In this how to use WordPress tutorial, we’ll provide an introduction to WordPress for beginners, to help you get familiar with the fundamentals of WordPress. This WordPress tutorial for beginners, will cover what WordPress is, how it can be used, the process of installing WordPress, as well as the practical aspects of installing themes and plugins, and creating and managing content (including posts, pages, menus, and widgets). We’ve created a step by step post that accompanies this video, that you can follow along with on the OHKLYN website at OHKLYN o-h-k-l-y-n.com (there will be a direct link in the description below). In that post, you’ll find the written instructions, as well as any links mentioned in this video.

So I would recommend opening the post up in a new tab, and following along. We’ve broken this tutorial down into eight sections, these include: What is WordPress? How to install WordPress, an Overview of the WordPress dashboard Understanding the WordPress settings How to create and manage users in WordPress How to amend the appearance of a WordPress website or blog How to add additional functionality, and How to create and manage content in WordPress The various sections will be timestamped in the description below to make it easy to navigate through this tutorial. For a step by step tutorial on how to create a WordPress website or blog, check out one of our free tutorials on the OHKLYN website, or on our YouTube channel. We’ll also add any related videos in the description below. You will be able to follow along with this tutorial and setup your own WordPress website or blog.

We’ve added some discount links for hosting and themes, that you can access in the description below or on the OHKLYN website here. So, let’s get to it! Firstly, What is WordPress? WordPress is what’s referred to as a Content Management System, or CMS for short. The objective of a CMS, is to take care of the technical aspects of web publishing, allowing the user to focus on creating great content. WordPress is open source software, meaning that it isn’t owned by a specific individual or organisation, and is free to use, improve, or extend. You can use the WordPress software in a number of ways, however the two most common ways of creating a publicly available WordPress website, are via the hosted or SaaS version (WordPress.com), or the self-hosted version (WordPress.org). In addition to the two primary versions for creating a WordPress website or blog, you can also install WordPress locally on you PC or Mac. Let’s explore the three most common ways of leveraging the WordPress software. Firstly, you could install WordPress locally – To install WordPress locally on your computer, you will need to download a tool like MAMP.

Once you’ve installed MAMP on your computer, you’ll download the latest version of WordPress, from WordPress.org, and install it on your localhost. We’ll put together a post and video on this shortly. Then there is the hosted version of WordPress (referred to as WordPress.com) – The hosted or SaaS version of WordPress allows you to leverage the WordPress software, without needing to concern yourself with domain, and hosting management. Your site is hosted by WordPress.com, which will make getting started a lot easier for some. However, the trade-off is that this platform enforces a number of restrictions that impact the design, functionality, and flexibility of your site. The most popular option though, is the self hosted version (referred to as WordPress.org) – the self-hosted version of WordPress, removes all of these restrictions.

However, you will need to secure your own domain and hosting, and install WordPress on your desired domain. This will be a new experience for a number of users. Fortunately, we have created a number of free WordPress tutorials that walk you through this process step by step. And we’ll cover this off quickly for you now. To install WordPress, you will need to secure your domain and set up hosting for that domain. We’ll go through the steps of how to do that now, and give you two hosting options as well as provide discount links for each option. 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’s relevant and memorable. Hosting, is the process of storing the content and data for your online store on a web server, and serving it to users. For this tutorial, there’s two options to choose from, and we’ll quickly walk you through getting started with each. The first is the cheaper shared hosting option through Bluehost, and the second is the premium option through WP Engine. We use both providers, OHKLYN is hosted on WP Engine, and our demo sites are hosted on bluehost. There are discount links to each option below, and on the OHKLYN website. Firstly, for those who want to go with the cheaper option let’s register your free domain and set up hosting with Bluehost. For those that want to go with WP Engine skip ahead to the next section, and follow the instructions. There’s a link in the description below that gives you access to discount hosting through bluehost, as well as a free domain name.

If you’re following along on the OHKLYN website, you can click on this button here to get access. Here is a list of the types of domains that are included for free, some of which include a: .com .online .store .net .org .co .club Now, if you’ve already purchased your domain, or you want to purchase an alternative top level domain (such as .shop, or you want a country specific domain such as .co.uk, or .com.au), you can purchase that domain through a registrar like GoDaddy, Crazy domains or any other domain registrar (I’ll add some links below). If you go with that option, or as I mentioned – 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 hosting provider). Fortunately, we’ve written an article, and a step by step guide on how to do this (I’ll add the links to these guides in the description box). For the bluehost option, we’ll take care of both registering your domain, and setting up hosting, as well as installing WordPress together.

