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WordPress Beginners Workshop


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Slides from Kurt Eng & Jon Bishop's WordPress Beginners Workshop at Tech Day Camp 2012

Published in: Design
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WordPress Beginners Workshop

  1. 1. 1Beginning WordPress"Jon Bishop"Kurt EngNovember 10th, 2012!Norwell High School
  2. 2. 2Today s Schedule •  Introduction to WordPress Period A •  WordPress installation •  The Admin Dashboard Period B + Break •  Content Types & Media Lunch Period C •  Theme, Widgets & Plugins
  3. 3. 3What is WordPress?•  Blogging software•  Content management system (CMS)•  Engine ‣  E-commerce ‣  Discussion Forums ‣  Subscription / Paid Content ‣  Wiki ‣  Job Boards ‣  Product Reviews ‣  Business Directories ‣  Social Network
  4. 4. 4Flavors of •  Self-hosted (your own server) •  Hosted by Automattic, no server needed •  Complete control (themes, plugins, etc.) •  Limited selection of themes & plugins •  Open source and completely free •  Basic sites are free, paid add-ons available
  5. 5. 5What can you do with WordPress? 1 Higher Ed
  6. 6. 6What can you do with WordPress? 2 Magazine
  7. 7. 7What can you do with WordPress? 3Blog / Corporate
  8. 8. 8What can you do with WordPress? 4Mixed Platform
  9. 9. 9What can you do with WordPress? 5 Community
  10. 10. 10What can you do with WordPress? 6
  11. 11. 11Features of WordPressHow does WordPress make my life/job easier? •  Control panel! •  Built-in SEO* (web-based & mobile) •  Comments •  Users & profiles! (authentication & roles) •  Themes & widgets •  Content types •  Plugins •  Taxonomy (content organization) •  Feeds •  Media management •  API •  Link & navigation management
  12. 12. 12Installation
  13. 13. 13Content Types•  Built-in content types in WordPress ‣  Posts: blogging/news, chronologic, appears in RSS feeds ‣  Pages: static content (e.g., “About”, “Contact”), hierarchical ‣  Comments: enable visitors to discuss your content
  14. 14. 14Posts
  15. 15. 15 Posts•  Title  ‣  Arguably one of the most important aspects of content (include relevant/rich keywords related to the content – SEO!) ‣  Responsible for building the content URL•  Content ‣  Actual post/page content (“body”), w/ text, images, videos, links, shortcodes, etc. ‣  WYSIWYG (similar to Microsoft Word) w/ Visual & HTML edit modes (and full-screen!)•  Publishing ‣  Preview posts before publishing ‣  Set status (draft, pending, published) and visibility (private, password-protected) ‣  Set date (specific date in the past, scheduled date in the future)
  16. 16. 16 Posts (cont.)•  Excerpt ‣  Write a custom post excerpt/teaser for category/archives pages or home page, as opposed to auto-generated excerpts•  Taxonomy (Defaults: Categories & Tags)  ‣  Categories are hierarchical (parent/child) and useful for navigation menus ‣  Tags are “labels” assigned to ‣  Have separate pages in the Dashboard to manage•  Additional Meta Boxes ‣  Discussion settings, comments list ‣  Custom functionality from themes (featured image/thumbnail) ‣  Custom functionality from plugins (SEO plugins to edit title, meta description & keywords…)
  17. 17. 17Posts (cont.)•  Permalinks ‣  Auto-generated from title ‣  SEO-friendly or “pretty” permalinks need to be enabled manually on default WordPress installations! ✦ ✦ ‣  Can be customized per post/page on edit screen•  Trackbacks/Pingbacks ‣  Send automated notices to other websites & services when you change content ‣  Pingback: Include a link to 3rd party article, save it, WP pings that article and adds a pingback to the 3rd party website article page ‣  Trackback: Outdated? Similar but not automatic. You find the trackback URL on 3rd party website or article page (if enabled/advertised), paste into WordPress to send a trackback
  18. 18. 18Posts (cont.)•  Revisions ‣  Autosaves and previously saved versions available for rollback or reference•  Author ‣  Change post/page author•  Custom Fields ‣  Stores all other metadata specific to your project ‣  Previously used to enable/disable certain theme-specific features ‣  Key/value pair format
  19. 19. 19Pages•  Pages ‣  Content that is “timeless” (About, Contact) ‣  Hierarchical (a parent page can have child pages) ‣  Page order (a number can be assigned for displaying pages in arbitrary order) ‣  Can use custom page templates for completely different designs/layouts per-page. Page templates can include other template files, WordPress Template Tags, and PHP code
