Wordpress Essentials for Small Business Owners & Creatives: Create Your first Professional Website! | Kevin Kennedy | Skillshare

Wordpress Essentials for Small Business Owners & Creatives: Create Your first Professional Website!

Kevin Kennedy, Product Designer

Wordpress Essentials for Small Business Owners & Creatives: Create Your first Professional Website!

Kevin Kennedy, Product Designer

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37 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Course Overview

    • 2. Self-hosted Wordpress.org vs Wordpress.com

    • 3. Buying your Domain and Hosting

    • 4. What is an SSL?

    • 5. Setting up SSL

    • 6. Instsalling Wordpress

    • 7. Exploring the WordPress Admin Panel

    • 8. Finding a Wordpress Theme

    • 9. Uploading and Installing Your Theme

    • 10. Setting up a Child Theme

    • 11. Installing Required Plugins

    • 12. Theme Documentation

    • 13. Post vs Pages

    • 14. Creating a New Post

    • 15. Categories Vs Tags

    • 16. Changing the URL

    • 17. Scheduling a Post

    • 18. Creating a Page

    • 19. Set Your Home Page

    • 20. Styling a Page with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) 1

    • 21. Styling a Page with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) 2

    • 22. Using Widgets

    • 23. Adding a Company Logo

    • 24. Adding a Favicon (Site Icon)

    • 25. Creating a Menu

    • 26. Adding Media

    • 27. Filling out Image Details

    • 28. What are Wordpress plugins?

    • 29. Finding good Plugins

    • 30. Really Simple SSL Plugin

    • 31. W3 Total Cache

    • 32. Contact Form Plugin

    • 33. Some Useful Plugins

    • 34. Adding and Managing Users

    • 35. Security Measures

    • 36. Keeping Up to Date

    • 37. Thank You

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About This Class

Are you ready to launch your own WordPress website in 2019? 

If so, this is the perfect course to start with. This complete WordPress Essentials course is designed for beginners like you that are ready to create your own business, brand, or portfolio website (or any custom WordPress website for that matter).

WordPress powers approximately 28% of the web. Think about that for a second... WordPress is the perfect tool to add to your skillset!

WordPress may seem intimidating at first, but once you get started it's super easy to get a hang of! I'll show you how to buy a domain, hosting, and install the WordPress software all in the first few videos! My course also includes setting up a Secure SSL (that green lock icon next to your URL), an important step in making your website secure! Then, the remainder of the course I'll show you how to navigate the WordPress software and utilize all of the essential features.

Why learn from me?

I've been building WordPress websites for many years. In college, I used to build WordPress websites for local businesses in order to pay for my expenses.

I love WordPress because it gives you the opportunity to build professional websites in a fraction of the time (compared to coding websites from scratch).

I still remember the first WordPress website I built for a friend. It was a real struggle just to install the software. I've kept everything in mind while creating this course. I'll explain each item step by step with a new topic per each video. I'll also be happy to answer any WordPress questions you may have in the student forum for this course (available to enrolled students only).


  • You will learn how to host your website in an inexpensive and secure way.
  • You will know how to back up your WordPress website in case of emergency.
  • You will learn how to install the WordPress software.
  • You will learn how to design your WordPress website the way you imagine using WP Bakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer).
  • You will learn how to choose trustworthy WordPress themes and WordPress plugins from the thousands available in the WordPress library.
  • You will know how to create pages, menus, footers, and more!
  • You will know how to speed up your WordPress website with a caching plugin.
  • You will know how to make your website secure and protected from hackers with an SSL and security plugin.


No matter what your goal is for your WordPress website, I want to make sure you're able to achieve those goals. I promise to help you out with that along the way. If you have any questions or run into any roadblocks, then I'm here to help!

Who is this WordPress course for?

This course is for anyone brand new to creating websites with WordPress. If you have never built a website before, great. If you've built a website on another platform like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, that's fine too. I have no doubt you'll find WordPress to be a more custom solution for your needs!

This course is NOT for people trying to learn how to code with HTML and CSS. Please check out my other course if you are interested in learning how to code a website from scratch. In this course, you'll learn how to use a WordPress theme and plugins already out there to design your own custom websites.

This course will focus on the technical elements of setting up your website, NOT any design elements. If you're a creative, small business owner, or freelancer, what are you waiting for!? Learning how to build WordPress websites is an essential skill that you can use to grow your business!

I can't wait to help you build the WordPress website you need!

Kevin Kennedy

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kevin Kennedy

Product Designer


My passion is inspiring hobbyists through Fusion 360 courses. I love learning new skills, and since 2013 have been teaching community members everything I know. Since then, I've started creating online videos to reach more people and have a bigger impact.

What would you like to learn?

Would you like to learn 3D Modeling for 3D Printing?

Would you like to learn Fusion 360?

Would you like to make a realistic product rendering?

If you want to do any of these things... enroll today!

More about me, Kevin Kennedy:

Hi there, I’m Kevin Kennedy, a Product Designer based in Seattle! I’ve been building “stuff” with my hands since I was four.

