WordPress Quickstart: Essential Dashboard Walkthrough | Maddy Osman | Skillshare

WordPress Quickstart: Essential Dashboard Walkthrough

Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith

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7 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Start Here!

    • 2. #1 Why WordPress?

    • 3. #2 Becoming Familiar with WordPress Terms & The Dashboard

    • 4. #3 Customizing WordPress Appearance

    • 5. #4 The Most Important Settings to Configure NOW

    • 6. #5 WordPress Plugins You NEED

    • 7. Conclusion & Next Steps


About This Class

If you're an intermediate/advanced user of WordPress, this is not the class for you

If you're considering using WordPress for your blog or business and are super new to the technology, you're the person who I created this class for.

We'll walk through:

  • Why WordPress? 
  • Basic WordPress terminology
  • Basics regarding editing appearance
  • Basic settings to configure from the onset
  • Top plugins to add functionality to your WordPress website

It would be helpful to have a WordPress website in order to follow along but isn't necessary. You can download my slides and resources below:

Download slides and resources

Why I'm qualified to teach this class: I'm very deeply involved in the WordPress community: writing for the #2 WordPress blog (WPMU DEV), being an organizer/speaker/attendee at multiple WordCamp events, and using the content management system for clients and my own projects!


1. Start Here!: high skill share. My name is Maddie Azman, and you might have seen some of my other classes on the platform before. One of the most popular as of this recording is how did the right it could guess? Block Post. And that class was based on a talk I gave at word Camp Denver, which got a lot of really positive feedback balls at that event. And I'm here. And I thought that maybe it would make sense to kind of combined the topic of blogging more so with the topic of WordPress. Because WordPress is one of my favorite tools for, you know, not only building my business, but also for helping others to build. There's so I really hope that this talk will help you if you were kind of new to the idea of, um, you know, finding your home online if you've never made a website before, um, if you have tried, maybe and want to get a little bit better at it, So this class is very much intended for a beginner audience. You're not gonna get much of anything out of it if you have a lot of experience with WordPress, the real point of me making this class is to kind of help people decide whether or not WordPress is the best platform for them for having a new website and also to kind of walk you through these beginning steps to get it right. Teoh, to understand it s so that you're not just looking at that dashboard and getting all confused. So at any rate, I I anticipate that there will be lots of questions. I'm happy to answer those as long as you post temas a discussion in the skill share class here and then I'll also be creating a list of resource is for you to download If you are new to WordPress at the end of this, um, presentation. Or I guess it will be, you know, in the skill share class about information. So without further do, um, I guess we'll go ahead and get started. 2. #1 Why WordPress?: Hey, guys. So again, this is going to be a very introductory course on WordPress for specifically ah, blogging audience. Although if you're a solo preneurs or a small business owner, I think that you'll get Justus much from this class. If you're new to WordPress on and then what will be specifically covering throughout the class, um, will be just how to use the WordPress dashboard basically understanding that different tabs on the right hand side. And also I'll be going through some of my favorite plug ins, some that are almost, um, fundamental. Teoh. Finding success with WordPress is will be things that pretty much everybody uses, whether they're a beginner or advanced person. Teoh, unlike additional functionality from this content management system. So what makes me qualified to teach this class? First of all, I'm a total WordPress nerd, and I taught myself Web design at age 11. I know it seems really strange. I'm just didn't really have that many other have uses. A child never got into sports or anything like that. So that's kind of REM I information on the topic or my expertise rather stems from, um, wordpress actually didn't learn about until college. So, you know, almost 10 years later, and it really changed my life. I initially learned it for a client project because I worked at my school's Department of Student Life, the marketing and design division of that, and we were always kind of experimenting with different ways. Teoh to develop websites so that our clients, which were usually students, you know, they might have been faculty or staff. A swell could update them on their own. And so that's what I really love about WordPress is the fact that you can, you condone, get a lot of use out of it. Whether your Web developer, not all you have to do to get the most out of it, is to understand how it works. And so that's my goal for you in this class. So let's talk a little bit about WordPress, just in a ideal logical sense. I guess why I love WordPress and why I would pick it over any other content management system or Web design. You know, Web page building software is first of all, the fact that it's open source, and what this really means is the fact that people can contribute to it. People can make it better. It's not run by a corporation, necessarily. I mean, technically, it's developed by a company called Automatic. But their goal is to allow free and open access to WordPress, no matter what Web host you choose, no matter what country air from, and the fact that it's open source means that we can all contribute to it. And, you know, while someone like me personally probably doesn't have the super in depth Web development knowledge to actually make it better, it's it's what it is, is it inspires this idea of community. And so that's That's another reason why I really love WordPress. It brings a lot of great, smart, talented, creative people together, and I think what you'll find is if you if you choose this content management system for your own purposes, you'll find that a lot of people are very willing to help you, and not necessarily for monetary gain, but just because they want more people to use it to. So you might be wondering, what are some of the other popular content management systems that somebody might use, um, Weebly and Wix, or to really popular ones that you might have heard of just because they're advertised and really created for a more beginner audience. Somebody who doesn't know what designed somebody who doesn't know cold at all. Um and so I understand that on right here you'll notice on my little side here that I talk about dragon drop customization. So, wordpress, it actually doesn't necessarily have that functionality. Unless you were to use a page builder plug in and I'll talk a little bit more about those later because they really can be helpful for somebody who, um is very familiar with code to actually be able to design on WordPress. But the way that a website like Wicks or Weebly deploys that functionality, um, creates what you would call code bloat, which basically means that all the files that make up your website are a little bit bigger . And the latest trend in Web design and in I c e o. Is that you want to have a very quickly loading website and the more code blow you have, the harder it's gonna be for your website toe load quickly. And the more likely it is that somebody's gonna hate your page, get really frustrated that it's not loading quickly and then leave, especially on mobile devices. Eso that's another really great thing about WordPress is the fact that it certainly depends on what's