  20. 20. 20Pages
  21. 21. 21Pages (cont.)•  Pages are not Posts! ‣  Pages do not show up in the RSS feed ‣  Cannot be organized using category and tag taxonomies ‣  Typical page permalinks take the form of: ‣  Can be added to Menus, or to sidebars using the Pages widget
  22. 22. 22Comments
  23. 23. 23 Comments•  Enabling/disabling ‣  Site-wide ‣  Per post or per page•  Moderating ‣  Always require administrator approval, or require the first to be approved per visitor ‣  Blacklist or hold in moderation queue by URLs, email address, IP addresses•  Nesting ‣  Replies are visible beneath the parent comment, and indented•  Gravatars ‣  Show commenter Gravatars next to comments (•  Replacing built-in comments ‣  Disqus, IntenseDebate
  24. 24. 24Break
  25. 25. 25Themes•  A theme is a skin for your website•  Separation between the data layer and presentation layer•  Front-end: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and some PHP•  Themes can also add functionality to WordPress ‣  Custom content types (a Cake for a bakery website) ‣  Custom taxonomies (flavors & occasions) ‣  Custom widgets (search box)
  26. 26. 26Theme Resources•  WordPress Theme Directory:•  3rd party, free themes: Smashing Magazine, ThemeLab, WPSalon,, Google search (of course)•  Premium Themes ‣  Support from developer & community ‣  Documentation ‣  Often higher quality, and feature-rich, and with child themes/variations ‣  Multiple licenses (individual, developer, etc.)•  Theme frameworks
  27. 27. 27Premium Theme Examples•  Press75•  WooThemes•  StudioPress Test-drive themes at•  Thesis!•  Headway•  Pagelines Platform•  ElegantThemes
  28. 28. 28Child Themes•  Inherit the functionality of a parent theme•  Typically override: ‣  Styling (colors, fonts, margin/padding) ‣  Addition or removal of functionality (functions.php) ‣  Templates•  A good way to modify third party themes without hacking the original code•  Provide several flavors of a parent theme
  29. 29. 29Install a Theme
  30. 30. 30Plugins•  Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress ‣  Add new menus & configuration options to the Admin Dashboard (post types, spam filters, content importing) ‣  Add new features to the frontend of your website (social sharing tools) ‣  Change the way your site is displayed (mobile) ‣  Collect stats (analytics) ‣  Automate tasks (backup)
  31. 31. 31Plugin Resources•  WordPress Plugins Directory:•  Premium Plugins: ‣  WishList Membership Plugin ‣  Gravity Forms ‣  Scribe (copy-writing & SEO) ‣  WP e-Commerce, Shopp, PHPurchase ‣  WP Review Engine (reviews/star-ratings) ‣  WPtouch (mobile theme) ‣  Language translation
  32. 32. 32Plugin Recommendations•  Google Analyticator•  Disqus/Intense Debate•  All-in-one SEO or SEO Ultimate•  Akismet (already built in)•  JetPack•  Twitter Blog•  Gravity Forms•  VaultPress/Backup Buddy•  W3 Total Cache
  33. 33. 33Install a Plugin
  34. 34. 34Widgets•  Draggable & configurable modules that can be reused on WP sites•  Widgets are dragged into sidebars (widgetized regions), declared by the theme•  WordPress contains many useful default widgets (the Text Widget is powerful!)•  You don’t add new widgets directly: plugins & themes add new widgets•  The more “widgetized” regions your theme contains, the more easily configurable the page layout will be from the Dashboard, instead of modifying code
  35. 35. 35Configure Widgets
  36. 36. 36Best Practices•  Security•  Backups•  SEO•  Upgrades•  Managing Content
  37. 37. 37Security•  Upgrade WordPress core, plugins, and themes!•  Password strength across all entry points (Hosting control panel, FTP, WordPress admin)•  Don’t use default username “admin”•  Download code directly•  Public WiFi caution: your traffic is probably not secure•  Disable unused/unneeded features (e.g., remote publishing)•  File permissions (FTP)
  38. 38. 38Backups•  Use a plugin or service (set & forget) ‣  BackupBuddy, VaultPress•  Automated backups provided by your hosting provider (but don’t back up to the same server your site is hosted!)•  Remember: A WordPress site lives in two separate worlds simultaneously ‣  Files in a folder you can see via FTP (especially /wp-content) ‣  Data in tables in a database server (you can see and manipulate using 3rd party tools, often provided by your hosting provider)•  Secure your backups!•  Test your backups!
