How To Use WordPress

New To WordPress – Where to Start

If you are new to WordPress, here is a step-by-step plan for getting started. If you need help along the way, plenty of options for assistance are listed in this article. Welcome to the exciting world of WordPress!

Step One – Read

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WordPress is a great product. It's easy-to-use, quite powerful, and flexible. Before you invest your valuable time and energy into installing WordPress, there are some documents you need to read to help you get started.

Step Two – Make a Plan

Based upon the information you've just read, including instructions on installing WordPress, you should have a list of the things you need and things to do. If not, make that list now. You'll want to make sure it includes the following information:

The following documents will help you understand more about how WordPress works and how to make a plan for your WordPress site:

It is important to make a plan about how you want to use WordPress on your site. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Will you install WordPress in the root directory, subdirectory, or you just want to make a test site to make sure you want to use it?
  • Have you made a list of your site categories to organize your content by groups?
  • Have you made a list of Pages you may want to add to your site, such as About, Contact, or Events?
  • Have you thought about what you want in the header art of the site?
  • Have you developed a content strategy and list of topics to help start blogging?
  • Have you thought about how to integrate social media into your WordPress site and workflow?

Step Three – Install WordPress

With this information and your plan, it's time to install WordPress.

Step Four – Set Up WordPress

With your installation complete, it's time to set up WordPress so it will work the way you want it to work.

To help you understand how all the various features and screens on the WordPress Administration Panels work, check out the Administration Screens guide for a detailed walkthrough.

For help on creating your user profile information, of which some or all may appear on your WordPress Theme, see the Users > Your Profile pages for guidance.

To set the site name and other information, go to Administration > Settings > General.

After you've published a few posts, you can experiment with the full edit or quick edit features in the Administration > Posts > Posts panel.

Add your "About," "Contact," and other information Pages by going to Administration > Pages > Add New.

Want to change the look and feel of your WordPress site? Go to Administration > Appearance > Themes.

Take time to explore the WordPress Codex site, the official documentation site for WordPress. You'll find helpful information by reading WordPress Lessons, and these helpful documents:

Appearance and Themes

Changing the look of your WordPress website is easy with just a few clicks.

At this point, there may be something about your chosen Theme that is bothering you, or, you really want to get your hands dirty understanding how your WordPress Theme works. These simple guides will help you learn about customizing your WordPress Theme:

If you want to create a new WordPress Theme from scratch, or do major renovations, or even design WordPress Themes for public release, you will need to be familiar with HTML, XHMTL, and CSS. The following documents will get you started:

If you want a custom-made WordPress Theme created especially for you by expert web-designers, it is recommended you search for qualified web designers on the Internet, or look in your local community.

Adding WordPress Plugins

There are many "add-on" scripts and programs for WordPress called Plugins that add more capabilities, choices, and options to your WordPress site. WordPress Plugins do many things, including customizing the results of your site information, adding weather reports, adding spell check capability, and presenting custom lists of posts and acronyms. For more on how to work with Plugins and where to find WordPress Plugins for your site:

Advanced Use of WordPress

Now that you are familiar with the basic features and functions of how WordPress works, it might be time for you to plunge deeper into the power of WordPress. The links below will expand your familiarity with PHP, HTML, XHTML, and CSS:

Need More Help

As simple and easy as it is to use WordPress, if troubles arise, if something is confusing, if things aren't working, don't despair because help is available! Even though WordPress is free and open source, there are literally hundreds of volunteers eager to help you. Here are some helpful official resources for WordPress:

Posts → Posts

The Posts Screen provides the facility to manage all the Posts in a blog. Via this Screen, Posts can be edited, deleted, and viewed. Filtering, and searching, also makes it easy to quickly find Posts matching certain criteria.

