Beginners Guide To Using WordPress

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Learn WordPress as a beginner

WordPress CMS is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the internet. It is very easy to use when mastered and very hard to use if you are a beginner. My work here today is to make wordpress as simple as it can be and help you understand so you can start building some wordpress blogs and sites. Aside this post, there are several other articles on this site that gives your tutorials and tips on using wordpress. You can spend around 15 minutes – 30 minutes reading other posts to help you better understand. I promise not to bore you with long words but I did my best to write this in a way to help you get started. It might take you around 10-15 minutes to finish reading this post and trust me, you will learn a lot if you stick around to the end.

Getting WordPress

Download the zip file
First of all, before you can start using wordpress, you must get the script. There are 2 ways of getting the wordpress CMS script; the first one is downloading it from the official wordpress site – wordpress.org. Click the link to visit the official wordpress website and download the zip file.

Install from the cPanel
The second way to have access to wordpress is to have a hosting company that has the wordpress script. If you are lost as to which hosting company you should use, read our post on the best wordpress web hosting services online.

There are two ways to get wordpress from your hosting;
– first of all during the purchasing of your hosting plan, you can request wordpress to be installed directly on your domain for you. One typical example of a hosting company that does this is Hostgator. Read our full Hostgator wordpress hosting here.

– the second way to get wordpress from your hosting is through Fantastico or Softaculous through the cPanel on your web server. Before you purchase any hosting, make sure the company offers either Fantastico or Softaculous. The later is easier to use as I find the user interface friendly. Other web hosting will make having these auto-installers an addon which you must pay before you can have it.

Once you are sure you have any of these auto-installers on your web server, log into it and select wordpress. Click on the install to install wordpress on your desired domain.

The next step goes into details how to install wordpress on your domain through softaculous.

Installing WordPress
I have added screenshots to this step to help you install wordpress easily without any mistakes. It barely takes less than 60 seconds to get wordpress installed. Advanced users should read our tutorials on – Installing WordPress Directly on your web server as an advanced user and – How to Use XAMPP or WAMP to Install & Use WordPress Locally on Your Laptop.

Let’s start
– Log into your cpanel
– Locate softaculous under software/scripts


– Click on the softacoulous icon
– Once your softaculous page loads, find wordpress under blogs on your left hand dside. click on it

– Click on install now


– Select http, https, http://www or https://www.
– Select your domain name
– Enter your title and description for your site.
Example: Title is “WordPress Tutorials and Tips”
Description is “Learn how to master wordpress as a beginner”


– Enter your login (it’s a bad practice to use admin, read our wordpress security tips here) username and use the auto-generated password. copy the password and save it somewhere on your computer.

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– By default, your blog will be installed with the default wordpress theme.
– When you’ve done the above steps, click on install
– Once installtion is completed, visit your website at yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com/wp-admin to access the admin dasshboard.
– Sometimes you would be directed straight to the admin dashboard without entering your login details.
– You have successfully installed wordpress and ready for the next steps.

WordPress Themes

Themes for wordpress will serve as the CSS of your website if you were coding an HTML web page. Themes add beauty, style and functionality to your wordpress site. You can build different blogs to performs specific functions all with wordpress themes. Just know the kind of blog/site you want to setup and the kind of theme that best suits it. We have written a comprehensive post on the numerous things you can do with wordpress themes, click here to read – 50 Things You Can Do With WordPress.

There are free and paid wordpress themes. The best place to obtain free themes is wordpress.org/themes. Other websites that provide free themes are mythemeshop.com, freewordpressthemes.com etc.
The best place to purchase paid themes is Themeforest.net. Other websites that provide quality paid wordpress themes are mythemeshop.com and eleganthemes.com. If you are undecided about choosing a paid theme or free one, read this post – Paid vs Free WordPress Themes: Which One Should You Choose?

