Learn how to use each feature of WordPress is something that will take you a long time to do, not to mention that each theme and each plugin has its functionality. So, I will teach you the main things you need to know about WordPress to start your website.
- How to install or change a theme.
- General Customization of your theme.
- How to create Pages.
- How to create Posts.
- How to create a Menu.
- How to install a plugin.
To install or change a theme in WordPress you have to click on the sidebar in the Appearance button and then in Themes. You will get a view like the one below.
If you hover over a theme that is not active it will give you the possibility to activate it, that way you change the actual theme for the one you just activated. But if you want to get a new theme just click on the Add New button.
To add a new theme you have two options. Select a free theme from the hundred that WordPress has available for you, or upload one from another source.
If you want to use a free theme from WordPress just write a key of what you want on the search bar to get the themes that fit that word. You can hover over each one and you will get 2 buttons: Install and Preview. You can check each one of them until you find the one you like, then click on Install.
After you installed the theme you wanted, you have to activate it. Hover over the theme you installed, and click on Activate.
Now we have to customize your theme. There are 2 ways to get to that page. Hover over the active theme and click on the Customize button or just click on the one located in the sidebar.
You will get the following view that will allow you to customize everything that you can change from your theme. Some things are common to every theme and some are available just on the theme you installed. The main things you want to change are the header and footer of your site.
As you can see WordPress gives you a sidebar where you can select and modify item by item. Each time you modify something, click on the Publish button located on top of the sidebar. Everything you modify on the sidebar changes visually on the page view in the right, changes won’t have any effect on the frontend of your site until you click on Publish.
WordPress also gives you the possibility to change things by clicking on the edit buttons that appear beside each editable item on the page view on the right. Right now let’s click on the button beside My Blog to change the title and logo of the site.
Here you can change or upload your logo, change the title of your web and add or change the tagline if you have one. Once you change things don’t forget to click on Publish. If you upload an image of your logo the header will adapt in size to that image, so try to upload an image with the proper dimensions so it looks good on your site.
In this article, we won´t teach you about CSS, but in case you have CSS knowledge you can change some additional visual features of your site, like the logo dimensions no matter the size of the image you uploaded.
To change your footer or any other editable thing just look for it on the sidebar or in the right side view.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what things do. You can always go back to how things were or just reinstall your theme.
Once you change the aspect of your site, you will have to add the info you want your visitors to see. Some of this info is fixed, it can change over time to add or remove things, but it doesn’t change too much or too often, thinks like Bio, Contact Page or My Services fit this kind of info. For this WordPress gives you a type of publication named Pages. In the sidebar you can find the Pages button, click on it and you will get the view below.
If you click over an existing page on the list you will get Edit, Quick Edit, Trash, and View buttons. The Quick Edit button will give you a few options to change on the page, while the edit button will allow you to edit everything that’s available for changes on the page.
Also, there is an Add New button beside the page’s title, click on it.
When you create a Page you have to add a title to it and then all the content you want. WordPress gives you the possibility to add format to that content; you can align it, change the type of text, etc. Also, it lets you add different types of data like images, links, and more. The actual version of WordPress works with what they call Blocks, and each block can be a text, image or other types of content.
In the right sidebar of the page, you can change some attributes to the Page or Block, you can even add a Featured Image to the document, this image is the main image of the page, and it will be shown according to the configuration of your theme.
At the end of the configuration of the document you have some options that you can change that modifies the way the page looks.
Once you have entered the whole info and have configurated the document you have to click on the Publish button, located on the top of the right sidebar, it will ask you to confirm to publish the document, so it will ask you twice to click on it.
Posts are another kind of publication that gives WordPress the quality of a Blog. You can publish different documents that are organized chronologically and that can belong to a category. Depending on the kind of info you publish it can be recipes, news, articles, and more.
You can create your categories and can assign each post to one or more categories.
The way you create or edit a post is similar to the way you create or edit a Page. The main difference in the process is that you can assign categories to posts.
Another important thing that you need to change and adapt to your needs is your Menu. In the sidebar under Appearance is a button named Menus, click on it.
WordPress gives you the possibility to change the main menu and to add more menus. Usually, the menu located in the header of your site is the primary menu, but it will depend on how the theme you are using was created. On the top of the menu page, locate the menu that says (Primary) and Select it.
In the Menu Structure section of the view, you can see the items that belong to the menu you are editing. When you click on any of them it allows you to edit or remove them. Remove the ones you want and then you add the ones you need from the Add Menu Items section. It will give you the possibility to add Pages, Posts and Categories, as well as some additional custom links.
There are some functionalities that you need on your website but WordPress doesn’t have on its own, those features can be added with some custom coding provided by third parties using plugins. There are millions of plugins around, you need to search and install them according to your needs.
Click on the Plugins button located on the sidebar. You will see a list of the installed plugins. You can access their settings, deactivate them and other functions. And as usual, you can Add New plugins by clicking on the button beside the page title.
When you click on the Add New button, you are redirected to a page where you can search for a plugin by name, WordPress searches its database and gives you a list of all Plugins that meet the search criteria. Some plugins are not available this way, you will have to look for them at the creator’s webpage, download them to your computer and then Upload Plugin here.
If you find the plugin you are looking for here, click on the Install Now button.
Once installed you have to Activate the plugin.
At the end of this process, you will have an operative site. You just need to add your final touches and input the whole data you want to show to your visitors.
Congratulations!!! You now have a working site.
If you need help with your site just tell us what you need.
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