Getting started on WordPress
Before going into the details of this guide and explain yourself how to use WordPress, you must know that to use the famous CMS it is necessary to have purchased a hosting service, have installed WordPress locally or have chosen one of the services that allow you to create ready-to-use WordPress websites without spending a cent.
If you are ready to use WordPress and you simply want to understand how to navigate its features, all you have to do is continue reading this guide. If not, I leave you to my in-depth guides to choose the solution that best suits your needs.
- Best hosting for WordPress
- How to install WordPress on Aruba
- How to create a site with WordPress
- How to install WordPress locally
If you are a beginner and have never had anything to do with WordPress so far, my advice is to rely on a service like Altervista, which offers both the web space (hosting) and the domain for free, with a ready-to-use WordPress package. use. By doing so, you will be able to carry out all the tests you want without worrying about creating "damage".
After you have made your choice and completed the WordPress installation, you are ready to start using the famous CMS. If your site is already online, linked to its main page, locate the button Login and log in with your login credentials. If your site's theme doesn't include a button Login, to access you will need to connect to the page www.nomesito.it/wp-login.php.
By entering your credentials in the fields Username or email address e Password e pigging your pulse Login, a new page will open, called Dashboard WordPress (or Dashboard), where you can view the latest WordPress news, use some quick commands and check the latest activity on your site. By clicking on one of the options visible in the sidebar on the left, you can access the WordPress features.
- Dashboard: In addition to the information indicated above, in this section you can view any new updates of WordPress, plugins, themes and translations.
- Articles: to create new articles to publish on your site. It also allows you to manage categories and tags.
- Media: it is the archive that collects all the files (images, text documents, audio files, etc.) that are uploaded to the site.
- Pages: to create the pages of your site.
- Post comments : is the section in which all the comments that readers post in the comments space of articles and pages are collected. The site administrator can choose to approve, trash or mark each individual comment as spam.
- Appearance: is the section that allows you to choose the graphic aspect of the site (by installing new graphic themes), to make changes and to manage the menus.
- Plugin: to install new tools that allow you to increase the functionality of WordPress. There are plugins of all kinds and for all needs, both free and paid.
- users: is the section in which to manage users registered on the site, change their role (and therefore permissions) and to add new users manually.
- Instruments: to access basic WordPress features, such as importing or exporting files and deleting users' personal data.
- Settings: to set the site title and manage general WordPress settings, such as language, time zone, default categories and much more.
As I will show you in the next few paragraphs, installing new plugins may add new entries in the left sidebar.
Create pages and articles
One of the fundamental points for the success of a site is the creation and publication of new content. On WordPress this operation (which is usually daily) takes place via the creation of pages and articles.
Before I give you the walkthrough for posting new content, it's helpful to make a distinction between pages and articles.
- Pages: they are used to contain static information that will remain unchanged over time, such as pages about who we are, where we are, our history, etc. They can be primary pages (called Parent pages) or subpages, placed in a hierarchical order. The Biography page of this blog, in which I write my story, is indeed a page.
- Articles: are the posts that make up a site, i.e. those informative contents that have a publication date and a specific topic (Categories). What you are reading is a WordPress article.
Now that you understand the difference between WordPress pages and posts, you can move on to creating and publishing your content.
To create a new page, click on the entry Pages present in the left side menu and presses the button Add page. In the new screen that appears, type your page title in the field Enter the title here and insert its contents into the testo field present in the center of the page.
Through the box Page attributes, you can choose the template to be attributed to the created page (if required by the graphic theme installed) and set itsordinance, useful for a possible positioning in the menus of your site. Also, via the drop-down menu Parent page, you can set the degree of the created page: by choosing Base page (set by default) the page created will be a parent page, while to set a sub-page you must select the one that should be the parent page from the drop-down menu.
