Getting Started

In this guide we will discuss how to get started with your newly installed Personal Blog. Your Personal Blog is based on WordPress and has been pre-configured by Netfirms web developers to function as a Personal Blog.

This installation functions like most WordPress installations so if you’re familiar with WordPress already, feel free to remove or unpublish the Getting Started page and begin configuring.

If this is your first time setting up your web site, please follow along the instructions and we will guide you through the exciting process of creating content for your brand new web site!

Personal Blog Features

Your installation of Netfirms Personal Blog is pre-configured with the following features:

  • Advanced caching to increase performance.
  • Automated backups of your database.
  • SEO features such as automated sitemap.xml generation and per-post Meta keywords and descriptions.
  • Advanced Anti-Spam tool.
  • Built-in web stats.
  • Pre-configured contact form for visitors to email you.

Logging in to your Personal Blog’s Admin section

As your Personal Blog was installed via our one-click installation method, we have provided a handy link in our Control Panel which will always take you to your blog’s administration section. Login to your Netfirms Control Panel and from the screen where you installed your new web site, you will see an “Admin” link. You can always use this to get to your web site’s administration section.

For your convienence, we have provided a link to the administration section here. Enter your user name and password which should have been emailed to your contact email address on record and you will then be taken to your web site’s Dashboard.

Success! you have logged in to your new web site’s administration section.

Create Your First Post

Once logged in to your web site’s administration section, you will see on the left column a menu item Posts. Click that link and then click on the Add New link which appears below.

Before we proceed, you should think about what you would like your first post to say. One idea is to write a welcome message, however you can post whatever topic you like. Once you have decided what you wish to use, please continue.

The top of your screen will have a large text field where you may enter the title of your new post. The main text box will be where you type in the contents of your post. Once you have entered a title and content we could publish it by clicking the Publish button in the right side of the screen. However, your new web site comes with built-in SEO features as well as a categorization and tag system. Let’s examine those:

Tags

A tag is a way for you to associate this post you are current writing with a word or phrase which will help organize your posts. If you wrote a post about your pet dog, you could tag this post with “Dog”. To do this, from the Add New Post page, enter the word Dog in the Post Tags section on the right column and then click Add. You may create as many tags as you want, but we suggest attempting to limit the amount of unique tags you create.

Categories:

A category allows you to assign this post to a common hierarchial term. Categories differ from tags in that they allow a child-parent relationship. This means you could have the category Pets, and underneath this you could have a Dog and a Cat category which are below Pets. This allows a very organized hierarchy of your posts.

To add a new category, click on the + Add New Category link on the right column under Categories. You may add as many categories as you wish as well.

SEO Settings

Before we get into the SEO settings, let me describe what SEO is. SEO is an abbreviation of the term Search Engine Optimization which is a system that helps your new web site gain a higher ranking in search engines such as Google and Bing. A higher ranking means more visitors.

In the main column of the Add New Post page, you may enter some Head Keywords and Head Description to help your search engine rankings. The keywords are a comma separated list of terms you wish for this post to be found under and a head description is the description the search engine caches when it shows your page in it’s listings.

Once you’ve filled out your tags, categories and SEO information, you may click the Publish button. Congratulations, your new post will be visible on your web site instantly after clicking the publish button. Click here to view your new post then come back to this page when you’re ready to continue.

Enabling Anti-Spam and Web Stat Features

Your customized installation comes with an anti-spam system and a web stats tracking system installed, however it must be configured first. In order to configure it, there are a few things that must be done first.

Getting a WordPress API Key

The API Key is free, but it does require you visiting WordPress’ site and creating an account. Please visit the WordPress signup page. Enter your personal information and at the bottom choose “Just a username, please.”

Once you have created and verified your account, login to your WordPress account you created. Click on the Profile link and you will see at the very top, your WordPress.com API Key. We’re going to use this soon so keep it available to you by recording it somewhere.

Enable Akismet and WP-Stats

Go back to your new web site and complete the following steps:

  1. Login to your web site’s administration section and click on the Plugins menu item in the left column.
  2. Click Activate for the plugin Akismet and WP-Stats.
  3. You will see a yellow box with a link asking you to enter your WordPress.com API Key that you created earlier.
  4. Once entered, click Update options to enable Akismet.

Congratulations, your web site now has it’s own built-in web stats and anti-spam system.

Clean Up and Finalizing

For your new web site, we have completed the most common task that you will be using, adding new content. Before we finish though, let’s clean up this guide so that it is not visible to your visitors.

Login to your web site’s administration again and this time click the Pages menu item on the left column. You will see a list of pages for your web site and one of them will be titled Getting Started. Hover your mouse over it and click on Quick Edit. You will see a number of controls, the one we want is Status which will have a pull-down next to it. Change it from Published to Draft and then click the Update Page button.

Setting this page to draft will ensure it’s always there should you wish to review this page again. If you are sure you no longer wish to keep this page, hover your mouse over the Getting Started page again and this time choose Trash.

Congratulations

Congratulations, you have taken over the Personal Blog and it is now your web site where you may continue to add content.

Some helpful links that will help you get started:

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