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Setting Up Your own Blog

Why a blog?

Blogs are easy to create and update, without any technical knowledge. If you want a website you can update frequently, get a blog.

With the development of WordPress, a blog can be much more than a simple diary. (See below.)

Advantages of a blog

  • You can allow other people to add comments if you choose
  • Blogs are search engine friendly. Google especially loves its own Blogger.
  • Blogs are extremely easy to set up, and it's easy to get one for free.
    • Blogger, owned by Microsoft, offers a free blog with no ads except a small "hosted by" button.
    • Diaryland charges a $2 signup fee.

WordPress

A Wordpress blog is slightly harder to work with, but it has more capabilities.

The advantages of Wordpress are:

  • There are hundreds of free designs (called templates) to choose from.
  • Hundreds of free plugins extend the funtionality of your blog in dozens of ways.

There's not really a good reason to have to install your own WordPress application.

GoDaddy! offers a special WordPress hosting account, with WordPress preinstalled. They usually offer a very good deal the first year, then it's about $7 a month after that.

How to install a plugin in Wordpress

  • Go to the Dashboard
  • Click on Plugins > Add New on the left
  • Enter a search term (e.g. "picture gallery") in the search box.
    A list of plugins fitting your search word will come up.
  • Find the one you want and click Install Now.
  • Click on Plugins on the left
  • Find the plugin you've just installed in the list of plugins and click on Activate
  • Depending on the plugin, either click on Settings and then the name of the plugin, or there'll be a new choice that will show up in the left hand dashboard menu. Sometimes you'll need to add a keyword to the page you want the plugin to appear on. If you need instructions for your plugin, just search for the name of the plugin in http://wordpress.org/plugins/. There will be installation instructions and perhaps a FAQ and support. If there's not, choose a different plugin!
For more on working in WordPress, see http://www.onblastblog.com/how-to-make-a-website/