Several powerful features allow Posts to be edited in bulk (en masse) allowing fields such as Author, Comments Allowed, Status, Pings Allowed, and Sticky to be changed for a whole batch of Posts. It is important to note, at least with Version 2.7, that Categories and Tags can be ADDED in bulk to a set of Posts, but it is not possible to CHANGE, or DELETE, a Category, or Tag, for those Posts. In addition, a Quick Edit feature provides an easy method to change a mulitiude of values, such as Title, Slug, Date, and Category, for a given Post.

Posts Screen

Back to Administration Screens.

Edit Posts

Table of Posts

A table lists all of your Posts, by row. The Posts are listed with the newest Post first.

The table of Posts contains the following columns:

  • [ ] – This checkbox, when clicked (checked), 'selects' that particular Post to be processed by a Bulk Action.
  • Title – This is the Post's Title displayed as a link. Click the Title link to allow this Post to be edited. Next to the Title, if a Post is of a Draft, Private, Pending, Sticky, or Password Protected nature, bold text will display showing that.
  • "ID" – This is not a column in the Table, but by hovering the mouse over the Post Title, the Post ID is revealed as part of the URL displayed in the browser status bar (in Firefox the status bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen). A Post's ID number is the unique number WordPress' database uses to identify individual Posts.
  • Author – Displayed in the form of a link, this is the author who wrote the Post. Clicking the author link causes all the Posts authored by that user to be displayed in the Table of Posts (thus allowing a Bulk Action to be applied to all Posts for a given author).
  • Categories – Displays all the Categories, in the form of links, to which this Post belongs. Each Category link, when clicked will cause the list of Posts assigned that Category to be displayed in the Table of Posts (note the Category Filter box at the top of the Table will depict the Category being displayed).
  • Tags – Displays all the Tags, in the form of links, associated with a Post. Each Tag link, when clicked will cause the list of Posts assigned that Tag to be displayed in the Table of Posts.
  • comment bubble – A comment bubble is the column heading, and each Post row has comment bubble with the number of comments for that Post. If a Posts has any comments, then the number comments is displayed in a blue bubble. Clicking on a blue comment bubble causes the Comments Screen to be displayed to allow moderation of those comments.
  • Date – The Date column for each Post shows the Date 'Published' for Published Posts or the Date 'Last Modified' for other Posts. If the Post is a "future Post," the number of days until that Posts is scheduled for publishing is displayed.

Sortable Columns

Some column headings, such as the Title, Author, and Date, can be clicked to sort the Table of Posts in ascending or descending order. Hover over the column title, for example Title, to see the up-arrow or down-arrow. Click the heading to change the sort order.

View

Just to the right above the Table of Posts, two icons, List View, and Excerpt View, can be clicked to determine the amount of information listed with each Post. The default view is the List View and only the Post Title is listed for each Post. Click the Excerpt View to cause an excerpt for the Post to be displayed just below the Post Title.

Page Navigation

Under the Screen Options, the number of Posts displayed per page is determined. If more then one page of Posts is available, two double-arrow boxes to move to the first and last page are provided. Also two single-arrow boxes are displayed to move one page backward or forward. Finally, a box showing the current page number can be used to enter a page to directly display.

Screen Options

The Screen Options allow you to choose which columns are displayed, or not displayed, in the underlying Table. Clicking on the Screen Options tab shows a list of the columns with a check-box next to each column. Check the box for each column you want displayed in the Table, or uncheck the box to not display that column. Click the Screen Options tab again to close the Screen Options. In addition, the number of Posts per page can be set.

Search

Above the Table, to the right, is a search box where you can enter a word, or series of words, and click the "Search Posts" button to search and display all the Posts meeting your search words.

Filtering Options

At the top of this Screen are links such as All, Published, Schedules, Pending Review, Draft, Private, that when clicked, will cause just the Posts of that type to be displayed in the underlying Table.

