The Ultimate Guide To Basic WordPress Functions
by Tez Ferguson
Did you know that a third of websites on the web are created using WordPress? Well it just shows you the true potential of WordPress and what it can offer you.
Whilst many sites these days are bespoke systems, the benefits of a CMS platform enable website owners the opportunity to add and edit pages on their website without the need of technical support or extortionate fees from a developer.
Naturally the positives outweigh the negatives, but that’s for another post.
Today we are going to discuss the basics of WordPress and how to add and edit without the need of a University Degree!
A Special Thanks!
Before we begin a special thanks goes out to Social Media Management who kindly allowed us the opportunity to use their site as our demo for this guide.
If you want to see what they are all about and what these pages we are going to create have made… Check out:
Logging In To The Backend
You have finally done it! Had a website created in WordPress and you are looking to edit and tweak bits yourself without the need of paying a fortune to a developer!
The first step is to log into your Admin Panel.
To do this you need to add the following to your domain name…
This will then redirect you to a screen to log in. You should already have access details, but if you don’t get in touch with whoever made your site (Hopefully Xploited Media) and they will give you all the details you need.
The link itself should look like this:
All you will need is a Username and Password. This will be your name that appears when you add blog posts in the “Author” box.
The WordPress Dashboard
We are in! Now you have access to your Admin panel, it should look something like the following.
It may look scary at first but don’t fear we are going to walk you through the basic functions like adding pages, editing blog posts and adding your own media!
You will see on the main dashboard there are various boxes which are there to help make your life easier and navigate quickly. If you have an e-commerce platform installed like WooCommerce then you will find details on the dashboard for orders etc.
There is also a navigational menu on the left hand side, this is the options available in WordPress that you can access. We will be going through these shortly.
Whilst there are plenty more functions available, we will only be covering the basics here. If you are looking for more advanced tips and guides, get in touch and we will happily book you in for a training session.
Adding New Pages
Whilst your developer should have set up your site with the key pages as agreed, for example a Contact Page, About Us, etc you may often feel the need for additional pages to your site that will help promote your business.
WordPress offers an easy to use set up for creating your own pages. One thing to note is that with certain WordPress designs there may be additional changes to the Interface such as Visual Composer which is mentioned further down.
- From the Admin Dashboard select “Pages” from the left Navigational Bar
- It will then load all of the current pages on your website so you can add new pages or edit current pages.
- From here there are two ways to Add a new page. Step one is from the left Navigational Bar, where a new option to “Add New” is shown under the Pages tab. Alternatively at the top of the Pages interface there will now be a new button present titled “Add New”. Either way click this and it will show a new Interface to start creating your page.
- As you can see in the below screenshot you have two key fields. One for the title which will be the page title and the box further down for content on the page. The title refers to the page name. For example, if this is the About Us Page then title it About Us.
- Once you have filled out both of these aspects you can then publish your page. To do so click the “Publish” button found on the right hand side of the screen like the screenshot below.
- You now have a new page created for your site. A “Preview” button will now appear so you can see what it looks like live.
Editing Existing Pages
- Just like you would with Adding a New Page, select “Pages” from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.
- This will then present you with all the Website Pages you have on your site. From here hover over the particular page you are looking to edit.
- Additional menus will appear to “View”, “Edit”, and “Delete”.
- Click the “Edit” button and it will load the particular page.
- From here you can edit whatever aspects you like and then once you are finished click “Update” to ensure the changes are saved.
It really is as simple as that.
Adding New Blog Posts
On the left hand side of your WordPress Admin panel you will see something titled “Posts” this is for all Blog Posts you may have on your site. Some WordPress sites may not use Blog Posts and only pages, but we always recommend having a blog to help build your Content Strategy.
After clicking the Posts button in your menu the menu will extend and show the following options:
You will also notice that the main screen has changed and you will see all your current blog posts that have been written (if you have any). It will look something like the following:
From here there are two ways to Add a new blog post:
- On the left hand side an option to “Add New”
- Alternatively, at the top of the screen there is a button titled “Add New”
Click this and you will be presented with a new screen. This new screen is the Blog Post Editor.
One thing to note here is the fact that whilst most WordPress Interfaces look the same, some installs may have specific plugins installed which will add additional functionality or buttons.
For example, on this install we have a plugin called Visual Composer which enables additional buttons you may not see on your install.
The key aspects to bear in mind when creating a Blog Post are:
- Blog Post Title – This can be seen in screenshot above. The title needs to be catchy as this will be what shows when people visit the page.
