Getting Started With WordPress for beginners

This guide will help you get WordPress installed quickly and easily, and get you up and running with your blog or website without any hassle.


WordPress Guide

  1. Introduction About WordPress
  2. WordPress Requirements
  3. Installing WordPress
  4. Setting Up Your WordPress Site Or Blog
  5. Summary

Introduction About WordPress


Getting started with WordPress can be a lot of hassle if you’re not a technical person.

There is plenty of documentation on the WordPress site, but a lot of people struggle to wade through it. The navigation structure of the documentation can be confusing, and some of the individual document pages are geared more towards the technically savvy.

There is also a help forum, but many posts go unanswered and the search function is poor.

I’ve written this guide to help the average person get WordPress installed quickly and easily, and get up and running with their blog or website as painlessly as possible.

WordPress Requirements


Before you can start setting up your site or blog, you need to install WordPress.

The basic idea with WordPress is to download the software and upload it to a web server. This involves setting up a database on the server, uploading the WordPress files, then installing. This can be a pain if you’re not technically inclined. Fortunately, there is a much easier way.

However, before you get under way, you will need two things – a host and a domain name. You will be able to get a domain name from your host, so really all you have to do is find a host.

Easier said than done. There is a list of hosts on the WordPress site, but that is all it is – a list. No recommendations. A good place to look for a host is  If you are looking for a unmanaged VPS then DigitalOcean is best for you.

Also like:

  1. Tips How to Choose a Web Host
  2. Top 10 Best Websites When You Are Bored At Work
  3. Self-Hosted WordPress blog vs WordPress-hosted blog

Installing WordPress Website


You are now ready to actually begin installing WordPress.

  1. Download WordPress from
  2. Login to your hosting account or via FTP account
  3. Create your database via hosting panel
  4. Upload your WordPress source
  5. Press Next and Choose your username and password

– Option 2: Most of hosting today have a script that allow user auto install WordPress without download and upload code. This is an auto-installer application, which enables you to install WordPress with just a few clicks. You don’t even have to download WordPress.

Setting Up Your WordPress Site Or Blog


Once WordPress is installed, it’s time to get your blog or website up and running.

When you login to WordPress you are taken to the Admin area. This is where you control your site or blog. You will organise it from here, as well as change it’s appearance and add content.

Setting Up Your WordPress Site Or Blog

Start off by clicking the title of your site in the top left-hand corner. You will see your site with the default theme applied; later on you can customise it or choose a different one. The theme is what controls the appearance of your site.

You are currently on the Home page, and the image below illustrates the different page elements.


Page Elements:

  • Title – you can change this to whatever you want
  • Image – can be changed
  • Nav Bar – for navigating static pages
  • Sidebar menu – Recent Posts; Recent Comments; Archives; Categories; Meta
  • Main body of site – where posts are located
  • Posts – title, meta data (date and time, author, categories the post is in)
  • Footer – by default it reads “(your blog)” & “Proudly powered by WordPress”, but it can be changed.

Site Structure:

By default, the Home page contains the most recent posts. Clicking on the title of a post takes you to the specific page for that post. Each post title will link to the actual page for that post.

Posts are organised by Category or Archives (by date), and these are listed in the sidebar. Clicking on a category title takes you to a page which only displays the posts within that category. Later on, you will create your own categories. Archives are similar, except they organise posts by date. Clicking on an archive link takes you to a page which only displays the posts for that month.

WordPress Administration
Now it”s time to get to grips with the Admin area.

The Admin area consists of the Admin panels on the left and a main page area, which changes based on the selections you make from the Admin panels.
WordPress Administration
When you login to WordPress, you will see the Dashboard in the main page area. Essentially, the Dashboard keeps you updated on any developments with WordPress. It also shows your recent activity.
WordPress Administration Panel

As can be seen from the screenshot, there are three admin panels:

Panel 1 – for accessing the dashboard.

Panel 2 – for organising your site and  adding  content. This section comprises the following:

  • Posts
  • Media
  • Links
  • Pages
  • Comments

Panel 3 – for controlling your site.This section comprises the following:

  • Appearance – for controlling how your site looks
  • Plugins –  additional functionality
  • Users –  user details; permissions
  • Tools –  import/export content
  • Settings – configuration settings

WordPress Themes
Themes are what control the appearance of your site. A theme is basically a design that you can apply to your site or blog. They are easy to install, and many can be customised.

When you first install WordPress,  a default theme is included, but it’s very easy to change it.

To change the default theme:

  • Go to Panel 3 and click  “Appearance” (or click the arrow)
  • Click “Themes”
  • Click “Install Themes”


You are  now on the “Themes” page. Here you can find a theme either by searching, or by using the filter options and clicking ”Find Themes”.

In both cases, you will get a list of themes to choose from. You will be given the option to “Preview” or “Install”.

You can install several themes if you want, but to apply a theme to your site you need to do the following:

  • Click on the “Manage Themes” tab at the top of the page
  • Under “Available Themes” click “Activate”

Some themes have options which can be changed. Depending on the theme you have installed, these options will be found under “Appearance” or at the bottom of Panel 2.

