Advancement in website creation technology means that you no longer need to bust your head writing code. There are many Content Management Systems (CMS) that make it possible for you as a beginner to create your own website with no hassle. One of the bestis WordPress.
Before you start installation, you need to first understand how WordPress works. If you are going for free hosting and a number of free features, then you should probably use WordPress.com. This is recommended if you only want a basic site that does not need a lot of editing and designing. When using WordPress.com, your domain name will appear like; yourdomain.worpress.com.
Apart from WordPress.com, you can opt to use the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can get from WordPress.org. With this version of WordPress, you are able to purchase your own domain name and pay for hosting thus gives you full control of your site and unlimited options. Your domain name will now be; www.yourdomain.com.
Working on WordPress does not necessarily need an expert, all you need to know are some of the basic features and functions and you could develop your own blog.
WordPress helps you to assign users different roles. This is especially useful if you have a team managing your website. The roles include; an administrator, author, editor, subscriber and contributor.
WordPress makes you an administrator by default, the owner of the site. You can choose to add other admins other than you, but remember that admins have access to all features, therefore they can delete, edit or add components to your site.
An author simply writes their own posts and publishes them.
An editor, like the name suggests, can edit, write and publish their own posts as well as other user’s posts.
A contributor is only allowed to write a post, but cannot publish it.
1. Logging in
Once you are done with the installation process, you will need to log in into WordPress as an administrator to get started. You’ll need to enter your password and the username that you had created during installation.
You can think of the dashboard as a ‘Summary’ of your entire site. WordPress dashboard generally helps you design your website. It is like a one stop shop that helps you easily navigate through everything in one window.
3. Posts and Pages
Your website serves no purpose without any content on it. You can choose to use both the posts and pages or either of them. A post is basically the ‘word’ element of your blog that is dynamic in nature. It means they can be changed or updated regularly.
Pages, on the other hand, are static elements of your website; they don’t need to change as often as posts. For example, you can create a contact page or a home page.
Here is a quick walk through of how to get started on creating your first post:
On the left hand side of your dashboard, there’s a Posts menu, hover on it and click on ‘Add New’ from the pop-up menu. Here you can write the title of your post and the post itself.
Creating a new WordPress page:
Hover on the ‘Pages’ menu item on the left hand side of the screen then click in ‘Add New’. In the page that loads, add your Page title and content. The content can be a combination of text, images, or video. After you are done, click the ‘Publish’ button on the right hand side of the page.
A theme defines the overall outlook of your website or blog. You can create your own theme, but this requires you to already be an experienced developer. Good thing is that there are thousands of WordPress themes available that make it easier and faster to create your website. Remember to choose a responsive theme i.e a theme that is compatible with different devices.
Themes have style sheets that contain CSS codes which explain how the interface should look.
With themes, you can be able to customize the color, font, page layouts, templates and widgets on your blog.
You can download and install as many themes as you like, but only one can be active at a time. You can however assign different themes to different pages, posts, or categories, but this is a more advanced feature that we will not cover at the moment. To install a theme, follow these steps:
In the dashboard navigation panel, expand the Appearance menu and click on ‘Themes’. Click on Add New, a window with free themes appears. Find the theme you like and click on install. After installation, click on Activate and your theme is ready to use.
WordPress also gives you an option of uploading your downloaded theme in .zip format.
A plugin is a third party software that improves the functionality of a website. Plugins can be used to add more features such as search engine optimization, creating forms, adding a social media button to your blog, among other customizable, easy to use features.
Just like themes, we have both free and premium plugins (premium means you need to purchase them) the process of installing them is however the same.
You can upload a .zip plugin file, install directly from the plugin directory on WordPress or upload them manually using an FTP software (not recommended for beginners).
Widgets are small tools that are normally placed either on the side bars, top of the page or bottom of the web page depending on its design. Examples of widgets are search bars, calendars, recent or archived posts placed in the sidebar.
Widgets can simply be incorporated into a theme if they are compatible. They can be added or removed as many times as the user wants. To add a widget to your page, here is what you need to do:
Click on ‘Appearance’, navigate to the ‘Widgets’ and click on it. Widgets will appear on the right in their specific locations. Add a widget by dragging it from the left into a widget location on the right. It is really as simple as that.
To delete a widget, simply click on delete or drag the widget to the left.
There you have it, a good looking site with posts and pages.
We hope that we have answered your question on how WordPress works, you are hereby fully equipped with the information that needs to get you started on creating that site. You can also find more information on WordPress Help forums or also contact us if you need assistance or want to fix issues related to WordPress. Working on WordPress is made really easy, flexible and very much affordable.