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Top 5 Things You Need To Know To Get Started With WordPress

You've decided to use WordPress. Now what? In this session, we'll discuss the Top 5 considerations to get you started. This is a beginner talk and will discuss subjects such as hosting, plugins and themes.

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Top 5 Things You Need To
Know To Get Started With
WordPress
WordPress Hamilton
July 2020
https://namara.com 1
Agenda
1. .Com vs. .Org
2. Hosting
3. Themes
4. Plugins
5. Hiring
Common Q&A
https://namara.com 2
About Me
• President & CEO, Namara Technologies Inc.
• Web solutions specializing in WordPress
• Clients include NPOs, Real Estate, Software
Development, Financial and Political Sectors
• Former Professor, Sheridan College
• Joint program with University of Toronto at Mississauga:
Institute of Culture, Communication, Information and
Technology
• Web Design and Capstone Project
• Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech Mgmt., Ryerson
University
End the debate
1.
.COM vs. .ORG
.COM vs .ORG
wordpress.COM
• Hosted by WordPress/Automattic
• FREE!
• Typically has a set domain made
up of your username and
“.wordpress.com”. i.e.,
http://tantienhime.wordpress.com
• Can have your own domain or
modify themes, but costs extra
• Plugins are part of the premium
pack
• Some consider this choice limiting,
others find it comforting.
wordpress.ORG
• Also referred to as “Self-Hosted”.
• Hosted by a third-party (such as
SiteGround)
• FREE for the software. You will pay
for hosting.
• Can have whatever domain you
want. i.e., http://shanta.ca,
http://tantienhime.com
• Can modify themes, add plugins
and much more!
https://namara.com 5
Accessing Your WordPress Dashboard
During my presentation, there was some confusion as to whether
or not the website is a .COM or .ORG site. It was discovered that
many people access their WordPress.ORG dashboard through
WordPress.com.
It’s not an easy explanation, but I tried to simplify it thusly: If the
money that you pay for hosting is not WordPress/Automattic,
then you are hosting your site with a third party and using
WordPress.ORG.
Hope that helps!
https://namara.com 6
A Hint To Getting The Concepts: Think Of A House
Give me some space
2.
Hosting
Domain names
• Keep it as short as possible
• Doesn’t have to be tied to your hosting, but many packages
will include a free domain name
• Use the top level domain (TLD) suited to the area and
business that you’re in (i.e., .com, .ca, .org, .rocks)
• GoDaddy.ca, for example is a registrar
Think of this as your municipal address.
https://namara.com 9
Hosting
• This typically includes the space to put your website, and in
most cases, your email accounts
• Make sure you choose one that will be able to support your
needs, such as hosting WordPress, and conforms to any
regulations you might have, such as being in Canada
Think of this as the land of your property.
https://namara.com 10
Hosting
• Shared hosting
• GoDaddy
• BlueHost
• Managed hosting
• WPEngine
• Siteground*
* - I’m an affiliate
https://namara.com 11
Dress It Up
3.
Themes
Themes
• The “Look and Feel” of your website
• Might include some functionality
• The “Front End” or what people see
From Graph Paper Press
https://namara.com 13
Theme Selection
• Start with the repository
• Can be accessed through your Dashboard > Appearances > Themes
• Directly at wordpress.org/themes
• If not, go outside and use the authors in the repository as a start
• Do not Google “free WordPress themes”!
• These could contain malicious code
https://namara.com 14
Theme selection (con’t)
• Where do I start?
• Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of the website?”. Many of the
themes are categorized by purpose (i.e., photography/portfolio,
business, blog, etc.)
• Ask yourself, “What do I want it to look like? Do I want a big header?
Do I want columns? Main content with sidebar?”. A good way to
familiarize yourself with these is to look in the repository.
• Make sure that the them you choose is mobile-enabled/responsive!
https://namara.com 15
Child Themes
Someone asked a question, so throwing it in here…
• A Child Theme should be used when you wish to alter a theme that you
have downloaded, bought, etc.
