Two Different Approaches to Install WordPress SSL

Short for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL is important in lending credibility to your website. The purpose of an SSL certificate is to provide users with a secure connection and ensure that your site is trustworthy when it comes to the encryption of data. In other words, if you truly want your WordPress website to be perceived as the real deal, then you need to install WordPress SSL.

In this piece, we will cover two of the different approaches to install WordPress SSL.

2 WordPress SSL Installation Approaches 

There are a number of different ways to go about installing WordPress SSL, but here are just two of the methods you can employ.

1. Use Microsoft Internet Information Services

IIS Microsoft services

One way to install WordPress SSL is by using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). To start this process, you first need to generate what is known as a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your server. The CSR includes your public key and server information, and the process of generating it is fairly simple if you follow the right instructions.

First off, you need to open the Server Manager. Next, hit Tools and then select Internet Information Services Manager. Under the Connections list, you will want to choose the right workstation before opening the Server Certificates tool.

After that, hit the Create Certificate Request link, which will then require you to fill in the Request Certificate information. This information typically includes the common (domain) name, the state or province you are in, your town or city name, the name of your company, the section name (Marketing or Communications, for example), and your two-digit country code.

Next, you will want to be sure that the bit length is set to 2048 and that the cryptographic service provider is set to default. The last part of the CSR process is to name the certificate request file.

Once you generate your CSR, you then need to go about ordering your SSL certificate. This can be done through a number of services, such as GlobalSign, DigiCert, and Symantec.

After you order you SSL certificates, you will need to download them. By the end of this process, you should receive your Primary Certificate via email, which you should rename to yousitename.cer.

After this, click the “Complete Certificate Request” link. Then, after the certificate has been installed, you will want to connect it to the appropriate website. Do this through instructions provided by the Sites folder.

Then, simply install the Intermediate Certificates, restart IIS, and test your certificate, and you should be good to go.

2. Use cPanel

cpanel hosting

Another way to install WordPress SSL is through cPanel. Just like through the Microsoft IIS process, you will need to generate a CSR. To do this, you will need to log into cPanel and locate the SSL/TLS Manager.

After this, click the links labeled Generate and follow the instructions in the Generate a New Key section. This will require you to type in your domain name and to select a Key Size of 2048 before clicking the Generate button.

After hitting the Return to SSL Manager button and clicking the “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests” link from the main menu, you will need to enter your organization’s or company’s information. This information includes the full organization or company name, the two-digit company code, the state or province, the common (domain) name, the city or town name, and the section name.

Once this is all complete, you will need to order your SSL certificates and download these certificates. Again, just like with the Microsoft IIS process, you can go about ordering your certificates through services such as GlobalSign, DigiCert, and Symantec. Each certificate service is different depending on your needs, so be sure you know exactly what it is you are looking for before choosing a service.

When you order the certificates, you need to upload the CSR file to whichever service you used. Then, simply download the certificates, which you will receive via email.

After the ordering and downloading process is finished, open the SSL Manager menu in cPanel. Follow the instructions provided there until you get to the Install SSL Certificate link. This will complete the SSL process, and your server will restart, allowing your certificate to be distributed.

Making Your WordPress Site the Most Effective Site Possible Through SSL 

wordpress ssl

It may seem fairly complicated but installing WordPress SSL can do leaps and bounds for your website. If you feel at all intimidated or overwhelmed by the process, don’t hesitate to perform a quick Google search, as this will help to pull up a number of different step-by-step methods to effectively install WordPress SSL.

Once the SSL process is completed, you will likely find that your users feel increasingly more confident when it comes to exploring what your website has to offer.

Four Promising Careers in WordPress Development

wordpress development

You have your own WordPress site, and you’re no newbie: You can edit theme stylesheets, install plugins of your choice, and have a basic understanding of the core code running behind the scenes. You have a feel for both the power and versatility WordPress offers to build unique websites with radically different looks and functionalities.

So, you might ask yourself: Is it possible to have a career in WordPress development?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, but there’s a lot more you’ll need to learn. If you’re willing to put in the sustained effort over time, though, any of these four WordPress developer careers below could be yours.

