Intro to WP

Welcome to WordPress!

wordpress.com home screen

WordPress is an incredibly robust, theme-based blogging platform that allows you the freedom to completely customize every aspect of your website. Whether you’re interested in creating an online portfolio, storefront, journal or blog, WordPress has an applicable theme, widget or plugin for the job. The software’s free price tag, ease of use, and speedy setup time are a few great reasons for using WordPress to power your personal or business site.

The world’s largest brands and industries are using WordPress.

brands and industries

These days, WordPress sites account for approximately 15% of all websites; a number reaching close to 95,000,000 sites! With that staggering number of users, it’s no wonder that a large, open source community exists, constantly developing new themes and plugins to keep improving the functionality of WordPress. What this means for you is a massive number of  online communities and forums available at your fingertips, waiting to assist you with any and all problems you may encounter along your website publishing journey.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a focal point for all diligent website owners, and WordPress sites are extremely search-friendly, creating lots of pages and links for Google and Bing to mine for keywords. Speaking of Google, there are several outstanding plugins that provide seamless integration with your Google Analytics and Web Tools accounts, along with SEO plugins to fully optimize your pages and posts for Google Search and others. We’ll get into more details about this later in the plugins section. WordPress.com has it’s own stats section, where you can access a bunch of statistics similar to Analytics.

Along with customizing your site with available widgets, plugins, and theme features, you can also go behind the scenes and further tweak your site’s layout and appearance with some hand coding, if you’re comfortable enough to do so. If not, no need to worry. You can implement everything you’re looking to set up without any prior HTML or CSS knowledge.

What is CMS?

CMS stands for content management system, a platform that allows you to set up and maintain a full website, in addition to a blog, providing ease of  administration and, if desired, collaboration. You can create, publish, edit, archive, and search pages from your site’s dashboard or admin panel, with minimal to no previous knowledge of HTML, coding, or website creation. This lets you add features and create pages in addition to (or instead of) a blog, such as about me, gallery, contact, etc, that can be added as main menu or sub menu options. All changes and their associated links are updated automatically across your entire site. Graphics, photos, audio, and video can all be uploaded and stored in your media library, for placement within your pages and posts.

Pages vs. Posts

Simply put, pages added to your site are for static, long term, important content that is usually featured as a menu or sub menu item, such as about and contact. They’re usually easily accessible from a header or sidebar menu. These pages aren’t typically commented on or shared socially, although they can be if they contain some rich, shareable content, such as we’re doing here on this very page.

Posts are the blog posts you’ve written, assembled, or reblogged, displayed in reverse chronological order on your blog page, which is often your homepage. This is the topical, meaty stuff that people come to your blog to read. Your post titles can be set to appear in the recent posts widget, placed in a sidebar or footer, for quick and easy access to your most recent content. Posts are highly shareable through the use of the social media buttons, the publicize feature, and the like and press this buttons. Posts are also searchable by the tags you apply to help categorize your content. These tags (similar to a Twitter hashtag), or keywords, can be displayed in a tag cloud in a widgeted area of your site, allowing a quick search through your posts by topic.

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One thought on “Intro to WP

  1. Pingback: Happy 10th Anniversary WordPress: An Infographic | WordPress 101

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