A Beginners Guide to WordPress

by | Feb 2, 2017 | The Advice Academy

Just getting started with WordPress and feeling overwhelmed and confused? Many businesses starting out wanting to get their website up as quickly an as easily as possible and often think that template builder or drag and drop websites that offer themselves as free are the way forward.

This is how I started out and I quickly found that free wasn’t actually free. There were all sorts of hidden costs. I was very restricted with what I could and couldn’t do, finding it very difficult to get my website to look exactly how I wanted it to. Then I came across WordPress, and actually went as far as to install it; but all seemed so complicated. That was until I actually learnt how to use it and I realised that it wasn’t that scary and hard after all.

Getting started.

If you have already installed WordPress.org (WordPress.com is a whole different thing and is quite limiting) you will probably already have visited your dashboard, which is the main area when you first login. It is from here that you can access everything that you need to do on your site.

The first thing you will need to do is to install a theme. A theme is simply a basic template that you can build on that determines how your site looks. There are many themes available and when you click on appearance then themes you will see the themes that you have available. You can also click add new and you will see a whole load of new themes to choose from. If you see a theme you like you can either preview it, to see what it will look like on your site, or you can install it.

You can also buy premium themes that may be better suited to your business and brand. Just search for WordPress themes and you will be inundated. I always recommend the Divi theme, as that is what I use on all of my sites and it is great at being able to change things around. It’s also very user friendly.

Now add some pages

To create a page simply go to pages then add new – easy! Put in the title of your page and then use the space below that like a word processor to add content. Page suggestions:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services
  • Blog
  • Contact

Once you have created those you will need to go to appearance then customise and to static front page and choose both your home page and your blog page from the drop down menu. This will set your home page to the front of your site and allow your blog posts to automatically be posted onto your blog page.

Make a menu

Go to appearance then menu and create a new menu. Name your menu and then add some pages from the left and drag and drop into the order you want on your menu bar. Then simply tick Primary Menu in the menu settings underneath and save.

Set up your blog

You can create a blog post in exactly the same way you created a page but by clicking on Posts then Add New. With posts you can also create categories and add a featured image (which will show on your main blog page). You can find these options on the right had side of the page, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Plugins

The other things that you can play about with on your site are plugins, and this is a whole other blog post but basically plugins are little apps that add functions to your site. If you click plugins then add new you can see a few different ones. Here are my recommendations (all free):

  • UK Cookie Consent – to keep your site nice and legal
  • Jetpack – for stats, social sharing and more
  • Login Lockdown – to stop people trying to hack into your site by limiting the number of logins
  • Simple Social Icons – nice and lovely social media links
  • Smart Slider 3 – if you want to add any sliders
  • Updaftplus – to back up your site
  • Yoast SEO – to optimise your pages for the search engines

My advice to you is that it is very hard to completely break your site beyond repair so don’t be scared to have a play about and enjoy creating you very own website!

Lisa Marie Rees

I am Lisa Marie Rees, also known as the Website Wonder Woman, and I provide website design and support to women in small business who want to make an impact online.

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