Most websites these days use WordPress. Whether you’re shopping online, browsing a travel blog, or even reading this very one, there’s a pretty high chance it’s on this platform. This is because WordPress is incredibly intuitive to use, and works for both novices and expert programmers alike. So if you’re wondering how to use WordPress, we’ve got you covered. Don’t worry, this is a brainlessly easy WordPress tutorial. Anyone call follow it with ease. I’m not even sure why I’m writing this. I guess it’s for the people who are scared before they look at it. So here you go. This is how to use WordPress. Creating a website is simple as can be with this step by step guide.
…seriously, it’s so easy, why am I writing this? I must be bored. Plus, there are way too many WordPress tutorials out there that are just going to stress you out. 200 steps?! Who needs all those steps? You’re only going to use a small portion of them. Anyways, here’s your super simple, basic WordPress tutorial. This is what you need to know to begin, and can easily build on as you go.
Step by Step WordPress Tutorial: How to Use WordPress
The first big thing to note is that there’s a difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. I always get them mixed up. I admit, I googled which one was which to get it right. What you’re looking at right now is a wordpress.org, the content management system, or CMS. This is a platform installed after you get your domain name and hosting. It is where you will do all the back end things for your blog. On wordpress.com, however, you would have a site with a name like “yourname.wordpress.com” instead of “yourname.com”. You see the difference? The platform is the same on the back end, and yes, wordpress.com is free, but you want your own domain if you’re ever going to monetize your blog. It’s cheap, anyways. This blog and many others have been started with WordPress. Even some complex ones you see out there are – you guessed it – WordPress.
So we’re talking about wordpress.com here, assuming you already have your domain name and web hosting. If you don’t, well get ‘er done. Then come back. I’ll wait.
Did you do it?
Okay, let’s go then.
The very first step in the WordPress tutorial is… getting WordPress. Big shocker there. Most hosting companies have a free one click install of WordPress. If they don’t, you’ll have to go into your cPanel to deal with installing WordPress. Your hosting company should be able to give you instructions. Now you’re all set up with your WordPress site. You can now go to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin. This is where you’ll always sign in. It’s a good idea to get an anti-spam plugin to protect from hackers trying to get into your account. It happens. Who knows why. Now you’re at your WordPress dashboard. I told you how to use WordPress was super easy.
Make sure you fill out key information in settings, like your title and tag line. This will appear on many pages, and certainly your front page. It’s important.
Posts vs Pages
Welcome to your new WordPress website. We can now begin the WordPress tutorial.
Posts and pages. I didn’t get this one at first – posts and pages? Weren’t they synonyms? Put simply, your blog posts appear on your homepage automatically as you add new ones. There are a ton of different themes out there (free and premium), and some may allow you to hide new posts from your homepage. But the default is that new posts pop up. Normal articles you write for your site should be posts.
Pages, on the other hand, don’t pop up in your feed. These would be things like the contact me section for your menu. You can really arrange things however you want. It’s just important to recognize these different features of posts versus pages, though how they actually work is practically the same. How do you want your site organized? This will help you decide what to make into a post or a page.
Don’t forget to put each one into its proper category. This can really help with organization for displaying related articles or using as menu items. Which leads us on to…
The main things that I use in here are Themes, Widgets, and Menus. It’s really not that complicated, and doesn’t actually require a WordPress tutorial, but here we go.
The theme directory includes both the free and premium themes in many ways that you can search. You can also search for themes on your own – free or paid – and download them. Then you just upload your new theme directly to the themes section of WordPress. You should test out several themes and see what works for you. Some are much more customizable than others, lightweight, and a plethora of different factors. Whatever you choose, it needs to work for you both on the back end and the front end.
Widgets are the things that appear in such places as sidebars and footers. Think ads and such on the right hand side of a website. Yep, those are widgets. Look to the right. Go ahead, glance over. There are widgets. They’re also underneath the bottom of this post.
Finally we have the self-explanatory menus. Here, you can – shock – organize your menus. It’s handy to have things in categories to use on the menus so your posts automatically show up when you go to that category. Organize your menu however you like, though I suggest each drop down isn’t too long. If you can’t see the bottom items on the page, it’s pretty useless.
Also known as your very best friends if you’re not a programmer who knows what you’re doing. If you want to know how to use WordPress, you’re going to need these handy little guys called WordPress plugins. Whenever I encounter something I can’t do, I go to Google to find the right plugin. Maybe I need to speed up my site, or I’m looking for a subscribe button. Or perhaps I want a special contact form. Plugins. There are about 20 on this site right now. It just wouldn’t work without plugins. The point is when I need to know how to use WordPress in some new way, I use plugins.
Go to add new plugins, and you can either search, or upload a plugin. So if you’d just Googled it and downloaded it, you’d upload the plugin. Again, very self-explanatory.
Activate the plugin. It could have settings, or it could automatically work. If it has settings it will either say so on the plugins page beneath it, show up in the settings menu on the left side bar, or be a new link in the sidebar. It’s a mystery! In any case, it’ll be around. Configure it if necessary.
And don’t forget to get a backup plugin, for when you download plugins that break your site. Seriously. Happens all the time. Backup your shit.
That’s seriously it. And you were about to click on a WordPress tutorial that said it had 200 tips, weren’t you? You’ll have to learn to use individual plugins, but I can’t help you with that. We need different things, and they work differently with various themes. But really. A WordPress blog is that easy. So if you’re afraid of starting a blog because you don’t know how to use WordPress, don’t let it hold you back. Time to bite the bullet. It’s not a big learning curve, I promise. And you can always comment below with your questions and comments to help others out!