Writing Advice

How to Make an Author Website Part 2

Hello! If you’re back, YAY!!!  That isn’t you banging your head against the desk after last week’s post on the basics of How to make an Author Website.   That is brillopants because this week we are going to be personalizing your website. We are going to look briefly at categories and tags but, but when I looked at the site we made last week I thought we needed to make it look a bit more, well, us…

So, first of all you need to log in to your site, you might have  stayed logged in from last time. If you did that you can get behind the scenes of your blog by clicking on the top left corner where it says my sites.  If not, just type in your user name ( or email) and password. Ok, ready? Remember how to snap the pages to each side so you can work in one and still see the other? ( Hint: Click on the reduce size button , top right of the page, then drag the page all the way over to one side of the screen…and then the other).

Good. So first things first, we are going to add a  header picture on our New Author Site .  To do that we need to go back to the menu behind your shop front, you should be there once you’ve logged in. Hopefully you can see all the things you can tweak and change down the left hand side. Go to themes, and just to the right of that, the customize button.

wk2 themes csutom

Now click on Header

wk2 header

And Add New Image – we did adding images in last weeks tutorial  – just upload a new picture that will look good as a banner header, something in landscape  maybe….book shelves work well, so let’s do that!

Oops, I seem to have chosen tiny cakes instead…upload the image and now you get to crop it to size. You see the sort of highlighted section towards the top? If you hover your mouse over the dotted line ( you might need to have it over the tiny square in the middle of the line)  you can drag the highlighted area up and down. Move the top and bottom line until you’ve got an interesting header image and then go to the bottom right and save your crop.

wk 2 crop

And there you are, you have a new header image:

wk 2 header title lost

But uh oh! Now we can’t see the title of our website, it’s lost in all the cakes! Oh and also I changed the colour theme, so I’ll tell you how I did that and then I’ll tell you how to make your header title pop out again!

To change the colour is really easy, just look on the menu to your left for Colours & Backgrounds and choose one you like. You can change it as many times as you like. I’ve gone for blue for now, it matches my cakes!

Now, to change the header title: First, choose a font – go ahead and click on fonts on the menu on the left there. The top bar will change your header font, the one underneath will change the font that appears in the body of your text.  Choose what you like then use the little back arrow just above the font section to go back to the menu. And now you’re going to learn something really important.

Sometimes things don’t work.

I’ve changed the font  but I can’t see how to  change the colour of the text…it might be me but I’ve tried out all kinds of things and I can’t find a way to do it so now we have some options:

  • Change the header image to something paler so the title is more visible
  • Change the theme to something with a few more options
  • Design a header that’ll work better and incorporates the image we want

I don’t like the limitations of the orignal theme I chose so I’ve decide I’m going to change it – and it’s easy. Click save and publish so you don’t lose what you’ve done so far, then click the X in the top left hand corner of the webpage and you should be back at the page with all the themes.  We’ve done this before so I won’t repeat myself but I wanted to show you that everyone has hiccups when they’re working with webpages, and there’s always a way round it!

So now I’ve chosen anew theme,  Button. I clicked on it and then clicked Try & Customise – what do you think? It’s saved our original information and images but put them into a different template:

wk 2 button


I like it but we’re supposed to be customizing so on the left, go to Site, Title, Tagline and Logo.  You can write in the boxes you see when you click it. It will change your header text and the tag line under it, if you want to  – and if you want to add a logo, you can upload an image here aswell. Done? Click the little back arrow under the cross on the left.

Next on the list down is Colors & Backgrounds – we did that already so go ahead, chose what you like. And we’ve looked at fonts to so…now lets go back to that pesky header image.

I’ve uploaded a different picture, one I think might be more informative – and with this template, the title sits underneath so we solved the problem of the text colour!


The next things on the customisation list are menus, widgets and  static front page. We’ll come to the first two another time but a static front page you can decide now. Do you want to have your blog uploading fresh content to your home page all the time? Or do you want to keep it the same and have people navigate to your blog using a menu ( a button the can click). It’s up to you. I have a static front page but I dither about it…if you want to keep the blog uploading a fresh post to the front page each time you write one, just leave the static front page box unchecked.


Now at the top left of all those tolls is a button that says Save & Activate – do that to change to your new template IF YOU WANT TO. I do, so I did.

new template


You know what I just did? I tricked you into playing around and look! No disasters happened. You literally can not go wrong. Fun hey? The best way to learn is to mess about – you can always come back here and ask me questions.

Now, before you go, we’re going to put up a new blog post. CLick the little x top left of the customizing page and it’ll take you back to the main work shop. Now on the right, look down the list until you see the add button next to “blog posts”.

Add blog posts

Click that button and up comes your blank post. Fill it in the same as we did last week but with some super interesting content and pictures and we’re going to tag and categorise it.

Categories will make it easier for you to group content as your website grows so it’s a good idea to tag your posts. My two most used categories are For Readers and For Writers.

Tags make it easy for people to find your posts on the internet when they search for content. If you’re writing about yourself or your books, each of those things could be a tag.


To add them  click on the drop down menu marked categories and Tags to the left of your blog post. Click add category, in the box that pops up, give your catagory a name and make it a top level catagory for now. When you’ve closed that, check the box for your new catagory on the left and uncheck the one for uncategorized because that would be a fib, and we don’t like fibs.


Now, tags are slightly different. Just type in any useful reference word – I’ve used new website, new author, WordPress – to separate each one, just press entre. You’ll build up a lost of tags and can just click on the ones you want eventually.

Alrighty? Just set your featured image …we did this last week guys….got it?


Fab – we are done! And here’s one we made earlier. Well, now actually.

Couple of things, if you lose your post while your working on it, go back to the main workspace, it might be in drafts there’s a greyed out link top centre, click it and see – WordPress is pretty good at saving things.

Back soon with more – linking to social media and widgets!










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