WordPress powers more than 30% of sites on the Internet. This popularity has made people learn WordPress, professionally.
Fortunately, WordPress is an Open Source Content Management System. People from all over the world contribute to WordPress; share knowledge and help people build professional sites with ease.
This write-up explains learning WordPress as a Beginner. After you read this tutorial, you will be able to create, build, optimize, and maintain your first WordPress website.
Without further ado, let’s start learning the WordPress.
Learn WordPress in 1 Week
1. Preparation for WordPress Installation
Choose between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
There are two options to create your WordPress site. WordPress.com provides services as a Hosting company, while WordPress.org represents Open Source WordPress Software and Community, and provides downloading WordPress package, and helps you manually build your site with WordPress.
On WordPress.com, you can build your site by creating an account. After completion, you can access your site at the sub-domain at WordPress.com; while WordPress.org helps you develop your site on custom Hosting, by setting up the WordPress package.
Hosting and Domain
To create a website and learn WordPress, you need to buy the Hosting package and a Domain address. The Hosting package provides space on the server; while a Domain helps you access your site on the Internet.
You can use the WordPress Managed Web Hosting for improved performance, such as WP Engine and One.com. You can also use the Shared Hosting services out there, such as Hostgator and Siteground. The Hosting and Domain are the two must-have requirements for creating a site.
Downloading the WordPress Package
Let’s assume that you have decided to create your site with WordPress.org. In this case, you need to download the WordPress package from its official website.
Proceed to WordPress Download page. On the right side of the page, click on the Download button to download the WordPress package.
You can download the package in .zip format, or .tar.gz if you use UNIX like Operating Systems. Next in the article, you will upload the package to Web Hosting space, and create your WordPress site.
Create a Database, Database User, and Set Privileges
To create and learn WordPress site, you need to create a Database and its User first. Log into your Hosting account and look for the MySQL Databases.
Open the said option. Proceed to the next page, and you can create a Database for your site, the Username, and can assign privileges to User on the site Database.
Once you finish, you will be able to use the Database and Username while running the WordPress Installer in the coming steps.
2. WordPress Installation
Uploading WordPress to your Hosting Space
In the steps above, you have downloaded the WordPress core files. It’s time to upload the package to Hosting space to create your site.
Log into Hosting cPanel and find the File Manager option. Next on the next page, you can upload files to the Hosting server.
Make sure you upload WordPress package to Public_HTML folder. It refers to Root of your Hosting space.
After finishing Uploading, select the Package and choose the Extract option on the Toolbar. This process will extract the WordPress zip package in the Public_HTML folder.
Run the Installer
Now you have extracted the WordPress package, you need to access your Domain address in the Browser. This access will load the WordPress Installer.
On the first screen, you will see the Language selection option. Choose one and proceed. Click the Let’s Go button on the next page. Now, enter the required information and proceed. Make sure you enter the Database and Username created in the Preparation phase.
If your entered information is correct, you will see a success page. Click on the Run the Installer button to proceed to next step.
Complete the WordPress Installation
At the last stage, you need to enter the site information and finalize your WordPress installation. After this step, you will be able to log into WordPress Dashboard and manage your site.
Now you have entered the Database and Username details, the next page requires Site Title, Username and Password, and Email address to proceed.
Enter the required information and proceed to complete your WordPress installation. On success, you can see the following screen. Now, you can sign into WordPress Dashboard, and manage your newly created site on the go.
3. General Settings
Delete Sample Post and Page
By default, the WordPress installation contains a sample page and post. On the left-hand Dashboard menu, click on the All Posts. Select and delete the sample post on the next page.
Similarly, you can delete the sample page on the Pages page.
You can organize your blog content under various categories, such as Articles, Resources, eBooks, and Free stuff.
Under Posts menu, select Categories.
On the next page, you can create Categories, and use them while posting a content piece. For example, if you post about a Product or Service, you can create a Product category and assign it to posts relevant to Products and Services.
Set Themes, Remove Default, and Upload New Ones
WordPress allows you to switch between uploaded themes, remove, or upload new themes.
Head to Appearance on the Dashboard menu and select Themes. Here you can see the uploaded themes.
Point at theme you want to set and click on the Activate button.
In the same manner, if you want to remove a theme, you will need to log into Hosting cPanel, File Manager, and delete the respective Theme Folder from the Public_HTML Directory.
To upload new themes, you can use the Add New button on the Themes page. The next page shows themes from the WordPress Themes Directory, or you can use the Upload Theme button to upload one from your computer.