Once you have created your page, locate the box Public and click sul pulsating Save draft to save the page without publishing it, otherwise press the button Public. By clicking on the option Pages present in the sidebar on the left, you can access the list of all the pages created (both those published and saved in draft) and, pausing with the mouse pointer on the title of the page of your interest, you can proceed with its modification (Modification), its fast modification (Quick edit) or its cancellation (Basket).
The procedure for creating and publishing an article is almost similar to what has just been described for the pages. Then click on the item Articles present in the sidebar on the left, press the button add article and enter the title in the field Enter the title here. Then proceed with the writing of your article, then locate the box Featured image e fai clic sull'opzione Set image to highlight to upload an image or choose one already present in the archive Media to be used as a preview image of the article.
Also, if you wish, you can enter a short description of your item in the field Summary. This description (for the more experienced known as meta description) will be the content visible under the title of the article in the search engine results. If you don't enter any description in the field Summary, WordPress will automatically use the first words of your post as a meta description.
Finally, locate the box Category and put the check mark next to the category to which the article belongs. The categories are nothing more than containers that collect the articles of the same topic: to create new categories click on the item Add a new category present in the box Category indicated above, otherwise click on the options Articles e Categories in the left sidebar.
On the newly opened page, enter the category name in the field Your name, indicates a possible parent category via the drop-down menu under the item Parent category, enter the description in the appropriate field and press the button Add a new category.
Once the creation of your content is complete, press the button Public to immediately publish the article or on the button Save draft to save your changes and postpone publication. Again, to edit or delete an article, click on the item Articles, pause with the mouse pointer on the title of the article of your interest and select one of the items among Modification, Quick edit (to quickly change the title or category) e Basket that appear on the screen.
When creating new pages and new articles, you can customize the written content using the toolbar visible between the field Enter the title here and the text field dedicated to the content of the page / article. Then choose the tool that best suits your needs to customize the page. For example, by clicking on the icon of the B you can insert bold by clicking on the icon chain you can add a link while choosing the option Add media you can upload an image from your computer or choose one already available in the archive Media and insert it into your page or article.
Change the look and feel
Change the look and feel it is an operation that allows both to completely change the graphics of your site and to modify individual elements, such as i menu or widget (the boxes, usually displayed in the sidebar of the site that may contain links to social networks, tag lists, counters, information from third party sites and more).
To choose a new graphic theme to install for free on your website, click on the entry Appearance present in the left sidebar and click the button Add new theme. Then choose the theme you prefer among those available in the WordPress library, click on it and press the button Install. If you want to apply it to your website right away, click on the button as well Attiva.
To start customizing the installed theme and, therefore, the look and feel of your website, click on the items Appearance e Customize. If, on the other hand, you want to create a new menu and make it visible on your pages, select the options Appearance e Menu and, in the new open page, click on the item Create a new menu. Then enter the name in the field Menu name e pulsing sul pulsating Create menu.
Now, choose the items that will make up your menu by placing the check mark next to pages, to Articles or alle category you want to insert in the menu you just created, then specify its position by placing the check mark next to one of the positions visible in the section Menu settings, next to the option Display position and presses the button Save menu.
You must know that, depending on how the graphic theme installed on your site is built, you could also manage the position of the menus through the section widget. Then click on the options Appearance e widget, locate the item Menu navigazione in the list of widgets available and drag the box in question into one of the boxes visible on the right (which vary according to the theme installed and identify the usable positions of your website). Then select the menu of your interest via the drop-down menu Select the menu, enter the title in the appropriate field and press the button Save.
The procedure just described for the widget Menu navigazione it is also valid for the other widgets. If you don't know what I'm talking about, widgets are elements that allow you to add visual options to your website.
Let's take a practical example to better understand: if you need to insert an image in a position of the site (such as the right sidebar), with the widget Image you can easily place the image on your site without writing a line of HTML code. It will be useful to know that installing new plugins may also add new widgets related to the installed plugin.
Install new plugins
If the native WordPress functions don't completely meet your needs, you can install new plugins and implement new features. It is a simple procedure: all you have to do is understand the tool you need, look for a plugin that suits your needs and install it from the section Plugin.