• Using a Child Theme to alter a parent is a ”best practice” so that a theme
can properly update without erasing any of your changes.
https://namara.com 16
Juice it up
4.
Plugin
Plugins
• Plugins extend the usefulness of
your website
• Some examples are Backup Buddy
and UpdraftPlus
• Usually, the “Back End” or what
people don’t see
https://namara.com 18
Plugin Selection
• Just like the themes, best to check the repository
(http://wordpress.org/plugins)
• Don’t overload your site. Choose your plugins carefully.
• First, by function. What do you need it to do?
• Is there a plugin that does multiple functions, such as memberships
AND payments? This is such a wide area; you need to research it. It will
depend on what functionality you need.
https://namara.com 19
Over your head
5.
Hiring
More About Hiring a Professional
• Educate yourself
• Not only about the terminology, but also have an idea of what you
want. This saves everyone a good amount of time and effort.
• Expect to give a deposit of some sort, whether you’re working with a
student or a professional. Don’t expect any of this for free.
• This is not a cookie cutter process, nor is it an overnight one.
• Some of the best advice: Lucas Cherkewski: Spoke at WordCamp
Toronto 2013 on this topic…at the age of 16! Had him in my class a few
years ago (at 18) and he’s amazing!
https://namara.com 21
Budget
Source: WPBeginner - How Much Does It
Cost To Build a WordPress Website? (This
post was just updated recently and has
far more detail)
https://namara.com 22
Domain: $10-$20 per year
Hosting: $120-$180 per year (Shared)
With Plugins & Features: $500-$1,000 (Depending on
the features)
E-Commerce (incl. SSL): $1,000-$3,000
Custom: $5,000-$15,000
Common Questions
And maybe some common answers
https://namara.com 23
1. Do I have to
download WordPress
to my computer?
Short Answer: NO
Long Answer:
WordPress.org is hosted
on a server running a
number of different
services, including MySQL
Server. You could run it on
your computer, but it’s
complicated for many
beginners
My advice:
Unless you have to do a
lot of testing, such as a
developer or designer,
don’t bother running it
locally.
https://namara.com 24
2. Where can I get
themes and plugins?
Short Answer: Many places
Long Answer
Do NOT use either
themes or plugins from
an unreliable source
My Advice
Start with themes and
plugins from WordPress
itself. These can be
downloaded directly
through your
Dashboard or from
WordPress.org
https://namara.com 25
3. Okay, you’ve
convinced me. How do
I move from .COM to
.ORG?
Short Answer: It can be done, but it isn’t easy.
Long Answer:
WordPress offers a
premium service for
about $150 that will
migrate your site over
to your new hosting
company. This
includes redirects and
SEO.
My Advice:
Let the pros handle it.
https://namara.com 26
Final Thoughts
• Join a local WordPress Meetup (Hamilton has a great one!)
• Join our WordPress Canada Slack Team: http://wpslack.ca
• Do your research, as with anything, especially hosting
• Have an idea of what you want going into a relationship with a
designer or developer, both look and functionality
https://namara.com 27
Extra Resources
• Lynda.com: (aka. LinkedIn Learning)Videos as well as starter
files included. Paid service, but sometimes free through in your
education institution or library
• WordPress: This is where you can learn almost everything I’ve
just talked about! There is also one for .ORG, but this will get
you about 90% of the way there. Skip the “Getting Started” part
if you are using the .ORG
• WordPress.tv: Most of the talks given at WordCamps are
recorded and archived here. You can find my talks there!
• Lucas Cherkewski: Great advice on hiring a developer!
https://namara.com 28
Questions?
