myblog.com/?p=10. This means that we are viewing post “10”, which is information only WordPress needs to know about.

Instead of displaying the post number, we can tell WordPress to use the title of the post  as part of the address instead. This not only makes it more readable when looking at the address in your browser’s address bar, it also makes it much easer for search engines to include your post in search results. It’s easy to change this.

Click Settings – Permalinks in the left hand sidebar.

You’ll then be given a bunch of options. Currently selected is the first option, Default, which displays the post number.  Select the option Post name instead, then click Save Changes.

Now select My Blog – Visit Site at the top of the page, and click the title of your post once again. This time the address bar should show something much more readable, using the post title with the words separated by hyphens.

Removing the sample post

When WordPress is first installed, it creates a sample “Hello World” post, which we can now remove.

Go to Posts on the WordPress dashboard, and you’ll see the post listed as “Hello World!”. Click the Trash button to remove it.

Use Visit Site again, and you should just see the single blog post you’ve added.

Changing the blog title and tagline

When viewing your WordPress site in the browser, there are two important items of information displayed to the visitor.

These are the Blog Title and Tag Line, which are displayed in your browser’s page tab separated by a hyphen.  The Blog Title should be a short description of your website, whereas the Tag Line can be something more descriptive. The words you use in both are important, and determine how your website appears in search engine results.

Publishing your WordPress site to the world

Once you’re happy with your post you’re now ready to publish it, by clicking Publish in the post editor.

Of course, visitors still won’t see anything as the “Under Construction” page is still active. You can disable this by using the Plugins option over on the left.

Log out of WordPress and refresh in your browser, and you should now see your new WordPress website.

Congratulations! Your WordPress site is now live.

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