WordPress for Beginners: A Short Guide

Posted on Posted in My Blog

In this guide, I’ll explain some key features that you should know how to use to manage your WordPress site.

The Basics

WordPress is a content management system. In simple terms that means it allows you to manage all the text on your site without knowing how to write code.

It also allows you to manage images and other media in your site. Just like you can add an image to a Word document, you can in WordPress as well.

WordPress also allows you to allow visitors to comment on the things you write. As a site admin, you can moderate these comments.

Posts, Comments, Pages & Links

These are your three types of content in WordPress. Traditionally WordPress is known as a blogging host but over time it has become a complete Content Management System.

Posts are the bread and butter of blogs. They are short sets of content that are organized in to categories, archived by date and tagged with keywords. The key is that they are kept fresh… there is always new content to find and old content gets pushed to the back of the shelf. The second key ingredient is comments (see below).

If a post is the bread and butter of a blog, comments are a its jam. Comments are for visitor’s discussions and questions about the post. This help people get involved.

Pages are what you find on most websites. The key to a pages is that they are stale… they stay where they are and don’t change often.

Links are for you to show the things you like on the web. This is a place to share websites that relate to yours or links to other blogs that you want to recommend to visitors.

The WordPress Dashboard

WordPress Dashboard SectionsTo get started using your WordPress site, get familiar with the WordPress Admin Dashboard. Here are some basics to the Dashboard.

The WordPress Dashboard is comprised of three main sections: Overview, Content, and Set Up. The main page is the overview of everything on your site. Posts, Media, Links, Pages, and Comments are where you manage your content. Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools, and Settings are where you set up your site.

WordPress DashboardThe Dashboard Home Page is used to hold a couple widgets that help you see your entire site at a glance. It shows how many posts, pages, and comments you have and has other useful information as well.

WordPress Post DashboardPosts: This is where you manage and create your posts. This page shows a list of all the posts that you have created. You are also able to create new posts (read more below).

The Media page is where you can upload images and videos for use on your site. You can change media descriptions and set default sizes and other settings for your media here.

Links: This is where you store your links. You can categorize them so that links related to your site and links that are unrelated can be separated. You can also manage many options for individual links.

WordPress Page DashboardPages is where you manage and create new web pages. Once you have your site set up, you will mainly use this to update/edit your page content (read more below).

Comments: This is where you can read all the comments that are coming in and where you can moderate the comments. You can approve, delete and mark comments as spam.

Appearance: Here you can choose a theme for your site. There are many free themes available. You can also customize some theme’s settings here. There is also a place to add widgets to your theme’s sidebars.

Plugins can be added to your site to do complex tasks for you very easily. If you are trying to add a Twitter feed to your site, want your site to automatically update Google sitemaps, speed your site up with caching… check this section out.

Users: This area is set up for you to manage users on your site. If you want to have a guest publisher or a site editor on your site, you can simply add them as a user.

Tools are for backing up or restoring your site as well as some other more advanced features that will not be covered in this post.

Settings is a place to store all your default options for your site and plugins.

Creating a Post

To create your first post:

  • Go to the post tab on the left of your dashboard
  • Click Add New post
  • Give your post a title
  • Add content

You can see that you can either visually write your content like in MS Word or write html for more advanced styling. On the right, you can select a category for your post and add tags/keywords to your post. This is it, just click save draft to edit it later or publish to send it online.

Editing a Page

To edit a page:

  • Click the Pages tab on the left of your dashboard
  • Hover over the one you want to edit and click Edit (you can also click quick edit but this has fewer options)

Here you can edit the content of your page. I advise against changing the title for search engines sake. You can preview the changes that you make before you publish.

Hope this helped!