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Getting into WordPress


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A text-heavy infodump intro to WordPress, with notes for a walkthrough of a WP Multisite demo site Admin Panel.

Published in: Technology, Business

Getting into WordPress

  2. 2. What is a Content Management System? •Sits on the website’s server, not on your computer, runs in a browser •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 CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 2
  3. 3. Geek stuff: front end •The “front end” is the website that visitors to your site see. •Files: HTML, CSS, Media (images, videos, PDFs…), JavaScript •Wordpress URL: •On your server at CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 3
  4. 4. Geek stuff: backend •The “back end” is the Admin Panel, only you see it. •It controls the behavior and appearance of the front end website. •Files: PHP – the theme templates and plugin files •Database: MySQL •On your server at CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 4
  5. 5. Why WordPress? Inexpensive •Open source = Free! Sort of. •Hosting for as little as $20/year. •Purchase more specialized or customized design and features •You can invest time to learn, or hire a developer. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 5
  6. 6. 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 CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 6
  7. 7. Why WordPress? Easy to Use •Admin Panel design: drag-and-drop, contextual help •Documentation, Online tutorials CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 7
  8. 8. Why WordPress? Very widely used •18.9% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress •Community of development •Community of support •Third-party integration: Amazon, DropBox, EventBrite, YouTube… CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 8
  9. 9. 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 needs. ◦Simple E-Commerce: Shopify ◦Podcast published to iTunes: SquareSpace ◦Sell tickets for events: EventBrite ◦Online/mobile schedule for an event: CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 9
  10. 10. What WordPress can do •Brochure site: information about an organization or person •Publication: blog, magazine, journal •Community: social network for a specific topic or organization •E-commerce: store, subscription, selling downloads •Prototype: build a “clickable demo” of an online product or service CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 10
  11. 11. Hosting Options: A great place to start – you can always move your content to another host. •Free:, limited themes, forum support •$18/year: •$99/year value bundle: no ads, more design customization, limited themes, email support, no plugins CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 11
  12. 12. Hosting Options: Managed Hosting They’ll take care of all the technical problems, but it’s expensive. •Extensive customization: all plugins and themes are available. •Updating, maintenance, testing, and support are provided •$30/month •,, others CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 12
  13. 13. Hosting Options: Self - Hosting Less expensive than managed, more freedom than, 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 •,, many others CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 13
  14. 14. Walk through a demo site Username: site1 Password: on your handout CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 14
  16. 16. 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 post types. •WordPress Core contains everything you need to create a website. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 16
  17. 17. 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 CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 17
  18. 18. WordPress Core: Pages Admin Panel > Pages ◦Used for content that is timeless, like “About us” or “Contact me” ◦Content and Media are added in the Visual Editor ◦Can have parent/child relationships, e.g. “About us” > “Our History” ◦No archives, i.e. they can’t easily be organized and displayed in lists CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 18
  19. 19. Post and Page Content Admin Panel > Posts > Edit/Add New ◦Title ◦Permalink: the URL at which the post will be displayed in its entirety ◦Visual Editor: add text and media. Use “styles” pulldown for formatting. ◦Excerpt: displayed separately in Archives, etc ◦Featured Image: displayed separately in Archives, etc CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 19
  20. 20. 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. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 20
  21. 21. WordPress Core: Taxonomy Admin Panel > Posts > Categories Hierarchical (nested) organization: 1. Recipes a) Desserts Admin Panel > Posts > Tags Free-form organization: Traditional, low carb, quick and easy, French, just like mom’s 1. Cake 2. Pie b) Soup CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 21
  23. 23. 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 CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 23
  24. 24. 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 CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 24
  25. 25. 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 the content. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 25
  26. 26. Where to Get Themes •Admin Panel > Appearance. Browse available themes. •Or purchase premium themes to upload •StudioPress •WooThemes •ThemeForest •Research carefully! Look at demos, read reviews. Check for “responsive”: will work on any screen size. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 26
  27. 27. Customizing WordPress: Plugins •Admin Panel > Plugins. Search. (not in your demo site today) •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 services… CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 27
  28. 28. Where to get Plugins •Admin Panel > Plugins > Add New (not in your demo site today) •WordPress Plugin Directory: •CodeCanyon: •Research carefully! Read reviews, check for support, make sure plugin is maintained and updated frequently. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 28
  29. 29. Clare’s favorite plugins •Contact Form 7: •WordPress SEO by Yoast: •RoyalSlider: •WordPress Backup to DropBox: CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 29
  30. 30. 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 customize these. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 30
  31. 31. Advanced customization: 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. , 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. CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 31
  32. 32. Where to learn or get help Tutorials: Documentation: Support forums: Videos: From the community at MeetUps and WordCamp CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 32
  33. 33. Join the WordPress community Local MeetUps WordCamp Chicago CLARE@GREENBEE-WEB.COM 33