When you become a part of WordPress.com, you’re actually getting two awesome services for the price of none: your blog, plus your Reader, which brings every WordPress.com blog together in one easy-to-search place. Your blog is where your ideas come to life, and your Reader is where you connect with other WordPressers — our community hub. We’ll help you get comfy with both so you get the most out of WordPress.com.
Don’t fear the Reader
When you log in to WordPress.com, you’ll land in your Reader. It’ll look a little something like this:
We call it “your” Reader on purpose. It’s a place you make your own and tailor around things you love, so every time you log in, you find something new that speaks to you.
There are four main things you’ll do here:
- Find great stuff to read.
- Catch up with blogs you follow (once you’ve found them).
- Post to your blog on the fly.
Let’s take a look at each one, shall we?
Find great stuff to read
The best way to attract readers is to read and comment on others’ blogs, and the best way to find blogs to read is to search tags in the Reader.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider topics you’re interested in. Art? Politics? Knitting? Here, we’re going to follow the “Contour Drawing” tag in the Reader. Enter the topic into the dialogue box and click the plus sign to follow the tag. Now, when we click on that tag, we’ll see posts from the last year tagged “Contour Drawing.”
Delete a topic by clicking the X, and use the search bar to add new topics. Search for specific subjects, people in the news, recipes, movies, current events, whatever — get creative. Within each topic, the Reader will display a list of all posts from WordPress.com bloggers that have been tagged with that topic, starting with the most recent.
When you’re ready for some more exploring, give some of our hand-picked content a try — it’s been verified by Very Official WordPress.com Experts as being certifiably awesome. Freshly Pressed features new posts on a wide variety of topics daily, while our Recommended Blogs make it quick and easy to browse great blogs based on topic. Pick the topics you’re interested in, and get a selection of sites that (we hope!) are right up your alley.
Manage and catch up with blogs you follow
Once you click on a tag you’re following, you’ll see a stream of recent posts. You’ll see an excerpt from each post, along with the post’s title, blog name, and any images in the post. Click Visit Site to view the post directly on the author’s site, or click on Follow to add future posts to your Reader:
You can also manage the blogs you follow by going to Blogs I Follow. To get there, click on the gear icon next to Following.
From Blogs I Follow, you can follow any site by typing in a new URL:
You can unfollow a blog by clicking on the X to the right of the blog title.
Post to your blog on the fly
The last useful Reader function is the ability to quickly post directly from the Reader, without going to your dashboard.
Up in the right-hand corner, next to your Gravatar, you’ll see a pencil icon. Click on it to start a new post.
(Clicking the bell will show you your most recent notifications — that is, all the Likes and comments on your posts.)
Master your dashboard
The second major piece of your WordPress.com experience is your blog (or blogs), which is probably why you ended up here in the first place. The dashboard is your blog’s mission control center.
First things first: how do you get to your dashboard?
First, log in. You’ll be taken to the Reader automatically. To get to your blog’s dashboard, click on My Sites. You’ll see your blog’s stats as the default view. (If you have more than one blog, you’ll get to choose which blog to work on.)
If you’re already logged in visiting others’ sites on WordPress.com, you can click on My Sites from the top left-hand corner of the Admin bar. You’ll be taken to your dashboard. The Stats Insights view is the default view.
The dashboard is the place to create new posts, pages, add media, experiment with new themes, and create custom menus.
You can also manage sharing to social media, users, blog settings, domains, and more.
Have dual citizenship
The Reader and your dashboard are both key to squeezing every last drop of goodness out of WordPress.com; even if it seems like only one or the other will be useful to you, we encourage you to get to know them both and learn to move fluidly between them. To wrap up the tour, here is the intersection where you can pass easily from one world to the next.
When you’re in the Reader, Click on My Sites to get to your dashboard post-haste. (If you have more than one blog, you’ll be able to choose which blog to work on.)
From your dashboard, getting back to the Reader is a snap. Click on Reader from the blue menu bar to read the blogs you follow.
Our tour of WordPress.com is now complete; please exit the trolley on the right, and be sure to take all your belongings with you. Now that you know your way around, let’s get your site set up just the way you want it, starting with picking the perfect theme. It’s time to Get Personality.