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WordPress Explained

Written by Tony Richardson on . Posted in Articles, Code, Software


These days many designers, along with myself, are using the WordPress platform much more regularly.  I was introduced to WordPress several years ago and started using the platform for blogging sites or any site needing to edit data on a regular basis. 

However,as the years passed, I realized that WordPress could be used for any site, even basic home sites or starter business sites. 

WordPress allows for quick easy edits or content updates by anyone.  No need to know HTML or any web programming language. WordPress has a backend editor that is used to design the basic layout of the site along with the sites content. 

So in short, WordPress is easy enough for a person with no programming skill to make changes and edits to the site content.  But WordPress is powerful enough for Webmasters to create complex coding for anything from shopping cart technology to automatic payment schedules to premium download content for special users.


HOW TO GET STARTED

  • Choose a hosting server/company. I use digitalrgb.com for my hosting and get discounts for longer commitments. I don’t recommend hosting companies that seem too good to be true. (ie those that only charge $5.00/mo). If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Install WordPress. I highly recommend choosing a hosting company that has a “one-click” install option (it’s takes less time than a manual install and avoids all kinds of potential headaches). Digital RGB has a cPanel that has a WordPress oneclick option.

wp_cpanel1  

  • Follow the instructions per your host. If you already have a domain (www.domain.com), you may need to point the DNS records to direct to your new WordPress site rather than wherever your site was hosted before. This transfer process can be complicated, because you also have to consider the posts and content you have on your old site as well as permalinks, moving over any traffic and followers, and the like. This is why you may want to hire someone to do this for you. (nudge nudge… hint hint)
  • If you are determine to install WordPress yourself, make certain to install it in the root directory of your site.  In other words, when asked what directory to install in, by default WordPress installs in http://yourdomain.com/wp, which is the /wp directory of the root.  I recommend removing that and leaving that section blank so the install is in the root and NOT the /wp directory.
  • Once your WP site is ready, you will be instructed to visit your site and create your username and password for the site. You will be allowed to designate different user access to other accounts. Typically the Admin username is the Webmaster and all others are content editors or contributors to posts or articles.
  • You can log into your site by going to: http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php

These images show how to set up the software, the database, and the directory.

 wp_install1


  wp_install_2


THE WORDPRESS DASHBOARD

wp_dashboard

 

  1.  This is your username. If there are multiple users, the name that appears here is the user logged in at that time.
  2. If you have comments awaiting moderation, you will see that number here.
  3. This is a shortcut to add posts,  pages, media, or edit your user info.
  4. This section is for updates to either the WordPress platform or to plugins on the site.
  5. This is the primary section for editing content on the site.  I recommend going through each one to see how they work and edit the site. 
  6. Appearance: This is where you’ll activate WordPress themes, Widgets, the Menus, and the editors for CSS and other sections.  The editors are ways to make changes by going into the actual code of the site.  This is ONLY for advance programmers with knowledge of its function.  The Widgets control side bar content and allows for different content to appear on different sections of the site.  The Widgets also aide in controlling specialized or dynamic content on pages and posts, such as Java and PHP.
  7. Plugins: WordPress has more Plugins than any other platform. Other developers will spend their time creating plugins that will add functionality to your site. Many are free and some cost but typically small amounts of money. Under this tab, you will find the ability to add new plugins as well as maintain them. Some plugins automatically function once activated, while others require minimal set up. Each Plugin will have a readme file and/or a site to visit for support.
  8. Users: If you have multiple logins to the site, this section will allow you to either edit your user info or other users info if you are the administrator.
  9. Settings: Depending on your plugins, you may only have a few options here or several. I recommend navigating through this section to see the settings on your individual site.

NOW WHAT?

Now that you have WordPress installed, you can use either a WordPress theme to get started or you can purchase a theme and install it.  I won’t get into the details here on how to install a theme as there are a ton of sites out there to help with that.  But once you get a theme installed, the support is typically more than sufficient to aide in getting the site set up.  You will soon find that WordPress is as simple as you need or as powerful as you could imagine. 

If you would like support for your website,simply click here and fill out a request and you will be contacted soon. If you recently created a WordPress site be sure to comment and post a link to the site and show us what you have done! 

If you would like to learn more or download WordPress for manual installs, visit WordPress.org for more.

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