WordPress 101: How to Use WordPress

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WordPress 101: How to Use WordPress

Did you know that around 35 percent of all websites use WordPress? That’s 455 million out of 1.3 billion sites! WordPress powers everything, from blogs and small business websites to Fortune 500 companies like Forbes.

But what is WordPress?

It’s a content management system (CMS), meaning it allows users to create and manage digital content. Designing websites used to require an in-depth knowledge of computer programming languages, but not anymore.

But how much time does it take to create a website using WordPress? What are WordPress templates? How do you start and what do you need to know? To discover the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading!

What is WordPress?

When we refer to WordPress as being a content management system (CMS), what do we mean? Well, due to how complex programming languages can be, it isn’t practical for small business owners to learn how to use them.

Think of a WordPress website as being like a translator. Rather than using programming languages, you access pre-existing functions and design options and tailor them to fit your design.

The content management system handles the coding while you drag and drop website elements, such as images or text boxes.

It’s so simple that you can create a WordPress website in less than 30 minutes!

You can choose a domain name, make use of plug-ins, and decide when your website goes live.

Choose Your Site

The first step to creating your website is to decide how complex it’s going to be. You need to choose between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

If you’re inexperienced with web design and don’t want to pay for features (at least not yet), then WordPress.com is the best fit for you. Both free and paid versions are available, and you can change your account type at any time.

WordPress.org is free to use, in theory, but many features you’ll need will cost money to make the website functional.

Regardless of whether you choose .org or .com, you’ll need to create your domain name. This is the website name that people will use to load your website. If you’re using the free version of WordPress, you’ll either need to purchase a domain name or settle for using a sub-domain.

Install WordPress

If you’re using a separate host provider, you’ll need to install WordPress to combine the features, domain, and website. This is where you’ll set up a lot of admin and account information, but you’ll be guided through this process.

You can also install WordPress on other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Customization varies between devices, but installation allows you to access notifications, website statistics, and many other features.

Using Templates

One of the reasons that WordPress has become so popular is its simplicity. Users can access WordPress templates or themes when designing their websites, meaning they aren’t designing everything from scratch. Every element of a theme is customizable, meaning that you can quickly make it unique.

There are over 8,700 free themes available! With many more premium themes for those paying a WordPress subscription or purchasing individual elements.

The theme you pick will decide the function of your website. For example, are you selling products or writing blog posts? Will you be adding new posts or updating a handful of static pages? There’s a design for every function, so don’t be afraid to take your time picking a theme.

Add Posts and Pages

Now that you’ve designed the skeleton of your website, it’s time to add the meat. Every website needs content!

Your landing page is the first thing visitors will see, so this is a good place to start. It’s best to keep landing pages clear and simple. Make sure all text is concise and easy to read, and images should be high-quality.

When visitors arrive on your landing page, if it looks poorly organized, poor quality, poorly designed, or like an inactive website, they will leave.

Most themes come with pre-set headers that can be added, edited, or deleted. For example, two pages that most websites have are the ‘Contact Us’ and ‘About Us’ pages. These will be accessible from your landing page so make sure they’re easy to spot.

A post (also known as a dynamic page) is easily added to your website. The benefit of this page type is that the newer content will always appear at the top of your website or page. This format is most common on blogs, as new content is often added multiple times a week.

Static pages are exactly what they sound like. They are fixed pages that can show updated content, but the page link and design stay the same. Pages showing new products are usually static.

If you’re struggling to organize the different pages of your website, consider following a WordPress tutorial. Alternatively, use a professional service to complete the initial design process.

Using Blocks

Over the past few years, WordPress has embraced its block editing design. Blocks represent different coded components within a website. Instead of the user coding to create a new paragraph, add an image, or insert an audio file, they just select a relevant block.

Blocks can include widgets, embeds, layout elements, formatting, and more. Examples include:

  • Embedding Twitter post
  • Embedding YouTube video
  • Latest post widget
  • Separator block
  • Video file
  • Audio file
  • Lists
  • RSS feed
  • Social icons
  • Embedding Soundcloud file
  • Donation button

It would be impossible to list all the blocks. But it’s safe to say that you’ll find a block for all your website’s needs.

Install Plugins

A plugin is an additional piece of software that performs a specific function on your website. WordPress offers access to more than 55,000 plugins.

Some common examples of plugins include:

  • Adobe Flash
  • Java
  • Yoast SEO
  • HubSpot
  • Smush
  • Jetpack
  • PayPal

Plugins are a quick and easy way to add new features to any website. All the coding has already been completed, so all you need to do is press a few buttons.

Hire a Professional

Thanks to WordPress, creating, designing, and running your website has never been easier! Choose a domain name and a theme, add some pages, and that’s you ready to go!

For professional help with website design, programming, internet marketing, and search engine optimization, click here to get your free consultation!

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