I love WordPress; I really do. However, when I first started using WordPress after years of Joomla! websites building I found it very hard to start building my first WordPress site.
I was looking all over the internet, including the main WordPress.org site to find out all the nuts and bolts that you can use.
You might be just as confused as I was with all these new terminologies: Posts, Pages, Media, Comments, Themes, Widgets, Plugins, Tags, Tools, Settings, etc.
A WordPress Manual
So I started with a domain name and some WordPress hosting package to try and figure out all this WordPress Mumbo Jumbo.
Installing WordPress is easy, especially if you have a hosting provider who helps you out with some scripting tools. Installation is really a 5-minute exercise with the tools I used called Softaculous App Installer.
So I got this WordPress based website up and running, now what? Where do I start building my site, getting the settings right and which settings are those I need to change and how?
Diving into WordPress Dashboard
The first thing you see when you login to your WordPress website is the Dashboard, a collection of menu items that you need to learn more about.
When you first see the dashboard you won't see the logic of the setup. There really is a logical build-up of the menu items. but you only see it after working with it for a longer period.
Just to give you an idea, the first part of the dashboard is all about the content and interaction with others on your website / blog.
Posts are new articles you can write. Media is used for images and other document to show in you posts and pages.
Links are for the websites you want to link out to and pages are the more static elements of content on your site.
Comments are a main part of your conversations with your visitors, that includes comment spam which I don't like.
The second part of the dashboard contains all the settings and possible features you need to configure your site and to set the layout, create users (if you want to) , some tools and most importantly the settings.
Getting WordPress Settings Right
There are a lot of settings in WordPress that you can configure to get the most out of your WordPress website. Some of them are good right from the start, and others are not. You can do serious harm to your site if you get this stuff wrong! I know I did almost everything wrong the first time and I really are not a newbie when it comes to computers.
I was a newbie on using WordPress. After some time of creating page after page on my new site I still did not see any progression in the number of visitors to my site. So I started to investigate what was wrong, what did I do wrong and what things did I needed to change?
I did follow some Online WordPress Training and found out what was really off on my website. Starting with the Privacy option under Settings, I blocked all search engines from indexing my site :-(. My biggest mistake so far!
Once that was corrected, I changed the Permalinks option from default to /%postname%/. And finally got the big idea behind Categories and Tags and how to use them.
I also learned the differences between Posts and Pages and lots, lots more.
Things like what WordPress plugins to use and which ones you need to stay away from. How to find the best WordPress Themes for your website and how to maintain WordPress for smooth sailing. Upgrading the Core and Plugins and, very important, how to back up the site, how to restore it and how to fight of hackers.
Now I know a lot more than I first started out with WordPress and I decided to share some of that basic knowledge. This site is here to get you started with some basics of WordPress and how to do the real stuff right.
As you can see, this WordPress site is done the right way, but I could not have come this far without that Online WordPress Training. The first site I created runs very well, and I have had not problems with it after the setup was done right.
WordPress Website Hosting
I mentioned before that I started with a domain name and some WordPress hosting. I soon found out that the first party where I hosted my website was indeed very cheap, but the performance of the site was slow and sometimes very sluggish.
I installed a caching plugin to speed thing up and fine-tuned the theme I used as well as the images on my site. No luck after that, still the site did not have the performance I wanted. Which is also not good if you want to get higher rankings in the search engines.
So I decided to take the big scary step of moving to a new hosting provider. A friend of mine suggested to take a look at GreenGeeks.com. The price was just a little higher than the one I used at that time, and his suggestion was to opt-in for a longer time period to bring the monthly cost down.
The new setup and the move of the site was real easy and I must admit that I was, and still am very pleased with this new hosting. The site is fast, has almost no downtime, and the information from GreenGeeks on upcoming server upgrades that might affect the site are very clear.
So the combination of training and good hosting has provided me with the best options that I need to run my WordPress website.
On this site, now moved to an even faster WordPress hosting at Siteground.com, I will share my basic knowledge and experience on WordPress with you. That should get you started the right way, and have your site done to attract the right visitors. Hopefully a lot sooner then my WordPress website did.