Widgets are small areas for showing content on the left or right side of your WordPress website.
You can add or remove widgets from your WordPress pages. To get started, head to Widgets page under Appearance on the Dashboard menu.
On the next page, you can add new widgets by dragging and dropping onto Sidebar areas, or remove ones by clicking the short menu of the widgets.
Remove Default Plugins
WordPress plugins add additional functionality to WordPress sites. The WordPress Core installation contains several default plugins. If you don’t use default ones, you can safely delete them by clicking on Plugins on the Dashboard menu.
Edit your Profile
The Users page on the Dashboard menu shows a list of your WordPress users. You can add, delete, and change roles for the users on this page.
To add a user, click on the Add New button. Similarly, you can select a user and choose Delete from the short menu above, or switch between different roles.
You can also point to your profile and choose Edit. On the next page, you can change your data such as Email, Bio Data, and Design settings for your profile.
The General page under Settings menu in the Dashboard, you can see and change the basic settings of your WordPress site.
You can change the site Title, Tagline, Email address, and Date format.
In the same manner, under Settings, select Reading and change your Home Page settings, such as displaying a specific page as your Home, or the latest posts. You can also change the number of posts on the Home page.
4. Advanced Settings
Under the Dashboard, the Updates page shows update notifications for your WordPress Core Software, Themes, and Plugins.
You can use the Check Again button to check for the new WordPress updates, or re-install the WordPress by clicking on the Re-install Now button.
Below, you can see a list of Plugins that need updating. Select plugins and click on the Update Plugins button.
Similarly, you can see the update notification for Themes. Here you can proceed with the on-screen instructions to update your themes, or update your themes by going into Themes page.
By using the WordPress Theme Customizer, you can change the design and colors of your WordPress site.
Load the Theme Customizer by clicking on the Customize under Appearance.
Theme Built-in Customizer provides options to change different WordPress features; such as Site information, Colors, Menus, Widgets, Homepage Settings, and Theme Options.
Menus play an important role in arranging and showing pages at different locations of your site. To get started with Menus, click on the Menus under Appearance on the Dashboard menu.
The WordPress installation doesn’t contain any menu by default. To create one, give a name and click on the Create Menu button to create your first menu.
On the next page, use the checkboxes to add newly created pages to your menu, automatically.
On the left side, you can add pages, posts, custom links, and categories to your menu. You can also change the locations for your menus.
Add New Users
WordPress allows managing new users to work under the same platform. You can create new users, remove or assign different roles to users.
By clicking on the Add New under Users on the left Dashboard menu, the next page contains the form to create a new User.
Fill into Form fields and choose a Role for the user at the end. You can choose among different role options, such as Contributor, Subscriber, Administrator, Editor, and Author.
URL Settings and Permalinks
On the General page under Settings, you can add or remove www from your site address. It depends on your choice.
But make sure, once you set a choice, you should keep it for life. If you change URL settings at a later time, it will drastically affect your site SEO and Link Structure.
The Permalinks page under Settings shows the link structure of your WordPress site. For SEO, choose the Custom Link option that shows content under different categories, helping Google understand your site content properly.
Although you can change or add themes on the Themes page, you can also change the source codes of various files. WordPress, as well as Theme Developers suggest this option for advanced users only.
As a beginner, you don’t need to change Themes this way; however, you can proceed after having proper coding knowledge.
Click on the Editor under Appearance dashboard menu.
On the next page, you can see an Editor window that provides space to make changes to Theme code files.
You can select various code files from right, and make changes inside editing window.
By default, you can see the Style Sheet file already selected. You can see the code inside the left window.
The Style Sheet file contains CSS for the theme. This file helps you change CSS code to alter theme appearance. On the other hand, you can select code files for changing Home Page, Header, and Footer settings.
Also, don’t forget to backup your site before you proceed with Theme Editor.
Advanced Custom CSS Codes
Fortunately, you can use the built-in Customizer option, Additional CSS to override Theme CSS without making changes to main CSS Style sheet file.
To get started, under Appearance on the left Dashboard main menu, select Customize.
After the Customizer has been loaded, click on the Additional CSS at the end of Theme options on the left side.
Now, you can enter customized CSS code to change your Theme appearance. Make sure you enter the valid code to change theme options correctly. To get started, you must know about CSS Codes and Tags before using Additional CSS feature.
Before you get started, make sure you watch this tutorial about adding Custom CSS to WordPress.
Also, you can start with above code in the image to change the appearance of your links.
6. Using WordPress
Add New Post
WordPress helps you build one-page sites, as well as create excellent Blogs for your business.
