Welcome to the New Year!
Many business owners will be busily preparing for the next 12 months, setting goals and working towards moving their businesses to the next level, Today I would like to talk about WordPress and why so many people across the globe use it.
What is WordPress?
WordPress was launched in 2003 to help enhance typography and has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. It is a free and open source content management system (CMS) based on PHP ad MySQL.(1). It can be installed on a web server, which either is part of an internet hosting service or is a network host itself. It is very versatile and is full of free and paid themes and plugins.
It is turned to by many new start up’s, business owners and entrepreneurs as an easy to use platform and many have gone on to produce workable websites and blogs, it can, however, be daunting to some if they are unsure of the basics. I myself have built websites using WordPress for business owners but have noticed once built, some are never updated or enhanced.
Why should you use it?
- It is easy to use and flexible enough for just about anything
- The actual WordPress software itself is Free to download, install, use and modify
- Due to its open source nature, it is maintained by volunteers as well as the core WordPress team, anyone can create and design different plugins which are available either free or for a small fee
- WordPress is easy to learn and there are hundreds if not thousands of support forums related to it, you can, however, join my Facebook group dedicated to helping you understand WordPress if you wish, it is currently free to enter. It is called Social media & WordPress training Facebook Group
- WordPress can be enhanced by using free or paid for Themes and Plugin
- WordPress is safe and has been designed with your internet safety in mind, however, enhancing its security is always advised and this can be achieved with various plugins such as JetPack or Akismet
- You can upload and embed different types of media from videos, images, iBooks & music files
- You can use it for various business solutions such as a Blog, E-commerce shop, Business website, Gallery, Portfolio, Membership site, Business directory, the list is pretty endless
Understanding the Dashboard
Before you embark on trying to create your website or take over control of one built for you, take a look at my WordPress dashboard reference sheet which runs through the basics. I hope you find it useful? If you still find your WordPress website too difficult or if you are too busy to maintain it, take a look at the workshop links below.
WordPress dashboard – A brief overview of what everything does and how to navigate around it.
The table below shows all the dashboard functions which you will be able to work through and keep as a reference tool. I hope as you familiarise yourself with each icon it will enable you to understand your WordPress dashboard a little more and make it less threatening and hopefully give you the confidence to perhaps move your website forward. If you get stuck, leave a message in the comment section.
WordPress Dashboard Information sheet
|DASHBOARD ICON||WHAT IT DOES?|
|DASHBOARD/HOME||Main Platform to view website information|
|UPDATES||This will have a number next to it if your WordPress site needs updating. Included Theme and Plugins|
|POSTS – Drop down menu includes All Posts,
Add New, Categories and Tags
|This is where you will find your posts. From here you will be able to quick edit your posts, add a new post, add categories and manage tags. Categories can be used to divide your posts up into groups and can be used to create menus. Tags are used to reach topics within the website or post library.|
|MEDIA – Drop down menu includes Library and Add New||This is where you will find all your uploaded photographs. Depending on your settings and theme you may be able to create slideshows, galleries and showcase images. You will also need to add Alt tags to all media images/videos to help with SEO|
|PAGES – Drop down menu includes All pages and Add New||This is where you can create a new page or find a page to edit.|
|COMMENTS||This is where external comments are stored. If you have a Spam blocker such as Askimet it will await your approval before publishing the comments to your site.|
|FEEDBACK||This again is where people can comment on your site and it is ideal if you have a spam blocker|
|CONTACT – Drop down menu includes Contact Forms, Add New and Integration (reCaptcha)||This is where you can create a contact form and then copy the code for insertion on your website, maybe on a page or within a widget. ReCaptcha is a form of defence against spamming by non-human programs|
|DASHBOARD OPTIONS||WHAT IT DOES?|
|Appearance – Drop down menu include Themes||This is where you will find your websites theme and where you can change or try out new ones.|
|Customise||This is where you can individualise your site|
|Widgets||Widgets are preset coded modules which allow you to add specific elements to your website|
|Menus||This is where you can create your menu using pages, categories or unique URL’s|
|Header||This is where you add your logo, tagline and Favicon|
|Background||If your site allows you can upload your background image here.|
|Edit CSS||This is where you can add a unique code to alter what your site looks like.|
|Theme Options||Some themes have extra individual options available and these will be here.|
|Editor||This is where you can alter the core website code. Not to be done if you are inexperienced. If you connect your site to Google Analytics you will find your Header PHP here.|
|DASHBOARD OPTIONS||WHAT IT DOES?|
|Plugins – Drop down menu include Add New and Editor||Plugin can be seen, searched, added and removed in this section.|
|Users – Drop down menu include All Users, Add new and Your Profile.||This is where if you require someone to help you with your website, they can be added by you with a unique log in.|
|Tools – Drop down menu include Import, Export||This is where you can import a copy of your website you saved. Used in case of loss of data. You can also download a basic copy of your website.|
|Settings – Drop down menu include General||You will find your basic website information, your contact info and your role here.|
|Writing||You set your post settings here as well saving the settings for posts by email.|
|Reading||This is where you can set your post length, page displays.|
|Discussion||Set what you want to see regarding comments and emails you receive.|
|Media||Sets the image sizes, i.e. how big the various images will be.|
|Permalinks||This is where you can specify the URL of your posts and which email responds to what.|
|Maintenance Page||If you’re working on your site for any length of time uploading a maintenance page is advised.|
|Limit Login Attempts||Set how many attempts can be made to enter the website.|
|Sharing||Where you will input your social media information for when you write a post or want to share some information from your website.|
I hope this blog post has helped you understand your website a little more and gives you an insight into why so many people are turning to WordPress to create their websites. If you are interested in hearing first about any online and offline webinar/workshops in the near future which may help you please sign up below.
1.“WordPress Web Hosting”. WordPress. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
Future WordPress Workshops coming soon
Wednesday 12th January – Update and Maintain Stage 2 WordPress Workshop