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:
and press Enter on your keyboard. So if your domain is, your login page is at 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 – click to enlarge:

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.

The difference between Pages and Posts

In brief, Posts are for material that is continually being added to, or “dynamic content”. Pages are for “static content”: information that doesn’t change frequently, such as your about page or privacy policy.

WordPress originated as a blogging platform and that is what Posts are for: blogging. New posts appear stacked in reverse date order in groups of around 10, depending on settings. If writing or blogging is the main purpose of your site, your blog Posts can be set to appear front and centre while the Pages are confined to the margins. See this example one about Trevor Grundy the journalist.

But some websites exist to display mostly unchanging (static) information that will need only infrequent updating. These websites consist mainly of Pages. Such sites often use Posts for advertising events and news, like this one for Dunks Almshouses or this one for the Bromham Benefice of churches.

There is no right or wrong in deciding how to use Posts or Pages, but Posts can be categorised, tagged and archived by month which creates a very useful alternative system of navigation. In case you’re wondering, what you are reading now is a Post. Applegreen Websites uses static Pages for Home, Portfolio, About and Contact (and their sub-pages) and Posts for FAQs and WordPress Tips which we are continually adding to.

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. Essentially, every piece of content is a separate block. Each header, each separate paragraph, each image or gallery is a block. The default block, which is created when you press the Enter key on your keyboard, is the simple paragraph.

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 image 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 by clicking with your mouse. As there are different blocks for paragraphs, headings, images, file downloads etc, the settings options for each will be different for each type.

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.

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

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