Throughout my childhood, I mastered the art of woodworking,... See full profile

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1. Course Overview: Hey there. It's Kevin from product design online, and I'm super excited to bring this WordPress essentials course to you. Whether you're a small business owner, a creative or someone just looking to set up their first blawg than this course is for you , I'm going to take you through all the necessary steps, including buying your domain and hosting, setting up an SSL and the ends and outs of WordPress. So don't wait. Enroll today for lifetime access to this WordPress corpse. 2. Self-hosted Wordpress.org vs Wordpress.com: before we get started, I wanted to clarify something. Often times people get confused about wordpress dot com and wordpress dot board wordpress dot com is just a blogging website where you can create a very simple website. Now what we're going to cover in this course is wordpress dot board or press dot org's is free open source software that you can install on your server Now. The great thing about WordPress dot ord is there's thousands of plug ins and themes to choose from, so you can really customize and create the website for your needs. So let's go ahead and get started in the next video. We're going to dive right in and buyer domain and hosting package. 3. Buying your Domain and Hosting: now, the very first step to setting up our website is purchasing our domain and hosting package . Now there are a number of different hosting providers out there, but on your screen I've put the four most popular. And for the purpose of this course, I'm going to use named cheap dot com. With that being said, you can use whichever hosting provider you would like. Just be sure to find one that allows you to install WordPress. So let's start off by going to name cheap dot com, and then you're going to type in the domain name that you would like to purchase. No, after you hit, enter, it will show you whether it's available or not. So you'll notice here that Kevin candy dot com is already taken. So if I click on the suggestions tab, it will show me a few different options of domain names that are available now for the purpose of my site. I would like a dot com domain, so I'm just going to add a dash in between and add that to my cart. Then go ahead and click view cart and you'll notice that there's a selector and you can choose how many years you would like to purchase for your domain registration. Now you'll notice that you can select up to 10 years for your domain registration, but you need at least a minimum of one year. If you choose one year, you can still renew it year after year. Now you'll also notice with name cheap, you'll get a free one year subscription of Who is guard. Who is Guard is a privacy protection service that prevents people from seeing your name, address, phone number and email when they search your domain. It helps protect you from spam and even identity theft. Now you want to stroll down just a bit until you see the hosting. Now go ahead and add hosting to your cart and then select your server location either U. S Data Center or UK Data Center. Now, the last thing that we need to add to our cart is the positive SSL or secure socket layer. Now we're going to cover what the SSL is later in this course. Now you want to click, confirm order and fill out all of your billing information. After you fill out your information, it should redirect you to a thank you page 4. What is an SSL?: S S L stands for secure socket layer. An SSL is that lock icon that you will often see next to the domain name. You typically will see that it says secure, which is what we want that lets the user know that their information, including passwords and credit cards, is safe Now. Sometimes you'll see companies have their name, and that's because they haven't extended SSL, which is used to prove that they're a real company and not a scammer. Put simply, an SSL is a digital document that verifies your ownership of the domain. This helps ensure that visitors are excess ing the correct site they want to visit and helps prevent any hackers or Attackers from Impersonating your company in your website. The SSL then establishes a secure connection between the Web browser and your site server by proving your ownership now on SSL is important for our site for a number of reasons. First off, we always want to protect our users information as well as our own. On top of that, most experts now believe that having an SSL for your site is now included in Google's ranking factor. 5. Setting up SSL: the first step to setting up your websites, SSL is to log into your name cheap account or your desired hosting provider. Now, if we click on Manage will notice that it says are certificate means to be activated. Click the activate button and then we'll have to follow a few steps to give it completed. Now the first thing it's prompting us to do is to enter our CSR or certificate signing requests. Now we're gonna have to generate our CSR by now. You should have received an email by name sheep or you're hosting provider toe Log in to your C panel. The C panel is the control panel where we're going to install the WordPress software after we set up the SSL. Once you log in, you should see near the bottom a security section, and then you'll want to click on the SSL link. Now you'll see there we can generate a certificate signing requests or CSR. You'll want to fill in your domain name and then the following information it ask you. After you fill out your personal information, click the generate button and then it should load your CSR. Now we'll want to copy our CSR because we're going to go back toward name cheap dashboard and paste it in. Now you'll notice. Once you paste it in, it should automatically load your domain name. Then you'll want to select your server type, so we're going to select. See panel Now, If you're not sure, check your hosting providers documentation or contact tech support for help. Once we submit that will want to hit next and then we'll notice we need to validate it. Now there are a few different options, and the easiest is to select email. Once we select an approve ER, email from the drop down list will be prompted to fill out or contact information. And then we'll click. Confirm now, after you click. Confirm. You may have to wait a few minutes, but you should receive an email from your SSL provider. Follow the steps in the email toe. Activate your validation. Generally, it's just copy and pasting a code into their system. Once you do that, we'll go back to our C Penhall dashboard and click on the install and manage SSL for your site. The first thing will want to do is selector, domain name and then we'll want to copy and paste this year teeth that was emailed to us after we activated our ssl. Once you paste this year, TN you'll be able to click Otto filled by certificate, and the rest of the information will be populated for you. Now all we have to do is click the install certificate button and then you should be prompted that it was successfully installed. 