WordPress

These pages are intended to get you started with WordPress. Due to continual development this information may not be completely up to date. Let me know if you notice any discrepancies. If you want to dig deeper there is plenty of documentation on the internet and you can Google almost any problem, although you may find almost too much information.

WordPress Start Here!

Read this section if nothing else!

Using WordPress is an easy and inexpensive way to create a website. Of course ‘easy’ and ‘inexpensive’ are relative terms so to understand more read the detailed articles that follow.

WordPress is available in two forms.

1. The first as open source software which can be loaded to a server and built on, with few limitations, which is the paid for service I offer. If you want more than just bare bones my services may be cheaper and better, but I would say that! Oh, I do give as much personal attention and help as you need, which you may not get elsewhere.

2. Second as a complete web creation service where you sign up for little or no cost and are let loose into a controlled and fairly easy to use environment, with limitations. Pay more and the limitations can be lifted, a little!

To start I can register a domain for you (following discussion and advice), and I will set up web hosting for you and install WordPress. I do the basic setting up and handle all the technical stuff. If you can supply some text and images to get things going I’ll use these to get the website looking something like you want it. Then you can either take over yourself, with help and instruction from me, or we can agree a plan for me to maintain your site on an ongoing basis, or something in between.

WordPress keeps the design and layout of your site separate from the content. By applying Themes you can change the way your site looks without changing the content. There are thousands to choose from. 

By adding Plugins you can add extra capabilities to your website, such as an online shop, interactive maps, booking systems, galleries, response forms, etc. Again there are thousands.

To work on your website you’ll need to log in – see instructions following this section.

To add or adjust content see the section after that.

 

 

Logging into the Dashboard

Your WordPress site has two faces. The public one, seen by everyone, and the behind-the-scenes face, known as the Dashboard.

This is where you add and update the content of your site. Access to the Dashboard is by log in only, using a username and password. This page shows you how to log in, and covers some connected issues. 

To login to your dashboard add /wp-admin to your website URL in the browser address bar and hit return.

(replace mywebsite.com with your actual domain name)

This will bring up the login screen as shown below where you should enter your Username and Password. This should have been supplied to you – if not please ask.

Please note: On more secure setups it may not be wp-admin that you need to add to your URL. Also you may only get a limited number of attempts to log in before you are locked out for an hour or longer. Contact me for help.

An important  word about security

If you are the sort of person who uses a password like Rex2015 for every login, Amazon, eBay, bank, Facebook, email, then this section is especially for you.

I monitor attempted unauthorised access to websites. You would be amazed that attempts to log in using guessed usernames and passwords can start just a few days after a new website is set up. These rapidly increase to maybe 100 per day or more.

Why would they be interested in your website? They probably aren’t. ‘They’ are interested in finding people who use one simple password for everything. And ‘they’ use computer algorithms to rapidly test against their massive databases of common passwords.

Carelessness on social media may also have revealed your pet names, your bank name, when you are away from home, your address, your state of health, your age, your mother’s maiden name, the list goes on and the consequences too. On an unprotected WordPress site Rex2015 would probably be cracked in seconds and then tested on your email, bank account etc. etc.

There are also people who like to cause destruction for no good reason – or plant links to very dodgy websites.

Please accept the difficult password you are allocated and don’t change it for Rex2015! Copy and paste into a text file – note book, or best of all a proper password application like 1password (other applications are available).

I take precautions against your site getting hacked, but you need to do your part too.

 

Adding new posts or pages

The following describes the basic WordPress method of adding Posts or Pages. This has limited ability to format your content – but is easy to manage and may be all you need.

We tend to install the theme Divi on most sites. This gives the option of using a more sophisticated method of creating complex layouts and special effects – but is more difficult to use. Posts can be created with either method but once you click the Use Divi Builder button you cannot reliably return to the simple WordPress method on a particular post or page, so make this decision before you start an individual post and stick with it. If you want to use Divi, skip to the next section.

Quite often we create pages with Divi, but use the basic WordPress layout for Posts as these generally only involve a small amount of text and images.  Also the blog is the most likely place where the site will be frequently updated so keeping this simple has benefits.

The following describes using basic WordPress – see separate post Creating Posts or Pages using Divi

In the black Dashboard menu when clicking either Pages or Posts you’ll find that Add New appears. The Add New Post screenshot below shows how this looks. This is the same as editing an existing entry, except the Title and Body are empty. Just insert your cursor and start typing. Before leaving this screen you need to either Save Draft, Publish or Update using the buttons on the right (not shown. Only Publish makes your text visible on the public face of your website.