WordPress Development Careers

Experienced WordPress developers have a running joke about the 7 types of developers:

  • the newbie
  • the tinkerer
  • the trainee
  • the rookie
  • the fix-it-guy
  • the professional
  • the architect

The punchline is the first five groups from newbie to tinkerer aren’t really WordPress developers at all as opposed to, at best, dedicated hobbyists.

Becoming a WordPress professional or architect requires a significant amount of time and energy doing the homework that sets experts apart from everyone else. You’ll have to learn PHP and MySQL and Ajax, read the Core Contributor handbook and develop your own patches, master debugging, and become an active member of the worldwide WordPress community.

1. Theme Developer

theme developer

A WordPress theme consists of the files working in tandem to create a website’s graphic interface. That is, how it looks as the colors, fonts, text layout, widgets, and more create a unified style. There are three different types of projects theme developers typically work on: building a secondary theme to integrate within a primary one, basing a new standalone theme on another one, or creating a new theme completely from scratch.

Being a theme developer can be especially attractive if you have a background in graphic or visual design because you will work on what end users see as opposed to working strictly behind the scenes. In addition, if you enjoy working with clients, this career path allows you to help them achieve both aesthetic and functional goals for their websites.

2. Plugin Developer

developers with blueprint

One commandment all WordPress developers must heed is this: Never edit the WordPress core code. That’s because every time a new WordPress version is released, it automatically overwrites existing core code on all earlier versions, so any changes you’ve made will be lost.

Therefore, functionality is extended and new features are added in WordPress by using plugins, standalone pieces of software which operate on top of the core code. Plugins can perform simple tasks like displaying the number of visitors to your site or more complex actions such as a robust help ticket system for site users.

Plugins are usually written in the PHP programming language, and a working knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery libraries will also be required. If you are interested in coding at the granular level – how things work more than how they look – this could be the route for you.

3. Ecommerce Developer

business executives

WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, but its use quickly expanded to all types of websites. Ecommerce sites – direct sales of products and services to site visitors – using WordPress have grown dramatically in the last ten years. While theme developers work with a site’s appearance and basic functionality and plugin developers extend functionality and add features, the ecommerce developer is a combination of the two.

The ecommerce developer must build visually appealing online stores selling physical and digital products, implement robust security measures, understand search engine optimization (SEO) factors unique to ecommerce, and much more. If you’re interested in how a site looks as well as how it works in all areas, the ecommerce developer’s “big picture” approach could be a good choice.

4. API Developer

taking down notes in a meeting

At its simplest, an Application Programming Interface (API) is code which allows other developers to write their own software. In that sense, an API developer isn’t so much concerned with end users, but the API will have great impact on end-user experience via the developers who utilize it. For example, a plugin API isn’t a plugin unto itself to use on a site as opposed to software which helps other developers create plugins.

The API developer has reached the top of the WordPress developer hierarchy and has skills far beyond the newbie or casual programmer. To reach this point, you’ll have the skill sets of the other three types of developers and be well-versed in both granular-level coding and abstract, high-level principles of site and server architecture.

WordPress Developer Resources

A great thing about learning WordPress development is the freely available online resources. The first place to start is the official WordPress Codex, a wiki repository covering all aspects of coding for beginners and experts alike. Another must-read is the WordPress blog with the latest information on topics ranging from plugin management to mobile app development and more.

Knowing WordPress Multisite is a key skill for developers. To learn more, check out this post about Multisite setup and plugin installation.

A Step-by-Step Guide for How to Install WordPress

installing wordpress

It seems like everyone and their grandma is trying to get into the blogging game these days. Well, every good blog needs a good blogging platform, and WordPress is one of the most effective platforms on the market.

In this piece, we will give you a step-by-step instructional guide for how to install WordPress all by yourself.

Downloading and Extracting the Files

downloading and extracting

To officially begin the WordPress installation process, you need to first go to the download section on WordPress’s website and download the most recent version of WordPress’s blogging platform files.

The downloading process can be slightly different depending on whether you are uploading WordPress to a remote web server, if you are using File Transfer Protocol, or if you are comfortable with downloading WordPress straight to your web server.

