The dashboard: the linchpin
This WordPress tutorial starts at the point after you have successfully signed up to WordPress. The first thing you will come across is the Dashboard. Thus, dashboard is the first term we will deal with in this WordPress tutorial.
The WordPress Dashboard is your hub when it comes to installing plugins or themes and posting content such as blog posts.
If you have decided to use Divi Builder to design your website and need help installing the Divi theme, you can check here.
The "Updates" subpage shows you the version status of your plugins, themes and WordPress installation. The "Updates" subpage can be found in the left-hand column under Home, which is located under Dashboard. The more plugins you install, the more options there are for customising your dashboard.
With WooCommerce, it is possible to display the most important sales statistics or an overview of orders.
You can set up the overview of your WordPress dashboard as you wish. I will explain how you can customise your overview in the following section of this WordPress tutorial. Under the option "Customise view", you can select which screen elements should be displayed and which should not by simply ticking them.
At a glance
"At a glance" gives you an overview of your content, version and templates. Here you can see the number of posts and pages that have been published on your blog. Click on the blue highlighted terms to go directly to the respective page or post.
"Quick draft" allows you to make notes for future posts, for example. As this draft is not published, you will find it marked as "Draft" in your post list.
"Activity" functions as a log book that shows you your most recent activities in your WordPress blog. If you need a quick overview of your most recently published posts or want to access them quickly, this function is very helpful.
WordPress news and events
Just like the "Activity" function, "WordPress News and Events" provides you with an overview of news regarding WordPress and points out future WordPress events.
The first step of the WordPress tutorial has already given you an overview of the dashboard. In the next steps, we will dive deeper into the respective menu items so that you know your way around WordPress better than your pocket.
Get to know posts with this WordPress tutorial
The next point we will deal with in this WordPress tutorial is posts. In short, posts in WordPress are contents that are collected chronologically on a post page. In most cases, WordPress posts are blog posts.
So-called tags or keywords help to group the posts according to thematically relevant terms. This also allows you to categorise and sort your posts at the same time. With the help of the post page, you get an overview of the posts and are forwarded to the respective post by clicking on it.
Originally, WordPress was developed as a blogging system, which is why posts are one of the fundamental elements in WordPress. As mentioned before, blog posts are sorted. New posts are always displayed at the top and take the place of older posts, which are placed further down as time goes by and more blog posts are added.
Next, in this WordPress tutorial, I would like to talk about how you can create a WordPress post. To do this, click on "Posts" in the left column and then on "Create". An overview should then open where you can create the post.
In the top column you can define a heading and in the text field below you can write your contribution. You can edit the text as you wish using the editor. When you are satisfied with your post and want to publish it, all you have to do is click on the "Publish" button on the right. This way you can create posts such as this WordPress tutorial.
Before you press the button, I advise you to check your contribution carefully, otherwise your contribution will be live and visible to everyone. Before publishing, however, there are other options available to you that you may want to make use of. These are located next to the "Publish" button and offer you the following functions. On the one hand, you can simply save your contribution under the option "Save draft" so that you can continue working on it in the future. Under "Preview" you can view your own contribution while it is not visible to others.
Under the item "Visibility" you can choose between three options. The first option is "Public", which makes your post visible to anyone who enters your website. Another option offered to you is to publish your contribution "Password protected". In this case, only people with the appropriate password will have access to your post. The last option would be to make the post "Private". In this case, the post could only be seen if you are logged in to your website. With this we have discussed all the tabs of the posts in this WordPress tutorial.
As mentioned at the beginning of the WordPress tutorial, the posts can be categorised and sorted. Depending on the category, the posts can be found under the respective category pages. You can find the settings for the categories on the right-hand side while editing the post. There you can define the title of the respective categories under "Create new category". Once you have created your own categories, you can also assign posts to them. The categories classify your posts more thematically, while tags (keywords) classify your posts in terms of content.
