Assuming You Have Already Installed WordPress

If you are here, I am assuming that you already have your own web hosting account and you installed WordPress there. If not please read Start Your WordPress Website / Blog – Step by Step Guide first.

WordPress Guide

Login to Access Your WordPress Dashboard

If you have installed WordPress on www.yourdomain.com then you can access the login page by visiting www.yourdomain.com/wp-login.php or www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin ( which takes you to dashboard when you are logged in).

Your login page will look like this:

Wordpress login page

[ Pro tip: This is the quickest way to check if the website you are visiting are using WordPress platform or not. www.thatdomain.com/wp-login.php or www.thatdomain.com/wp-admin takes you to a page like the one shown above, then it’s using WordPress. ]

WordPress Dashboard

Now let me show you the magical place from where you’ll be managing everything that’s going on inside your website – your WordPress dashboard. It’s like your online business back office.

self hosted wordpress dashboard

Let me explain each and every options now – one by one.

1. Admin Bar:

wordpress-admin-bar

The black bar on top gives you quick access to some basic tasks like:

  • Editing your profile.
  • Log out.
  • Adding new :
    • Post
    • Media
    • Page
    • User
  • Notification of available updates.
  • Comments awaiting moderation.
  • Quick functions of some particular plugins (e.g. Mojo Marketplace here)
  • … etc.

2. Screen Options:

WordPress screen options

When you click the Screen Options , you’ll be able to see the options above.

From this section, you can choose what you want to be visible on WordPress Dashboard.

If you select the Welcome option, you’ll see the screen below:

WordPress Welcome Option

Clicking on each option will show you some quick tips and action shortcuts like below:

wordpress-business-site-suggestionswordpress-personal-site-suggestions wordpress-blog-suggestions

Suggestions are good if someone is starting without any guidance. But my suggestion will be not to pay much attention to these. You need to configure your website according to your specific need. If you want to discuss about that, feel free to book a time with me from the contact widget.

You can get rid of this tips screen by clicking Dismiss on the top right corner.

3. Help:

wordpress-help

If you click on Help on the top right corner, you’ll be able to see sow quick help topics on WordPress dashboard and links to WordPress documentation and support forum

But I guess you won’t need it as you are reading this step-by-step WordPress Guide.

4. Connect to WordPress.com ( Jetpack ):

WordPress Jetpack

Connecting your self-hosted WordPress site to your WordPress.com account gives you lots of added functionality in the form of a Package Plugin called Jetpack. 

Warning: I will not suggest you to rely too much on Jetpack , as I had to remove it to speed up my site. It was taking too much resources and making my site slow.

5. At a Glance:

WordPress at a glance
wordpress-at-a-glance-new

At a Glance gives you a quick briefings of your WordPress statistics:

  • Number of posts.
  • Number of pages.
  • Number of comments.
  • Number of comments awaiting moderation.
  • WordPress version.
  • The theme used.
  • Spam stat.

 6. Quick Draft:

WordPress Quick Draft

Don’t miss any blog post ideas.  Create a Quick Draft of your blog post whenever you are inspired to write. You’ll be able to process and publish those posts later.

From this section, you can also see last few blog post drafts and a link to view all the drafts.

7. Activity:

WordPress activity

From the Activity section, you can see:

  • Scheduled posts.
  • Recently published posts.
  • Recent comments.

8. WordPress News:

WordPress news

In this section you’ll see recent WordPress news updates.

9. Updates:

wordpress-update

Check the Updates in the left sidebar.

You can see the notification of how many updates are available.

When you click on Update , you can see the page above.

From this page, you’ll be able to see available updates, and can also update

  1. WordPress Core.
  2. Plugins.
  3. Themes.

10. Posts:

wordpress-posts

From this page, you’ll be able to:

  • See all blog posts.
    • Published.
    • Scheduled.
    • Draft.
  • Add new blog post.
  • Manage tags and categories.

