Set up your own site

Author: Ludwig Keck

Having your own site for sharing photos has many advantages. Not the least is having a site that is all yours, looks and feels the way you want and shows your work in the manner that you choose.

In this article we walk through the details of setting up a WordPress site.

Step 1- Get a WordPress account

The first things are to pick a user name, an address for your site and a name for your site.

A username is a short “handle” that you will use to log in and that may also be seen by visitors to your site. A username cannot have any spaces. Typically it is your name, sometimes with some additional letters or numbers. My username is “ludwigkeck”. You can usually see it at the top or bottom of my posts, A username must be unique. That is not easy if you have a popular name, but with a bit of imagination you can find something. Your username can be a nickname or just a bunch of characters – it is up to you. When you start, WordPress will check to see if it is unique and you can make changes.

Step 2 – Pick a site title

Here you can choose anything you like. This will be just on your site and it does not need to be unique. In fact my site, the one with my name in the address, is called This ‘n That – there are a number of other sites with that exact same title. Here you can be creative.

Step 3- Pick a site address

For a free WordPress site the site address, domain, or URL, will consist of the name you pick followed by “.wordpress.com“. As with the username, the domain also has to be unique. I have a number of sites. Here are three of my addresses: ludwigkeck.wordpress.com, silvercanvas.wordpress.com, 2cameras2views.wordpress.com. As you can see, I used my name for one, the others are just fictious names – and you can use numbers also. When you pick a name that is already in use, WordPress informs you and you can make a change.

So lets get started

Go to wordpress.com – as long as you do not have an account, or are not signed in, this is what you see (of course, it may be somewhat different by now}:

Click on Start your website and the next window lets you set up a WordPress user account. The form asks for your email address, the username you wish to use, and a password. You know all about passwords. They need to be “strong”, not easily guessed, at least eight characters long, and must contain some upper and lowercase letters, some numbers, and some characters.

Be sure to write these items. You will need them from time to time.

There are options to log in with Google or Apple. Don’t. That just ties your WordPress account to another account and will be more trouble than it’s worth.

Click Create your account and you are off! There are the usual steps that you have experienced on other sites to check for uniqueness and all that.

Setting up the site

You will be walked through a number of picks, starting with

This is where you enter your site title. You can chose anything here and change it later, however, the next step uses this as a starting point.

That next step is to pick a domain – that is your website address. It gets just a tad tricky here. If you picked your site title as “Ludwig’s Folly“, for example. the next screen loads that in as your domain name. Sorta like this:

You will see options for the free site which ends in .wordpress.com and also simpler domain names that you can buy. Note the RECOMMENDED flag. That costs money!

The free option may contain a mess of digits. Don’t fret, just go to that shaded area – it really is a text box – and revise what is there. The WordPress system instantly checks the availability of what you types in. Keep at it until you have a domain name you like. Then click the top option for a free site.

Next you get to pick the appearance of your site, the look and feel. There are hundreds of options. You can just pick the first one, because this too can be changed at any time in the future. You may get a font choice also.

You may see options for paid sites – keep picking the free option. It is good forever and provides 3 GB of storage for photos. That is plenty enough. You can always upgrade later.

Your site will be set up and you are ready to start making use of it. I will discuss the details for that in the next article.