The final theme you choose will depend on the kind of website/blog your are setting up. I am imagining you are building a blog so below are 10 of my favorite themes you can use to setup your blog

Free

Paid

Installing your Chosen WordPress theme

If the theme you want to use is on wordpress.org/themes, go to your admin dashboard, on your left hand menu, hover on ‘Appearance’ and click on themes


– Click on ‘add new’ and use the filters/search to find your theme.
– Click on your desired theme and install


If you have bought a paid theme, download the right .zip file of your theme. Most often, the .zip file of paid themes contain documentations, demo and the core theme file. Look for the core theme file in .zip format.

– Go to Appearance – Themes – Add new and click on upload.
– Select the core theme file in .zip
– When upload is complete, click on install.
– Visit your site to see your new look.
– If you are having a problem configuring a certain theme to look the way you want, please leave your comment below and I will do my best to reply with the setup instructions.
– Let’s move to the next step

You have learned how to install a wordpress theme, now let’s learn how to install a wordpress plugin. The steps are almost identitcal.

WordPress Plugins

Installing plugins is just like themes. The only difference is, plugins isn’t located under the ‘Appearance’ menu. You will see Plugins on the left hand side menu and hover on it to reveal ‘installed plugins’ and ‘add new’. If you want to see all your installed plugins (both active and inactive), you should click on the first link and if you want to install a new plugin, click on the ‘Add new’ button.

If your plugin is located on wordpress.org/plugins, you can use the search bar to look for it. Once it shows on your screen, click on the install, then active and move to the plugin’s settings to configure.

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If your plugin is a paid plugin and you have the zip file, click on the upload and when the upload is done, activate it and move to the plugin’s settings to configure. Not all plugins require configurations as they come with default values.

Plugins help to add other functionalities to your blog. The number one reason why I love wordpress is because you can virtually do anything with it because of the numerous plugins available.

 NOTE: Too many plugins installed can slow down your site performance 

Common WordPress Problems: Fixes & Solutions

Below is a list of the top 10 problems most beginners face when using wordpress. Click on the one that matters to you for further reading

1. How to fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress
2. How to fix missed scheduled post error in WordPress
3. How to fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress
4. How to fix WordPress white screen of death
5. How to fix the error establishing database connection in WordPress
6. How to fix internal server error
7. How to fix browser opening files instead of downloading them
8. How To Fix Error 145 (means that your WordPress database is damaged or corrupted.)
9. How to fix thumbnail errors when you change the theme
10. How to fix your permalink structure

Becoming a pro using wordpress

If you want to be a pro using wordpress, then you must dedicate your time to it. The more your practice with wordpress, the better you become. I used YouTube to learn wordpress for one month before I started blogging. I have used wordpress for the past 8 years and as such, they are a lot I can do without any hustle. As you learn, practice more in order to become perfect with wordpress. These posts will help you take your wordpress experience to the next level.

1. Take Your WordPress Site To The Next Level of Optimal Performance
2. Start Autoblogging with these 4 Recommended Plugins
3. 30 Common WordPress Problems and How To Fix Them

Making your wordpress blog/site stand out

By default, you are limited to the look of your website depending on the active theme you are using. For advanced users of wordpress, this is a huge flaw and as such seek solutions to it. The best solution to make your wordpress site look exactly the way you want is to use a page builder plugin. There are numerous page builders out there but this post seeks to outline the best ones available and how to use the. Read Best Page Builder Plugins For WordPress to know more about crafting a different and unique look for your site.

Get the best out of wordpress
To get the best out of wordpress, please make sure your themes and plugins are always up to date. Also, never use nulled plugins and themes on your website. They possess serious security risks. If you have any challenges peculiar to a theme/plugin, go to their support page or forum to let them know your problem.

VIDEO:
Installing WordPress with Softaculous and Getting Started.

Thanks for sticking around to the end of my article, I believe you enjoyed it. Leave your comments and feedback below and start practicing what you have learned here.

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