Bloggers from all walks of life are finding ConservaBlogs.com to be the perfect fit for a blogging home. We offer free Wordpress hosting with virtually unlimited space for posting, file hosting, and bandwidth is something we’ll continue to pump into the system as we grow. With this in mind, it’s no wonder so many folks are getting comfortable here at ConservaBlogs.com.
Now that we’re coming out of beta we’re starting to see many levels of internet skills here on our servers. Some bloggers have been doing this for years and in turn have learned the ropes of the seemingly complex code structure of Wordpress. Others are just getting started and the whole thing could be seen as a tad bit overwhelming.
If you’re new to blogging, or have never used Wordpress before, this post will be an excellent starting point to help you properly launch your blog and get off to a great start.
We’ll start with the basics.
First, when you apply for a blog here at ConservaBlogs.com, our team has to go in and manually install the software to the server. Once your blog is set up and can be found on the internet, you’ll find that everything is set to the default settings and it might temporarily seem a little messy. Fear not my friends, we’re going to walk you through it step by step.
When you receive your welcome e-mail and visit your new blog for the first time, you’ll see something like this.
This is what you’re supposed to see. The template shown above is the default template that comes with a Wordpress install. It “should” be the template you see when you first view your blog.
Now, in the lower left you’ll see a “login” button/link. Click the link to be taken to your blogs login page.
Enter your login details. These details should be included with your welcome e-mail.
Once you login you’ll see your control/admin panel.
Dashboard is the start page in your control panel. From there you can navigate to any other part of the control panel. If you wish to continue using the default theme for your blog, then you can skip this step. If you do want to look at the other templates already available for ConservaBlogs, click on the “presentation” tab/link.
You should now see images of the templates readily available in your admin panel. To pick a different theme simply click on the image of the theme you wish to use. If the theme changed, you’ll see a message saying the change was completed.
Your new theme is installed and you can begin tinkering with the options. Click on “options” and you’ll see another row of tabs open up under the main set of links/buttons in the admin panel.
The best way to become familiar with the available options is to surf around in the different tabs available under the options menu. Remember, changes only take place if you click the “save” button, so don’t worry about messing something up while you have a look around.
The following is a list of the most common changes made to new blogs before posting begins.
1) General Options
Under the general options menu, you’ll see a list of items you can change.
This is the title of your blog and it displays at the top of every page in your site. This is also the title that will show up in search engines, as well as in the top of your browser. Feel free to change this at anytime, but keep in mind that search engines don’t really like a lot of changes to site titles. It’s probably a good idea to pick a title right up front and try to stick with that title for as long as possible.
This is the brief description, or “catch phrase” that will appear below the title of your blog at the top of every page. You can leave this blank if you don’t have anything to put there, but it is recommended that you try and put something there. A good tip is to try and use this to tell your readers what your blog is about in a few words.
-Wordpress address (URI) and Blog address (URI)
Please leave this as is.
This is completely up to you, but it is a good idea to NOT require people to log in for commenting. The reason is that not all visitors and readers will be willing to take the extra step of logging in to comment on your blog.
The default setting for time will more than likely be off for bloggers located in the US. You’ll need to change this so that your posts appear at the time that is local to you. In my case, I live in Nevada so I’m in Pacific Coast Time Zone. This means I need to change the time by -8 hours so that it reflects the time zone that I live in.
Once you have your desired settings in place, click “update options”. This will save your changes.
The rest of the options menu is fairly basic and self explanatory. There are a few other options worth a short mention. One being under the “Writing” tab and reads “Users should use the visual rich editor by default”. This is checked by default, however, I personally prefer to not use the visually rich editor because it isn’t friendly to a lot of formats when pasting text. The simple editor will make posting a much quicker process.
The second option that needs a change is highly recommended. In fact, we encourage you to take this step and ask that all bloggers in the network make this change before posting begins.
Under “permalinks” you’ll see that by default the “http://conservablogs.com/joeenge/?p=123″ option is checked. This needs to be changed to the “http://conservablogs.com/joeenge/2007/01/21/sample-post/” option because search engines seem to give more credit to a page URL/domain ends in words that match the title of the page as opposed to a page URL/domain that ends in numbers and symbols.
Making the change to your permalink structure benefits the entire ConservaBlog community. It’s important that we all make the update so that as one site we begin ranking well in the search engines.
The rest of the admin/control panel is quite simple to get a feel for once you’ve spent a little time exploring the different pages and options.
Hopefully this post will help you get set up and ready to blog. If you have any other questions feel free to post in the ConservaBlogs forums.
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