A new Bright Thought experience is coming January 2019!

Introduction To WordPress! (Part 1)

Erik

So your new to WordPress? You decided that it is time to use it as the CMS for your new website or perhaps your transitioning your old site over to WordPress. Well first and foremost I want to welcome you to the wonderful world of WordPress and believe me you won’t regret it. But like any other change, you have to become comfortable with your new surroundings and I’m here to help walk you through everything that you will have in your base WordPress installation.

Before I get into everything that some with a fresh installation of WordPress lets talk about what WordPress actually is. WordPress is the worlds leading Content Management System (CMS for short), which allow you to easily manage the content on your website. If you were managing static HTML pages on your old site then you understand how convenient this can be. No longer to you have to create individual pages and upload them whenever you want to add a new page to your website, oh no, those days are gone.

Through-out this post we will also be referring to WordPress as WP interchangeably so that you are aware of this acronym.

Dashboard:

Upon installing WordPress for the first time below is what you will see once you login:

WordPress Dashboard

This is your dashboard and it provides basic information and options for you to easily get information or perform actions on your WP install. So as you can see on the left hand side is the navigation which you will use to control the overall settings and the content on your site. You will notice in the main section of the dashboard a few default widgets that provide you with information about your site such as the number of posts, pages, and comments that are currently present on your site. There is also an activity widget that provides information on recent occurrences on your site such as comments and new postings. The final widget is the WordPress News widget which provides information on what is happening in the WordPress community.

Underneath the Dashboard navigation item you will see a sub-menu with two options the first being home which is the dashboard itself and an updates menu options. The updates page will look like the image below out of the box:

WordPress Updates Screen

The updates page essentially will display all theme and plugins that need to be updated as well as inform you if your WP install needs to be updated. This provides a simple area to update everything on one place instead of having to go the individual area such as plugins and themes to handle your updates. You will automatically be notified of when an update is available as the updates menu item will have a tag on it with the number of available updates.

To learn more about the Dashboard here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

Posts:

As we move down the left hand menu you will see Posts and once you click this menu item you will be presented with a page similar to the image below:

WordPress Posts

The posts page controls your blog and the screen above will list all the posts that you have made in chronological order. You will notice that from this screen you can create a new post by clicking the Add New button located towards the top of the screen which is also available as a sub-menu option beneath Posts in the left menu. As you look at the posts on this screen you will see information for each post such as the title, the author, the categories that it is listed under, the associated tags, the number of comments, and the date it was published on.

From the post screen you can also do minor edits to the information associated with your post. By hover over the post you will be provided with a few options Edit, Quick Edit, Trash, and View. The edit button will open the full post editor, the trash of course will delete the post, the view will display how the post will look on the website, and quick edit will allow you to make the minor changes. Once you click the quick edit button you will be presented with the following screen:

WordPress Quick Edit Screen

On this screen you have the ability to change the posts title, the posts slug which is how WordPress will reference this post in the database, the date the post was published, the password or privacy of the post, the categories and tags, if you are allowing people to comment or ping the post, the status of the post and finally if the post should be sticky or not. A sticky post means a post that remains as the first post regardless of the date it was published until you remove the sticky option.

If the quick edit option isn’t sufficient to make the needed edits or your creating a new post you will be presented with the page below:

WordPress Edit Posts Page

This page is very simple you start with the title input field which also plays a part in creating the link for your post. Beneath the title input field you have your main editor which is were you will write you blog post along with adding formatting to it. You will notice above the editor you have formatting buttons similar to other text editors that you may have used in the past. There will be another article focusing primarily on the use of the text editor and all of it’s capabilities.

Down the right side of the page you have a lot of the same information that was available on the quick edit area with the exception of the Featured Image. You have the ability to save a post as a draft and come back to it when your ready as well as preview the post on the live site so you know how it will look. You have the same status option as the quick edit as well as the visibility which can be toggled between public, private, and password protected. The categories and tags section function exactly as they do in the quick edits area with the exception of creating new categories which can not be done in the quick edits screen.

The featured image is an image that will be displayed with your post in an area designated by the theme that you are using. The display size and location are not standard across all themes so this is when previewing your post will really come in handy. Finally the format widget, which is not available on every theme, determines how the post will be displayed and is controlled by the theme itself.

To learn more about Posts here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

Categories / Tags:

The category and tags page are found as sub-menus beneath the post menu item. These pages control the categories and tags that are available to your posts, below are what there pages look like:

WordPress Category Page

WordPress Tags Page

As you can see these pages are very similar, with there being fields for a name, slug, and description, however the difference comes with categories offering hierarchy. Hierarchy comes into play if you wanted to have sub-categories of a parent category such as Music as the parent and Jazz as a sub-category. On the right hand side you will have a list of all of your tags and categories where you will also be able to edit exiting items.

To learn more about Categories here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

To learn more about Tags here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

Media:

The media menu item is the area in which you will upload images that you want to use through-out your site. When you click on the menu item you will presented with the follow page:

WP_Media

This area is a drop and drop uploader meaning that you can take your image files on your computer and drag them directly onto this page and they will begin to upload. If for some reason the drag and drop is not working you can click the add new button at the top and then you will be provided with two options to upload drag and drop or the select file option. The select file option will allow you to navigate to the location of the image on your computer and then upload it to WordPress.

Once you upload your first image and you click on you will have the option to add more information to the image as well as get the link to your image.

WordPress Medio Image Info

You have the option to change the title, add a caption, the alt text and the description. The caption will be displayed underneath the image once you insert it in your post or page. You will also notice that there is a link at the bottom that says “Edit more details” this link will allow you to do edits to the image such as rotating the image, cropping it, and changing it’s overall size.

To learn more about the Media page here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

Pages:

Pages is were you create static pages that are relatively important to your overall site that will normally be located as an menu item or in the footer of your website. Examples of pages would be an About page or a Privacy Policy, if your site needs one, things along these lines. When you enter the pages link you will notice that it looks a lot like the posts page.

WordPress Pages

Unlike posts, pages do not offer categories or tags, however they do offer hierarchy just like categories. Meaning you can have pages that are children of other pages such an About page being the parent of an Meet the Employees page. Pages also offers a quick edit page like posts where you can make quick changes.

WordPress Page Quick Edit

In the quick edit there are a number of similarities to the post quick edit such as the title, slug, date, and making the page private or password protected. On the right will will see how you can chose the parent of the page, in that dropdown you will see all other available pages to chose from. The order area simply allows you to chose the order of your pages so that they make more sense to you. The template allows you do chose different available templates for how your page should be displayed however this is dependent on the theme that you are using. Finally the last two options are similar to that of posts in which you can chose to allow comments to be left and the status of the page meaning if it is published, a draft, or pending review.

The full editor for WP pages is also very similar to that of posts minus categories and tags with the addition of hierarchy.

WordPress Page Editor

Looking at the editor you will notice that it has all of the elements of the post editor minus the aforementioned missing elements. However, unlike the quick editor you will notice that the templates option is not available this is theme based, meaning if your theme does not offer any templates then that option will not be available in the page editor.

To learn more about Pages here is a link to the WordPress.org information page Click Here.

This was part 1 of the WordPress introduction as there are numerous items that need to be covered and splitting them into two posts will make this a much easier read. I hope that this post has made your initial WordPress experience much easier and the links within the posts have provided even more insight into your WordPress experience.

Be on the lookout for part two of the introduction of WordPress where I will cover some of the more in depth options within WordPress.

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