WordPress

This resource will overview WordPress. We will define some key terms, and explain how to navigate the "My Sites" section.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that is used for developing websites and blogs. The software is widely used, including by companies like the New York Times and major websites like Mashable.

When people refer to "WordPress", they may be referring to one of two things:

  • The WordPress software that will help you create a website or blog that you self-host, and can be downloaded for free at https://www.wordpress.org; or
  • https://www.wordpress.com a hosted service of the WordPress software, that allows you to easily create your own blog or website which is hosted by wordpress.com.

If you're looking to create a simple blog or website for a subject or a hobby, the second version is recommended as it is easy to use, and you don't have to worry about managing a server to host it.

In this guide, when we refer to "WordPress" we will be referring to the website, wordpress.com.

 

What can you use WordPress for?

WordPress can be used to create a website or blog.

At university, you can use WordPress to complete assessments that require you to use a blog or to create a simple website, or you can use WordPress to document your achievement in a portfolio.

Setting up your WordPress account

You can set up a WordPress website or blog at https://www.wordpress.com. Click the "Create Website" or "Sign up" button to start the process.

Below are a few terms that might help clarify what is being asked of you:

  • Homepage: The first page that is seen by those who click the link of your blog/website.
  • Theme: How your website/blog will look, in terms of layout, design and colour schemes.
  • Domain: The name of your site, which will appear in its web address (i.e., https://www.yourdomainname.wordpress.com).
  • Username: The name you will use to login to your WordPress account.

Glossary of terms

Categories

Categories are used to group together blogs that are on a similar topic. You can create or view a category by clicking the "Categories & Tags" tab in the menu displayed when you editing a creating or editing a post and clicking on "Add a New Category".

You can categorise your post by select the checkbox next to the categories listed in the "Categories & Tags" tab.

Categories are optional, but they will make your blog easier to navigate.

Comment

A comment is a short message or note that you can write underneath a blog post. You can comment on your own posts, reply to comments on your own posts, and reply to comments that other people have left for you. It is a way of engaging with your readers.

Likes

By liking a post, you are showing its author that you have enjoyed what they have written. You can like a post by clicking the "Like"wordpress like button below a post.

The like button can sometimes appear differently, depending on a site?s theme. Often it will appear as a star.

Page

A page is a new section of your blog or website that is static, and can appear in the menus on your blog. An example of a page is an "About" page.

Post

A post is an entry of content published on your blog. Posts make up the bulk of your blog and will be displayed in reverse-chronological order by default.

Reblog

If you would like a post from another WordPress blog to appear on your blog, you can reblog it by clicking on the "Reblog"wordpress reblog button below the post.

You can choose to add your thoughts about the post before you reblog it, which will preface the post on your blog.

Tag

Tags are a way of grouping related posts together. They also tell readers what a post is about and make it easier for people to find your content. Tags are similar to, but more specific than, categories. The use of tags is also optional.

Theme

A theme is the visual layout of your blog. WordPress has a collection of free and paid themes for you to choose from.

To change the theme of your blog, click the Themes tab in the My Sites area of your blog.

Navigating WordPress 'My Sites' tab

wordpress interface

Admin Bar

The Admin Bar in WordPress contains the My Sites and Reader tabs, as well as the "New Post", "Profile" and "Notifications" button. The Admin Bar will appear at the top of every page on WordPress whilst you are logged in.

  • The My Sites tab is the hub from which you manage your WordPress sites. From this area, you can write blog posts, change your site?s theme and share your site with others.
  • The Reader tab contains a feed of content from the sites you have followed.
  • The "New Post" button will open the new post section, from which you can create a new post for your blog.
  • The "Profile" button will open the profile section, from which you can change your account and security settings.
  • The "Notifications" button will open a menu listing all of your recent notifications.

Main Menu

The Main Menu in the My Sites tab of WordPress contains options to manage your WordPress sites, including adding pages and posts, changing the theme, and sharing your blog or website with others.

Tips for using WordPress at University

  • Edit your "About" page. Almost all themes on WordPress come with a default "About" page for you to describe who you are, or what your site is about. The "About" page will appear in your site with default text, so be sure you edit the page or delete it to avoid a messy, unkempt blog.
  • Choose a theme that suits the content you are sharing. WordPress has hundreds of themes for you to choose from, and many of them are designed to showcase particular content. When choosing a theme, type in a keyword that expresses the purpose of your blog, for example "photography", and WordPress will filter the results to show themes designed to suit that purpose.
  • Organise your posts with categories and tags. Whenever you create a new blog post, mark it with a category to keep your blog organised, and to ensure it is easier to navigate. You might also like to tag your posts with keywords, so that other users can easily find them. If you are blogging for an assessment, you might like to categorise and tag your posts with your subject code so that your lecturers can easily locate the posts they want to mark.
  • Create a menu that links directly to different categories. WordPress allows you to customise the menu bar on your website. Use this function to create a different button by linking each one to the different categories on your blog. This makes it easier for users to navigate your blog.

Further resources