6. Instsalling Wordpress: now that we have our positive SSL set up will want to install our WordPress software. So go ahead, go to your C panel dashboard and scroll down until you see the WordPress icon in the bottom left hand corner. Then you want to click the large install now, button. Now you'll notice there are a few different settings that weaken do before we install our WordPress software. Now it defaulted to H T T. P s, which means that it will include are secure socket layer that we just installed. Now, if yours didn't default to this, go ahead and click on that and change it. It should have also defaulted to your domain name. But if it did not go ahead and change that as well. Now, just below the software set up, you'll notice that we can choose the site name and the site description. But don't worry. You can change this at any time after you install your WordPress software. So for this course, I'm just going to fill in Kevin Kennedy as my site name. And for the site description. I'm going to write out Kevin's design portfolio. Now. If you scroll down a little bit further, you'll notice we can set up our admin account. Your admin account is going to be your master account that controls everything throughout your WordPress software. Now you can leave the admin user name as admin, or you can go ahead and change it to whatever you would like. You'll also want to make sure that you set up a secure password. Now a number of WordPress sites out there get hacked because they have very weak one word passwords. So if you want to generate a more secure password, click on the little key icon and it will generate a random password for you. Now be sure to write this down in a safe place before remove on. Now, if you scroll down a little bit further, you'll see that there are advanced options. Go ahead and click on that drop down, and now we'll notice that there are a few different options to back up your WordPress site . Now, as the site owner, you wanna have automatic backups because you're going to publish to your site frequently so you can choose to have automatic backups either once a day, week, month or year, based on how frequently you think you'll publish to your website now. You can also choose the backup rotation, which is the number of backups it will store. Now. The backup location is set to default, which means that it will put the backup on your server. You can also choose toe, have it set toe local, which means the WordPress site will back up to your local hard drug. Once you make those selections, go ahead and scroll down and click the blue in salt. But now you may or may not get the following heirs, but you'll notice that I received an installation air, so I'm going to click the check box toe, override it and hit Install again Now should take. Now you should see the congratulations message. Once your software is installed, gonna make sure that our software is installed correctly, Go ahead and click on the administrative. Your l and it should open up a new tab with your WordPress software dashboard 7. Exploring the WordPress Admin Panel: Now that we're logged into our WordPress site, you'll notice the main dash work. The main dashboard consists of three different areas, the 1st 1 being the top admin bar. The MM bar is the dark gray area that appears across the top of the dashboard. You'll notice that it shows a few different options, including the comments icon, where it will show recent comments. The new post media page and user icon. And on the right hand side is shows where you can edit your admin credentials or log out. Now, if we look at the left hand side, you'll see the main menu or the left navigation of the WordPress dashboard. Now the left navigation is probably where he'll be spending most of your time, especially on the top few links there. It's where you'll access all of your post your images, your pages, your comments and so on. In the middle of the dashboard, you'll notice a welcome message, including some updates in some recent activity. Now, because we don't have any activity on her site yet, you'll see that there are a few filler examples there now. The nice thing about WordPress is that this middle dashboard is customizable and you'll be able to drag and drop it and move things around as you get mawr plug ins and things set up on your website. We'll cover some of these things later on in this course. So for now, let's go ahead and view what our WORDPRESS website looks like by going up to your WordPress name in the left hand corner, and then you'll notice it gives us the option to visit the site. So let's go ahead and right click on that and open it in a new tab. 8. Finding a Wordpress Theme: now. One of the great things about WordPress is that there are thousands of themes out there that can save you tons of time and setting up your website. Now there are many marketplaces that house and sell WordPress themes. One of the most popular is theme for a Stott net. Now you'll notice here that it says that there are over 39,000 WordPress themes and websites, and the prices vary all the way from $2 up to the $80 range, with the average being about in the $40 range. Now, to find the best theme or template for your website will want to go to the WordPress section and you'll notice when we hover over that, we'll see a number of different sub categories. So because I want to set up a portfolio theme, I'm going to click on the creative subcategory. Now you'll notice they'll be themes that are relevant to the creative field and you'll notice on the right hand side. It shows their price and how many sales they've had. And when you hover over the icon, it will show you a little preview of the theme. Now we want to make sure that we purchase a quality theme, so we're going to use the filter options on the left to narrow down the results. The first thing we want to do is select all themes with a rating four stars and higher. Then we also want to select all the top sellers. The last thing that we want to filter out is themes compatible with visual composer. Now, if you click on one of the themes, you can preview it a little bit further. It will tell you a lot more details about the theme. When it was recently updated, it'll show you reviews comments other potential buyers had, and then you can actually preview the theme itself. So go ahead and click on the preview, and it should open up a new window automatically. There will typically be many different templates to choose from within each theme, so I'm just going to take a look around and see if this is a theme that I would like for my portfolio website. Go ahead and spend some time browsing theme force and find a theme that you think will work best to represent your brand or company. Once you find a theme that you want. Go ahead and purchase the theme, and then in the next video, we're going to cover how to install your theme. 9. Uploading and Installing Your Theme: So now that we have our WordPress theme downloaded, we have to install it and activate it on her site. Now there are two ways that we can do this, and I'm going to walk you through both of them. Now the first way is to go over to the appearance tab and click on themes. Now you'll notice that are active. Theme 27 is there, along with a few other themes preinstalled. Now we'll go to the add new button to upload our theme Now. You'll also notice here that there are free themes that you can also choose from, but we want to upload the theme that we just downloaded from theme force. So click on the upload theme button and then choose file and then select your themes it file. Now. Be sure not to unzip this file before uploading, or it will not install correctly. Also, be sure to select your themes in Mainz that file and not the child theme. So go ahead and select it and then click open. Now click the install now button. Now, depending on your Internet connection and the size of the theme, it may or may not take a few minutes to upload after your theme has uploaded 100% it will either show you that it was a success, or you will get the following air message. Now, Don't worry. This is a common air message with hosting providers in WordPress. A lot of times, the hosting providers have limits to the file size that can be uploaded toward press. So I'm going to walk you through another way that you can upload and install the theme. So go ahead and open up your C panel and then click on the file manager. Now we're going