Welcome to this Tutorial Guide on how you can get started with WordPress as a platform to design beautiful website or blog. This tutorial is intended for people who want to learn the basics of creating websites and those who have already familiar with the application.
As we move on from section to section you will understand the benefit of using WordPress to build your next website project.
WordPress is a free and Open Source software system used by millions of people globally to create stunning blogs and websites. It is fully customizable by the use of themes and plugins.
Kudos to the great community of developers and contributors for the constant development, WordPress has become the most popular content management system (CMS) that provides you with tons of features to build and manage your website.
You can use this CMS application to build any category of website: from a personal blog or business website to fully-featured eCommerce online store or gallery/portfolio website, the possibilities are endless. WordPress is the ideal solution to build your online presence, whether you are a newbie or you already have some techie experience. With no coding knowledge required, you have great number of plugins at your disposal that can be use to extend the functionality of your sites and create a professional, beautiful website in just a few easy steps.
In this training guide, I will provide you with information and instruction on how to use WordPress to build any type of website with ease. Topics to be cover in related blog posts are WordPress Installation, Plugins and Themes management, and Usability. You will also learn how to extend the functionality of your WordPress website and provide your visitors with feature-rich user experience.
So let’s dive in…
WordPress application is one of the most widely-used blogging platforms available today. It stores contents that allows you to create & publish webpages and it only requires a domain and a hosting package to work. Let’s unveil it in detail…
How to get Started with WordPress
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) and was created to manage blogs. It can be used to create fully operational website therefore it allows you to easily create and manage your personal blogs and websites content even if you don’t have knowledge of coding.
You’ll be wondering what is Content Management System?, don’t be, read on to find out the definition below.
Today, WordPress is the most largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world being used by millions of websites. One good thing about this software is that it is an Open Source project which can be used by anyone over the web which means you can use it for any website projects.
Here are some of the attributes offered by WordPress:
- Public and Password protected WordPress posts and pages
- Easy importing
- WordPress Installation and Upgrades
- Full WordPress theme and plugin system
- Multiple Authors
- Spam Protection
- Intuitive Text formatting.
WordPress is the preferred choice to build a professional website due to its intuitive interface, ease of use and the great number of free and paid themes and plugins. All WordPress features are fully supported on all hosting plans, so you can get started in no time and create your next successful online project.
What is Content Management System?
Content Management System (CMS) is an application used to create and manage digital contents, simply put CMS Application houses your contents like traditional filing cabinet. Content is what makes any organization stand out from the crowd, your content must be regular and well organized in order to maintain any branding possible thus rather than doing it manually. CMS are used for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Web Content Management (WCM).
An ECM is mainly used for the collaboration in any organization by integrating document management, digital asset management and records retention functionalities, and providing end users with role-based access to the organization’s digital assets. While that of WCM facilitates collaborative authoring for websites however, WCM is a public content management tool while ECM is totally built for more confidential contents to be kept secured within the organization.
Note: Digital content includes Video, Audio, Graphic Images, Text. Blog post such as this is a digital content. I hope your doubt about CMS has been clarify.
How does WordPress work?
WordPress, like any other WCM system, is dynamically driven through the use of a database with multiple tables storing all the content information and the information required to specify the website structure. You must have the knowledge to create and utilize a database to use WordPress. When we say WordPress is dynamically driven which means that information created with WordPress including blog post, pages, web structures are stored in a database.
This are common questions that comes to our mind After learning about WordPress. Where to use it? and What kind of website can I create using WordPress? So let’s move on to the section straight away.
WordPress was initial released on May 27, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, As it begin to gain momentum over the years its community got stronger with contributors and developers from all over the world, now WordPress is a robust system that can be used to create and manage any kind of website to keep it short. Here are some examples of web projects that can be develop by WordPress.
- E-commerce Websites: WordPress is really great for E-Commerce websites because of its robust structure and ability to categorize contents. With a proper choice of theme to create an E-commerce website is considered to be one of the best options available.
- Educational/Library Websites: One of the most important features of WordPress is to manage and categorize documents or other assets, though not self-sustaining WordPress is good enough to create and run a Library Website. With the use of DMS implementation as well as WordPress one can surely develop Library Websites.
- Personal/Business Websites: Whether it’s a small website containing your portfolio or a daily blog to corporate website of big firm. WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best platforms to showcase your talent as it has dedicated sections for the contents and overall easy experience.
WordPress Features that makes it stand out from other CMS Application
Due to its characteristics, it is considered to be the most popular content management system. Below are important WordPress features.
