“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.”
Themes can be easily downloaded from the official WordPress site or from hundreds of other places around the web. The same goes with plugins, which are used to extend the functionality of your WordPress site.
As well as being a fantastic blogging and content management system, one of the huge benefits is the wealth of information out there. There’s a great community of people behind the design & development of the WordPress system itself. People from all over the world contribute their time, knowledge and skill to keeping WordPress updated and secure.
There’s also a huge number of designers, developers & bloggers who share their knowledge through blog posts, tutorials, reviews, videos and the creation of thousands of themes & plugins.
WordPress powers a staggering amount of websites. In fact, it powers over 28% of the whole web! Everything from personal blogs to large corporate websites.
Before you can make any changes to your site, you will need to log in. The default login address for WordPress sites is: http://your-wordpress-site.com/wp-admin. However at CJWEB, we use a customised URL that is more secure and will be supplied to you.
You can login to your Dashboard using either your Username or your email address associated with your account.
Once you’ve logged in, the WordPress Dashboard appears. This is your main administration homepage. At the very top of your Dashboard (and across every page) you will see the name of your site in the header area. In the example screenshot below (and throughout this documentation) the site name is Your WordPress Site. This is also hyperlinked to your site’s homepage. You will also see the name of the person who is currently logged in (e.g. Joe Blogg). Move your cursor over your name to reveal the Log Out link as well as a link to edit your Profile.
When new or updated features are introduced into WordPress, you’ll be shown a New Feature Pointer. This is simply to bring to your attention some feature within the Dashboard that’s been added or updated. In the following Dashboard image, the New Feature Pointer is highlighting the updated Toolbar. Click Dismiss to hide the pointer.
The WordPress Toolbar is a way of easily accessing some of the most common WordPress features. When you are logged into your WordPress dashboard and you visit your website, you will see the Toolbar running across the top of your site. This bar only appears if you are currently logged into your WordPress site, which means that it won’t be visible to your everyday site visitors. If you are not logged in, the Toolbar won’t be displayed.
The Toolbar allows you to quickly access the following commonly used features.
- Visit the WordPress.org website, Codex or Support forums
- Display your site Dashboard and other commonly used menu options that allow you to update your site Themes, Widgets and Menus
- Visit the Customizer to update various site settings and depending on your theme, update your Background and Header images
- View or Edit your blog comments
- Add a new Post, Media, Page or User
- Perform a site Search
- View or Edit your Profile and logout from the WordPress Dashboard
4.Posts vs Pages
WordPress is built around two basic concepts. Posts and Pages. Posts are typically blog entries. A series of articles, listed (usually) reverse-chronologically. Pages are used for more static content (i.e. content that doesn’t change or changes infrequently). An ‘About us’ page is an example of a Page on a typical website. In most cases you’ll find that the content in the ‘About us’ page doesn’t change all that frequently.
Now, you might be thinking, “but I don’t need a blog”. This might be true, but you can also use the blog concept if you have a site where you need to display your ‘latest news’ or even just company updates. Basically, any information that gets updated on a semi-regular basis can benefit from the ‘blog’ functionality. Whether that’s a traditional blog, your company’s ‘latest news’ or even just your own personal updates.
After clicking on the Posts menu option you’ll be shown a list of Posts that your site contains. Among the information displayed is the Post title, the Author, Categories, Tags, No. of Comments and either the Date Published, Date Scheduled or the Date the Post was Last Modified. The Posts screen will look similar to the screen below.
At the top of the page you can view how many Posts in total you have in your site, how many have been published by yourself or Published, Scheduled, Sticky, Pending, in Draft or in the Trash.
When hovering your cursor over each row, a few links will appear beneath the Post title.