known as the theme. So it's basically the design that you choose for your WordPress website, which you can code on your own. Or you could buy one. There's also plenty of free ones, Um, but if if you're using a site like works agreeably, usually they don't have that functionality necessarily baked in and even if they dio lives a lot to be desired. So another thing that is really cool about WordPress is this'll idea of ownership. You can kind of take it with you wherever you go. Whereas a website like Wix Weebly or another popular oneness squarespace, it kind of has to exist on their server. There are exceptions to that rule. In certain cases, I think specifically with something like Weebly, where you could you could create a wick site on a different Web post, but especially with something like Squarespace, if you're not using their hosting than if you decide that you want to use a different Web hosts, you would have Teoh translate that squarespace site into a WordPress site or into, You know, whatever different form that you're going to use. So where impresses great because it's so portable is it's pretty simple to move a WordPress website from one place to another. Many hosts. Many Web posts will actually do this for you, some of them for a fee. But for my favorite Web host, which is site ground, they'll actually do it totally for free. So that is good to know. They include, I think, like one per plan, something like that. Um, so the idea of portability is really cool. And the other thing about WordPress is that there? Because perhaps it is open source, but people are always contributing to it. People are always making a batter. There's constantly new version releases coming out, which means that WordPress, even though as of this recording, it's like 17 years old every year and every month. Really, it gets better because people who are interested in the community or who are on that, you know, Dove team, that's a part of WordPress. They're all just always focused on making it better. So these are important things to keep in mind when considering WordPress. It's important to also note that there's a difference between wordpress dot org's and wordpress dot com. So this is something that confuses a lot of people who are new to the concept, because wordpress dot org's is pretty much what I've been referring to you so far. And the part of WordPress that I specifically would advocate for wordpress dot warg is the self hosted version of WordPress, which means that you can install it on your own server. You can, you know most Web hosts will let you install it with one click what they refer to his one click. It's probably more like three. But either way, um, it's It's this portable version of WordPress that you have essentially complete control over. So then we also have wordpress dot com, which is where you would create an account on wordpress dot com, and it would be your name dot wordpress dot com. You can you can certainly customize it with a domain. But the idea behind wordpress dot com Excuse me is basically that they're kind of like doing everything for you. They're kind of like taking care of all the back and stuff. Um, and they're creating an experience that's easy for them to deploy. It doesn't give you a lot of customization options. Granted, that's changed in the past year, where some of this information this slide might not be exactly correct anymore. But honestly, it's it's not really worth looking into because it is limited and functionality when compared to dot work, even with recent changes that they've gone through. So, for example, as you can see on this diagram here, wordpress dot warg will let you customize any aspect of your theme. You know, should you choose to do that, Should you have the knowledge to do that? Or should you grant a Web developer or someone like that the ability to do that? Whereas where press dot com is a little bit more limited? I think they've changed this aspect of it recently, where you can do, um, more themes. But I think it's still the case where if it's not in WordPress, his own theme repository, then you can't do it. You can't do like paid themes on wordpress dot com, which really limit, See, because as freedoms are totally fine. But you have to consider the fact that almost everyone who's using a free theme, there's somebody else is using it to. There's a lot of other people, so it's hard to create. A website that you can really be may be proud. Not proud of is what I'm looking for, but something that really distinguishes you as a blogger as a business is the sole Oprah Nure. What have you? Another thing that is different between wordpress dot com and dot org's. You can't use all the plug ins available. So if you're unfamiliar with the concept of plug ins, plug ins are, um, basically pieces of code that you can use without knowing code, which is what's so great about them that you can add to your WordPress installation. Things like adding a contact form. Things like adding email papa boxes. You know, things that if you were Web developer, you could probably code those without too much difficulty. But if you're not, it's really nice to be able to kind of outsource that test to the plug ins, and they do so much more stuff. We'll be talking about those more later, but, um, with regards to themes again, that's basically like the design of your site. It's what it looks like. It's how it's all laid out, the colors, the funds, you know, where your black post show up and things like that. So I wanted Teoh continue this conversation here. And, um, reiterate the fact that we're press that come is free. So for money, it makes sense is a good place to start. But what I always say is, if you're serious about your business or your black or whatever, and in granted, when you're just starting something new, it's hard. Teoh justify spending a lot of money on it, but it really does pay off to go to wordpress dot org's instead and go with a Web posts were, Yeah, you're gonna have to pay for your hosting. It's probably going to be at least 50 bucks for the year paid upfront. You're probably gonna have to pay for a domain name. Which, as you could see on the, um, little screenshot here, could be, you know, 12 to 17 bucks a year. All this stuff costs money, but it really shows that you're invested in what you're trying to build, and I think that rubs off on people. If you're using a wordpress dot com. Say it. Even if you were to use a custom domain or, you know, whatever it's, it's still kind of shows that it's amateur. That's literally the best way that I can put it. So again, that's an important consideration. Finally, another thing I want to touch on. And certainly it's not the be all and end all of everything that I have to say about wordpress dot com. Bruces WordPress Tout work is this idea that you are limited in in terms of like ad revenue that you can bring in on your wordpress dot com set. First of all, you have to get approved. For a second of all. You have to split the revenue with Automatic, the parent company of WordPress. And so if you're planning on making a blogger business or if you just want your business online and you want to maybe have some paid jobs or something like that, uh, you really can't do it on wordpress dot com. Even if you get in, you still have to share. You have to have split the pot. So to me, that's definitely not ideal. So with that, we're gonna end it here and next. I'm gonna talk about some other concepts to be aware 3. #2 Becoming Familiar with WordPress Terms & The Dashboard: So in order to get the most out of WordPress, it helps to have an understanding of the terminology that they use. And in some cases, this isn't just a WordPress specific thing, but just important in terms of when you're going through the dashboard and trying to make sense of it and trying to understand what different things mean. So, anyways, the first concept I want to