WordPress Tutorial– All the features of WordPress – Guide for Beginners Step 2
- Design content and choose keywords
- What is Plugins?
- How to install a WordPress plugin
- The graphic part: the Themes
- How to install a WordPress theme
- Customize the theme: can you?
- Add Contents: Create Pages
- Create a blog
- Update the blog: write a Post. Tags, categories, images
- Categories and tags
- Insert images
- Insert video
- The menus
- Edit the menu
- Add a page to the menu
- Create a menu
- The widgets: what they are and how to configure them
- Configure the footer, create the sitemap
- How many hits does your site have? Configure Google Analytics
- Publication: make the site visible to all
- STEP 3 Quality Themes and Plugins for your WordPress Website to Improve Conversions!
WordPress Tutorial – All the features of WordPress – Guide for Beginners Step 2
Let’s start now, we recommend you to keep one WordPress page and in the other this guide.
I have developed this guide to answer your curiosity:
The themes, the best plugins and some SEO consultant tips to improve your search engine ranking!
This WordPress guide has been written in as clear a language as possible and in such a way as not to leave out any aspect.
If you have questions or suggestions to improve it, leave a comment at the end of the page!
How To Start a Website with WP
Design content and choose keywords
Starting point is the question, “What do I want to talk about?” It is necessary, in fact, to establish topics and contents of the site and, in the case of a blog, to draw up an editorial plan.
For example, if you have a company or are a professional,
you should define the characteristics of the product/service you offer, the target audience, the tone of the communication (professional, emotional, etc.).
If you are a blogger,
it is important to identify your niche, i.e. the sector you intend to occupy (fashion, music, cinema, etc.), and understand how to attract readers.
Very useful, from this point of view, is the analysis of the competition.
Before creating a WordPress site, take a look at your competitors’ companies, professionals and bloggers,
And make a list of the things you think work and those you don’t really like.
It will help clarify your ideas about the type of site you want to create and, above all, will allow you to design your web presence consistently.
It is also essential to identify keywords and trends on the web:
Knowing which keywords and topics are the most searched for,
in your field of reference will help you to develop contents able to intercept the tastes of the public and to obtain visibility on search engines.
Here you can find a very competent and completely free site for keyword search,
you can have the search volumes of each keyword you choose (Ubersuggest)
What is Plugins?
WordPress’ plugins are “pieces of code” or programs that extend their basic functions.
There are many, many WordPress plugins, and for the most desperate needs:
Check out the official website for yourself. To get started, I suggest you install two of them:
1- WordPress SEO by Yoast is simply the best WordPress plugin: it allows you to optimize content for search engines and thus increase the visibility of your website.
2- Ultimate Coming Soon: Those who connect to your website will see a screen that warns them of “work in progress”.
How to install a WordPress plugin
There are two ways:
1- Download the plugin that interests you from the official website https://it.wordpress.org/plugins/.
The plugin is downloaded as a compressed folder.
From the WordPress control panel, go to Plugin > Add new: click on “Upload plugin”,
Select the WordPress plugin folder you downloaded and install it.
2- From the control panel, go directly to Plugin > Add New and search there for the plugin to install. When you have found it, click on “Install now”.
Immediately after installation, remember to activate the plugins by clicking on the appropriate item!
All the features of WordPress – Guide for Beginners Step 2
The graphic part: the Themes
WordPress themes represent the graphic component of your site and, at the same time, add specific functionality. Without them, you simply can’t create your site with WordPress!
WordPress themes are divided into two categories: free and premium, free downloadable and paid themes.
Usually WordPress has already installed as a choice of free themes by default, but if you want to buy a premium theme for your site, then the most suitable place is Thrive Themes.
Enter the WordPress area and choose the ideal theme for the site you want to create (personal blog, corporate site, e-commerce, etc.)
How to install a WordPress theme
Install a WordPress theme is very simple! After you have purchased and downloaded the theme (it is in zip folder form), from the control panel of your site go to Appearance > Themes, then click on “Add new”. Select the folder and you’re done: your theme is installed. You’ll find it in the Themes section, where you can preview it and, if you like, apply it to your site.
Customize the theme: can you?