to go to the public HTML folder, the WordPress Content folder, and then click on the Themes folder. Now you'll see the other themes that we already had pre installed. This is where we're going to upload your theme. So click the upload icon and then we're gonna click select file and once again select the Zip folder of our theme. Now, once again, dis may or may not take a few minutes based on your Internet in the file size. Once it has uploaded 100% click, go back to home or just close out of this tab, Now we need to refresh the C panel page in order to see the theme. So once you refresh it and then go back to the Themes folder, you should see the ZIP file of your theme. Now we need to unzip the file so right, click on it and click extract, then click extract files. Once again Refresher See Panel and go back to the Themes folder now in the Themes folder. You should see your theme name twice. One of them will be unzipped and one of them will be zipped. Now go ahead and right click and then delete the Zip one. Now. Our theme should be installed on your WordPress site, but we need to activate it and order to see the theme itself. So go back to your WordPress site and refresh that now from your WordPress dashboard. Go ahead and go toe appearance and then themes. Now, under your theme sections, you should see the theme that we just installed. So go ahead and click. Activate in order to activate your theme. Now, some things require a product registration or license key in order to successfully install it or activate it. If yours requires that, go ahead and enter your key by following the steps provided 10. Setting up a Child Theme: the creator of your theme may publish new updates on a regular basis. If you don't use a WordPress child theme, you'll likely lose some of the customization that you implement it. Installing our WordPress trout the is just a simple as installing our theme. So go ahead and go over to the appearance tab on the left main menu and then select themes . Now click. Add new upload theme and then once again choose file. Now. This time you want to be sure to choose your theme. Dash Childs a folder. Go ahead and click. Install Now, once again, this may or may not take a little bit of time. Now if your theme was installed successfully, it will let you know, and then you can click the activate button. Now your child theme should be installed. Now. If you got any air message, you can once again upload the child theme from the sea panel. Now the double check goto appearance and themes, and you should see your theme name twice, one of them stating that it's a child team 11. Installing Required Plugins: Now, you've probably noticed by now that you have an alert message at the top of your dashboard stating that your theme requires the following plug ins. Now, based on your theme, it will likely require different plug ins. We want to make sure that we install these plug ins before remove on now later on. In this course, I'm going to cover the whole entire section on plug ins themselves. So for now, let's just go ahead and click. Begin installing plug ins, and then if you select the check box at the very top, you can select all of them. Change the bulk action to install and click. Apply now, after a minute or so, it should install the following plug ins and reroute you to the following page, showing that they were installed and activated successfully. 12. Theme Documentation: every good WordPress theme comes with some sort of documentation. Now, if you go to your theme Downloads folder, you should see a documentation folder. Now. If you unzipped that, you'll either get a PdF where sometimes you'll get a text file linking to a website. Every theme creator does their documentation slightly different. But at the very least it should show you how to customise and alter your theme as well as get help if you need. Now you'll notice the theme. Documentation that came with the works at Theme includes how to install the theme, How to Register importing demo concept and an abundance of other essential requirements pertaining to the theme. Now one great thing about in Vado theme force is that each theme creator is required to give you at the six months of free support for your theme. Somewhere in your theme documentation, it should show you how to get theme support, and oftentimes the theme creator has a fax section that shows you frequently asked questions 13. Post vs Pages: in WordPress. There are two things that you will most commonly create, and they are post and pages now. Post are one of the main reasons of using a content management system. Like WordPress. It allows you to post blogger articles, categories and tags and published new concept over time. No post can be thought of something that are updated frequently, and they change all the time, meaning that you're always adding or taking away content. Contrary pages are different in post pages are what you're going to create to use in your navigation menu. You can think of pages as the contact, the legal, your home page and so on. Pages are the pages of your website that are going to display your post, your images and other media throughout the remainder of this course. I'm going to go further and depth into both posts and pages. 14. Creating a New Post: creating a new post, and WordPress is super simple. All we have to do is go up to the new icon and click on posts. Now you'll see the add new post dashboard. The first thing that you always want to do is fill out your post title. Now I'm going to create a post on why you should learn HTML and CSS Down below is where you'll write out your block Postwar article. Now you can write it out directly in the dialogue box, or you can copy and paste your content. Now the great thing about WordPress is that it automatically saves your post as a draft after you've created it. So if you lose your Internet connection foreclosure browser an accident, you won't lose it. But it's a good habit to constantly save your draft on your own by clicking to save draft button on the right hand side. 15. Categories Vs Tags: Now, if you look at the right hand side, you'll notice that WordPress post can be categorized by categories and tags. Now categories are mandatory and will default to uncap big arised, but you can add new ones, so go ahead and click the add new category button and create a category describing your post. Now categories are meant to be broad topics that may help website visitors narrow in on what they want to learn about. You can also create hierarchy with categories by creating sub categories by using the parent category dropped down. Contrary tags are much more specific than categories. You'll notice that I put Web development for my category in HTML and CSS for my tags. 16. Changing the URL: Now you may have noticed when you typed in the title of your post that a Perma link or your URL was pre generated for us. Now this can be edited at any time. By clicking the edit button and then typing out what you would like the u R L to be, it's important to note that your your L should always include keywords that a user may search for. This will help you with search engine optimization or seo. With that being said, you should also make sure that your you Earl is readable by a human and makes sense. Don't create a euro that is hard to type out if a user had to enter it into their browser. One nice thing about WordPress is that we can also easily change the Perma wing structure, so you'll notice that it defaulted to having the year, the month and the date before the post name. Now, if you want to get rid of this or change how it is, go down to the settings on the left hand menu and then click on Perma Link on the Perma link page, you'll notice that there are a number of different options now. Personally, I like when the Ural just has the post name, so I'm going to select that one and scroll down and hit the blue saved. But now, if we click on the post tab and go back to our initial posts, you'll notice that the euro now has just the post title and no longer has the day included . 