This is not just another WordPress tutorial.
This tutorial is for capable beginners.
Who is a capable beginner? This tutorial assumes that a capable beginner:
- Regularly accesses websites that require the user to interact in some way, such as establishing a user account, posting comments, uploading photos, filling out online forms, reading and interacting in blog forums or discussion groups, etc. Interactive sites would include Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, news and blog sites, etc.
- Can manipulate photos and images, such as cropping and resizing.
- Can create and edit text.
- Can cut and paste text and images between different applications or programs.
- Has a minimum understanding of the differences between: style vs. content; a software program (or application) vs. data that the program works with or processes; a web browser vs. the content that the browser displays.
- Is familiar with basic terminology related to the Internet, websites, and blogs.
- Is comfortable with searching the Internet to find answers to questions.
- Recognizes that learning any new capability will require effort, patience, and perseverance.
- Says to herself at this point, “I can do this!“
- Says to himself at this point, “I don’t care, I want to do this!“
If you consider yourself a capable beginner using these criteria, this tutorial — and WordPress — is well within your capability.
Obviously, one size doesn’t fit all. You may find this tutorial lacking in some areas and overly dumbed-down in others. The intent is to:
1) provide enough information, instruction, and demonstration to give capable beginners the confidence to get started with WordPress;
2) provide a thorough yet easy-to-understand guide that can instruct beginners on a step-by-step basis, and also serve as a handy reference as they learn more;
3) enable beginners to achieve their online objectives and accelerate their learning in order to incrementally enhance their web capabilities.
Before You Begin
Who can benefit from this tutorial?
This tutorial attempts to consider two different types of users.
- As a tutorial for beginners, it needs to serve those who want to start at the beginning and carry through to the end. So it needs to be structured like an online book for the beginning-to-end’ers.
- Others may be searching for an answer to a specific question or issue, such as “what is the Akismet API key, how do I get it, and what do I do with it?” So it also needs to be useful for the get-in-and-get-out’ers.
How is this tutorial organized?
- The tutorial is organization into 6 Sections. Each Section has a summary page on which you can find links to all of the individual articles (or posts) within that Section.
- Links to the 6 Sections are also found in the sidebar under “WordPress Tutorial Sections.”
- At the bottom of each article there is a checklist to review key actions or points from that article. Just below the checklist — near the last line of text in the article — is a link to the next article in sequence.
- Beginning with the “Why WordPress” article, you’ll see a small bar at the top of the post and the very bottom of the post (after the Comments section, just above the Footer) with links to the previous and the next articles.
- You can return to this page using the WordPress Tutorial link in the main menu on every page on the site.
- So within each Section of the tutorial, you can navigate from article to article, or you can return to the Section page after you finish each article and navigate from there.
There are a few terms that might be confusing as they are used within WordPress. For the purposes of this tutorial:
- A blog consists of a collection of posts, similar to how a magazine consists of a collection of articles. An author writes posts for a blog; the author does not write blogs for a blog.
- Folder and directory are used interchangeably to refer to the organization of files on a hard drive or server. Remember that folders or directories are hierarchical, so you can have folders within folders and directories (or sub-directories) within directories.
- Pages and Posts refer to two different types of content within WordPress, but they share some important similarities. Sometimes pages are generally referred to as posts, and sometimes posts are referred to as pages. Depending on the context, pages may need to be differentiated from posts, or they could be similar enough to be interchangeable. See the articles on Pages and Posts for more details.
- What you view on your computer monitor may be called, in general usage, a screen, a page, or an article. Again, use the context to assess whether, for example, page is used in a general sense or in a WordPress-specific sense.
WordPress Tutorial Overview
An overview of each tutorial Section is provided below, along with a link to that Section. Sections 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 work toward creating an actual, fully-functional WordPress site — the Site Different. If you want to peak ahead to see what you learn from this tutorial, feel free to look at the site at any time as you progress through the sections.
Have fun, learn something, do something, and Ndividuate Yourself!
WordPress isn’t just a “blog” anymore. It’s the best way for an individual or small organization to affordably create and maintain their online identities. Learn why. And learn about the two different types of WordPress, a free WordPress site and a self-hosted site using your own domain name. There are just three minimum requirements to host your own WordPress site, but several other considerations. Learn how to prepare for and install WordPress.
Once you have WordPress installed, you’re ready to learn all about the WordPress Dashboard. The Dashboard is where you’ll create, edit, manage, and control your WordPress site. This section of the tutorial walks you systematically through the five items in the Dashboard that establish your preferences and setup options — Users, Settings, Tools, Appearance, and Plugins. Each item is explained, with recommendations as to whether you should (for now) accept the default values or set your own preferences. Learn what you can do with the Dashboard options to get your site setup and ready to add your content.
During the Setup WordPress process, you were introduced to how WordPress works and how its capabilities are implemented. Now it’s time to create and edit your own content with the other five menu items in your WordPress Dashboard — Pages, Posts, Media, Links, and Comments. Learn how to manage your text, upload and size your images, organize your categories, add tags, and all things related to managing content.
What you can do to extend WordPress through available themes and plugins is almost limitless. But you can go even farther with custom code and more advanced capabilities. Learn how to not settle for anything less than what you want to achieve with your WordPress site.
I hope this WordPress Tutorial will whet your appetite to do more and learn more. Learn how to learn with some of these personally recommended online resources to accelerate, deepen, and widen your knowledge of WordPress.
Instructional videos appear throughout the tutorial. This section provides links to all the videos, in sequence, on one convenient page.