WordPress Basics Tutorial: Essential WordPress Beginners Guide

WordPress Basics Tutorial: Essential WordPress Beginners Guide

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WordPress Basics: WordPress Terminology and Its Importance

Login screen of wordpress, wordpress basics

WordPress basics are one of the first skills you should learn if you’re going to create a website or blog with this great platform. This powerful but simple website platform is great, but can get very confusing if you start off on the wrong foot. But why? Well frankly, even though WordPress is one of the easier platforms to create your own website with, it has a lot of different options and lingo to learn. This can be very overwhelming for beginners!

Wpbeginner has a great glossary of all of WordPress terms that you may find useful to check out. I’ve also compiled my own list below that I feel are the most important ones.

Let’s go ahead and explain the WordPress Basic terms: Go ahead and sign into your WordPress Dashboard

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Please note: I’m going through these WordPress Basics terms in order of the screen you’re presented with on the WordPress Dashboard so you can follow along.

Login screen of wordpress, wordpress basics
  • Dashboard: First screen you’ll be presented with upon logging in. It’ll have an array of quick information that will provide you with the health of your
    website. This area can be customized to fit your needs
  • Posts: This section will list all of your posts you’ve written. You’ll see the author (if you have multiple), date written, tags given and SEO information. You will spend the most time on this tab writing your content.
  • This is also the section of your website where categories can be created. Categories help segment your posts for easier navigation by any visitors and
    search engines. Example: Sports > Football > Green Bay Packers
  • Media: Houses all of your media you’ve uploaded onto your website. Mainly pictures, but if you have audio or video this will be listed here as well.
  • Pages: Similar to the “posts” section, but there is a key difference. Pages are created for spots in your website that won’t change very often and are present throughout the website. Pages you’ll want to create would include: About Us, Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, etc.
  • Comments: Will present you with the management of any comments left on your website.
  • Appearance: This section you’ll become very familiar with as you will spend a good amount of time here. This section is where you can look for a theme to apply to your website and alter how it looks. There are multiple sections in this spot which include:
  • Themes – Search for and upload a theme

  • Widgets – These are enhanced functionality to your website. These are downloaded via the “Plugin’s” section.

  • Menus – Manage what pages, posts or categories you want to display on your menus

  • Header – Upload a logo or header image

  • Background – Customize the color of your website Background

  • Editor – Don’t touch this unless absolutely necessary

  • Plugins: Another section we may spend a great deal of time on. Here we can download free or paid plugins to enhance features of your website. More depth on this later.

  • Settings: Just as you would expect from the name! You can alter a variety of different settings to have the website act as you want it to!

Now let’s get started with the basics of starting your website or blog!

WordPress Basics Explained: 3 Easy Steps

wordpress photo
Photo by Titanas

The basic WordPress steps that I’m about to explain are as follows:

  1. Find a great WordPress Theme that fits your Website or Blogs style
  2. Activate necessary plugins to ensure your website runs smoothly
  3. Creating unique and interesting content for your new WordPress website

WordPress Basics Step 1: Install and Activate a WordPress Theme

You don’t want a boring looking website right? WordPress is great at offering free themes that will hopefully give you the look and feel that you want.

If you’re going to get WordPress basics down, you’ll want to learn how to upload a new theme and make your website look professional!

I’ve compiled a list of great posts and articles listing a few of the free themes worth checking out:

Free Themes Articles:

If you don’t see a theme that interests you that’s okay too! Just google the kind of website you want and add “Free WordPress Theme” (“Topic/Website Type + Free WordPress Theme) at the end of your search. You’re bound to find something that fits what you want!

Free WordPress Themes

Alright so at this point I’m assuming you’ve checked out a few of the free themes available. That’s great!

They’re really nice, shiny and exciting!

Unfortunately, most of these free WordPress themes are extremely limited. You can’t change the layout of how things look on your website and they aren’t very customizable.

With a free theme, what you see is what you get.

To make matters a bit worse, a lot of those free themes are also very bad for SEO. You’re probably asking what I mean by this, right? The free themes
aren’t always coded up to the standards of today’s web.

They might have extra and unnecessary bloated code that makes them slow. The last thing we want is a slow website. According to kissmetrics.com, almost 3 out of every 4 people state they’ve encountered a website that was too slow. Nearly half of the web also stated that they expect a website to load in less than two seconds. TWO!

Recommended Premium WordPress Themes and Frameworks

The solution to the crap free themes that you’re stuck with is a premium theme. Trust me, I’ve searched high and low for the perfect free theme. I’ve
always been disappointed.