Whichever downloading method you choose to employ, once the files are downloaded, you then need to extract the files, which will be extracted to a folder called “wordpress.”

Creating a WordPress User and a Database

creating database

When it comes to creating a WordPress database, you have several different options going forward. You may already have a database that is set up for you if you are using a hosting provider, so check your control panel or provider’s support pages to determine whether or not you need to set up a database yourself.

If you do need to set up a database manually, there are a number of different database services you can use. It really all depends on what your hosting provider offers. For our purposes, we will demonstrate how to install a WordPress database using phpMyAdmin.

First, you will need to make sure you install phpMyAdmin if your web server does not already have it installed. Once you have phpMyAdmin up and running, open up the Database dropdown menu on the left. If you see that a WordPress-related database does not already exist, you will need to create one.

To create a database, you will first need to choose a name for it. Typically, this name will need to begin with your username followed by an underscore. Type your name into the Create Database section and then select the best arrangement for your language and encoding.

Next comes the step of creating a WordPress user. To begin this stage, go back to the phpMyAdmin main menu and click on the Users tab to see if a WordPress-related user already exists. It one does not exist, click Add User button and choose a username and password.

Make sure that all the Global Privileges’ options are kept at their defaults before clicking Go.

Uploading the Files

uploading files into database

The next step of the WordPress installation process is deciding whether you want your WordPress-powered site to appear in the root directory (http://websitename.com/) of the site or a subdirectory (http://websitename.com/blog/).

If you want it to appear in the root directory, use a File Transfer Protocol client to upload everything contained in the “wordpress” directory into your website’s root directory.

If you want the WordPress site to appear in a subdirectory, be sure that you rename the “wordpress” directory to your preferred subdirectory name before using a File Transfer Protocol client to upload the entire directory into your preferred location within the root directory.

Running the Install Script

running wordpress

How you proceed with the process of running the install script depends on whether you uploaded your files into the root directory or a subdirectory.

If you placed them in the root directory, go to http://websitename.com/wp-admin/install.php, but if you placed them in a subdirectory, go to http://example.com/subdirectoryname/wp-admin/install.php.

You will then need to enter in some database connection details, such as the database name, your username, your password, the database host, and the table prefix.

Finishing Up the Installation Process

finished installation of wordpress

For the last step of the installation process, you should be presented with a screen that prompts you to fill in some site information. This information includes the username, the site title, your email address, and your desired password (which you will have to enter twice).

There is also a check box at the bottom that will ask you whether or not you want your site to be visible in search engines, such as Google. If you want your site to be visible to everyone, make sure the box is left unchecked.

Then, simply click install WordPress. If the installation process was successful, you will be presented with a login prompt.

If there is an error of any kind, go back and make sure that all the database information was entered successfully. In case that does not work, make sure you permitted your WordPress user authorization to access your WordPress database and that the database server is operating.

Once you go back and correct these errors, you have successfully learned how to install WordPress. After your site is up and running, you should be on your way to providing the best possible content to your users. Pretty exciting stuff, isn’t it?

 

Drupal vs. WordPress: What’s the Difference in Terms of User Interface?

Drupal vs WordPress

You’re building a new website, and you’ve decided to be thoughtful about your choice of software as opposed to going with the first option you happen to come across.

That’s the smart move.

Back when websites were collections of static pages, there wasn’t much to worry about. Those days, however, are long gone. Today, the stakes are higher than ever before. You need a website which stands out from the crowd and includes powerful features which can be easily managed. If you’re interested in ecommerce, you must have the highest degree of user functionality and security. And, of course, you want all this for the best possible price.

Two powerful open-source content management systems (CMSs) and website builders are Drupal and WordPress. Which is best for you? We’ll look at key differences below so you can make the right decision.

Drupal vs. WordPress: Key Factors


Drupal was released in 2000 and is written in PHP in conjunction with Symfony, a web-application framework. Basic website installation requires no programming skills, and it can run on any platform which supports a PHP-based webserver with a database to store config files and other data. According to recent statistics, Drupal has 4.6% of the CMS market worldwide. Sites using Drupal include Pinterest and Box.com.