- Edit – Will allow you to edit your Post. This is the same as clicking on the Post title
- Quick Edit – Allows you to edit basic Post information such as Title, Slug, Date plus a few other options
- Trash – Will send the Post to the Trash. Once the Trash is emptied, the page is deleted
- View – Displays the Post. If the Post hasn’t been published yet, this will say Preview
Next to each Post title is a checkbox. This allows you to perform an action on multiple items at once. You simply check the Posts that you would like to affect and then from the Bulk Actions dropdown select either the Edit option or the Move to Trash option and then click the Apply button. The Edit option will allow you to edit the Categories, Tags, Author, whether to allow Comments and Pings or not, the Status and whether or not the Posts are ‘Sticky’. The Move to Trash option will move the selected items to the Trash.
You can also filter the pages that are displayed using the dropdown lists and the Filter button.
Clicking the Screen Options button at the top-right of the screen allows you to change how the Posts list is displayed. Click the List View option to display the posts in the traditional List View or click the Excerpt View option to display a short excerpt from the Post underneath the Post title. You can also hide various columns from view if you don’t want to see them. Clicking the Apply button will save your changes.
After clicking on the Pages menu option you’ll be shown a list of Pages that your site contains. Among the information displayed is the Page title, the Author, No. of Comments and either the Date Published or the Date the Page was Last Modified. The Pages screen will look similar to screen below.
At the top of the page you can view how many Pages in total you have in your site, how many have been published by yourself or how many are Published or in Draft.
When hovering your cursor over each row, a few links will appear beneath the Page title.
- Edit – Will allow you to edit your Page. This is the same as clicking on the Page title
- Quick Edit – Allows you to edit basic Page information such as Title, Slug, Date plus a few other options
- Trash – Will send the Page to the Trash. Once the Trash is emptied, the page is deleted
- View – Displays the Page. If the Page hasn’t been published yet, this will say Preview
Next to each Page title is a checkbox. This allows you to perform an action on multiple items at once. You simply check the Pages that you would like to affect and then from the Bulk Actions dropdown select either the Edit option or the Move to Trash option and then click the Apply button. The Edit option will allow you to edit the Author, Parent, Template, whether to allow Comments or not and the Status of each of the checked items. The Move to Trash option will move the selected items to the Trash.
You can also filter the pages that are displayed using the dropdown list and the Filter button.
5.Adding and Editing Content
Adding content to your site is an easy process no matter whether you’re creating a Post or a Page. The procedure for both is almost identical. Apart from how they display on your site, which was described earlier, the other main difference is that Posts allow you to associate Categories and Tags whereas Pages don’t. What’s the difference between categories and tags? Normally, Tags are ad-hoc keywords that identify important information in your Post (names, subjects, etc) that may or may not recur in other Posts, while Categories are pre-determined sections. If you think of your site like a book, the Categories are like the Table of Contents and the Tags are like the terms in the index.
5.1.Adding a New Page
To add a new Page, hover your cursor over the Pages menu option in the left-hand navigation menu and in the fly-out menu, click the Add New link. Alternatively, click the Pages menu option and then click the Add New link underneath, or the Add New button at the top of the page. You will be presented with a page similar to the image below.
5.2.Adding a New Post
To add a new Post, hover over the Posts menu option in the left-hand navigation menu and in the fly-out menu, click the Add New link. Alternatively, click the Posts menu option and then click the Add New link underneath, or the Add Newbutton at the top of the page. You will be presented with a page similar to the image below.
5.3.Adding Content with the Text Editor
The editor used to enter content into your Page or Post is very easy to use. It’s much like using a regular word processor, with toolbar buttons that allow you to Bold or Italicize text or enter in Headings or Bullet points. You can even use most of the basic keyboard shortcuts used in other text editors.
When adding content to your page, the Visual Editor expands to fit your content, rather than simply scrolling. On top of that, no matter how tall the Visual Editor becomes, the toolbar buttons will be available at all times by sticking to the top of the page.
When creating a new Page or Post, the first thing to do is enter in your title in the top entry field where it says Enter title here. After moving the cursor down to the editor a new Permalink is created for your page. Permalinks are the permanent URL’s to your individual Posts, Pages, Categories etc.. Though not usually necessary, you can manually edit your permalink by clicking on the actual permalink (the part after the domain name with the yellow background) or by clicking the Edit button next to it. Once you’ve modified it, click Ok to save or Cancel to cancel your changes.
