I have decided to make this how to use WordPress tutorial in August 2018, just when the biggest WordPress update called Gutenberg rolled out.
I am hearing so many complains about this, and honestly, I liked more the old WordPress, to the point that I have disabled all the WordPress updates.
But not to get scared, here in this article I am gonna show you when you should use WordPress and how to use WordPress.
This is gonna be a very thorough guide mainly for beginners and also for certain advanced users. I am pretty sure you might learn something new.
There will be videos showing off WordPress basics with the old editor and videos with the new editor also called Gutenberg.
I am gonna show you how you can become familiar with Gutenberg if you are an old user without messing up your sites.
If you are trying to make a website or writing a blog that can eventually make you a millionaire, WordPress is the best solution.
This WordPress guide will instruct you on how to start a WordPress blog from scratch.
How WordPress Works
WordPress is a CMS (content management system) platform that will make it easy for you to create a website that Google will like with no coding experience.
Google like websites that respect certain rules. If you are not able to code you will not be able to see what Google likes just from what you see on a browser.
WordPress is made with a coding language called PHP which is a very old language but still, it works very fine.
This will pull HTML and CSS code from your browser via PHP which is called a server-side language.
In other words, a browser is able to read HTML files, which are directing the browser to paint what the user wants and in what position.
Meanwhile, the CSS language is the style and look that your website needs to have.
I strongly suggest you to learn to code a bit with freecodecamp, it will make the difference with your journey making websites.
If you decide to use WordPress you don’t need to learn HTML or CSS! But still, the Chrome Dev Tools and some coding knowledge would be helpful.
From the WordPress backend, you can modify HTML code and CSS code directly from your browser without having to code a line.
For instance with HTML if you want to make an important header you will need to wrap it between this code:
<h1>This is a heading 1</h1>
With WordPress, you will have to highlight your text from the editor and select the Heading 1 option from the menu on top of the editor.
If you don’t like the look of your site, you don’t have to modify CSS files, but you can play around with your WordPress themes.
Who Needs A WordPress Blog
Everyone that wants to start an online business in a matter of minutes with a low budget and high efficiency.
WordPress is meant for people who want to show off their ideas and content online without having to hire a developer.
Now you might ask yourself how to start a blog with WordPress?
The first thing I want you to understand and clarify is that WordPress is available in two “versions“. I mean these are not versions but let’s call it like that.
If you are the biggest newbie ever, you might Google WordPress and you will get wordpress.com as a result.
I can tell you for sure that using wordpress.com is not the smartest idea to start an online business.
The version of WordPress you want to have on your site is wordpress.org.
The main difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org are that the first one is not owned by you meanwhile the second one yes.
I am not even talking about creating a website on a subdomain of wordpress.com
These kind of websites are not customizable. They look free but in fact, they are not and they will almost never rank on Google and you will never make any cash with them.
How To Start A WordPress Blog
WordPress is powering more than 38% of the online websites, this is like a warranty.
If you are able to code and play around with websites you can install wordpress.org just dragging and dropping it into your FTP root folder of your site.
If you want zero pain and choose the easy road you can install WordPress just with one click from your hosting cPanel.
I am quite experienced with online businesses and websites. After many years I am confident that the best hosting plan you can get is TMDhosting.
You can read my review about tmdhosting, in the meantime just click on the button below to get a special discount as my reader.
You will also get a free domain name and live chat support to talk about your projects.
Having a hosting plan will allow you to park all the websites you want on a place you own. You will be able to customize everything.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
A WordPress site installed from your hosting plan cPanel or via WordPress download on wordpress.org will cost you zero money.
However, you will need to pay your hosting plan.
This is the only cost you will have to face up to start your awesome online business.
Consider that only clicking on the button above or the picture below you will get a free domain and that cheap price.
TMD will allow you any kind of website, their server speed uses LiteSpeed technology and it’s great.
How To Use WordPress Step By Step WordPress Tutorial
Pick A Hosting Plan And Domain
The first step is to get a good hosting plan and domain name.
If you don’t have a hosting plan, you can get the best one and a free domain from the button below.
What you should do is to:
- put the name you have in mind into leandomainsearch.
- look at the domains available and that you like in leandomainsearch.
- put the main keyword on kwfinder or the Google keyword planner.
- look if there is a lot of competition or not.
- look at the search volumes.
- If search volumes are high and competition is low it’s a good deal.
- go back to TMDhosting and get your free domain.
- try to get a .com domain or a .cc domain where cc (is country code) i.e.: .it for an Italian businesses.
If you have in mind to build only one website, get the $2.95 plan and do not buy whois privacy and additional services.
If the plan is to build many websites, get the $5.95 plan and do not buy the whois privacy and other services unless you want them.
The second step is to install WordPress on your hosting.
If your hosting is TMDhosting as I recommended you will have access to the softaculous app installer from your cPanel.
It is located at the bottom of your TMDhosting cPanel. If you plan to build a wordpress.org website, just go in there and click on the WordPress icon.
Fill in all the data that you need to fill. All of these details can be changed afterward so don’t worry too much.
The only ones they should be permanent are the admin username, admin password, and admin email.
You can change these later too but yeah try to do it here.
Configure A CDN
This is a step that is always not listed in a how to start WordPress guide, but I think that is quite important.
A CDN (content delivery network) is an entity that will boost your website’s performance. You don’t want to miss this opportunity.
My favorite one is called Cloudflare, it is 100% free for what we need and it will make our sites awesome.
To configure a CDN is pretty simple. Go to Cloudflare and make an account with your best email.
I highly suggest you are going to protect Cloudflare with a 2FA security, you can read more about two-factor authentication here.
Once the account is secured, go to Cloudflare and click on “add site” on the top right. You need to follow the steps written there, pick the free plan and change the nameserver.
All you have to do to change the NS (name server) is to go back to your TMDhosting homepage.
Click on the top menu under ” domains” and then “manage domains”. You will see your old name servers that need to be replaced with the ones of Cloudflare.
Make sure that the A record points to one of your hostings IP. If you have bought hosting with TMDhosting it will be already set correctly.
The advantages of having your DNS managed by Cloudflare are enormous.
If you were to change some configuration from your domain provider settings it will take even 1 day to propagate, with Cloudflare it is immediate.
So you must have Cloudflare or any other good CDN on your sites.
The main purpose of a CDN is to make your sites load faster, more secure and SSL friendly and you can control the WordPress upload limit.
Login To Your WordPress Site
Now the hardest part is over, if you have done everything correctly you should be able to login into your WordPress site from this URL.
This is where by default is situated your WordPress backend login page.
Of course, you need to replace yourdomain.com with your domain.
You can use the email and the password you have used when creating your WordPress site account from softaculous.
If everything went good, you should then land on what’s called the WordPress backend dashboard.
No one will be able to see that page without the login credential and from there you will be able to control what the people will see on the internet from your main URL.
This is where you can see what’s going on on your site in a glance. You can move the blocks on the WordPress dashboard.
As for default, you will be able to see:
- site stats.
- at a glance.
- WordPress events.
- quick draft.
You can move these blocks around as you want too. I personally don’t find them useful. But for some people they are.
From the dashboard tab, when you click it, it will open up another sub-tab where you will be able to see all the updates available for your site.
This is one of the most important sections of the WordPress backend. From there you will be able to see a sub-tab with the following values.
- all posts.
- add new.
Each WordPress page on top has the screen options tab. From there you will be able to adjust the settings of each page you are looking at from your backend.
For instance, if you don’t care to have the author listed on your all posts page, you can remove it from there.
WordPress posts are different from pages. If you are planning to write a blog or make your website alive with new content you need to add posts to your site and you need to do it from this section.
If you click on “add new” you will be prompted to the WordPress post editor. Now we are in August 2018 and one of the biggest WordPress updated since years called WordPress 5.0 is happening.
The biggest difference is in the editor, which is named Gutenberg. A lot of people hate it but here in this tutorial I am gonna show you both, the old editor, and Gutenberg.
Here is where the magic happens and the stuff you write on your blog will go alive.
This section is already included in your posts section. Each time you need to add a new picture you can do it while you are editing your post.
This section can come in handy if you need to delete pictures in bulk or upload pictures in bulk. I don’t use it that much but now you know what he does.
Pages work very similar to posts, but they have other SEO settings and they have fewer options compared to posts.
It is recommended to use pages for parts of your site that need to stay the same and that doesn’t have a particular SEO weight.
For instance a contact page, and about page, terms etc…
These will not have a lot of importance SEO speaking and Google must consider them in another way.
You can also add contact forms to the contact page and other things that are not relevant for your business.
I personally use pages on marcodiversi.com for my contact page, my about page, my privacy and terms page, and my partner’s page.
Something I almost forgot is that from the posts and pages tab you can access the “quick edit” menu.
This will allow you to pick certain settings for each specific page.
For instance, you can find the WordPress disable comments option, change the slug (even though not recommend if you don’t 301 redirect the old page), change category and even unpublish a page.
From the comment section, you can manage all the comments that people make on your site and even reply to them.
You can trash comments you don’t like, modify them and even put it in a spam folder so that the next time the same person tries to comment it will automatically go into spam.
This is a very simple WordPress section and you should worry about this only when people will start commenting and it will take a while.
Appearance is the section where you can tweak your website look and everything that a user will see.
This section is separated into these sub-sections:
This is the place where you will be able to choose a free WordPress theme among millions of themes available.
If none of these are good for you, and you don’t know what WordPress theme is really good, you can get premium themes from ElegantThemes.
I have never paid for a theme but if you feel like it is worth it to pay, just get a premium theme.
To install a theme you will need to press “themes” and then “add new” and then scroll or search for a theme you like.
Once you found it press on “Install” and then on “activate“.
You can go look at your website by pressing the button on the top left.
I always keep my CMD button pressed when clicking so it will open in a new tab.
I suggest you that when you have found the theme you like to delete all the other installed themes.
Having a lot of these installed on your host can slow down WordPress for no reason.
This will prompt you into another page that will allow you to change colors to your theme, put a logo and a favicon and change some basic stuff on your WordPress frontend.
I suggest you scroll over each line of the customize page and try to make the website the way you want too.
You can also access the menu section but my advice if is to use the button under appearance for “menu“. from there you will have a more clear control of the menus.
Widgets together with posts are one of the most important WordPress parts. We will talk about plugins later but here in the widget section, you will be able to move around parts of your website.
Depending on the theme you pick the widget section will be different. You will not have always the same options in the widgets sections.
If you click on “widgets” you will have the screen separated into two columns. The column on the left will be made of widgets that you can drag and drop into the sections that appear on the right columns of the screen.
The right columns of the screen depending on your theme is where those features and widgets you dropped from left to right will appear on your website.
For instance, if your theme has a right sidebar, you can drag and drop the “recent posts” widget to the right onto the left sidebar section and recent posts will appear on your website.
When you will install new plugins, new widgets will pop up here so you must take a look at widgets each time you want to modify the positions of the new stuff you want to add.
All can be done with simple drag and drop and save.
Every website has a menu. With WordPress is pretty easy to create appealing menus and you should do it from this tab instead of from the customize page.
You can create drop-down menus, you can add links to your menu bar and do whatever you want. The best way to learn how to do a good WordPress menu is by doing it.
I am not able to explain you here how to create a menu, but just start pushing buttons around making mistake and you will learn.
It is pretty intuitive but if you have in mind a complicate menu it could take you more than just a few seconds.
Play around and you will learn.
You don’t want to know what you can do with the editor feature in a WordPress beginner guide.
This is only for advanced users, I personally do not use it that much because since I am even more advanced than an advanced user I am modifying my code via FTP with an editor.
I personally use brackets.io.
But if you need to add a line of code or modify something very simple here is where you can have access to the raw code of your site and modify it.
Be aware that if you are making some mistake here it will be impossible to go back unless you have previously made a backup.
I strongly suggest you to learn how to code via freecodecamp.org so that you will decrease the chances to make any mistake.
With the editor you can make a modification to your CSS files so that your website will look more personal, you can modify the HTML code and the PHP code as well.
Just leave this for later when you will master all the other WordPress features.
Plugins are the bones of your website, some of them are essential and some others are just irrelevant.
Depending on what you are trying to build you might need different plugins.
A plugin will allow you to do extra stuff from your backend and hence the extra stuff will eventually pop up in your front end as well.
An example of extra stuff can be the need to add a star rating system.
What you need to do is to click on “plugins” and then “add new” you can then search among millions of plugins.
Put something like “star rating” and you will find several plugins that will do the job. You can read reviews and see how many people installed it on their site.
You can do this for any of your need there are plugins for any need.
Here is the list of my favorite plugins. If I put a ♥ next to it it means that you must install it! ♥♥ Means that there is no way you can not have them!
- Accelerated Mobile Pages ♥
- Autoptimize ♥
- Better Click To Tweet
- Cloudflare ♥
- Custom Permalinks ♥
- Easy Table of Contents
- Easy Updates Manager
- Envira Gallery Lite
- Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP ♥
- Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) by BestWebSoft
- Jetpack by WordPress.com ♥♥
- Shortcodes Ultimate ♥
- Smush ♥
- UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore ♥
- W3 Total Cache ♥
- WP Disable ♥
- WP-Optimize ♥
- Yoast SEO ♥♥
Some of these plugins are meant to speed up your WordPress site, you will need to read my other guide on how to speed up WordPress here in order to configure them.
If you are wondering if are WordPress plugins free the answer is yes if you have bought hosting and installed wordpress.org
This is not extremely important when you start a WordPress blog you might be the only author and editor.
But just for the sake of knowing it here is where you can add users to your site. You will be able to pick a user role from the drop-down menu.
Here is a detailed article to understand each role you can give to your addition users.
This is extremely important as well, I am not going to tell you each of the settings in this section because it will take me too long.
Something you need to understand is that new options will be added to the settings tab depending on the plugins you are installing.
The first 5 options are usually the most important and the ones by default. You should click on each tab and adjust the “general” settings the “writing” settings and so on according to your needs.
Then a lot of other tabs will be added underneath the settings tab depending on the plugins you have installed.
I strongly suggest you click on each of them and adjust the settings accordingly.