So, to do this follow the bluehost link in the description below, or if you’re on the OHKLYN website, follow this button here. Bluehost is an affiliate partner of OHKLYN, so by using those links, not only do you get access to discount hosting and a free domain, but they’ll set aside a few dollars from their marketing budget to help fund future free videos like this one. So we appreciate you using the link provided. If you plan on creating an eCommerce website and want to process credit card payments on your site, you will need an SSL certificate. Alternatively, if you just want to process payments externally via PayPal, you won’t need an SSL certificate.

If you’re going to use PayPal as your sole payment gateway, you can go with the the standard shared hosting plan, and click the ‘Get Started Now’ button to select your hosting plan and register your free domain. If you want to accept credit card payments on your site, then under the ’Hosting’ option in the menu, click on WooCommerce hosting, and then ‘Get started now’. Check out our tutorial on How to Create an eCommerce Website if that’s what you wanna do, as it will take you through the steps of how to do it. The link will be in the description below, on the OHKLYN website, and on our YouTube channel. Regardless of which option you went with, you’ll then select the plan that’s right for you. If you intend to have just the one domain, then the first option we’ll be fine, alternatively if you want to have multiple domains on the one hosting account, then you’ll need to select one of the other plans.

You can always amend this down the track. And the great thing is that you get a 30 day money back guarantee on either plan, so you can get started risk-free. For this example though, I’ll go with the middle option. To get your free domain name, you’ll enter the desired domain name for your website, blog, or online store into the ‘new domain’ field, select the domain extension (for example .store), 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 here. In the package information section, choose your desired hosting term and domain add-on preferences. I recommend selecting ‘domain privacy protection’ so that your 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 will have been sent a confirmation email to the designated email address on the account. 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 login 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 (the direct link will be in the description below). You can choose to install one of the free pre-selected WordPress themes on your domain. For this tutorial, we’ll use a premium WordPress theme, so in this case we’ll just 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 i’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, JetPack, Mojo Marketplace, OptinMonster, and WPForms. You can leave these active, or choose to deactivate and delete these plugins. I’ll leave this up to you.

I’ll delete mine, as I like to use as few plugins as possible. This can be done in bulk, by selecting the checkbox next to the plugins, choosing deactivate from the bulk actions dropdown and then clicking apply. I’ll then delete all of the selected plugins. Then return back to my WordPress dashboard. If I enter in my domain name, I’ll see that WordPress is now installed. Congratulations! You officially have a new website! For those that have gone through registering your domain and setting up hosting with bluehost, you can move on to the next step which will be an overview of the WordPress dashboard.. Click on the timestamp in the description below to skip ahead. For those who want faster hosting, or more consistent hosting, and wanna go with a premium hosting solution, we’ll go through the steps of setting up hosting with WP Engine.

As part of the OHKLYN community, you’re entitled to a discount by following the link provided, which is either in the description box below, or if you’re following along on the OHKLYN website, you can click on this link here. That will take us to the WP engine site, we’ll scroll down until we see the different plans. If you just want to set up a single website, the personal plan will be fine, you can always add additional domains at any stage; however if you going to manage multiple websites, then you may want to look at the other plans. For this example, we’ll go with the personal option, that will take us through to this page here. By selecting the annual option we get two months free, and in addition to that, through being part of OHKLYN community, you get access to a 20% off coupon on top of that.

To get access to that, click the link provided, or enter OHKLYN o-h-k-l-y-n.com/go/wp-engine which will take you through to the WP Engine site, and include the discount. If for whatever reason, the discount code doesn’t carry across, then signup to our newsletter and you’ll be sent a welcome email with the WP-Engine discount code included. To create your account, enter your email, account name, select which Data Center you want to use. There are a number of options to choose from, pick the location that’s closest to you, or your intended audience.

