How to Use WordPress (First-Time Bloggers Guide)

I love first-time bloggers, people who take initiative and are willing to start. Congratulations on being one of them!

So you may have recently started to think blogging and are completely overwhelmed by what to do and what not to do.

I’ve been there, so I am well aware of your pain. Don’t worry, we are in this together!

So you could be in one of these two situations below.

Are you looking to start your first WordPress blog?

Here’s an excellent resource, guiding you every step of the way about how to start a blog.

From niche selection, domain registration, web hosting, to practically launching your blog. I have covered everything in-depth.

Or

Do you want to learn more about WordPress?

Assuming you have come very far, already own a domain, hosting and a WordPress blog. 

It’s time to know how to use WordPress effectively. To understand different terms and how to browse all of its features.

What is WordPress, anyway?

WordPress is a CMS, powering 30% of internet websites. You can make an eCommerce store, a blog, a business website or even a state-of-the-art social network with it. 

You can make all that you can imagine. With that said, it is geared towards blogging and small business websites. 

WordPress is therefore ideal for most users. It’s pretty robust and user-friendly.

So what does having WordPress means for you?

You have a world of a community out there. You will never feel stuck, ever. There are excellent help and tutorials for everything, just about everything!

WordPress isn’t only for beginners though. As beginners mostly prefer Wix, SquareSpace, Kajabi, and other platforms. 

A self-hosted WordPress system is about control. It is doing things you want to do, the way you want to do it.

It’s the best start for your blogging journey, be it personal or professional. 

Alright, enough of WordPress introduction. Let’s get to learning the best CMS out there in the world! 

Yay!!

How to Use WordPress Platform for Blogging?

Here are the primary ways of using WordPress:

  • Themes
  • Plugins
  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Media
  • Settings
  • Users

Let’s discuss each one of them.

What is Themes in WordPress?

Themes are the front-end design of WordPress websites. 

All the different design layouts, from the placement of logo, sliders, to sidebars has to do with WordPress themes. 

Navigate to Appearance > Themes from the left sidebar to browse the currently active and other available themes.

If you’ve not downloaded new themes, you will only see Twenty Twenty, Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Eighteen themes. Those are the default series, comes installed with it.

To add a new theme, you can either upload it if you have a .zip theme file. Usually when you purchase a premium theme.

Otherwise, you can choose from millions of free themes available. 

Just click “Add a theme” and browse the list. To know more details, click “Details and Preview”. To see an actual preview of the theme, click “Preview”.

Most of the times such a preview isn’t complete. So you might want to check the demo on their website.

You will have to “Install” it to use it and tweak a few settings to make it look the same. 

Every theme offers a few customization options. So a theme can be optimized one of two ways.

Either via the Theme Customizer; navigate to Appearance > Customize for accessing theme customizer.  



Or via a theme relevant options page. The page is usually found somewhere in the sidebar, usually with the theme’s name.

What are Plugins in WordPress and how is it used?

Plugins are at the core of WordPress functionality. It’s one of the key reasons why this content management system is so popular.

 There’s a plugin for almost everything you can imagine. 

For example: 

  • Security 
  • Social Sharing
  • Website Speed
  • Image Galleries
  • Website Backup
  • Contact Forms
  • SEO Management
  • Site Analytics
  • Monetization and Advertisement
  • Page Builders

Plugins are useful for even changing WordPress from just being a blog to an even powerful website such as these

  • Membership Site
  • Quiz
  • Forums
  • Reviews
  • Shopping and Ecommerce
  • Learning Management System
  • Directory

Navigate to Plugins > Add New. It’s available under the WordPress Administrator Dashboard Sidebar.

You can search for plugins and add them the same way we have searched themes. 

You can also look over currently installed plugins on the “Installed Plugins” page. 

With that, you can always deactivate or delete any plugin that you might want to download to test.

It’s easy, so don’t make it hard by overthinking things. 

How do WordPress Posts work?

The concept of posts has made WordPress a famous blogging tool. 

You publish articles that you want to share with the world. Some choose to post daily, others weekly and a few even monthly.

Posts are used to share your thoughts, preferably within the niche you’ve chosen to write about.

Navigate to Posts > All Posts to see all of your published posts. Considering you have a new blog, you will only have a default “Hello World” post.

You can simply hover over the post, click Trash to delete it and start fresh. You can edit or preview the post as well. You may notice a few extra options based on the plugins you use.

Click Posts > Add New. You will be overwhelmed by the options you see. 

Most probably, you have the latest version of WordPress installed. So you must be using Gutenberg editor, which will look like this

Don’t worry, we will do it together!

First things first, add a Title to your post. 

Your title could be anything, preferably within like 10 words or 60 characters.

Just below it, you see “Start writing or type / to choose a block”. That’s where you start writing your content.

In modern WordPress, the Gutenberg editor is used instead of TinyMCE classic as with all old versions of WordPress.