  39. 39. 39SEO•  Beyond the benefits provided by a stock WordPress install… ‣  Theme used & author’s ability to write semantic HTML ‣  Additional meta data you supply using an SEO plugin ‣  How you write and organize your content (HTML, taxonomy, etc.) ‣  Permalinks w/ a good link structure (the default works wonders) ‣  Google Webmaster Tools (monitor your site’s ranking performance)
  40. 40. 40Upgrades•  Upgrade often, but maybe not too often ‣  Don’t wait for minor updates that fix critical bugs or security issues ‣  Wait a bit longer on major releases (3.0, 3.2) ‣  Follow the WordPress Development Blog:•  WordPress, themes & plugins are open-source & community developed: embrace but be cautious•  Keep plugins & themes updated, too•  Be careful & mindful of what files you’ve changed (ideally, don’t change any “core” files in themes, plugins or WordPress itself)•  Before upgrading, backup your site & check plugin compatibility
  41. 41. 41Content Tips•  Chris Brogan ‣ ‣ ‣  Boston WordPress Meetup presentation:•  Chris Penn ‣  Upcoming WordCamp Session
  42. 42. 42Content Tips (cont.)•  Use paragraphs and lists ‣  Break up long pieces of content & thoughts in sections ‣  WordPress will automatically add HTML paragraph tags in the Visual editor ‣  Lists group related pieces of content together •  Use headings ‣  Use Heading 2, 3, 4, etc. to label/group sections of content•  Call out important keywords/concepts ‣  Bold relevant and meaningful keywords and text, but don’t abuse•  Hyperlink to other articles ‣  Pingbacks build deeper linking & relationships
  43. 43. 43Content Tips (cont.)•  Spell-check & proof ‣  Spell-check plugins ‣  Post as “pending” and have other preview•  Think before you post ‣  Beware: ranting on blogs is commonplace today ‣  Once it’s published, it’s syndicated via RSS, reblogged, tweeted, indexed by SEs & directories…•  Write about what you like ‣  Don’t force yourself to write about uninteresting things, enjoy the experience.•  Avoid excess slang and localized terms
  44. 44. 44Content Tips (cont.)•  Don’t hide your emotions ‣  If you have to, remain anonymous but voice your opinions (take a stand!) ‣  Show your readers your passion & seek to create good discussion•  Consider your readers/audience ‣  Who’s reading? Is your content useful to that person/group? Is it appropriate? ‣  How often will you post? Consider your audience’s attention span vs. your average article length?•  Make use of comments (even the nasty ones) ‣  Feedback can be rewarding and useful, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism. •  Worry about content first, then blog design, features, etc. ‣  Content is king! Build an audience/readership first. Get visitors to subscribe via RSS and email (increase repeat visits). ‣  Your site will likely undergo many design and functional iterations anyway.