introduce to you here is the idea of posts versus pages. So Post just referred Teoh individual topics that, um, you know, are really fundamentally connected to the blogging functionality of WordPress. So you know any blag you write would essentially be categorized as a post. I have included an example here I wrote a guide years ago about how to get into Lollapalooza Chicago Festival for free. And if you want to see a it's pretty informative. Goto Urban Cheap best dot com and then which is an old Bachmann and then pages are more of what you would consider to be top level menu navigation options. So this is things like a home page, your about page. If it's ah, business black and maybe your service pages, your contact page your blogged. All these things should lead Teoh certain top level pages of importance, whereas posts are, you know, you might publish a new one every week, so you wouldn't put that in your menu. Necessarily. Maybe you do. It's totally up to you. But that's the idea between the categorization of these two things. The other thing about posts is that every WordPress blag has what's referred to as an RSS feed. So if you were Teoh, uh, if someone were to subscribe to your black using a tool like Feed Lee, which just aggregate, it's new content as it's published. If your blog's aren't categorized his post, they're not going to show up in that RSS feed. So it's important to keep that in mind that it's not just for your own internal content organization purposes. It's really for the people who are using your blag as a subscriber. For example, um, another consideration is if you were to be syndicating content, which is basically allowing other people to publish your content on their site as as a syndicated piece of content, it would have to show up in the RSS feed for that to work so really That's the main difference between posts and pages. For all practical purposes, the really the same thing in terms of what you'll actually see on the dashboard. I can show you that really quick here. So this is just one of my WordPress sites, and as you concede, uh, the dash for it might looks really messy, but, um, a Z can see on this left hand sidebar. I think I called it right before. It's because I'm directionally challenged. But anyways, on this left handed bar here, you see post here and you're given a couple different options. And as you can see here, I just have individual posts that you can go into and I'll talk all about you know what to do when you get here later. But if you go to pages more or less looks like the same thing like these air, the titles air shorter for sure. But, uh, you would you would click into them and you would see the exact same thing once you get into them and it's loading really slow, so we're going to go back to the slides. So that's post versus pages. I'm gonna move on here and This is something that you got just a brief taste of that I'm going to show you and I don't know, it just happened. So it's almost not worth bringing this up yet, But I'm going Teoh. So when you're looking at things here and let's just say that you wanted to, for example, put them all into the trash So you would click this top button here and then you would go to this bulk actions, little drop down bar here and then you'd say, moved to trash click that apply. You can also, you know, say, if there's specific things about it, like the date this is ah, plugging called yos. That house with S E O. So you could say, like any of my posts that don't have a focus keyword. Maybe I don't want those, um, so that's like the bulk action bulk at it way to do stuff. But another thing that's really useful to me is under each page or post. You have this quick added functionality. So again, it's just under the page title. In this little editing toolbar area, you can change the title. The slug is just the u. R L where the pager post lives. You can change the publishing day like see, you published two things at the same time and you want it back. Date one. So it looks like you really published in a week before it. I'd be useful. Um, say that you're editing something that somebody else has created. But you want to make sure that you use the right author on that. That's how you do that. You can pass her, protect it. You can say if there's a parent like all these different things, you can even change whether it's published or draft. So that's something to keep in mind, especially if you make a big change on your WordPress website. And it's something that's gonna affect all your pages, all your posts, both of them, And you don't wanna have to, like, click in, wait for the page to load to finally make that change. So I don't want toe stick on that too much. I just want to make you aware of that functionality for when you have to make quick edits but aren't necessarily to the content. But it's more Teoh like, kind of like the pages. Data related data And then another thing that's important to be aware of, especially from a blagging functionality, is this idea of categories. So categories, um mostly referred to post versus pages. I think maybe they Onley refer to that. I don't. So this is a page right here, and I don't see any area toe ad categories. So let's go to post really quick so I can show you what that looks like. So and I'll familiarize you some of this other stuff too. But as you can see on the right hand side here, which is where you kind of categorizing ahead tags I never dio you can at the feature image , which is not Let me show you in this little thing right now. But, um, and you can change the published state in the date and stuff, just like what I just showed you on that little editor tool. This is how you do it if you were in the actual post. But as you can see here, there's a whole area devoted to categories, and you can Adam here you can customize them. You can even see if there's a parent category like if you were safer, this site. That's all about travel. So maybe the parent categories, countries and then maybe the child category is South America or something like that. So categories are important because they help you to break content up. In some cases, they can even be the way that you categorize your menu. If you are a blogger, this is gonna be more relevant to you. So here's my urban she Bess. I I honestly barely update this, so it's not as good as it could be. But I still see here in my menu. I've used the categories as my menu navigation, but that's like I said, it's something that's probably more relevant to bloggers than like businesses. Of course, it's all up to you. One more thing I'll touch on right now. You know, I should probably show you how to add categories. You can Adam on the individual posts, but you can also add them under the post category here and then clicking on categories. And then you'll see the same thing that I've taken a screenshot of here, and you can give the category name. Give it a slug. That's just the Earl of where you would find it. and you want it to be descriptive of the element from a Nest CEO perspective. But that's another talk. He can check out my S CEO for bloggers and solo preneurs talk Teoh. Learn more about that, then you can add it Them. But I was will go into understanding user roles because that's another really important element of specifically a, um, bloggers use of a WordPress site or anyone who works with a Web designer. Anyone who works with an editor, someone some situation where you're using WordPress. But it's not just you who needs access to up, so to get to users, what you'll dio is this is annoying me. Okay, you'll go to your WordPress dashboard and you'll look for this users button right here. You can click on that, and then once you're in, you could see all the different users. And as you can see here, this is kind of an interesting situation because it's an e commerce site. So it also has an additional user role here, which is customer. But you can