How To Start A Travel Blog 2019 | WordPress Travel Blog Tutorial

How To Start A Travel Blog 2019 | WordPress Travel Blog Tutorial


In this video, we’ll show you how to start
a travel blog using WordPress. Whether you’re vagabonding your way around
a country or continent, learning a new language in an isolated town, or meandering through
Travel and Leisure’s top 100, you’ve likely got a story to tell, and with this step by
step tutorial – we’ll give you the tools to do it. For this tutorial, we’ll be using WordPress
to show you how to set up a travel blog in 2018 and 2019 that features an optimized UX
design, is fully responsive, and SEO friendly. The blog you’ll create would typically cost
two to three thousand dollars if a pro was doing it for you. The great news is, we’ll teach you how to
do it for less than $200 including your domain, hosting, premium WordPress theme, and images. In fact we’ll create this exact travel blog
here. And, rather than just give you a one-size
fits all approach, we’ll show you how you can easily use a different design or layout
for your travel blog using a simple one-click install tool. You’ll then be able to customize your blog
with an intuitive drag and drop page builder so there’s no coding or design prerequisite. Here are just a few examples of the designs
you could choose. Regardless of whether you want a minimalistic
travel blog, feminine travel blog, travel photography blog, travel magazine blog, or
any other kind of travel blog, in this step by step tutorial, we’ll show you how to
create it. So, let’s get to it! In the description below you’ll find links
to discounts on hosting, your WordPress theme, as well as other resources mentioned in this
tutorial. Some of these will be affiliate links and
will help fund future free tutorials like this one so we appreciate your support. For those who want to follow along, we’ve
created a blog post that includes step by step instructions for this tutorial that you
can access for free on the OHKLYN blog via the link in the description down below or
in the info card for this video. Here, you’ll find the written instructions,
access to free resources, and the live demo for this tutorial. We would recommend opening the blog post in
a new tab, and following along. For this tutorial, we will use the Soledad
WordPress theme by PenciDesign. Via the description below, and on the OHKLYN
post here, you’ll be able to access the theme as well as view the live demo. Similarly, to show you how to start your travel
blog with WordPress, we suggest using Bluehost as your hosting provider. With the link in the description below and
on the OHKLYN post here, you’ll be able to access discount hosting and a free domain
name, if you haven’t purchased one already. We’ll cover the steps on how to set this
up shortly. If you’ve got your domain and hosting already,
that’s fine, you’ll still be able to follow along. We recommend Bluehost as they provide great
quality hosting at an affordable price, and they have an intuitive user dashboard. They will also automatically install WordPress
for you, and provide 24/7 support, making it the ideal option for beginners. As an affiliate partner, they’ll also set
aside a few dollars to help fund future free tutorials like this one – so thanks for using
the links provided. Ok, now that we’re all on the same page
– let’s dig into it. The first step to starting a travel blog is
preparation and planning. Here, we’ll cover:
The things to consider before getting started Some resources you may find useful
What you will need to start your travel blog in terms of branding assets, and
An intro to blog and UX design One of the biggest mistakes beginners make
when starting a travel blog is that they forget to begin with the end in mind. Unlike a journey that can be made more enjoyable
with a little spontaneity and loose plans, when it comes to creating a travel blog, this
is not the case at all. Before we start installing WordPress and creating
posts it’s important to take a moment to define your target audience, identify your
niche, and consider the things that will make your blog uniquely you, and entice users to
engage. During this process, it would be wise to define
the objectives and goals for your blog as this will have a significant impact on how
you approach building your travel blog. For instance, your objective could be to:
Grow subscribers to your newsletter Develop a community who engage with and share
your content Grow your social media following
Create a portfolio for guest blogging opportunities Make money (via either an online store, affiliates,
or advertising) Or, perhaps something entirely different
Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear. In a moment, we’ll go through blog and UX
design and show you how to ensure you set yourself up for success. By now, you may have already decided on a
name for your travel blog, however, if you haven’t, on the OHKLYN post there’s a
few things you should consider, such as: Is the name unique and memorable? Is it a name you can scale and grow with? The value of keeping the name of your travel
blog as short as possible, and of course, Making sure the domain name is available To check if the domain name you want to use
is available, follow the ‘Check Domain Availability’ button on the OHKLYN post here, that will
take you through to the Bluehost site. From here, hover over hosting in the top menu
and select ‘domain’. From here, enter the domain name and choose
the free domain extension you want. If your domain name is available, you will
be taken to a page to review and purchase it. Alternatively, if it’s not available, you’ll
be shown other options, or you will need to try something else. We’ll cover off purchasing your hosting
and securing your free domain name in the next step. As a side note, for those who want to make
travel blogging a career, on the OHKLYN post here, we’ve added a link to the Superstar
blogging series from none other than travel blogging guru Matthew Kepnes (aka Nomadic
Matt). The Nomadic Matt blog launched in 2008 and
in a relatively short period of time, was the number one travel blog with over 1.3 million
visitors per month. If you want to learn how Matt achieved that,
we’d recommend checking out his blogging courses. Once you’ve decided on the name and objectives
for your blog, it’s time to put together the branding assets that you’ll need to
start your travel blog. The first of which is your logo. This is your main branding element and as
such, we would recommend getting a professional designer to work with you on putting this
together. If you don’t have access to a designer,
you could use a service, like fiverr, upwork, 99designs, or freelancer to connect with someone
who can help. If your budget doesn’t permit hiring a designer,
there are a number of free tools that you could use like Canva, Sketch.io, or even Google
Drawings to put together a simple logo. We’ll have tutorials on how to use these
tools coming out soon, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified once they’re
released. We’ll also add the links to these tutorials
to the post for this tutorial so keep an eye out for that. Your logo should be a ‘png’ file with
a transparent background so you can use it on multiple background colors. You should also have a full-color, reversed,
and black and white version of your logo. Similarly, having both a horizontal and a
stacked or square version of your logo will give you a lot more flexibility. The next branding asset you’ll need is a
favicon which is the icon that appears in the tab of the browser when a user visits
your blog. This should also be a png file and will need
to be square. Lastly, you need to choose your brand color
palette. To add this to your blog, you’ll need the
hexadecimal color codes for each color. We’ll show you how to customize your blog
with your brand color or colors later in this tutorial. We recommend using a free tool like Adobe
color, paletton.com, or color-hex.com to help find a cohesive color pallette if you want
to use more than one color. Once you’ve got your branding sorted, we
can explore user experience (or UX) design for your travel blog. User experience design is the process of optimizing
the layout for your blog and ultimately how users engage with your blog to drive desirable
outcomes that help achieve your objectives, be it newsletter signups, sales, etc. For this tutorial, we’ll use a premium theme
that leverages an optimized UX design and includes sections for advertising, newsletter
signups, and the ability for users to easily share content on social or engage with your
social profiles. So, a lot of heavy lifting will already be
done for you. All you’ll need to do is decide on the overall
structure of your blog. In terms of your blog architecture, it will
be broken out into: Static pages – these are pages such as your
homepage, contact page or about page Posts – these will be the individual blog
post that will make up the bulk of your blog’s content. And category or archive pages – which is how
you organize your individual blog posts. Each post will be grouped or assigned to a
category or multiple categories. The other components of your blog will include
a sidebar (if you decide to include one), a global footer, and your menu or navigation. First up, let’s plan out the static pages
that you’ll be including in the blog. To help with this, it’s best to take out
a sheet of paper or open your favorite sketching tool to help visualize what your blog will
look like. List or draw out the pages you want to include. Common pages include:
A homepage About page
Contact or ‘work with me’ page Blog page (if you want that to be different
from your homepage) Privacy or terms of use page, etc. Once you’ve got an idea of the pages you
want, go through each page and identify the content that you’ll include on each page. It’s often a good idea to sketch out a rough
guide outlining where images or other media elements will go to accompany the copy you
create. If this is new for you, paint in broad strokes
for now. For your homepage specifically, view the live
demos for the premium WordPress theme we’ll use in this tutorial by following this button
here on the OHKLYN post. Then go through the layouts and see if there’s
a certain layout that resonates with you. We’ll use the Soledad travel layout here,
however, you’ll be able to use any layout you want. The good news is that if you don’t want
to use this theme, you can follow the link on the OHKLYN post here to read our best WordPress
themes for travel blogs article and just as easily follow along with any of these WordPress
themes, or pretty much any other WordPress theme for that matter. We’ll get into the specifics of choosing
and uploading your WordPress theme shortly. In the Soledad travel example that we’ll
be using, you’ll notice there’s a number of header variations which change the position
of the logo and navigation, include or remove the header banner at the top, etc. Similarly, under the ‘features’ tab, you’ll
find that there are a number of pages that will come with pre-designed layouts that you
can use as is, or customize to suit your needs, such as an about page, or contact page. Under the ‘Home’ tab for all the example
layouts, you’ll notice that there’s a huge number of homepage layouts to choose
from. We’d recommend exploring these to find the
option you want where you’re easily able to import and customize the layouts in the
customization section of this tutorial that we’ll be getting to shortly. Once you’ve got an idea of the static pages
you want to include, it’s time to think about the individual blog posts you want to
include and the categories you’ll use to group these on your blog. You’ll also use categories as a tool for
visitors to navigate your site. For popular travel blogs, common category