With the new editor, comes the concept of blocks. Where you can add blocks for different types of content.

For example, if you want to add an image. You just click over the + sign to the left and choose Image from the Common Blocks section.

You get blocks for formatting and layout by default. So everything from adding a quote, audio, video to an image gallery is built-in to WordPress.

You can always add more blocks by installing relevant plugins.

When you’re done writing the post, just click Publish to see it live.

Post Sidebar – Settings

  • You can make your post public, private or password-protected.
  • You can schedule a post for the future, to automatically publish at a future date.
  • Choosing the Post Author (will explore Users tab, where we will learn how to add different authors to blog)
  • Choosing the categories you want to publish this post to
  • Additionally, if you want to attach certain tags to the post. 
  • Most of the themes display a picture for every post. That’s a featured image. You can set it from this tab as well.
  • Ability to add an excerpt, basically a summary of your content. 
  • To choose if you want to allow/disallow comments specifically for this post
  • To choose a certain post template. A post template lets you customize your posts pageview. You may or may not have any template options; depending upon your theme. You can download plugins to get post-template options.

That’s pretty much the crux of WordPress Posts.

How do WordPress Pages work?

Pages are similar to Posts, however, there are noticeable differences.

  • It is not intended to be very regularly updated.
  • Will remain timeless; relevant for a longer period. 
  • Like posts, pages cannot contain categories or tags
  • Pages are automatically added to your menu, in most cases, as the theme allows for it. You can always change this setting though.
  • Only a page could be used to set up a custom homepage.
  • WordPress Pages are hierarchical whereas posts are chronological.

For all of these reasons, pages are most suitable to have for About, Contact, Sitemap, Mission, Vision, Team, FAQ, and all of such introductory or guideline-based content.

Having said that, there are no SEO benefits for using one over another. 

If you feel like using a page makes more sense. Go ahead and do it without hesitation.

How to use Media in WordPress?

Media is used to upload images, videos or even audio to your WordPress site.

One way of adding an audio, video, or an image is to simply upload it at a different platform.

Platforms such as Youtube for video, imgbb.com for the image, and soundcloud.com for audio. 

You can then easily embed it within the post by adding a relevant block and providing a video/image/audio source.

Another, most favorable way, especially for uploading images is to upload it at your server. To be sure that these resources never get deleted without your permission.

Navigate to Media > Add New. 

Add your images (or other files) to your WordPress system and server. So you can easily use it anywhere on your website, be it pages, posts or even homepage.

What are Categories in WordPress?

Pretty simple. It’s a sort of division of interests, the sub-topics of your main niche.

So if you want to blog about Travel, and want to talk about specific destinations. 

So the different destinations could be the categories. Or maybe a few general categories such as food, style, fun, etc. 

It’s up to you, whatever feels natural. Whatever you think will help your audience to better grasp.

To add, edit and delete categories, navigate to Posts > Categories and add it from there.

Slug is the URL of the category, in case if you’re wondering. 

If you want to have multi-level categories, choose the parent category to define a specific category under another.

What are the Basic WordPress Settings?

Navigate to the Settings tab from the Admin Dashboard (under Left Sidebar).

As you click over it, you will see these sub-links appear under the Settings link.

  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks
  • Privacy

So if you’re in process of launching your site. You might want to install a coming soon plugin.

But you also must browse the Reading sub-link and enable “Discourage search engines from indexing your site”.

As soon as you are ready for launch, uncheck it back again.

The settings are pretty self-explanatory so I just want you to know that’s there. So you must glance over it once.

How to Create Users in WordPress?

Navigate to the Users tab. 

It’s pretty straight forward. You can either create a new user, edit or delete current ones. (just like we did with the pages and posts).

Every user has a role in WordPress. 

The roles limit the user’s functionality. So an administrator has the privilege to add/delete users. But a subscriber wouldn’t have that.

These are the roles name and functionality in brief.

  • Subscriber
    • To manage and edit their profile
  • Contributor
    • Read all posts, create and edit their posts
  • Author
    • Create, edit, and delete their content
    • Upload images
  • Editor
    • Create, edit, and delete any content
    • Moderate comments
    • Manage categories and links
  • Administrator
    • Create, edit, and delete any content
    • Manage plugins, themes, and back-end code.
    • Delete other user accounts
  • Super Admin
    • It’s a role available to Multi-site installations

So you can easily create users utilizing these roles. 

Most themes display the author’s name and profile under posts. So if you want to display, let’s say, written by YOUR NAME. 

Then make sure you choose a relevant display name while creating a user.

Always choose a strong password.

That’s pretty much it!

Congratulations on getting to know WordPress. You will do great, just keep at it! That’s how I did it, one day at a time 🙂

While you’re here, make sure you learn how to create blog post images quickly and efficiently.

What’s Next?

Do good, have good.

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