Get Started Learning WordPress

Before you get started, you’ll need to set aside a few minutes to sign up for a ChangingAging blog, adjust your settings, and acquaint yourself with the WordPress publishing platform.

screen plans pricing Get Started Learning Wordpress

Stage One: Sign up

First, let’s get you signed up.

  1. Head to ChangingAging.org and click the Join the Blogstream button:
  2. Select Plan for a Free Blog. On this page you create a username for the ChangingAging Blogstream. Use lower-case letters only. If you only want to comment on certain Blogstream blogs, select Just a Username, please. If you’re ready to blog, choose Gimme a Site! and click Next.
  3. Now pick a site name for you blog (this will be the URL where your blog lives) and a site name for your blog. If your desired username is taken you will be prompted to choose another.
  4. Next you’ll see a Congratulations! page and you’ll be directed to your email to activate your new site.
  5. Click the activation link in the email to verify that you’re human. If you can’t find the email in your inbox, check your spam or trash folders. If you still don’t receive it, email Support. Here’s an example of the email you’ll receive:

Stage Two: Sign in

Now you’re ready to sign in. Click the “Login” link on the activation confirmation page, or head to the ChangingAging.org homepage and enter your username and password in the upper-right-hand corner to sign in to your account. This will take you to your “Dashboard”.

screen dashboard Get Started Learning Wordpress

My “dashboard.” Huh?

When you’re signed in, you’ll see a tab at the top of the page that says “My Blog.” It displays all the blogs registered to your username, and allows you to quickly access your dashboard.The dashboard is referred to as the “back end,” and only you (and any users you’ve assigned) can see it. Think of the dashboard as a behind-the-scenes control panel for your blog, where all your blog’s information and settings are stored. Virtually any time you want to update or modify your blog, you’ll need to access your dashboard.

The “front end” is what the outside world sees. So to make any changes to the front end (write a post, change your design template, etc.), you must access the back end (your dashboard). To see the front-end of your blog, click on the blog’s title in the upper left-hand side of the dashboard.

You’ve got two sets of dashboard menus when you’re logged in. First, the left-hand navigation menus are a way to access almost all the powers of your blog. You can open any left-hand menu by hovering over the text, and then clicking on the arrow that appears. In this example, the “Posts” section is open.

screen menu Get Started Learning Wordpress

The WordPress.com toolbar

Your other menu is the toolbar across the top of your blog. Your toolbar may look slightly different but this is the basic gist of it. You can access fewer tools with this toolbar than you can with your left-hand menu — the idea is to just put some essentials up there for secondary access to your administrative site.

screen settings Get Started Learning Wordpress

Stage Three: Tweak your General Settings

Now that you’re in your Dashboard, feel free to spend a few minutes poking around. Next, we recommend making some quick tweaks to your blog’s General Settings.

1.) Open up the settings menu. It’s the last menu on the left side of your screen. Click “General” and you’ll be taken right there.2.) Adjust your blog title to your liking. You can also add a tagline here, which will appear under your title, usually at the top of your blog.3.) You can also change your email address, timezone, date and time settings, and language settings here. Don’t forget to save your changes!4.) It’s also possible to upload an image to represent your blog when it appears in various places on the ChangingAging Blogstream (unless you’ve set it to private). Click on “browse” and locate the image file on your computer.5.) Once you’ve found the image you want, choose “upload image.” You can always change this image later if you decide you want a different one. Once the image has uploaded, you’ll be able to crop the photo by making the box bigger or smaller.

6) Once it’s uploaded, it will appear in your General Settings.

Get More Help

Now that you’ve got your blog set up, return to your main dashboard and get acquainted with the menus. You can’t break anything, and if you do, we can help. Also, don’t feel like you need to understand everything you’re looking at. With patience and practice, you’ll eventually learn what everything means.

If you want more specific details on Settings Menus, see All About Settings at WordPress.com. If you get majorly stuck, email us for help.