groupings include destinations (such as regions, with countries as sub-categories), activities,
types of travel, or interests, etc. A good approach here is to find a travel blog
in a similar niche, and analyze how they use categories to structure their content as well
as how they are used for navigation. The idea isn’t to copy what someone else
is doing, but to figure out what you think works well, and how you can improve the experience
of your blog. Once again, invest some time in the strategy
side of planning out your blog content. By taking a moment to sketch out the sitemap
of your blog, you’ll find that you get a much better result. You may want to do some keyword research or
use a tool like SEMRush which we’ll add a link to on the OHKLYN post here, to analyze
a competitor and understand which of their posts are the most popular and driving the
most traffic to their site. If learning how to drive organic traffic to
your blog is important to you, we’re recording an SEO for WordPress course at the moment
which will walk you through how to do this successfully. We took OHKLYN from 0 to 8k in organic monthly
search traffic in six months using this strategy, so if that’s of interest to you, you can
pre-register at courses.ohklyn.com. We’ll upload the beginners guide to our
YouTube channel shortly, so subscribe to our YouTube channel and keep an eye out for that. Alternatively, as mentioned earlier, you can
follow the link on the OHKLYN post here to Nomadic Matt’s travel blogging course which
covers similar information dedicated to the travel blogging niche. The last decision you’ll need to make is
whether or not you want to include a sidebar on your travel blog, which is this section
of the page here. You will have the option to include this on
some, or all static pages, individual posts, and category or archive pages. In the customization section of this tutorial,
we’ll walk you through how to customize the content within the sidebar. As you can see in this example, you can include
things such as: A bio,
Social links or feeds, Newsletter signup section,
Banner ads, Recent post snippets,
And navigational elements, so consider which of these you want to include. You can also disable the sidebar if you don’t
want to include one. The reason we chose the premium WordPress
theme that we did for this tutorial is because we love the design and its versatility. So, we’ll keep the design pretty much the
same. In terms of our site structure and layout,
here’s a chart with a break down of our primary navigation and footer navigation. The pages we’ll include on our blog are
the homepage, About, Contact, Disclosure and Privacy Policy. Similarly, we’ll use three top level categories
to group all of our blog posts. These are Destinations, Travel Tips, and Activities
with four sub-categories under each category. We’ll also create a fourth top level category
called ‘Featured’ which we’ll use to select the posts we want to feature in our
slider, but won’t be included in our navigation menu. Obviously, make these unique to you, or model
them of another blog that you think does this well. You can have as many or as few as you like
and these can evolve over time. Ok, so there’s a lot to consider but hopefully
you’re still with us and you can see the value as to why it makes sense to think about
all those things before jumping in to starting your travel blog. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve
got any questions or if you have any feedback so far. We’ll now move onto securing your domain,
setting up hosting and installing WordPress. So, very shortly you’ll have your new travel
blog set up. Even if you haven’t got all of the planning
locked down as yet, you can still follow along so that your blog is at least up and running
and you can then move along at your own pace. If you haven’t already, the first step is
to register your domain, set up your website hosting account, and install WordPress for
your travel blog. So we’re all on the same page, let us quickly
explain what they are. Your domain, or url – is the web address for
your website, and is what users will type into their browsers to access your site. For OHKLYN it’s OHKLYN o-h-k-l-y-n.com. Pick something that works for you. Hosting, is what allows your website to be
accessible to users 24/7. It’s the process of storing the content
and data for your website on a web server, and serving it to users. For this tutorial, we’ll walk you through
getting started with Bluehost, as we believe it’s the best option for beginners. So, let’s go through the steps for setting
up hosting for your blog and registering your free domain with Bluehost. Here is a list of the types of domains that
are included for free, the most common being a .com or .co If you’ve already purchased your domain,
or if you want to purchase an alternative top level domain (such as something relevant
to your niche, or a country specific domain like .co.uk, or .com.au), you can purchase
that domain through a registrar like GoDaddy, Crazy domains or any other domain registrar
(we’ll add some links below). If you go with that option, or if you’ve
already secured your domain name, all you’ll need to do then is change what’s called
the Domain nameservers to point at Bluehost (which will be your new hosting provider). Fortunately, we’ve written an article, and
a step by step guide on how to do this which you can access here. To get started, follow the Bluehost link in
the description below, or if you’re on the OHKLYN website, follow this button here. We’ll then click on ‘Get started now’. You’ll then select the plan that’s right
for you. If you intend to have just the one domain,
then the first option will be fine, alternatively if you want to have multiple domains on the
one hosting account like we do, then you’ll need to select one of the other plans. You can always amend this down the track. The great thing with Bluehost is that you
get a 30 day money back guarantee on any plan, so you can get started risk-free. For this example, we’ll select the first
option. To get your free domain name, you’ll enter
the desired domain name for your website into the ‘new domain’ field, and select the
domain extension you want (for example .com), and hit next. If the domain name isn’t available, you’ll
get an error message and will need to either select an alternate domain name, try to contact
the owner of the domain to purchase it from them, or select another top level domain extension. If you’ve already purchased your domain
name, enter your domain in the ‘transfer domain’ field and select ‘Next’. Remember to review the article on how to change
the DNS records to point at Bluehost. To set up your hosting account, enter in the
required account information. In the package information section, choose
your desired hosting term and domain add-on preferences. We recommend selecting ‘domain privacy protection’
so that the personal information that’s associated to your domain isn’t publicly
available (this is optional of course). Once you’ve entered in the required information,
add your payment details, review the terms, and select ‘Submit’. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken
to this page here. You would’ve been sent a confirmation email
to the designated email address on the account as well as a WHOIS verification email – follow
the link in that email to verify the email associated to your new domain. You will need to create a password for your
hosting account. To do that, click on ‘create your password’. Make sure to pick a secure password, you could
use the suggest password tool to help you with this. Once you’ve entered in your password, review
the terms of use, and select ‘Next’. You will then be able to log in to your Bluehost
dashboard. As part of the new Bluehost offering, WordPress
will automatically be installed on your new domain. If you’ve registered your domain elsewhere,
you’ll need to amend the DNS records to point at Bluehost and install WordPress using
the Bluehost one-click WordPress install. For the steps on how to do this, review our
article on the OHKLYN blog (you can follow this link on the tutorial post here). You can choose to install one of the free
pre-selected WordPress themes on your domain. However, with WordPress themes, you typically
get what you pay for. As premium themes are regularly updated when
WordPress changes, they’re often more secure, they provide you with access to support, as
well as a greater range of design and customization options. So for this tutorial, we’ll use a premium
WordPress theme, and select ‘skip this step’. WordPress will now be installed on your domain. To access the back-end of your WordPress website,
click ‘start building’. This will prompt a guided tour, which you
can choose to run through or not. We’ll go through this in our tutorial, so
we’ll click on ‘I don’t need help’. This will take you to the Bluehost tab within
the back-end of your WordPress site. To access your WordPress dashboard, click
on ‘dashboard’ in the menu on the left. There will be a number of notifications that
you can action or dismiss by clicking on the ‘x’ in the top right corner. You can amend what’s visible on your dashboard
by clicking on the ‘screen options’ dropdown in the top right, and checking or unchecking
the boxes. A number of additional plugins will be installed. You can view these by hovering over ‘plugins’
in the admin menu on the left, and selecting ‘installed plugins’. In addition to the standard WordPress plugins,
Bluehost will install a few other plugins like JetPack, Mojo Marketplace, etc. You can leave these active, or choose to deactivate
and delete these plugins. We’ll leave this up to you. We’ll delete ours, as we like to use as
few plugins as possible. This can be done in bulk:
By selecting the checkbox next to the plugin, Choosing deactivate from the bulk actions
dropdown and then clicking apply. We’ll then delete all of the selected plugins
by selecting them and hitting delete. Then return back to the WordPress dashboard. If we enter our domain name into a browser,
we’ll see that WordPress is now installed. Congratulations! You officially have a new travel blog! It’s not much at the moment, but you’re
a lot closer than you realize. As part of this process, we’ll provide a
link to our video on how to set up your free SSL certificate which will encrypt the data
on your blog. This is best practice as it improves the security
on your blog, allows you to take payments on your site, and will improve your Google
rankings. Ok, we’ve covered preparation, as well as
registering your domain, setting up hosting, and installing WordPress. We can now move on to the step number three. Whenever you want to log into your WordPress
blog, enter your domain and add /wp-admin to the end. Such as example.com/wp-admin. Then enter your username and password which
was set up in the prior step. You’ll then be taken to your WordPress dashboard. We’ve installed WordPress in a development
environment. It’s a clean WordPress install so it should
look the same, however, if it’s slightly different, don’t worry – the fundamentals
will all be the same. We would recommend installing a coming soon
plugin so you can launch your site properly once you’re ready for the world to see it. We’ll add a link to a video on how to do
this in the description below. For similar videos and tips as you build out
your website, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the videos section of our channel. The WordPress dashboard or admin panel is
broken down into three main sections: at the top we have the WordPress toolbar, the menu
or admin menu is located on the left-hand side, and the main admin area is in the middle,
where we’ll do most of our work. We’ll give you a brief overview of each
section now – however, for a more detailed overview, watch our free ‘how to use WordPress’
