Frame a new academic website in 3 steps
I have encouraged many academics to create websites at WordPress.com (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
- Browse to WordPress.com and click “Get Started”
- Enter signup information
- Email address
- Password – include upper case, lower case, number, symbol
- Blog address: youraddress.wordpress.com
(can NOT be changed unless you buy a domain)
- At the bottom choose the “Basic” plan (the free one)
- Check your email to verify your new account
- Enter blog information
- Title – appears on pages, can be changed
- Tagline – subheading for your title
- Pick a theme – the “look and feel” of your site
- Skip the “Share your blog posts” option for now
- Skip the “Create your first post” option as well
You should now be at the WordPress.com 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
- Appearance – essential options
- Settings – three basic items – click “Save Changes” on each screen
Caveat: WordPress is always improving, so these instructions may not have a long “shelf life.”