Blog
22 February 2021

WordPress User Guide

INTRODUCTION


For those users looking to set up a WordPress website from scratch please see our blog for a step-by-step walkthrough. You’ve then gone one step further and read our guide on securing your WordPress site and you are feeling pretty confident about the new journey you are embarking on.

Our Blog Page

So where to now? Well, it’s no use just having a simple secure setup, it is now time to get the content right for your requirements to fulfil the business case. Well look no further, as this guide will provide you with a number of key areas to focus on to optimise and enhance your website and truly transform your business!

There are a number of key advantages to using WordPress for your website including;

  1. It has a simple learning curve, with numerous guides to follow
  2. It is highly stable and thoroughly tested
  3. Is used by millions of users globally
  4. It is scalable for companies, with WordPress users ranging from start-ups to enterprises
  5. Highly popular with developers, who regularly release new features and add-ons
  6. Range of free and premium features to add functionality and style
  7. Through HTML, CSS and PHP you can do almost anything with your site

ADMIN PANEL

Open the floodgates!

Step 1 is always nice and simple – log in to the admin interface. If you haven’t already got the link to your site’s front page, add /wp-admin to the website URL, for example www.site.com/wp-admin, unless you have changed that default page, at which point you get a bonus point for security!

Once you have logged in to the admin interface you arrive at the main dashboard with the following 4 modules;

  • At A Glance
  • Activity
  • Quick Draft
  • WordPress News

You can organise this information, alter the layout of modules, expand and contract sections to suit your preferences, by clicking and dragging the title bar of the module around. On the left of the dashboard, you see a series of links that you can click on to open sub-pages, or hover over them to see a quick summary of what the feature can do.

TOOLBAR

At the top of the site, you will see a tool bar, which you can us to have quick access to the administration area with the following key sections;

  1. WordPress Logo: Quick links to WordPress.org, version information and forums
  2. Site Name: Quick links to dashboard, themes, appearance and widgets
  3. Updates: Shows plugin and theme updates available
  4. Comments: Shows how many comments are awaiting approval
  5. +New: Allows you to quickly add content to your site
  6. Edit Post/Page: Edit current Post/Page content
  7. Language: Indicates what language you are using

PAGES & POSTS

Tomato tomato…

Pages are typically static content, that is updated on a less frequent basis, so can be viewed as the building blocks of your website. When setting up your website you will have an idea of what user experience you want, either an infinite scroll of content on one page, or separate pages for specific sections.

Posts instead are chronologically arranged information, for example news content, blogposts and other content that is added regularly, allowing the most recent material to be shown first. The structure of posts is defined by categories and tags, which make it easy for users to navigate around your site. They are also used by search engines to understand the content on your site and improve the relevance of search results.

Other post types within WordPress can include plugins and themes that add some form of content to your website. This could for example be a calendar plugin, that behaves as a post type, controlling the behaviour of events added to a calendar page.

ADDING CONTENT

You can easily begin adding content using the visual editor, which is similar to word processors such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs. For example, when creating a new Post, you can add in a number of features, such as digital media, control the font of your text, and add in further details to customise the written content. Hovering over any button will provide the description of it.

As an Editor or Administrator on a site, you will have a publish button to save and make your content available on the website. You can also save as a draft or take advantage of WordPress’s autosave feature to maintain your progress. You can also use the revision history to go back to a previous version and see changes within versions, to track your progress and changes over time.

You should also take advantage of the link functionality to link to other sites. This is both useful to show where you reference your material from, but also as it can help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and adding further Trustworthiness to your site. *More on this later.*

When adding images to your site, you can select the specific size, to make them uniform across the site, as well as editing the following information;

  • Title: Title of the image which shows when the image is hovered over;
  • Caption: The caption under the image, which appears on the website;
  • Alternative Text: A brief description of the image.

PUBLISHING CONTENT FROM CONTRIBUTORS

Sorry Mr Trump, this post has been flagged for inappropriate content.

If you are an Administrator or Editor, you can publish the work created by Contributors, however Authors can only publish their own work. When you select a draft, you can review the contribution, see the preview, and edit it, just as if it was your own post.

If you have the moderate comments option on, you can also check that comments are suitable for posting before they become public. You can also take advantage of Akismet, a plugin included with WordPress which takes care of anti-spam filtering. You can also install Captcha plugins to prevent bots interacting with your site.

The administrator email account will receive an email when a comment is waiting for approval. You can either do this on an individual basis or as a bulk operation. The options in place for comments are;

  • Approve
  • Reply
  • Quick Edit
  • Edit
  • Spam
  • Trash

ADMINISTERING WORDPRESS

Sorry you don’t have access to complete that function. Please contact your administrator.

There are a 5 different tiers of user access that you can grant on your website, which are listed in the below;

Administrator
Highest level of access, can do everything all users can do including;

  • Change All Settings
  • Switch Themes
  • Activate & Edit Plugins
  • Edit Users
  • Edit Files
  • Manage Options
  • Import

Editor
Can do everything other users below can do as well as;

  • Moderate Comments
  • Manage Categories
  • Manage Links
  • Edit Unfiltered HTML
  • Edit Published Posts
  • Edit Other Contributor’s Posts
  • Edit Pages

Author
Can do everything other users below can do as well as;

  • Upload Files
  • Publish Posts

Contributor
Create and edit their own posts, without uploading images. They can insert images that have already been uploaded.

Subscriber
Can read content on the website and make comments.

You should ensure when you add users and create access for them, that you follow the principle of least privilege – only provide the minimum level of access required to complete their role or function.

LOOK & FEEL

A picture says a 1000 words.

Under the themes tab, you will be able to switch between different layouts for your site. Here you can select a pre-existing theme, customise a theme or create a theme from scratch for your site to fully customise the look and feel of it.

You can also add in Widgets, essentially blocks of code which add some form of information or functionality to your website. Different themes will have different areas and types of widget areas, and if you are looking to add a number of widgets to your website, you should select a flexible theme.

You can also edit and fully customise your menu, with sections from your website in the order and layout that suits you best. You can also define multi-level menus and sub-levels for your menu based on the content of your site.

SITE TIPS

SEO SEO SEO.

One of the most important things to get right and often the most overlooked is the structure of the content. This is critical for those two aspects to get right – user experience and search engine performance. Ultimately, you want users to navigate efficiently around your site, and search engines to understand the content of your site, and match it to user search queries in search engines.

The quickest way to build your presence in the market is to engage with visitors to your site, and you can do this in four key ways;

  1. Comment on other blogs which can attract them to visit your site and interact;
  2. Reply to comment on your blog and engage with these users;
  3. Link to other blogs with references and back links to add trustworthiness to your content;
  4. Integrate social media to further attract users across multiple platforms.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on all things SEO to help improve the way search engines decipher your website content and optimise your website to attract more users and aid your digital transformation process.

Contact sales@digif9.co.uk if you would a company with the know-how to create and maintain your website, while you focus on your business.