The Best Way to Learn How to Use WordPress
So, you’ve decided to publish your website using WordPress. Great! You’re in good company. According to current statistics, WordPress powers nearly 1/3 of the websites on the internet today, including the site of some of the world’s biggest brands, like Facebook, The Walt Disney Company and Sony Music. It is the preferred content management system of web developers across the globe, and the reasons why are clear: WordPress is flexible, highly customizable, and it’s easy to use. While having some coding experience may be advantageous when managing your WordPress website, you do not need to be an expert web developer to make modifications to the site. A little fundamental WordPress training will go a long way.
Set Up and Design
Before we jump into the best way to learn how to use WordPress, let’s assume you’ve already taken care of your basic set up. Have you registered your domain name, secured a web hosting account, and installed WordPress? Perfect! Now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the WordPress Codex, an online user’s manual that, like WordPress itself, is constantly being updated and improved. You may not use the codex right away, but bookmark it. You’ll find yourself referencing it repeatedly. It’s a great resource as you learn WordPress!
Next on your list should be website design. Yes, WordPress does offer a library full of templates that control the visual appearance of your site. But, when you consider the significant impact that good web design can have on your business’s credibility, SEO rankings, branding, and conversion rates, we think you’ll want to invest a little more time and resources into your design strategy. Paradigm can help with that. Contact us to inquire about our WordPress design services.
With set up and design covered, you’re ready to learn how to use WordPress!
Create Your Content
- First, choose whether you want to make a post or a page. The primary difference between the two is that pages contain static, evergreen information, while posts contain timely information that is published with a specific date attached. You can also assign categories or tags to posts to help organize your content and make it easier for users to find. Pages are categorized according to a parent/child hierarchy that allows you to group related pages together.
- The process for publishing your content in either case is quite similar: from your WordPress dashboard, go to the Posts or Pages menu and choose Add New. You’ll be brought to an area that looks and functions a lot like the word processing software you commonly use. This is where you will add your content. Use the media button to insert images or audio files or to embed videos. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to bold, underline, add bullets, etc. to your content, or if you have some coding experience, switch over to the HTML tab for more control over the format of your content.
- Click the preview button to see what your page will look like once it’s published. If you are happy with that you see, go ahead and click the publish button. You may also choose to save the content as a draft or schedule it to publish later. And just like that, your content is available for everyone on the world wide web to access.
Technically, we could stop right here. But, at Paradigm, we want our clients to see significant returns from their investment in their website. Don’t stymie the success of one of your most powerful marketing tools by keeping things basic…
Customize Your Website with Plugins
You’ll get more out of your website by including elements like contact forms, galleries, and sliders to name a just few. WordPress has over 55,000 plugins available to expand your website’s features and capabilities and help you achieve almost any goal. To install a plugin, from your dashboard, click Plugins and then Add New. Then start searching for the plugins that are right for your business. Here are some of our favorites. Once you find a plugin you like, simply click install. Again, just a couple of hours of WordPress training with Paradigm can help you maximize the results you see from your use of these plugins.
Now is the perfect time to learn WordPress, as we all get ready to…
Say hello to Gutenberg – (aka we ALL need to learn how to use WordPress again!)
WordPress is scheduled to launch its latest version, WordPress 5.0, later this month. The move to version 5.0 includes a complete overhaul of the content editor, replacing the current editor with a system called Gutenberg. Though this new editor will make creating content for your website even more efficient and more user friendly, it will also significantly change the way we interface with WordPress. This means beginners and seasoned WordPress users alike will soon need to learn how to use WordPress again. For more on this major update and how it might affect your site, please read this blog.
At the risk of oversimplifying things, the best way to learn how to use WordPress is to use WordPress. Jump in! Have some fun exploring new plugins. If you don’t like what you see, restore a previous version of your page and start again.
We’ve given you some very broad strokes here just to get started. To boost your proficiency with WordPress, or for recommendations on how to best customize your site to make it a more robust marketing tool, please contact us at Paradigm Marketing and Design. We offer virtual and in-person WordPress training sessions, providing our clients with a thorough understanding of WordPress and enabling them to update and manage their websites with confidence. Schedule a WordPress training with us today!