So nowadays, WordPress is a very popular Content Management System (CMS). There are many ways you can use WordPress to run your website without knowing any coding, You can add additional functionality using plugins and widgets, you can change the appearance by switching themes or customizing them. Almost everything you need, at least at the very beginning, if what is called open source, in that it is free. You can even get a sub-domain from wordpress itself for free. Note however, that you do not usually get full access through this method to all plugins and themes.
WordPress has many online training programs, even through themselves, and there are many videos online to show you the basics, what we want to do here is give you some right after install should do right away things.
Before we even begin about wordpress though, there are some preparation steps you should take. First, walk away from your computer…Yes, the first step to creating your own website is to walk away from your computer. We can explain further, you probably already have many ideas and have decided what functionality you desire, maybe even design ideas. So, sit at your kitchen table or the library or similar, grab a pen and paper (or pencil or even crayon…). Take all of your ideas and write them down, do not worry about details yet, what you can and can not do, just write what you want for your website. If you have ideas on colors, layout, design ideas, well, write them down also. Basically the best way to start is just make notes of all you want. Even if you have ideas for future evolutionary developments, then write them all down, write everything down right now, you can add, change, or completely get rid of ideas later, but right now, write all down.
Now, you can go back to your computer, if you are using a domain name, then you will have some sort of control panel function. You need to install wordpress and most current webhosting includes access to an auto installer. Using most current auto installer software, YOU can set up wordpress on your own. Simply begin by filling in some basic answers, and note that these answers can mostly be changed later so do not worry about anything. One piece of advice here, you often have the option near the end of the install page to email installation details to yourself, DO THIS! Another good idea at this time is to set-up automatic back ups, probably about once a week is a good average. Again, at this point do not worry a lot about the details, pretty much all can be changed later.
There is not much more to this, it is really that simple!
So now, some basic ideas, go to themes on the left side menu of your dashboard, and click add new. You can chose through many styles, many, you can try one out and change your mind and look again, or you can even install several and chose which them to activate later. You can even come back here later and change your theme.
Some basic setting to adjust:
- General, chose if you want others to be able to join as a member or not and decide what default writing permissions you want to give them (should be in your earlier notes)
- Very important, we recommend adjusting your permalinks settings to include the article or post name
- Also very important, under writing section – Update Services – follow the instructions and paste the longer list from the link on this page, this will help in the future with better volumes of traffic. (there are instructions and the link under Writing Settings)
- Discussion, you should refer back to your earlier notes and see if you decided to allow others to comment on your posts or not and adjust these settings under discussion under settings
Another beginners piece of advice is regarding plugins. We are not going to recommend any in particular but under plugins and add new on your dashboard menu, you will find a search box and pick and chose and try. You should also note that if you try a specific plugin and it does not do what you intended per your notes, then you can disable and delete these. You can then search again and try a different plugin until you find one that DOES do what you want. So, some of the basic plugins to find right after you install wordpress:
- first and most important, find a security solution, there are many but just a great default security plugin to cover most of what you need to secure.
- SEO, there are many great plugins that will coach you through what to do, what needs to be filled out, just answer as if YOU were searching for something like the content of a particular article. You can also see our article Skip SEO
- We also like to use a custom META solution as well as a custom login / logout page
- You should also look at the Featured, Popular, and Recommended sections and see what “they” suggest
- Follow your earlier notes, find a plug in that will add the functionality that you wrote down earlier that you want
Much more details and advice to follow, check back often and don’t forget, help us stay online, click and advertisement please.