What is WordPress and How to Use It

A dedicated website is a valuable resource to have, and can have a range of practical applications whatever your exact interests are; perhaps you want to use it to host your blog, or promote and raise awareness for your business, or start selling a product that you make. Whatever the reason, making use of the internet will surely provide you access to a much wider audience than you otherwise would have, and once set up, it will prove a great deal easier to manage and use, too.

However, once set up is the integral phrase here- for many, who have no coding experience or real knowledge of building a website whatsoever, that task might seem a daunting one, and one that might see them put off altogether. In reality, you don’t need any in-depth knowledge in order to create a sleek-looking web page which will help provide a professional face for you online, whatever your exact needs may be. This is where WordPress comes in.

WordPress is a nifty piece of web publishing software which you can make use of to build and create your own customised web page. It began in 2003 as simply a piece of code to assist with rudimentary typography. These days, however, it helps millions of users to create their own web pages across many corners of the internet, with users ranging from big-name news companies like the New Yorker and BBC America to popular blogs such as The Official Star Wars blog. That’s because WordPress is an Open Source Project, meaning that each and every part of it is created by its hard-working community, and constantly being updated and worked upon by these users all across the globe. As a result, there’s a range of optional features and tools you can install and use to enable you to create a web page tailored to whatever purpose you can imagine.

So then, if this all seems exciting to you, you’ll want to know how you can get started using WordPress. There’s an option at WordPress.com you can use to get started with a simple blog on their service very quickly and easily, but this is a much-reduced version of their software in terms of features and choices. To really get the most out of WordPress, you’ll want to have a web host already that’s capable of making your WordPress site live once you’ve created it to your liking, as well as a domain name that you want to use for your site. Both of these will cost you to acquire, although the exact price will vary depending on where you source them from. A little time and research into these will serve you well, depending on what exactly you’re looking for. It’s generally a good practice to start small, and then go bigger later on as your popularity and needs increase.

From there, you can visit WordPress.org to download their software script. It takes only a few minutes to fully install and integrate, and once that’s done, you’ll be able to inject a little of your own imagination. However, the tools are already provided for you, and they make it easy to experiment with; WordPress provides a web-based editor for you to create your website, so you can have a little corner of the internet to call your own without even having to go near any html code.

Once you’ve successfully installed WordPress and you’re feeling ready to start customising, you’ll probably want to start with your theme. This will dictate the overall appearance of your web page, so it serves as a good basis to start with. By default, your page will be set to a basic theme, but there are thousands of WordPress themes, both free and paid, that you can choose from. Go to the “Appearance” option and select theme to find one that suits the tone of what you want your finished site to eventually convey. Then, you’ll likely want to add some content onto your site, as after all, a website is nothing without content.

Using WordPress, content is split into posts and pages; posts are a type of content which will be highlighted temporarily on your page, while pages should always be available to view, and will be used for essential information that you’ll always want visitors to be able to see, such as contact information or the history of your site. A page, then, will be a good place to start when you’re just beginning to add some content onto your WordPress site. This can be done by heading to the “Pages” tab and selected “Add New.” If you’re planning on featuring a blog on your site, you can add a post via the same method, only you hit “Posts” rather than “Pages.”
Once those essential tasks are done, you can work on the finer details of your site, and make it the page you wanted it to be. There are numerous options to assist with ease of navigation around the pages of your site which can be found on the menus in ‘Appearance’. By setting a static front page, you can choose what visitors will see and be greeted by when they first enter your site. To do this, you’ll head to the “Reading” area via “Settings.”

Once you are happy with the basic construction of your site, you’ll be able to explore and experiment with the other useful features which you can add with plugins. Dedicate some time to research what’s available and what will work best for you, but there are thousands of plugins available for free, and even more paid options that range from photo galleries to added security measures.
The best way to understand what is available to you is through active experimentation, as you access the different features you will be able to find the ones that are most relevant to your site, and your confidence will soar. Hopefully this article has piqued your interest in the WordPress service, and encouraged you to give it a try for yourself.