In this WordPress starter guide, I am going to walk you through some WordPress basics so that you can start becoming familiar with the platform and begin setting-up your blog.
In the below videos you will learn:
- How to install a Theme
- How to change the Permalink structure
- How to customize your theme
- How to add Posts and Pages
- How to create Categories
- How to add Menus
- How to install Plugins
- How to add Widgets
We have a lot to cover so let's get started.
Login to Your Blog
Once you sign-up to a web host provider you will receive a link to access the admin area of your blog.
It will look something like this – mybrandnewblog.com/wp-admin/ – if your hosting provider is A2 Hosting the login URL will look something like this mybrandnewblog.com/oynr/ (wp-admin won't appear in the URL).
With this URL you will be able to access the admin login page:
Using the Username and Password login to access the WordPress admin area.
The WordPress Admin Area
When you first enter the WordPress admin area it might seem a little daunting but don't worry you will soon know your way around it.
On side bar you will see some tabs. Here is a quick overview of what they are. In the below videos you will explore them in more detail.
Posts – From here you can create new posts and add categories and tags for posts.
Media – Under the media tab you can gain access to your media library – Videos, Image, Music. You can also add new media items from here.
Pages – From here you can add new pages such as about page and contact page
Comments – This is where you manage comments on your blog posts. You can approve, delete or mark as spam.
Appearance – Under the appearance tab you install new themes, customize the design of your theme, add widgets, and menus, and you can also access the files that contain the code of your theme.
Plugins – Plugins increase the functionality of your blog. You can add and manage installed plugins from here.
Users – From the here, you can add users and manage their admin permissions.
Settings – Under the settings tab you can set and manage site-wide settings – General Settings, Reading, Writing and Discussions. You can also configure Permalink and Media settings.
How to Install a Theme
WordPress has 1000's of free themes that you can install on your blog. You also have the option to purchase premium themes.
While you are figuring out WordPress, I recommend installing some free themes, once you know what you are doing you can then move to a premium theme, if you want.
In this video, I will show you how to install both.
Permalinks determine the format of the URLs of your blog. By default, URLs look something like this 'mysite.com/?23.' which is not very pretty, nor is it descriptive or search engine friendly.
For blogs, the two most common URLs structures are 'postname' and 'category/postname.' In the below video I will show you how to set the permalinks for both options.
Customize Your Theme
Once you install a theme, you can customize its design using the 'Customizer Editor.' In the below video I will introduce you to the editor and explain some of the basics.
Adding Posts & Pages
Written content on your blog will take the form of Posts and Pages, and although similar on the outside they are different.
Posts vs Pages:
Posts – Posts will make up the majority of your blog content.
- They are dynamic, used for news, information updates and fresh content
- They display the date of their publication
- They appear in reverse chronological order (Newest first)
- They can be categorized and tagged by subject and topic
- Posts can be accessed through RSS feeds
Pages – Pages are for static content (not regularly updated) such as About, Contact, and Legal pages.
- They don't display the date of publication
- They don't have to comments
- They have a hierarchal structure of Parents and Children
- They are not included in RSS feeds
How to Create Categories
Categories allow you to organize your content by subjects and topics, enabling you to group related content.
Categorizing your content makes it easier for your readers to navigate your blog, it also helps Search Engines understand the relationships between the different types of content you publish.
How to Create a Navigation Menu
A navigation menu makes it easy for visitors to navigate your blog and find the content and information they needs. Menus typically include pages, posts, categorie and links.
Plugins enable you to add extra features and enhance the functionality of your WordPress theme. There are 1000's of plugins available (free and premium) for WordPress.org.
How to Add Widgets
Widgets enable you to add content or features to the sidebars, headers and footer of your blog. You can use them to display latest posts, advertisements, featured sections etc.
Over to You…
As I said, earlier, at first WordPress can seem a little daunting but you will get the hang of it very quickly, and the above videos should help you on your way and give you a good grasp of the basics.
If you get stuck on anything, please feel free to contact me or ask a question in the comments below.