First steps in using WordPress

Published: 13 August, 2020 | Category: WordPress Help

If your WordPress website was created by Applegreen, this page is a refresher for the instructions you have already received. Otherwise, here are your first steps in using WordPress There is also a WordPress section in our Terms & Conditons.

Were you looking for general information instead? See WordPress websites. Some examples? Try WordPress Portfolio.

Where to log in

If you don’t have a link to your login page, you can retrieve it like this: navigate to your website’s domain and add the following:
/wp-admin
and press Enter on your keyboard. So if your domain is www.yourdomain.co.uk, your login page is at www.yourdomain.co.uk/wp-admin. This takes you to a page where you can enter your username and password.

We recommend opening two tabs in your browser at once: one for the website and the other for the Dashboard. That way you can swap between the two and view the results of your efforts.

Wordpress dashboard
Your dashboard will look a little like this one though the colours may vary. The important bits are the links down the left-hand side: your dashboard will contain some or all of the ones listed here. The most used are Posts, Media and Pages.

Each time you save a change, the results will only show on the website when you have refreshed the page:

Brower refresh buttons
Click the browser refresh button symbolised by a circular arrow. Our own red arrow indicate where to find it on two different browsers by the red arrows.

Editing in WordPress

The editable areas of a WordPress website come in three main categories: Pages, Posts and Widgets. On the Dashboard, Pages and Posts are listed in the left-hand navigation, while Widgets are found under Appearance.

Here is a visual representation of these three areas on a typical website:

The difference between Pages and Posts

Acess Posts and Pages from the Dashbord, in the left-hand list (purple in our example images). The editing experience is the same for both, but they have entirely different functions in the overall website.

WordPress originated as a blogging platform and that is what Posts are for: blogging. New posts appear on the front end stacked on top of each other in pages of around 10 posts in reverse date order. This is useful for promoting up-coming events or giving snippets of new information. Here is an example, on the website of the Bromham Benefice of churches.

Some websites are designed to be continually added to. You will be writing new articles if you are a journalist, or recipes for example. Create a new Post created for each update. You can categorise and arichive Posts to aid navigation as the website expands. In these websites, use Pages for unchanging information such as About or Contact. See this example one about Trevor Grundy the journalist. Such websites are blogging-led and consist mainly of Posts.

Others have mostly unchanging (static) information that will be updated infrequently: these websites consist mainly of Pages. They often use Posts for advertising events and news, like this one for Dunks Almshouses.

If you are unsure whether a particular webpage exists as a WordPress Page or Post, look for its title Page or Post tabs of the Dashboard.

Writing and editing Posts and Pages

Whether it’s a Page or a Post, the editing experience is similar. Since the introduction of the block-based editing system, writing content for WordPress has become a little more complex, and a lot more flexible.

Let’s start with the editing screen. I like it to show the dashboard navigation on the left-hand side and the settings column on the right, like this:
Click to enlarge

But WP doesn’t always present like this out of the box. If the Dashboard navigation is missing, click on the three vertical dots in the right-hand corner and disable “Full Screen Mode”. If the settings column is missing, click the gear icon just to the left of the three vertical dots.

The settings area has two modes which depend on where you have placed your cursor: Page or Post mode (depending whether if you are editing a Page or a Post) and Block mode, for content blocks.

Page or Post mode allows you to edit Post- or Page-level attributes, such as template, category, featured image, permalink, parent page and page order.

The Block mode setting options vary depending on what type of block you have highlighted. Apart from the main title, all your post or page content exists as independent blocks. This include paragraph block, heading block, image block, file upload block, gallery block. Naturally, the settings options for each will be different.

Text formatting options appear in a toolbar above individual highlighted text blocks, enabling you to add Bold, Italics or links etc to your text. But if this interferes with your writing experience, you can move the toolbar to the top of the editing page. To do this, click on the three vertical dots and choose Top Toolbar.

Pressing the Enter button on your keyboard creates another block, or new paragraph. If you just want a single line return, hold down the Shift key while pressing Enter.

Linking to another page or website is simple. In editing mode, highlight the words you want to use as link text and click on Insert Link icon above the editing box. Tip: it looks like a paperclip! Copy the whole url of the page or website to be linked to in the space provided. Click the arrow next to it and the link text will be underlined.

Explore other block choices by clicking on the Plus button at the top of the top left of the editing screen.

And when you’ve finished editing, don’t forget to save your work by pressing the big blue Update button in the top right corner of the editing screen. If you are creating a new page or post, not yet published, this button will say Publish, not Update.

Posts have a couple of additional, very powerful features: you can divide them into Categories and target them with Tags. Read more about this on our dedicated page on Categories and Tabs [LINK].


Adding a new page to the navigation

To create a new page, click the “Add New” button at the top of the Page list screen. Once it’s been published, it needs to be added to the website navigation so that the public can see it.

To access the navigation, which is also called menu, go to Appearance and choose the Menus tab. You will see your existing menu on the right of the screen. On the left you will find the choices of Pages, Posts and Categories you can add:

Tick the box next to the title of the new page you have just created. If you can’t see it in the Most Recent tab, try View All or use the search box. When you have clicked Add to Menu, your new page will appear right at the bottom of the existing menu. Scroll down to find it and drag and drop it into the place you want. If you want it to drop down from another page that is already in the menu, position the new page under that page and indent it slightly, as shown above. Then Portfolio Summary drops down from Portfolio.

 


Category: WordPress Help

← Previous post: Installing a WordPress website

→ Next post: Manipulating images in WordPress