Tweet Me:
@NamaraTech
Email:
shanta@namara.com
My Web Site:
https://namara.com
https://namara.com 29

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Top 5 Things You Need To Know To Get Started With WordPress

  • 1. Top 5 Things You Need To Know To Get Started With WordPress WordPress Hamilton July 2020 https://namara.com 1
  • 2. Agenda 1. .Com vs. .Org 2. Hosting 3. Themes 4. Plugins 5. Hiring Common Q&A https://namara.com 2
  • 3. About Me • President & CEO, Namara Technologies Inc. • Web solutions specializing in WordPress • Clients include NPOs, Real Estate, Software Development, Financial and Political Sectors • Former Professor, Sheridan College • Joint program with University of Toronto at Mississauga: Institute of Culture, Communication, Information and Technology • Web Design and Capstone Project • Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech Mgmt., Ryerson University
  • 5. .COM vs .ORG wordpress.COM • Hosted by WordPress/Automattic • FREE! • Typically has a set domain made up of your username and “.wordpress.com”. i.e., http://tantienhime.wordpress.com • Can have your own domain or modify themes, but costs extra • Plugins are part of the premium pack • Some consider this choice limiting, others find it comforting. wordpress.ORG • Also referred to as “Self-Hosted”. • Hosted by a third-party (such as SiteGround) • FREE for the software. You will pay for hosting. • Can have whatever domain you want. i.e., http://shanta.ca, http://tantienhime.com • Can modify themes, add plugins and much more! https://namara.com 5
  • 6. Accessing Your WordPress Dashboard During my presentation, there was some confusion as to whether or not the website is a .COM or .ORG site. It was discovered that many people access their WordPress.ORG dashboard through WordPress.com. It’s not an easy explanation, but I tried to simplify it thusly: If the money that you pay for hosting is not WordPress/Automattic, then you are hosting your site with a third party and using WordPress.ORG. Hope that helps! https://namara.com 6
  • 7. A Hint To Getting The Concepts: Think Of A House
  • 8. Give me some space 2. Hosting
  • 9. Domain names • Keep it as short as possible • Doesn’t have to be tied to your hosting, but many packages will include a free domain name • Use the top level domain (TLD) suited to the area and business that you’re in (i.e., .com, .ca, .org, .rocks) • GoDaddy.ca, for example is a registrar Think of this as your municipal address. https://namara.com 9
  • 10. Hosting • This typically includes the space to put your website, and in most cases, your email accounts • Make sure you choose one that will be able to support your needs, such as hosting WordPress, and conforms to any regulations you might have, such as being in Canada Think of this as the land of your property. https://namara.com 10
  • 11. Hosting • Shared hosting • GoDaddy • BlueHost • Managed hosting • WPEngine • Siteground* * - I’m an affiliate https://namara.com 11
  • 13. Themes • The “Look and Feel” of your website • Might include some functionality • The “Front End” or what people see From Graph Paper Press https://namara.com 13
  • 14. Theme Selection • Start with the repository • Can be accessed through your Dashboard > Appearances > Themes • Directly at wordpress.org/themes • If not, go outside and use the authors in the repository as a start • Do not Google “free WordPress themes”! • These could contain malicious code https://namara.com 14
  • 15. Theme selection (con’t) • Where do I start? • Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of the website?”. Many of the themes are categorized by purpose (i.e., photography/portfolio, business, blog, etc.) • Ask yourself, “What do I want it to look like? Do I want a big header? Do I want columns? Main content with sidebar?”. A good way to familiarize yourself with these is to look in the repository. • Make sure that the them you choose is mobile-enabled/responsive! https://namara.com 15
  • 16. Child Themes Someone asked a question, so throwing it in here… • A Child Theme should be used when you wish to alter a theme that you have downloaded, bought, etc. • Using a Child Theme to alter a parent is a ”best practice” so that a theme can properly update without erasing any of your changes. https://namara.com 16
  • 18. Plugins • Plugins extend the usefulness of your website • Some examples are Backup Buddy and UpdraftPlus • Usually, the “Back End” or what people don’t see https://namara.com 18
  • 19. Plugin Selection • Just like the themes, best to check the repository (http://wordpress.org/plugins) • Don’t overload your site. Choose your plugins carefully. • First, by function. What do you need it to do? • Is there a plugin that does multiple functions, such as memberships AND payments? This is such a wide area; you need to research it. It will depend on what functionality you need. https://namara.com 19
