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WordPress 101 - Foundation Friday at WordCamp Chicago 2014 #WCChi


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This talk that I delivered at WordCamp Chicago introduces WordPress to people that have never touched the platform. People want to know what their getting into! What kind of commitment does this mean? What things can it do for me on social media? A quick look at the dashboard and take questions that people have. Why would people use WordPress?

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WordPress 101 - Foundation Friday at WordCamp Chicago 2014 #WCChi

  1. 1. WordPress 101 Shanta R. Nathwani
  2. 2. Agenda  About Me  Introduction  .COM vs .ORG  Themes & Plugins  Pages & Posts  Categories & Tags  FAQ’s & Tips  Q & A’s
  3. 3. Find Me! Tweet Me: @TantienHime Email: My Web Site:
  4. 4. About Me • Instructor, Sheridan College • Joint program with University of Toronto at Mississauga: Institute of Culture, Communication, Information and Technology • Web Design and Capstone Project • Independent IT and Social Media Consultant • Clients include NPOs, Real Estate, Software Development, Financial and Political Sectors • Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech Mgmt., Ryerson University
  5. 5. What Is WordPress? Why Should I Use It?  WordPress used be known as a blogging tool. Now, it is a platform for creating websites.  Currently powers 22% of the world’s websites, including The Huffington Post. This has been increasing at a rate of approximately 2-3% per year over the last 3-4 years. It’s not going away any time soon.  Easy to use, can have multiple contributors at different levels of access and much of the time, doesn’t need code.
  6. 6. .COM vs .ORG .COM  Hosted by WordPress/Automattic  FREE!  Typically has a set domain made up of your username and “”. i.e.,  Can have your own domain or modify themes, but costs extra  No Plugins .ORG  Also referred to as “Self-Hosted”.  Hosted by a third-party (such as Bluehost)  FREE for the software. You will pay for hosting.  Can have whatever domain you want. i.e.,,  Can modify themes, add plugins and much more!
  7. 7. Themes  The “Look and Feel” of your website  Might include some functionality,  The “Front End” or what people see From Graph Paper Press
  8. 8. Plugins  Plugins extend the usefulness of your website  Some examples are Backup Buddy and Jetpack  The “Back End” or what people don’t see
  9. 9. Which One Should I Use? It Depends… Personal  If you just want to use it for a personal website and more of a blog, use the .COM version Business  If you are going to run your business off of this site, use .ORG
  10. 10. Pages vs Posts Pages  Static information for the most part  “About Us” is a great example  Does not use Categories  Can have sub-pages Posts  Dynamic information  Time sensitive  Uses Categories & Tags  “Upcoming Events” or “Events Attended” are good examples
  11. 11. Categories vs. Tags Categories  Major classifications for information  “Events” is a great example  Can have sub-categories (much like pages) Tags  Describes the content using keywords  WordPress recommends 5-7 per post
  12. 12. Coding Tips & Tricks  No matter what your discipline, learn a bit of HTML and CSS. This will help you modify your themes  Use Firebug to target what you need to find in your webpages.  Never go live (Thank you Al Davis). Always back up your work, and I don’t recommend making changes to the code through the WordPress Dashboard. This is the ONLY think I don’t recommend doing through the Dashboard.  You can probably learn more about this topic at numerous talks throughout the weekend.
  13. 13. Common Questions And maybe some common answers
  14. 14. 1. Do I have to download WordPress to my computer? Short Answer: NO Long Answer: is hosted on a hosting server running a number of different services, including MySQL Server. You could run it on your computer, but it’s complicated. My advice: Unless you have to do a lot of testing, such as a developer or designer, don’t bother running it locally.
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. Questions? Tweet Me: @TantienHime Email: My Web Site: