Developing Something? Here’s a Guide to Install WordPress Locally

For anyone looking to start a blog or website, WordPress can be an extremely effective tool. However, having an unfinished website that is available to the public can present problems, specifically when it comes to the development process. That is when the importance of installing WordPress locally comes into play.

In this piece, we will present the steps you need to take to effectively install WordPress locally.

Getting and Installing XAMPP

installing xammp

To most easily install WordPress locally, it would be a good idea to install XAMPP first. With XAMPP, you will get an operational PHP processor (crucial to running WordPress), a working database system in MySQL, and a working web server in Apache.

To get XAMPP, you will first need to go to the download page. It is important to note that the download package is more than 100MB, so be prepared to wait for a little while. Next, you will want to start up the XAMPP installer and simply follow the instructions from there (this following part mostly just necessitates you clicking on “Next.”)

As an important note, it is possible that you will get asked during the installation procedure to permit the server’s components to bypass the system firewall. You may be hesitant to do this due to the security implications, but this is absolutely a required step to get the server to properly function.

Installing WordPress Locally

wordpress installation

Next, you will need to go about the process of actually installing WordPress locally. To do this, you will need to download the most current WordPress installer.

Once you fire up the installer package, click “Next.” After this, you will need to fill out some Admin account information such as your real name, username, and email. You can leave the database password section blank, but for the application password, simply type in your WordPress dashboard password. Then, if you so choose, you can uncheck the option to install WordPress in the cloud.

The installation process will begin and, once it is finished, you can find your website on http://localhost/wordpress or you can log in by going to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin.

Exporting to the Live Setup 

wordpress migration

Once you complete the WordPress installation process, you can now begin effectively working on your website locally and then go about exporting it to the live setup once you are all finished.

To export to the live setup, you can use what is known as the All-in-One WordPress Migration plugin. As soon as it is activated, go to your WordPress Dashboard then to All-in-One Migration and then finally to Export.

Once there (and this is a nice added feature), you can search and replace specific texts in the database. For instance, you can find every single example of your local IP and switch it with your live domain. Pretty cool, right?

The last step of exporting to the live setup is choosing where exactly you want the site to be exported, whether it be through File, FTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive (most people just choose File). Then, you simply take the export file and go to the import part of the plugin after you install the All-in-One Migration plugin on your live site.

And that pretty much concludes the process of installing WordPress locally.

The Benefits of Installing WordPress Locally

data security

So, now that you know how to install WordPress locally, you are probably asking yourself, “Why do I need to do this to begin with?” Well, there are a whole host of benefits that come with downloading WordPress locally, particularly as they relate to the blog or website development process.

For one, you do not need to upload files by any other means, since they are all on your computer. Also, if any mistakes happen during the development process, you can simply restart the database and the server and start over again.

It also does not hurt to immediately see the end product of your work as well as to be able to construct your site so that all changes are completely hidden from the outside world.

Finally, before ultimately rolling out the live site, you will be able to make the necessary checks to ensure that everything is working properly.

As a blog or website designer, you want to create the best product that you possibly can. But that process can take time and the right amount of trial and error. By installing WordPress locally, you can ensure that, once you are finally ready to present your blog or website to the world, everyone sees that finished product in all its glory.

Simply put, to avoid database data corruption, severe server errors, and any other problems that can get you banned from the platform, as well as to simply save time and avoid any added hassle, you should absolutely install WordPress locally.

Five Ways to Make Money Using WordPress Multisite

 

Of all the impressive WordPress features, WordPress Multisite is one of the most effective and is a great way for you to simply and efficiently manage several sites and subdomains at the same time. But did you also know that you can make a decent amount of money using WordPress Multisite?

In this piece, we will look at five of the ways that WordPress Multisite can help to make you profitable in the long term.

5 WordPress Multisite Money-Making Methods

There are a number of diverse ways to make money using WordPress Multisite, but here are five of the most proven methods that will have you making cash in no time.

  1. Selling Your Own Products

selling online

One of the most effective ways to make money using WordPress Multisite is to sell your own products. The eCommerce plugin MarketPress is able to do this through your Multisite networks, allowing you to create a specific store network from which you can take a sales cut from either a single store or multiple stores.

Thanks to MarketPress, you can take a prearranged percentage fee of total store sales on a network, and the convenient thing about the whole process is that it is completely invisible to customers and is automated as well.

Another way MarketPress allows you to rake in money is through upgrades to the stores or sites inside of your network, which can be done by either permitting particular gateways for supporter blogs, allowing certain store themes for supporter blogs, or allowing certain stores in general for supporter blogs.

Essentially, you are using your marketplace capabilities as a way to generate outside revenue.

 2. Establishing a Paid Membership Directory or   Community

paid membership

Establishing a paid membership community or directory is another way to make money through Multisite. Once a community is established, you can deliver access to online content, forums, videos, support groups, galleries, blogs, or any other downloadable content.

With the help of the Membership plugin, you can effectively develop a full-fledged subscription or membership site. Thanks to an intuitive interface and fully customizable options, you can manage your subscriptions and charge for specific membership-based features.

  3. Setting Up an Affiliate Marketing Program

paypal

Through an efficient affiliate marketing program, you can easily and effortlessly promote your services and products. Thanks to the WordPress MU Affiliate plugin, the entire targeted advertisement process is completely automated.

To sign up for the program, all users will have to do is to log in with a PayPal email address. Once that is done, the MU Affiliate plugin tracks everything from paid memberships to unique clicks to signups. After that, you can just sit back and watch as the money trickles in.

4. Managing, Selling, and Sharing Advertising

advertisment

Another way to get money through WordPress Multisite is through sharing advertising. Believe it or not, offering users a cut of your advertising revenue will help to benefit you in the long run as well because it will get users to promote your site, which in turn will earn both you and any participatory user money.

Through the Ad Sharing plugin, you can automate your advertisement sharing. The whole practice is quick and easy, and you can use such advertising utilities as context ads or AdSense to help you with the process.

By monitoring the amount of impressions on users’ sites inside of your network, you can see how the ad revenue is split up.

5. Establishing a Blogging Community with Superior Upgrades

bloggers

Finally, the last example that we will touch on when it comes to using WordPress Multisite to make money for you is the development of an effective blogging network.

By establishing your own blogging community, you can offer users such top-of-the-line upgrades as domain mapping, advertising, extra storage, and premium plugins. You would offer such upgrades for a price, of course.

By using the Supporter plugin, you can turn users into subscribers, and we probably don’t have to tell you how profitable it is to have subscribers. You hear that? That is the sound of money going directly into your pocket.

Using WordPress Multisite to Your Ultimate Advantage 

As you can see, there is a host of different ways that you can use WordPress Multisite for your financial benefit. Of course, you will want to determine which methods works best for you. Maybe it’s all of them or maybe it is just a select few. It all depends on how much time and resources you are willing to invest into a particular method.

That being said, it will behoove you to do as much research as possible into the different features of WordPress Multisite to make sure that you are getting the absolute most out of it.

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.

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?

 

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!