- You can create a dynamic website without any programming and design knowledge.
- WordPress is a theme based which provides you options for various open source free and paid design themes, which can be integrated easily without any designing knowledge.
- Plugins integration with WordPress extends its functionality to add new required modules.
- WordPress sites are search engine optimization (SEO) friendly, it means websites built in WordPress platform can be easily indexed in search engine.
- WordPress is Multilingual, which allow users to translate content in their language.
- It has inbuilt Media Management System which is used to manage images, music, documents, etc. and can be used with text content.
What are the Benefits of Using WordPress?
Here are the topmost 5 benefits of using WordPress to create websites:
- The software is free! How many times have you been given something for free that is fully functional and ready to use? And if you want to upscale your site a little with premium themes and plugins, you’re still going to save tons of money over what you would pay for a custom designed site.
- It’s easy to use. Seriously, If you can send an email, use Microsoft Word, or set up a Facebook account, then you can use WordPress. In other words, if you’ve already used a computer, chances are you are already skilled enough for the WordPress basics. And even better, it’s hard to mess it up. You can easily add and delete pages and posts without accidentally messing up the overall design of your site.
- You are in control. Owning your own site, and being able to make changes to it yourself, this is the ultimate in online freedom. You don’t have to rely on an expensive web designer to make changes or fix a tiny error for you whenever there is an issues. You’re in control of your site.
- WordPress has a search engine (SEO) advantages. Search engines love sites that are easy to index (WordPress is) and that have frequently updated content. That’s where blogging comes in to play. Just by running your business or personal site and communicating with your readers in a way that’s natural to you, you’ll be producing fresh, relevant content the search engines can’t wait to get a hold of.
- There’s a HUGE support community. WordPress isn’t just software, it has become a community. Some might even say a movement. In fact, WordCamp (1-3 day training sessions) have sprung up from grassroots efforts. They are informal, community-organized events put together by other WordPress users just like you. You’ll meet people of all backgrounds, ages, and nationalities at WordCamp. Plus, there are thousands of people and hundreds of resource and tutorial sites set up just to help you with your WordPress site.
By now you must have come across WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two entity.
Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
One major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s actually hosting your website or blog.
Read on to find out the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress.com, takes care of all of the hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.
The Advantage of using WordPress.com
If you’re not interested in paying for your own hosting, managing your own web server or paying someone else to handle that for you, you’ll probably want to use WordPress.com. It’s free and easy to set up and you have lots of options for customizing your site.
The Disadvantage of using WordPress.com
A few of the cons of using WordPress.com include that your domain will, by default, include “WordPress.com.” therefore your domain will look like “whiroblog.wordpress.com” if I am using my website URL as an example. instead of .com or .org depends on your choice of domain extension it will be .wordpress.com. You also can’t upload any custom themes, plugins or modify the PHP code behind your site. The entire management is done by WordPress.com.
If you want to go aboard with WordPress.com, they do offer several premium upgrades, including domain name registration (if you don’t want WordPress.com at the end of your domain name), the ability to upload videos and the option to use their premium themes.
WordPress.org on the other hand, self-host your own blog or website. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server after you have purchase a hosting or VPS plan.
Getting your WordPress site set up involves purchasing a domain name, buying a hosting or VPS plan and then installing WordPress on your web server. Most hosting companies provide instructions or services to install WordPress application for you.
The Advantage of using WordPress.org
Downloading the recent version WordPress from WordPress.org opens up more control and flexibility for your WordPress sites, but it also means more responsibility. Using a self-hosted version of WordPress means you can use your own domain name, upload and install themes and plugins, edit the code behind your site and have access to your site’s database (or files).
Most of the showcase sites you see on the WordPress site showcase are the self-hosted version of WordPress since many of them have unique functionality or a custom-made design.
The Disadvantage of using WordPress.org
The software is free to download but you still have to setup a monetary budget to purchase a domain and web hosting service. You’re responsible for build and maintaining your website therefore full management of your site rest on you which includes frequently update of plugins, themes and WordPress version.
Thanks to WordPress developers for the recent version of WordPress that comes with enable features of plugins.
Backing up your website regularly is a task you must carry out manually or with auto backup with backup plugins. Security of your website is a most task to secure your website.
Please note: If you have a tight budget and you cannot purchase a domain and web host you can use WordPress.com thereafter, you can migrate your WordPress.com site to WordPress.org when you’re financial stable to purchase a web-server.
It’s not a daunting task to create a website with WordPress, Proceeds to the next session on how to set-up WordPress in your purchase web host.