tutorial, which is an introduction to WordPress for Beginners. This is intended to get you up to speed on
the fundamentals of how WordPress works in about an hour. The WordPress toolbar at the top is dynamic
and adjusts the available options depending on which page you’re on, and if you’re
viewing the page from the front or the back-end. The Admin menu located to the left of your
dashboard is separated into three main sections, these are: The Dashboard section, the Content
Management section, and the Site Administration section. The Dashboard section provides easy access
to the Dashboard, updates, and additional plugin features. The Content Management section is where you
create and manage Posts, Pages, Media items, Comments and additional plugin features. The Site Administration section is where you
configure the design and appearance settings for your website (including selecting the
active theme for your website, creating and managing menus, widgets, and customizing your
website’s theme). It’s also where we manage plugins, users,
control global WordPress settings, and activated theme and plugin extensions like SEO, Social
sharing, theme specific settings, and security. We’ll go through some practical examples
for each of these in the coming sections once we upload our theme and start working with
content. However, one thing we recommend doing before
we move on is updating the permalink structure for your website. This will impact how your url strings will
be created for pages, posts, etc. To do this:
Hover over settings in the admin menu (this is where you’ll manage your global WordPress
settings, we cover these in detail in our ‘how to use WordPress’ tutorial), then
select ‘permalinks’. The default option, leverages a more journal
approach featuring the date in the permalink. However, the more common option and what we’d
recommend from an SEO and UX perspective, is post name. This will set the page or post title as the
url, so we’ll select that option. And save our changes. You can learn more about each option under
the help tab and choose the best option for you. We recommend doing this before you start creating
content so that your URLs are created the way you want. Also, if you want to update your user profile,
or add users to your website, you can do this by hovering over ‘users’ in the admin
menu on the left, and selecting from the options here. Alright, moving on…The menu is fully responsive,
meaning that as the screen size gets smaller, the menu adjusts to remain accessible on all
types of devices. Lastly, the main Admin area serves as our
primary workspace, and adjusts depending on what’s selected from the admin menu. We’ll draw your attention to the screen
options tab in the top right corner. When you open this tab, you’ll see a list
of options and features that are available for display depending on which page you’re
on. Similarly, the help tab to the right shows
you helpful hints for the page that you’re on, as well as links to relevant documentation. Once again, for a detailed walkthrough of
WordPress, we recommend watching our ‘how to use WordPress’ tutorial. Ok…now that we’ve touched on the fundamentals
of WordPress, let’s move on to choosing and uploading your WordPress theme. A WordPress theme is a group of files that
work with the underlying WordPress software to enhance the design and functionality of
your WordPress website. For a more detailed overview, check out our
‘What is a WordPress’ theme article on the OHKLYN blog. There are both free and premium themes that
you can use for your website. The main benefits of using a premium theme
is enhanced security, access to support, the inclusion of more extensive theme documentation
or instructions, extended functionality, and access to demo content and pre-built layouts
– which for around $50-$100 is great value. Premium support packages can cost $50/mth,
so the fact that this is included in a premium theme, makes it a smart investment. On the OHKLYN blog, we’ve analyzed hundreds
if not thousands of WordPress themes based on Speed, Design, Ease of use, Mobile Responsiveness
and Functionality which you can access via the ‘WordPress Theme Reviews’ category
on the OHKLYN blog. For this tutorial, we’ll use our top rated
travel blog theme – Soledad by PenciDesign. To access the theme (and any discounts when
they’re available) from the OHKLYN post, click on this button here. This will take you through to Themeforest
which is one of the largest Premium WordPress theme marketplaces. From here:
Click on ‘Buy Theme’ to purchase a copy of the Soledad WordPress theme for a once
off fee. Then go to checkout to finalize your purchase. If you haven’t got a Themeforest account,
you will need to create one. Add your billing information. Then select your payment method. Once you’ve done that, you will then be
able to download the theme files. From within your profile, head to ‘downloads’. Next to the Soledad theme, click on ‘download’
and select ‘all files and documentation’. If we unzip the themeforest file that we downloaded,
within there, you’ll see soledad.zip which is the WordPress theme file. Leave this unzipped as we’ll upload this
to WordPress directly. There’s also a file called soledad-child.zip
which you can use if you want to use a child theme. To use a child theme, you will need to upload
the soledad.zip file first, and then the soledad-child.zip. There is an article on the OHKLYN blog explaining
what a child theme is if you want more information on that. The last thing we’ll draw your attention
to is the ‘documentation’ folder which includes an index.html file. If you open this file, it will take you through
to the online theme documentation and video tutorials for Soledad. If you decide to go with a different premium
theme, they will most likely have something similar. We’ll keep this open as it is a resource
we will continually come back to. Let’s move on to uploading our WordPress
theme. For this, let’s review our theme documentation. Firstly, there is some information on the
fonts used, and below that, is the installation instructions. As it states here, we can install WordPress
via the WordPress dashboard or via FTP. We’ll go with the WordPress option. To upload and install your WordPress theme:
From your WordPress dashboard, hover over appearance in the admin menu on the left,
and select ‘themes’. From here, select ‘Add new’. Then click, ‘Upload theme’. Select ‘choose file’. Navigate to the .zip file you downloaded earlier,
and select ‘Open’. In our case, it’s the soledad.zip file. If you’re using a different theme, find
the theme.zip file. Click ‘Install now’. This will start the process to upload and
install. Once the theme is successfully installed,
click ‘activate’, and your new theme will now be live on your website. If you want to install the child theme, follow
the same process. The first thing we need to do is install and
activate any plugins that are required by the WordPress theme we’ve just installed. In this case, we’ll see a notification at
the top of the page. To do this:
Click on ‘begin installing plugin’. We’ll bulk select the required plugins and
click ‘Install’. That will install the required plugins, this
may take a minute We’ll check the status, then click on the
option to ‘Return to Required Plugins Installer’. To activate the plugins we’ve just installed,
bulk select the plugins and select ‘Activate’. Once any required plugins are activated, we
can return to the dashboard. You’ll notice that a few new tabs have been
created in the admin menu on the left. As per the theme documentation, before we
install the demo content, we need to make sure the ‘Your homepage displays’ is set
to show ‘Your latest posts’. To do this, from your WordPress dashboard,
hover over settings in the admin menu and select ‘Reading’. From there, confirm that the settings are
correct and save changes if required. If you’re using a different theme, be sure
to follow the theme documentation to ensure you install the theme and plugins correctly. Like many premium WordPress themes, Soledad
is compatible with Visual Composer which is a drag and drop page builder plugin. This isn’t a required plugin, however, it
is included with this theme. If you want to use a visual page builder,
then you will need to upload and install this plugin. To do this:
Open the folder that you unzipped before. Then head to the plugins folder. In here, you’ll find the file called ‘visual_composer.zip. This is the plugin that we’ll upload via
your WordPress dashboard. There is no need to unzip this file. To upload and install this plugin:
From your WordPress dashboard hover over ‘plugins’ and choose ‘Add new’. Select ‘Upload plugin’. Then click ‘Choose file’, and navigate
to the ‘visual_composer.zip’. file and select ‘Open’. Then click ‘Install now’. Once it’s finished uploading, select ‘Activate
plugin’. And that’s it, you’ll now be able to use
visual composer to create custom page layouts. In the documentation guide here, there’s
a video on how to use visual composer. We’ll go through a practical example of
this shortly. If you want to use the revolution slider plugin
that comes with the Soledad theme, you’ll just need to follow the same process to upload,
install and activate the plugin. Ok – let’s move on to customizing your blog. By now your WordPress travel blog will be
set up correctly with your WordPress theme installed along with any required plugins. We can now start customizing your travel blog
to suit your style. The first thing we’ll do is bring in the
demo content from the live preview that resonates most with you. On the OHKLYN post here, you can follow the
button to review the available options. What we’ll do in this section is show you
how to import the demo content via the one-click demo content importer. We’ll also look at:
How to upload your logo and branding elements How to update the theme settings
How to create pages, posts, and categories How to update the menu and navigation
How to update the sidebar How to update the footer
And lastly, how to delete the demo content you don’t want to use As per the theme documentation, there are
two options for importing the demo content. The first option is to import the full demo
content, the second is to import the customization settings only. As it suggests, if you’ve got existing content
on your WordPress site, use the second option and follow the instructions here. If it’s a new blog, then you can use either
option. Because we want to bring in all the demo content,
we’ll use option one. To import the demo content, from your WordPress
dashboard, hover over ‘appearance’ and select ‘Import demo data’. If you don’t see this option, make sure
you’ve installed the required plugins. From there, scroll through and select the
demo example that you want to import. In our case, we’ll scroll down to the travel
option, then select ‘Import’ to start the process. This is uploading a huge amount of data, so
give this a few minutes for it to import all the content. You may want to pause the video while the
content is uploaded as this can take up to five minutes or so. Once you see the ‘Import completed!’ message,
hover over your site name in the toolbar at the top left and select ‘visit site’ . You’ll
see that the demo content is all imported, and you’re now very close to having your
very own travel blog. We now just need to go and customize it with
your brand elements and replace the content with your own. Let’s start with uploading your logo and
other brand elements. One of the things we like about this theme
is that the customization options are built into the native WordPress theme customizer. While we’re not going to go through every
theme setting, we’ll cover the ones that will be important to most people, and for
everything else, there’s the theme documentation and videos. To access the customization settings, from