To create your first Blog post, click on the Posts on the Dashboard menu. The next page allows you to create a new post. Click on the Add New to start creating your first post.
The next page asks for the post Title, Body Text, and other Settings. Fill into text areas and hit Preview button for displaying your post. Hit Publish button once you get ready to publish the post on your site.
WordPress allows adding media before using into Posts and Pages. By clicking on the Media on the Dashboard menu, you can land on the Media Library page.
Here you can see your uploaded media. You can also select and change SEO facts for images, such as ALT text, Title, and Description.
All media you upload to WordPress reside in the Media Library. You can add, delete, and change settings for the uploaded media.
Moreover, you can use the Filter option that shows media types as well. You can select Media Types in the Filter option.
Add New Page
Like adding New Posts, you can also add new Pages. To get started, click on the Pages on the Dashboard main menu.
The next page shows a list of already created pages, as well as provides an option to create a new page.
After clicking on Add New button, fill in the blanks for a new page, such as Title, Body Text, and Image; and click on Preview or Publish at the end.
Add New Plugin
By clicking on the Plugins, you can see a list of installed plugins.
Here you can manage your plugins, such as Install, Remove, and Activate or Deactivate your plugins.
To add a new plugin, click on the Add New button at the top.
On the next page, you are presented with the WordPress Plugins Directory. Now, you can select and install new plugins now.
You can also click on the Upload Plugin button to upload your Plugin file. Next, you can download Plugin packages from the WordPress Plugins Directory.
7. Improve your WordPress Experience
Open Source community is updated with the WordPress security updates. However, to improve your site security, you need to focus on changing your WordPress settings, installing Plugins, and monitoring your site on a timely basis.
To proceed, you should start installing security plugins as a Beginner.
Word Fence helps you keep your WordPress site safe from threatening attacks. You can install Word Fence by going into Plugins page, and protect your site by building a Web Application Firewall, carry out Real-Time Monitoring, and scan your site for Malware.
Your site needs SEO boosts on a timely basis. If you blog more often, you can install SEO plugins for the ranking purposes.
We recommend installing Yoast SEO plugin. It helps you optimize your posts for Search Engines, creates Sitemaps for your WordPress site, and helps you optimize your site for the Social Media platforms.
Head to WordPress Plugins Directory, and search for the Yoast SEO. Click on the Install Now button. After installation, you can activate and use the plugin.
Optimizing Images helps you speed up your WordPress site. Image optimization enables you to decrease your page load time.
To get started, install the Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin. Head to Plugins page and search for the Smush, install and activate the plugin. This tutorial helps you learn using the Smush plugin for image optimization.
Like Image Optimization, you need to maintain your site database. The best part is, you can install a Database Optimization plugin to clear off unnecessary data from the Database, and speed up your site easily.
Install WP Optimize from the WordPress Plugins page. After installation, select WP Optimize from the left Dashboard main menu.
Next, on the next page, you can see a list of options. You can select and apply Database options, such as cleaning all post revisions, removing spam comments, and dealing with the Table data.
Fortunately, you can increase the WordPress speed. You can carry out manual settings for improving speed, or install the speed plugins for the purpose.
Proceed and head to WordPress Plugins page. Click on the Add New button, search for the WP Fastest Cache, install and activate the first plugin that appears.
After installation, select WP Fastest Cache from the Dashboard main menu. Go ahead, on the next page, you can choose options to run and improve your WordPress site speed.
Backup and Restore
A WordPress site needs backup on a timely basis. It helps you keep your site safe in case of any security breach or data loss.
To get started with WordPress Backup, we strongly recommend using the Up Draft Plus. On the Plugins page, search for the updraftplus and install the first plugin that appears.
After installation, you can select the plugin from the Settings menu. Once the plugin welcome screen appears, you can Backup or Restore your site files.
We defined step-wise knowledge to learn WordPress, from preparing for the WordPress installation to improving your WordPress site.
The first two phases, preparation and installation of the WordPress equip you with the external requirements of the WordPress. On the other hand, the next steps contain instructions about WordPress internal system and prepare you for using, managing and improving your WordPress site.
The WordPress installation requires Hosting and a Domain address in the start. Hosting and Domain cost you, while other steps build your WordPress skills without any cost.
Now, you have learned about preparing for the WordPress installation and managing your site like a Pro, I would love to hear your thoughts about WordPress installation and management. Let’s join the conversation in the comments. You can also head to WordPress Articles Directory for more in-depth tutorials.