A very important tab it will be the SEO tab that will be added with the Yoast SEO plugin. You can also access your WordPress XML sitemap that usually has this structure:
Here is where you will be able to control 80% of your SEO strategy when using WordPress.
WordPress VS Website Builders
WordPress is not the only way you can make a website online without knowledge of coding.
I don’t want to talk a lot about this topic but the short answer is that if you will use a website builder like the one listed above your chances to create a successful site will go very close to zero.
If you make a website with a website builder you will not be able to handle crazy traffic, to change the website according to your needs and it will be super expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How To Make Money With A Website?
Is WordPress The Only Way To Make A Site With No Coding Knowledge?
No there are many other platforms but WordPress is the one that is used the most and that will make your website awesome.
Is WordPress Free?
Yes, wordpress.org is totally free, however, you will need hosting to park your domains, prices start from $2.95 a month.
Can I Get A Free Domain Name?
If you will get TMDhosting via this link, you will get a totally free domain name.
Can I Make A Forum With WordPress?
Yes, there are plugins that accomplish that.
Is WordPress For Mac?
WordPress is universal, however, there is a Mac app and IOS app that will allow you to do certain things from your computer. I don’t use it.
Is WordPress For Windows?
WordPress is universal, however, there is a Windows app and Android app that will allow you to do certain things from your computer. I don’t use it as well.
How To Learn WordPress Without Messing Up Your Sites
Here I am going to reveal an exclusive trick I have used my self to play around with Gutemberg which was really scary for me.
If you start a WordPress blog you will soon find out that it will take a lot of efforts to put all the settings the way you want too and also you don’t want to mess up with your sites and the SEO.
Here in this paragraph, I am going to show you the best way to learn WordPress without worrying about anything.
I will give you access to a WordPress demo version where there will be a time before everything will be deleted and restored to zero.
You can install plugins, play with themes, add posts and even practice the new editor called Gutemberg.
I have started to understand Gutenberg using this system and then I have decided to disable any automatic update with Easy Updates Manager after I came to the conclusion that I have no time to deal with the future bugs and problems of Gutemberg.
I like the old editor more and I might consider an upgrade maybe later on when still will work better.
Here are the login credentials for you.
Log in using the credential above and start installing Gutenberg and playing with the new editor.
Install plugins and themes and learn how to post blog posts and make them SEO friendly.
You will have only a certain amount of time and then you will need to log in again.
This system is created to keep away spammers and to always have a nice looking and freshly installed WordPress site to do your tests.
WordPress Care Plans And Packages
If you think that even WordPress is too much for you and you want to have an excellent service on your domains I feel like to recommend WP buffs.
This is a pretty awesome service, all you will need to do is to write content on your sites then.
WP Buffs will take care of all the rest if you want to get a 10% discount on a monthly plan you can use the coupon code DIVERSI when making the purchase.
I personally don’t use them but I had the chance to see the way they work and if you are not a tech-savvy person this is the best solution to have your sites always outstanding.
Included in the package there are over $1000 of free premium plugins, that will be upgraded to premium for free using your wp buffs plan.
24/7 websites edits and fixes every time you need support.
Speed optimization and so much more. Take a look at wp buffs and in case you decide that it is a good solution for you go forward and add DIVERSI as a coupon code to get a 10% coupon code.
Wp buffs will help you with the WP install and all the hard work, getting assistance is never been so easy.
Extra tools I constantly use
I hope that this long tutorial helped you understand how to use WordPress and why you should use WordPress for our websites blogs.
WordPress is free and most of the websites that you see online are built with WordPress.
The WordPress cost is zero only if you use a self-hosted version that you can download on WordPress.org
If you are getting hosting with TMDhosting which is the best hosting company you will get a free domain and free installation with one click.
WordPress comes with some default settings, it is your job to tweak it and add plugins that will allow you to do stuff like the WordPress change URL feature that you can obtain using custom permalinks plugin.
Easy Updates Manager will allow you to disable updates and even the auto update to WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg that will occur very soon.
WordPress 5.0 is the biggest WordPress update and is coming out soon. If you are reading this in the future, you should have familiarity with Gutenberg as well which is the new WordPress editor system.
You can start to familiarize with WordPress without messing up your site using the wp demo website mentioned a few paragraphs above.
What You Will Learn On This Blog!
Stay tuned and subscribe to my blog so you will get notifications on new posts. I will slowly break down these topics:
- SEO(Search Engine Optimization).
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Free and Paid traffic hacks.
- Coding and WordPress
- Make money with a computer and an internet connection even while you sleep.
Follow me on social media, you’ve got all the links on the right bottom side of this blog, also comment and contact me if you need help.
Here are my top resources I always use to become a great affiliate, take a look here!
Do you want to be a free man or woman? Jump in the crew then!
Much Love and Peace Out,