 

Use the formatting bar to change the format when entering/editing Body text. These controls only allow limited control over text, not freedom to do absolutely anything. This is generally good because it imposes a uniform style on your pages. The functions are pretty much self explanatory.

Each Post or Page must have a title which should be entered where indicated. Don’t make this more than a few words. You can always add a sub-title in the text area. The large open space is where you should enter your text. You can compose it here or copy and paste from another place such as a Word document.

The way your text appears when published may be quite different from the editing view – it depends on what Theme you have installed. If you don’t like the way text looks when published you may need to select a different Theme or have some customization done to your Theme. You shouldn’t need to make any radical changes as you enter text.

Images or links to documents can be added using the Add Media button found below the Title field. Position your cursor to where you want the insert to be, before clicking the button. Once clicked, the Add Media button takes you to the Media Library where you can select an already uploaded media item, or you can follow the Upload tab to add a new item. Once uploaded to the Media Library an item can be used in multiple places in Pages or Posts. It’s a waste of storage space to add a media item more than once. If you have to make changes and reupload an item, remember to delete the older versions. You can only add images of type .jpg, .gif or .png or documents of type .pdf.

If you delete an image that is in use somewhere on your site, it will disappear and be replaced by a blank space or broken link icon.

For odd occasions when you might want to do something differently you can click the Text tab. This puts you in HTML editing mode – but not recommended unless you understand HTML.

Categories

Before you finish you may want to select a Category. The place where you do this is generally to the right of the text area, as shown on the screenshot above. One reason you may want to use categories is to group your posts together, and a useful Widget can present all your categories in the sidebar enabling direct navigation to all the posts about a particular category. Another really useful way that Categories may be used is to create more than one blog page. If your website featured posts about People, Places and Things, these could all be displayed on separate pages, rather than bundled together.

When you are finished don’t forget to Save or Update using the blue button on the right. You will almost certainly be reminded.

Creating Posts or Pages using Divi

Divi can help you produce complex pages with the content arranged in a more controlled way. It is invaluable for creating layouts which reliably reformat themselves to work on all devices and various sized screens. It also enables use of multi layer backgrounds, easy control of spacing, animated effects, image transparency and so much more that can bring your website to life. It enables much of the same capability as a full blown page layout program does to printed graphics.

To start, select New Post or Page from the Dashboard menu as normal. Then click the purple Use The Divi Builder button. Having created a Divi Post or Page you cannot reliably return to the simple WordPress method of editing – you will most likely lose the content you entered. Divi and non-Divi Pages and Posts can quite happily coexist on the same website.

Divi works by creating a new structure layer of Sections, Rows and Modules which floats above the actual content. The main function of Sections (blue) and Rows (green) is to organise the positioning of the Modules (black).  Your content is mainly held inside the Modules and there are many sorts of module which are each designed to present particular types of content. Some are self explanatory, others you will learn by and by.

The text module behaves much like the simple WordPress text area with similar editing controls. The image module enables precise control over size and positioning of images.  

1. Section

The Section is where you can group your content, add your row and add your modules for adding text, etc. With the section, you can add a background colour or background images to make your website stand out.

-What can we do in the section element?

With the section, you can add.

Background images

You can add your own custom background to your website.

Background Colours and Gradient Backgrounds

With this feature in section settings, you can add colours to your background and add background gradients. You can also add a colour/gradient background over your background image to make the website eye-catching.

Parallax effect

With this feature in section settings, you can enable this effect and give your website a 3D effect when scrolling down.

Shadows

You can add inner shadows to your section, to give it a 3D look.


Animations

Adding animations to your website can make your website pop by giving it a 3D effects just like the Shadow feature.

2. Rows

 When you add a row, you can put it together by adding a module in a column and dividing your rows to add more columns.

 

How does the Row element Work?

With the row element, you can divide it into how many columns you want and add modules like texts, a blog post for your blog page, Images, Forms, etc. 

 

With the Row Section, you can.

Add Background Color/Gradient.

Add Margins and Padding.

Add Shadows.

Add Borders.

Add animations.

Add multiple columns.

The last element is Modules.

3. Modules

The Divi Module section has over 63 modules you can use to add to your website. The Modules is like sections and rows, you can edit the background, add borders, shadows, animations in each module like Text, Buttons, Bar counters, Circle Counters, Audio and much more!

How Does The Module Element work?

The Module Section allows you to use 63 elements like text, Buttons, Bar counters, Circle Counters, Audio, etc.

and in each element in the module section, you can edit the background, add borders, shadows, animations and a lot more!

 

 

 

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