Quick Edit:

wordpress-quick-edit

Hover your mouse over the blog post title to see options options below.

Click Quick Edit

wordpress-quickedit-box

From this box, you can make some quick editing to your blog posts without opening the blog post editor in a separate tab.

Categories & Tags:

Categories and tags help you organize your blog posts.

WordPress categories

WordPress tags

For example:
#IconsAround Interview: Ramanuj Mukherjee – Bengali Entrepreneur Spreading Legal Education is filed under Category #IconsAround and tags #IconsAround , Bengali Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Indian Entrepreneur, iPleaders, Ramanuj Mukherjee, Startup.
Now imagine someone wants to read all #IconsAround interview. All I have to do is direct them to the #IconsAround category page. Imagine someone wants to read all blog posts on Indian Entrepreneurs, all I have to do is direct them to Indian Entrepreneur tag page. Got the concept?

Add New (Post):

You can click Add New from left sidebar or from the top of the Posts page, you’ll see the editor below:

WordPress Editor

  1. Write the blog post title here.
  2. Toolbar in Visual mode.
    1. Add Media button.
    2. Bold.
    3. Italic.
    4. Strikethrough.
    5. Bulleted list.
    6. Numbered list.
    7. Blockquote.
    8. Horizontal line.
    9. Align left.
    10. Align center.
    11. Align right.
    12. Insert/Edit Link.
    13. Remove link.
    14. Insert Read More tag.
    15. Toolbar Toggle (to show/hide the 2nd line of tools)
    16. Font styles:
      1. Paragraph.
      2. Heading 1
      3. Heading 2
      4. Heading 3
      5. Heading 4
      6. Heading 5
      7. Heading 6
      8. Address
      9. Pre
    17. Underline.
    18. Justify.
    19. Text Color.
    20. Paste as text.
    21. Clear formatting.
    22. Special character.
    23. Decrease indent.
    24. Increase indent.
    25. Undo.
    26. Redo.
    27. Keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Text (HTML) mode.
  4. Write the blog post body here. (Text/image/video).
  5. Select format.
  6. Add categories ( Maximum 2)
  7. Add tags ( as many as you want, but be relevant to the post)
  8. Featured image. ( An image that will represent that blog post everywhere. I use & recommend 1200 x 630 pixel image which show up beautifully on Facebook and other Social Network sites.)
  9. Publish box:
    1. Save draft: You can save the blog post as draft, not publishing.
    2. Preview: Clicking preview will open your blog post on a separate window to give you an idea how it will look after being published.
    3. Visibility: A published post can have 3 different level of visibility.
      1. Public: Everyone can see.
      2. Password protected: Only those with the password can see it.
      3. Private: Only Editors & Administrators of your blog can see it when they are logged in.
    4. Now you can publish immediately or you can schedule to suitable date and time.
    5. Move to trash: You can delete a post.
    6. Publish: Aha! Push this blue button and your awesome blog post is on the way to be found by the world. 🙂

 11. Media:

Click Media or Media > Library from left sidebar. You’ll see the screen below:

WordPress media library

Here you can see all the medias added to your site.

You can upload Documents/Images/Audios/Videos . Check accepted filetypes from WordPress official documentation.

Now when you click Add New you’ll see the page below:

Wordpress add new media

The cool feature is that you can just drag and drop any files to upload.

Normally you’ll be adding media while writing / editing a post. But if you need to upload large number of medias at a time or want any media for other use than for posts/pages, you’ll be using this option.

After you upload a media, click on it to see the Attachment page

Wordpress attachment page

You can see the following info/options on this page:

  • File name
  • File type
  • Uploaded on
  • File size
  • Dimensions
  • URL
  • Title
  • Caption
  • Alt Text
  • Description
  • Uploaded by

12. Pages:

You need to understand the difference between Pages and Posts.