17. Scheduling a Post: now, one really nice feature of Outward Press is that it allows us to schedule when our post is published. So at this point, if we were ready to publish our post, all we would have to do is click the big blue publish button on the right hand side. But as a website owner, there may be times when you want to draft a post and have it published later. To do this, all we have to do is edit where it says publish immediately. Now you can change the date and time toe whatever you'd like. After you save that, you'll notice that are published. Button now says schedule. Now, if we click the Blue Schedule button and then go back to her main post page by clicking on posts, you'll notice that next to the Post, it now shows it as scheduled and shows the date it's scheduled for 18. Creating a Page: Now it's time to take a look at how we create a page in our WordPress website. Now there are two main ways that we can do this. You can go up to the top and click on New Page. Or you can go to our left main Navigation and go to pages. Add new. Now you'll notice the first thing that we want to complete is adding a title similar to how he added a title for a post. So I'm going to enter the title about because I'm going to create an about page. Now you'll also notice on the right hand side there, Page attributes many WordPress themes oftentimes come with page templates. If your theme includes page templates, you'll be able to select them on the right hand side. As you noticed that mine has three different options directly above the template setting, you'll notice that it says parent. Now, this is where you can select apparent page. This means if you're creating a new page, you can select a page to group in under. This is most commonly seen when you're navigating a websites menu, and it has subcategory. Now, if we look back up nearer title, you'll notice that it pre generated a Perma link or URL. Now, once again, just like posts, we can edit the Perma link for pages. So if you click the edit button, you can change the Perma link simply by typing it out. So I'm going to change my Perma link to about Dash Kevin. Now, if we scroll down, you'll notice there are a number of different page settings that we can edit Now. Yours may look completely different based on your theme, and that's okay. Each theme is going to be a little bit different in just a few course lessons. I'm going to cover how to use Visual Composer or these large blue buttons to access the customization features. These features will allow you to customize the look and feel of your page, however you would like. Now, if we look at the upper right hand corner, you'll notice the published section just like posts were able to edit. When they're posted or scheduled, we're able to save them as drafts, and you can hit the large preview button to preview your page 19. Set Your Home Page: now, by default, boasts WordPress themes will set your recent post as the home page. Now, if you want to create a custom home page or homepage that doesn't display all of your posts , we need to first create a new page. Let's set the title toe home, and then let's just go ahead and publish it. Now, if we go down to settings in the left navigation bar and then go to reading, you'll see that we can actually edit what our homepage displays. So my theme defaulted to displaying my latest post, but I want a static home page that I'm getting customized in the next two videos. So let's go ahead and click on a static page, and then I can select the home page that we just created and, of course, save my changes. Now let's just few our site and make sure that our home page was set. So now you see, we have an empty page because we haven't styled anything yet, But it shows that I can edit the page, which means that we do have a home page and not just a stream of recent posts 20. Styling a Page with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) 1: Visual Composure is a Dragon Drop editor that allows users to customise the look and feel of their website without having to coat. It was recently renamed WordPress Bakery Page builder, so it may be a bit confusing if you go toe. Look up any documentation on it now to get started. Let's hit the edit page button and you'll notice once our page loads, you'll see the visual composer has a front end in a back end editor. Now, for now, let's select the front end editor. Now you'll see that there's a top navigation bar that looks a little bit different than our WordPress bar. On the very left, you'll see the WordPress Bakery icon. Then you'll see. You can add new elements. You can click on templates If you click the settings icon, you can add custom CSS and you convened your website as different device sizes. You can switch to the back end editor and last but not least, you can update or save the progress you have made. Now, if I click on the template icon, you'll notice that there are a lot of page templates that came with the WordPress theme of using years may or may not come with page templates, but most WordPress themes do. These templates are a great way to get started to save MAWR time, because you can still customize them. But if you don't want to use the template, you don't have to. You can start from scratch to get started. You want to click on the add element button, and we always want to start off with a row. Then we want to hit the plus button again, and you can add any of the other options. Unfortunately, we won't have time to cover every single element of visual composer in this course because it could be a whole entire course in itself. But fortunately for you, visual composer is super intuitive and easy to understand, and I have no doubt that you'll get a great hang of it just by playing around for a few minutes. Now, if I add some text here, you'll see that I can change the settings how it's aligned, another options similar to award processing software, and then you'll see that it appears on my website. Now if I click on the column settings by clicking on the pencil icon to edit, you'll see that I can hit design options and change the background color as well as I can change the padding or margin otherwise known as the spacing around the text. Now, if I update that and save its progress, I could change to the back and editor, which looks a little bit different now the back end editor, You're going to see the columns and grids and a little bit more of everything without seeing how it actually looks. So if you choose to use the back and editor, you want to be sure to view your page every so often to make sure you're heading in the right direction. In the next lesson, I'm going to start off with the template and then show you a few more tricks to use with the WordPress Bakery page builder. 