Without being a programmer, there are a number of things you can do to make the theme you have chosen for your site more beautiful or personal. If you go to Wait > Customize, you have the opportunity to edit fonts, colors, site title, insert the logo, create menus. If you are an expert (if you are not, forget it) you can also modify the CSS, the style sheet, the set of graphic rules of your website.
Just go to Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS to add new rules or overwrite existing ones. Alternatively, you can edit the .css files located in the theme folder on your hosting space.
Add Contents: Create Pages
Your website is slowly taking shape: now it’s the turn of the pages.
These are divided into static and dynamic pages. For example, the homepage of my site is static; this page is dynamic instead, because it updates itself every time I insert a new article.
But let’s not get into technical matters. What you need to know is that static pages are usually ideal to present your personal/professional profile or your company (its history, philosophy, etc.).
From your control panel you can create as many pages as you want. Just go to Pages > Add new. Here you can give it a name, insert text and,
If you have installed the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, also configure the metadata
(i.e. information useful for search engines to index your content).
Depending on the theme you have installed, on the right column you also have a drop-down menu that allows you to assign a template or template (i.e. a graphic structure) to the page.
You can also determine whether your page is a “base page” or whether it is hierarchically ‘daughter’ of another page you have created (for example: “Who I am” can be a base page, “My education” and “My professional experiences” can be ‘daughter’ pages).
Once the content is ready, you can decide to publish the page. If you need some more proofreading, you can save it as a draft.
With the procedure I have described you can create the typical pages that all websites have: Home, Who I am/About/Company, Services/Curriculum, Contacts, etc.. The (premium) WordPress themes offer already structured solutions, in which you only need to change text and images!
The same goes for the contact pages, which, however, can be enriched by a very useful plugin such as Contact Form 7, which allows you to create the characteristic forms in which anyone interested in contacting you can enter First Name, Last Name, email and, above all, the message.
If you have a company it might be a good idea to also download a plugin to insert a Google map that shows your users the exact location of your business.
So far we’ve been talking static. If you want a dynamic home page, in the control panel go to Appearance > Customize > Static home page: there you will have the possibility to set a dynamic home page, just like I did.
Create a blog
Depending on the theme you have chosen, your site may already have a blog. Otherwise, you can always create one. It’s easy: create two pages “Home” and “Blog” according to the procedure seen before. Go to Appearance > Customize > Static home page and tick “One static page”. From the “Home Page” drop-down menu, select the “Home” you just created; from the “Articles Page” drop-down menu, select “Blogs”. What’s going on? That all the articles you write will go to make up your blog!
Update the blog: write a Post. Tags, categories, images
Well, now you can create your first blog post! Go to Articles > Add New: enter a title and the body of the text. The editor has functions similar to those of word processing programs like Microsoft Word, with italics, bold, underlined, text alignment, possibility to insert links (the icon with the chain) and other more or less important functions.
Some themes allow you to write a summary of the post, a sort of “preview” that users can read on the main page of the blog for each article. If your theme doesn’t have this function, you can always use the “Insert the Read All tag” button.
Categories and tags
WordPress allows you to “classify” items according to categories and, in second order, tags.
Want to create a category? In the article entry screen there is a panel on the right column: click on “+ Add new category” (e.g. “WordPress”, i.e. the category in which the article you are reading is placed) and you are done.
Tags are the keywords we can associate with our articles. You can insert them in the panel just below the categories: insert the tags one after the other, separated by a comma.
You can also insert images in articles (and pages). You can do this inside the piece (by clicking on “Add Media”, a button right above the text editor) or by placing an image “in evidence”. The highlighted image is the one that appears in preview, for each article, on the main page of the blog: you can find the insert button on the right column, usually under the tag block.
You can associate a series of information to the images: I suggest you to focus on the title, the caption and the alternative text: they are useful information both for the reader and for search engines!
Inserting a video into an article can be a good idea to engage the reader and get them to dwell more on the page.
How to insert a video on WordPress? If the video is on YouTube or Vimeo, just open the page, copy the url and then paste it directly into the text area where you want it to appear. Try it, it’s very simple!
