What is a Content Management
•Sits on the website’s server, not on your computer, runs in a
•Takes data from a database and turns it into web pages
•Allows you to perform programming-type tasks without
learning code or markup
•Automatically publishes, updates, archives content
according to rules you create
Geek stuff: front end
•The “front end” is the website that visitors to your site see.
•Wordpress URL: yoursitename.wordpress.com
•On your server at www.yoursitename.com
Geek stuff: backend
•The “back end” is the Admin Panel, only you see it.
•It controls the behavior and appearance of the front end
•Files: PHP – the theme templates and plugin files
•On your server at www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin/
Why WordPress? Inexpensive
•Open source = Free! Sort of.
•Hosting for as little as $20/year.
•Purchase more specialized or customized design and
•You can invest time to learn, or hire a developer.
Why WordPress? Flexible
•Content organization: taxonomy, menus, galleries
•Custom appearance: Themes, theme options
•Extendable functionality: Plugins and widgets
•Custom Post Types
•PHP templates and CSS layouts are fully customizable
Why WordPress? Easy to Use
•Admin Panel design: drag-and-drop, contextual help
•Documentation, Online tutorials
Why WordPress? Very widely used
•18.9% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress
•Community of development
•Community of support
Amazon, DropBox, EventBrite, YouTube…
Why not WordPress?
WordPress does everything, but if you have a few very
specific needs, it might not be the best tool to meet those
◦Simple E-Commerce: Shopify
◦Podcast published to iTunes: SquareSpace
◦Sell tickets for events: EventBrite
◦Online/mobile schedule for an event: Sched.org
What WordPress can do
•Brochure site: information about an organization or person
•Publication: blog, magazine, journal
•Community: social network for a specific topic or
•E-commerce: store, subscription, selling downloads
•Prototype: build a “clickable demo” of an online product or
Hosting Options: WordPress.com
A great place to start – you can always move your content to
•Free: Yoursitename.wordpress.com, limited themes, forum
•$99/year value bundle: no ads, more design
customization, limited themes, email support, no plugins
Hosting Options: Managed Hosting
They’ll take care of all the technical problems, but it’s
•Extensive customization: all plugins and themes are
•Updating, maintenance, testing, and support are provided
•WPengine.com, dreamhost.com, others
Hosting Options: Self - Hosting
Less expensive than managed, more freedom than
wordpress.com, but you’re on your own.
•Unlimited customization: all plugins and themes are
available, you can edit your own template code and stylesheets.
•You are responsible for all testing, maintenance, and updates
•Support only covers server/network problems, not WordPress
•$60/year or more
•mediatemple.com, Site5.com, many others
Walk through a demo site
Password: on your handout
WordPress Core and Customization
•WordPress Core is the features and functionality that come
with an empty installation of WordPress
•You can extend this functionality with
themes, plugins, custom PHP code in templates, and custom
•WordPress Core contains everything you need to create a
WordPress Core: Posts
Admin Panel > Posts
◦The most versatile post type
◦Posts are used for content that’s time-sensitive, that
expires, is updated, or replaced frequently.
◦Add content and media in the Visual Editor
◦Can be organized with Taxonomy (Categories and Tags)
◦Can be organized in Archives
WordPress Core: Pages
Admin Panel > Pages
◦Used for content that is timeless, like “About us” or
◦Content and Media are added in the Visual Editor
◦Can have parent/child relationships, e.g. “About us” >
◦No archives, i.e. they can’t easily be organized and
displayed in lists
Post and Page Content
Admin Panel > Posts > Edit/Add New
◦Permalink: the URL at which the post will be displayed in
◦Visual Editor: add text and media. Use “styles” pulldown
◦Excerpt: displayed separately in Archives, etc
◦Featured Image: displayed separately in Archives, etc
WordPress Core: Media Library
•Admin Panel > Media Library
•Upload media files one at a time or in batches
•Edit media in the Media Library
•Add media to Posts, Pages, and Galleries from the
Post or Page edit screen.
WordPress Core: Taxonomy
Admin Panel > Posts > Categories
Admin Panel > Posts > Tags
Traditional, low carb, quick
and easy, French, just like
WordPress Core: Menus
•Admin Panel > Appearance > Menus
•Menus are lists of links you can customize
•They are usually used for navigation
•They can be displayed in any Widget area
WordPress Core: Widgets
•Admin Panel > Appearance > Widgets
•Widgets are small chunks of functionality that can be
added to “widget areas” in your site, usually in the
header, sidebar, or footer
•New widgets can be added with Plugins
Customizing WordPress: Themes
•Admin Panel > Appearance > Themes
•Template files control the layout of the site.
•CSS controls the styling: colors, font, sizes, responsiveness
•Template files control the placement of Widget Areas
•Child themes allow a developer to overwrite parts of the parent
theme with specific customizations.
•Change themes to change the design of your site without affecting
Where to Get Themes
•Admin Panel > Appearance. Browse available themes.
•Or purchase premium themes to upload
•Research carefully! Look at demos, read reviews. Check for
“responsive”: will work on any screen size.
Customizing WordPress: Plugins
•Admin Panel > Plugins. Search. (not in your demo site
•Plugins are small chunks of software that extend WordPress
Core functionality with new features.
•Can be widgets, social sharing, e-commerce, enhancements
to the Admin Panel, pull content from other sites and
Where to get Plugins
•Admin Panel > Plugins > Add New (not in your demo site
•WordPress Plugin Directory: http://wordpress.org/plugins/
•Research carefully! Read reviews, check for support, make
sure plugin is maintained and updated frequently.
Clare’s favorite plugins
•Contact Form 7:
•WordPress SEO by Yoast:
•WordPress Backup to DropBox:
Advanced customization: Templates
•Templates are PHP files that control the layout and
behavior of the website.
•Each theme has its own set of template files.
•You need to know PHP or hire a developer to
Custom Post Types
•A “post” can be a single item of content, e.g. a
Recipe, or a Product, or an Event.
•Set Custom Post Types up with a plugin (e.g. wptypes.com) , or with custom PHP code.
•Custom Post Types need their own templates to
make the most of their functionality. Many themes
and plugins use custom post types + templates.
Where to learn or get help
Support forums: http://wordpress.org/support/
From the community at MeetUps and WordCamp
Join the WordPress community