Wordpress

A guide to creating websites

WordPress in 30 minutes

Read about WordPress concepts so you understand what you are doing and what’s possible.

This page introduces Pages, Posts, Static and Dynamic pages, Themes, Plugins and Widgets

Go to the next page to learn about the Dashboard.

Concepts

WordPress websites consist of one or more pages, just like any website.

You can add as many pages as you want, and each page can be changed as often as you like. In addition to these normal ‘static’ pages WordPress has another sort of (dynamic) page which displays ‘Posts‘. This is often the home page, but doesn’t have to be. Usually there is only one such page.

Posts are equivalent to entries in a diary, and if your WordPress site is a traditionalBlog this is where most of your content will be. You can title the posts page anything you like. If its not a blog you might use the posts for news items or articles, but you don’t have to use posts at all if you don’t want to.

posts-and-pages

Every time you enter a Post it gets added to the top of the posts page. When your posts reach a set number (default 10) they begin to spill over onto another page which becomes automatically linked, so you can always go back through all the posts that have ever been made.

Both pages and posts have a title and a body where you can enter text and images, or even video.

The standard way of moving between pages is via the navigation menu which usually appears across the top of each page. As you add each new page, a new menu link is automatically added.

Apart from the central portion of the page or body, where your content appears, other common features include:

  • the header, which appears on each page and may be an image or text, or both
  • one or two narrow columns or sidebars which appear at either side of the page
  • a footer which extends across the bottom of the page

The above illustration shows a simple ‘out of the box’ layout, but the look of your WordPress site can be changed by means of Themes.

One of the clever things about WordPress is that the look and content of your site are entirely separate. There is a huge choice of free and paid-for themes which can be installed and activated without changing your content. All themes have the same layout parts but may present them differently or give a different emphasis. Some themes have a particular selection of colours, type sizes and faces which can’t easily be changed, whilst others provide controls where you can specify these things plus backgrounds, header images and other elements precisely.

Hundreds of freely downloadable plugins can add extra features such as calendars, slideshows, Google maps, catalogues, shopping carts, input forms, table designers etc, etc.

Each WordPress installation comes with some native Widgets. These are used to populate the sidebar and footer. They provide things like a search facility, list of recent posts, list of links, a piece of feature text etc. Additional widgets are added by installing plugins, which can provide links to social media, what’s on list, mini calendar etc etc.