Website Tips

A beginners guide to WordPress

Welcome to a beginners guide to WordPress, the worlds most popular CMS. If you’re unfamiliar with what a CMS is and does, I’ve already written a post to help out!

This isn’t a full in-depth guide, I’ve written it more to help those who have just started looking in to WordPress. Don’t worry if you’re not a developer, this guide will help you understand how to update your website.

If you just want to skip ahead to a certain part of this guide, then click on one of these links:

Keep your site up-to-date

So before we get in to any of the fun part, we have to start off with making sure your website is up-to-date. This includes any plugins or themes. Don’t worry, I’ll cover these in a minute!

With WordPress you have two options – Manual updates and automatic updates.

While automatic updates sound like the better idea, they can often cause issues between plugins and themes. For this reason I’d recommend updating things manually and creating a backup before doing so!

 How to update your WordPress site:

  1. Log in to your WordPress site.
  2. On the left click “Dashboard” > “Updates”

You’ll then see a screen like this which will allow you to update WordPress, your theme and your plugins.

WordPress - Update

Why does my WordPress site not have the plugins option?

If you don’t have the plugins option on the left side, chances are you’re using WordPress.com. The other version is WordPress.org.

This guide is for the .org version as this gives you more flexibility and customisation.

How do I change my WordPress theme?

If you’re wondering how to change the look of your website then you will probably want to change your theme. Your theme is what changes the overall look of your website but it can also add additional features depending on what theme you have.

Below is an example of two themes that come with WordPress. Nothing else was changed apart from the theme – just so you can see how powerful a theme really is!

WordPress - Theme 2021WordPress - Theme 2022

To change your theme:

  1. Go to the menu on the left and click on “Appearance”
  2. Either click on “Add New” at the top or the big “+” icon down at the bottom.

This will take you to a marketplace where you can download and install other themes, or install your own.

What is a WordPress plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software that you install on to your website. Plugins will help you to build on existing functionality as well as adding new functionality to your website.

Plugins are really what make WordPress popular as they will help you to build almost any website you want – from portfolios to blogs to e-commerce websites.

How do I add a WordPress plugin?

To add a new plugin to your site, click on “Plugins” tab in the menu on the left. Then at the top click on “Add New” (the “Add New” button will be where the “Upload Plugin” button is on the image below).

This will take you to a marketplace where you can find a plugin to give you the functionality you want.

CMS - Add a plugin

How do I create a new post?

Creating a new blog post with WordPress couldn’t be easier with their simple interface.

Once again, navigate over to the menu on the left and click “Posts” then the “Add New” button at the top.

You’ll then see an interface like the image below. The layout will vary depending on what theme you’re using.

The layout is pretty straight forward and makes it easy to add any content you want.

If you want to change your posts thumbnail, link (aka slug), excerpt and other information then on the right side click “Post” and that will bring up these options. 

CMS - Create a post

How do I add images to my website?

This tip also applies to videos and other media you may want to add.

In the left menu, simply click on “Media” > “Add New”. This will bring up a section where you can simply drag and drop your media.

And like that, your images and videos are on your website and free to use wherever you like.

CMS - Add media

Conclusion

WordPress can be easy to use whether you’re a developer or not. I’ve not managed to cover everything in this post but hopefully I’ve covered some of the questions you may have.

If you have any questions about WordPress or would like your own WordPress site built for you then feel free to get in touch.