WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS), which aids in allowing users to build dynamic websites and blogs. WordPress is today regarded as the most popular blogging system on the web. Additionally, it allows in the updating, customization, and management of the website from its back-end CMS and components.
This article on WordPress will teach you the basics of WordPress using which you can easily create websites.
So without further ado, let’s dive into understanding WordPress!
Let us first discuss a few pointers that we need to keep in mind to develop and launch a website on the internet.
- Domain Name: Domain name is the URL that a user types on the address bar of a web browser to reach a particular website. For example, WordPress has the domain name www.wordpress.com.
- Hosting: Hosting is done by a server that keeps running 24/7. All the data of a website stays on that server. Without hosting, users can reach the website but won’t see anything since data won’t be ‘hosted’ anywhere.
- Website: This is the part that we will be focusing on the most in this article. And clearly, we are using WordPress for building this website.
Create an Account on WordPress
Now that we are aware of the web fundamentals, let’s go to WordPress and create an account to start building our website.
Signing up for a WordPress account is free and straightforward. You can either fill in the details or sign up with a Google or an Apple account.
Create a New Website on WordPress
WordPress has its custom setup interface for setting up the first website as soon as you create your account. The first step is to get a domain name for our website.
Fig: WordPress Setup - Domain Name
You can enter any domain name you like for the website. We have used ‘letsbuildawebsite’, just for fun.
After searching for a domain name, we are presented with multiple options. The domains that end with .com and other similar options usually are chargeable. So, for now, let’s get the free option that has WordPress appended to its name. Let’s just go ahead and select that.
After selecting the free option, WordPress again reminds us that we need to buy a custom domain name for our website to launch it properly (without ‘WordPress’ in the URL) on the internet.
Edit and Manage a Website on WordPress
WordPress performs several operations behind the scenes, and a dashboard is presented on the webpage. You may notice the custom domain name in the address bar that starts with “letsbuildawebsite……………..”
Fig: WordPress Dashboard
- There are a few things that we need to do to complete the initial setup. But don’t worry, WordPress guides us through the whole initial process. Let’s now click on the ‘get started’ button to beget started with the initial website setup.
- The first step is to name our website. I’We’re ming it “Let’s Build A Website”, and then we can also fill up the site tagline. We will just fill up with “Building a website is fun!”.
- The next step is to update the home page. Clicking on this button opens your website in an editable mode, meaning that you can change every website element.
Fig: Edit Home Page of Website
Similarly, you can customize every visible element of the website using the drag and drop interface, and you won’t need to write a single line of code.
Overview of WordPress Admin Dashboard
Let’s now click on the WP Admin button, which will then take us to the website’s admin dashboard screen. It is the main screen that helps us manage all the aspects of the website. We can handle the website theme, all its pages, and the contents of those pages.
Fig: WordPress Admin Button
There are many sections in the sidebar of the dashboard. Many of those sections are not relevant for this tutorial since they are focused on advanced features, while in this article, we are focusing on a starters’ website. Although we will need to use some of the sections, we will go into that later on.
Fig: WordPress Admin Dashboard
There is an ‘At a glance’ section on the main page that shows what theme the website is using and how much of the storage is being used up.
Sections in the WordPress Admin Dashboard
Using this section, we can change our website’s look and feel, so let’s go ahead and try doing that now. For that, choose any theme you like from many free themes available for the website. We like the theme ‘twenty sixteen’. So, let’s preview that and see how it will fit in with the contents of our website.
Fig: WordPress - Choose a Theme
Fig: Website with ‘Twenty Sixteen’ theme
The theme doesn’t look so bad, so let’s go with it for now. Let’s activate this theme and move onto other sections.
Since our website is currently focused on writing blogs (you can change this), the main content we have on the website will be a collection of all the blogs that users write, and all these blogs come under the posts section.
You can edit the dummy posts or delete all the posts and start anew. We’ll change the title of one post and check if the changes reflect on the website, and as expected, they reflect on refreshing the website.
Fig: WordPress - Posts Section
We can also edit the post’s contents by going into the full edit mode on each post.
This section contains all the media that we need for the website. There is a 3GB limit imposed by WordPress to limit the amount of media a website can store on their servers.
Fig: WordPress - Media Section
You should keep in mind that whenever we host this website on a different platform, the media will be stored on that server and therefore use that server’s storage space.
Since we currently have two images on the website, they are loaded from this section, and we can add more whenever we want.
This section contains all the pages used on our website—currently, Home, About, Blog, and Contact.
Fig: WordPress - Pages Section
- We can edit these pages just by clicking on the names, and a separate window will open in which we can realign, delete or add sections and every element of that webpage.
- We can then either preview the changes or update them, so they reflect on the website.
- There is also an option to add a new page within the pages section. When you click that button, a new browser window opens, which presents the template of many kinds of pages that you might want to add to this website.
Fig: WordPress - Add a New Page
- We will be choosing ‘portfolio’ since we already have enough pages on the website. That’s it, it is this simple to add a page to the current website.
In this section, some excellent third-party plugins offer a lot more functionality than vanilla WordPress tends to provide.
We are using “wordpress.com”, and in this version of the website, plugins can only be installed if you are subscribed for a business account. There is also a “wordpress.org” version, which offers plugins without any extra cost, but it is mostly focused on advanced users and has a complicated initial website setup.
This section shows the list of all the users added to this website. On clicking the name of a user, a new window opens in the web browser. There are a few settings available for customizing the user properties.
Fig: WordPress - Users Section
- My Profile section contains the name and information for that particular user.
- In Account settings, we can change the email and the address of the website and the UI design of the dashboard.
- Manage Purchases section, as the name suggests, shows your purchase history if any.
- The security section allows adding a password to that ‘user’ to add a layer of security to website management.
- The privacy section introduces you to some terms and agreements and asks whether a user is comfortable sharing diagnostic information.
- Notification settings determine whether the WordPress website can send a notification to the user’s internet browser.
Lastly, if we want to delete our website, we can do so by going over the admin sidebar tools section. WordPress gives several warnings and confirmations before deleting a website from their server since this task is irreversible.
Fig: WordPress - Delete Site
So there you go! You just built your website without a line of code, all thanks to WordPress and its intuitive user interface and website builder. Remember that we still have to pay for a custom domain and a hosting server to launch our newly created blog on the internet.
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