Below that, and to the right of the Bulk Actions Apply button, are two other filter options:

Show all dates
This dropdown allows you to select, by date, which Posts are displayed in the Table of Posts. By default, "Show all dates" is selected and all of your Posts are displayed.
View all categories
This dropdown allows you to select, by Category, which Posts are displayed in the Table of Posts. By default, "Show all categories" is selected and all of your Posts are displayed.
Filter
Clicking this button applies the settings you select in the dropdowns.

Using Selection, Actions, and Apply

Selection

This Screen allows Bulk Actions to be performed on one or more Posts selected in the Table. For Bulk Actions to be performed on multiple Posts at once, those Posts must be first selectedvia one of these methods:
  • Select one Post at a time – To select a Post, the checkbox to the left of the Post entry must be checked (clicked). It is possible to keep selecting more Posts by checking their respective checkbox.
  • Select all Posts in given Table – All Posts in a given table can be selected by checking the checkbox in the Table's title, or footer bar. Of course, unchecking the header or footer title bar checkbox will cause all entries in that Table to be unchecked (NOT selected).
  • Reverse Selection – A Reverse Selection means checked items become unchecked, and unchecked items become checked. A Reverse Selection is accomplished by holding the Shift key on the keyboard and clicking the header or footer title bar checkbox.

Actions

Actions describe the process to be performed on particular Posts. There are two styles of Actions that will be referred to as Bulk Actions and Immediate Actions. The following describes these Actions:

  • Bulk Actions – These Actions can be performed on one, or more Posts, at one time, if those Posts have been previously selected. Bulk Actions are available, when appropriate, as choices in the Bulk Actions pulldown box, above the Table. The only Bulk Actions allowed are Edit and Delete.
  • Immediate Actions – Immediate Actions are performed Immediately, on an individual Post. Hovering the mouse cursor over the Post row reveals the Edit, Delete, and View options under the Name column, in that Post's row. Clicking on a Post's Name will also initiate the Edit Action.
The available Actions are described below:

  • Edit – This Action can be either an "Immediate Action" or a "Bulk Action". The Immediate Action, initiated by click on the Post Name or clicking on the Edit option just below the Post Name, causes the Edit Posts screen to display. Edit is also available as a Bulk Action for the selected Posts, so see the Bulk Edit section for details on the Bulk Editing process.
  • Quick Edit – Quick Edit is an "Immediate Action" that allows a quick in-line edit of certain fields related to a Post. See the Quick Edit section for details on this Action.
  • Delete – This Action deletes the Posts. Delete is available both as a Bulk Action, and an Immediate Action.
  • View – This Action presents the Post as it appears in a single Post view on your blog. View is available only as an Immediate Action.

Bulk Edit
The Bulk Edit Posts 'screen' is displayed below the Table Of Posts header once, one, or more Posts, have been selected, and the Bulk Action of Edit is Applied. Bulk Edit allows the fields, Author, Comments Allowed, Status, Pings Allowed, and Sticky, to be changed for all the selected Posts. It is important to note, Categories and Tags can be ADDED in bulk to a set of Posts, but it is not possible to CHANGE, or DELETE, a Category, or Tag, for those Posts.

  • Cancel – Click Cancel to cancel and abort the Bulk Edit of these Posts.
  • Update Posts – Click Update Post to save the Bulk Edits made to these Posts.

Quick Edit
Quick Edit is an Immediate Action performed on one Post by clicking the Quick Edit link, under the Post Title in the Table of Posts. Quick Edit is just an in-line edit that allows you to change the following items–Title, Slug, Date, Author, Password or Private post box, Categories, Tags, Allow Comments, Allow Pings, Status, and Make this a post-sticky.

  • Cancel – Click Cancel to cancel and abort the Edit of this Post.
  • Update Post – Click Update Post to save the Edits made to this Post.

Editing Individual Posts

This mode is essentially the same as the Posts Add New Screen so see the Posts_Add_New_Screen for the specific details of writing a Post. The only difference is that the button to save your work is called "Update Post" instead of "Publish".

