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Create a free website

How to make a website like this one.

Peterborough Buildings in Need was made using WordPress, as can be seen from the URL. This can be done online and for free, and is relatively easy to set up and use. Below I will show how I created this site and how you can create your own. There are other websites which do similar things to WordPress, such as Blogger and Posterous but this will highlight WordPress for the beginner. It can be used as a Blog (or ‘web log’) or as a website, or both! In the screenshots below I am using the Google Chrome browser but it works with all recent browsers.

1. Sign up with WordPress

The first thing you will need to do is go to http://www.wordpress.com and pick a blog name, such as the one below, which is ‘TestHeritage’ or like ‘Buildings in Need’.

Wordpress sign up page

Once you have signed in you will have to log in with your blog name and password.

Sign up shot

All blogs are public by default

The standard log in to WordPress

2.The Dashboard

The first page you will be taken to when you log in is called the Dashboard, which is the back end of your new site. This is where you put up posts and pages (see below) and see how many people have visited your site.

dashboard

The WordPress Dashboard

3. Posts and Pages

In order to get your information out there you may wish  to uses posts, which are dated blog posts, or pages, which are like fixed web pages, or both. The Dashboard has links to posts and pages and you can add new pages and update existing ones here.

Dashboard for Posts

Example Post below, WordPress makes some good suggestions for what you might want to write about in the body of the post, you need to read then delete this and write your own.

 Pages

The dashboard for posts looks similar to that of pages, but these are more permanent and you may wish to name them ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ and so on. Once again WordPress will give suggestions.

Page example

4. Themes

You want your page to look good, and this can be done using a free theme. You can see what your site looks like at any time by clicking on the top left banner with the name of the site. However the default may not be to your choosing. If you wish to change it go to the ‘Appearance’ page and then to the themes. Some are free and some you may have to pay for. Each has slightly different options and it is worth playing around to find a theme you like.

What you get when you click on 'Appearance'

The theme for this site is the free ‘Morning After Theme’. You can always preview the theme for your site, which is what the below screenshot is of. When you have chosen the theme you can play around with colours and background images.

Previewing a theme for the blog

5. Widgets

Widgets are small applications that allow you to put images, links to Twitter and Facebook and text into your site. There are lots of free widgets and these are worth playing around with to find the ones you like. These can be put in the Primary or Secondary sidebar, or the homepage area. These are in different places in each theme.

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