The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Using WordPress
In our post: How to Start a WordPress Website on Bluehost we helped beginners set up a new WordPress website from scratch in 20 minutes. We helped you purchase a hosting plan for your website through Bluehost ($2.95/month) and showed you how to install WordPress from your Bluehost account dashboard. Once WordPress was installed, you were to login to your WordPress admin dashboard and begin customizing your WordPress website.
This is where we pick up in this tutorial. We assume you’ve already purchased hosting and installed WordPress which means you’re ready to learn how to master WordPress and discover all the features that will make your website awesome!
- How to install a professionally designed theme for your WordPress webiste
- How to write your first blog post
- How to set up your core pages you should have (Home, About, Contact)
- How to create a navigation menu
- How to configure the settings of your WordPress website
- How to install plugins and the top 10 plugins your WordPress website should have
How to Use WordPress for Beginners
When you first login to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll notice the black navigation column running down the left hand side of the screen. This is where you’ll navigate back and forth between different pages and settings from the back-end of your WordPress website.
The tutorials below will walk you through each of these:
WordPress may seem complex at first because you’re overwhelmed with all the features but you’ll quickly learn that it’s user friendly and easy for beginners to learn within an hour or so of playing around.
Click through the different navigation items to get a feel for what each has. Some have drop down menus that reveal more pages like “appearance” and “settings” so hover over them to see the additional options.
Here is a tutorial I created where I build a website from scratch in 1 hour. If you already have hosting, you can skip the first few minutes and fast forward ahead to when I’ve logged into the WordPress admin dashboard.
How to Create a WordPress Website in Under 1 Hour
WordPress Video Tutorials for Beginners
How to create your first blog post
- Study SEO in order to optimize your blog posts for Google’s search engine
- Post regularly so your readers return each week or month as they expect you to have new content published
- Schedule your posts using Buffer to be published to your different social media accounts
- Include “Share Buttons” on your blog articles so they can be easily shared by your readers
How to create web pages and a navigation menu
The core pages you should create:
- Home page
- About page
- Contact page
Optional Pages to Create:
- Start here page
- Newsletter opt-in page
- Archives page of your best blog posts
- Resources page
How to install a professional website theme
- Click here to learn more about the Genesis Framework
- Search for professional themes on ThemeForest
- Visit the appearance tab, click themes, then click upload to install your own theme you’ve purchased and downloaded from a third party website like Genesis or Themeforest
What plugins you should install starting out
My Top Recommended Plugins:
- Yoast SEO: is the top plugin for optimizing your blog posts and website for search engines to help improve your ranking in Google. Watch a tutorial on YouTube for learning all their features.
- W3 Total Cache: Speed-enhancing website cache-ing plugin. Seek a YouTube tutorial though for help with all the millions of settings it contains during the set-up phase. I used a tutorial, set it up, and saw my web page load time speed up 2 seconds!
- WordFence Security: Keep your website secured from tampering and hacking. You’ll be notified immediately of any suspicious activity. WordFence can lock out people trying to log in to your website too many times or who use specific usernames as well as many other features.
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox: download and install this plugin to ensure your WordPress website is backing up to your Dropbox account. This will give you peace of mind that your website is backed up in case something ever happens.
- Askimet: important for protecting your blog from spam commenting and trackback spam
- Pretty Link Lite: cleans up links so you can remember the URL that you custom set for the destination you are trying to link out to. You can also re-direct, create, and track links from your website to see how many hits they are getting from traffic.
- SumoMe: This is an amazing resource, filled with tools to help you grow your website and your email list. There are tools to capture email addresses, increase social sharing, understand your site analytics, and more. It integrates with all the major email providers. Try out one tool or use them all it’s a great plugin.
- Google Analytics: once you’ve set up a free Google Analytics account to track your website stats, install the WordPress plugin and connect your Google Analytics account to your website so it can begin tracking visitors, page views, site speed, and many other important performance metrics.
- ConvertKit: having an email opt-in form on your website is a MUST. It will help you capture traffic and market to your readers via an email newsletter or automated email series. ConvertKit is the email marketing service I use and recommend. This plugin will place forms at the bottom of blog posts and pages so you don’t have to manually copy & paste code.
- OptinMonster: create beautifully designed opt-in forms for your email newsletter to increase the conversion rate of readers who join your email list. OptinMonster has many awesome features to help boost your email list growth. The Optinmonster plugin will connect your account to your website so your forms can be controlled from your WordPress dashboard.
What to Read Next?
- How to Set Up an Email Newsletter & Build Your Tribe of Followers
- What Emails Should You Include in Your Autoresponder Newsletter
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