Apply

After one or more Posts are selected, and after a Bulk Action is specified, the Apply button performs the given Action on the selected Posts.
  • Apply – Click the Apply button to execute the Bulk Action, specified in the Actions pulldown, on the selected Posts. Remember, prior to executing Actions, one or more Posts must be selected, as described before.

 

 

 

Pages → Edit

The Pages Screen provides the facility to manage all the Pages in a blog. Via this Screen, Pages can be edited, deleted, and viewed. Filtering, and searching, also makes it easy to quickly find Pages matching certain criteria.

Several powerful features allow Pages to be edited in bulk (en masse) allowing fields such as Author, Parent, Template, Comments Allowed, Status, and Pings Allowed, to be changed for a whole batch of Pages. In addition, a Quick Edit feature provides an easy method to change a mulitiude of values, such as Title, Slug, Date, and Author, for a given Page.

Pages Screen

Back to Administration Screens.

Edit Pages

Table of Pages

A table lists all of your Pages, by row. The Pages are listed with the newest Page first.

The table of Pages contains the following columns:

  • [ ] – This checkbox, when clicked (checked), 'selects' that particular Page to be processed by a Bulk Action.
  • Title – This is the Page's Title displayed as a link. Click the Title link to allow this Page to be edited in the Pages Screen. Next to the Title, if a Page is of a Draft, Pending, or Password Protected nature, text will display showing that.
  • "ID" – This is not a column in the Table, but by hovering the mouse over the Page Title, the Page ID is revealed as part of the URL displayed in the browser status bar (in Firefox the status bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen). A Page's ID number is the unique number WordPress' database uses to identify individual Pages.
  • Author – Displayed in the form of a link, this is the author who wrote the Page. Clicking the author link causes all the Pages authored by that user to be displayed in the Table of Pages (thus allowing a Bulk Action to be applied to all Pages for a given author).
  • comment bubble – A comment bubble is the column heading, and each Page row has comment bubble with the number of comments for that Page. If a Pages has any comments, then the number comments is displayed in a blue bubble. Clicking on a blue comment bubble causes the Comments Screen to be displayed to allow moderation of those comments.
  • Date – The Date column for each Page shows the Date 'Published' for Published Pages and the Date 'Last Modified' for other Pages.

Sortable Columns

Some column headings, such as the Title, Author, and Date, can be clicked to sort the Table of Pages in ascending or descending order. Hover over the column title, for example Title, to see the up-arrow or down-arrow. Click the heading to change the sort order.

Page Navigation

Under the Screen Options, the number of Pages displayed per page is determined. If more then one page of Pages is available, two double-arrow boxes to move to the first and last page are provided. Also two single-arrow boxes are displayed to move one page backward or forward. Finally, a box showing the current page number can be used to enter a page to directly display.

Screen Options

The Screen Options allow you to choose which columns are displayed, or not displayed, in the underlying Table. Clicking on the Screen Options tab shows a list of the columns with a check-box next to each column. Check the box for each column you want displayed in the Table, or uncheck the box to not display that column. In addition, the number of Pages per page can be set. Click the Screen Options tab again to close the Screen Options.

Search

Above the Table, to the right, is a search box where you can enter a word, or series of words, and click the "Search Pages" button to search and display all the Pages meeting your search words.

Filtering Options

At the top of this Screen are links such as All, Published, Pending Review, Draft, Private, that when clicked, will cause just the Pages of that type to be displayed in the underlying Table.

Below that, and to the right of the Bulk Actions Apply button, are one other filter option:

Show all dates
This dropdown allows you to select, by date, which Pages are displayed in the Table of Pages. By default, "Show all dates" is selected and all of your Posts are displayed.
Filter
Clicking this button applies the settings you select in the dropdowns.

