WordPress Basics – Get them right!

Hire a WordPress Expert on Codeable
Updated On: July 12th, 2020 0 Comments

If you can get the basics right, you can master any tool or skill in this world.

WordPress is no exception.

Get the WordPress basics right and you’ll be on your way to master it.

The more time you spend on WordPress Admin Side, the more you’ll get out of WordPress eco-system.

Simply put, If you know how to move around WordPress, it’s easy for you to figure out most of the things by yourself.

And, this guide will help you with just that.

If you are already familiar with WordPress, feel free to jump any lessson.

Let’s get started with the most basic question that everyone asks me.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a PHP based Content Management System.

Well! That definition is old and not really helpful, right?

Let me reframe that definition.

Microsoft Powerpoint is a software that helps you create beautiful presentations.

Photoshop is a software that helps you craft creative images and website mockups.

And, WordPress is nothing but a software that helps you create a high-quality website. For example, a website like BBCAmerica.

That’s all.

When you install WordPress software on a web server, technically, you have created a website and all you have to do next is to create content for your website and voila! You will be ready to share your website with the world.

A website contains pages like About Us, Contact Us, and blog posts, right?

The reason behind the success of WordPress is, it is reliable and it makes it easy to create pages and add content to them. It makes it easy to create a blog post and add content to it. That is the core functionality of WordPress.

Simply put, it not only helps you create a website but also lets you manage your site page’s content with an easy to use interface. That’s why most people call it a Content Management System.

Not only that, WordPress helps you create any kind of website.

You can use WordPress to create a blog and share your ideas with the world.

If you are a business owner, you can use WordPress to create a website that showcases your company’s services.

If you are an artist, you can use WordPress to create your portfolio website.

If you are selling some awesome products online, you can use WordPress to create an e-commerce store.

If you want to run a helpful online community, WordPress is your best choice.

The list goes on and on. You can see an impressive list of sites built with WordPress here.

That’s pretty much what WordPress is and It’s much more powerful than what I described so far.

And you too will agree with me once we are done with this course. So, let’s get started.

How to login on wordpress admin

It all starts with the URL.

To log into your WordPress site, all you have to do is add /wp-admin at the end of your site URL and hit enter.

For example:

https://www.usablewp.com/wp-admin

And as soon as you hit enter, you’ll see a login form.

Enter the working login credentials and voila, you are now inside the WordPress Dashboard. That’s how easy it is to login to WordPress site.

Troubleshooting Tip: If you are unable to access your WordPress login screen, try /wp-login.php instead of /wp-admin

For example:

https://www.usablewp.com/wp-login.php

This will take you to the same login screen.

If this doesn’t work too, then there are two reasons behind this:

One, your website developer might have changed the WordPress login URL for security reasons. If this is the case, get in touch with the developer of your website.

Two, a security plugin like WordFence allows you to change the WordPress Admin URL. So, one of your team members or your developer might have configured login to use a different URL.

If you can not get hold of them and if it is urgent, just log into FTP and disable the plugin by renaming the folder folder of the plugin to something different.

For example, if the plugin’s folder name is “wordfence”, you can rename it to “wordfence1″ or even “some-name”. Changing the folder name will force WordPress to deactivate the plugin automatically.

Plugins are located inside the “plugins” directory. And here is how you reach the “Plugins” directory.

Site’s Root Directory -> wp-content -> plugins

After deactivating the plugin in question, you should be able to access the WordPress login screen using the above-mentioned default URLs.

How to Recover your WordPress password

There are two ways to recover your WordPress Admin password. I will demonstrate the easy method here.

Recover WordPress Password using Email

One way is go to WordPress Login Screen and then clicking on “Lost Your password?” link.

This link is located right underneath the WordPress login Form.

You already know how to access the WordPress login screen don’t you? If not read the above section.

As soon as you click on the “Lost your Password?”, WordPress will ask you to enter the Username or Email Address of your WordPress account.