Then, input your name, scroll down to the billing information, and add your billing info. Review the terms and conditions, and then click on Create My Site. Once you’ve done that, your WP engine portal will be in the process of being built. You can confirm the details here, the Plan Details are on the left hand side, and your Billing Information is on the right. If we scroll down, we’ll see the details of our account and username, your password will be sent to your email account, and then below that we’ve got the details of our URL. On the OHKLYN website, there’s a link to a video that goes through how you complete your set up process, so I’d recommend clicking on that to finalize your account set up.

The cool thing about WP engine is you won’t need to install WordPress, they do that for you. There are some tools to help with getting started, so if you need to migrate an existing site then there’s a tool to help you with that. The best thing about managed hosting is that you’ve got full support, so if there’s anything that’s unique, or you’re struggling with anything in particular, you can contact them directly and they’ll be able to help you through the process. You will have received an email from WP engine, follow that link through to enter your password, and that will take you to your WP engine portal which looks like this. Pause this video, and once you’ve pointed your domain’s A record at WP Engine, and WordPress is installed for you, we can continue on to the next section Once again, follow the link on the OHKLYN post here to the video on how to point your domain’s A record at WP Engine, and finalize your hosting setup.

I’ve installed WordPress in a development environment. It’s a clean WordPress install so it should look the same, if it’s slightly different don’t worry – the fundamentals will all be the same. I do a lot of WordPress website and blog development for clients and prefer to work in a staging or development environment before pushing a site live, however, it isn’t always necessary. Ok, so the WordPress dashboard or admin panel is broken down into 3 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. I’ll give you a brief overview of each section now – if you want to take a deeper look then check out our Introduction to WordPress for Beginners guide and video. 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 backend.

From the left, you have the WordPress logo that acts as a dropdown to provide information about WordPress and some useful links. Next is the site name, when clicked, this will navigate you to the front-end of your website. If a newer version of WordPress is available or any plugins on your site need updating, a conditional button will appear here next to your site name. You then have a count of the comments held for moderation.

Next is the New button, hovering over this gives you the option to create a new post, new media item, new page, or a new user. On the right hand side, you have “Howdy,” and your name followed by a dummy avatar, which can be updated via Gravitar.com (which stands for globally recognized avatar) – we’ll update this later when we customize your website. By hovering over your name you can access your profile information and settings, as well as the logout button for your website. If we click on the site name that will take us to the front of your website (yes it’s uninspiring at the moment, but that will soon change). You’ll see that the toolbar options have changed. From the left we still have our WordPress logo as before, however if we hover over the site name, you have more navigation options. You can head back to the dashboard, manage your theme, widgets, and site menus. Next to the site name, is the customize option which takes you to your theme customizer settings. We’ll go through this in more detail later. If we click into a post or page, you’ll see we now have the option to edit the post or page.

By clicking on edit post (or page), you will be taken directly to the backend of that post or page to make edits – this is a powerful feature and one that will save you a lot of time. When you add additional plugins, and with some WordPress themes you will also have additional features within the toolbar. Ok so back to our main dashboard. The Admin menu located to the left of your dashboard is separated into 3 main sections, those 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. For a more detailed overview see our Introduction to WordPress for Beginners guide or video. 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. I’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. The first thing I always do when setting up a new WordPress website or blog – is adjust the global WordPress settings – so let’s do that first. To do that – from your dashboard, hover over settings in the admin menu and you’ll see the six default WordPress settings (with certain themes, and additional plugins you will have access to additional options here), however the default global settings will be: General, Writing, Reading, Discussions, Media, and Permalinks Let’s go into: General – At the top this is where you manage your sitename and tagline – you can also manage this from within your theme customizer which we’ll cover off in a bit.

The WordPress address and site address are more advanced options and relate to the location of the WordPress software. Changing these can bring your site down if you don’t know what you’re doing, so we’ll leave these as is. Below that is the admin email address, and by default is the email address you used to set up WordPress. This email will be used to notify the admin user of any changes on your site such as automatic updates, registration of new users, etc and can be amended here. The membership option allows anyone to sign up to your site and while it has very specific function, is a dangerous option – I would encourage you to leave this unchecked.

Below that you can choose the default user role, Choose your site language, timezone, preferred date and time format, and which day of the week your week starts on. If you commit any changes you will need to hit ‘save changes’ at the bottom. The next tab is Writing – The writing settings allows you to set a default post category and post formatt for your blog posts. You can also enable the ability to post to your blog via email – which is a cool feature, but not something we’re gonna cover in this video.