To understand better, let's take a practical example. If you need to insert a contact form on your website and you do not know any plugin that suits your needs, first of all I recommend that you connect to the main page of Google and write "WordPress contact form plugin”In the search bar in the center of the page. By doing so, you will be able to know the name of some plugins to create a contact form, read their ratings and characteristics and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Alternatively, log in to the Dashboard WordPress, click on the entry Plugin present in the left sidebar and presses the button Add new present at the top. In the newly opened page, write the keyword of the plugin you are looking for (if you already know the name of the plugin that suits you, enter its name) in the field Searching for plugins and wait for the results of your search.
Once you have identified the plugin of your interest, click on the button Install now, wait for the installation to complete and press the button Attiva, to activate it on your website. If, on the other hand, you have purchased a paid plugin and it is present on your computer in ZIP format, click on the items Plugin e Add new, pigia sul pulsating Upload plugin present at the top and, in the new open page, click on the button Choose file to load the plugin from your computer.
After installing a plugin, select the entry Plugin from the left sidebar to view the list of all plugins installed on your site and click on one of the available options: Attiva to activate and use the plugin; disable to deactivate the plugin without deleting it; Delete to delete the plugin from WordPress e Settings to access the plugin settings. The latter item may not always be present. If so, it means that the plugin does not need any further action from the user or, if not, that the plugin settings are accessible from another section (usually Settings, Instruments or directly in the sidebar on the left).
In the Plugin, you can also locate a plugin by accessing the categories Substitutes, Popular, recommended e Add to Wishlist which lists a list of popular plugins recommended by the WordPress community. In this regard, below you will find a list of plugins that might be right for you.
- jetpack: it can be considered an all-in-one plugin as it allows you to take advantage of numerous features, such as the ability to view site statistics, implement related articles, prevent spam and much more. Registration is required.
- Google XML Sitemaps: one of the best tools to automatically generate a sitemap of your WordPress site and submit it to search engines.
- Contact Form 7: to create contact forms by customizing every aspect.
- MailPoet: allows you to create a newsletter, using both ready-to-use templates and creating new ones from scratch. In addition, it allows you to manage subscribed users, create lists and schedule the sending of the newsletter. All within your site. In this regard, my guide on how to create newsletters may be useful.
- Broken Link Checker- On sites consisting of numerous pages and articles, a tool that continually scans your website for broken links is useful.
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights: the useful tool for those who need to monitor the progress of their website but want to avoid having to deal with the PHP code of WordPress. With this plugin you can connect your site with Google Analytics and view statistics, such as daily accesses, pages viewed, active users, etc.
- WP Super Cache: is a plugin that allows you to create a cached copy of the pages of a site in order to increase the loading speed.
User settings and management
As mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this guide, turning on to settings of WordPress you can set some information, such as Site title, motto, Email address, Site language, Time zone and so on. Also, by clicking on the item Setting and choosing one of the options available from Reading, Discussion, Writing e Media, you can access more WordPress-specific options, such as the default for posts or standard image sizes.
If you're already worrying about the work to be done, know that all of these settings are most likely already set right by default. However, I recommend that you take a quick look, check that all the options are set according to your needs and make the changes you think are most useful.
Finally, let me also tell you how to manage WordPress users. First, you need to figure out if your website offers any additional functionality for subscribed users. If not, I advise you to block the registrations by accessing the sections Settings e Generali and unchecking the option Anyone can register.
You can still add new users manually by clicking on the item users present in the sidebar on the left and pressing the button Add user. On the page for adding a new user, in addition to his personal data, you must know that you can also set his role, choosing one of the options among Subscriber (has read-only permissions), Collaborator, Author, Editor e CEO (I advise you to make administrators only trustworthy and competent people). If you have collaborators who help you with publishing content on your website, you can choose one of the roles from Collaborator, Author ed Editor which differ from each other for a few write permissions, such as the ability to delete and modify the contents of other users (Publisher).How to use WordPress