If you want more control over your video, you can use embed code. Open the YouTube page of the video and go to Share > Embed code. Select Show more: you can change the size of the video, choose whether or not to show the player controls, the title of the video and the player actions, and select the advanced privacy mode (in this case, YouTube does not store information about visitors to your web page unless they play the video).
Once you have selected the options that interest you, copy the code and paste it into the Text area of the editor at the desired location. You can also repeat the same operation with Vimeo and other platforms!
Create pages, articles, become familiar with the media, now you need to work on the layout of content and information on the site. First, then, the menu: go to Appearance > Menu. The installed template probably already has its menu active: you can choose to modify it or create a new one.
Edit the menu
Do you want to add or remove pages? In the “Menu structure” area, drag the rectangles with the items and change the order of display, or click on the item you are interested in and then press “Remove”.
Add a page to the menu
In the “Pages” box, tick the page that interests you and click “Add to Menu”.
Create a menu
In the bar at the top of the page, click on “Create new menu”. Enter the name of the menu and click “Create menu”. Now all you have to do is add the contents according to the above procedure. You can search for your new menu items among the pages, but also among articles, categories (my “WordPress” menu item is obtained in this way) or create a custom link (if you want, for example, one of the menu items to link to an external link).
WordPress Tutorial – All the features of WordPress – Guide for Beginners Step 2
The widgets: what they are and how to configure them
To create a site with WordPress you also have a series of elements that enrich it with specific features, locating them in certain parts of the screen. In a word, widgets.
The widgets on your site depend on the theme and plugin you install. The widget management area is in the control panel: Appearance > Widgets. Here you will find a screenshot showing (on the left) the widgets that can be activated and (on the right) the active ones, divided according to the portions of the screen that, according to the structure of your theme, they can occupy.
The basic WordPress widgets are:
Search field: is the area where you can search for content on your site;
Recent posts: shows the latest posts on your blog;
Popular Posts: shows the most read posts on your blog;
Facebook (and social in general): these are widgets that show likes on your Facebook page, the latest shots on your Instagram profile, the latest tweets, etc.;
Newsletter: allows users to enter their email and subscribe to your blog newsletter.
Thanks to the widgets you can also place advertising banners on your site. For example, if you have activated Google AdSense (Google’s tool that allows you to earn money with clicks on ads), you only need to insert the banner code in a widget (it can be the classic text widget, perfect for containing generic html code, or a specific widget). With widgets you can also insert banners of affiliate products (affiliate marketing).
Configure the footer, create the sitemap
Well, here we go: a few more changes here and there and you’re ready to publish your site!
First, however, remember to configure the footer, especially if you have a company or are a professional. The footer (the lower area of your site) is the ideal place to summarize your contact information (including social links) and enter your VAT number. You can usually edit the footer in the widget area.
To improve your search engine ranking it is very important to create a sitemap. You can do this with the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, which you installed at the beginning. From the control panel go to Seo > Sitemap XML and click on “Enabled”. Now, using the “XML Sitemap” button, you can access your site map, typically located on your address/sitemap_index.xml.
How many hits does your site have? Configure Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a very powerful tool to monitor access to your site.
First, create an account here: https://www.google.it/analytics. Once you have indicated the site you want to monitor and finished the procedure, Google will provide you with a code: this must be copied and pasted in a specific point on your site, the header. From the WordPress control panel go to Appearance > Editor: look for the header.php file in the right column and open it. Paste the code provided by Google Analytics just before the tag at the end of the document.
Alternatively, you can enable Google Analytics via a plugin.
Just wait a few hours before Google records the visits to your site. You can keep an eye on them at all times by logging into your Analytics account.
WordPress Tutorial – All the features of WordPress – Guide for Beginners Step 2
Publication: make the site visible to all
The procedure to create a site with WordPress is almost finished. Now, one of the parts you often forget about: inviting Google to index your site.
Go to Settings > Read, uncheck “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. Disable (if you have it installed) the Coming Soon plugin, and it’s done: your site is visible to everyone and soon (a matter of hours) it will be indexed by Google!
Do you have clarifications, criticisms or additions to submit me? leave a comment! If you found interesting and useful reading this guide on how to create a site with WordPress, vote for the article