Fundamental Difference Between WordPress Pages & Posts [ Infographic ]

Wordpress posts vs pages difference Infographic

Source: wpwebsites.co.nz

Now to give real example:

A page: https://www.souravghosh.com/about-sourav-ghosh/

A post: https://www.souravghosh.com/blog/entrepreneurs-vs-businessmen/

Please note that I specifically customized my url structure to differentiate between Pages and Posts, but it is not necessary.

So if you click on Pages or Page > All Pages

You can see a list of pages – Published or in draft.

If you click Add New

The Page editor will open. It is exactly same as the Post editor except:

  • Page editor doesn’t have the category or tag sections.
  • But does have the Page Attributes section, that is not present is Post Editor.
    WordPress page attributes

You can set another page as the Parent of your current page. Let me give you an example:

This page you are reading has www.souravghosh.com/wordpress as its Parent. That’s why it’s url is www.souravghosh.com/wordpress/getting-started

Template option provides different Page layouts available with your installed theme.

13. Comments:

wordpress-comments

In this section, you can see all the comments posted on your blog posts.

  • Pending.
  • Approved.
  • Spam.
  • Trash.

Hover your mouse over any comment and you can see quick options below:

  • Unapprove
  • Reply
  • Quick Edit
  • Edit
  • Spam
  • Trash

So you can manage your comments from this very page.

14. Appearance:

From the Appearance section, you can change the look and feel of your website.

Themes

Wordpress themes

You can choose from infinite number of WordPress themes (many are even free or very low price) to decide how you want your website / blog to look.

Trust me I never realized the importance of a Premium theme, until I made shift to this Studiopress Genesis Theme – Magazine Pro. 

I noticed drastic improvements in my website performance and results. To mention a few:

  • Better layout.
  • Modern design.
  • Fantastic fonts.
  • Truly mobile responsive.
  • Added functionality.
  • In-built Search Engine Optimization.
  • Faster performance.
  • Better coding and less error.
  • More secure.
  • … lots more.

Ofcourse you can choose any theme you want, and experiment as much as you like. But if you want to start with the best, then my suggestion is to visit Studiopress and buy a theme you like.

When you visit the link above, you’ll see the page below:

Studiopress themes

Click Shop for Themes on top.

Shop for Studiopress themes

My suggestion would be to buy one from Mobile Responsive + Studiopress filter.

Browse the themes. See the demo. Buy the one you like.

After you buy a theme, log into Studiopress website and you’ll find the download links:

Studiopress themes download page

Download the Genesis Framework and the Child Theme ( I have bought Agency Pro and Magazine Pro) you want to install.

Understanding the difference between framework and theme

Read More: Studiopress

These Themes will be downloaded on your computer as .zip packages.

Now from the Theme Page in your WordPress Dashboard, click Add New

Installing WordPress themes

Now click on Choose File and then select the .zip package of the theme.

[ For normal WordPress themes, you will be installing just the theme package. But for Genesis Themes, first you need to install the Framework and then the Child theme. ]

Click Install Now

Genesis Framework Installed

Click Activate

Genesis Framework Activated

Now you should see that the Theme you installed is active.

For Genesis themes, now repeat the same process with the child theme.

Genesis Child theme activated

Incase you want to experiment with themes, click WordPress.org Themes at the top.

Wordpress theme feature filter

Select filters according to your choice ( Don’t forget to select Responsive Layout if you want your site to look good on all devices) and then click Apply Filter. 

Installing WordPress themes from Filtered results

Check the details and previews of the themes. Then just click Install on the theme you want on our site. Then Activate. That’s it. You are done!

Let’s move now to the next option in Appearance section –

Customize:

Wordpress Customizer

You can customize many aspects of your site from this Customizer, and the advantage is you will be able to preview the changes without publishing it.

Customizable options vary from theme to theme.

Click on the X sign at the top left corner to return to the WordPress Dashboard.

Widgets:

What is a widget?

Let me borrow from WpBeginner:

A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user.

Wordpress widgets

You’ll notice a huge number of added customization option while using a premium theme. All these options are not available for general themes.