ignore that for now, but you'll see we have, like, administered er contributor author, and then you would cook this. Add new button to actually add these people if they're not already users, and that gives you a couple options. Um, I'm gonna just move that up for a second Seacon cm. It also has this button right here, which gives you Roland actually spitting out all these other ones that I've never seen before. But they're all just based on plug ins that I use. If you're curious, the ones that you need to be most concerned with are the ones that I've listed here, which are subscriber contributor, author, editor and administrator. Some websites also have what's called a super administrator, and that's if they have, um, multiple websites on the same domain name. So maybe it's like shop dot your website dot com blood dot your website dot com. And they might have all these independent WordPress sites that kind of work together but also have their own distinct entity. And it was something that you don't necessarily need to know something I'm just telling you . So subscriber is really the most basic role. It's somebody who can receive email updates about your content again. This is based on that concept of the RSS feed. When a new Post shows up in that RSS feed, then they'll get an email about it, and we'll be able to read it. Um, this is something that I actually don't use on my WordPress websites, because I use lead pages and mail chimp forms and stuff like that to get subscribers directly into my email tool, which is, he wishes mail chimp. But you might use it if you don't want to be trust about that right now that it's kind of an easier way to manage it, especially if you're not super familiar with digital marketing coding and all that stuff. Granted, there are plug ins that can help you if you don't. I'm just saying I don't use it. You might want to use it. It's up to you. A contributor is it's somebody who would contribute content to your site, so maybe they would be right in blog's and stuff, but they would have very minimal control. What happens is if you look at on the post page, which will go back to here. Um, if we're looking on this page, they're published state right here, just like top level or top right hand corner thing. Usually, this says Publish. If you haven't published it, yeah, this is update now because it's already published. But for somebody who's a contributor, it would say, Submit for review, which means that they don't have the power to publish, which is really good if you are the admin of the site, if you're the person who's running the science and if you're letting people directly and put their content into WordPress, but you don't want them Teoh to publish it, whether accidentally or you know just without your permission, like maybe you want to check it before you do that. Um, so that's basically what a contributor. Is it somebody who can who has access to your WordPress so that you don't have Teoh? You know, put their content in yourself. Say, save you that sub, but they can't publish it, And author, I'm pretty sure can publish. But they can on Li, the only have access to their own content. So the difference between that man and editor is an editor would have access to other people's content, and they can published or unpublished they can change it. Authors and editors also have permissions to add images. Where is a contributor doesn't have that permission. So keep that in mind when it comes to whatever black content that you'll be creating on your WordPress website because you know that's another stuff that you might have to take. If somebody is submitting articles with images and so annoying, you know it's it's easier to just have them do it. So you have to keep that in mind when assigning user rules. The beautiful thing is you can change these rules if you are an admin. So an admin has total rights over the whole entire website. Not just content, not just media, but they can also change the structure of the state. They can add new plug ins. They can add new themes. They can edit themes or plug in files. Eso That's what role you would want to have as the person who is creating this website. And that's what role will be automatically created for you if you have a partner or somebody that you trust or a Web developer would also need this level of access in order to change, you know, parts of your themes or whatever. That's what you would use that role for, so hopefully that helps you to understand how to be creating users toe help with different aspects of your WordPress website and where those users would fall in terms of roles. So I'm gonna talk a little bit more about customizing your WordPress websites appearance next, so I will look forward to seeing you in the next lesson. 4. #3 Customizing WordPress Appearance: so fully customizing. WordPress is definitely outside of the scope of this class. It's something that is little are a little bit of, you know, background knowledge. But what I want to do today is just familiarize you with how you would go about doing that , not necessarily showing you how exactly to customize your own WordPress upset but showing you where you would do that and how to kind of approach it. So the first concept I want to talk about is the what you see is what you get. That's what that acronym stands for. Editor. You've already been exposed to this. If you watched the lesson before this because it's exactly what you would see when you're creating a new post or page, the page wouldn't have the categories tag, but other than that, they're pretty much exactly the same thing. So what you see is what you get basically means that if you'll notice this visual tab right here close to that publishing box, the visual tab lets you know that whatever you're typing, their uh, what you see is what you get. So if you bold something, if you italicize something, if you put in a link. If you put in bullets, you'll be able to see exactly what that's gonna look like when you publish saved for any, like weird theme issues you might have or custom uh, CSS Cody might have used, for example, but more or less exactly what you type here is exactly what's gonna publish. You'll notice there's also a text tab at the top of this editor rocks and in the text tab you can actually add in custom coat. So that would be something, um, that you would use, obviously if you knew code. Um, there are few circumstances that I can think of where you need to use that text over that visual tab. But just know that there there one thing that it's important to note as of this period in time is the fact that WordPress is coming up with a new editor where you'll actually be able to use this one. To You would have Teoh River between the two, but it's called Gutenberg, and I will make sure to include a resource on that at the end of this class, so you can learn a little bit more about it because it's not released yet, but it will become what's called a core update, something that comes with WordPress, something that you wouldn't necessarily have to download a plug and for So it's important to be aware of that because you'll be exposed to it in the near future. And the idea behind Gutenberg is just to make it a little bit easier to create different kinds of content without a coding knowledge. A lot of people in the WordPress community are live. Ah, crazy about it. They're, you know, on either side, the other loving Jorge that I think most people hate it right now because it represents something that would change, um wordpress so fundamentally. But the fact of the matter is, you can use either one, so it doesn't really matter. But as you can see, um, you can easily add different text decorations, bullets numbered lists. You can change linemen. You can add blinks. You can add media from here, so it's it's very user friendly to use. My recommendation to you would be to just kind of jump in and use it, and