your WordPress dashboard, hover over ‘appearance’ and select ‘customize’. From here, you’re able to customize almost
every inch of your travel blog. On the left hand side are your theme customization
options, and on the right is the live preview panel which features your homepage. As you make changes on the left, you will
be able to preview these in real-time via the panel on the right. We’ll go through a number of the customization
options together, however, we encourage you to go through all the options and play around
with the various settings. You can follow the link here to view the theme
documentation which will cover off any of the settings options we miss. From here, you can also follow the link to
submit a support ticket if there’s anything that’s unclear. Depending on which demo example you imported,
the settings may be slightly different, however, you’ll still be able to follow along. Similarly, if you’ve selected a different
theme to use, you’ll be best to follow along with the theme documentation for your specific
theme, however, we’ll cover off the fundamentals of updating widgets, menus, and creating pages
and post which will be very similar. The first thing we’ll want to update is
our logo, favicon, and set our brand accent color which for our case, will be a teal color
with a hexadecimal color code of #1FBDCA. To upload our logo, we’ll navigate to the
‘logo and header options’ tab. You’ll notice that this theme supports a
number of logo types and sizes which gives you more control over the appearance of your
logo on various devices. You can also set a maximum width for your
logo, as well as add padding or space to the top and bottom. Select ‘change image’ – this takes you
to your WordPress media library which is where all the media you upload to your site will
live. You can either select an image to use as your
logo or upload your logo via either dragging your logo in, or by selecting ‘upload files’,
clicking on ‘select files’, and uploading your logo that way. Whenever you upload images to your blog, it’s
a good idea to add an Alt text which adds metadata to your image and amongst other benefits
can be a positive thing from an on-page SEO perspective. To set your logo, select ‘choose image’. Repeat the process to update the various sizing
options for your logo, or remove the other options. For simplicity, we’ll remove the alternate
size logos by clicking remove. And we’ll set our max logo width to half
the width of our original logo size. Given our logo file is 600px wide, we’ll
set a max logo width of 300px, which will suit this design and avoid our logo pixelating
or appearing larger than we want. Further down in this section, you’re able
to amend the header and menu style for your blog. For example, you could go with a centered
option like this one, or any of the other options featured here. We’ll change ours back to the default but
have a play around to see which option you like best. Below that are a number of typography options
that will have an impact on your design. Once again have a look through the various
options here and decide what works for you. Under the font options is where you can manage
the banner that’s featured in the header. Here, you can either upload a static banner
and customize the link here. Alternatively, you could paste your Google
AdSense code here if you want to monetize and incorporate advertising on your blog. You’ve then got the ability to disable the
sticky header, which is the navigation panel that ‘sticks’ to the top of the browser
as the user scrolls down the page like this. There’s also options for including social
media icons in the header and main navigation depending on what your preference is there. Lastly, at the bottom of this section, you
can amend a number of the settings related to menu items as well as the ability to add
custom code to the head tag of your blog pages (which can be used for adding Google Analytics
code, etc. We recommend re-visiting this tab at the end
of this tutorial and once all your content is uploaded as these options will be more
relevant. Whenever you make changes via the theme customizer,
remember to publish your changes to commit them. We’ll select ‘publish’ then head back
to the main customization panel. The next thing we’ll do is add our favicon. For this, we’ll go into the ‘general options’
tab and where it says ‘upload favicon’, we’ll click ‘select image’. Either select your favicon from your media
library or upload your favicon file by following the same process you used to upload your logo
beforehand. Once your favicon is there, give it an alt
text, and then select ‘choose image’. If you publish the changes, navigate to your
homepage and refresh the page. You’ll notice that your logo is there, and
the favicon you added is now in the tab window at the top. If we head back to the ‘general options’
tab within the customizer. This is where you’ll be able to make significant
changes to the appearance of your blog. For example, if you want to set a background
color, image or texture for your blog, you’ll be able to do that here. Below that, you can amend the homepage layout
with respect to the posts that are featured here. This layout will be different depending on
which demo example you went with. For ours, it’s set to the ‘1st classic
then list’ option, which, if we scroll through, we have the classic post at the top here,
followed by a list of our recent posts. If we change this to ‘1st classic then grid’
and wait for that to update. You’ll see that this has changed the layout
for our homepage posts. We’ll change it back to the default for
this design In regards to the other homepage layout options,
you’ll control the slider at the top in the ‘featured slider options’ tab, and
the feature boxes here via the ‘homepage options’ tab which we’ll cover in the
next section. Below that is the option to amend the layout
in respect to posts on the category or archive pages, etc. To show what this is referring to, let’s
head to the homepage of the blog If we click the category for one of our posts. It will take us through to this page here. This is what’s referred to as an archive
page as it archives all the posts related to this specific category. To provide a practical example, you might
add your categories to your menu to help users navigate to sections of your blog that appeal
to them. When the user clicks on that link, they will
be taken through to this page for the category they select. Hopefully that makes sense. Let’s head back to the theme customizer. This section here is where you’ll control
the layout for your category archive pages, as well as tag archive pages (if you use tags),
and the search results page. In our example as you can see here. It’s set to ‘1st standard then grid’. Have a look through the available options
to see what works best for you. Once again, you’ve got the ability to add
Google Adsense code to your travel blog’s archive or category pages. As well as a number of additional visual and
navigation options such as. The ability to enable a load more button or
infinite scroll on the homepage. Enable or disable the page navigation numbers. Or, include a custom sidebar on the homepage,
category pages, individual post pages, or static pages. We’ll get to how to update sidebars later
in this tutorial. Ok, so you’re probably starting to see why
we love this theme as much as we do! The number of customization options and the
ease in which you can tailor your travel blog to suit your style is incredible! Let’s head back to the main customization
panel and take a look at how we can add your brand colors to customize your blog even further. For this, we’ll scroll down to the bottom
of the theme customizer. You’ll notice that there is a tab called
‘Colors general’ and a number of other color related tabs below that. Here is where you’ll have full control over
all the colors featured on your blog. We recommend investing some time going through
all these options in detail, particularly if you have multiple brand colors, compliments,
or shades that you want to incorporate. We’ll keep this pretty simple and replace
the feature color which is this one here, with our brand color of #1FBDCA. To do this, we’ll go into the ‘colors
general’ tab. Where it says ‘accent colors’, we’ll
set this to our brand color of #1FBDCA, by clicking on the color tab, and pasting in
our hexadecimal color code. You could also pick a color using the color
picker tool. Publish changes, then head back to the primary
customizer tab. We’ll go through the rest of these tabs
and do the same thing starting with the ‘colors for homepage and home title box’ options. Obviously there’s a huge number of customization
options within these sections so, take some time to go through all the options, we’re
just replacing the default bottle green color so that you can see how this works. Remember to publish changes as you go. Next is the ‘colors for top bar’, once
again we’ll just update the default color with our example brand color of #1FBDCA, leaving
all the other colors and settings as is. Remember to publish changes as you go. We’ll go ahead and do this for the remaining
‘color’ tabs and then skip ahead to once we’re done. Ok, so as you can see, we’ve updated all
the accent colors to our new example brand color. It will take a bit of time to go through and
adjust all the color settings to align with your brand, but the good news is that it’s
all managed from one place which is great, particularly if you change your mind later. In the next few sections, we’ll go through
how you add content to your blog in terms of posts, pages and categories, as well as
show you how to update the sidebar, footer and navigation elements of your site. For now, we’ll take a quick look at how
you can customize your blog using the theme settings. Once you’ve added all your content in, we’d
recommend that you come back to this section, as you may want to tweak a few of these options. So far we’ve looked at the General options,
Homepage Options, and the Logo and Header options. We’re not going to go into all of the theme
settings tabs, however, we’ll cover those that are the most important. Firstly, the ‘Top bar options’ tab is
fairly self explanatory. Here, you can opt to enable the top bar for
your site which can be used to highlight featured posts, as well as links to your social media
profiles. We’ll enable this feature for our example
and you can now see the top bar here. As you can see, there are a number of settings
available that will give you more control of what’s displayed. Next is the ‘Social Media Options’ tab. Here, you will add the full URL links (including
the HTTP or HTTPS part of the URL) for each of your social media profiles. The theme will use these values to link to
your social accounts in all the sections where social links or icons can be added. Hashtags as you can see here, are used as
placeholders, so remember to remove these for the social accounts you don’t want to
feature in your social media sections. For example, we’ll add the links to the
OHKLYN facebook page. The OHKLYN Instagram account. And, the OHKLYN YouTube Channel. We’ll remove everything else. As you can see, our top bar has been updated
with our relevant social media profiles. And, if we scroll to the bottom, the social
icons in the footer have been updated as well. You may have noticed that the sidebar ‘keep
in touch’ section hasn’t been updated, we’ll need to uncheck the icons we want
removed in the ‘soledad social media’ widget which we’ll cover off in our section
on how to update the WordPress sidebar. Let’s take a look at the ‘Featured Slider
Options’ tab. Here, you can either enable or disable the
slider as well as if you want this to feature on all pages, which in this case, would include
