WordPress is one of the most widely used web publishing platforms on the internet today, it’s also one of, if not the easiest way to get a website online.
What is WordPress?
WordPress began its life in 2003 as a blogging tool similar to websites like blogger.com (now Google owned “Blogspot.com”) or LiveJournal.com, and served as a way for people to get their thoughts and opinions online using their own websites.
Since then it has evolved into a highly customizable Content Management System (CMS) and is in use by a reported 20% of all websites today.
Theoretically, it’s possible to make almost any kind of website with WordPress running operations behind the scenes.
Some major benefits of using WordPress are…
- It is well established and backed up by a very active support forum.
- It is free to use and because it is open source it is under constant development.
- It takes care of more advanced site features like security, RSS feeds, SEO and image optimization, with little or no additional customization required.
There are a few ways you can use WordPress for your own website.
- Wealthy Affiliate utilizes WordPress
- You can visit WordPress.com and sign up for an account and use their servers.
- You can install it on your own web hosting package.
WordPress is built using the PHP web programming language and relies upon a MySQL database to provide content. It’s not essential to understand either of these two disciplines to use WordPress although the manual installation process somewhat touches on both. Most people who run WordPress as their website CMS have no knowledge of either.
With all of the plugins available within WordPress, it is honestly the best tool when it comes to internet marketing. If you can think of it, there’s a plugin for it.
logging into your new site for the first time can be a daunting process. At a glance there’s an awful lot going on!
As you can see, I have highlighted specific areas of the WordPress dashboard.
In red we have, by default, “About WordPress”, a direct link between your website and your dashboard, quick access to comments, and the ability to create new posts, pages, media and users.
Blue is everything to do with your content. Posts, pages, media and comments.
The yellow group is comprised of the more administrative functions like appearance, plug-ins and settings. We will get into this more in-depth later.
Finally we have green for the “Dashboard”. This is where a lot of helpful widgets will display information, examples would be Google Analytics plug-ins, or link trackers.
Posts and Pages
These are the main ways to generate content on your site.
By default, depending on your theme, posts will display in a continuous list on the home page of your site whilst pages will be displayed separately and accessed via a menu or similar navigation. This of course can be controlled via the customization and/or appearance function, but we’ll get into that later. The procedure for adding either posts or pages is actually almost the same.
From the section I have highlighted in blue, go to either Posts > Add New orPages > Add New. This will take you to an edit screen for adding a post or page – they are both quite similar.
Enter a title for your post or page, and then move straight on to adding the content. This takes place in the large text area in the middle and will be familiar to anyone who has written an email with a webmail provider such as Hotmail.
The Toolbar along the top allows you to format text and insert hyperlinks, without any plug-in’s added, this toolbar isn’t much more than a basic text editor. But when plug-ins are implemented, this toolbar can become extremely powerful and eliminate any need for manual coding.
Above this the “Upload/Insert” link allows you to add images, audio or videos. In this respect authoring a web page has been made as simple as possible.
You’ll notice that at the top right of the text area is a tab that switches from “Visual” to “HTML”, enabling more advanced pages and posts to be created. Again, there are numerous plug-ins to extend the way the HTML editor can be used to further decrease the need for coding. Some theme’s may come with extra’s added in already, like pull quotes or buttons.
There is also a tab for “Featured Image”, depending on your theme, you may have to set featured images for your posts and pages to maximize the functionality of your theme. I would recommend adding them anyways, and sticking with more square pictures that are relevant to your content.
Once you have finished editing your post or page, you must click “Publish” – the blue button on the top right – to save your work and make it live. Before going live you may also wish to save a draft and return to finish it later, or preview your work in a new browser tab or window.
You’ll notice that there are additional options such as “Categories” and “Tags”. These can both be used in basically the same way to organize your posts. A “Parent Page” is exactly what it sounds like, if you have additions onto an existing page, it’s not a bad idea to utilize parent pages to further increase your organization.
If you have any questions about anything that has been covered here, please feel free to leave a comment below, you’re also welcome to send me an email here!
Alternatively, you can always get at me on here!