21. Styling a Page with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) 2: So I went ahead and added some copy to my website, and I'm gonna show you how to do a few more things with visual composer. So let's go ahead and add an image by searching image at the top, and you'll notice that there are a number of different options we can choose from now. I just want a single image, so I'm going to click on that one now. If I click on the add and then upload my image and save the changes, you'll notice below it. There are a few different options now. You can set the image size by standard sizes such as thumbnail medium, large full. Or you can set the image size by using pixels by setting the with times the height. You can also add captions. You can change the alignment toe left, right or center. You can change the image style to a number of different options. You can add links to your image or make it zoom in. When you click on it, you can add CSS animations, and, of course, you can add Element I DS and CSS classes so you can style it with CSS properties. Now if I had the design options tab. Like always, you'll have the margin border and padding settings. You can add a border radius. You can add background, color and many other options. Now, if I go ahead and save that and then right click it hit open in a new tab, you'll see that the page now loads. But it just looks kind of funky right now. We want to add some more spacing and kind of change things up a bit. So if I go back to my back end editor, I want to make my image larger by selecting the image size and making it large. I also want to change the columns because I don't like how everything's running into the side of my browser. So I'm gonna change it to three columns, and then I'm going to add some padding and margin to some of my elements. Now, I can also add the empty space element, which allows you to add empty space by pixel with wherever you and like within your website page. So I'm gonna add empty space to the top of my page. That way, my image and other text doesn't run into my navigation menu. Now, if I refresh, you'll see that everything looks a lot better, and it's much easier to read now. Now, let's take a look at some of the other elements that we can use with visual composer, so you'll notice that we can add contact forms, icons, line dividers, different separators with Tex hover boxes, Facebook like buttons, fact sections, Pinterest and really just a number of website essentials that you see uncommon websites. So once again, this is why visual composer is such a great resource and why so many people use it. It's such a simple and intuitive way to add features to your site that you can easily and quickly customize. Now, one other common feature you may find yourself using a lot is adding buttons to your site. So if I search button, you'll see that I can add an eye catching button with text on it. You can link it to other pages, change the style of it, change the shape of it, changed the color, change the size of it and so on. So now if I update my site and refresh it, you'll see that the button now appears 22. Using Widgets: WordPress. Widgets are small blocks that performs a specific function. You can add the widgets to sidebars or sometimes even footers. It really just depends on the WordPress theme that you're using. Widgets are super simple and easy to use, and they give a lot of functionality to websites to access your widgets. You'll want to hit the customized button in your WordPress header. Once it loads, you'll notice that on the left hand side, there should be a widget section. Now you'll notice. For my theme. Widgets are set up to be placed in the footer in three different columns. So if I click on one of the columns and then hit add widget, you'll notice all of the different options that I have so I can add menus. I can add a feed of my block post. I can add a sign up form. I could add images galleries. I can add Twitter. I can add different carte options. Custom HTML. Really just a number of options. And there are endless opportunities because many plug ins that you add to your website will also include witches. Now we're going to talk about plug ins later on in this course. So for now, let's just add a few widgets and see what happens. So if I scroll down, you'll notice that. And now have the recent comments widget and the search widget. Now, of course, I'll want to publish Thies to make sure that they actually save, and then I contest them. 23. Adding a Company Logo: now, if you downloaded a theme, it's likely got a placeholder logo or a theme logo in its place, such as mine. Now let's take a look at how we can add our own logo. So if you go up to your website name, you want to find your theme options now. Adding, your custom logo is almost always and the theme options. But it's a good idea to take a look at your WordPress theme documentation because you never know where it may be. Sometimes they're in different places, so mine is located under the header and menu and then logo settings. Now, if I add my logo and upload it and then save my changes, we'll see that now when I load my site, my logo should appear. Now it's a little bit small, so my theme allows me to adjust it by adding in the height. Now, not every theme allows us. Sometimes you may have toe actually adjust the size of your image itself, and that looks a little bit better, so I'm gonna leave it at that 24. Adding a Favicon (Site Icon): Now you've probably noticed from using a Web browser that some websites have a favorite con in their title bar. Now to do this and WordPress, it's fairly simple. All we have to do is go down to appearance and then customize and then click on your site identity. And then you'll notice that there's a spot here for the site icon. Now, one thing you also notice is that the square should be at least 512 by 512 pixels. Now. This is because WordPress is going to use your icon or logo for not only the favorite con that's going to show up at the title bar, but it will also display if someone adds your website to their home screen on a mobile device so the site icon will show or appear as a shortcut, just like a mobile app. So to upload, all we have to do is click select image, upload our new file and you'll notice here it shows you a little preview of what it looks like, and now it's already showing up. But of course, we need to also hit publish to save our changes 25. Creating a Menu: as you continue to build different pages for your website, you'll want to eventually set up a menu for your site to set up our menu. Will want to go to the dashboard once we're on the dashboard, will want to go to appearance and then menus. Now I went ahead and added a few dummy pages so I can show you how to create a menu. So if you don't have any pages at this point, then you can always do this at a later time. Otherwise, feel free to create your pages without any content on them, and then you can follow along. So on the menu page, you'll first want to create your menu by setting a menu name. So I'm gonna title this main menu and then you're gonna hit, create menu. Now you'll see here that it has some menu settings. Well, this first menu I want to use for my main navigation, so I'm gonna hit navigation menu Now. Secondary menu is Onley applicability all in certain WordPress themes. Sometimes a theme may have a second area. You can place a main menu now the and my pages. We'll go ahead and select the pages you want to add and hit. Add to menu. Now you'll notice all of my pages are in the menu structure. Now I can reorganize them. The top page will be the farthest to the left, and the bottom page will be the farthest to the right. When your menu displays now, I can also set sub categories by dragging them to the right underneath of one. So now the Project two will show as a subcategory of portfolio. Now you can also answer your post or custom links were categories as menus. Now, if I go ahead and save this and we view my website, you'll see that my menu now displays. Now everything is different. So, of course, my menu doesn't display on the top here. Mine displays under the hamburger menu. So now if I click on portfolio, you'll see that that subcategory shows up. The menu can be changed at any point. Throughout your websites existence, all you have to do is go back and edit them 26. Adding Media: now. Earlier on. In this course, I showed you how we could add an image with visual composer, otherwise known as the WordPress