Using Selection, Actions, and Apply

Selection

This Screen allows Bulk Actions to be performed on one or more Pages selected in the Table. For Bulk Actions to be performed on multiple Pages at once, those Pages must be first selectedvia one of these methods:

  • Select one Page at a time – To select a Page, the checkbox to the left of the Page entry must be checked (clicked). It is possible to keep selecting more Pages by checking their respective checkbox.
  • Select all Pages in given Table – All Pages in a given table can be selected by checking the checkbox in the Table's title, or footer bar. Of course, unchecking the header or footer title bar checkbox will cause all entries in that Table to be unchecked (NOT selected).
  • Reverse Selection – A Reverse Selection means checked items become unchecked, and unchecked items become checked. A Reverse Selection is accomplished by holding the Shift key on the keyboard and clicking the header or footer title bar checkbox.

Actions

Actions describe the process to be performed on particular Pages. There are two styles of Actions that will be referred to as Bulk Actions and Immediate Actions. The following describes these Actions:

  • Bulk Actions – These Actions can be performed on one, or more Pages, at one time, if those Pages have been previously selected. Bulk Actions are available, when appropriate, as choices in the Bulk Actions pulldown box, above the Table. The only Bulk Actions allowed are Edit and Delete.
  • Immediate Actions – Immediate Actions are performed Immediately, on an individual Page. Hovering the mouse cursor over the Page row reveals the Edit, Delete, and View options under the Title column, in that Page's row. Clicking on a Page Name will also initiate the Edit Action.
The available Actions are described below:

  • Edit – This Action can be either an "Immediate Action" or a "Bulk Action". The Immediate Action, initiated by click on the Title or clicking on the Edit option just below the Title, causes the Edit Pages screen to display. Edit is also available as a Bulk Action for the selected Pages, so see the Bulk Edit section for details on the Bulk Editing process.
  • Quick Edit – Quick Edit is an "Immediate Action" that allows a quick in-line edit of certain fields related to a Page. See the Quick Edit section for details on this Action.
  • Delete – This Action deletes the Pages. Delete is available both as a Bulk Action, and an Immediate Action.
  • View – This Action presents the Page as it appears in a single Page view on your blog. View is available only as an Immediate Action.

Bulk Edit
The Bulk Edit Pages 'screen' is displayed below the Table Of Pages header once, one, or more, Pages have been selected, and the Bulk Action of Edit is Applied. Bulk Edit allows the fields Author, Parent, Template, Comments Allowed, Status, and Pings Allowed, to be changed for all the selected Pages.

  • Cancel – Click Cancel to cancel and abort the Bulk Edit of these Pages.
  • Update Pages – Click Update Page to save the Bulk Edits made to these Pages.

Quick Edit
Quick Edit is an Immediate Action performed on one Page by clicking the Quick Edit link under the Page Title in the Table of Pages. Quick Edit is just an in-line edit that allows you to change the following items–Title, Slug, Date, Author, Password or Private page box, Parent, Order, Template, Allow Comments, Allow Pings, Status.

  • Cancel – Click Cancel to cancel and abort the Edit of this Page.
  • Update Page – Click Update Page to save the Edits made to this Page.

Editing Individual Pages

This mode is essentially the same as the Pages Add New Screen so see that Screen for the specific details of writing a Page. The only difference is that the button to save your work is called "Update Page" instead of "Publish".

Apply

After one or more Pages are selected, and after a Bulk Action is specified, the Apply button performs the given Action on the selected Pages.
  • Apply – Click the Apply button to execute the Bulk Action, specified in the Actions pulldown, on the selected Pages. Remember, prior to executing Actions, one or more Pages must be selected, as described before.

 

 

 

 

Appearance → Themes

The Appearance Themes Screen allows you to manage your Themes. That means you can install, preview, delete Themes, activate, and update Themes. Two tabs, Manage Themes (the default view) and Install Themes, can be clicked to provide access to each those functions.

A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files (*.php). For an introduction to template files, see Stepping Into Templates.

Back to Administration Screens.