  45. 45. 45Content Tips (cont.)•  Use rich multimedia (images, audio, video, maps) ‣  The make your content pages more colorful, break up lengthy copy, and present information in a visual (and often more easily interpreted) ways•  Keep writing! ‣  Don’t stop publishing content ‣  Writer’s block could mean you’re holding back on something ‣  Browse and subscribe to others’ blogs for inspiration and motivation•  Write everywhere ‣  You can publish to your WordPress blog from your mobile phone, your iPad, popular social web apps like Facebook and Twitter, email, and desktop applications
  46. 46. 46WordPress Multisite•  Originally two versions: WordPress & WordPress Multi-User (MU)•  Merged into WordPress 3.0 w/ Multisite feature•  Operate a network of related WordPress sites from a single dashboard ‣  Subdomains:,, ... ‣  Subdirectories:,, ...•  Super admins can administer all websites through the “Network Admin” Dashboard, site admins can administer a single website through the traditional dashboard•  Many plugins can be installed network-wide!
  47. 47. 47Additional Resources•  WordPress-related blogs!,, ...•  WordPress video tutorials from the source:• free theme & plugin directories - submit your work here!•  Commercial themes: custom admin panels & premium support! WooThemes, ThemeForest, StudioPress, ElegantThemes, Press75•  Theme frameworks: video tutorials and extensive documentation! Thesis, Genesis, Hybrid, Headway, Thematic•  WordPress Codex (Template Tags, loop query parameters, etc.)• – WordPress news, tips, and banter…unscripted & live from Boston!
  48. 48. 48Book: Digging into WordPress
  49. 49. 49Boston WordPress Meetup •  Monthly events at Microsoft NERD (last Monday of every month) •  1500+ members •  2nd largest WordPress Meetup in the U.S. •  Support forums & job board •  Past presentation slides & videos available online •  Free pizza (pending sponsors)! • •  @bostonwp on Twitter
  50. 50. 50HostGator•  Cheaper hosting with unlimited storage, bandwidth and domains ‣  Great if you plan on starting more than 1 WordPress site ‣  Plenty of support for the server and you don’t need to have WordPress on it (self-install)•  Lots of software, room to experiment! Use code TechDayCamp for 25% discount
  51. 51. 51Questions Open Q&A
  52. 52. 52Thank You Jon Bishop Kurt Eng Twitter: @jondbishop Twitter: @kurteng
  53. 53. 53Appendix
  54. 54. 54Architecture of WordPress 1 •  Posts & Pages•  WordPress core •  Comments•  Themes •  Links•  Plugins •  Options/Settings•  File Uploads •  Taxonomy •  Users Important for Backups!
  55. 55. 55Architecture of WordPress 2 wp-admin/ wp-links-opml.php wp-content/ wp-cron.php wp-includes/ wp-load.php wp-app.php wp-trackback.php readme.html wp-pass.php wp-signup.php license.txt xmlrpc.php wp-atom.php wp-login.php wp-commentsrss2.php wp-mail.php wp-rdf.php wp-config-sample.php wp-rss.php wp-comments-post.php wp-rss2.php wp-settings.php index.php wp-feed.php wp-blog-header.php wp-activate.php wp-register.php
  56. 56. 56Architecture of WordPress 3 themes/ twentyten/ mytheme1/ plugins/ akismet/ wp_e-commerce/ uploads/ wp-content/ 2010/ 11/ photo1.jpg photo2.jpg
  57. 57. 57Installation•  Required software ‣  Web server (serves web pages to the web browser) ‣  PHP language processor (runs the code WordPress is written in) ‣  Database (stores content and site settings)•  Download & install server software on local computer ‣  Windows: XAMPP: ‣  Mac: MAMP:•  Download WordPress ‣
  58. 58. 58Elements of a ThemeRequired Base Additional 404.php author.php author-[nickname].php header.php category.php footer.php sidebar-[name].php comments.phpstyle.css category-[id].php sidebar.phpindex.php functions.php page.php home.php single.php page-[name].php archive.php taxonomy-[name].php screenshot.png ... These files override the default WordPress templates.
  59. 59. 59The Loop•  WordPress builds a query for the loop based on the requests it receives. ‣  Category:! Find all published posts in the category Tech ordered most recent first. ‣  Specific Post:! Find the specific published post with URL slug welcome-to-design-camp ‣  Home*:! Configure WordPress to show a series of posts, a static page, your home.php file, etc.!
  60. 60. 60 Thanks for ViewingCopyright 2011 Boston WordPress.All rights reserved.None of the material contained within and created by the presentation authors may be used without authors’ written content.