As with the categories, you will also find the tags on the right-hand side. You can enter several words here, just make sure that you separate them with a comma. Click on the "Update" button to save your changes.
Media: The overview of all your uploaded data
Next, this WordPress tutorial deals with the "Media" tab. Under this tab you will find the media library. You can primarily add images, but also videos and other documents that you need for your WordPress site. After you have added images, for example, you can edit them directly. Functions such as size corrections, image cropping, image alignment, etc. are offered.
Pages: Homepage, Imprint and co.
I've almost finished the first half of the WordPress tutorial. Now it's about the pages, which, unlike the posts, are not sorted by date - but names - and are not listed in archives.
Pages cannot be assigned categories or tags like posts. This is because pages are usually static content. Typical pages of a website are the "Home Page", "About Me", "Imprint" or "Terms and Conditions".
To customise your pages, you can use different page builders. The giants on the market are Elementor and Divi Builder. If you find yourself an absolute newbie in the WordPress world, I recommend you to go for a well-known page builder. Not only do they offer great support, dedicated community, regular updates, pre-built and compatible themes, but also many WordPress tutorials on the respective providers.
Comments: Love your community
The menu item "Comments" is almost self-explanatory. The comment function allows your readers to comment on your posts. The comments are usually located below the post. By default, they are displayed one below the other. If you want to reply to certain comments, you can activate the option "Organise nested comments in x levels". This will make it easier to see the comments if you want to reply to some of them.
As a tip: Interact with your readers! This will not only show your appreciation, but will also attract regular visitors.
Unfortunately, websites are often affected by spam comments. On the one hand, you can deal with this manually by approving each comment for publication yourself. The simpler and less time-consuming solution would be to install a plugin that automatically detects spam comments so that you no longer have to deal with them. Of course, you can also disable comments for your posts. To do this, go to "Settings" and then to "Discussion" and uncheck "Allow visitors to comment on new posts".
Depending on how you have configured your WordPress, it is possible to network with other WordPress blogs using so-called "pingbacks" and "trackbacks". Pingbacks and trackbacks have basically the same function, but they differ in one point:
- Pingbacks occur when a visible link is set on a homepage to another page.
- A trackback occurs when no visible link is set, but a link is set in the background of the system, simulating a pingback.
This function can be configured under the Tools tab. So now we have successfully mastered the first half of the WordPress tutorial.
Design: The look of your website
Of course, a WordPress tutorial should not be without the item Design. Here you will find all the visual settings for your website, from colour to layout to logos. Besides these, you can also choose between different themes and widgets that influence the appearance of your website. In addition, the main menu and all submenus are available for editing. You can also insert your own codes in the theme editor, but I would only recommend this to those who are really familiar with it.
Install plugins with this WordPress tutorial
We have already talked briefly about plugins in the comments section and will return to them here in this section of the WordPress tutorial. Plugins are additional programmes that you can add to your website and add new functions.
If you open the Plugins tab, you will find an overview of all installed plugins on your website. Plugins with a white background are deactivated. You can either activate or delete them. As soon as the plugin is active, it is highlighted with a light blue background. WordPress itself offers a lot of useful plugins that you can try out.
It is often a good idea to try out different plug-ins, as most plug-ins are initially free of charge and a paid licence is only required for the premium versions. If you decide not to use a plugin, delete it afterwards so as not to load your memory and performance unnecessarily.
Users: Who is allowed to edit what on the website?
WordPress can be used by several users at the same time. I'll show you exactly how this works in this WordPress tutorial.
In WordPress, it is possible to assign different user roles and user rights to the respective user. This administration is only possible for the administrator. In addition, he is able to add or remove new users. To add a new user, select the "Users" tab and click on the "Add new" button.
After that, an overview should open in which you should enter your username, email, first and last name, etc. In the following, I will explain the meaning of the individual fields in this WordPress tutorial.
The username is used to log in to WordPress alongside your password. Please note that the username must not contain any spaces. The password and login will be sent to the specified email.