The main hangup for myself personally was the customization. I just could never make it look the way I wanted it to. On this website, I use the Genesis Framework and the News Pro Theme.

Benefits of having a premium WordPress theme are:

  • Unlimited support

  • Will always be updated to the most updated version of WordPress

  • Speed and Reliability

  • Professional looking

A few of the premium theme providers are:

Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework for WordPress
Thesis Theme for WordPress: Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

Thesis Framework

WordPress Basics Step 2: Install plugins to improve the base functionality of WordPress

Plugins and widgets are the lifeblood of the WordPress experience. These features are what really separate this platform from other website builders.

You ever notice that wonderful box for Facebook that shows the iconic “like” button to follow a business’s page on the social media giant? How about a
Twitter feed that just came out of nowhere? More times than not, these are plugins installed and customized to personalize a website.

At its core, WordPress is just a blogging platform. However, with different plugins, the functionality of this platform is brought to new heights.

Below is a list of essential plugins I highly recommend you install. I will also reference guides as to how to use these plugins in case you ever get
lost.

To install or search for any plugin to install. Hover over Plugins and go to “Add New”. From here you can browse a list of popular and recommended plugins.
On the far right side, you’ll see a search bar to use.

Search for these free to use plugins to make your website and business shine like a bright, hot star!

Free Plugins to Install, Active and Setup Right Now:

  • Yoast SEO – The #1 SEO plugin. This plugin will help you rank in the search engines by providing you with real time information about your posts
    and pages. It also has a host of packed features that help your website.

  • SumoMe – This is a new plugin that is extremely helpful. It allows your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or emails. I use just about every
    feature on this plugin.

  • Disqus Comment System – The default comment system for WordPress is pretty ugly. Disqus is amazing as it allows users to comment using their
    favorite social profile such as Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

  • W3 Total Cache – I won’t go into full detail about what caching is. Essentially this plugin will help speed up your website. This is both
    beneficial to the visitor and to your SEO as search engines hate slow websites!

  • WordFence Security – Nothing really fancy here as this is a basic security plugin to help keep your website safe from hackers. The free version
    should be sufficient for now for limiting login attempts and monitoring your website.

  • Broken Link Checker – Name explains it all! Make sure your links are valid.

  • Thirsty Affiliates – More on this plugin later in the article. However, this plugin is a huge lifesaver when it comes to saving, tracking and using
    affiliate links. (AKA the links we use to make money)

  • Fast Secure Contact Form – Great plugin to create a content form to allow your visitors to get in touch with you anytime.

  • BackWPup – Basic and free backup service for your website in case anything were to happen to your data.

  • Social Media – Honestly there’s a ton to choose from here. Pick your favorite and allow your users to follow and share your website!

  • WP Smush – Helps reduce image file sizes to improve the speed and SEO of your website.

Optional Plugins to Download:

  • bbPress – Make your website into an interactive forum!

  • Jetpack – A huge collection of plugins in one package. Really great when first starting out with WordPress. However, because there is so much
    packed into one plugin, this can cause your website to slow down quite a bit.

  • BuddyPress – Make your own social / membership website!

Alright, so you’ve added some awesome plugins to really make your website shine! If everything doesn’t look just right yet, don’t worry. We’re getting there!

WordPress Basics Step 3: Create awesome content for your readers

Look, I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the most important aspect of starting any website or blog on WordPress.

Content is the ONLY reason anyone is coming to this website. It doesn’t matter how fancy of a theme you choose or if you have the latest, trendy plugin installed.

Learning how to create content is a challenge, and warrants a whole other post. Luckily for you, I created a whole guide on how to create exciting content.

They’re on your website because they want to see what you provide them! They’re bored of seeing the same old stuff!

They want:

  • Some unique information.
  • Maybe some photos.
  • Fun videos.
  • How about a slideshow?
  • Play a new game.
  • All of the above

Do you have to create all of these? Of course not!

Sharing is caring baby! And the web is full of awesome content that you can share with other people. You just have to get a little creative.

Just don’t be boring, no one wants that. We’re very much against that here on BoredomBusted.

WordPress Basics Post Review: What Did We Learn?

Congrats, you made it to the end of the post! Thank you for reading it!

In this WordPress Basics article we covered:

  • Why you should learn WordPress basics
  • Covered basic WordPress terminology
  • Revealed the 3 basic steps to starting a WordPress based website or blog
    • Finding an awesome WordPress theme
    • Activating useful and helpful plugins to ensure the website has extra functionality
    • How to provide useful content to your visitors to keep them from being bored

Photo by Titanas

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