Bakery page builder. Now there may be a case where you want to upload a lot of different media, and you can do this without having to go and upload, Um, every time you need to use them. So go to your WordPress dashboard and then on the left hand navigation, you'll see the media tab. Now this is your media library, where houses all of your images, videos, logo's audio and so on. Now all you have to do toe add media is click add new selective file and upload it. So you see, maybe I needed a different size of my logo for another element on my website. So now that I have that uploaded, I can click on it, and it will show the file. Name the file type when I uploaded it. The size of the file, the dimensions and a few other options. Now, down at the bottom, you'll see that you can delete the item permanently, which will completely remove the media from your server 27. Filling out Image Details: Now, if we open up one of the images in the media library, you will notice that there are some different input fields on the right hand side. The 1st 1 is the your L, which shows where your image was uploaded. This can sometimes come in handy if you need a link to an image you can copy and paste the URL. The title is the only attachment detail required by WordPress, and it defaults to the name of your file. But you can always change this at any time. Just below that is the caption input field. The caption Input field is exactly what it sounds. It will place a caption right next to your image, but the exact location really depends on your theme or how you set up the image. Now, just below that is the old Tex. The All text was traditionally created for people with accessibility needs. This is where you write out a description of the image, and it could be read to a user with a screen reader. But that's really only part of the story. The All Tex is there to describe the image concept, and it helps search engines such as Google. Understand what your images about You should always fill these out because it will help with your Websites s CEO and over time, the more images you have, it will likely help more visitors come to your website. In last, we have the description input. Sometimes a theme may display the description, which should be an overview or summary of what your post is about. 28. What are Wordpress plugins?: WordPress plug ins are small programs written by developers that can help extend the functionality of your website. So to get started with plug ins, you want to go to the left navigation menu and click on plug ins. One set loads. You should see some plug in's already installed because they were required by your theme to add new plug ins. Just hit the add new button at the top, and then you'll see a library of plug ins will load now in the library page. Or press will always feature some of the most popular plug ins based on reviews and how Maney installs they have now. If we click on one of the plug ins, you'll notice that it shows a description about the plug in. It shows how many times they've changed it and what they've updated it with. And typically they include screenshots of what plug in looks like. And of course, it also shows reviews by other WordPress users 29. Finding good Plugins: there are a few different things you want to consider when choosing plug ins. Similar to choosing a WordPress theme, you'll want to make sure that the plug in has a number of good reviews. You'll also want to make sure that the plug in was updated fairly recently. So if you look here, you'll see that on the left hand side, it shows how many reviews and how many people have this active were installed on the WordPress website. Now, if we scroll down, you'll notice that not all of the plug ins are gonna have a lot of installs. For example, this one only has 2000 active insoles and nine reviews Now. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's not a good plug in. It looks like it was recently updated, and it was probably just recently released into the world of WordPress Plug. It's then, on the right hand side, you'll notice it shows that this was updated three weeks ago. Typically, you want a plug in that was updated within the last month or so. This means the WordPress plug in author is still updating the plug in and making it better with that being said, Sometimes when you install WordPress plug in, you may notice that it messes up functionality in other parts of your website. Now this happens, just uninstall the plug in and delete it, and typically everything will go back to normal. 30. Really Simple SSL Plugin: earlier on. In this course we spent a few course lessons installing inactivating or SSL. Now, as we create pages in posts and our wordpress website, we want to always make sure that it includes the positive SSL in our u r l To do this, we're going to install a WordPress plug in called really simple SSL. So let's go ahead and search really simple SSL and you'll notice that plugging comes up here now to install it. All we have to do is click install now and then we have to activate it. No, Activating the WordPress plug in does not always mean that the plug in itself is going to function yet In this case, we need to also hit. Go ahead, activate SSO. Now, if we type in issue TP in your website name will notice that it redirects to h T T. P s. Making sure that it includes are secure socket layer 31. W3 Total Cache: Sometimes WordPress files can be pretty large and take a little bit longer to load. I always recommend getting a cashing plug in, which will help your website load faster by compressing a lot of the files. One of my favorites is W three total cash. So if you search that, it should pop up as the top result and you'll see that it has over a 1,000,000 active installations and over 3000 reviews here. So let's install that. And then let's activate it. Now if we scroll down in our plug ins page here, we can click on settings to go directly to the settings of the plug in, and you'll notice that there's a little alert message here, and we could just go ahead and hide that. Now some WordPress plug ins may offer a paid version that enhances the functionality, so you'll notice that W three total cash is one of them. Now we need to enable the cashing plug in so it will actually reduce the response time for our site. So let's click the enable check box and then hit save settings and purged catches. You should get a success message saying that the plug in configuration was updated. Now we also want to enable unification or compression of our vials and once again hit safe settings and purge caches. Now, if we reload our site, you may or may not notice the speed difference. It really just depends how bulky your site is, how much content you have on there, your war press theme and a number of different factors, including how many plug ins you haven't solved and so on. So this plug in may not be something that you need right away, but it's definitely something that you should keep on your list of things to do as your website gets bigger and as you obtain MAWR website visitors. 