WordPress button on a Jacket.
Photo Credit : Titanas

Vajra is focused on helping organisations get the most out of their online tools.

For small businesses that often means leveraging the WordPress platform to facilitate their goals. This blog post is to help people who are new to online content management systems like WordPress and need some help learning how to get their content online.

Key things that my clients ask me about WordPress are :

  1. How to logon and off ?
  2. What is a page and a post ?
  3. How to find a page or post ?
  4. How to create or edit a page or post ?
  5. How to publish a page or post ?
  6. How to upload a file/image/video and show it on a page or post ?
  7. What to do about comments on pages or posts ?
  8. What the red update circles mean and what to do about them ?

So this blog post will provide my spin on these questions and links to free resources that help people new to WordPress understand it.

How to logon or off WordPress ?

Add /wp-admin to your site url e.g. www.example.co.nz/wp-admin this will take you to the username and password login page.

More details on WpBeginner.com

What is the difference between a WordPress post and page ?

I tell my clients the key difference is :

  • pages are for the information that changes rarely e.g. only every six months
  • posts are for information that is new or that you want to share. In the good old days it was expected that you would create a blog post regularly (e.g. every week) but that isn’t necessary these days. My advice is to post as often as is useful to you and your audience.

How do I find a page or post in WordPress ?

Once you’ve logged in you need to move your mouse over the pages or posts left hand menu item and click the All option.

Then use the search box (top right) to find the page you know exists.

How to create or edit a page or post in WordPress ?

Once you’re logged in mouse over the page or post menu item on the left hand side and select “add” from the menu.

Fill in the title and the content

Click the publish button (top right)

Here is a WordPress.TV video showing this in an earlier version of WordPress (though still very similar to the current version)

How to publish a page or post with WordPress ?

WordPress allows you to save pages and posts in draft form, by clicking Save rather than Publish when you create them. When you’re ready for the world to see the page or post click the Publish button.

WordPress also allows you to prepare a page or post for publication at a specific date and time in the future. Rather than clicking the publish button , look above it at the “Publish immediately edit” word and link.

Click the “edit” link to the right of “Publish immediately” and you will be able to set the date and time that the page will be published.

Set the date to some time in the future, then click the “OK” button. When you do this the “Publish button” will change into the “Schedule” button. Now click the “Schedule” button.

The “Schedule” button will change to “Update”, now if you make changes just click the “Update button” and your updated version will be the one that appears on the scheduled date.

How to upload and embed a file/image/video into a page or post in WordPress

WordPress puts everything you upload or embed into the “media” section of the site. You’ll see this as one of the menu items on the left when you logon.

WordPress.TV have a good video on embedding media files into your WordPress pages and posts.

Comments on pages and posts what to do with them in WordPress ?

Unfortunatelydiscussion-settings most comments on your posts and pages will be spam. To limit the time you need to spend managing this I recommend the following.

Change your settings so that you do not only allow comments on pages, and only allow comments on posts for 14 days after you post the item. Do this under the “Settings” menu item by selecting “discussion” then changing the values on the page.

Click the image to the right and see the discussion settings I use.

WordPress updates and what to do about them

WordPress updates are essential for you to protect your online investment from being damaged by hackers and others who want to use your site for their purposes rather than it working just for you.

Really you should have someone do these for you who knows how WordPress works, but if you do want to deal with them yourself here are some rules of thumb.

  • Start by working out some things you will do to test that the changes haven’t broken the key things you want visitors to your site to do. This is your test plan.
  • Before you do anything backup your database and files (If you don’t have a backup plugin then get one e.g. BackUpWordPress)
  • Lower risk items to update are your Plugins
  • Updating your theme may mean that the site doesn’t look like you want it to. So only do this if you have to. Ideally talk to the web designer who put the theme in place for you.
    If you update and things don’t look right pay for some advice, or learn how to restore the backup you took at the start of the process.
  • Updating WordPress itself is also higher risk because some plugins only work with some versions of WordPress.
    Again if you update make sure you’ve got a backup.

After you’ve done the updates then you need to check that the site still does what you want it to. Go through the test plan you did at the very beginning.

Finally – remember if you have a backup that will make it a lot cheaper to get things fixed than if you don’t have one.

Let me know anything else you feel new owners of WordPress sites need to know and I’ll add them in.

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Update 20 May 2016

Today I was contacted by Duke Vukadinovic of First Time Guides. He asked if I’d link to the website he is involved with. I had a look and they have some useful resources for people who are just starting out on their website journey.

http://firstsiteguide.com/resources/

Much of the information revolves around email marketing, but they have other useful free material available.

[Disclaimer: I’m not getting anything for putting this link here. But Duke’s website becomes more important in Google’s ranking. I don’t mind doing this because I believe this link will be useful to people visiting this page.]

WordPress basics for site owners