WordPress is the most powerful and popular online content management system. It allows people with no programming and developing experience to quickly create a website. There is no need for you to have any technical knowledge. The good thing about WordPress is that most of the things are pretty self explanatory. However, it’s much better if you learned the basics before you started creating your website.
WordPress is Simple
This is why it’s the most popular CMS on the web. If it wasn’t simple, people with no knowledge wouldn’t be using it. And as we all know, only a small part of the people know how to program. You can easily learn all of the basics of the platform if you spend 1-2 hours a day for a week. Of course, this entirely depends on you – if you want you can learn it in a single day, or in two weeks.
Another thing that is worth mentioning: most people think that creating a website is difficult. How can you learn how to manage hosting, DNS, and configure custom emails. That’s too hard! And besides, you don’t have any technical background. If those lines come through your mind when you have to create a website, then you’ve been thinking wrongly all this time.
Everything is quite simple. You might not understand it immediately, but you don’t have to. You might not remember the tutorials by heart, but that’s unnecessary – most of these things are one-timers. In other words you will only have to do them once a year or less. These are things like configuring hosting, DNS, custom emails, changing the design of your website, or adding new features. Once again – it’s not important that you memorize the steps. You just need to make sure that you follow them carefully.
A WordPress Website is Like Any Other
There are some things that you will have to do, regardless of the platform or tools you are using to create your own website – hosting and domain names.
Let’s start with hosting. The term is pretty self explanatory, so we’re just going to saw a few words for it only. Hosting is the space in the Internet where you are going to upload your website’s files. However, since you aren’t going to create a website by programming in HTML/CSS/PHP, you only need to pick a good hosting provider. A very good one is Bluehost.
Using the one click install feature of Bluehost.
A great thing about hosting providers nowadays is that they offer one click WordPress installations. You just click a button which will be something like “Install WordPress” and you’re done. No need to go through the technical process of selecting database names, admin names and connecting everything at the end. It’s much simpler for the average user. After you install WordPress you can practically start working on your website.
The second thing that you are going to need is a name for your website. These are called domain names. There are many domain name retailers. One of the best is Namecheap. We recommend that you use them. They offer quality service and the prices are really low. However, you will also have to connect the domain name with the hosting provider you’ve chosen. This is a step that is different for every hosting provider. For your ease, every hosting provider has an area of their website where they list how you can connect the two.
Starting to Use WordPress
In the beginning you should only stick to the very basics – creating pages and posts. This is very easily done. You just click Posts or Pages on the left-hand side menu. From there you will see a list of all the pages and posts (which are most likely going to be only one or to after you’ve just installed WordPress) and buttons which allow you to create new ones.
The editor is pretty simple to use. It resembles Microsoft Word a bit and it has pretty much everything that you need to edit the text, as well as add photos and images to it. If you want to go in advanced mode, you can click “Text” on the top right corner of the editor. This will switch the screen and take you to the HTML code editor. This is only for advanced users who know what they are doing. Do not change anything or you risk your pages not displaying properly.
This is what the editor looks like and what its basic functions are.
After you’ve tinkered around with the builder, it’s a necessity that you go to the settings page. It’s the place where everything is being run. From there you can change your site’s title, tagline, color schemes. and some more advanced settings. For now, you aren’t going to need those.
There is also a panel which allows you to add plugins and themes. There are lots of free themes and we recommend that you install a few and then activate them. Observe how your website changes. Also this way it will be easier for you to pick the right design for your website. Also visit the plugins page. There you are going to find many useful addons that extend the WordPress platform by adding extra features to it, only for your copy of the CMS.
We recommend installing Jetpack. This is a great plugin which has many uses and it’s quite simple to use. Even if you have some problems and queries, there is a large knowledge base where you will find the answers to your questions quickly.
Getting More Advanced
Only by doing this you are going to be able to create your website and manage it. However, you will not be able to perform more complex tasks. If you want to gain more experience and knowledge with the platform, you will have to most probably have to learn HTML/CSS. This will give you much greater creative freedom. Also, sometimes WordPress or the theme that you’ve installed might cause you problems, and knowing those two design languages will allow you to remove glitches by yourself.
Other more complex ares of using WordPress include creating more complex websites – online stores for instance. Thanks to the sleek architecture of WordPress, there are addons that will do most of the work for you, but you still have to be able to manage everything. This will include learning what different options do, setting up more advanced settings, and stuff like that.
Another thing that you will probably have to improve in is your theme selection. Most of the themes nowadays will look very good to you, but you need to learn how to test them for the things that you are in need. Sometimes you have to rely more on usability, rather than on a good looking layout.
The best scenario would be if you installed WordPress and just meaninglessly played with all of the settings and find out what they do. Install a few themes and look what their settings do too. Repeating this exercise will give you great knowledge in how the whole platform works and you will be able to quickly orient yourself in new situations that you haven’t been yet.
WordPress isn’t hard to learn and it’s very powerful once you do learn it. It has everything you need to create any website you like – addons, plugins, themes, and widgets. In the past, you would need to hire a team of programmers to create you a shopping platform from scratch. Nowadays you just install a plugin and you’re ready to go!