Every widget and widget area is clearly explained. All you have to do is to drag the right widgets in right widget area and configure it. That’s it.

Let me show you an example.

At this moment the site looks like this.

10-19-2014 1-22-29 AM

Let’s add a custom menu to the header.

Just drag the Custom Menu widget to the Header Right area.

Custom Menu at Header Right

Now let’s explore the next option Menu in Appearance section and then return to this widget.

Menus:

WordPress Menus

When you open this page first time

  1. Create a new menu. (Here I created Custom Menu )
  2. Select which pages, links or categories you want to bring into the menu you created and then click Add to Menu.
  3. Select where you want to show the menu. ( We are not selecting either because we’ll show this menu at the header right widget area).
  4. Click Save Menu. 

If you click Manage Locations at the top, you’ll see:

Wordpress menus manage locations

From here you can select which menu you want to display in Primary Navigation Menu, and which menu you want to display in Secondary Navigation Menu. 

Now if you go back to the Widget page, you can select the Custom Menu you created and click save.

Custom menu at header right

Now when I refresh the site, I can see the menu at the header right position.

menu-appeared

Now let’s move on to the next option

Header:

Some themes gives you the ability to add custom header image from this option.

Wordpress genesis custom header

Options on this page are quite simple and self-explanatory.

Background:

Some themes allow you to upload Custom background images. The page looks quite similar to the Custom Header page.

Editor:

Wordpress theme editor

Important: Don’t even touch it if you are not comfortable with HTML, CSS, PHP and other scripting languages.

But this section is a treat for all advanced users. You can change anything and everything of your Website from this section (if you are good at coding).

But trust me, generally you don’t need to.

15. Plugins:

Plugins are the secret sauce of your self hosted WordPress website. With right plugins, you can add nearly any functionality you want in your website. For example:

  • You can start selling your products creating an online store.
  • You can setup an appointment booking system.
  • You can manage your events from your WordPress dashboard, from creating new events to accepting payments and selling tickets – everything.
  • ( Tell me what feature you want in your website and I’ll tell you which plugin will be best for that purpose).

Caution:

  • Installing a single bad plugin will not only affect the performance of your website, but also might make your website vulnerable to hacking attacks.
  • Too many plugins might make your site slow.

 

WordPress Plugins

From the page above, let me point out few things:

  • In the left sidebar, just next to the Plugin you can see notification of how many plugins are outdated.
  • You can see the Add New option on top. Click that to install a new plugin. ( I’ll show you how shortly)
  • You can quickly sort Plugins on the basis of Active, Inactive, Updates Available and Drop-ins status. 
  • You can use the Search Installed Plugins box at the right to find any installed plugin quick.
  • You can activate/deactivate/go the the settings page from the quick options below the name of the plugin. ( Don’t Edit if you don’t know what you are doing)
  • If a new version is available for a Plugin, you’ll notice a red bar to its left. You can update it by clicking Update Now from the update notification line below the plugin.
  • You can select more than one plugin and select a bulk action from the drop down and click Apply. 

Installing Plugin

Installing WordPress plugins

You can just search and install plugins from this page. There are countless plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory. Just search for the functionality you are looking for in the Search Box at top right, and you can install the one you like.

Few points to remember:

  • If you are experimenting, feel free to play around with different plugins. But if you have more important things to do, stick to the recommended plugins from experienced WordPress users. I will come up with a list of best plugins I have found at List of Best WordPress Plugins page.
  • If you must uninstall an unknown plugin, please check the number of downloads and review. I’d rather install a plugin with 100 4 star reviews and 10,000 downloads, than to try one with 10 5 star reviews and 100 downloads.

Installing VCita Plugin

When you find the right plugin, just click Install Now. 

10-26-2014 7-48-45 PM

Click OK.

WordPress Plugin Installed

Don’t forget to Activate Plugin after it is successfully installed.

wordpress-plugins-activated

16. Users:

 

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