Getting to know WordPressJanuary 17, 2020
WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms available today and it’s not hard to see why. This platform is a fantastic option for those interested in launching and managing their own sites. For starters, it’s an extremely powerful platform that is totally free to use. Since its start in 2003, its popularity has continued to grow. This resulted in WordPress becoming universally used as well. Whether you’re an entrepreneur interested in launching an e-commerce site or a blogger looking to publish some articles, getting to know WordPress is important. Let’s introduce you to the basics and build upon your knowledge from there.
As an agency, LLT is committed to using WordPress as one of the main platforms for clients. We work to design and develop custom themes for WordPress by way of a “from-scratch” UX / UI design process. As a platform with a wide market of support for non-custom themes, plugins and help resources it can be a perfect fit with someone just starting out or who lacks a decent budget. While we only focus on more complex web and development projects pertaining to integrating WordPress, the below covers some basics for those that might looking to get started on their own.
What Makes WordPress Special?
Although WordPress is a user-friendly platform, it’s important to learn its capabilities before getting started on your own project. WordPress powers over 25 percent of the new sites currently launching. Almost half of the top million websites are powered by WordPress as well. Even the NY Times and CNN are using WordPress to publish their content and reach their tremendous audiences. Long story short, if you’re looking for some next level software to power your site, WordPress is the go-to.
It’s Easy (Compared to Coding)
WordPress’s ease of use makes it appealing as well. With its simple interface, users don’t have to be coding experts to build or operate their own sites. The majority of users find that understanding the basics of this software does not even require them to take on any training. With aesthetically pleasing and easy to use interfaces, WordPress is a tool that allows users to create and operate beautiful websites on their own with ease.
It’s Perfect for Publishing
Building and maintaining an audience for your site is a piece of cake with WordPress. It makes sharing and drawing readers to your content super easy to do too. WordPress is also capable of providing top-tier formatting for anything published as well. This formatting aid helps by allowing users to craft content in a way that gives it a better chance of appearing higher in search results. Another good thing about publishing with WordPress is that visitors can subscribe to the content they like. Promoting a brand or message is facilitated as WordPress provides the platform users need to spread their messages effectively.
The WordPress Community
WordPress does not come without its challenges and with this being said, the WordPress community is always ready to support fellow users. Chances are if someone’s having trouble, someone else has likely had the same problem. With WordPress being downloaded by so many users, it’s extraordinarily rare to be the first person to experience an issue. The community shares information about their issues by publishing it, making it easy to troubleshoot most problems. This community also contains database of thousands of free open-source Themes and Plugins that is constantly growing. All of this contributes to the overall success of this platform’s existence.
The Main Dashboard of WordPress
Once you’re logged in, the first thing you’ll notice is the Dashboard. The Dashboard contains the controls that will assist you in designing, editing, organizing, and utilizing your site. Helpful data and information regarding what’s happening on your site is also made available in the Dashboard. These metrics and reports show system updates, notifications, recent activity on your site, and up-to-date news from the WordPress community and other related resources. Let’s just say you’re going to spend a lot of time working and navigating your backend using the Dashboard.
The main Dashboard screen is split up into four sections that make it rather easy to navigate.
1. Header & Toolbar Section
At the top of your screen, you’ll see the Header and Toolbar section. This section has various links and quick-links that make it easy for you to add to your site. Your system updates, warnings, and notifications are all found in the header section. Different plugins and working in different areas on your site will impact the updates you see as well. The header also displays a variety of updates, banners, announcements, notifications, warnings, and messages.
The Toolbar includes the About WordPress too. This is good to know just in case you’re looking for an in-depth overview of the platform. The Toolbar is also where you’ll find quick-links that allow you to create new posts, links and pages, add new users and plugins, view alerts related to updating the plugins and themes for your site, and review comments.
2. Main Navigation Menu
The Main Navigation Menu is found on the left side of your Dashboard. It has links to every one of the administrative functions, allowing different roles to be granted to different users. The Administrator role provides the highest level of freedom. Users that are given other roles have fewer capabilities. These other roles include Subscriber, Contributor, Author, and Editor.
3. Work Area
WordPress’s Work Area is located in the center of the admin screen. You’ll use this area as your main work area. Completing admin work and uploading images and media to your site can be done here. Also, it’s common to update and configure plugins and themes in the Work Area. This is the place you’ll create, add, edit and delete the pages making up your site as well. The majority of your site’s information is accessed here too. These are just some of the purposes your Work Area will serve and as you progress into your use of WordPress, the Work Area can focus on other purposes as well.
4. Footer Section
Your Footer section is located at the bottom of the Dashboard area. This is where you’ll find links to WordPress as well as the current WordPress software version your site is using.
Deciding to Use WordPress
WordPress is capable of handling just about anything you throw at it. And with its user-friendly interface, anyone can figure out how to use it. Understanding why WordPress has become so popular provides some insight regarding its capabilities and how easy the platform is to use. While this article covers the tip of the WordPress iceberg, it provides a good chunk of what you can expect when you choose to use WordPress as your website platform.