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Understanding WordPress Basics:

WordPress itself:

WordPress is a PROGRAM. It can be installed on a web-server and used step by step to create a blog or a web site.

Post: The default setting for WordPress is to run as a blog and blogs are made of posts.  A Post is intended to be the next thing you felt like saying.  A Post is NOT something you would make to say what hours your store is open or how to find you. When you write a post and publish it, it instantly shows up on whatever page the blog has been set to appear on. When you add another post it pushes the previous one down, appearing above it.  And so on and on. You can have a blog on your site but you don’t have to.

Page: These are just what we think of when we say “web pages”. Once made, they remain in place as part of the “structure”. So this is how you put up static information like the background of your company or how to contact you.

Plugin: These are little programs that can be Plugged right In to your site and help you get things done. Like to make a contact form or a photo gallery. If you think of them as Apps you are on the right track. There are thousands of these things available and they run the gamut from wonderful to awful. Some are free and some are for pay.

Widget: These are a sort of specialized Plugin. What makes widgets different is that they sit on display somewhere on the pages. If you have a little button on your front page that people can click to “follow you on twitter” then it is a widget. It is a plugin, doing something for you, but more specifically a widget because it is right there on the page.

Theme: A theme is a collection of page layout settings and style sheets also sometimes containing graphics and plugins. It shapes everything about the appearance of the site. Every WordPress site has to be using one…or you couldn’t see it! Themes come with different options some allowing you to change many things about the appearance, some not so much. The engine that drives most of the appearance are the style sheets. Unfortunately, editing these highly technical documents is  generally beyond the skill level of casual WordPress users.

Security: Unfortunately WordPress is a common target for baddies on the web. One basic important technique is to update your version of WP and your plugins. This a very easy, WP will point these things out and ask you if you want to. To update say “yes”.

Installation:

 

Here is a link to beginning WordPress tutorials on you tube. YouTube tutorials

One way to approach this is to simply follow the link with a click and then either watch something already in the list on screen or add a word to the search box that you want to know more about like “posts” or “images”.

There are many good books on WordPress from the “for dummies” type to very advanced, take an afternoon in a good bookstore to get a feel for a one that is a good match for your comfort zone and learning style.

And finally,you can search Google for WordPress help and find many many pages offering assistance, making your search more specific to the problem or question is helpful to get better results.

Class handouts

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WordPress-Editors-Guide-WL (Not current, but useful)

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