you'll be able to discover eyes. You're using it, how it's really not that much different than save Microsoft Word or Google Docks. So let's talk about published states for a minute. And, um, you would see that under that publish box in the top right hand corner here, So there's a couple to choose from. Draft is just exactly what it sounds like. You're working on something. It's not completely done yet, but you want to save it. So you do that here. Pending review is something that somebody would use if there are a lot of authors on their WordPress site and, um, you know, if they have sort of an editorial process where they want to mark that they're reviewing it . But maybe it's not ready yet. You know, maybe it's still in those editorial stages, and you can customize these published states depending on different plug ins used, but something to look into more. If you have multiple authors and if you want Teoh. Unlike that functionality of WordPress, um, we also reviewer submit for review, which, like they said, is only going to show up if you're a contributor to our website. Otherwise, it'll just say publish, which is this last one here, or save his draft or update if you've already published it, injured working on some edits and then you want update it. So published A just means that it's out there in the world. People can see it. That said, You can change, um, the visibility to which is interesting where you can say even if it's published, for example, you can make it password protected is really easy to dio. You could also make it private. So like, say, for example, if you were using WordPress and you were creating like an online journal, so what you could do is you could publish everything as a private article and then because you're lobbed in, you can see them as if they were published, you know, publicly. But because it's listed as private, then as soon as you walk out, you wouldn't be able to see those things. So that's all interesting to keep in mind. Let's talk next about this aspect of appearance, which is just the menu. So again, I've showed you one. This is my menu on my lifestyle blogger Urban. She pass, and, um, this is on my, um website, which is called the dash blocks with dot com. So every site has a menu, and you would get to that by going under the appearance tub and then menu menus, and it gives you all sorts of different options. First of all, you have to pick which menu you want to edit in. This will all depend on the theme use or the custom code. You use whatever, so usually also like a header or like a main menu. You'll probably see a footer menu. And then most things also have, like a social menu. So all your social icons and stuff like that, and editing it here makes it really dynamic. So whenever you want to change around menu items instead of having to Boston to the code, all you have to do is drag and drop from your options here. So you'll see this item here. Pages, posts, projects. I don't even know that US custom links. So like, say, for example, if I wanted to link from, like this website to this website that I would use custom links for that. You can also add categories which I told you already used on my black site because I made the most sense for that sigh. It, um, we have posts and pages again up here so you could just pick which ones that you want to use. Um, and it will show you automatically the most recent ones. But you could go to view all to see all of them or for if whatever reason, it's not coming up. You could also search for specific pages. It's the same thing on posts. So say you had a use of black content that's like one of your best ones ever. Maybe you want to put that in your menu. It's up to you. But basically what you do is you just click the little check box X to it. You say Add to menu and then you'll see a come up at the bottom here and you can click on that. You can change the name off the menu items. So you know this is probably too long for a menu. I might just say Solo travel guide or something like that. You can move it by clicking these. You can also drag and drop. Move it, and you would just make sure to click save after that. This is also an interesting menu item option. Um, that just says Whenever you create a new page, it'll automatically add these new top level pages to the menu. Um, and top level is again referring to this parent child relationship, which you'll hear about a lot with regards to different aspects of WordPress. So the parent is kind of like top level child is like a subcategory. You know, it's it's part of that topic, but it's not all that topic. So say, for example, you had a page and you said it was a child of this other page than if you click to this button here, this automatically add new top level pages to this menu, then it wouldn't get added because it's not a top level page. But if it was, you know you added a new ah shop, blood contact. Whatever thing that could be kind of nice. Um, you probably either way want to be coming into this appearances tab whenever you have a new page that you want to add anyway, because you probably want to put it. You know, in a certain part, off the menu, like, you know, maybe you want to move it in the middle. Whatever. Um, so just keep that in mind, but it's interesting to know that WordPress has that functionality built in. So what do we have here next? Went through money to now you have widgets. Widgets are kind of an interesting, almost plug and like type functionality of WordPress. In some cases, you would download a plug in to get a certain widget. So they do have a relationship, but they are different. Um, widgets are basically you would use them, as you can see in this specific screenshot, Um, they're often times used in, like a sidebar future of your WordPress theme. So say, for example, you have a blog's sidebar. And actually, I don't know if this website has that functionality or not. Let's look at this one. Um, so save a blogged sidebars You can see here The widgets that I used in this particular sidebar include an email sign up for him, my social share buttons. There's like a little author bile that populates based on the post. It also has featured posts to get people to look at them than it has an ad there, too. So those are just some examples that you could use widgets for you. Find a under appearance and then widgets and like, the menu that we just talked about, You just drag and drop them in. And you can, you can add, you know, whatever specific things that you need, Teoh to these widgets, customize them accordingly. The type of widgets you have are going to be a function of your theme, Andrew. Plug ins. So my suggestion to you is to go through and look at them. If your theme lets you to lets you, um, you know, populate the theme your website with, like, a sample set of data like a sample, um, you know, mark up of how it should look. Then that's ideal, because then you can just kind of play around with it from there. Another thing that you commonly see customizable with witches is your footer. Sometimes your header. It really just depends. Some of them will let you make a custom sidebar, but again, we're getting kind of into more specific uses of this functionality, and I don't want to confuse you. I just want to make you aware that this is something that you can customize. Um, Sybers footers sometimes how does so? That's widgets. So here's where it gets a little bit more complicated. And here's where I'm probably not gonna be. A helpful is you'd want me to be. And that's this idea of customizing your theme. There are essentially two places that you can do this. The 1st 1 is, um, under appearance and you go to customize. And some people who make themes have been ignoring. What's the customizers? What you'll hear this referred Teoh, and it's it has all these different tabs changing The color is, you know, changing what displays on the home page changing the site identity, which