32. Contact Form Plugin: most WordPress themes will require you to have a contact plug in installed. My theme required me to Insull Contact Form 71 of the more popular plug ins. Now, if you look at the left hand navigation, you'll see the contact here. If I click on that, you'll see that there's Contact Form one. So to set up our contact form, you'll hit, edit, and now you'll see that it has a number of different form. Feels here now. This is fairly simple and intuitive. If I need to add anything new, all they have to do is click on one of the options above and fill out the information it requests. Now, if you're not familiar with HTML and CSS, then you can just disregard the I D in class attributes. Otherwise, all you need to fill out is the required field. If you want users to be forced to fill that out, the name in any of the following options. Now all I really want is to collect the user's name, email, the subject and their message. A typical contact form. So really, it's kind of set up for what I need. Now you'll notice here that this ass trick means the emails required and the name is required. I also want to make sure that the message here is required. So I'm going to delete this and insert that and then I'm going to click Save now. This is how you set up what your contact form displays, but we need to make sure that our contact page has it set up properly. So to do this, go to your pages and then click Edit under your contact page. Now I'm in the backend mode visual composer, like we talked about earlier on in this course, so you'll notice. Here in the middle, I see Contact Form seven. If I click the edit icon, we'll see that contact Form one is selected, which I only have one contact form right now. Now you can also create multiple contact forms. All you have to do is make sure that you select the corresponding contact form that you want to display. Now, if I update the page and then view the page, you'll see that my contact form displays and everything appears to be good. Now there's just a few more things that we need to set up if we go back to our dashboard, will want to set up where the contact form sends the email. So let's edit the contact form again, and now you'll notice the mail. Now this will show you where the mail is going to send to so mind defaulted to admin at kevin Kennedy dot com. Now the rest of the settings here show what is going to be populated based on what your user fills out. So, for example, if the user fills out subject that will be included in the subject line. But if they don't fill out the subject, the subject will be left blank. Now, if you click on the messages tab, you'll see that their predetermined responses based on success or heirs. So if a user fills out the contact form and it's a success, they will see the following message. Thank you for your message. It has been set. Now, of course, any of these could be changed to whatever you would like. All you have to do is change the text and, of course, hit this saved. But and if we look at additional settings, you'll see that sometimes there may be some other alterations weaken due to our contact form. Now, once again, it's important to remember that every theme and plug in can be different. If you're having any problems, try to refer to the theme documentation or the plug in documentation. 33. Some Useful Plugins: Now, there are a few more plug ins that I'd recommend considering for your website, the first being this anti spam plug in that typically comes pre installed with WordPress. This is a great way to protect your website from spam comments and even spam emails. Now, another playing that I highly recommend is Yost s CEO. This plug in is super helpful and improving your S e O and making sure that you right proper keywords and all of your posts and pages. Now there are thousands of other plug ins available, and there are typically many solutions for your needs. Just be sure to test the plug ins, check the reviews and make sure that they're recently updated. 34. Adding and Managing Users: Whether you run a small business or you're looking to outsource some of your blog's articles, it may be necessary to give more users access to your site now. To do this, it's fairly easy, but you need to understand the different levels of access. You can give users to get started, go to the left navigation menu and click on users. Now you'll see that all we have right now is our admin account. If we go to hit add new user, you'll see that the user name and email are required. Once you fill out that info, you can send it to the user and they'll be able to set up their own password. Now we're going to cover the five most common roles here, starting with subscriber, it's subscriber is anyone who can manage their own profile. You can think of the subscriber as a customer or someone who subscribes to your blawg, but maybe they haven't account for some reasons, such as commenting on your posts. The contributor, someone who can write and manage their own posts, but they're not allowed to publish them to your blood without an admin or someone else approving it. The author is someone who can publish and manage their own post as well as scheduled him. The editor is someone who can publish a manage post, including post of authors, contributors and subscribers. And last but not least, you have the administrator or admin, which is what your account should be. Now the admin has access to change anything and everything. Thus, it's super important that you don't create an admin account for someone else unless you actually want them to have the bill de to change anything on the website. If you're just looking for an employee or contractor to publish your site, it's typically best to give the author or contributor level. Now back in the user's panel, you can edit or view the role, So if you had other users on this list, you'd be able to delete them or edit their access 35. Security Measures: We already insult an SSL in her sight toe hope with security. But there are a few other things that you may also want to consider. You should change your password and admin credentials on a regular basis. This will help ensure that no one else has them and that you're the only one that can log in to the back end of your site. You also want to make sure that you update WordPress Regular B will cover this briefly in the next video. Lastly, it's a good idea toe. Also, get a security plug in. One of the most popular is ward fence security. If you install and activate this plug in, it will help keep your data safe by stopping malicious software and by blocking unwanted log in attempts after you install the plug in, Be sure to follow the corresponding directions to make sure that it set up properly on your website. 36. Keeping Up to Date: Every so often, WordPress will release a software update, and you will be notified on your WordPress dashboard. Now, if you notice on the left hand side, it says updates one. If it go ahead and click on that, you'll see that one of my plug ins has an update available. Now. The great thing about WordPress is all we have to do is select the plug in and hit update. If there were multiple plug ins that needed updated, you could do all of them at once. And once it loads, you should see a success or air message. Now it's important to keep your WordPress software and plug ins updated because they may be fixing bugs or security flaws. You also want to make sure you post to your WordPress site regularly. This not only entices your users to come back, but it also tells search engines such as Google that your website content is more relevant . Lastly, you can choose a new WordPress theme at any time. Just be sure that a new theme has visual composer. If you decide to switch to a new theme and change your mind about it, you can always switch back to the old theme Now in switching themes. There may or may not be a few small things on your website that you'll need to fix. So always be cautious when switching themes and or plug ins, and be sure to check your website after making any major changes. 37. Thank You: I want to thank you once again for enrolling in my course. You've made it a long way. Now be sure to check out my other course on HTML and CSS. If you'd like to take your WordPress site a step further. Also be sure to check out millennial design community on Facebook, where you can network and chat with other designers and creatives. Thanks again, and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.