At the top of the editor where your content is written, there are numerous formatting buttons. Clicking the Toolbar Toggle button will show or hide a second line of formatting buttons which gives you extra functionality.
At the top of the editor there are two tabs, Visual and Text. These switch the editor view between the Visual Editor and the Text editor. The Text view will enable you to view the HTML code that makes up your content. For the more experienced users this can be helpful at times but for those not familiar with HTML tags, it’s not recommended.
5.5.Uploading Images and other Files
Adding images and other media files such as videos, documents or PDFs is extremely easy within WordPress. All your images and files are stored in the Media Library (accessible via the side-menu). Once they’re uploaded into the Media Library, it’s a very simple matter to insert them into your Page or Post content. In the case of files such as Word Documents or PDFs, if necessary, it’s a simple process to create links to those files so that people can then download them.
To insert an image into your Page/Post, click the Add Media button and then simply drag your image(s) from wherever they are on your computer, into the browser window. Your file(s) will be automatically uploaded.
Alternatively, click the Select Files button and then select the file(s) that you’d like to upload, using the dialog window that is displayed.
It’s also possible to simply drag your image straight into the Visual Editor, rather than clicking the Add Media button.
No matter whether you’ve clicked the Add Media button or simply dragged and dropped your image into the Visual Editor, once your image is uploaded, your Media Library is displayed, which contains all your previously uploaded images. The image(s) that you’ve just uploaded will be automatically ‘selected’ for easy insertion into your Page or Post. Selected images are shown with a ‘tick’ icon in the top right corner of the image.
After uploading your image(s), you can then select other previously uploaded images by holding down the Ctrl key (Cmd key on Macs) and simply clicking on them. To deselect an image, click the ‘tick’ in the top right corner of the image.
At the bottom of the window you will see a count of the number of images currently selected.
There are several options within this Insert Media window to help make it easier to add images into your Page or Post.
By default, all previously uploaded images are shown, starting with the most recent uploads. If you’d like to narrow this list down, at the top of the window is a dropdown list that allows you to filter your displayed images by All media items, items Uploaded to this post/page, or Images, Audio files, Video files or Unattached files. You can also filter your media files by selecting a date, or alternatively, there is also a Search field that allows you to search for specific images.
For each image, you can select how you would like the image aligned, either Left, Center or Right aligned, using the Alignment dropdown list. You can also select None for no alignment which will mean the image will display using the default alignment setting for your Theme.
You can also change what your inserted image(s) will link to using the Link To dropdown list. You have the choice of linking to the image’s attachment page by selecting Attachment Page, or you can link to the full size image by selecting Media File. You can also link to any URL by selecting Custom URL. When you do this, a new field will appear that allows you to enter in the custom URL. You can also choose not to link to anything by selecting None.
When your image(s) are uploaded, WordPress will also create several copies of your file at various sizes. You can choose which one you’d like to insert into your Page or Post using the Size dropdown list. To insert the image at the exact size you uploaded, simply select Full Size. Next to each size listed in this dropdown will be the actual dimensions of the image, in pixels (e.g. 300 x 225).
Once you’ve selected all your images, click the Insert into post button to insert the selected image(s) into your Post at the current cursor position (when editing a Page, this button will say Insert into page).
Editing inserted images
There are various options available for adjusting the layout of inserted images.
After clicking on an image that has already been inserted into your Page or Post, a small toolbar will appear over the image. By selecting one of the alignment buttons you can change the alignment of the inserted image. Clicking the Edit button allows you to edit the image properties. Clicking the Remove button will remove the image from your content. It will only remove the image from your Page or Post, it will not delete the image from your Media Library.
5.6.Setting a Featured Image
Some themes allow you to specify a Featured Image for your Page and Post. A Featured Image, often called a Post/Page Thumbnail, is usually some sort of image that is representative for that particular Page or Post. How these images are displayed is dependent entirely on the Theme that is currently in use.