WordPress was released in 2003 and is written in PHP and MySQL. It must be hosted on a webserver such as WordPress.com or installed on a computer running WordPress.org software. WordPress is the undisputed CMS leader with 60% of the market. In addition, 30% of websites worldwide utilize WordPress. Sites using WordPress include Sony Music and BBC America.

Functionality

Functionality

Drupal has an array of powerful features: the different types of custom content have a high degree of flexibility, functionality is built-in for multilingual sites, and custom user roles with individualized permissions can be created. 

Its taxonomies – which you’ll need, for example, when organizing multiple products and product types – are very robust and help to easily manage large amounts of content. Drupal’s version of plugins – software which operates on top of the core code – are called “modules” and require a developer to install and update.

WordPress has more clearly delineated and limited features. There are fewer content categories, multilingual sites need a third-party plugin, and there are only five defined user roles available. WordPress was originally a platform for blogging, and its ability to work with large amounts of content is more limited than Drupal. WordPress does have, however, an extensive library of plugins which are much easier to install, use, and update than Drupal’s modules.

Ease of Use

In its own words, Drupal has an admittedly complex user interface: Much of the functionality that people consider standard for a CMS is simply missing.” There is no WYSIWYG text editor, meta tools are labor-intensive, there’s no “save draft” function, and the ability to moderate content is highly limited. 

Ease of Use

In addition, there are very few built-in themes available as most are individually coded. As you can tell, Drupal was not designed for the casual user. Instead, developers created it for other developers.

WordPress, on the other hand, is much easier to use than Drupal, especially for those with no coding skills. There is a WYSIWYG text editor, standard workflow features such as “save draft,” and page/post previews show what published content will look like. It’s easy to moderate content, too, and there is a large catalog of themes designed for sites with varied purposes. In contrast with Drupal, WordPress is designed for a much larger group of potential users than just other developers.

Cost

cost

One thing that’s the same in the Drupal vs. WordPress debate is the fact each is free, open-source software. As you can tell from the information above, though, with Drupal, you’ll need to hire a developer to do much of the heavy lifting – building the theme, installing and updating plugins, and defining a variety of roles and settings – in comparison to WordPress.

Due to Drupal having significantly less market share than WordPress, there are fewer developers available, and they tend to charge more than their WordPress counterparts. Then again, the “cost” of using Drupal to create a website which is unique and not based on templates available to millions of users as with WordPress can be worth the investment.

Final Considerations

When making a decision about Drupal vs. WordPress, the choice must be made on a case-by-case basis. Even though both platforms are used by large organizations, if you have a smaller business or just one site, the quick setup and ease of use by novices makes WordPress a good choice. Then again, if you have a desire for greater functionality, want the ability to manage large amounts of data, and have the resources to pay for the coding help you’ll need, you could be better off with Drupal.

Interested in how WordPress compares to other CMS software? Check out this detailed comparison with Squarespace.

Top 15 Best Free WordPress Themes To Empower Your Website

Top-15-Best-Free-WordPress-Themes

Top 15 Best Free WordPress Themes 

You know you want your own good-looking WordPress website, but you also know you don’t have the coding skills to build a theme for it from scratch.

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

Happily, the WordPress community is large enough – and committed enough – to create a variety of free resources available to help users. One of these is the WordPress.org Theme Directory with over 3,000 free themes to choose from, all of which have been contributed by individual users and design companies.

Then again, narrowing your choice down to “just” 3,000 themes may not seem like much help. Once again, don’t worry! We’ve gone through all the available options to find the 15 best free WordPress themes for you to choose from.

How We Choose Our Ratings


We excluded themes created by WordPress.com because by default, those are downloaded more often than others. Also, we didn’t include themes which hadn’t been rated by the WordPress community as there wasn’t enough information to make a judgment. For all the rest, we answered the three questions below to choose the best free WordPress themes.

How can it be used?

We looked at each theme’s features and functionality as well as its versatility for use by different websites such as ecommerce, food and drink, news, photography, and portfolios.

How many active installations are there?

Popularity isn’t everything, but it does count. A higher number of active installs shows people really are using a theme.

What rating does the WordPress community give it?