On the Reading tab – you are able to amend the front page display, or set the homepage for your website. For most websites you will want to design and set a specific page as your homepage, which you would do by selecting the static option and choosing the page you want from the dropdown. Later we’ll upload demo content to set one of the homepage layout options, from the demo site. Alternatively, you can create a new page, use the builder and shortcodes to create the layout you want and set that as your homepage. We’ll set our ‘Posts page’ as our blog page, which we’ll do later. This is the default page where our blog posts will show up. You can also manage this from within the theme customizer. Next you can amend how many posts are showing on index pages of your website (which would include the front page, any category or archive pages, etc), by default this is set to 10 but you can show as many as you like.

The next option relates to syndication feeds or RSS feeds and isn’t something you’ll likely use. The next option relates to what’s included in a feed and isn’t overly relevant. At the bottom however is the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ checkbox which prevents your website from being indexed by search engines like Google – you’ll leave this checked while you build out your website, but once you’re ready to go live, you will want to uncheck this box so that your website can be found on Google, etc. Once again, save any changes. Discussions – is where you manage how and when comments are displayed on your site and how users can interact with comments.

These will change depending on your preferences, however i’ll walk you through my prefered options and explain the reasons why. For more info review the documentation for each option under the help tab. Under ‘Default article settings’ I’ll uncheck the first two options, as these are legacy options and have been somewhat exploited. I’ll leave ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’ checked – if you want to disable comments on future posts, you would uncheck this option. Next is ‘Other comment settings’, I highly recommend leaving ‘Comment author must fill out name and email’ checked, this will help avoid spam comments and general trolling.

The following option relates to the membership option we talked about earlier and if the user needs to be registered to comment. You can prevent people from commenting on old content by closing comments on articles older than a specific number of days. You can enable nested replies to comments and set the level of depth. I typically leave this as is, but check and see what this looks like on smaller devices as it can impact the design and user experience if there’s too many levels of nested comments.

If your site gets lots of comments you will want to enable the ‘Break comments into pages’ options so that your page doesn’t become overrun with comments. Lastly you can change the order of how comments appear (with oldest or newest at the top of the page) You then have some notification settings which you can amend to suit you. Below that, you can choose to either approve every comment manually – which may be tedious but will ensure you only post welcomed comments, and/or the option automatically publish comments, provided the author has a previously approved comment. I would advise against turning both of these off as your site will likely be inundated with spam. I tend to leave the settings as they are. Next you can automatically hold comments for moderation if they have greater than x number of links in the comment. Links are indicative of spam comments and I generally set this to 1, however you can leave this as is or set it to whichever you want. At the very bottom of the page, you can amend the comment avatar settings, set the rating for the avatar and pick the default avatar that is display whenever someone commenting doesn’t have an avatar linked to their email.

If you’ve made changes, select ‘save changes’ Media settings are where you can amend the default image sizes that are created by WordPress anytime you upload an image. Generally these settings won’t need to be amended, and if it’s required your theme documentation will advise you on the appropriate settings. By default WordPress organizes your media uploads by date, to amend this you can uncheck this box, otherwise leave this checked. Finally, permalinks – is a setting we will adjust as it relates to how permalinks or urls are created on your website. By default this is set to day and name to reflect a journal, however I would recommend changing this to Post name, as it will clean up your url string to represent the post, page or product name, this is the most common option, and is arguably a preferred option from an SEO perspective. Set whichever you want, but try not to change this later as it will break your urls. We’ll leave the category and tag base blank. Remember to save any changes. Now that we’ve covered of the global WordPress settings let’s quickly look at how you manage users on your site.

You may want to set up contributors to your website or bring on an editor or shop manager, and the users panel is where you do that. From your dashboard hover over users in the admin menu. Your options are to view all users, add a new users, or view your profile. Let’s view your profile first, this is the admin user that was created when you installed WordPress. At the top you can disable the visual builder for posts and pages, when you’re new to WordPress and don’t have a working knowledge of HTML, I would keep this unchecked. Next you can amend the color palette for your backend dashboard. You can enable keyboard shortcuts (to learn more click on the link).

