Introduction: A Recap of What WordPress is
I mentioned in my last edition that WordPress came into existence when the popular b2/cafelog was discontinued. This made these two gentlemen- Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to establish WordPress in 2003.
I also stated that It is an open source meaning it is open to everyone to use the way they want. It is also a free software.
Be aware that WordPress.org is the same as WordPress and for anyone to access its platform, you must have a web host.
What is a Web host?
A web host provide computer servers that stores your blog files and database and make them available over the internet. Web host provides control panel which helps you to manage your files and your domain registration options.
For You to have a Word Press.org, what are you expected to provide in order to have access to it?
You need to have internet connection and also to consider your blog’s requirements, such as amount of traffic you expect or hope to get, the type and quantity of media you expect to use
Don’t forget that you need a domain name either your own paid domain or on another person’s domain like in Wealthy Affiliate (See my write-up on Building a Website) where you are allowed to own two free websites during a free trial period and you can own up to twenty-five free and twenty-five owned of your own domain.
As already mentioned in the previous article, to own a website you need to have a niche – an area you are passionate about and the kind of audience you actually need to promote your site to.
Once these things are put in place you are free to get going with your WordPress.org site.
Let’s take a step by step approach into the use of the WordPress platform
After the above processes, you login into the Administrative area of your website. You visit your site’s login page by placing wp-admin after your domain name for example: my website name is getwisdom.com for you to log in (https:/getwisdoms.com/wp-admin). Some themes provide a login link or form on the front end as well.
But you must log in using your username and password. After logging in, you go into the main Administration screen called the Dashboard.
What happens within the Dashboard area and What is it?
The dashboard is the central administration panel that enables you to use links and tools to manage your blog or site. You can get a snapshot of all the content on your site and read about WordPress and more. It is composed of modules, or individual areas which serve particular purpose.
The dashboard helps to keep you up to date on new and interesting bits of information from the many WordPress resources. In the corner, it features a list of the most recent activity done within the site. And on the left side of the screen is the main navigation menu detailing each of the administration functions to perform.
Move your mouse down the list and the sub-menu shows up for you to move your mouse and click. Once you choose a parent navigation section, it will open up and reveal options within that section.
Each modules has a descriptive title of your content. Most of its modules are shown collapsed meaning only their title bars are shown. Some of these modules are as explained here-under since that will help us to identify the various parts well:
- Right Now- This gives you a summary of your site’s content, discussions, themes, widgets and WordPress version.
- Quick Draft – This area lets you make a quick posting.
- Screen Options – This provide options for the modules you want displayed. Every admin panel has different screen options.
- Menu bar – This is the left menu bar that contains links to the other admin panels. These menu items are as follows – Dashboard, All in One SEO, Posts, Media, Pages, Comments, Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools and Settings, etc.
- Help button – This offers information that could assist WordPress users.
- Plugins – These post news about plugins
At the top of the screen is the toolbar. You can click on your site name to view and see how your website look. First see how the site looks like before carrying out any changes you have to do on it.
The WordPress theme – This shows you the appearance of your website. It features a header at the top within the tagline for your site. It is from the theme that you have the style and the frame of your content. Below the theme is the menu. Along the side you will see some titles and links. This comprises what is known as widgets.
At the middle section of the page is the content area while at the bottom of the page is the footer.
At the post, there’s a title and below is the date the post was written, then the body of the post and finally some information about the post. This is called the post meta data and contains information about the post such as the category assigned to that post. When you scroll down the page, you will notice the bar at the end of the page known as the Footer.
To the sidebar – you will see different sections with information. Among these are list of Recent posts, recent comments, archives, categories and links to Admin screens, log out and RSS Feeds. This is part of the menu or navigation screen that people will use to move around your site, visit posts from different categories or time periods.
Let’s take some time to identify all the smaller details of the web page layout and design
Move your mouse over the title of the article post. Notice how it changes color – this is called hovering. Most themes feature distinctive color or underline when you hover over a link. Move your mouse over any of the links in the side bar and see if any changes occur.
You can change your link hovers to look different in different sections of your page. Also, look at the color of the links, check how they are colored or underlined as to stand out from your text.
Also observe the small design details and where they are placed within your page
Some other time, you may want to change some of your details like the color of the title in the white box at the top of the page – ie the header.
There are two basic types of written content that are for publication in WordPress. These are Pages and Post.
What are Posts and what are Pages?
Post: A post let you present content in reverse chronological order. This means that the newest information appears at the top of the home page or you can have an unchanging home page. Generally, post are for publishing new information such as latest blog post.
While Pages are best for regularly accessed but unchanging information. Some information that appear on pages for publication are: The About Me Page, Contact Me, etc. Example my main ideas Getting Wisdom and all related topics are published under Pages.
Distinctions between Posts and Pages
Individual posts – ie one of the regular additions that WordPress sites content have a few default traits that distinguish them from pages:
- Post accumulate over time on your blog page, usually in reverse chronological order, and readers can browse through them
- They are dated
- You can assign them to categories
- You can associate keywords, or tags to them
- You can show multiple posts at a time at your site’s home page
- You can split post in two
Individual Post Web Page
- Apart from accumulating on the blog page, each post also has its own individual web page:
- which has a unique URL, also known as Permalink
- It include links to the next and previous post in the blog’s chronology
- They typically include an area in which readers can reply or comment.
