New To WordPress – Where to Start
If you are new to WordPress and you’re worried about where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here is a very simple step-by-step plan for getting started with WordPress. Please remember, if you need help along the way, plenty of options for assistance are listed in this article. Welcome to the exciting world of WordPress!
Let’s take a step-by-step tour through your WordPress site and learn about how all the different functions work and how to make your new site your own.
During the first part of this tutorial, we ask that you don’t change anything within the program, unless it is part of the tutorial. Just follow these simple steps and soon you will be changing everything.
Starting from the Top
Begin by logging into the Administration Panel. This is the brain behind your website, the place where you can let your creativity explode, writing brilliant prose and designing the best and most lovely website possible. This is where the organization of your site begins – and this is just the start.
Step One – Read
Before you invest your valuable time and energy into installing WordPress, there are some documents you need to read. WordPress is a great product; it’s easy-to-use, it’s quite powerful, but it isn’t necessarily the right software for everyone. Just like building a house, you have to use the right tool for the right job.
- About Weblogs – What is Blogging all about?
- What is WordPress?
- WordPress Features
- Before You Install WordPress
Step Two – Make a Plan
Based upon the information you’ve just read, including instructions on installing WordPress, you should have a list of the things you need, and the things you need to do. If not, make that list now–you’ll want to make sure it includes the following information:
- Website Host Requirements Checked and Verified
- Versions of PHP and MySQL Checked and Verified
- Web Host Compatibility with New Versions of WordPress
- Your Website Username and Password
- Text Editor Software
- An FTP Client Software
- Your Web Browser of Choice
The following documents will help you understand more about how WordPress works and how to make a plan for your WordPress site:
It is important to make a plan about how you want to use WordPress on your site. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Make a list of the answers so you can add to your plan.
- Will you install WordPress in the root directory, subdirectory, or you just want to make a test site to make sure you want to use it?
- Have you made a list of your site Categories? Understand that WordPress can only order Categories alphabetically by name or by ID (order entered through the Manage > Categories screen), so if the display order of your Categories is important to you, start making your list of Categories.
- Have you made a list of Pages you may want to add to your site, such as About, Contact, or Events?
Step Three – Install WordPress
With this information and your plan, it’s time to install WordPress.
- Before You Install WordPress
- Installing WordPress
- Hosting WordPress
- Editing the wp-config.php file
- Frequently Asked Questions About Installing WordPress
- Using FTP Clients and Software
- Changing File Permissions
- Upgrading WordPress
- Common Installation Problems
- Trouble: I Can’t Login
Step Four – Set Up WordPress
With your installation complete, it’s time to set up WordPress so it will work the way you want it to work. As you change various settings, it is recommended you view how those changes impact your site by frequently clicking the View Site link at the top of the Administration Screen. Though you may choose to do these steps in any order, your site will cause you fewer problems if you proceed in the following order:
- Administration > Users > Your Profile – detail the information about you
- Administration > Users > Add New – add users and authors who will be using your site, if applicable
- Administration > Settings > General – set your site name and other site information
- Administration > Settings > Writing – set the options of your Write Post screen
- Administration > Settings > Reading – set how many posts to show on the front page and in categories and your feed requirements
- Administration > Settings > Discussion – turn on or off comments and set how to handle them
- Administration > Posts > Categories – add a few categories so have a list to pick from when you write your first post
- Administration > Posts > Posts – after you have written a few posts, this is where you will manage them by editing or deleting
- Administration > Appearance > Themes – maybe change the look of your site?
- Administration > Page > Pages – add a Page or two like “About Us” or “Contact Me”
- Administration > Posts > Add New – start adding content to your site
- Writing Posts – step-by-step instructions on writing posts
- Introduction to Dealing with Comment Spam
- Moderating Comments
- Administration > Links > Links SubPanel – Managing your links
- WordPress in Languages Other than English
Presentation and Themes
Changing the look of your WordPress website is possible with just a few clicks. Here is a list of resources and information about changing the look of your site with WordPress Themes:
- Using WordPress Themes
- The WordPress Theme repository – Find a theme to fit your site’s personality
- Blog Design and Layout
- Using Pages
At this point, there may be something about your chosen Theme that is bothering you, or, you really want to get your hands dirty understanding how your WordPress Theme works. These simple guides will help you learn about customizing your WordPress Theme:
- Lessons: Designing Your WordPress Site
- CSS Overview, Tips, Techniques, and Resources
- Stepping Into Templates
- Lessons: Template Files
- Stepping Into Template Tags
- Lessons: Working With Template Tags
- WordPress Template Tags
- Understanding the WordPress Loop
- The WordPress Loop in Action
- Editing Files in WordPress
- Frequently Requested Design Help
- Frequently Asked Questions about Site Layout and Design
If you want to create a new WordPress Theme from scratch, or do major renovations, or even design WordPress Themes for public release, you will need to be familiar with HTML, XHMTL, and CSS. The following documents will get you started:
- Developing Your Own WordPress Theme
- Validating a Website
- Lessons: Website Development
- CSS Fixing Browser Bugs
- CSS Troubleshooting
If you want a custom-made WordPress Theme created especially for you by expert web-designers, it is recommended you search for qualified web-designers on the Internet, or look in your local community.