WordPress users are not shy with their opinions. The ratings they give themes go a long way toward determining how well it’s been received within the WordPress community.


Best Free WordPress Themes

One of the great things about WordPress is the ability to preview different themes before applying them to your site. No matter how much you may like a theme when you first see it, always preview how your site looks using it before switching from your old theme.

GeneralPressPhoto credit to wordpress.org

GeneratePress, from the design firm of the same name, is one of the most powerful themes in this list. In addition to having features common to other entries – responsive design which makes it mobile-friendly, easily customizable, and compatible with all major WordPress plugins – it is also fully integrated with schema.org microdata which boosts responsiveness and communication with search engines.

While other themes utilize Google Fonts, GeneratePress takes this one step further by offering full access to Font Awesome. Developers will love its built-in filters and hooks which will reduce development time. There are multiple dropdown menus, sidebar layouts, and widget areas. If you’re looking for a full-fledged theme with all the bells and whistles you could hope for, GeneratePress just might be it.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce

100,000+


Sydney

Photo credit to wordpress.org

Sydney is available from aThemes. Sporting a ton of customization options, it’s great for both businesses and portfolios. You’ll have full access to Google Fonts, complete color and layout control, a full-screen slider, and sticky navigation. It’s also translation-ready and features threaded comments. You’ll be able to incorporate parallax backgrounds and front-page blocks. You’ll keep your visitors engaged through the multiple social media icons and widgets.

Plus, how can you say no to a design firm who has a blog post about the 6 best beer brewery WordPress themes?

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
Portfolios

200,000+


Colormag

Photo credit to wordpress.org

As its name suggests, ColorMag features a magazine-style design which is well-suited for news, magazine, or newspaper publishing. In fact, it’s the most popular magazine-newspaper theme available at WordPress.org. It comes with a left sidebar, and your choice of a one- or two-column layout.

While print newspapers may be fading fast, ColorMag’s integration with WooCommerce will make it easy to monetize your site. You can also use your own customized code and allow users to share content via multiple social media channels. Plus, unlike many of the themes on this list, there is free support available at the ThemeGrill website.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
News

100,000+


total


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Available from HashThemes, Total does its best to be a one-size-fits-all website solution. It utilizes a clean, one-page design with unlimited color options, a sticky menu, animated text slider, and 10 homepage sections ranging from “About Us” to “Portfolio” to “Services” and more. And, yes, it’s compatible with WooCommerce. You can also have footer widgets, threaded comments, and a featured image. It’s translation-ready, too!

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
Photography
Portfolios

60,000+


Mesmerize


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Mesmerize, from the design firm of the same name, incorporates a drag-and-drop layout system which is quickly and easily customized. There’s a predesigned home page, 30 different content sections which are ready to use, and 5 header styles to choose from. Additional options for customization include either a slideshow or video background. Mesmerize is fully responsive and mobile-friendly as soon as you start using it. It’s also ready to use with WooCommerce straight out of the box.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Food and drink, portfolios

30,000+


Writee


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Mesmerize, from the design firm of the same name, incorporates a drag-and-drop layout system which is quickly and easily customized. There’s a predesigned home page, 30 different content sections which are ready to use, and 5 header styles to choose from. Additional options for customization include either a slideshow or video background. Mesmerize is fully responsive and mobile-friendly as soon as you start using it. It’s also ready to use with WooCommerce straight out of the box.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce news
photography

30,000+


Ashe


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Produced by WP Royal, Ashe’s style is both elegant and minimal. As with many other themes on this list, it supports WooCommerce, and the responsive design is mobile-friendly. Language translation is built in as well as right-to-left (RTL) reading. It comes with plenty of documentation so even WordPress coding newbies will be able to easily customize it. There is also a full-screen slider, Instagram widget support, and retina display support.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
 Food and drink Photography

10,000+


Bulk


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Okay, so Bulk doesn’t have quite as many ratings as most other themes in this list, but that’s probably because it’s relatively new. Made by Themes4WP, it was developed for use with the drag-and-drop page builder plugin Elementor. It’s translation-ready and is compatible with both WooCommerce and RTL. Its fully responsive design works well with its one-page layout.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
photography portfolios

