Skip to content

How to set up a free website for your branch

It’s easy to set up a website for your AAUW branch using WordPress.com

Download these instructions as a PDF. Visit Tips for New WordPress Bloggers. Visit Learn WordPress: A website that tells you how to put up a WordPress site from start to finish. Includes video tutorials.

1. Open Web browser.

2.    Go to: http://wordpress.com/. WordPress.com allows you to open a free WordPress account and set up as many free blogs as you like. Your blog will look just like a website, but you can choose to allow comments on your pages and posts. You can easily maintain your own site using the free WordPress content management system. You do not have to purchase any software. There is no advertising on your blog, and it will be hosted for free.

To see examples of AAUW Ohio branches that have used WordPress to launch new websites, visit the Toledo Branch and Medina County Branch websites.

3. Click on: “Sign up now” and complete the following information:

  • User name
  • Password
  • Confirm
  • E-mail address
  • Agree to terms

4. Open another browser window.

  • Use this window to check your e-mail for a message from WordPress.
  • Click on the link in the e-mail.

5. Log in to your account on the WordPress site.

6. Go to: http://wordpress.com/#my-blogs

  • Type in your branch blog url and name: Your branch blog should be named like this: aauwohbranchname
    Url example: aauwohmedina        Branch name example: AAUW of Ohio – Medina County Branch
  • Select English as your language.
  • Select Public.
  • Select “Create Blog”

7. Log in again.

You can now see your Dashboard. This is where you control all the aspects of your blog. You can select a theme, add pages, posts, and widgets.

8. Scroll down and click on “Appearance” in the left sidebar.

  • Select “Theme.”
  • Type “Blix” in the search window.
  • That theme will show up on your screen. Click “Activate.”

9. Consider what pages you want to add to your site. We recommend that you model your site  after national AAUW’s as much as possible, which is what AAUW Ohio has done . This will make it easier for members to navigate the national, state and branch sites.

  • National AAUW has LEARN, ACT, CONNECT, JOIN, etc. Note: AAUW pages are titled in all caps.
  • AAUW Ohio has those pages and others.
  • Additional pages could include: ABOUT AAUW, EVENTS, PROGRAMS, MEMBER CENTER, MEMBER BENEFITS, NEWS, etc.

10. To add a Page:

  • Click on “Pages” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  • Click on “Add New.”
  • Give your page a title. See #10 above for suggestions.
  • Add text.
  • By clicking on the menu items in your “Kitchen Sink,” you can add formatting to your text, such as bold, italic, underline, bullets, numbering, alignment, and hyperlinks. To change text size, highlight your text, click on “Format” and choose the text size you want from the drop-down menu. Get more detailed instructions here.
  • Choose in what order you want your page to be displayed: 1, 2, 3, etc. You can change the order any time.
  • If you want to allow your readers to make comments on this page, select the “Allow comments” box.
  • If you want to allow links to other posts and blogs to appear, select the “Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page.”
  • Click “Publish” or “Update.”

11. To add a Post:

  1. Select “Posts” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  2. Click on “Add New.”
  3. Give your post a title.
  4. Add text.
  5. By clicking on the menu items, you can add formatting to your text. Get more detailed instructions here.
  6. Add categories and tags for your post. These will help readers find information on your site.
  7. If you want to allow your readers to make comments on this page, select the “Allow comments” box.
  8. If you want to allow links to other posts and blogs to appear, select the “Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page.”
  9. Click “Publish” or “Update.”

12. To add Widgets:

  1. Scroll down to “Appearance” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  2. Click on “Widgets.”
  3. To add a live feed of AAUW news, click on “RSS” and hold your mouse button down as you drag the widget to the right sidebar.
  4. In the RSS feed window, type in the following text: http://www.aauw.org/rss/news.xml
  5. In the “Give your feed a title” window, type in: AAUW Updates.
  6. Choose the number of news items you want to display.
  7. Select “Display item date.”
  8. Click “Save.”
  9. To add a live feed of the AAUW Blog “Dialog” posts, repeat the above steps, but use this url: http://blog-aauw.org/ and title: AAUW Blog.
  10. Add the “Links” widget, following the steps above.
  11. You may also add additional widgets you would like to include on your site.
  12. You can change the order of your widgets by clicking on them, holding down your mouse button, and dragging them where you want them to be.

13. To add Links to your “Links” section in the right sidebar:

  1. Click on “Links” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  2. Click on “Add new”
  3. Type in the name of the link.
  4. Type in the url for the link.
  5. Select a category you want your link to appear under. Or add a new category.
  6. Select “Add Link.”

14. To add photos and graphics to your site:

  • Click on “Media” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  • Click on “Add new.”
  • Click on “Select files.”
  • Browse your files of photos and graphics; select the one you want; click “Upload.” Each media file you upload in this way will be stored in your “Media Library.” When you click on “Library” and click on an individual media file, you will see the file, along with other information, including a url for your media file.

15. To add a photo or graphic to a post or page:

  • From your Dashboard, open the post or page where you want to add the media file.
  • Click on the spot where you want to add the file.
  • Move your cursor to the top of your “Kitchen Sink” where the text reads: “Upload/Insert.” Click on the first image to the right, which will read “Add an image” when you move your cursor over it.
  • Select either “From Computer” or “Media Library,” then select the image you want to insert in your post or page.
  • If the image is in your “Media Library,” click on “Show;” then click on “Insert in post.”
  • If the image is on your computer, click on “Select files,” browse your files and click on the one you want. Click your “Alignment” and “Size” choices, and click “Insert into post.”

16. To add the AAUW logo graphic to your right sidebar:

  • Upload the image to your Media Library.
  • Copy the url of the image.
  • Scroll down to “Appearance” in the left sidebar of your Dashboard.
  • Click on “Widgets.”
  • Drag the “Image” widget to the right sidebar.
  • Copy the url of your image into the “Image url” field; add a title; choose the alignment you prefer.
  • If you want the image to link to a page, copy that url into the “Link url” field.
  • Click “Save.”

17. To edit your site at a later date:

  • Go to wordpress.com.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Click on your “Dashboard,” “Posts” or “Pages,” depending upon what you want to edit or add.

Get more website resources for your AAUW Ohio branch:

The free WordPress Blix theme with sidebar widgets on a sample AAUW Ohio branch website

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Paula Maggio permalink*
    January 21, 2011

    Nancy, you are welcome. And thank you for the link to valuable information about using WordPress. I recommend that everyone visit your AAUW Social Media Task Force page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/AAUW.SMTF.

  2. Nancy permalink
    January 17, 2011

    Did you mean the first reference to “Kitchen Sink” to be a link explaining what that button on the edit pane does? e.g. http://www.bloggingteacher.com/writing-posts-with-the-wordpress-visual-editor-the-kitchen-sink

    Thanks so much for this excellent overview!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS