wordpress tutorial basics

WordPress Tutorials for Beginners – Getting Started with WordPress

In this article and the YouTube Embedded with it is How to make a WordPress website or blog. This is a WordPress tutorial for beginners where I cover:

  • how to install WordPress
  • how to configure WordPress from your settings, creating pages, posts, managing comments & users
  • how to choose WordPress themes
  • the Top 10 WordPress Plugins
  • how to secure WordPress
  • how to backup your WordPress website

Getting Started with WordPress

There are a few things you need, you will need a Domain Name $10 per year, web hosting which is about $5 per month and ideas for your website content. That’s all you need to get started.

Installing WordPress – One Click Installation

Most web hosts have a one click install process which makes it really easy to install WordPress. Here’s what you have to do.

  • Log into your hosting account
  • navigate to your control panel
  • find the section for apps
  • choose WordPress
  • follow the prompts

Advanced WordPress Installation – Manually Installing WordPress

If you’re looking to take a more hands on approach, manually installing WordPress isn’t hard at all and I actually highly recommend that people learn how to manage their website in this more advanced way.

You will need:

  • an FTP (file transfer protocol) client like FileZilla
  • a text editor like Atom which is a free text editor
  • then download WordPress
  • unzip the download and choose where you want to store it on your computer
  • create a database for your website on your Web server
  • upload WordPress to your Web server
  • visit your domain name and follow the prompts

Configuring WordPress

Log into your WordPress dashboard and find the settings link in the left sidebar towards the bottom. In the general settings page, fill in the info in the various fields then save your changes. In the settings area locate the Permalinks and choose one, I use post name. Find the users link in the left sidebar then click your profile and fill it out with all your information.

In the settings -> writing section, you can choose a default category. In the settings -> reading section you can configure your FrontPage options. In the settings -> discussing section, choose your settings for how comments will be handled. In the settings -> media section, choose your thumbnail dimensions.

The you should create your main pages for your website, the about page, contact page, services page etc. In the appearance -> menu section, create your navigation menu, this should be done after you’ve created your main pages. In the appearance -> widgets area, you can configure the available widgets. In the appearance -> customize section, you can customize the layout of your website. Write your first blog post by clicking the Post link in the admin sidebar and add new. But keep reading before doing that.

What is a WordPress theme?

WordPress themes provide the front-end styling of your website Most themes provide the look and feel of your site. They typically provide:

  • font styles
  • color options
  • widget locations
  • page of post layout options
  • customization via the customizer and widget area

There are thousands of free and premium WordPress Themes to choose from. Free themes are great start with and might be all that you need. Premium WordPress Themes (like Evo Pro) often come with more features and support.

What to look for in a WordPress theme

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide which theme is right for you. Ultimately there are a few things you will most likely want in a theme.

  • layouts – does the theme provide good layout options like full width, two column, three column and widget areas
  • are the settings and customizer easy to use
  • is the theme fully responsive
  • is the theme SEO optimized
  • does the theme have social media icons for sharing and connecting
  • is the theme actively maintained
  • how’s the support
  • does the theme fit your brand

Those are just a few things you will want to consider when searching for the theme that will handle the front-end look and feel of your website.

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Installing a theme is extremely easy.

  • visit your admin dashboard of your website
  • in the left admin sidebar, hover over appearance and click on themes or add new
  • from there you can search for free themes
  • or you can upload a theme from your computer
  • once installed, activate and configure the theme

See, that was easy. WordPress has made it extremely simple to manage your website.

What are WordPress plugins?

Plugins are like APPS, they extend the functionality of WordPress, from SEO, social media, security, backups, forms and more. There are over 40,000 free plugins on the official WordPress Website. You can also buy premium plugins that provide robust functionality.

Here’s my Top 10 list of WordPress Plugins:

  1. WordFence
  2. iThemes security
  3. easy updates manager
  4. updraft plus for backups
  5. Yoast Seo
  6. black studio TinyMCE for widget functionality
  7. WP Smushit for your images
  8. WP sweep for the database
  9. contact forms 7
  10. and WP fastest cache

How to install WordPress Plugins

In the admin dashboard of your website, click on the plugins link then click add new. Search for the plugin you want to install or upload a plugin from your computer. Once the plugin is installed and activated, configure it based on the documentation from the developer.