10,000+


Storefront


Photo credit to wordpress.org

As you can tell by its name, Storefront is perfect for online sales, especially as it’s available from WooCommerce. Not only does it have WooCommerce bespoke integration, many of the WooCommerce extensions also come built in. Specifically designed to use succinct and compressed code, you can easily customize its extensible codebase. In addition, its deep WooCommerce integration means there is little to no downtime due to plugin and theme conflicts.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce

100,000+


Zerif Lite


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Zerif Lite, from themeisle, uses BootStrap and has parallax support. It’s compatible with WooCommerce, RTL, and WPML. It also has enhanced search engine optimization (SEO). The one-page design incorporates responsive features which allow it to translate well to tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. When you decide to make changes to your website, you can see them in real time. Whether you’re showcasing your portfolio, corporate business, or web agency, it’s worth taking a look at Zerif Lite.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce Portfolios

100,000+


Hestia


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Hestia, another themeisle contribution, has a multipurpose one-page design good for businesses or portfolios. You can use your own custom header, background, menu, and colors. You can also choose from either a one- or two-column layout. It’s compatible with WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin and ecommerce platform. Still not sold? A version of it is used by Jeremy Spencer, one of the founding members of the legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac!

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce Portfolios

90,000+


Onepress


Photo credit to wordpress.org

A FameThemes product, OnePress is a multipurpose one-page theme which is suitable for a variety of websites. It features a mobile-friendly responsive design, custom content blocks, parallax backgrounds, and an advanced theme customizer. Out of all the themes in this list, this one is an excellent example of how Bootstrap 4 WordPress can be thoroughly integrated with WooCommerce.

Want more? OnePress easily translates into the language of your choice, has advanced HTML5 functionality, and is rigorously tested for compatibility with all major browsers. FameThemes boasts over 78,000 satisfied customers, thanks in no small part to the superior support it provides.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce Portfolios

70,000+


Shapely


Photo credit to wordpress.org

ColorLib is a prolific developer of WordPress themes, and Shapely is one of its more accomplished efforts with its pixel-perfect design and numerous customization options. Sure, it supports WordPress widgets like WooCommerce, but that support extends to JetPack, Google Analytics by Yoast, Gravity Forms, and more. You also have access to Font Awesome vector graphics, unlimited color options, and detailed theme documentation to provide the support you’ll need to take full advantage of its versatility.

Like GeneratePress, Shapely has multipurpose capabilities which extend its use far beyond one or two types of websites. While its primary purpose is ecommerce, it can be easily adapted for content publishing by blogs, magazines, or newspapers. As ColorLib says, “Shapely may well be the last WordPress theme you need to buy.”

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce Photography Portfolios

30,000+


Pagespeed


Photo credit to wordpress.org

PageSpeed bills itself as the fastest and most robust SEO WordPress theme available. This SwiftThemes product has a clean design which effectively incorporates negative space and loads in less than a second, according to Pingdom. All this speed does not sacrifice customization as you can have sticky sidebars and navigation, integrate Google Fonts, and incorporate a featured post slider. It’s coded to official WordPress standards and is compatible with WooCommerce, AdSense, Beaver, and Elementor.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce
 Food and drink

10,000+


consulting


Photo credit to wordpress.org

Consulting, from Think Up Themes, is the free version of Consulting Pro, and both are excellent options for an ecommerce or services site. Consulting incorporates a responsive design, is HD-ready for retina displays, and allows you to quickly add social media sharing icons. Plus, it has powerful built-in widgets for cloud tags and Flicker feeds.

If you upgrade to Consulting Pro, additional powerful features become available: access to unlimited colors, your choice of full-width or boxed layout, and a library of over 100 custom shortcodes. And, with the full version, there is robust support to help you should you need it.

How You Can Use It

Active Installs

Rating

Ecommerce Photography

30,000+

Choosing a WordPress Theme

When choosing from the best free WordPress themes, function should always dictate form. Even if you’re taken by a particular theme – c’mon, who doesn’t love Zombie Apocalypse? – it may not automatically work well for your ecommerce site. Or, maybe you know you’ll need more additional tech support than providers of free themes usually offer. In that case, you should look at the paid commercial themes also available at the WordPress.org Theme Directory.