Below that you can disable the toolbar when viewing your site. Here you can add your first name, last name and nickname, and then choose how you want that name to be displayed publicly, as the author of published posts. Next is the email address associated to this user account. This is also associated to your gravatar (which we will set up in a moment), you can enter in an website address associated with this user account. Below that you can add an author bio that will typically show up under the post along with the user gravatar, and display name chosen above, to set your gravatar image open the link here in a new tab, you will need a wordpress.com account for the email address used for the user account. If you have one – login, otherwise, create a free account.

You’ll be sent a confirmation email, to activate your account follow the link in the email and then sign into gravatar. Click on add a new image and choose the image source, I’ll choose to upload one, crop the image if needed, set the rating for your avatar and you’re all set. Below that are some general account management settings related to your password and account access. And underneath that, you can add links to the author’s social media profiles, which will be display under posts with the name, bio, avatar, entered above. Lastly, there are the author signature or sign off options. Remember to click update profile to save changes. Under the All user tab you can view and manage all users of your website, including deleting users, and amending access levels and user settings by clicking into the user account. That will take you to the screen we were just on for that specific user. To create new users, click on add new. Enter the new users information, and set a password. You can choose to send an email notifying the user of their new account.

The most important option though is selecting the user role. Subscriber is the lowest level of access and are created when someone registers to your website. With this access level they can only see and manage their own user profile. Contributor is the next level of access. They only have the ability to create, edit and delete their own unpublished posts. They are unable to upload or edit media, publish posts, or edit or delete their posts once they’ve been published. Author has the same access as the contributor, except that they are able to publish edit and delete published or unpublished posts as well as upload media items. Editor has a greater level of access including all of what an author has, plus the ability to view, edit, delete and publish other user’s posts, as well as manage categories and comments. Administrator is the highest level of access and has full control over your site. Be careful who you assign this role too, as they have the ability to change everything, including user accounts. When we install the WooCommerce plugin, two new user types will be created: Customer – which is created when someone checkouts on your site.

This allows them to view order details, and order history. As well as edit their customer account. The other user type is Shop Manager – If you decide to hire someone to manage your online store, you can assign this access level. This will allow them to edit the WooCommerce settings, products, and view WooCommerce reports. It has the similar level of access as the Editor role. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate level of access and entered the user’s information.

Select, ‘Add new user’. What will have the biggest impact on the appearance of your WordPress website or blog, is the theme you decide to use. A WordPress theme will take the content that you create, and represent it in dramatically different ways. So What is a WordPress theme? A WordPress theme is a group of files that work with the underlying WordPress software to enhance the design and functionality of a WordPress website or blog. To learn more review our what is a WordPress theme article. To find the right WordPress theme for your project, check out the WordPress theme reviews section of the OHKLYN blog to see the best rated themes by niche, or view our article on the best WordPress theme providers & marketplaces. There are both free themes and premium themes that you can use for your website. The main benefits of using a premium theme is access to support, the inclusion of more extensive theme documentation or instructions, extended functionality, and access to demo content (and often a one-click demo content importer).

Which for around $50-100 is good value. Premium support packages can cost $50/mth, so the fact that this is included in a premium theme, makes it a smart investment. Let’s cover off the steps of how to install a WordPress theme. Firstly, we’ll cover the steps of how to install a free WordPress theme From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Themes’. Select ‘Add new’, and either search or browse for the theme you want. Once, you’ve selected the theme you want to use, select ‘Install’, then ‘Activate’. Now let’s take a look at the steps to upload and install a premium WordPress theme The first step is to purchase and download your premium WordPress theme, this will be in the form of a .zip file. We recommend either Themify, Elegant Themes, or CSSIgniter (there’s discount links to each provider in the description below, or on the OHKLYN post here). Sign up to our newsletter to get a 30% discount for Themify and other providers. Once you’ve downloaded your theme (a .zip file), from your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Themes’, and choose ‘Add new’.

Select ‘Upload theme’, click on ‘Choose file’, and navigate to the .zip file for your theme you want to upload. Hit ‘Open’, then ‘Install Now’. Once it’s done you’ll get a confirmation message stating that the theme installed successfully. Select ‘Activate’, and you’re all set. Let’s take a look at plugins and how you can extend the core functionality of your website. As we mentioned, a WordPress theme will have a significant impact on the look and feel of your website, as well as its core functionality. However, you are able to add additional functionality to your WordPress website or blog by installing plugins. Ok, so what is a WordPress plugin? Plugins are used to extend the core functionality of WordPress, allowing you to customize your site in a number of unique ways.