Creating Pages and Posts in WordPress are very similar

For Pages, in the top toolbar -> hover over new -> then click page. Or, in the left admin sidebar of your dashboard, hover over page and click add new. Give your page a click worthy title. Make the title something a person would probably use as a search phrase in Google. Add your content and images. Make sure to add a featured image. Fill out the SEO section from your SEO plugin. When you’re ready, publish the page and view the page in the browser.

For Posts, in the top toolbar, hover over the new link and click post. Or in the left admin sidebar, hover over POST and click add new. Give your post a click worthy title.  Add your content, shoot for about 1500 words and add your images. Fill out the SEO info from your SEO plugin and don’t forget to add a featured image. Add the category and tags you’ll be using. When ready, publish your post and view the post in the browser.

Managing uses in WordPress

There are five user roles in WordPress:

  1. subscriber – least privalege
  2. contributor – can create posts but can’t publish
  3. author – can create their own posts and publish but nothing else
  4. editor – can manage the activity of other users except for the admin
  5. administrator – is the most powerful user (except if it’s a multisite install) there should only be  one admin

To create or manage users, visit your dashboard and click on the user link in the left sidebar. You have three options:

  1. all users
  2. add new
  3. your profile

Standard practice is to set the default user role to the subscriber role.

Managing Comments in WordPress

Your website might never get any comments and that’s ok.  Or your website might get flooded with spam comments. Or maybe you have a website that people really engage with.

Either way you can manage comments in the dashboard. There are two locations a focus on. In the admin sidebar -> comments section, this is where you can view all comments. In the admin sidebar -> settings -> discussion, this is where you set the rules on how comments will be handled. You can also install a spam blocking plugin to deal with spam.

WordPress Security

The headlines might scare you, “Millions of WordPress websites hacked“! It’s true, WordPress websites do get hacked but so did millions of websites not powered by WordPress. Even government websites get hacked. So how do you secure and protect your WordPress website?

WordPress security 101

It’s actually really easy to secure your website.

  • make sure your website is up to date. The core, themes and plugins
  • only use trusted themes and plugins
  • your password should be over 20 characters long
  • use a password manager
  • use two factor authentication
  • install WordFence and iThemes security plugins
  • secure your hosting account and Web server
  • secure all your devices and networks

As long as you follow the tips above, your website will be secure from the vast majority of attacks.

Backing up WordPress

It’s important that you backup your website often. You never know if a server failure or some other issue might require you to restore from backup. Or maybe you just want to migrate to a new server. Either way, you need to backup your database which is for your post, pages and settings. Then backup your files and folders which are your themes, plugins and images.

Your backup schedule should be based on your blogging and update schedule. I advise backing up your database every other day and files weekly. Consider using a plugin like Updraft Plus to automated the process.

You can also manually backup your WordPress database by using PHPMyAdmin. Log into your hosting account, go to your control panel then look for your database -> MySQL section and then click PHPmyadmin. Select your database then click the export link in the top navbar. Select all tables and then choose either the zip or SQL format. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click go.

In order to manually backup your WordPress assets, you will need an FTP program like FileZilla on your computer. Visit your hosting account control panel and create a FTP user account. Download the FTP account info from your control panel and then configure FileZilla. Once it’s installed and configured you can transfer files to and from your Web server

WordPress blogs to follow

While I’m happy you’ve decided to read this article and hopefully subscribe to PixemWeb, there are some other websites you should definitely read and follow.

Additional Blogger Resources

  • Get your free images from Pexels.com and gratisography.com.
  • For SEO visit moz.com
  • Cybersecurity News from threatpost.com
  • free image editing software from gimp.org or canva.com
  • free illustrative software inkscape.org
  • WordPress codex for the documentation
  • Problogger.com
  • copyblogger.com
  • and NeilPatel.com blog

The Takeaway

WordPress is really easy to work with. Follow the steps above or watch the video, and you will become a pro blogger in no time.

If you need help with WordPress I offer Premium WordPress Setups. Evo Pro is my custom WordPress theme and I also work with the Genesis framework and the Equity Framework for real estate. Contact us so we can get started on your website.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Subscribe and share your thoughts.