A WordPress Page lacks most of the items that make post unique – dates, categories, tags, links to other pages, the option to split across multiple pages. Pages can have comment sections, although many times blog owners choose to turn them off, and pages do not have unique internet addresses.
Pages by default appear as menu bar items in many WordPress design schemes, or themes.
User Screen –
Click on Users tab and screen will change and All Users appear. From here add or change existing users and authors accounts.
In the Navigation Menu, click on Your Profile menu choice.
This lets you enter information about you, the author and administrator of the site. Fill in the information and click Update Profile when done.
Lets look at other powerful features of WordPress Admin
Appearance – Theme Screen –
This allows you to change the look of your site using different themes.
What are Themes?
Themes are presentation styles that completely change the look of your site. There are thousands of themes available for you to choose from. In your Appearance Screen, there are lists of currently installed themes – one of such is the twenty seventeen theme – being the default theme.
To change theme, click on the Activate button under the theme of your choice then click on your site name in the toolbar to see how it looks.
Go back to Appearance >Theme Screen and click the Activate button under the WordPress twenty seventeen theme to bring the design back to what you had. To see it again, click your site name in the toolbar.
Writing and Managing Post
Back to Administration Screen, At the Post screen, to commence writing a post – click Post>Add New and a new screen appears where you can start writing your post first by adding the title of the post at the Title Bar. Cross check your writing and Publish. The Publish tab is at the top-right corner of the Post window. You can view your posts by clicking your site name in the toolbar on top of the screen.
Before You commence Writing, Planning of your Website must take place because it is then a good and a solid website can be created and maintained
In your planning stage, You must state your purpose for creating this site or simply put have a mission statement that will guide your activities.
You will also require to know who your audience will be, the kind of information you intend to post and how often you will be releasing or publishing such posts. If adequate plans are put in place then you are set to go a long way in your journey.
In the posts area, click on Categories tab in the Add New Category area, fill in the information about your category. Continue to add your parent categories, going down the list. Hold off on entering subcategories until all the main categories are entered.
When you have the parent categories entered, enter your subcategories. In the pull down menu for Parent category you can select the parent to the subcategory you are adding. When you view your categories in the Manage > Categories Screen, you will see the categories listed.
Let”s give a run down of the features of the WordPress.org including those already mentioned
- The Screen Option: This enables you to show and or hide items on the WP Admin Screen . It simply allows you to simplify your admin pages like post edit screen to meet your workflow
- The Dashboard- this is the online but behind-the -scene control panel from where you create and modify your website and other activities.
- WordPress enables you to Paste URL to make links in visual editor. For you to paste your URL or links to your content, you have to highlight the text, press insert links and click apply or press control + v to paste the URL or link to your content. The visual editor automatically converts it into a link.
- It has accessibility mode for widgets: WordPress comes with a hidden accessibility mode for widgets. This mode makes it easier to add widgets without dragging and dropping items. This can be activated by clicking the Screen options button on the Appearance>Widgets Page.
- You can preview themes without activating them. This is because of the consequences faced when themes are changed. In order to avoid this you are advised to go through the checklist of must do things before changing your WordPress theme. One of such to do item is: Test the new theme without activating. Simply install your new WP theme and go to Appearance >Themes Page. Take your mouse to the newly installed theme’s thumbnail, then click on live preview button. WP will launch theme customizer showing preview of your website using the new theme.
- You can Edit your images in WordPress: WP makes it easy to add images to your posts and pages. This comes with some basic image editing features. Simply visit Media>Library Page then click on any image. From image details pop up you can click on edit image button. In the image editing mode, you can crop, rotate, and resize any image. You can also flip your image in horizontal or vertical directions. These image editing features come handy when needed for cropping or resizing a large image file directly from WP.
- With WP, you can split your single lengthy post into multiple pages by simply adding <! -next page> tag to your post and WP will split it into two pages. Add the tag again if you want to split into more pages. This feature is helpful when you write an unusual length article and you do not want readers to scroll too much.
- You can embed links, videos and multimedia: WP automatically embed content from some most popular websites like You tube, twitter etc. All you do is paste a URL from one of the supported sites and WP automatically embed for you. You can paste URL from another WP site into your post and WP will embed the post
- Hidden secret options page – WP comes with a hidden master page for all blog options. This page is hidden as users easily messes it up. Access this by visiting http://example.com/wp admin/options-php Now replace example.com with your own domain name. And you will see a page with a long list of options.
- Mark sown and keyboard shortcuts: This help you write faster. WP comes with a variety of keyboard shortcuts that can be utilized to write faster. Apart from shortcuts, you can also use the markdown like formatting shortcuts and
WP will convert them into HTML. You can disable them if you want
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)- This aims to improve your site’s ranking in search results by search engines such as Google. A higher ranking leads more search engine users to find and patronize your site
- Permalinks:- This is the permanent link to a specific post or page. Once your site is hosted WP gives you an option on what your permalink looks alike – this makes for search engines to find your post.
On our next publication we shall discuss how we can use WordPress to monetize our website. Just stay glued as more and more interesting issues will come your way. Take a chance and create a different you as you join me on this platform where passion plays a key role. Why not Sign Up Here Do not procrastinate any longer.
Also don’t forget to drop your comments, suggestions, additions to this article and i will be very happy to respond to you. For contact and inquiries , don’t forget to getwisdoms.com and you will never be disappointed.