If your Theme allows you to set a Featured Image, the following Featured Image panel will be displayed when you’re editing your Page or Post. If Featured Images can’t be set then this panel won’t be displayed.
Setting your featured image is very similar to adding an image into your Page or Post. After clicking the Set featured image link a pop-up window will display that looks similar to the one that displays when you add an image to your Page/Post. You can upload a new image to use as your Featured Image or you can simply choose from one of your previously uploaded images.
5.7.Creating Image Galleries
WordPress has its own simple built-in Image Gallery that allows you to add multiple images to a page in one easy step.
To insert an image gallery into your Page/Post, click the Add Media button. A pop-up window will display that looks the same as the one that displays when you add an image to your Page/Post. You can upload new images to use in your gallery or you can simply choose from your previously uploaded images.
By default, you’ll be shown a list of your previously uploaded images. If you’d like to upload a new image, click on the Upload Files link at the top of the pop-up window.
Click the Create Gallery link in the left-hand navigation then select the images that you’d like to insert into your gallery.
After selecting your images, click the Create a new gallery button at the bottom of the pop-up window. The window will change so that only the selected images are shown.
All the images that appear will be used within your Image Gallery. To reorder the images simply click on an image and drag it to its new position. If you’d like to add captions to your images, click the ‘Caption this image..’. text below each image and then type in your caption. Alternatively, click each image and then update the Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description on the right-hand side of the pop-up window. You can also include basic HTML, such as links, in your captions.
If you decide you no longer want a certain image to appear in your gallery, click the small ‘-’ that appears in the top right corner of the image when you hover your cursor over the ‘x’.
Since the built-in gallery is quite simple, there aren’t that many options to choose from when setting it up.
- Link to – This sets what happens when the thumbnail image is clicked. Selecting Media File will open the full size image directly in your browser window. Selecting Attachment Page will open the image within one of your WordPress formatted pages
- Columns – Specifies the number of columns to use when displaying your thumbnail images. Ultimately, this will be dependent on your Theme and how wide your page is. If you find the gallery isn’t displaying properly after changing this number you may need to change it to another number
- Random Order – Click this checkbox to display your images in a random order
- Size – Selects the size of the image to use in your gallery
6.Saving and Publishing content
Once you’ve added all your content to your Page or Post you have the option of Saving the Page as a Draft or Publishing the page. Clicking the Save Draft button will simply save your Page/Post. This is handy if you would like to come back at a later date to add more content or if you’re simply not ready to publish yet.
Clicking the Publish button will save your Page/Post and publish it on your website.
Clicking the Preview button will show you a preview of the current Page/Post.
There are also several options available when saving. By default the Status is set to Draft but this can be changed by clicking the Edit link just to the right of Status: within the Publish panel.
- Pending Review means the draft is waiting for review by an editor prior to publication.
- Draft means the post has not been published and remains a draft for you.
You can also change the visibility of the Page by clicking the Edit link just to the right of Visibility: within the Publish panel.
- Public is the default and means the page is viewable to all. There is also an option to make the Post ‘sticky’. Sticky posts are placed at the top of all blog posts and stay there even after new posts are published.
- Password Protected allows you to assign a password to your page. Only people who have the password will be able to access the page.
- Private hides the content from the public completely. Normal users and visitors will not be aware of private content. You will only see the private content when you are logged into your WordPress blog.
Just below the Title for your content is the full URL for your Page or Post. Clicking this will take you to the published page, or if the page hasn’t been published yet, a preview of the page. Clicking the Edit button next to the URL allows you to change the Permalink (i.e. the URL) of the Page or Post. You might decide to do this for improving SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Most times though, you’ll simply leave the default URL which WordPress automatically generates based on your Page/Post Title.
By default, when you click the Publish button your Page/Post is published immediately. To change this, click the Edit link just to the right of Publish immediately within the Publish panel. You can then select the date and time that you’d like to schedule your Page/Post to be published. You must also click the Publish button when you have updated the date and time fields to publish at the desired date and time.