This post is an end user guide for anyone to learn how to use WordPress. If you are a new WordPress website owner, this tutorial /guide is for you.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an easy to use website Content Management System (CMS). As the name implies, a CMS, is a system for managing content for websites. WordPress is probably the most widely used CMS. Presently, as of 2017, WordPress powers over 28% of the web.
WordPress is flexible and highly customizable. And is capable of powering all types of websites. For example, personal blogs, eCommerce and news websites.
Learn WordPress Basics
Learning WordPress is easy even if you are a complete newbie. Often, the fear of “messing up” can deter a new user. Fret not. We will cover basic topics and concepts in WordPress. Such as, navigating the user dashboard, WordPress terminologies and WordPress settings. By understanding the basics of WordPress, you can be proficient very quickly.
If you need guidance to install WordPress, please read our article on how to install WordPress. You do not, however, need an active WordPress installation to understand this tutorial.
The Login Page
A WordPress website consist of 2 parts. The “Font-end” of the website, which is the website itself. And the “Back-end” which refers to the Administration Dashboard.
By default administration login page is found at: http://<your-domain.com>/wp-admin/. Replace <your-domain.com> with your domain address. For example, if your domain name is abc.com, then your login address will be http://abc.com/wp-admin/. This is the same for all WordPress installations.
The Admin Dashboard
Login to the WordPress admin dashboard by entering your credentials. WordPress will then bring you to dashboard screen.
At first, it may look a overwhelming for some. Rest assured that WordPress is the easiest to use content management system to master.
Navigating the admin panel is easy and straight forward. The main navigation resides on the left side of the screen. You will see various items such as “Dashboard”, “Posts” and “Media”.
A toolbar for easy access resides at the top of the screen. By rolling your mouse over the toolbar, you can see the various options available. Roll over the “Home” icon and click on “Visit Site” to visit your Website.
Learn WordPress : Administration Options
In our experience, most new users struggle to find the appropriate place to edit or customize their website. This is because, in part, that all WordPress themes are different with different options available. Therefore, by understanding the core basics of “what goes where” in WordPress, you will have a much easier experience.
The Dashboard presents you with an overview of your website. For example, you can see the latest activities and comments made on your website.
WordPress Posts allows you to compose and edit Blog Posts and Articles. You can categorize Posts with Categories and Tags. Furthermore, you can utilize different WordPress user roles to allow different authors to contribute to your blog or website.
Upload and manage media assets such as images, video and documents. An engaging website makes use of different media to illustrate or emphasize a point. WordPress supports common web media formats. For example, image formats such as JPG, PNG, GIF and Multimedia assets such as MP3 and MP4. More details on WordPress supported Media Formats.
Media is also conveniently integrated into Posts and Pages. You can also upload and insert media directly and easily while composing a Page or Post.
Unlike Posts, use Pages for different sections of the website. For example, use Pages for an “About” page or a “contact” page. Pages however, does not have a categorization system. Instead, they are hierarchical in a parent-child like relationship.
WordPress has an in-built Comments system. In this section, you can review, approve or delete comments posted on all your Posts and Pages.
The Appearance section deals with anything to do with the website aesthetics. Hence, if you are customizing a website, you will be spending a lot of time here.
A Theme is a template for the website that sets the design characteristics of the website. You can browse for free themes in the WordPress theme Repository, install a Premium WordPress theme or a Custom-made theme.
The WordPress Customizer is the default tool for customizing the website. Because all themes are different, you may find different options available. Some examples of uses are: changing of logo and color theme. However, Premium themes may not utilize this function. Instead, they may use a custom theme panel.
Widgets are useful snippets of code that add elements to your website. For instance, a “latest posts” section of the website. Unlike Shortcodes, Widgets can only be shown on a special area called Sidebars. Sidebars area are defined by the activated theme. For example a theme may have Sidebars defined on the right side of the Posts template.
The WordPress Menu system allows you to create navigation menus. However, the positioning and look of the menu depends on the activated Theme. A theme may also have multiple menu areas defined.
For advanced users, the editor function allows you to access the source code for the theme. Therefore, allowing you to directly edit the programming the theme.
Plugins are components that provide additional functions to WordPress. For instance, a plugin like WooCommerce adds eCommerce functionality to WordPress. Similar to the Themes section, you can install free plugins from WordPress Plugin Repository or upload a Premium Plugin.
The Users section allows you to manage registered user accounts of your website. You can assign different user roles for each user.
You can utilize the various plugins listed in this section to import or export content. For instance, you can use the Blogger Importer plugin to import your blog posts from Blogger. Some themes also require the WordPress Importer to import demo data.
Configure your website settings from this panel. For more details, read our guide on WordPress settings.
It is easy and fun to learn WordPress.
And We hope that this guide aids you on understanding how to use WordPress. Thank you for reading! Also, if you find this guide useful for beginners to learn WordPress, please consider sharing our article!