all posts as well. We would recommend leaving lazy load images
enabled as it will reduce the initial page load time. Below that, is a huge number of slider styles
for you to explore and decide on. Once again, take a moment to go through the
options if you intend to incorporate a slider on your blog. Below that is where you control what is included
in your slider. Here, you can choose the number of slides
you want to include and the transition speeds. By default, it will bring in the most recent
posts, however, you can choose to feature only a specific category, or you could even
create a ‘featured’ category that you could assign and remove from post when you
want to feature them in your slider. At the bottom, you can control what’s included
in your slider in terms of the post date, category, etc. Let’s head back to the main customization
menu. If we click into the ‘Featured Video Background
Options’ tab. Here, you can add a featured video using a
YouTube URL that will be added below the navigation by enabling this option. For example, we’ll drop this link in. As it says, videos aren’t supported on mobile
and tablet, so you’ll need to add a default image for mobile and tablet. Below that, you’re able to set the video
height, set the start point and enable the audio, as well as add image and text overlays. We’ll disable this option for now and head
back to the main menu. Next is the ‘Standard and Classic Layouts
Options’ – this tab allows you to control the elements on your pages or archive pages,
where you’ve specific one of the Standard or Classic layouts. What does that mean? Well if you remember back in the ‘General
Options’ tab, our design was using the homepage layout of ‘1st Classic Then List’. Which we set here. You’ll notice that the options here include
‘Classic’, ‘Standard’, ‘List’, ‘Boxed’, ‘Grid’, etc. This is what the ‘Standard and Classic Layouts
Options’ is referring to. If we head back to the Standard and Classic
Layouts Option. Within here, you can hide the social sharing
icons, post thumbnails, post category, post author, post date, etc. As well as control the capitalization of post
titles and categories. Ok, let’s head back. In the ‘Other Layouts Options’ tab, you’ll
have similar options. You have the same controls for the Grid, Masonry,
List, and Boxed layouts. Take some time to go through these options
and see which settings you want to use. The ‘Single Post Options’ tab gives you
full control over the settings for individual posts. Some of these options will look similar to
those on the last two tabs with the addition of more post-specific options such as options
related to captioning, blockquotes, comments, as well as the ability to add Google Adsense
code, just to name a few. In addition to the main styling options we
covered, there is also: The page options, for static pages. Footer options which we’ll come back to
later. 404 page options, which is for the page that
users land on when they enter in a url that can’t be found. Portfolio options are for those wanting to
include a portfolio on their site. WooCommerce options are there if you want
to include a store as part of your blog. For this, you’ll need to install the free
WooCommerce plugin first. There are also a number of other customization
options which may not be as relevant for this tutorial, but feel free to explore these as
you go through. Anytime you make changes to your theme settings
via the theme customizer, remember to click ‘publish’ to commit your changes. Next, we’ll move on to how to create pages
and posts in WordPress. We’ll start by creating the pages we need
for our blog. If we refer back to our blog structure document,
we can see that the pages we need to create are our homepage, about, contact, disclosure,
and privacy policy page. In regards to our homepage, we’re going
to use the default ‘latest posts’ page as our homepage, however, if you want to create
a different page and set it as your homepage, there’s a video in the documentation which
shows you how to re-create one of the page layouts using the Visual composer plugin. You can find the video and steps in the homepage
section of the documentation here. Similarly, we’ve added a link to a visual
composer tutorial on the OHKLYN post here for those who want to create custom layouts
for any of the pages on their blog. Once you’ve created the page you want to
use as your homepage, you’ll need to set it as your homepage by hovering over ‘settings’
in the admin menu and selecting ‘reading’. From there, under the ‘Your homepage displays’
option, you’ll select ‘A static page’, and then select the page you want to set as
your homepage from the ‘homepage’ dropdown. Remember to save your changes if you want
to set a static homepage. In our case, we’ll select the default ‘Your
latest posts’ option and head back to our WordPress dashboard. In WordPress, the pages for your blog will
be managed under ‘Pages’ in the admin menu. By hovering over pages, you can either view
all pages or add a new page. Let’s click on all pages for now. If you’ve imported the demo content, you’ll
notice that there’s a number of pages that have been created already. Towards the end of this tutorial, we’ll
go through and show you how to delete all the content you don’t want. For our purposes, we’ll use the ‘contact
me’ and ‘about me’ pages that have already been created, however, we’ll remove the
‘me’, and update these to just ‘contact’ and ‘about’. To edit an existing page, either click the
page title, or hover over the page title and click ‘edit’. We’ll edit the About Me page to remove the
‘me’. We’ll go through all these settings shortly
in both the classic editor and the new Gutenberg editor, but for now, we’ll just edit the
page title by removing ‘me’, then we’ll update the permalink to just ‘about’. Remember, if you change a permalink or URL
after you’ve published a post once your blog is live, you’ll need to add what’s
called a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL. This is to avoid Google having crawl errors
or 404 page not found errors. The best way to do this is with a plugin like
simple 301 redirects or something similar. We’ll update the contact page in a similar
way and skip ahead. Ok, let’s move on to creating new pages. To create a new page:
Hover over ‘pages’ in the admin menu and select ‘add new’. The first thing we’ll do is give our page
a title, in this case ‘Disclosure’. When you click out of the title field, you’ll
notice that the permalink is automatically created for you. If you selected ‘post name’ as your permalink
structure earlier, than the page title will be used to create the URL for this page. If you want to edit the permalink, click on
edit and update the permalink or URL for this page. We’re expecting the first major WordPress
update to WordPress 5.0 later in the year. It’s rumored that this will feature the
new editing experience named ‘Gutenberg’. If you’re new to WordPress, we recommend
watching our ‘How to Use WordPress’ tutorial as we cover the default WordPress options
available when creating pages in more detail and will update this to reflect any progressive
WordPress updates so that you always have the latest information. We’ll show you both versions in this tutorial. If you’ve installed the Visual Composer
plugin, you’ll have the option to use either the front-end or back-end editor, or the classic
Wordpress editor. As this will just be a disclosure page with
text, we’ll just use the default WordPress editor. As per the classic WordPress editor, on the
right hand side, you have your preview and publishing options at the top. Below that is the page attributions tab where
you can assign a parent page, and access the default page templates for this theme. If you want to use the visual composer, you’ll
need to select one of the ‘Page VC’ templates from the dropdown menu here. If you want to create a page with a sidebar
like those in the demo, you’ll select the ‘page with sidebar’ template option, which
is what we’ll use for this page. Below that, you can add a feature image to
the page by clicking ‘set feature image’ and by either choosing an image from the media
library or uploading a new one. In the centre of the page is the classic content
editor which has a visual editor that provides a live preview and the text editor which allows
you to add HTML directly. Below that is the page options panel, which
gives you more control over how your page is displayed. If you’re watching this after the WordPress
5.0 update, if Gutenberg is alive and well, your dashboard will look similar to this. Ok, so we’ve just temporarily installed
the Gutenberg plugin and disabled the Visual composer plugin to re-create what the new
default editor will look like in the rumored update. You’ll notice that unlike the classic WordPress
editor, Gutenberg utilizes ‘blocks’ which makes creating content via the default WordPress
editor a lot easier. If you click on the page title at the top,
you’re able to update the page name and edit the permalink. To add new content, you simply click on the
plus icon, and select the ‘block’ you want to add, such as an image, paragraph,
heading, etc. We’ll add a couple of paragraph blocks. You can also select layout elements such as
buttons or columns. As well as widgets. Or, embed things such as YouTube videos, or
other third party content. You’re also able to re-arrange content by
clicking on the ‘move up’ or ‘move down’ toggle next to each content block. While the panel on the right looks different
and is more dynamic, you’ll notice that the options remain very similar. Check out our ‘how to use WordPress’ video,
for a detailed tutorial on using the latest version of the WordPress editor. We’ll revert back to the classic editor
for now. We’ll paste in some demo content to fill
out our page. When you’re ready to publish your page,
select ‘Publish’ in the top right. Pause the video, and go through and create
the pages you want to include on your blog. We’ll create the Privacy page as per our
initial blog structure map. Don’t worry, if you don’t have all the
content and structure organized yet, remember, paint in broad strokes. Now, let’s take a quick look at how to create
blog posts and categories in WordPress. For the most part, you’ll create blog posts
the same way as you created pages by hovering over ‘Posts’ and selecting ‘Add New’. The only difference being that you’ll need
to set up categories first by hovering over posts, and selecting ‘categories’. Here is where you’ll add the blog categories
that you’ll assign your blog posts to. By entering the category name, and selecting
‘add new category’. If we quickly look at our site layout map,
we’ll set up the parent categories of ‘Destinations’, ‘Travel Tips’, and ‘Activities’, with
four sub-categories underneath each parent. And we’ll also create our ‘Featured’
category. For example, we’ll add the category of ‘Travel
Tips’ by entering ‘Travel Tips’ in the name field. You can create a custom slug, which is just
a URL friendly version of the category without capital letters or spaces. If you leave this blank, one will be created
for you. As this is a parent category, we’ll leave
the parent category option set to none. You can add an optional description, which
may be visible on the front-end of your blog depending on your theme. We’ll leave this blank and select ‘Add
new Category’. You’ll see this creates a new category in
our category list on the right. To add a subcategory of ‘Solo travel’
we’ll add this to our name field. Leave the slug blank but select ‘travel
tips’ as the parent category. Then select, ‘Add new category’. You’ll see that our new category has been
added as a sub-category of ‘Travel tips’. Repeat this process for all the categories
you want to include in your blog. We’ll pause the video and create the rest
of our categories. Remember, a blog post can be assigned to multiple
