Wealthy Affiliate has an abundance of training on WordPress. It is definitely worth going through those modules. WordPress has become popular because of its simplicity of use and maintenance. Even with this simplicity though, newer users often get hung up because they don't understand what WordPress can do for them or why they should use it. That's why I created this guide. To help you get a quick overview of WordPress.
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WordPress is a software platform in a class of software known as a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS give you the ability to streamline the creation of your website. It takes care of many of the details that traditional web developers would have to handle themselves. Without a CMS, you would have to develop your website using HTML which is a markup language that web servers and browers use to communicate with each other. That's about as much as you need to know about HTML, at least at this stage of your learning.
There are other CMS packages but WordPress has become the most popular. Because of this, there are more themes, plugins, and widgets (more on these later) available for this platform than any other. Many CMS solutions are free of charge.
Popularity Leads to Increased Hacking
Of course, when you are the top player in the pack, you are going to get the most attention, both good and bad. Because hackers are aware of WordPress' popularity, they spend a significant portion of their hacking activities on WordPress. When planning the development of your website, you will have to take this trade off into consideration. If you decide to use an alternative CMS, you won't have as many features available but it won't be as vulnerable to hacks either. There are ways to reduce your susceptibility to hacking, even with WordPress.
Themes, Plugins and Widgets, Oh My!
Another huge benefit of WordPress (and other CMS platform) is the ability to expand its functionality and look.
The default installation of WordPress gives you a framework and you can add the follow components:
Themes give you the ability to change the look of your website. Your default WordPress installation comes with a theme already installed. Most website owners choose a different theme as the default is bare bones and doesn't look professional.
There are free themes and premium themes. It's a highly competitive market so you can be sure that new and improved themes are popping onto the market frequently. People ask me if they should switch to a premium theme. I tell them to only consider it if they can't find a free theme that gives the look they want.
Although the look of your website is important, providing great content will take priority over everything else.
Plugins extend the functionality of your website. They enhance the features whereas the theme concentrates on the look of your site. Just like themes, you can find plugins that are free as well as paid versions. The functionality that plugins provide can be practically anything imaginable, from security to advanced editors. Do a search on WordPress Plugins and you will have hours of material to sift through.
People mistakenly add too many plugins which serves to bloat WordPress with the likely results slowing down your website. If your site can operate well without a particular plugin, it is probably a good idea to forgo its use. Luckily there are plugins that you can install temporarily that can tell you which plugins are using up processing power and take it from there.
Widgets are similar in some ways to plugins but they tend to be tied in with the theme. They extend or change the functionality (and sometimes looks) of specific areas within your website. Those areas are typically sidebars, footers, etc. It is possible to include widgets as part of a theme as well as extended functionality within a plugin. It's really up to the designers.
Many hosting companies have installers available for various add on components. WordPress is included in most. Usually, it is only a matter of pushing a few buttons and changing some of the default information. If you have never done it yourself, your hosting company will be happy to take you through the steps. Just open a support ticket or jump on their live chat.
There are also some resources available that I am including that explain the process in a step-by-step manner. Please note: the first resource requires that you host your website at Wealthy Affiliate.
This is a video where Kyle (cofounder WA) shows you how easily it is to set up a WordPress website within Wealthy Affiliate.
See the video here.
WP Beginner has several tutorials and great resources you can use when setting up and maintaining your WordPress blog.
See the website here.
How to Add Content
It wouldn't be much of a Content Management System if you weren't able to add content for you blog. In WordPress, you can use pages and posts to manage content. Here is the breakdown of each:
- Page - Pages are typically used for information that will remain static. Many will use it for About Me pages, Privacy Policies and other compliance information, as well as Contact pages. Landing pages are also set up as a page.
- Posts tend to be information that is presented chronologically. For instance, if you have an update about a particular topic that is related to your blog, you could use a post. WordPress will display these post with the most recent updates first.
Note: there are no WordPress police that will come knocking at your door if you don't use pages and posts the way they are described here. You are free to use them anyway you see fit. However, for SEO purposes the above set up is the most optimal.
WordPress has a built in editor which you can use to create your pages and posts. The editor takes a bit of getting used to but you should be able to master it working with it for an hour or two.
Hopefully, this quick overview of WordPress is enough to point you in the right direction. If you want to get your website setup in under 30 seconds, you may want to consider the method described by Kyle.
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