There are many “add-on” scripts and programs for WordPress called Plugins that add more capabilities, choices, and options to your WordPress site. WordPress Plugins do many things, including; customizing the results of your site information, adding weather reports, adding spell check capability, and presenting custom lists of posts and acronyms. For more on how to work with Plugins and where to find WordPress Plugins for your site:
- Administration > Plugins > Plugins – Managing your plugins
- The WordPress Plugin repository – Find plugins to increase your site’s functionality
Advanced Use of WordPress
Now that you are familiar with the basic features and functions of how WordPress works, it might be time for you to plunge deeper into the power of WordPress. The links below will expand your familiarity with PHP, HTML, XHTML, and CSS:
- Lessons: WordPress Feature and Functions
- Lessons: WordPress Tech Techniques
- Using Permalinks
- Photoblogs and Galleries
- WordPress Advanced Techniques
- Advanced Techniques for Plugins and Customization
- WordPress Server and Database Information
- Developer Documentation
Need More Help
As simple and easy as it is to use WordPress, if troubles arise, if something is confusing, if things aren’t working, don’t despair because help is available! Even though WordPress is free and open source, there are literally hundreds of volunteers eager to help you. Here are some helpful resources for WordPress:
- Getting More Help
- Using the Support Forums
- WordPress Forum
- IRC Freenode WordPress Support on channel #wordpress
- WordPress IRC Live Help
Now that you’re a full fledged WordPress user, consider contributing to the WordPress Codex, Support Forum, Development, and other volunteer efforts that keep WordPress going. WordPress is free and totally supported by volunteers, and your help is needed.
How to install a WordPress Plugin?
Plugins are tools which provide additional functionality to your application. To install a plugin you generally just need to put the plugin file into your ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory. Once a plugin is installed, you may activate it or deactivate it from the Plugins menu in your WP administration.
Generally the Plugin installation is a straight-forward process. In most cases it is enough to upload the plugin under the ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory for the WordPress installation and activate it from the administrator backend.
In WordPress 2.7 and above you can install plugins directly from the admin area. Downlod the plugin to your computer, then log in to your WP admin area and go to Plugins > Add New. Browse to the plugin archive and select it. Then click Install Now and the plugin will be installed shortly.
The removal is also straight-forward in most cases. Simply remove the directory for the plugin you would like to uninstall and it will be automatically deactivated.
Still always bear in mind that not all plugins are easy to install, so always refer to their documentation and installation instructions first.
WordPress Shopping Cart
How to use Simple PayPal Shopping Cart Cart with WordPress
There are various contributions you can use in order to setup an online store for your existing WordPress website. One of the widely preferred plugin is Simple Paypal Shopping Cart.
In this tutorial we will explain how to install Simple Paypal Shopping Cart in WordPress, and will cover the basics of creating a product and publishing a shopping cart on your blog.
How to install Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
There are two standard options for installing a WordPress Plugin. You can either use the Search or Upload functionality.
For this tutorial we will demonstrate how to perform the installation by searching for the desired plugin.
First log into the administrator area of your WordPress installation. Then go to Plugins -> Add New.
In the search field choose Term from the drop-down menu, then enter “Simple Paypal Shopping Cart” in the text box and click the “Search Plugins” button.
The “WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart” should appear as first result. Click the Install link for it.
In the new window that will pop-up click the “Install Now” button.
The plugin will be automatically downloaded and installed for your WordPress. Once the installation is completed, click the Activate Plugin link.
How to setup Simple PayPal Shopping Cart with WordPress
The WordPress Shopping Cart is now installed and you can alter the settings for it and adjust the options according to your needs. Go to Settings -> WP Shopping Cart and modify the various options.
Bear in mind that it is imperative to enter your Paypal email address in order to be able to receive funds for products you will create on your website.
At the top of the Settings page for the WordPress Shopping Cart you will see instructions how to create Add to cart buttons on your pages and how to display the shopping cart and the products in it.
In order to create a new post with a product for your WordPress Shopping Cart go to Posts -> Add New.
Here is an example data you can enter in a new page in order to create a sample product.
Enter the desired text and images if you like, and the WordPress shopping cart product code. Note that you need to change the “Product” and the number in the wp_cart tag to reflect the desired product name and price.
For the shopping cart itself we will use the widget for the plugin. Go to Appearance -> Widgets.
Drag and drop the WP Paypal Shopping Cart widget to the Sidebar.
You can adjust its position. When you are happy with the placement between the other available widgets click Save.
Now you can visit your website main page and check out how it looks. The new post text you have entered will be displayed along with the “Add to Cart” button.
When you click Add to Cart the shopping cart will be updated and you will see the product and its price.
You can adjust the desired quantity or remove the product via the red circle with a cross button at any time.
How to insert images, audio or video in WordPress
WordPress makes it really easy to add media to your posts. To add media to a new post, go to your blog’s admin area > Posts > Add New.
In the WYSIWYG editor menu you can click any of the following buttons to add media to your post – “Add an image“, “Add Video“, “Add Audio” and “Add Media“. Check our Knowledge base article to learn more and see a video about how to add media to your WP posts.
If, however, you need some extra gallery functionality, you may have to use a gallery plugin.
Gallery Plugin in WordPress
In this tutorial we will show you how to install and use the NextGEN gallery plugin.
You can download it from this link.
More information on how to install plugins in WordPress can be found here – WordPress plugins installation.
Once the NextGEN plugin is installed, you can see its admin section included in WP:
This plugin has very intuitive interface and you will get the hang of it in no time.
To add the NextGEN Gallery to your WordPress frontpage, you should add its widget to the WP sidebar. This can be done from the WP admin area > Appearance > Widgets. Click the Add button next to NextGEN Widget and then click the Save Changes button located on the right.
This will publish the widget and your gallery will be visible from your frontpage.