The most common plugins include contact forms, chat, security, eCommerce, SEO, caching, and performance plugins. Let’s take a look at how to install a plugin From your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins in the admin menu, and select ‘Add new’. Search for the plugin you want to install, or upload a plugin, by selecting ‘upload plugin’ and selecting the plugin file. Hit ‘Install now’. Then, ‘Activate’. With plugins, you always want to check the number of active installs, the star rating and of reviews, when it was last updated, and if it’s compatible with your version of WordPress. Ok, so we’ve covered off on the more technical aspects of setting up and configuring a WordPress website or blog, let’s take a look at how to create and manage content in WordPress.

To do this we’ll explore the content management section of the admin menu, starting with Posts Posts are used to publish any ‘blog content’ and are associated with a category or grouped within a specific topic. By default, posts are displayed in reverse chronological order with the more recent and relevant content visible immediately for users. If you hover over posts, you’ll see the four default WordPress options are All Posts, Add new, categories and tags.

All posts is where you’ll manage your posts and we’ll take a good look in there in a minute. Add new is how you create a new post. You can also create a new post by hovering over new at the top within the WordPress toolbar, and selecting post. Categories is where you’ll create and manage the categories for your blog. We can also create new categories from within the post editor which i’ll show you in just a moment.

Categories can be hierarchical, for example you might have Fashion as a category and casual as a sub-category of Fashion. Tags allow you another way adding commonalities to posts. Let’s click on All Posts and dig a little further into posts. At the top, you have the option to create a new post by clicking on Add New. Below that you have the count of posts by status – initially you will only see ‘All’, and ‘Published’ – as you create more content you will often have posts in other statuses like ‘Draft’, ‘Pending review’, ‘Sticky’ which means a post that you’ve pinned to the top of your blog, or ‘trash’.

Below that you can bulk edit or trash multiple posts. And next to that, is the option to filter posts by publish date or category. Below that is your posts workspace, which shows all your current posts. From left to right you will see the post title, author, category or categories, tags, comments, and published or last modified date. Plugins and certain themes will add additional columns to this section. With a clean WordPress install there will be the dummy ‘Hello Word’ post. To edit a post you can either click on the post title or the edit button to jump into the edit post section. You can also select quick edit, which allows you to edit certain aspects of the post such as the title, categories, status, etc. To delete a post, select ‘trash’. This doesn’t permanently delete a post, rather moves it to the ‘Trash’ status or folder. If you click on the trash link here, this will take you to all posts that have been trashed.

From there, you can either permanently delete the post or restore the post, which will revert the post back to it’s previous status. Let’s jump into the post and run through the available options. This is the same view you’ll see when you create a new post. On the left hand side of the workspace is where we manage the post content and the right hand side is where we manage the post admin info and post meta. We’ll start with the left hand side. At the top of the workspace is where you enter the post title. The permalink below that is automatically created once you enter the post title – this can be amended by selecting edit. Below that is the main content panel and looks very similar to a word processing application, and functions very similarly.

Some themes will be equipped with a page builder to help create more diverse layouts. When it comes to adding blog content, there are two views the visual editor which tries to replicate what it will look like on the front end of your site, and the text editer which stripes all the formatting and relies on HTML to markup or format the text. The visual editor is most common for beginners, whereas the text editor is preferred by those with a working knowledge of HTML. In the visual editor you have a row of formatting options, similar to what you’ll find in a word processing application – you can expand the options available by clicking this toggle here. You can either create and format your content directly within the post editor or copy in content from an external document like Google docs. If you copy and paste content in you will need to paste the content in as unformatted text. To do this, either select the ‘paste as text’ option from the formatting bar, or paste it directly into the text editor tab. If you prefer to write your posts from within WordPress, you can leverage the distraction free writing tool by clicking this button here to help keep you focused.

