Getting Started With WordPress

By: Marc Gratch | | @mgratch

What is WordPress?

  • Free Open Source Software
  • Powers more than 30% of the web
  • Used for: Anything
  • CMS: Content Management System
  • Customizable, extensible, easy-to-use*
  • Search Engine Friendly “out of the box”
  • Lots of Support!
  • You own your content. or

Free OSS


Buy your own Hosting

Free or Premium at

Plugins & Themes

Only approved or for an extra fee

Easy to Install and Setup

  • Buy a domain
  • Buy Hosting
  • Click “install WordPress”
  • Start Pressin’ Words

Getting to Know the Dashboard

  • Toolbar
  • Main Nav on the Left
  • Main Work Area
    • Screen Options
    • Help
    • Dashboard Widgets

Posts vs. Pages





Chronological Order

No Particular Order

Blog Posts, timely content

Static Content

Can be Tagged or Categorized

Pages can be ordered/subpages

Getting to Know the Editor

  • Title
  • Post Editing Area
  • Metaboxes (drag & droppable, expandable)
  • Screen Options
  • Just like using Word or Google Docs
  • Bold
  • Italics
  • left/right/center format
  • lists
  • quote
  • insert links

Creating a New Post

  • Add a title (a slug/permalink is automatically created)
  • Choose a Post Format (if supported by the theme)
  • Assign your post into a category
  • Add a few tags, tags are like keywords
  • Add a featured image
  • Save a draft/publish or Preview
  • Set/change visibility

How to Edit an Existing Post

  • All Posts
  • Search
  • Screen Options
  • Excerpt/List View
  • Hover over each post for Action Links
  • Quick Edit
  • Bulk Edit
  • Edit
  • Delete/Trash

All About Categories and Tags

AKA Taxonomy





Hierarchical (Table of Contents)

Non-Hierarchical (Index)

Creating and Editing Pages

  • Static content that doesn’t change often, like “Contact” or “About” Pages
  • Pages aren’t assigned to taxonomies
  • They can be hierarchal with sub-pages.
  • The order can be modified based on the list it is a part of.

How to Add Photos and Images

  • Insert an image at the cursor
  • Upload from your computer (browse or drag and drop)
  • Add Title
  • Add Caption
  • Add Alt Text for screen readers**
  • Change the Alignment
  • Change the link
  • Change the Size
  • Or Insert a Gallery (drag and drop multiple images)
  • Edit the image, aspect ratio, crop, rotate, etc.

How to Embed Video & Audio

  • Upload to a service like Youtube or Vimeo
  • Paste the embed code into a new post or just the URL!
  • You get a real time preview
  • Published videos should fill the content area perfectly
  • Drag and Drop Audio Files and click “Create Playlist” then you can choose what to display and reorganize the list.

Using the Media Library

  • You can upload images, videos, audio, pdfs and many other types of media
  • List View/Grid View
  • Filter by Type or Date
  • Upload media now to use later
  • Drag/Drop or Browse
  • Attached/Unattached
  • Access Image Editing (Covered Earlier)

Managing Comments

  • Comments can be engaging
  • Cued for Approval
  • Activity Module on the Dashboard highlights comments awaiting moderation
  • Approve/Reply/Mark as Spam/Unapprove/Edit a comment
  • Bulk edit from the comments panel.
  • Pingbacks and Trackbacks are mentions/links on other sites.
  • More settings under “Discussion” Panel
  • Look out for Spam!
  • If you don’t want comments, turn them off

Changing the Theme

  • There are thousands of Free Themes
  • Change them via the Customizer to preview changes in Real Time
  • Customizer Panels change based on the theme
  • Add a logo
  • Choose color schemes, headers, background image
  • Hide customizer controls for easy previews
  • Change CSS
  • Publish Changes later
  • Manage Themes in the Theme Subpanel on the Dashboard

Adding Widgets to Your Site

  • Widget areas must be included in your theme.
  • Widget areas may be different from theme to theme.
  • Widgets can be modified/activated/deactivated through its subpanel or the customizer.
  • Widgets can be deactivated but saved through the subpanel.
  • Real Time preview of widget changes via the customizer.
  • Drag and Drop to rearrange
  • All hail the power of the text widget 🙂

Creating Custom Menus

  • Menu areas must be included in your theme.
  • Menu areas may be different from theme to theme.
  • Menu can be modified/activated/deactivated through its subpanel or the customizer.
  • Real Time preview of menu changes via the customizer.
  • Include links to any post/page type or custom links
  • Drag and Drop to rearrange menu items.
  • Social Link Menus may be available in your theme
  • Each menu item attributes can be modified by access the hidden options in the “Screen Options” tab.

New Functionality by Installing Plugins

  • Over 50,000 Plugins Available
  • Installed Plugins subpanel is where you can Activate/Deactivate/Delete Plugins installed on your site.
  • Add new subpanel allows you to find and install plugins through the WordPress Directory.
  • You can also upload plugin ZIP files as well.
  • Plugins must be installed and activated to make use of their functionality.
  • Many plugins have settings, be sure to look for those.
  • Typically plugins should do 1 thing, and it should do it well.

Adding New Users

  • Invite users to your site
  • Manage users via the Users subpanel
  • Be Sure to Understand the User Permissions







Access Everything

Create Edit Posts/Pages and Edit

Create/Publish their own Posts

Write/Manage their own Posts, but not Publish

Manage Profile and Read Content

Some Useful Tools

  • Press this
  • Category to Tag Converter
  • Import posts/content from other systems
  • Export
  • Plugins can add other great tools, like backups and migration.

Settings & Configuration

  • General: Title, Tagline and Address, membership, language
  • Writing: Controls the Edit interface, default category/format, post via email, update services
  • Reading: Front page content, how many posts to show, full text or excerpt, Search Engine Visibility
  • Discussion: Manage comments
  • Media: Standard Upload Sizes, Organization method vs 1 large library
  • Permalinks:  Format of the URL (web address) for your pages/posts, category bases

Any Questions?

@mgratch You can find me most often in the WordPress DFW & Post Status Slack!