If you want to know what WordPress is and how to use it, then you can find out here.
I have been using WordPress for many years now and I enjoy using it. As you become familiar with it, I am sure you will too once you get the hang of it.
I am not a WordPress developer by any means, but I do know my way around the platform and will help anyone who needs a point in the right direction, especially beginners. Don't be afraid to ask! We all have to start somewhere.
When you start using WordPress for the first time it may seem daunting, but over time it becomes very easy to use.
Firstly, what is WordPress?
WordPress is basically a content management system which allows you to add text and images to pages or blog posts. With the use of cool plugins, you can add all kinds of widgets to enhance your website.
Secondly, WordPress is a great way for search engines to find your content. Learn how to do this here and which plugins are the best to use.
When I decided to write this blog post I thought the best way to do this would be to assume a couple of things.
- You have a domain and web hosting and want to know how to install WordPress
- WordPress is installed on your domain but you need some help setting things up
Either way, I can help you out (free advice of course).
Without duplicating the useful tutorials and guides available online showing you how to use WordPress, I have opted for a different approach. Just ask your question below. This will cut a lot of time out trying to find a solution to your problem.
If I am unsure about how to do something in WordPress I can either find out for you or point you in the direction. I wouldn't advise you on anything I didn't know what to do myself.
As I mentioned earlier, this post is aimed at beginners who need to know basic WordPress settings and functions.
The types of questions you may need to know the answers to are things like:
- How to set up BBPress making a forum
- Adding new WordPress pages or blog posts
- How to use page builders like Elementor or SiteOrigin Pagebuilder
- What is the best permalink's structure to use?
- What are the best plugins to use?
- Setting the frontpage as the blog or a specific page
- How to install Wordfence security
- Changing your site from http to https
- How to install a theme
- Setting up Google Analytics for WordPress
- How does WordPress work in general?
The list goes on.
There are many different settings in WordPress and if you are stuck trying to use one, please feel free to ask below in the comments section or contact me via email.
Moving onto plugins now. Plugins add additional functionality to WordPress. Some are very popular and really can enhance your website.
Plugins are created by developers and although really useful, if they are not kept up-to-date then they may not be compatible with the latest version of WP. Make sure the ones you choose are up-to-date.
Which are the best WordPress plugins?
Here is a list of the free plugins I use and consider some of the best to install - these can all be found in the plugin repository within WordPress:
- GA Google Analytics - Connects your website to Google Analytics
- Wordfence - Security and firewall for your website
- SiteOrigin Page Builder - Create page rows and columns for widgets
- Yoast SEO - Great plugin for basic SEO to improve your search rankings, sitemap and more
- Akismet - Anti-spam for comments
- LiteSpeed - Cache plugin to make your website load faster
- WP Maintenance Mode - Place your website in maintenance for when setting it up
- Meta Slider - Great slider plugin to showcase your images
- YotuWP - Best YouTube plugin which displays playlists or channels
- TablePress - Perfect for adding tables to your pages or posts
- Classic Editor - This reverts the editor to an easy to use one
- Cerber Security - Another very good security, anti-spam and firewall plugin
- Elementor - Page builder and add content blocks to pages (it's very good)
- All-In-One Migration - Copy and move a website from one hosting to another
WordPress has thousands of free and premium plugins to choose from to enhance your website, my advice is read the reviews and make sure they are compatible with your version of WordPress. Some plugins are no longer supported which may cause a security risk to your website.
If you need a hand installing a plugin and unsure what to do, feel free to ask.
General WordPress Settings
When you first install WordPress there are a few settings and actions that I would like to recommend. Below are a few quick tips.
Firstly, the best permalinks structure for SEO friendly URL's is to use "Postname".
The permalinks setting can be found in the left-hand side menu under Settings, then Permalinks. Check Post name, then hit Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
Also on the Settings menu, navigate to General. This is where you can change the title and tagline of your website.
When WordPress is first installed it creates a sample page and sample post. It is wise to delete these. Navigate to Pages and then All Pages. Hover over the sample page and hit bin.
One of the more common questions is how to set the front page to either blog posts or a specific page. If you would like your visitors to view your blog posts (like this website) on the homepage follow these instructions.
From the left hand side menu navigate to: Settings, Reading Settings.
The top option (Your homepage displays) is where you select the latest posts or a specific page to be the homepage.
Another key setting is to make your website secure (display the padlock in browsers). I recommend using a plugin called Really Simple SSL to assist with this. You need to make sure you have an SLL certificate installed on your domain for this to work correctly.
I use Krystal to host my websites and they offer free Let's Encrypt certificates. (Contact me for further details).
So, wrapping up, the main aim of this post is for WP beginners to request free advice on basic settings and how to use WordPress.
As mentioned earlier, you are very welcome to ask for help here.
All the best with your WordPress website or blog project.