 

Manage Themes

Current Theme

Appearance Themes Screen

In this section is the current active Theme. Initially, as part of the WordPress installation process, the WordPress Twenty Eleven theme is displayed as the active Theme. A small screenshot of the Theme along with the name of the Theme, the Theme version, and the Theme author is followed by a short description of the Theme.

Update Available 
If there is an update available for the Theme a message similar to this is displayed: "There is a new version of Twenty Ten available. View version 1.1 Details or upgrade automatically."

  • View version 1.1 Details : click this link and a page from the WordPress Theme Directory will display the details of that specific version.
  • Upgrade automatically : click this link to install the Theme upgrade. Also don't forget that Themes can be upgraded via the Administration > Dashboard > Updates Screen.

Available Themes

This section of the Manage Themes screen shows the Themes that are installed. If there are more than 15 installed Themes then a page navigation tool is displayed above and below the available Themes. Fifteen Themes per page are displayed, so click the page number to navigate to the next or previous page of Themes.

As in the Current Theme section, a small screenshot of each Theme along with the name of the Theme, the Theme version, and the Theme author is followed by a short description of the Theme. In addition, each Theme has several links displayed to Activate, Preview, Delete, and if available, upgrade the Theme.

Activate 
click this to make this Theme the #Current Theme.
Preview 
click this link and a page from the WordPress Theme Directory will display the details of that specific version.
Delete 
Click this to delete the Theme completely. The Theme files and folders will be completely deleted, so if you have made any customizations to that Theme, they too will be deleted so please consider backing up before deleting.
Update Available 
If there is an update available for the Theme a message similar to this is displayed: "There is a new version of Twenty Ten available. View version 1.1 Details or upgrade automatically."
  • View version 1.1 Details : click this link and a page from the WordPress Theme Directory will display the details of that specific version.
  • Upgrade automatically : click this link to install the Theme upgrade. Also don't forget that Themes can be upgraded via the Administration > Dashboard > Updates Screen.

Install Themes

Under the tab, Install Themes, allows new Themes to be installed for use under the Manage tab. Themes can be installed in several ways:

Each of these installation methods is described below.

Automated Theme installer

The automated Theme installer can be used to install any Theme in the WordPress Theme Directory. This is the easiest way to install a Theme. The screenshots below depict each of the four steps in the process of :

  1. Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes, click the Install Themes tab, then use one of three Search methods to find the desired Theme:
    * Filter search – at the top of the screen select one of three filters, Featured, Newest, or Recently Updated
    * Keyword search – choose Term, Author, or Tag, from the pulldown, enter a keyword, then click the Search button.
    * Attribute search – check the attribute boxes in the Colors, Columns, Width, Features, Subject section, then click the Find Themes button.
  2. . Once the search results are displayed, each Theme meeting the search criteria is displayed. Click on the Install link under the desired Theme,
  3. . An Install box with the information about the Theme is displayed. Click the Install Now button.
  4. . Click on the Install Now button and the Theme is installed. Click the Activate link to make that the Current Theme.

Search

Search Results Displayed

Install Now box

Theme installed, ready to be activated.

Using the upload method

The upload method is another easy way to install a Theme. This can be used to install any Theme that is in a ZIP file. All the Themes in the WordPress Theme Directory can be installed using this method. The screenshots below depict each of the three steps in the process of :

  1. Download the ZIP file. First find the Theme you want to install. The first screenshot below shows the P2 theme ready to be downloaded. Various other sources of Themes can be used and the key is to download the Theme ZIP file to your local computer.
  2. Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes, click the Install Themes tab, then click the Upload link. In the Install a theme in .zip format box browse for the ZIP file you downloaded in Step 1 and click Install Now.
  3. . The Install Theme from uploaded file will display the results of the installation. Click the Activate link to make that the Current Theme.

Download the Theme ZIP file

Upload and Install Now

Theme installed, ready to be activated

link to  http://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_WordPress_-_Where_to_Start