We recommend setting up your own blog with a hosting company (cost $10-120/year) and registering your own domain (a cost of $7-10/year), then installing Wordpress. This will take some time and effort, but you will be rewarded with competency and a sense of owning your own space. If it doesn't work for you, we recommend Edublogs Pro at $40/year or Wordpress.com with VideoPress feature at $60/year.
If you are a MiraCosta employee (full-time or associate) you may take advantage of MiraCosta's new multi-user Wordpress installation. See Laura's tutorials at the POT website for how to do this, and contact Laura for more information.
First, choose a hosting company.
Get your own domain name.
Jim has his (freetowrite.com), Lisa has hers (lisahistory.net). They don't cost much and give you a real web identity.
You can purchase domain names through your hosting company, but it's cheaper to go somewhere like GoDaddy. A .net account will do. When you register an account, I recommend using your work address and phone, since domain name information is public.
Once you have your name, pay attention to the nameserver instructions given by the company that sells you the domain. The idea is that your domain has to be "pointed" to your hosed account, so that the account will come up as your domain. The format is something like:
Lunarpages sends you these when you sign up. Other hosts do something similar.
In your C Panel, there will be scripts (at Lunarpages it's in the Fantastico package; at Bluehost it's Simple Scripts). You can install Wordpress directly from these packages and they will create the files (a database and the web pages) for you.
For Hippie Hosting, Martha Burtis at UMW has made a screencast tutorial (just ignore the references to summer camp - this was for a summer class).
Log in as administrator.
Create a unique user name when you log in the first time.
Do NOT use the name "admin", the default! If you do this by mistake, log in as admin, but add yourself as a User with administrative privileges. Then log in as that new user, and erase the "admin" user - this is for security.
Play with your Wordpress.
We can't emphasize enough the importance of messing around!
Log in as administrator, and take a look at different themes. You can download various themes and try them till you get the look you want. Do this before you add too much content.
Feel free to use Laura's tutorials at the POT website to help you get going with changing your theme and customizing, even if you're not a MiraCostan.
|Tutorials are also available at the ds106 class at the University of Mary Washington.|