Once you enter either of them, WordPress will send you an email message with instructions on how to reset your password.

If you have entered a wrong Email Address or Username, WordPress will throw an error. So, there is no shooting in the dark.

Anyway, once you hit the “Get New Password” button after entering the correct account information, you’ll receive an Email like this:

Mostly, at the end of the email message, you’ll find a link which will let you access the “Password Reset” form.

Just click on it to access the form and set a new password.

By default, WordPress will generate a strong password and I’d recommend sticking to the password generated by WordPress because we usually go with weak passwords that are easily hackable.

Hey, How am I supposed to remember such a lengthy password?

Simple, use a tool like 1Password.

If that is not an option for you, trying entering a tough password that you can remember and make sure it contains all at least one uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and special character.

Oh cool. But, for some reason, I did not receive an email regarding the password reset form. Why is that?

The thing about emails is, if you are using a professional email service like Google’s G-Suite or Zoho, chances are your emails will work 99% of the time.

If you are just relying on default WordPress email delivery system, depending on the Web Hosting configuration and type of the Web Server, the emails might or might not work.

So, I would recommend using an 3rd-party email service like G-Suite if you want your emails to work most of the time.

Got it. It takes a good amount of time to set that up. Is there any other way that will let me reset my password right now? It’s kinda urgent for me!

Got it. There is one more way, but, it’s not for the faint heart. It involves changing the password directly inside the database which contains your site’s content and settings.

If you have no idea about the Database related concepts of WordPress, I wouldn’t recommend going this way.

Instead, I would recommend hiring a top-notch WordPress expert from Codeable for setting up G-Suite or just to reset the password.

Alternatively, you can also reach out to the support team of your Web Hosting company and just ask them to reset the password for you. Most of the time, they will help you out for sure.

WordPress Basics: Quick tour of the WordPress Administration Dashboard interface

Woah! That’s mouthful.

Anyway, once you are logged in, WordPress will greet you with the WordPress Administration Dashboard and it is often referred to as WordPress Admin or WP Admin.

WP Admin area is the heart of your WordPress website.

WP Admin is the place where you manage the look and feel of your website.

WP Admin is the place where you manage your website content.

WP Admin also lets you extend the functionality of WordPress using the plugins screen.

The initial screen that you’ll see once you are logged in is the Dashboard screen and in here, you’ll get a quick glance of the things happening on your WordPress site.

For example, The Site health widget will provide insights about maintaining your site’s overall health.

You’ll also find the most recent activity on the site so that you can monitor if there are any suspicious activity going on.

But other than that, you are not going to find this screen much helpful.

Instead, you’ll be spending all of your time and energy on the other areas of the WP Admin.

And you can access these other areas by using the Navigation Menu located on the left-hand side of the screen.

How to logout of WordPress Admin

Once you are logged in to WordPress Admin, On the top of the screen, we have a Quick-Actions Admin bar which will help us take one-click actions such as:

  • New Page, New Post, etc.
  • Quick menu for accessing the settings of some important plugins
  • Logout
  • Edit profile

To access the Logout and Edit Profile link, put your cursor on the top-right-hand corner of the screen where it says “Howdy, Your Name”.

This will bring up a dropdown which will let you click on the Logout and other your user account-related options.

So, to logout of WordPress Admin, all you have to do is click on the “Log Out” link in the dropdown.

WordPress Page vs Post

When you are trying to publish your content using WordPress, you’ll come across two options to create your website content.

  • WordPress “Page”
  • WordPress “Post”

And since you are new to WordPress, it’s quite common to get confused about when to use which option.

When to use a WordPress Post

From a WordPress site standpoint, we use WordPress Post only for blog posts.