- Blog Post Content – As shown above in the screenshot this is where you put your content for the blog post. Almost like a Word Document you enter text here and there are plenty of options available for editing it for example, using Headers, font size and much more.
- Categories – This can be seen in the screenshot below. The purpose of these is to help organize your Blog Posts. So for example in this instance the website is about Social Media so they have created a few Categories to help users navigate to posts related to a particular topic for example “Educational”. You can create new categories by clicking the add button, but always ensure you tick at least one category. As otherwise everything will go into an “uncategorized” folder which doesn’t look great.
- Tags – Similar to Categories, there is something called tags. In here you can add as many tags as you like to a Blog Post. They are separated out by the use of a comma “,” these are searchable keywords for the blog post. For example if we were writing a “Guide On Instagram” we would use tags like “how to, guide, Instagram, social media”
- Publish – The main bit once you have finished creating your Blog Post. In here you have the ability to save your post as a draft to preview, schedule it for a certain time you want it to post or better still Publish the post so it goes live. As you can see from the screenshot below there is a schedule set for this post. You can change these dates and times to suit.
And there you have it, you have added your very first Blog Post! What happens if you’ve made an error and need to correct it? This is where the edit functions come in.
Editing Existing Blog Posts
Editing Blog Posts is a simplistic task and follows a similar procedure to creating a new Blog Post.
- From the main dashboard, select Posts from the left hand menu.
- It will then present you with all the Blog Posts you currently have on your site.
- Hover over the blog post you wish to edit and additional options will appear underneath them. Here you can select edit and it will take you to the Blog Post to edit it as if you were creating a new Blog Post.
- Once you have made your amendments, click the “Update” button and your updates will then be live.
No Page or Blog Post is complete without images! There are two ways in which you can upload images to your Website.
- Via the Side Menu
- Via Pages/Posts
For us we will be using “2” as our selected method.
- Firstly, load the Blog Post/Page you want to add the images to.
- Next, select where in the text you would like to insert the image. Like you would in Microsoft Word.
- Click the “Add Media” button as shown in the link
- You then have options to choose whether to use an existing image or upload from your computer.
- To Upload from your PC, select the Upload Image button and then select where on your PC.
- Once uploaded it will show in the Media box along with all other Media uploaded to the site. Select the image you wish to Insert and click “Insert Into Page”
- There are additional settings for example the ability to change the sizing etc. However usually Full Image size is ideal.
And there you have it… Images are now inserted!
As technology changes, so does the need to keep your Website up to date. It is like a PC/Mobile Phone. These days you need to check regularly for updates which help improve performance and reduce the risk of a Security Breach.
WordPress developers work constantly to ensure all Plugins, themes and Systems work to their full potential.
You will know when there is an update because a bright red number will show up on your “Updates” part of the menu like the following Screenshot:
Click this to show what updates there are. In some instances, updates are Free whilst others may not be. If you have paid plugins installed it is worth checking with the developer to see whether these can be updated.
To update the Plugins, you just need to select which plugins to update and click the update button and let it run.
Do not leave the page until it says they are completed successfully.
And that is is… Your Plugins are now up to date.
Whilst WordPress has been designed to ensure it has all the functions you require to run a successful website, there is plenty more it can offer.
One of the great things about WordPress is the developers that support it. Creating bespoke Plugins to help grow your site and offer additional functions such as; E-commerce, SEO, Speed tweaks, Interactive maps and much more.
Installation of new Plugins is easy…
- Simply click on Plugins button from the left navigational menu in your dashboard.
- This will show the plugins you currently have installed.
- At the top of the page there will be a button titled “Add New”. Click this
- You will now be presented with the Online Menu of Plugins available for your site.
*A Word of warning before installing – Please ensure your site is backed up as a faulty plugin could cause issues with your site.
Visual Composer Plugin
We mentioned earlier that not all WordPress Page editing interfaces look the same, well this is down to what Plugins you have installed. A popular one used with many sites is Visual Composer.
This is available for free or to purchase here:
This enables modules in your Page Building set up enabling you to visually create pages that aren’t just laid out in a basic format.
The dashboard for this will look something like this:
We will save further details for another post on how to use Visual Composer and other Page Building Platforms.
Once upon a time Web Design was all about coding and paying developers to produce something that could not only look the part but offer the functionality you required.
In todays age WordPress does all that and more. The ability to install Plugins and “bolt on” additional features is bliss.
That being said, we do however recommend getting in touch before taking the plunge to install a WordPress website. There are plenty of premade themes but ensuring you have the correct hosting, SEO functionality and responsive design is something we consider when building our sites.
Get in touch today and we will see how we can help grow your business.