is like your logo and stuff. And what's beautiful about this thing is it really lays it out well for people who don't know anything about code, it gives you options to add code to, if you do know it, and you can pretty much customize your entire WordPress seem within this little dashboard area here, most developers have gotten a lot better at making this easier to use for the average person, not Onley dealing with the bare minimum stuff that side, and that's way quicker than you probably want me to go over it, but I just I can't focus on it for the entirety of this talk, because it's just such a complicated thing on its own that it's really better for you to just go in and play around with it yourself. Here's the advanced way to customize it them. So you go to appearance and then editor here, and you'll see it automatically defaults to style that CIA such see us us, which is the basis of all the sort of design aspects of your website. But you can also, as you can see here, you could have it the foot or the hunter, the index. And this is stuff you really should not touch unless you know what you're doing. So this is where, for example, if you're working with a Web developer, this is where they would be working. Editing CSS. There are some things you could probably do on your own, and I'll include links to some very beginner post that I've created to help you to do this very thing. Um, for for this you would go to appearance and edit CSS again. CSS is like your thoughts, your colors. In many cases, it's the way that your website is displayed. A PSA structure of it. This is all the sort of things that make it yours. It's it's what makes Ah, um you know, your branding, for example. So if you click this edit CSS, it goes back to the customizer. As you can see here, I can just click that arrow and go back to the customizer. But you can add in your CSS code here very nicely. Um, you again, you do. You do want to know what you're doing, but you can't break this much stuff here, which is nice. So if there are certain styles you want to change, it's better to go here than the editor I just showed you and I will definitely give you some more. Resource is about this. But if you know anything basic about CSS, the one thing that I would recommend doing here and this is kind of not a best practice, but it will be useful for you as somebody who maybe know CSS but doesn't know a lot about what design is used. This little, um, CSS code signal at the end of whatever you're typing toe override, whatever the existing style is otherwise, is that gonna take effect But again, that's kind of a little bit more intense than than what you might be ready for right now. It's just something to be aware of in general. So anyways, um, almost done here. Got actually, we are done here. The next thing that I'm going Teoh talk to you about is settings. 5. #4 The Most Important Settings to Configure NOW: the settings aspect of WordPress is more concerned with your websites structure than much of anything else. So it's something that you might not need to think about too much right now. But there are some things that you can do that will affect how your WordPress website works and that changing later could be difficult or annoying to do so. That's what I'm gonna focus on in this discussion of settings, and to get to settings is probably worth showing you how to do that. Let's go back to you this WordPress website right here and you would just go to settings right here, and then you'll see a number of different settings that you can affect. So I think the 1st 1 that we're going to go over is it's not General. A lot of this stuff will be able Teoh work within the customizer like the tagline. Um, you know, you can change like the admin email address and stuff here, but I'm not too concerned with that right now. Here's another thing writing that you don't really have Teoh worry about too much. But one thing that I do want to talk about is this. Settings and then reading, which is where you define, um, what's going to be displayed? Default as the home page and what's going to be your blog's, um, you know, central Page or whatever, and so that gives you this option to either do it as your latest posts. So if you are a blogger, this might make the most sense for you. But in most cases, it's helpful. Toe have specific pages for each of these things. So, as you can see here, I have to find them as such. And even if, um, you don't have to name it block, you don't have to name at home. You can name it really whatever you want, so have to use. Figure that out. We'll just save at the very bottom here something to keep in mind just from a structural standpoint. Another really important thing that would be really annoying to change. Leijer change later. Excuse me is the post girl structure, also known as your per maling settings, so you'll be able to go to settings and then Perma links to get here. And as you'll see, it gives you a couple different options. The 1st 1 is it gives you like a number. It gives each poster page a number. This one is based on adding some date data. Um, this one also gives it the number. This one is a combination of a post name and its date, but my suggestion is that you just default to Post Name because it's going to give you the most simple your URL, both from a linking standpoint. And also Google likes the simple Euros Better, Um, a gun. That's a topic that you'll be able to dive into and more depth on my SD over bloggers in Silla preneurs skill share class. But trust me on this one, post name is what you're gonna want to dio So click that save it Good to go. The last thing I'm going to talk about and settings is the default image upload size so you can go to that. And I think it's media here, so settings and the media and whenever you upload a photo and then you want to use it within your WordPress site, so this wouldn't necessarily be the future image. But just like anything else you would use within your poster, your pages, it lets you actually define how it would display in terms of, ah, resolution image resolution so you can do that here. It's honestly, something I don't mess with that often, but I think it makes a lot of sense if you have default sizes that you want to use to. This is just a nisi way to do it on the back end, so that when you're uploading stuff, you can just usually select thumbnail medium large and know what that means exactly. UM, especially important. If you have, like a finicky theme, you know, if it's not super wide or if it looks weird with different sizes of photos, that's good to know. So, guys, we're almost at the UNT ear. I have one more section to go through before we concluded up, and that is different plug ins that I recommend. So stick around. We'll be going through that next 6. #5 WordPress Plugins You NEED: so we're almost done here. And as I've been saying since the beginning, this is really just an intro to WordPress. There's so much more to know. There's so much more that you'll get out of, um, you know, familiarizing yourself with the platform so it will definitely help for you to be kind of going through these things as I'm talking about them. Or, you know, after we're done to just go in and play around with your own WordPress installation, I'll be offering these slides. He'll be able to go through them with the slides next to you, if that's how you learn best. But without further do, we're gonna talk a little bit about plug ins that you can use to get more functionality out of WordPress. So plug ins and themes air kind of similar in the way that you would add them to WordPress . So again, we're gonna go back to my WordPress installation here. And as you can see, there's a plug ins tab. If you want to add a new one, you'd click at new, and if you already have a plug in that you've downloaded maybe from another website, maybe you've purchased it from somewhere. You cooked this