When most people hear "Wordpress", they usually think of a site building platform. However, there are actually two distinct versions of Wordpress.
One requires you buy a domain and web hosting, the other does not. These two versions are typically referred to as Wordpress DOT org and Wordpress DOT com.
This course is about the latter. In other words, the version that does not require you buy a domain name or web hosting subscription.
This course will teach you how to setup a website without needing to buy a domain or web hosting. This version of Wordpress does have some limitations, but you'll learn about those in this course.
This course will start from the very beginning, and you'll start off by registering at Wordpress and choosing an address for your website. Once you've chosen this, your website will be created and be online right there and then. All that is needed is for you to go in and add content.
You'll learn how to use the "My Sites" menu to access the Wordpress Dashboard. The Dashboard gives you access to all of the tools you'll need to create your own, personal website. You'll learn how to:
In addition, I'll tell you about the limitations of this version of Wordpress and why self-hosting may be a better option.
By the end of this course, you will be able to build your own website using all of the free tools available.
To start the website at Wordpress.com, we need to register an email address with Wordpress.com. When you do, you'll also be asked what web address you want to use for your site, what type of plan (free in this case) and what theme you want to use.
In this lecture, we'll explore the Site Profile, changing the site title, adding in a tagline, and setting the site icon used by the web browser.
In the user profile, you can add your photo (by using the Gravatar service) and a description that is shown on your site, after your posts. You can also add links to your user profile which is visible to site visitors and will let them know what other sites you contribute content to.
In the top left of your dashboard, you have two buttons. Reader allows you to keep up to date with the content you have chooses to follow on other websites. The My Sites button allows you to add posts, change themes, in fact, everything you need to administer your website. You can also add a new site, which will add in a new button in the sidebar - Switch Site.
When you setup your Wordpress.com website, you probably chose a theme to use. In this tutorial, I want to show you how easy it is to change the theme on-the-fly. Changing the theme completely changes the look of the website.
Web pages often have a header graphic across the top. Often themes will come with default graphics for this purpose, but you can change it to one you've created, or had created. This lecture shows you how to do this.
Wordpress.com gives you an easy way of changing the colours and fonts used by your website. This tutorial looks at the customizations to colours and fonts that are available to you.
The majority of content you add to your Wordpress site will be in the form of posts. This lecture looks at how you add posts to your site, and how these new published articles are then added to your blog homepage.
Categories help to organize your content into related posts. This lecture looks at how to create and categorize your posts in Wordpress.com.
Tags are a great secondary way of dividing content up into groups that your visitors will find useful. This lecture looks at an example of using tags and discusses how they are different from categories.
So far in the course, we've used our recent blog posts as the homepage content. As new posts are added, they are positioned at the top of the homepage and all others scroll down. An alternative is to have a single piece of content as the homepage and we will look at creating that type of homepage in this lecture.
Menus can be inserted into predefined areas of the template. This lecture looks at how you can create and edit menus, and also creates a menu that we will insert into the sidebar as a widget in the next lecture.
Widgets are small features or utilities that you can add into predefined areas of your theme. This lecture explores some of the more useful widgets.
Plugins are small pieces of code that can be added into the Wordpress environment. There are literally hundreds of thousands of plugins available to Wordpress users, but unfortunately, you cannot install plugins yourself with the free Wordpress.com service, You are limited to those plugins that are pre-installed. In this lecture I'll show you how to find out about the plugins that are pre.installed with a Wordpress.com website.
It's important that visitors to your site can comment on your web pages. Wordpress has an elegant commenting system built into it. In this lecture, we'll add a comment to a post, and then go in and see what effect this has inside the dashboard.
There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, so that you can blog on the go with your mobile devices.
As you've seen as we've progressed through this course, Wordpress.com does have some limitations that may mean it's not actually suitable for the purpose you have in mind. This lecture looks at a list of the limitations.
If all of the limitations are a deal breaker, this lecture looks at the alternative.
This lecture lists the resources mentioned in this course.
I have written and published a number of books that are available on Amazon, including best selling books on Wordpress ("Wordpress for Beginners 2017") and search engine optimization ("SEO 2017 & Beyond"). I also run a website called ezSEONews, where I teach my visitors and newsletter subscribers a number of skills required for running a successful website.
As an ex-schoolteacher, I hope I can make complicated topics simple to understand. I certainly enjoy trying!