categories. If you want, you can delete the categories
that have been imported in the demo content. The posts assigned to these categories won’t
be deleted but rather they’ll be assigned to ‘uncategorized’. In the next section we’ll show you how to
create and assign blog posts to categories. Ok, so we’ve created our categories and
deleted the categories that were created with the demo content that we didn’t want to
use. You’ll see that our blog category structure
now matches the blog site map slide we created earlier. Once you’ve created your categories, we
now need to create a new blog post. To do this, hover over posts in the admin
menu and select ‘add new’. Whether you’re using Gutenberg or the classic
editor, this may look slightly different. However, the process will be the same. Add your blog post title, then your content. If you’re using the classic editor it will
look like this. Either way, select the category or categories
for the post on the right hand side. Assign a feature image by clicking on the
‘set feature image’ option on the right hand side. You can either upload an image or select one
from the media library. If required, review the post/page options
at the bottom. Then, preview or publish your post. One thing worth mentioning is the concept
of post types. These aren’t supported by all themes, however,
they are supported by Soledad. These change how your post is featured on
archive pages depending on what type of content is the feature of a post. For example a video, image gallery, audio,
etc. You can view an example of what we mean on
the demo sites here. If you want to include tags as a way of grouping
content on your blog, you can manage these in a similar way to categories by hovering
over ‘posts’ in the admin menu and selecting ‘tags’. Lastly, if we navigate back to the homepage. If you want to amend the amount of the feature
article that’s visible here, you can do this by adding a ‘read more’ tag. For example, if we click into the featured
article on the homepage and edit this from the backend. By moving where the ‘read more’ tag is
located in the article, you’ll be able to increase or decrease the amount of the article
that’s featured. So you can see what we mean, we’ll change
it’s position in the article and update the page. If we refresh the homepage, you’ll see that
has now updated. On the OHKLYN post here, we’ve added a link
to a detailed video on how to create and format blog posts in WordPress for those who want
a little more guidance. For the other posts lists and grids that are
being truncated, you’ll be able to amend the length of the except via the theme customizer. Similarly, for more info on anything we’ve
missed, remember to review the theme documentation. Now, if we hover over ‘posts’ in the admin
menu and select all posts, you’ll see that the newly created post is there, along with
all the other posts that were created when we imported the demo content. You’ll see that a number of the posts have
the category of ‘uncategorized’. At the end of this tutorial, we’ll go through
and delete all the posts you don’t want to use, but for now, we’ll just re-assign
the posts to our newly created categories so that we can maintain the structure of the
blog until you have enough of your own content and are ready to go live. To do this, you can either click on the post
name and edit it in the same environment where we created the post earlier. Alternatively, we can make quick edits by
hovering over the post title, and selecting ‘quick edit’. There are limited things you can edit, however,
this can be a useful shortcut. To change the category, we’ll simply uncheck
the old category in the category box, and select the new category we want to assign. As we mentioned before, you can assign a post
to multiple categories if it makes sense to do so. We’ll go through this list of posts here
and assign the uncategorized posts to our newly created categories and make sure we’ve
got at least one post assigned to each category. We’d recommend you do the same. Pause the video and create any of the remaining
pages, posts, and categories you want to include on your blog prior to launch. Next, we’ll move on to how to update the
navigation and menu using the site structure map we created earlier. By now, you should have roughly created the
pages, posts and categories for your travel blog. Don’t be concerned if you’re not 100%
sure on the exact structure – remember, broad strokes. What we’ll do now is create the menu structure
for your blog so you can easily navigate around your blog while you continue to finalize your
layouts and content. Menus in WordPress are created and managed
in the dedicated menus section which you can access by hovering over ‘appearance’ in
the admin menu, and selecting ‘menus’. The menus page has two tabs at the top – ‘Edit
menus’ and ‘manage locations’. As you can manage the menu locations within
the ‘Edit menus’ tab as well, we’ll primarily focus there. If you imported the demo content, you’ll
be able to select one of the pre-created menus from the dropdown lists, by choosing the menu
you want, and hitting ‘select’. On the left, you have the available content
that you can add to your menu, such as: Pages
Posts Custom links
Categories, etc. To add more options, click on the ‘screen
options’ tab at the top and check the boxes next to the elements you want to add to your
menu. For example, tags. Under screen options, you can also enable
the ability to set the link target for a menu item, which means whether the link opens in
a new tab or not, as well as assign CSS classes, which is slightly more advanced than what
we’ll cover today. However, if you’re interested in learning
some HTML and CSS fundamentals for WordPress, register for one of our courses at courses.ohklyn.com Back to the menu options:
On the right, you have your menu structure. And the menu settings at the bottom is where
you’ll manage the location where this specific menu will be displayed. Rather than edit an existing menu, let’s
go through the steps of how to create a new menu and assign it as our main menu. To create a new menu, click on ‘create a
new menu’. Enter a name for the menu (this is for your
reference, we’ll name ours ‘Main menu’). Then select ‘create menu’. At the bottom of the page, select where you
want this specific menu to be displayed. In our case we’ll select ‘Primary Menu’. To add menu items to your menu:
Select the elements from the left, then click ‘add to menu’. For this example, we’ll refer back to our
blog site map and re-create the structure. Here we can see that we have our three top
level categories of ‘Destinations’, ‘Travel Tips’, and ‘Activities’ as our three
top level navigation items, with their respective subcategories featured within. We can do this in a couple of ways as either
a mega menu, or a classic tiered menu. To do this, from the categories dropdown on
the left, we’ll go to the ‘view all’ tab and select our three top level categories
by checking the box next to each. To add them to the menu, select ‘add to
menu’. We can amend the order by clicking on the
menu item and dragging it into position. In this case, we’ll re-arrange the order
to ‘Destinations’, ‘Travel Tips’, then ‘Activities’. To set these as mega menus and feature the
posts and categories in the navigation, we’ll click on the dropdown arrow for the ‘destinations’
menu option. In the dropdown where you see ‘not mega
menu’, select the ‘destinations’ category option. We’ll do the same thing for ‘Travel tips’. We’ll then click ‘save menu’. To preview what this looks like, we’ll navigate
to the front-end of our blog. Then, refresh the page. When you hover over destinations or travel
tips, you’ll see that we now have this great mega menu that showcases the subcategories
on the right and the post images and metadata in a really engaging way. Let’s head back to the menu section. If you want to feature the categories in a
more classic way, you can list the subcategories under the parent category. For example, with the activities category,
we’ll click on the dropdown and ensure the ‘not mega menu’ option is selected. We’ll then close that, and from the categories
dropdown on the left, we’ll add the subcategories that belong to Activities which are ‘Eats
& Drinks’, ‘Hiking’, ‘Snowboarding’, and ‘Surfing’ by selecting them and choosing
‘add to menu’. For a menu item to sit underneath another
menu item, you simply click and drag it across to sit underneath. We’ll do this for all of the ‘Activities’
subcategories. And before we preview that, we’ll also add
the about page as our last menu item, by selecting it, and adding it to the menu. Let’s save changes. Then navigate back to the front-end. And refresh the page. If we hover over ‘Activities’ you can
see that the subcategories are now listed underneath in a more classic style. Similarly, our about page is now also included
in our primary menu. Once again pause the video and create the
rest of your menu structure. You’ll create other menus like your footer
menu the same way. When you’re happy with the structure, you
can further customize the appearance of your menu via the theme customizer, by hovering
over ‘appearance’ in the admin menu, and selecting ‘customize’. Re-visit the ‘Logo and Header Options’
tab. Here, you can amend the header layout, and
menu style to suit your design. Review the theme documentation, specifically
the menu section for more info. Once you’ve got your primary navigation
menu working the way you want it to, we can move on to updating the sidebar for your blog. The sidebar in WordPress is referred to as
a widget enabled area, and allows you to set a global sidebar that appears on all pages,
posts, or archive pages – where a sidebar is enabled. If we navigate to the homepage of our blog,
when we refer to the sidebar we are referring to this fixed panel over here. What’s great about the Soledad theme is
that you’re able to apply a unique sidebar to the homepage, category or archive pages,
individual posts, and static pages. This is done via the theme customizer. To access this, hover over ‘appearances’
in the admin menu and select ‘customize’. Navigate to the general options tab and scroll
down to the bottom. Here, is a dropdown where you’ll select
the sidebar you want to display on each page type. Now, to control the content that’s visible
via the various sidebars, we’ll exit out of the customizer. From your WordPress dashboard, hover over
‘appearance’ and select ‘widgets’. On the left, you have all the available widgets
And on the right, are the widget enabled areas With the Soledad theme, there are a number
of widget enabled areas. This is the main sidebar which we’ll focus
on in this section. As you saw before, you can use the custom
sidebar options over here to create unique sidebars and apply them to the specific areas
via the theme customizer under the general options tab we just explored. In the next section on updating your blogs
footer we’ll look at the footer widget areas here. After this section, you’ll understand how
widgets work and be able to use the various other widget enabled areas supported with
this theme (if required). If you imported the demo content, there will
be a number of widgets added to the various sidebars and other widget areas. If we open the homepage for our blog in a
new tab you’ll see that: On the right hand side, this is the sidebar
widget area. If we go back to the widget panel, you’ll
see that the widgets that have been added to this area align with what’s being displayed
in our sidebar. To add a widget to the sidebar, or any widget
enabled area: Simply click on the widget on the left
Select the widget enabled area you want to add the widget to
And select ‘add widget’ Once the widget has been added, you can drag
it into place Click on the widget to amend its settings
