Skip to content

Frame a new academic website in 3 steps

December 17, 2013
Habitat For Humanity 7th Women Build. Miami (day 4)

Flickr image by El Gringo

I have encouraged many academics to create websites at (read the items listed at the end to understand why). It’s not hard to learn how to use this service and the site you build can be much more than opinion pieces and comments. The simplified instructions below provide the “big picture” of how to create an account and set up a website with a static home page (blog posts are listed on a “News” page). Click any of the linked words or phrases for details.

Step 1: Set up an account

  1. Browse to and click “Get Started”
  2. Enter signup information
    • Email address
    • Username
    • Password – include upper case, lower case, number, symbol
    • Blog address:
      (can NOT be changed unless you buy a domain)
  3. At the bottom choose the “Basic” plan (the free one)
  4. Check your email to verify your new account
  5. Enter blog information
    • Title – appears on pages, can be changed
    • Tagline – subheading for your title
  6. Pick a theme – the “look and feel” of your site
  7. Skip the “Share your blog posts” option for now
  8. Skip the “Create your first post” option as well

You should now be at the home screen. At the upper right, hover over your avatar icon (a gray silhouette). Click your new blog’s name and you will be taken to the dashboard, where you will complete the rest of the instructions.

Step 2: Add the initial content

  • Posts – traditional blog articles – opinions, tips, news items, bulletins, etc.
    • Create a “Welcome” post
  • Pages – information not likely to change often. They appear on the site’s menu.
    • Create a page called “Home” to be your front/home/landing page
    • Create an empty page called “News” for your posts
  • For more on the differences, see Post vs. Page

Step 3: Customize the site

  1. Appearance – essential options
    • Header (many themes have one) – choose an image or upload your own
    • Widgets (sidebar content and tools) – drag to add, remove, reorder | click down-arrow to edit an item
  2. Settings – three basic items – click “Save Changes” on each screen

Learn more: Two great resources for new users are and the WordPress support site.

Caveat: WordPress is always improving, so these instructions may not have a long “shelf life.”

Why do this?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2013 7:14 am

    I was very happy to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for
    ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated
    every part of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new
    stuff in your site.


  1. Course Websites – Technology Resources

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s