Want to see even more great free WordPress themes? Check out these additional examples!

Top 10 Most Important WordPress Dashboard Components

wordpress dashboard

If you want to set up a website or blog but you’re not familiar with WordPress, there’s no time like now to learn how to use it.

WordPress was founded in 2005 as a blogging platform and now encompasses all types of websites, especially those with an ecommerce focus. Today, WordPress is used by almost 30% of all websites, and every month, more than 400 million people view over 15 billion webpages hosted on it.

The WordPress interface can be overwhelming for novices, so the guide below will help you learn to navigate the basics as easily as possible.

The WordPress Dashboard

wordpress dashboard

The key to managing your WordPress site is the dashboard you’re taken to after logging in. This is the command center where you can create webpages and posts, manage media files, check your current visitor statistics, and access a variety of powerful tools. There’s a lot going on, but don’t worry. We’ll walk you through the most important WordPress dashboard components you need to know and use.

1. The Five Widgets

The first thing you’ll see on the screen are five widgets:

  • At a Glance: Site overview including number of posts and pages, theme being used, amount of spam filtered out, and total storage used and available.
  • Activity: Titles and publication dates of your most recent posts.
  • Your Stuff: Posts recently edited as well as notification of comments in moderation.
  • Stats: Visitor stats for the previous seven days.
  • Quick Draft: Thumbnail post editor to allow for quick posts without using the full editor.

These widgets can be rearranged as you’d like and minimized by clicking the upper right-hand corner of each one.

2. The Left-Hand Navigation Menu

the left hand navigation

Most of the work you do from the dashboard will utilize the left-hand navigation menu. There are 17 different menu options, most of which open a pop-up menu with even more options to choose from. This is where things can become a little confusing until you’re familiar with exactly where different features are located. We’ll detail the most important and frequently used ones below.

3. Site Stats

site stats

While there is the quick stats widget mentioned above, select Site Stats to access much more information about your site’s usage: visitors and the countries they’re from, pages and posts viewed, links clicked, and search terms used to find your site. Plus, this information can be sorted by day, week, month, or year.

4. Posts

blog post archive

If you’re using your site to publish new content on a regular basis, you’ll frequently be using the Posts option which has a pop-up menu with 5 more options: all posts, new post, categories, tags, and copy a post. As these options indicate, not only can you access the full-blown WYSIWYG post editor, you can edit the properties of existing posts as well as manage the tags and categories you’re using with them.

5. Media

media library

You’ll likely be uploading different types of media – photos, graphics, video, audio – as you build your site, and from here, you can manage your media library as well as upload new files.

6. Pages

Wordpress page

Like the Posts option, selecting Pages will allow you to create a new page for your site, edit the properties of current pages, or copy an existing page to use as a template.

7. Comments

Wordpress comment page

While you can access your own comments underneath the Home option at the top of the left-hand navigation menu, this Comments option allows you to see comments other people have made on your site. Checking for spam comments not already filtered out will be an ongoing issue as well as making sure comments made by actual people follow the usage standards and guidelines for your site.

8. Appearance

Wordpress image menu structure

There are multiple options available here, all of which deal with how your site looks: the theme, widgets, menus, header, background, and more. Happily, you can try out almost all the different possibilities available in these areas via a preview mode before deciding which ones you want to incorporate into your site.

9. Tools

Wordpress tools page

Tools can be easy to confuse with the Settings option below, but from here you can import different types of content into your site, export your site, and verify your website with Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex.

10. Settings

Wordpress settings page

From here, you can give your site a title and subtitle and set parameters for how content is read, shared, and commented upon.

Don’t Worry, Stay Calm!

The WordPress interface is intimidating the first time you log into it. There are a lot of bells and whistles simultaneously competing for your attention, and it may seem hard to know what to do first. Once you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the WordPress dashboard, though, you should quickly become more confident.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s plenty of information available about setting up your first WordPress site.

Want to set up a WordPress ecommerce site? Check out these plans we offer to see which one is right for you!