In the First name and Surname field, you can enter the user's name and first name. Please note that if no name is entered, the user name will appear next to the posts. This makes it easier for hackers to hack into your account, for example, because they already have the user name and only need the password. For this reason, I recommend that you always fill in the fields for name and first name.
The Website field does not need to be filled in, but it makes sense when creating a user for guest authors to enter their website there.
Under Language you can set the language of the website.
WordPress creates a very strong password, but it is up to you whether you use this or create one yourself. When the user is saved, the access data is sent to the previously defined e-mail.
After the password, you define the user roles of the user. The individual roles and their permissions will now be discussed in this WordPress tutorial.
The subscriber is a normal user who is registered on your website, has his own profile and can edit it. In addition, they are able to read and comment on posts if the comment function is enabled for everyone.
Staff is one level above the subscriber. This means that the contributor has all the rights that the subscriber has and, in addition, they are authorised to write articles but are not authorised to publish them.
The author has the same rights as the staff member, but the staff member is authorised to publish his/her own contributions and upload images to the media library, which the staff member is not authorised to do.
After the author comes the editor. He or she has all the aforementioned rights and is also authorised to create pages and edit categories.
At the highest level is the administrator. The users who take on this role have all rights. In addition to the rights mentioned above, the administrator can change themes, administer the basic settings and delete the entire WordPress blog. As a rule, only one person has this role. In addition, this user role should only be used for website administration, as it can quickly happen that important blog settings are unintentionally changed. Therefore, I recommend that you use the editor user role for editing posts as well as pages and commenting on posts.
If you want to extend your WordPress site with a shop system such as WooCommerce, you will have additional user roles to choose from.
The role customer can be created manually or is created automatically at the checkout as long as the customer does not order as a "guest". They are authorised to view their orders and edit their customer information.
This role is able to manage the entire shop. This means that they can create and edit products, change prices and influence shop functions. This role also has all the rights of the customer.
To complete the process of adding a new user, simply click on the button "Create new user". As an administrator, you can change the assigned role at any time.
Tools: Import and export data
The term tool is used somewhat broadly by WordPress. Therefore, this is the shortest point of the WordPress tutorial. Tools are only primarily used to import and export data. This data can be pages or posts from your own website or data from other WordPress installations.
Your website settings
The last point of the WordPress tutorial contains the settings. Under this point you will find settings regarding posts, comments or pages etc. but also regarding the appearance of the website. If you install additional plugins, further points will be added to the settings.
Under the general settings you will find basic settings regarding users, time zone, the page URL and the WordPress address. In this way, you can define the path via which WordPress can be accessed.
Here you can specify whether you want to publish your post by email and define the default category and format for posts.
Under "Read" you can set which content is to be displayed on your start page; you can choose between a static page or the latest post. As a rule, you select "A static page" for a website and "Your latest posts" for a blog.
Furthermore, there is an important setting here: Configure the visibility of your website for search engines. The option "Prevent search engines from indexing this website" is listed here. If you tick this box, it means that your website can only be found indirectly via the search engine index. Your website can be found via organic search queries if you have not ticked this option.
This item allows you to define general settings regarding comments and to configure the pingback and trackback function. In addition, the appearance of the WordPress avatars can be changed here.
Settings for uploading images are made in Media.
Here you can set the structure of your link. Short link structures would make sense from the point of view of search engine optimisation, for example.
Under this setting you can define the page that should be displayed when clicking on the privacy of your website.
Conclusion: Get to know WordPress with this WordPress tutorial
In this WordPress tutorial, we have gone into all the important points and functions of WordPress. Because WordPress is now so much more than just a CMS system - it is the basis for your new website! If you still have questions about the individual tabs after this WordPress tutorial, feel free to send us an email! More useful WordPress tutorials are sure to come in the future, so visit our WordPress blog regularly to stay up to date. Would you like a WordPress tutorial on a specific topic? Then write to us!