Once you’ve updated the widget, hit ‘save’ To delete a widget, click on the widget
Then select ‘delete’ Ok, so that’s a crash course on widgets,
there are theme specific widgets that reference ‘soledad’ in the name as well as the standard
WordPress widgets. If you want to integrate your mailchimp account
you’ll just need to ensure the ‘MailChimp for WordPress’ plugin is installed. If it is, you’ll see the ‘MailChimp for
WP’ tab in the admin menu, navigate to this tab. To connect your MailChimp account with your
blog: Login to your mailchimp account
You will need to create a list that you want subscribers to be added to. On the OHKYLN post here, we’ve added a link
to a MailChimp tutorial for WordPress that may be helpful if you’re new to MailChimp
and email marketing. Once you’ve got your list setup, navigate
to your account settings, under the menu in the top left
In the extras tab, select ‘API keys’ Then create an API key by clicking on ‘create
a key’ Copy the API key, then navigate back to the
MailChimp for WP tab in your WordPress dashboard. Where it says API key, paste in the API key
you just created, then save changes The status should then change to ‘Connected’. If you want to use something else like ConvertKit
or Active Campaign, just add a HTML module to your sidebar, then add the embed code to
a HTML widget. We recommend investing some time in going
through all the widget options and settings available, removing widgets you don’t want
and adding the elements you want. In the theme documentation here, there’s
a section on widgets, that explains the Soledad specific widgets, and guides you through how
to get the most from them. Ok, so your blog should be starting to take
shape. There’s a bit of a learning curve, so try
not to feel too overwhelmed. Stick with it for a few weeks and you’ll
be through the steepest part of the learning curve. Remember to post any questions or comments
via the comments section in YouTube, we’ll personally respond to every comment. Let’s move on to customizing the Footer
of your blog. There are three components to managing the
appearance of your footer. These are the footer menu, the footer widget
areas, and your footer layout options available via the theme customizer. Let’s explore all three. First is the footer menu. Like the primary navigation we created earlier,
you are able to create a footer menu in the same way. As per our original blog site map, we want
to include a footer menu with links to our contact, disclosure and privacy pages. To do this:
From your wordpress dashboard, hover over ‘appearance’ and select ‘menus’. To create a new footer menu we’ll click
on ‘create a new menu.’ We’ll give it a name of ‘Footer Menu’. Then select ‘create menu’. Down the bottom under ‘Menu Settings’,
we’ll set this as our footer menu by selecting ‘Footer Menu’. Under pages on the left we’ll select the
contact, disclosure, and privacy pages we created earlier
Then, hit ‘add to menu’ We can arrange these if we want, then select
‘save menu’ If we navigate to the front of our blog
Then scroll down to the footer You’ll find that it might not be there. If this is the case, then we’ll need to
enable it from within the customizer. Let’s open up the theme customizer in a
new tab. If we scroll the preview pane down so that
we can see the footer. Then, navigate to the ‘footer options’
tab. If we scroll towards the bottom, you’ll
see that there’s an option to ‘Enable Footer Menu’. If we check that box, and give it a moment
to refresh, you’ll see that our footer menu has now been added. Let’s scroll back up to the top of the footer
options tab and go through the other two components. Depending on the demo content you imported,
the layout structure of your footer will be different. However, the fundamentals will be the same. In our case, the footer is utilizing a three
column layout, which is creating three widget enabled areas where the content is being controlled
via the widgets panel we explored before. To explain what we mean, let’s open up the
widgets panel in a new tab, by hovering over ‘appearance’ in the admin menu, and selecting
‘widgets’. If we click into Footer Column 1
You can see that this is where the content can be updated, changed or deleted. Similarly, if we click into Footer column
2 The same is true. Like we did before, you can add any widget
to these widget areas or update the existing options to suit your design. If we navigate back to the theme customizer
In the Footer options tab, you have the option to disable the footer widget area entirely
if you’d prefer. As well as the option to change the column
layout. By changing the column layout, say from three
columns to two columns You’ll notice that only the first two widget
columns are displayed. Play around with the options here to see what
works for you. If you don’t want the instagram feed at
the bottom, you can disable this via the widgets panel
By opening the ‘Footer Instagram’ widget area
Then deleting the instagram slider widget Similarly, you can remove the newsletter signup
or edit its contents via the ‘Footer Signup’ widget area located here. Lastly, if we navigate back to the Customizer
And scroll to the bottom, you’re able to update or remove the copyright information
via the ‘Footer Copyright Text’ input box. We’ll delete what’s there
And add: Made with Love by OHKLYN This theme supports font awesome, so we’ll
add a love heart to replace the word love, by adding
Obviously, customize this to whatever you like. If you want to use an icon anywhere on your
blog, within the documentation under the menu tab here, there’s some info on how to use
‘I tags’ with classes to bring in the specific icon you want to use as a font. Once you’re happy with how the footer of
your blog is looking, remember to publish your changes, and we can move on. Ok, so we’ve gone through how to create
and, or update the demo content. Your blog should now be starting to come to
life. Remember to revisit the theme customizer now
that you’ve added in your content and really go through the settings until you create the
exact design you want. We’ll go through a couple of these things
together, so let’s open our theme customizer. The first thing we’ll update is our featured
slider by navigating to the ‘featured slider options’ tab. We’ll scroll down and select the ‘featured’
post category that we created earlier from the ‘Select Featured Category’ dropdown
as the source for our slider. Then publish our changes. Next, we’ll update the ‘Homepage Featured
Boxes’ that are on our homepage here. To do this:
Navigate to the ‘homepage options’ tab within the customizer
Then, scroll down to the ‘Home Featured Boxes Columns’ option. We’ll change ours from four boxes to three
boxes and feature our top level blog categories of Destinations, Travel Tips, and Activities. You could feature whatever you like here. We’ll make sure the ‘Open Home Featured
Boxes in New Tab’ is unchecked as we want the user to be taken through to the category
page they click on, in the same browser tab. We won’t change the image, but you’ll
be able to do so by clicking on the ‘change image’ option for each and uploading or
selecting the image you want to use. Make sure the images are a consistent size
for the best results. For the ‘Homepage Featured Box 1st Text’
we’ll add ‘Destinations’ For the URL, we’ll open the homepage of
our blog in a new tab. Then, navigate to the destinations category
page We’ll copy the url for this page, then navigate
back to the customizer and past it in the ‘Homepage Featured Box 1st URL’ field. We’ll repeat this process for the other
two boxes Once that’s done, we’ll publish our changes. We strongly encourage you to go through all
the customizer settings now that you’ve got content added, and optimize the various
settings for your design. Leave any comments or questions below in the
comments section on YouTube. If you have followed along, you will have
customized a significant portion of your content, including creating new pages, posts, categories,
menus, updating the sidebar and footer, etc. If you’ve done that, or once you finish
doing that, you’ll then need to go through and delete any of the demo content that’s
still remaining. To delete posts or pages:
Go to either the all posts, or all pages tab. Hover over the page or post you want to delete
Then select ‘trash’ This will move the post or page to the trash
tab, but not permanently delete it. To permanently delete content, navigate to
the trash tab Then, hover over the title and select ‘delete
permanently’ Go through and delete any of the posts and
pages that you don’t want to repurpose for your blog. Next is any categories or tags that have been
created that you don’t want to use. We deleted our categories earlier, however,
we will need to delete any tags we’re not using. To do this:
Hover over posts in the admin menu and select tags
You can either hover over the tag name and select ‘delete’
Or check the box to bulk select tags Then, under the ‘bulk actions’ dropdown,
select ‘delete’ and click ‘apply’ Next, we’ll delete any of the comments that
were imported with the content. To do this:
Choose comments from the admin menu Then, select the comments you want to remove
Select ‘move to trash’ Once again, to permanently delete these, go
to the trash folder and permanently delete them there. Now is a good time to think about how you
want to approach comments on your blog. You can disable comments on individual posts,
or you can manage your global comment settings by hovering over the ‘settings’ tab in
the admin menu and selecting ’discussions’. For more info on the core WordPress settings
review our ‘How to use WordPress’ video or blog post which goes through this in detail. It also covers how to add your photo and information
as a blog author using Gravatar. You may also want to delete any images or
media items you’re not using from your media library, which you can navigate to by hovering
over ‘media’ in the admin menu and selecting ‘library’ Lastly, review the portfolio tab, and remove
any content you’re not using. If you decide that you want to use a contact
from on your blog for people to reach out, then you can either embed a form, or leverage
your favourite contact form plugin. Soledad, supports Contact form 7 and is what
they have included on their demo contact page. Contact Form 7 uses a shortcode to embed the
contact form. For those unfamiliar with Contact form 7,
we’ve added a link to a tutorial on the OHKLYN post for your reference. Once you’ve got your travel blog looking
the way you want, and you’re ready to launch your site there’s a few good practices that
you should follow to ensure you get the best results. If you want your blog to be searchable via
search engines like Google, then you will need to index your blog.To learn how to do
this, we’ve added a link to our video on the OHKLYN post here. In this video we’ll show you step by step
how to add your blog to google search. Similarly, if you want to monitor traffic
and user behaviour on your blog, then you will want to install Google Analytics. Yes, we’ve created a video on how to add
Google analytics to your blog as well. You can find the link on the OHKLYN post. And, that wraps up our how to start a travel
blog tutorial using WordPress. If you liked this video hit the ‘Like’
button, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos related to WordPress,
digital marketing and how to run a successful site. Your feedback is appreciated, so please leave
a comment below and tell us what you liked, or if there was anything you found difficult,
so that we can put together additional videos to help support you as you build out your
site. To get access to exclusive discounts, free
tutorials, and to stay in the loop on the latest updates, sign up to our newsletter
at OHKLYN o-h-k-l-y-n.com, and until next time, happy building.

