Freedom Writers Building a Self Hosted WordPress Blog

Following up my last post How To Install a Self Hosted WordPress Blog, I’ve had requests to build upon that information and go through the steps to install WordPress themes and also WordPress plugins, so that’s what this post will be about here in this Freedom Writer’s blog.

Once you have your self hosted WordPress blog installed and have made your first post, you’ll probably be wanting to make it look a whole lot prettier than the standard theme allows.

No problem!

WordPress give you a great directory of user-created themes for you to browse through . For themes here’s the link for the WP library:

http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

There’s a lot in there, so you’d better make yourself comfortable!

With these WordPress themes, once you’ve found the one you like, download the file to your computer and unzip it. Then upload (via FTP) the unzipped folder to your blog’s wp-content/themes folder.

Next, log into your WordPress user panel and click on the Presentation tab. You’ll see the new theme you just uploaded as a graphic on that page – simply click on the graphic of your new theme and that one becomes the current theme. You can check by refreshing your blog in your browser – you’ll see your blog with its nice new WordPress theme!

Your post stays intact, of course, but anything else you added like banners or adsense, you’ll have to copy and paste into your new WordPress theme’s files and you do that through the Theme Editor facility – click on the Theme Editor tab from the Presentations page within your WordPress panel.

There are actually two routes you can go through to edit your WordPress theme – by simply dragging widgets around and placing them in your sidebar (using the Widgets tab), or via HTML in the Theme Editor where you edit the actual files.

Do take care with this as once you hit the update button, you can’t go back and undo your changes.

WordPress Plug-Ins

WordPress Plugins are another story… There are a ton of them and you probably won’t need more than a handful – I’ve seen blogs with so many visual WordPress plugins loaded that they look like a carnival and take ages to load up, so you need to exercise a little restraint there! They’re as easy to add on as WordPress themes as again you simply download, unzip and upload to your blog via FTP. Here’s the link for the WordPress plugins directory:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

Once you’ve uploaded them to your wp-content/plugins folder, you go back into your WordPress panel, click on the Plugins tab and from there you can activate them.

Which WordPress plugins do I need?

Well for freedom writers, that is mainly personal choice, but if you’re going to have a well SEO’d blog with a fairly minimal look, you should exercise restraint in the amount of WordPress plugins you use. Some you’ll have to scout around to find, but there is an excellent list of them over at Vic’s Blogger Unleased blog in this post: WordPress Plugin List

As you’ll see there are plenty to choose from. I’m only currently using one or two here at this freedom writers blog but will add more as time goes by.

That’s it for now – I’ll post more on this freedom writers subject when I think of more stuff!

Terry Didcott