upload plug in button here, and it'll give you this little form field area where you can choose the file and then click install. And it's important that after you click install, if you want to actually use the plug in than you would say, activate so you'll see all those options there. This what you're seeing here is just WordPress is plug in depository repository. Whatever it's called, it's it's the ones that have been verified by word prize. You know, they work. They, um, fit certain standards of security. You know, they're updated on a pretty regular basis, stuff like that, and you can search if you have a name of something, or if you have a certain function that you're after. Even if you don't know the name of the plug in, you can look through popular suggestions there featured suggestions, recommendations, and then you can even star your favorites based on having a wordpress dot work account. So this is this. Favorite functionality is really useful if you work with multiple WordPress websites because you can just favorite them and then re download them later, but not something that you'll need to use. Yeah, if you just have one. So you can also click on this list of installed plug ins here to see what you've already installed. Um, you might need to update them. In fact, you should update them whenever they are in need of an update. Because sometimes, um, you know, creepy hackers find ways into your website if they see, like a security of our vulnerability, if you're using old plug ins that have a vulnerability, so that's something to keep in mind. Um, but you can access settings and stuff here, but usually in order to actually use the plug in to actually, um, you know, customize your use of it. It'll appear as like a tab in the side of WordPress. Sometimes it's even a sub tab of something else, like you can't see it in this window, but under settings, that's kind of annoying. Can't see. Let me just do this. Under settings will see that I have, like updraft plus, which is a backup plug in, and then Google Analytics, another integration that I've put here through a plug in. So stuff like that is useful to know about. If you're trying to figure out where the plug in is. If you don't know where to find it, you can usually click on view details or settings, and it will take you there, so that's just something to keep in mind. But let's go through specific plug ins now. And like I said, just just finish our chat here on plug ins and themes to change a theme or to, like, install a new one. You would go to appearance and then themes, and you click. Add new and much like what you saw before. Um, you'd also have to click on this upload thean button and then you'll get the box very similar to the plug ins. Here's ones have already installed. Actually, I'm just getting those are featured. These are the ones have already installed so I could switch between them. I could click, Activate, customized because this is the one that's active right now. But if I wanted to switch between them, I could click on a preview or activate them. I could update the Russians here. I really should just delete all of these because they're taking space on my website, but they don't need dio, but, um you know, bus practices. So moving back into the discussion of plug ins, these air ones that are either will be, like recommended to you by WordPress When you install a new WordPress, um, and these air to plug ins that are owned by automatic, Which again, is that host company of WordPress there? The parent company? I guess you'd say Jack Pac is a tool that does a bunch of different stuff. So I'd recommend that you just go and search jetpack and look into that. But one thing I really like about jetpack is that it has, like a site stats feature that's very similar to Google Analytics, but is a little bit more user friendly to use. And it's free jump. Actors have premium futures that you can pay more for, but I think you can get a lot of functionality out of the free plug in. So I check that out. It also has some, like social sharing buttons. Um, it has, like a backup featured to back up your whole website in case something goes wrong. So again, it's something that WordPress made. They're good at, you know, stuff that and agrees with their own platform. It's free. Unless you want more functionality, check it out. A kismet is a spam. Mostly comment. Spam. Ah, prevention tool. So what it does is it? You know, whatever David has, it figures out when comments are spam and automatically marks them is spam so that you don't have to deal with them. And depending on how your comments are set up, some people approval. Malsom people let him go through automatically, so especially if you let him go through automatically. It's a great tool because it will cut down on the potential for people that just be posting spam comments. So to free plug ins, a kismet takes donations. So that's up to you that I would say that every WordPress website needs. For some reason. Yo Cosco is one that gets its own slide because it's just so important. It's so foundational. And if you're a blogger, if you create any sort of blood content, if you want to rank on search for any of the content you create, you really need it. So again, refer to my S U for bloggers and solo preneurs class for more information on how you would use it in what kind of factors that helps you to use correctly for on site S CEO. But that's all. Talk about it here also, if especially if you're a blogger is social media plug ins you want to make uses these to make sure that your content, um, is displayed while that it has the potential to reach as many people as possible. So click to tweet is the type of thing where it formats, um, texts that you create related to your blood posts. Then people can click on it, and it pre populates a tweet with that text, the link to the post and your Twitter handle, depending on how you set it up. So it's It's something that definitely takes a little extra work to use with every black posts, but it pays off exponentially. You know, when it gets people Teoh be interested in sharing your content. And what I usually recommend with quick to tweet is that you, um, share like a quote or like a stat or just some interesting insight that's a little bit more compelling than just sharing like the post name on social media. Or, you know, in addition to that, so then naturally, you also wanna have some sort of social share buttons. Like I said, jetpack has some version of this. I really like social warfare. I think they have a free version. Now. I use the paid version. It's like 30 bucks a year or something like that, which to me is totally reasonable. Um, and it also helps you Teoh format your post for Pinterest sharing, which is really useful because you want people to be sharing things you know, according to how you want them to be shared. And using this tool allows you to fill in some of that tax and stuff to make sure that people share it the way that you want it. Teoh Also, you could use the pin it button in addition to we're actually instead of social warfare. Or, you know, whatever your social share buttons are, if you're not using social warfare to just remind people that when they're hovering over images that camp in, um, pinning could be amazing for sending and bound traffic to your website. So again, something you want to be reminding people to dio tweeted Lee is this interesting plug and I found and I don't think it's been updated in years, so it probably is a security vulnerability for your WordPress website. But essentially what it does is it allows you to automatically tweet out old posts, and it has all sorts of different things that you can customize. Like you can exclude categories. You can exclude posts, you say how often you want them to post. You can add in certain text automatically, so it's kind of a cool automation tool without being like categorizes an automation