There are other sources for themes, but for now I suggest you just follow the instructions on this page. Right now you just want to familiarise yourself with themes and learn how to install them.

When you have finished working through the rest of this guide, I suggest you read the following:

  1. Best WordPress Themes

WordPress Widgets
Widgets give you control over the appearance of your sidebars and footer. Essentially, they control which elements are displayed.

By default, a number of elements are visible when the default theme is installed, but these can be changed to suit your requirements .

The following elements are visible in the default theme:

  • Recent Posts
  • Recent Comments
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Meta

Different themes have different elements visible by default. The following are available:

  • Archives
  • Calendar
  • Categories
  • Custom Menu
  • Links
  • Meta
  • Pages
  • Recent Comments
  • Recent Posts
  • RSS
  • Search
  • Tag Cloud
  • Text

To control which of these elements is visible:

  • Go to Panel 2 and click  “Appearance” (or click the arrow )
  • Click “Widgets”


You are  now on the “Widgets” page.

To add a widget to the sidebar:

  • Drag it from the “Available Widgets” panel  to a sidebar or footer panel
  • Click on the arrow next to the widget’s title to access the options.
  • To remove a widget, either:
  • Drag back to the “Available Widgets” panel – this deactivates the widget and deletes the settings
  • Drag to the “Inactive Widgets” panel (below the “Available Widgets” panel) – this removes the widget but keeps the settings

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WordPress Categories


First decide on the different topics you will be dealing with in your blog. These will be your categories. You may also have sub-categories as well.

To create a category:

  • In Section 2 click “Posts”
  • Click “Categories”


You are now on the “Categories” page. Fill in the information under “Add New Category”. Continue, adding as many categories as you wish.

You can also enter sub-categories as well. Sub-categories are created in the same way as parent categories; the only difference is that you  choose a parent category from the drop-down list.

You can view your categories on the “Categories” page. They are listed like this:

category 1
– sub-category 1
– sub-category 2
– sub-category 3

category 2
– sub-category 1
– sub-category 2
– sub-category 3

Note: If there are no posts in a category, it will not show up when you view your site.
WordPress Posts
You are now ready to add posts.

  • In Panel 2 click “Posts”
  • Click “Add New”


You are now on the ”Add New Post” page. Fill in the information and click “Publish”. You can place a post in a category while creating it by choosing a parent from the drop-down list.

You can view a list of your posts on the Posts page.  In Panel 2, click “Posts”.You can change the category by mousing over the post title and clicking “Edit”.


By default, readers are able to add comments to your posts. You can disable this option if you want. In Panel 3 click “Settings”, then “Discussion”.
WordPress Pages
You also need to decide whether you will want static pages eg. About Us, Contact Us etc.

To create a static page:

  • In Panel 2 click “Pages”
  • Click  “Add New”


You are now on the “Add New Page” page. Fill in the information and click “Publish”.

You can also create sub-pages as well. Sub-pages are created in the same way as the main pages, but when filling in the information choose a parent from the drop-down list.

You can view a list of your pages on the “Pages” page. They are listed like this:

Page 1
– sub-page 1
– sub-page 2
– sub-page 3

Page 2
– sub-page 1
– sub-page 2
– sub-page 3

Links to your pages are found on the navigation bar of your site. They are listed alphabetically by default, or by an order number which you can assign.

You can assign an order number while creating a page to determine the order in which pages are displayed on the navigation bar. You can do this by entering the order number in the “Order” field, which is in the “Page Attributes” panel on the “Add New Page” page.

To change the order number, click “Pages” in  Section 2. Mouse over the page title and click “Edit”. Change the value in the “Order” field, which is in the “Page Attributes” panel,  just like on the “Add New Page” page.
WordPress Plugins
Essentially, plugins add extra functions to your site.

The best way to get an understanding of them is by going to the WordPress Plugin Directory and having a look around. Each plugin has a description, which explains the additional functionality it provides.

Finding and Installing Plugins:

  • Go to Panel 3 and click on “Plugins” (or the arrow next to it)
  • Click on “Add New”


You are now on the “Install Plugins” page. At the top of the page are the following options: Search; Upload; Featured; Popular; Newest; Recently Updated. The “Search” option is selected by default.

You are presented with a couple of ways of finding plugins: “Search” and “Popular tags”. With either of these you get a list of results:

  • Choose the one you want and click “Install Now”
  • Choose either “Activate Now” or “Return to Plugin Installer”.

Alternatively, look through the plugins listed under the Featured, Popular, Newest or Recently Updated links at the top of the page.

You can also install plugins by going straight to the WordPress Plugin Directory:

  • Find the one you want and click the “download” button.
  • Go back to the “Install Plugins” page
  • Click the  ”Upload” option and choose the file you downloaded.

Note: the file will be a zip file, and will be located in your default download directory.

You can view and manage your plugins on the “Plugins” page.



  • get a host and domain
  • install WordPress
  • familiarise yourself with WordPress
  • set up your site or blog

This is the approach I used, and it has worked very well for me. I hope that I’ve presented everything in this guide clearly and that you find it useful.

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