In day 4 of Learn WordPress in 7 Days we explore some of the basics of WordPress including details on how to install your theme, what are post types, and further information on basic WordPress structure.
Logging into WordPress
Once you have installed WordPress, you should have been provided with your username and password, make sure to note these details as you’ll be using them later.
To login to any WordPress site, simply add /wp-admin/ to the end of your domain name. If your hosting has set up a temporary domain, the process will be the same.
If your domain name is example.com the login will be example.com/wp-admin/ then simply fill in your WordPress login details.
You’ll now be in the WordPress dashboard.
What are Pages and Posts?
With WordPress you have two types of content, pages and posts. Posts could be a number of things depending on your theme. Basic themes will only include “posts” which would be blog posts.
Flothemes for examples offers blog posts, galleries and slideshows as post types. You can also have custom post types added via plugins such as Testimonials, or create your own custom post types with other plugin options.
For this tutorial we will stick to the basics with pages and posts.
Pages are used to create the various main sections of your site, they are static, one time content.
They should be used for the main content of your site: Home, About, Contact, etc, basically pages that you’re going to keep. They are stronger for SEO purposes, and they also allow you to display a number of posts on a page, for example the Blog page.
Pages can also be ordered with hierarchy, allowing you to create sub pages off a main page. For example you could have a page Info, and sub pages About, Investment etc. The sub pages would then be in the following structure example.com/info/about/ and example.com/info/investment/ as an example.
Posts should be used for blog posts, or galleries where you’re creating a larger amount of content. Posts are organized in chronological order (normally). With posts you can add categories and tags, allowing your users to filter content much easier. Posts also have comments and social sharing options, encouraging users to engage with and comment on your content.
Custom post types such as galleries are the same as blog posts, they just offer an alternative view to displaying your content and can be organised in the same manner.
Categories vs Tags
Categories and tags in WordPress are often misunderstood. However they both have one underlying principle, they are used to sort your content. Users often get confused with the SEO value of both, they really don’t add much in terms of SEO, other than help enhance user experience. In simple terms, they are used to sort and interconnect content together, to create better user experience.
Both Categories and Tags are taxonomies, a way to organise your content. So when should you use both? Categories should be used as a high level filter for your content. For example if you shoot weddings, portraits and landscapes, these could be your categories as filters for posts.
Tags are like micro categories for your content, for example, maybe you shoot different locations and styles for each, these could be your tags, like bohemian wedding, Fiji, Colorado, fine art wedding etc. you can have multiple tags per post.
All posts must have a category. We do suggest using them as it can improve user experience and make your content much easier to navigate. In terms of number of categories, that really depends on your business, it is suggested to use up to 5 key categories for your business.
With Tags you can have an unlimited number per post, however it’s probably best that you keep to under 10 tags per post, and make sure they are relevant for the post content.
In terms of SEO options, there is really little difference in value between both tags and categories, just think about user experience and how you would like to be able to filter your content as that will be the most important reason for using them.
Order Posts with Custom Post Order
We have just learnt that posts are organized in reverse chronological order. But what if you want to organize your posts in a specific order, not based on date? Thankfully this can be done easily with the help or a simple plugin “simple custom post order”.
With the plugin installed and activated, you’ll then be able to easily drag and drop your posts into any order you like.
To find out how to do this by using the Simple Custom Posts Order plugin, check out the following tutorial (to install a plugin also check out how to install a plugin here):
Set up Comments or Remove them
Commenting is another great feature offered by WordPress right out of the box. Commenting lets users engage with your content leave feedback and ask further questions. All comments are managed via the comments section in WordPress. There are several views: All, Pending, Spam and Trash.
Using a plugin such as Askimet you can catch most spam comments automatically, if it’s not spam, simply hit “not spam” to approve.
If you want to turn off comments, or manage how they are displayed on your site you can do so in Settings > Discussion. There are a 2 useful options available here:
- Default Article Settings
– “Allow people to comment on new articles” this can be turned off, it you don’t want users to have the ability to comment.
- Before a Comment Appears
– “An administrator must always approve the comment” this will allow you to moderate all comments before they appear on your site. It will also greatly reduce spam comments on the site.
If you’d like to manage comments per single post, this can be done by going to any post, then go to screen options top right, and make sure discussion (not comments) is selected, then scroll down to the discussion tab, and enable or disable comments.
The media library in WordPress allows you to view, edit or delete all of the content (images, gifs, videos, audio files, etc) that has been uploaded to WordPress via pages or posts. Once content is added and stored in the media library you can then re-use this content anywhere else on your site. You can also add media directly to the media library by clicking add new, and dragging content into the media library uploader.
There are 2 views in the media library, list and grid view. All content is organized in chronological order, it can be filtered by date and searched by keywords to find your content. You also have the option to delete media here, individually or in bulk. To delete in bulk hit the “delete bulk” button at the top, select all the content you want to delete, then press delete.
In Media Library Grid View, clicking an Image thumbnail, Audio icon or Video icon will display an Attachment Details dialog, which allows you to preview media and make quick edits. Any changes you make to the attachment details will be automatically saved. You can also delete individual items and access the extended edit screen from the details dialog. Use the arrow buttons at the top of the dialog, or the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard, to navigate between media items quickly.
Attachment Details changes its appearance and information by media type. The left side of this dialog shows the Image, Audio player or Video player. The right side lists the following media file attributes and optional data. Some of them are editable from this dialog.
- File name – The name of media file
- File type – The MIME Type of media file
- Uploaded on – The date when media file was uploaded
- File size – The file size of media file
- Dimensions – (Image files only) The dimensions of image media
- URL – Read only display of a direct link to the media file.
- Title – The name of the media. A title is often shown on attachment pages and galleries if themes or plugins are designed to display it.
- Caption – A brief explanation of the media.
- Description – An explanation of this particular media.
- Alt Text – (Image files only) The alt text for the image, e.g. “The Mona Lisa” to describe the media. Used for accessibility and SEO.
- Artist – (Voice files only) Singer, composer or producer of this media.
- Album – (Voice files only) Album title that includes this media.
- Uploaded By – author who uploaded the Media.
- Uploaded To – Title of the Post or Page that contains this Media. Click on the title to view that Post or Page in an edit Screen. If the Media was unattached to any Post or Page, this line does not appear.
At the bottom there are three link menus:
View attachment page shows the media in a simulated view of how the image would look when displayed in your Theme.
Edit more details displays the Edit Media Screen. See the Edit Media for details on editing Media information.
Delete Permanently deletes the media.
Also, image files has Edit Image button at the lower left
Edit Image (Image files only) allows you to make edits such as rotate, scale, and crop. See the Edit Image Screen.
Thats all for day 4 folks. In lesson 5 we go over the basics of adding content to your WordPress site, how you can structure it, how to set your home page and much more.