Author: Kevin Mason

19 thoughts on “How To Start A Travel Blog 2019 | WordPress Travel Blog Tutorial

  1. I have a question @35:30 on the option for importing demo data, I imported the travel demo twice and now I have duplicate values for each header item, I then imported another demo and now there are three copies of each header item, how do i reset this? i tried re uploading the theme but it didn't helped. everything else is working fine…its only the header items which are getting duplicated.

  2. thanks for this video man! today was my first day in wordpress and I learned a lot from this.

  3. should we become a travel blogger in 2019, Anyone? Will it be profitable at this time when we have too many travel bloggers out there already.

  4. Great Video. Just one question, I currently have a domain name with Hostgator, can that be migrated across to BlueHost please?

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH OHKLYN!
    I went from knowing nothing about web design (and I mean NOTHING!) to having a somewhat decent looking blog in 1x weekend, all thanks to you! Here's what I built in approximately 12 hours over the weekend: www.dstravelblog.com

    I could not have done it without this fabulous tutorial! Thank you so much!

  6. what an amazing video! instead of paying someone i just did the whole thing on my own. i have one question which i cant figure out to find the answer: how do i know the good size of a picture for f.e. a blogpost titel photo, the logo and so on? is there a good size or any size recommendation?

    Thank you so much

  7. Hi. I choose the "pick the domain name later" and now it seems my domain is default. so i have to purchase a new domain now? i thought bluehost domain is free?
    can you please help

  8. I love traveling and wordpress. Great video! I love how you broke it down step-by-step and made it easy to understand. Thank you.

  9. Thank you so much! This is the most comprehensive and straight forward video on creating a site that I've ever seen. I'm going to use the Soledad for my travel magazine and just follow along. Do you have a video that shows how to optimize your photos so they don't take so long to load and bog down the load time? I really appreciate it!

  10. every time i try to set up my travel blog it says its £7 premium monthly and when i go to pay it asks me for £84 for the year so i cant ever set it up . does anyone any information how i can just get pay monthly, please . also can i not use bluehost as im in the uk

  11. In the recent Soledad purchase, I can't find the Visual_Composer.zip. Did the file name change, or should I just skip this step?

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