WordPress Basics For New Users

Once you have obtained your domain name, purchased web hosting, and installed your free copy of WordPress, all you need to do is login directly to your WordPress site to begin creating content, editing the site, and making it your own. In this section I’ll go over some of the basics of the WordPress dashboard. WordPress is a highly intuitive platform and a lot of it is just a matter of learning by doing. The dashboard is made to be very user-friendly and within a few minutes you can figure out how to get around the interface.

WordPress is also a completely customizable content management system so if you need to, there is easy access to the underlying code right within the dashboard. Whatever your level of experience with developing websites, you can jump right in and get going. The example below uses the default installation of WordPress with the default theme. You can always add a free or premium theme later without losing any of the content you have created. WordPress is structured so that you can overlay a new theme with a couple of clicks and preserve existing content.

How To Login To Your WordPress WebsiteWordPress Starter Links

  1. Open your favorite internet browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer) and enter your new site URL (www.mynewsite.com) in the address bar. You should see the default WordPress page.
  2. To access the WordPress dashboard (control panel) for your new site, add /wp-admin to the end of your URL (www.mynewsite.com/wp-admin). The dashboard is where you will edit and change your website.
  3. Enter your WordPress username and password to access the Dashboard.
  4. Congratulations! You are now able to edit and publish to your new WordPress website or blog.

 

How To Set Up Initial WordPress Settings Using the Starter LinksWordPress Starter Links
When you view the WordPress dashboard for the first time, they provide some links to some of the settings pages (which can also be accessed through the dashboard menus). If you click the “Dismiss” link you can permanently close this starter guide. For your first WordPress site, going through each of these links will help you familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard. These links will get you started, but it is also a good idea to go through all of the links on the left menu to make sure all of the settings are the way you want them.
 
Customize Your Site Button – Takes you to the same page as Appearance>Themes>Current Theme>Customize on the regular dashboard menu. This is where you can do things like editing the site title, change the background, edit the header, etc., while previewing the changes in a pane on the right.
 
Change your theme completely –  Clicking this link takes you to Appearance>Themes, which will display the current theme and any other installed themes. Currently, a WordPress default installation includes the Twenty Twelve theme as the active theme and the Twenty Eleven theme as an available installed theme. As we have mentioned before, with WordPress you can change the theme of your website without touching the content of your website. You can see this for yourself by clicking the Activate link for an installed theme.
 
Edit Your Front Page – This link opens the editor so you can change whatever is designated as your front page (or post). The front page of your site can be designated on the current theme customization page (customize your site button).
 
Add New Pages – This is the same as clicking the Page item under  “+ NEW”  on the top menu or going to Pages>Add New on the left menu.
 
View Your Site – This link takes you to your site’s main page.  You can always leave the dashboard and go to the front page of your site by going to the top menu, mouse over your site name on the left, and click Visit Site.
 
Manage Widgets – This takes you to the same page as Appearance>Widgets on the left menu. Widgets are elements that you can drag and drop onto the widget areas listed on the right side, such as header, sidebar, and footer.
 
Manage Menus – This link takes you to the same page as Appearance>Menus on the left menu. This is where you control the menus on your site. Typically, the menus will appear on all of your site’s pages.
 
Turn Comments On Or Off – Goes to the same page as Settings>Discussion.  There are many comment settings on this page, but the checkbox to turn them on or off is the one labeled, “Allow people to post comments on new articles”. This setting is the default for all new articles, but it can be overridden for each individual article.
 
Learn More About Getting Started – This link leaves your site and goes out to the “First Steps With WordPress” topic in the official WordPress documentation at WordPress.org. There is extensive official documentation at: codex.WordPress.org . You can always search this documentation if you need an answer for anything in WordPress.

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