Let’s quickly run through your options for formatting your text. To add headings or titles to your post you’ll highlight the text and select which level of heading it is. Typically there should only be 1 heading One or H1 per page which should be reserved for your main blog title. Headings should be used to specific hierarchy, and not as formatting. You can Bold and italics text which in HTML is referred to as strongly emphasize, and emphasize the text. You can add bullet or numbered points to text, in HTML this is referred to as adding an unordered or ordered list. For an unordered list the shortcut is to type a ‘-’ followed by the text. Similarly the shortcut for an ordered list is to type ‘1. Space’ followed by the text. To add another level of lists within a list, you can use the increase indent and decrease indent buttons on the bottom row. To add a blockquote or pull a quote out of an article, you can click on the paragraph you want to wrap in a blockquote and select the block quote option.

You have your alignment options here and next to that is the link options. To add a link to some text, simply select the text you want to make clickable (this is referred to as the anchor text), and select the insert/edit link button. You can then type or paste in the destination url or link address and hit apply. Or click on the settings icon for more options. If you want the link to open in a new tab, check the ‘open link in a new tab box’. To remove a link, click on the link and hit the remove link button. You can truncate posts by including a ‘read more’ tag at any given point within the article, this will control how much of the post is show on index pages and adds a read more button. This can also be controlled globally by your WordPress theme or via the post extract within the post editor. On the bottom line, you can add a strikethrough your text which edits out the text but doesn’t delete it. You can add a horizontal line to a post to break up the content before the line from that which follows.

You can also amend the text color (although I wouldn’t recommend doing it here for an entire post). You then have paste as text, which we’ve talked about, Clear formatting, add special characters, indent content, and undo and redo your edits. To add images to your posts, click or move your cursor to where you want to insert the image and select, ‘Add media’, upload or select the image you want to insert. You can add a title, caption, alternative text, and a description to your image (different themes will treat this information differently), and select ‘Insert into post’. If you click on the image, you can change the alignment, or click on the ‘edit’ icon to access more options. Within the display settings, you can select the image size and amend the link attributes of the image. Under the advanced options, you can add a CSS class, have the link open in a new tab, and amend other attributes.

To add an image gallery, click or move your cursor to where you want to insert the gallery and select, ‘Add media’, Then choose ‘create gallery’. Upload or select the images you want to include in your gallery, and click ‘create a new gallery’. To amend the order of the images in your gallery, simply click and drag and drop them in your prefered order. In the gallery settings on the right, ‘link to’ media file, and choose your desired image size. Once you’ve done that, select ‘update gallery’ – with the theme that we’ll upload next, that will mean that when you click on an image within an image gallery, it will open in a navigable lightbox. Ok, so that’s how you’ll add and format content Below the content editor there are currently no more fields, however under screen options at the top right, you can amend the visibility of addition fields that are used to control things such as the post excerpt, author, etc.

On the right hand side, you have your Publishing panel – Here is where you manage the status and visibility of a post. When you create a new post, the default status will be set to draft. Once you’ve added content to a new post, or made edits to an existing post, you can either save the post as a draft (if it hasn’t been published already), or preview the post to see what your post would look like from the front end.

The visibility options allow you to set a post to private, password protected, or public. You can also choose to make a specific post sticky, meaning it gets pinned to the frontpage of your blog. When you’re happy with the post, you can select Publish to enable to post to be visible on your site. You can also schedule a post to be published at a specific future date and time. The timezone is based on the time and date settings configured in your general settings tab. The next panel is the Post format panel – This allows you to specify which type of post it is and style it differently. This isn’t supported across all themes and can be confusing, but when used effectively, is a nice feature. The Categories panel – allows you to assign a post to a category or categories. You can also create new categories from within this section by clicking on ‘add new category’, entering in the new category, selecting whether or not it has a parent category, and selecting ‘Add new category’.

In the tags panel below – you can add as many comma-separated tags to your post as you like, by entering them in and selecting ‘Add’, to remove tags, simply click on the ‘x’ next to the tag you want to remove. Lastly is the Feature image – To add a feature image select ‘Set feature image’ and either choose an image from the media library or upload a new image. When you’ve chosen the image you want select, ‘set feature image’. To remove the feature image click remove feature image, and to change the feature image, click on the feature image and upload or select a new feature image from the media library. Ok, so that’s pretty much what you need to know about creating and managing posts, let’s take a quick look at pages.