If you are not familiar with blogging at all, here is what I mean by blog posts:

  • Tutorials / How-to articles
  • Latest News
  • Case Studies
  • Research Papers
  • List-based articles such as “10 awesome tools for creating presentations” or “Best WordPress Plugins”
  • Interviews
  • Product Reviews
  • Comparisons
  • Niche Topics
  • Youtube Video
  • Podcast

And for anything that is not a blog post, We use WordPress Page.

When to use a WordPress Page

Again, Please remember that I am talking from a WordPress site perspective.

1) Pages are used for static content like Marketing Landing Pages with Lead Forms

2) Static Homepages.

For example, the Homepage of this website. We call it a static Homepage because unless it is a blog we don’t make changes to the homepage of any website that often.

3) Information pages like:

  • About us
  • Mission/Vision
  • Contact Us
  • Services,
  • Privacy Policy,
  • FAQs page where we display frequently asked questions in the form of Accordions
  • Testimonials page where we display some neat testimonials

4) User Account Management pages with Login, Sign up and Edit Profile forms

WordPress doesn’t ship with a frontend user account management features. We usually rely on plugins for displaying these kind of pages.

And, these user account management plugins gives us a shortcode to output the forms like Sign Up, Sign In, etc.

Therefore, we have to use a WordPress Page to put these shortcodes.

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand what I just said. You’ll understand once we do this practically. And we will do this at a later point in the course.

5) A Blog Roll page like where we display 10 latest blog posts.

Now here is the catch when it comes to Blog Roll pages.

When it comes to a WordPress website, if you want a Blog Roll page as the homepage, you don’t have to create a WordPress Page for that because WordPress will automatically generate a Homepage for us.

But if you want the Blog Roll page as an internal page, then we have to create a WordPress for that. The best example of an internal Blog Roll page is the blog page of this website.

You get the idea, right?

Here are some notable differences when it comes to WordPress Page vs Post.

  • A WordPress Post can have the user comments so that users can share their views on blog posts. User comments are turned off for a WordPress Page by default.
  • A WordPress Post can be assigned category like “Sports” or a tag like “Red Ball”. But a WordPress Page can not be assigned to a category or a tag.

Anyway, do we let people comment on pages like About Us? We don’t, right?

Also, what’s the use of assigning a category to a static page like About Us?

So, it became a standard to use a WordPress Page for static content that doesn’t need comments or categorization and a WordPress Post for articles related to blogging where the user comments and categorization helps the visitors.

Having said that, you are not restricted by any means. You can enable categorisation and users comments to a WordPress page.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, it also depends on how users interact with a piece of content on our website.

Hi, I am confused. I want to display blog posts from a specific category. Do I need to create a WordPress Page for that or Shall I just go ahead by creating a separate WordPress Post for that?

Great question.

When it comes to Archive pages where we display blog posts belonging to a particular category like “Vegetarian Recipes”, “Football”, etc. WordPress automatically generates a page for archives. You don’t have to create a page for that.

Here is the list of other archives to which WordPress automatically generates a page for:

  • Yearly archive where all blog posts belonging to a particular calendar year like 2020 are getting displayed.
  • Monthly archive where all blog posts belonging to a particular month like January are getting displayed.
  • Tag archives where all blog posts belonging to a particular tag like “tips” are getting displayed.

And, Here is the quick summary of WordPress Page vs Post

Vaguely, we can divide our WordPress website pages in to five types.

  1. A Static page like About us, Landing pages, etc. We use WordPress Page for this.
  2. A blog post like a How-to article, News article, etc. We use WordPress Post for this.
  3. A Blog Roll page where we display a list of Blog Articles. If it is a Homepage, WordPress will generate a page for us. If not, we use a WordPress Page.
  4. An Archive page where we display blog posts separated by a particular calendar year/month or a particular taxonomy like category/tag. WordPress automatically generates pages for archives of our WordPress Site. So, we don’t really have to worry about creating them ourselves.
  5. A Custom Catalog Page where we display our e-commerce products, work portfolio, online course lessons, etc. Catalog Pages doesn’t ship with WordPress by default.

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