  • 21. More About Hiring a Professional • Educate yourself • Not only about the terminology, but also have an idea of what you want. This saves everyone a good amount of time and effort. • Expect to give a deposit of some sort, whether you’re working with a student or a professional. Don’t expect any of this for free. • This is not a cookie cutter process, nor is it an overnight one. • Some of the best advice: Lucas Cherkewski: Spoke at WordCamp Toronto 2013 on this topic…at the age of 16! Had him in my class a few years ago (at 18) and he’s amazing! https://namara.com 21
  • 22. Budget Source: WPBeginner - How Much Does It Cost To Build a WordPress Website? (This post was just updated recently and has far more detail) https://namara.com 22 Domain: $10-$20 per year Hosting: $120-$180 per year (Shared) With Plugins & Features: $500-$1,000 (Depending on the features) E-Commerce (incl. SSL): $1,000-$3,000 Custom: $5,000-$15,000
  • 23. Common Questions And maybe some common answers https://namara.com 23
  • 24. 1. Do I have to download WordPress to my computer? Short Answer: NO Long Answer: WordPress.org is hosted on a server running a number of different services, including MySQL Server. You could run it on your computer, but it’s complicated for many beginners My advice: Unless you have to do a lot of testing, such as a developer or designer, don’t bother running it locally. https://namara.com 24
  • 25. 2. Where can I get themes and plugins? Short Answer: Many places Long Answer Do NOT use either themes or plugins from an unreliable source My Advice Start with themes and plugins from WordPress itself. These can be downloaded directly through your Dashboard or from WordPress.org https://namara.com 25
  • 26. 3. Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I move from .COM to .ORG? Short Answer: It can be done, but it isn’t easy. Long Answer: WordPress offers a premium service for about $150 that will migrate your site over to your new hosting company. This includes redirects and SEO. My Advice: Let the pros handle it. https://namara.com 26
  • 27. Final Thoughts • Join a local WordPress Meetup (Hamilton has a great one!) • Join our WordPress Canada Slack Team: http://wpslack.ca • Do your research, as with anything, especially hosting • Have an idea of what you want going into a relationship with a designer or developer, both look and functionality https://namara.com 27
  • 28. Extra Resources • Lynda.com: (aka. LinkedIn Learning)Videos as well as starter files included. Paid service, but sometimes free through in your education institution or library • WordPress: This is where you can learn almost everything I’ve just talked about! There is also one for .ORG, but this will get you about 90% of the way there. Skip the “Getting Started” part if you are using the .ORG • WordPress.tv: Most of the talks given at WordCamps are recorded and archived here. You can find my talks there! • Lucas Cherkewski: Great advice on hiring a developer! https://namara.com 28
  • 29. Questions? Tweet Me: @NamaraTech Email: shanta@namara.com My Web Site: https://namara.com https://namara.com 29

Editor's Notes

  1. .COM: Cannot sell stuff (as far as I know). Apparently there have been some changes to this recently, but must be non-commercial
  2. Think of building your website like a house: The domain is the address of your property. Doesn’t matter what’s on it, but that’s where the world finds you. The hosting is the dimensions of your space. You’re paying rent to live on a server. The website is the actual files that make up your website no matter where they are and is like the house. How many rooms/pages does it have?
  3. Some hosting companies include GoDaddy, WPEngine, SiteGround and many more
  4. Now that you’ve decided to go to Self-hosted, which host to you go for? Shared is less costly in most cases, but they are becoming much more competitive. Managed hosting is more of a “hands on” approach from the provider. They look after the updates for you, as well as protect your interests.
  5. Not an easy question as to who is reliable.
  6. Not an easy question as to who is reliable.
  7. Not an easy question as to who is reliable.
  8. Other popular ones might be WordFence or Google Analytics
  9. I actually just got this one this morning!
  10. Many people will simply download the database and upload it into the new space. There are difficulties with this: Media is not moved with it Theme stays behind No Redirects (505’s, etc.)
  11. I urge you to get on my mailing list if you want more! New brand, new courses, new offerings.