Pages in WordPress are used for more permanent and timeless content that is likely to remain relevant for a longer period of time – For example, a homepage, about, or contact page. To create or manage pages, from your WordPress dashboard, hover over ‘Pages’ in the admin menu > From here you can either view all pages, or add a new page. For now we’ll click on view all pages. The workspace will look similar to the posts section we just covered. Let’s take a look at the sample page that’s been created. You will use the title, permalink and content panel on the left the same way as you will for posts. Or you’ll use one of the page builders that’s compatible with your WordPress theme. On the right hand side, the publish panel and feature image panel are also very similar. The page attributes panel, however is unique to pages. Parent allows you to select a parent page to establish site hierarchy. Depending on which theme you have activated you may or may not see the page templates drop down. Page templates alter the appearance of pages such as including or removing sidebars, etc.

I would recommend going through the various page templates within your theme to understand what each template is doing. The order box allows you to set the order of how pages appear on the ‘All pages’ tab. The media section of WordPress is where you upload all your images and other assets. It is recommended that you avoid uploading videos to your WordPress media library. Instead, use a video hosting service like YouTube or Wistia, as hosting videos on your WordPress host will drain your resources.

We’ve already covered how to add media items directly to your post and pages, however you can also upload media by hovering over ‘Media’ > and selecting ‘Add new’. From there you can either select the files from your computer or simply drag and drop them into the media library. Try to keep image files as small as possible (typically no larger than 500kb) as larger files will slow down your sites page load speed. If you want to upload a pdf document or something similar for users to download from your website, you can also add it in here. Once you’ve uploaded the document select the url and use that as the link destination when you insert a link to text or an image from within your posts or pages. Let’s go and take a look at Menus, which are the primary vehicle for users to navigate through your WordPress website. By default every theme will have a primary navigation menu, however, many themes will provide you with the option to have multiple menus, as well as mega-menus which are very popular in certain types of blogs, websites, and online stores.

To create and manage menus, from your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Menus’, alternatively you can also do this via the theme customizer, by navigating to the menus tab under ‘Appearance’ > ‘Customize’. The menus page is broken down into two tabs, edit menus, which is where you manage the content within your menus, and manage locations, which is where you can assign a menu to a specific menu location. To create a new menu, click on ‘create a new menu’, give it a name (pick something that makes sense to you), below that you’ll have your menu structure. You will first need to set a menu location for the newly created menu, which is down the bottom, depending on the theme you’re using, you may have various options. If you’re creating a new menu, or managing an existing menu, you’ll need to add menu items from the available options on the left. To add pages to your menu, check the boxes next to the pages you want to add, and select ‘add to menu’.

You can do the same thing to add posts, custom links, and categories. Under the screen options panel at the top, you are able to add more options, like products, tags, product categories, and product tags (if WooCommerce is enabled). You also have the ability to add CSS classes to individual menu items, as well as set the link target, which allows menu items to be opened in a new tab. Once you’ve added your menu items, select create menu, or save menu to amend an existing menu. To learn more check out the WordPress codex on menus. We’ll look at Widgets. Widgets are components designed to serve a specific purpose that you can add to any widget enabled area on your website (such as the sidebar or footer).

Common widgets include the search widget, recent posts widget, categories widget, text widget (that enables you to add text, images, links, and certain code snippets). There are often also theme and plugin specific widgets which bring in additional functionality. You can access the widgets panel by navigating to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Widgets’, or via the theme customizer which can be located in the menu under ‘Appearance’ > ‘Customize’ and by navigating to ‘Widgets’. To edit the widgets, click on the dropdown arrow, update the widget information, and click save. Unlike the customizer, any changes you make will automatically be live on your website. To change the order of the widgets, drag and drop them into place. To remove a widget simply click on delete. And to add a new widget, drag the widget from the left and drop it into the widget area on the right. The last thing I’ll show you is the theme customizer, which you can access by hovering over ‘Appearance’ in the admin menu, and selecting ‘customize’. This will always be different depending on the theme you have installed, but is where you will amend the global theme settings, like your website header, colors, and various other layout and appearance settings.

Many premium themes will also have a custom tab where you will be able to manage the theme settings with greater control, and more available options. And that completes our WordPress tutorial for beginners, to learn more about WordPress, or how to set up a WordPress website or blog, check out one of our free WordPress tutorials. For more information about anything we’ve covered in this post, review the WordPress documentation, or the help tab from within WordPress. Depending on which theme you’re using, the options will vary greatly, so remember to review the theme specific documentation, for the theme you’re using.

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