tool because it's coming from WordPress, as opposed to a something that you know, like a social media automation tool worth looking into. And then something like simply instagram is cool for adding and instagram bar to the bottom of your site. So I'll show you the one that's on urban cheap ass. And as you can see, you can just customize it to show your latest posts to also have some sort of call to action to follow you on Instagram. So that's something that you might want to consider is a blogger, depending on what Black me do, and if you have an INSTAGRAM account, so we're getting to the end of a list here sites speed. We've already talked about being an important consideration in modern times for making it so that people actually want to be on your side, but also telling Google that you have a site that you're concerned about from a technical point of view. So these are all plug ins that you can use to increase your site speed. I think what I'm gonna do is include a little bit more in depth of a resource in this in the link to resource is that I'll be including in the skill share class. But let's just run through him really quick. WP smush And it's been changing names a lot recently, but I think it always has that smush component in it. It helps you to atomize your images so that they still look great, but they take up less space and they load quicker. And that's usually what causes a lot of page load problems. And it's free. Ah, there's like a pro and a free version. So again, it just depends on your needs. But I use the free one. Um, lazy load is a similar idea, so it basically says that you know, if your website loads, Um, and you know, whatever you see before you scroll is what's called above the fold. It's an old newspaper term, so it's like all the most important stuff should be above the fold or whatever. It doesn't really matter in terms of this discussion. But what lazy low does is it says anything below the fold, anything that you would be scrolling. Teoh. Using this plug in won't load until you scroll to it so it reduces kind of the, um, the wheat on your website toe load Everything immediately, Um, so that'll help with sites speed, too. Cashing is another concept that helps with sites speed and that after you visited a website for the first time, it saves some of that data so that the next time you visit it loads a lot quicker on these plug ins can help with stuff related to cashing and other states speed issues. W three total cash is one of the gold standards. In terms of a lot of people. Use is pretty easy to use, although granted, if you don't know html CSS and stuff like that or PHP, you might wanna have a Web developer configure this for you because you can break your website if you do it wrong. Um, which is why it's always good to have that thing that's below it, which is updraft plus, which is a backup plug in or some kind of backup solution. Most Web hosts will have their own available to you, but you want to make sure to back up your website before trying on your own to configure a plug in like this cashing plug in and really any of these plug ins before you make any major site changes, you want to back up your website so updraft plus can help with that. But with regards to cashing, one thing I want to say about W three total cash is the fact that it doesn't work on every with every host. Some of them actually like Bannon like Go Daddy doesn't let you use W three total cash. You might have to consider alternatives like Deputy Super Cash or WP rocket Um, and then just a couple other ones, mostly from a black perspective that I like. First of all is reduced bounce rate. So if you have the type of theme where you can see a black post, and then, without clicking to another page, you can see like another bar post like they keep loading. Um, that makes it so on your Google analytics that it counts each new black posts as like a new page so it helps to display your bounce rate. Butter E. We're kind of getting technical here, But if you're a blogger and you have that Ted, the theme you want to use this, especially if you're sharing that Google Analytics data with advertisers or sponsors or stuff like that to make it to make your data look a little bit more representative of your website and a bad start box is a really cool author box plug in that you can customize with stuff like each author's social media profiles. Unique bio. You can add in an image that isn't a grab ITAR, so that's usually whatever is connected to your wordpress dot or your account. Um, you can customize it using Star box. We're press editorial calendar is really cool because you can kind of organize everything that you're gonna be publishing in terms of, you know, whether it's already published or even if it's a draft. You can kind of pull it to different calendar days, and there's other tools you can use for that. But this is a free plug and that you conduce. It's nice, Um, another thing you're gonna want toe concern yourself with is your commenting system. I love Facebook comments because it's kind of like a lower barrier to entry for someone to comment on your site. Usually it asked for, like your name, your email, your Web address if you want. And sometimes you have to make sure that your signed into your wordpress dot com or doubt work account, which is really annoying, especially if somebody doesn't have one of those accounts. So Facebook comments make it so that as long as you're signed into Facebook, you can leave a comment and then contact form seven. We talked a little bit about contact forms before and how. If you're not a Web developer, this might be something that you wouldn't know how to create. So what's great is contact. Form seven is super easy to use. You basically say, like how you want it to look. Name E mail comment, you know, whatever. And then it gives you a short coat that you just copy and paste wherever it is that you want that contact for him, even if it's on every webs, every page of your website. So with that, those air kind of may top recommended plug ins most, if not all of them are free. Or there's a free version that you can get a lot of functionality out of. And with that, we're done with plug ins. And if you'll stay tuned for just one more, um, lesson inside. Whatever, we're just going Teoh kind of conclude this all. 7. Conclusion & Next Steps: guys. That's really all I had planned for you with this class today. Again, if you have any questions, please please put him in the discussion. I'm happy to help you again. Recall that this is super beginner. So, you know, try to keep your questions in line with that just so that other people can benefit from them if they have the same question. If it's like an intense programming question on my hunter to refer you to someone else, But, um, that's what I have for you. This class is actually kind of a tester of sorts for a much bigger complete WordPress. Um, for beginners, course that I'm creating. So if that's something that you would be interested in, please follow the link that I'm gonna leave in the class description which will take you to all the resource is from this lesson, including slides, including places where you can learn more about different things that I'm talking about. It will also act as if you if you sign up Teoh download those resource is it'll ask for your email. So if you sign up for that, then I will also make sure to let you know when that bigger, more end up class is available for your consumption. So anyways, that's all I have for you today. I hope that you got something out of this. I hope that. You know, I didn't talk over a concept that was much more complicated than what I made it out to be. You have to remember that I've been involved with this type of work for such a long time that sometimes I don't realize what I'm doing. So again, questions more than welcome, um, and hope to chat with you soon about WordPress.