WordPress Basics

by | Jan 28, 2017

In this module concerning WordPress Basics we will cover these topics:

  • WordPress – What is it and a brief description of how it works
  • Pages – When are they used, how to create and modify them
  • Posts – How are they different from pages, how to create and modify them
  • Menu items – How to create and configure them

This is part one of a seven-part series introducing the basics of WordPress.  It is our hope that in providing these tutorials, our customers will be able to perform the majority of the updates to their websites without hiring a web developer.  When Persson Technologies creates your new website, a member of our staff will provide the user account and password that will enable you to access the administrative functions of WordPress.  If your website address is mysite.com then the logon screen can be accessed at mysite.com/wp-admin.

These tutorials will be regularly updated as the technology changes, our staff learns new tricks. or our customers have questions regarding certain features or procedures.

First of all, it is important to know what WordPress is.  It is a Content Management System (CMS) that was designed to simplify the process of creating and updating websites.  In this first article we will cover pages, posts, and menus which encompass 90% of what is typically in a basic website. Technical info (optional reading if you are curious) – WordPress is a collection of PHP functions that provide a dashboard and retrieve the settings and content of pages from a MySQL database in order to dynamically create HTML pages.

WordPress Pages

WordPress Pages

First, let’s cover the topic of pages.  The location of the “pages” module in the dashboard is shown in the accompanying image.  We will be covering several areas of the WordPress dashboard in this series of articles. A WordPress page can be thought of as a web page.  It can contain media (pictures, videos, sound files), links to other content on this website or any website on the Internet, and of course text. Unlike a blog post, it cannot be indexed by categories or tags.

WordPress Posts

A WordPress post is different from a page because it can be indexed by a category or tags.  A post can have one or many categories and zero or many tags.  Here is an article discussing the difference between categories and tags.  Basically, if your posts are a collection of articles you can think of categories as a table of contents whereas tags would be similar to an index. Another unique feature of a blog post is that you can allow the website viewers to comment on your post and then others can comment on their comment, thereby forming a discussion.  This results in a very useful method of communication. How are posts and pages different? 

Look at this chart for the summary:

WordPress Pages & Posts Compared
WordPress Posts

How to create/modify posts and pages

In this example we are using the TinyMCE Advanced editor to edit a post or page.  This is not included with WordPress, it is a free plug-in.  The topic of plug-ins will be covered in a later module.  Posts and pages are identical in how they are created and the content they can include.

WordPress-Creating Posts & Pages
WordPress Menus

WordPress Menus

There are two screenshots that accompany this text.  One shows how to access the menu configuration option in the dashboard under the “appearance” heading.  The other screenshot shows how menus are created and arranged.  Some themes allow you to have more than one menu.  For instance, you might have a menu at the very top of the web page, a menu on the left or right side of some web pages, or perhaps another menu that appears in the footer of each page. The menu is created by adding Pages, Posts, Projects, etc. from the left side of the screen to your menu.  Then on the right side of the screen you can arrange these items in any way you desire.  A menu item can be dragged up or down in the list.  If it is dragged to the right it becomes a sub-menu item. In this example, the “Our Technology” menu item is a custom link and the URL is simply “#” so if you click on it nothing happens.  This is how you create a top-level menu item that points to nothing.  You can also create custom links in your menu that point to content on other websites.

WordPress Menu Configuration

Here is an index to all the articles in this tutorial series:

 

  1. Introduction to WordPress Part One - WordPress Basics https://perssontechnologies.com/wordpress-basics/
  2. Introduction to WordPress Part Two - WordPress Themes, Plug-ins, and Updates https://perssontechnologies.com/wordpress-themes-plug-ins-and-updates/
  3. Introduction to WordPress Part Three - Introduction To Divi https://perssontechnologies.com/introduction-to-divi/
  4. Introduction to WordPress Part Four - How To Use The Included Divi Modules https://perssontechnologies.com/how-to-use-the-included-divi-modules/
  5. Introduction to WordPress Part Five - How To Use Divi Tweaks https://perssontechnologies.com/how-to-use-divi-tweaks/
  6. Introduction to WordPress Part Six - A Brief Introduction to Search Engine Optimization https://perssontechnologies.com/a-brief-introduction-to-search-engine-optimization/
  7. Introduction to WordPress Part Seven - WordPress Advanced Topics https://perssontechnologies.com/wordpress-advanced-topics/