WordPress is a robust blogging platform that can help you get a new website up and running whether you are a novice seeking a “Website 101” tutorial, or an expert. Out of the box, WordPress comes loaded with features to assist with building your own website. This article will review the following basic features of WordPress.
- User management
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Easy Theme Installation
- Easy Plugin Installation
- Large online community for support
The feature most commonly associated with WordPress is blogging. After installation of Wordpress and a website name (or domain name) is complete, the owner of the website can immediately start blogging. Before blogging, it is best to choose a theme for the website to give your blogging platform a unique look and feel to invite your readers in. More information about themes will be discussed later in this article.
The WordPress blogging feature allows a user to:
- Create unlimited drafts of blog posts
- Preview all blog post drafts before publishing them for the public to read
- Quickly add and embed images and videos in blog posts
For beginners, all of these features are easy to add and navigate once you have chosen the theme you want to use for your website. The Wordpress basics, and everything you need to know, will be located on the left-hand side of your screen in a side bar menu when it comes time to start the blogging process. On the side bar, you will see an option to add a new post. Once you have clicked ‘add new’ (post) you will be guided to a screen where you can write and begin your blog.
The other features listed above, like adding photos, are located within this blog writing space. Simply click the button that says ‘add media’ and choose within a library of photos you want. In order to create a library of photos to use, you can either drag and drop photos you have taken or import free photos from a site like pixabay.com.
Wordpress also allows you to add keywords at the bottom of your blog to easily optimize your website/blog posts in a search engine. If you would like to view your post once you have finished writing and adding media, click the ‘preview’ button on the right-hand side. A new link will pop up and allow you to look at the blog post as if you were a reader visiting your own site. Maybe you don’t want to publish this blog to the public just yet and you want some time to make necessary changes later. Wordpress is able to save all blog posts as drafts just by clicking the ‘save as draft’ button.
The Wordpress basic features discussed above pertain to writing a blog on your website. While Wordpress started as a blogging platform, it has grown to accommodate other needs of its user base.
The next important feature WordPress offers for beginners is a user management system. User management allows a website owner to decide what parts of the website are for the public, specific to a group assigned by the owner such as subscribers or clients, or restricted to the owner of the website only. It would take a fair amount of experience and time for a web developer to make a user management system from the ground up, but WordPress allows the owner to create profiles for it’s users with different levels of reading and editing access.
All of these user management features are easily accessible on your Wordpress account from the side bar menu mentioned above. You can schedule publishing times through your blog posts, have the option to approve comments on your website from outside readers, and allow others to sign into your Wordpress account to also post blogs and make changes to the website. The owner of the website has the power to decide which user management features will be implemented.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the biggest hurdles that new website owners must deal with is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is required to get your website to appear on the first one or two pages when an Internet user conducts a search for a product or service your company offers. Ideally, you want your website to appear on the first page of the search since many people do not look beyond the first page. If your website does not appear on the first, or at least second page, the odds of your website being viewed via organic search is very slim. Be sure to always add keywords into your website as much as you can in order to optimize the search of your website.
A website owner may sometimes feel as though they’re grasping at straws trying to get his/her website optimized for all the search engines. WordPress takes care of the necessary, yet technically tedious SEO-related tasks. SEO tasks include:
- Improving permalinks for your pages and blog posts for usability. These are the links you see in the web address bar.
- Correctly structuring and organizing web pages for a search engine to browse efficiently
- Generating and constantly updating a sitemap required by Google
Easy Theme Installation
A big advantage of WordPress is that it provides you with several designs, or themes. These pre-packaged themes save you from having to hire a website designer, graphic designer, and programmer. And, themes can be customized. Customizing your theme includes changing the color format, changing heading and paragraph fonts, and much more. WordPress has been around since 2003, and there are many free themes available. Actually, finding a favorite theme from the hundreds available online, both free and “for-a-fee” themes, may prove to be more time consuming than installing the theme. After picking a theme, the website owner logs into their WordPress site, uploads the theme, and then activates it to make it visible to visitors.
Easy Plugin Installation
Plugins give a Wordpress beginner website owner almost limitless options to customize the website so that the website addresses the needs of the business’ visitors. The website owner only needs to know how to install the plugins, which can be as simple as installing a new theme. A plugin can expand the functionality of the website in many ways such as adding a community calendar, checking for comment spam, or embedding an image gallery.
Large Online Community for Support
The most subtle yet powerful feature of WordPress is the supportive and thriving online community. WordPress has been around since 2003 and the community has grown significantly. In fact, by 2014 nearly 1 out of 5 of all websites on the Internet were WordPress sites. That’s just a few shy of 75 million websites run by WordPress. So any newcomers struggling to use the blogging platform can rest easy knowing that millions of people also had similar issues when starting out and can offer assistance in solving any encountered difficulties. Currently there are thousands of tutorials covering just about any issue discovered.
Wordpress sites are robust, are relatively easy to develop and maintain, have an enormous user community, and do much more than provide a place for blogging. Users who want help can find a number of firms who specialize in getting you started, offer training, and can help you build your website through Website installation and customization services. Wordpress is definitely worth a serious look.
What are your biggest challenges concerning your website? Are you a Wordpress beginner and need help navigating the Wordpress basics available to you? Please share your story below.
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