Using WordPress to build a website is fairly easy, even for a non-technical person (like me!), but it can be a tad confusing for beginners. so here’s an article of “How To WordPress”, where I will show you how to start using WordPress.
Like to build a website now? Let’s do this!
Input your desired domain name into the box above and click “Build It Now“.
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Don’t be stumped when choosing domain names. Just go with what you like first.
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SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is very important for your website to rank on google. It will be the way to get organic visitors to your site.
That means the visitors click in to your site the natural way, by searching for something on the internet, and your page attracts enough for them to click in.
This is opposed to paid advertisements where you pay to get visitors, but more on this later. Let’s focus now on getting the settings right.
It is a good practice to get your website ready for SEO as you build it, so here’s a video showing how make your website optimised for SEO, right from the beginning.
When you first have a website created, you will probably have lots of ideas about it. Now is the best time to do some planning.
Where on your website do you want your visitors to go? I’m talking about the main framework of your website.
Generally we would see about 5-6 items on the main menu. Let’s take apple as an example:
Here’s an example from Wealthy Affiliate:
They both have 7 items on their menu.
Wikipedia has a slightly different format, besides a main menu, it has a sub-menu:
When you login, you will be taken inside the Dashboard, here’s how it looks like:
1. Click on “Pages”
2. Click “Add New“
3. Enter the Page Title
4. Hit the “Publish” button on the top right
5. Repeat the above for each new page you create
At this point, you may only have 3 items:
1. Home 2. Products 3. About Me
That’s fine, pages will be added on as you build up your website.
What are Pages?
Pages generally contain the evergreen contents of your website. Sometimes we call these the pillar articles.
These are information which would always be applicable and are not changed often.
Pages are usually reflected in your main menu.
What are Posts?
As opposed to pages, posts are usually time-sensitive articles which could contain some information which are current and up-to-date.
Posts would go to your blogroll, so if you set your homepage to show your blogroll, every time a visitor visits your site, they will see the latest article you have posted.
You create new posts much the same way as you create pages, but first you need to create a separate page for them. I simply call my page “Blog”.
After you have created this “Blog” page, tell wordpress where to find your articles by going to Settings > Reading Settings
Now you have created your first 3 pages, but when you click on your website, the menu may or may not show up.
To add your pages to your menu,
1. Click “Appearance”, then “Menu”
2. Click “Create New Menu” and give it a name.
3. Add your pages in to the right side, and click save.
You can customise the menu by including widgets, individual posts, or categories, just click on the relevant items and then drag them to the right side.
This will create variety as well as extra items for your menu, just keep them properly organised so you don’t confuse your visitors.
Is your homepage going to show a welcome page? Visitors will always see the same things every time they visit.
Or do you want your visitors to get fresh content every time they come in? If so, you would want to set your blogroll as your homepage instead.
Change the settings here.
You can set one or the other, as you can change this easily.
You might find that as you develop your website, the direction of your contents may change and you might want to do different things with it.
Before changing any theme, it would be advisable to always back up your website. The next section covers how to do a backup easily.
Before the theme change
There could be drastic changes after you change a theme and if you don’t like it, you could always restore the former version from your backup.
Point to note: Comments that came in after the backup will be lost if you restore a former version.
So decide as soon as possible after the theme change whether you want to keep it. Losing comments are painful 🙁
Changing your theme
Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes
You can choose from the thousands of free themes available or upload some other which you may have bought or downloaded from elsewhere. Just click “Upload theme” on the top.
It might take some exploration and changes before you find the theme that works for you, get some ideas here on choosing your perfect theme.
Go to Dashboard > Tools > Export
This is a quick way to easily backup your site.
1. Website backups are recommended to be done on a weekly basis
2. If your website is hosted at Wealthy Affiliate, full backups are done on a daily basis.
The settings for your website is like a template, so setting it right from the beginning saves you the trouble of having to adjust each and every time you publish a page or post.
Below, I will be going through the 5 important settings that you need to adjust.
General, Writing, Reading Settings
These will the very first basic settings you will set up for your website.
Next, what if you want to have interaction and conversations with your visitors, allow them to ask questions or give feedback, as well as to increase the engagement of your website?
This is where you set it.
If you don’t want to enable this feature for all your pages and posts and want this only for selective posts, you would want to do this.
Quick way to allow for comments on individual pages/posts
There is one more important setting which you want to adjust.
When posting new articles, do you want your url to look like this:
The 2nd one definitely looks better and more professional right?
In order to achieve this, you need to set it like this.
Now your website is all set. Next I will be touching on plugins, and some of the important ones you would want to install.
What are Plugins
As an open source program, Wordpress has more than 50,000 plugins. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong,
Wordpress has >50,000 plugins
They are simply additional tools installed on your Wordpress website to enable certain functions, something like an mobile phone app but slightly more complex.
Therefore, what kind of plugins you install depends on what kind of function you are looking for and what do you want to achieve.
One thing to note, the more plugins you have, the slower your site is going to be, so go minimalist on plugins.
When you first install a wordpress site, the only plugin I recommend is the All-in-one SEO plugin. Remember I mentioned right at the top that you want to do SEO as soon as you set up your website?
Having this plugin first would take care of this area for you.
Within the All-in-one SEO plugin, you will be connecting your Google Webmaster Tools (also known as Google Search Console), your Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools and others.
Other recommended plugins:
Pretty link – To shorten links and really make them “pretty”.
TinyMCE advanced – For editing articles, for example, change of font size, font color, underline, bold, etc.
Ultimate social media Plus – This is a plugin for you to share your website contents on social media.
Also check out the Top 10 Best Wordpress Plugins here:
Of course these plugins are entirely optional and there are many other good ones within Wordpress. Feel free to explore and make your choice.
Know of some other good ones? Leave me a recommendation below, I would appreciate it.
After you have found the plugin you want, click install, then activate.
You can also upload plugins you have downloaded from other sources.
That concludes my Wordpress training for the time being. Of course there are other functions and tips which are not covered here.
Over time I will be adding more training here, so do check back from time to time for updates.
Thanks for reading and if there is any particular area you would like to know, please let me know in the comments below.