Hello learners, welcome to Lesson 2 – Definition and explanations of terms associated with WordPress
Topics covered in this lesson are:
- WordPress Front End and Back End
- WordPress Dashboard (Admin Area)
- WordPress General Settings
WordPress Front End and Back End
By now you must have received the link to your newly installed WordPress blog (if you have not received yours and have paid, please kindly contact the tests administrator immediately) and your blog you should look like the picture below: (NB – You need a LIVE blog to enjoy and follow this training)
and if you scroll down, you see the picture below:
The two pictures above are called the front end of wordpress blog. These are the web pages that your visitor sees when they land on your site. Then there is the back end. This is where you, or someone you give permission to, logs in and controls what happens on the site, what it looks like, adds content, and publishes it.
The Back End: To see the back end of your wordpress installation you must be log-in. To login, scroll down the front page and click on log in link as shown below:
Supply your username and password as emailed to you and click Log in button as shown below: (NB – You may select the Remember me button if you want your browser to store your username and password)
WordPress Dashboard (Admin Area)
Now the back end of your wordpress installation (the engine room of wordpress blog) should be displayed as shown below:
NB – Your blog url must have a green padlock as shown below.
This means your blog is running on a secure layer, SSL, which is the standard for all websites on the internet.
Let take a look at the various sections of your wordpress back end (dashboard)
1. Update – This is where you initiate major updates on your wordpress blog. WordPress releases updates regularly and for your blog to be safe, you need to perform regular updates on the core wordpress installation, themes and plugins. For now no updates since this is a new installation….We will surely run an update before the end of the training.
2. Posts – When you click on posts, the picture below will appear on your screen
four other sub-menus will appear – All Posts, Add New, Categories, Tags
All Posts – This is where all posts on your blog and date of publication are displayed as shown above. The default post Hello World is displayed because it came with your installation. This is how all posts on your blog will be displayed on the back end.
Add New – This where you add new contents/posts to your blog. When clicked you see the picture below
Add New – This is where to input content for your blog and publish for the world to see. Whatever you post here will appear on the front page of your blog. We will discussed more on this in our Lesson five – Writing Your First Post
Categories – Categories provide you with an easy way to group your posts into some sort of logical order. If you run a business and you have different products, each product can have a category, so that post related to that product are stored in a particular category. For now your post is uncategorised, we will work on category in lesson five
Tags – WordPress has multiple ways in which your content can be organized and retrieved. Tags are another of those ways, and are extremely useful. They are not a replacement for categories, they are really a way to add extra keyword related information to a post, and another way to group and retrieve your content. You learn more about tags when you start publishing contents on your blog.
Media Library – The media library is a place in WordPress where you can quickly and easily upload your media, e.g, video, images, documents, etc not just images, but other media as well, and it makes it easy to find and manage your media whenever you need to use it…..and Add New is where you add new media to your wordpress blog. Media uploaded are stored in the media library, you will need to link up such media with your post to display on your blog. Do you have picture you which to use on your wordpress blog? Let upload it to the media library.
Select Media Library…the picture below will displayed
Now click on Add New button to upload any of the image you wish to use for your blog, as shown below:
After successful upload, your image will appear on your media library as shown below:
We will come back to that image in our future lessons, but for now. let move on to the next item on our dashboard
Pages – Where WordPress posts are intended for fresh content, WordPress pages are intended for the content that is more static in nature, such as a terms and conditions page, contact page, ‘about us’ page, and other pages that would sit outside of the categories of content that you create. Where the posts will be pushed down by fresher posts, WordPress pages sit outside of the timeline.
All Pages – Just like All Posts, this link displayed all the pages on your WordPress blog and date of publication.
Add New: This link opens the Add New Page page where you can compose, save, and publish a new page on your blog. It’s subtle, but posts and pages are very different from one another!
Comments – This is where to view comments posted by users of your blog. Since your blog is new, a default comment by WordPress can be seen as shown below. You have various options on what you can do to that comment. We will explain them briefly
In Response To: This tells you which post on your blog has been commented on
Submitted On – This tells you date and time the comment was posted
Author – This tells you who posted the comment
Unapproved – Because this comment was posted by default, it has unapproved status because it was approved by default. You can either approve or unapproved comments. Approve comments appears below the posts on your front page and unapproved comments will not appear.
Reply – You can reply to comments by clicking on Reply to post your reply.
Edit – You can edit a comment before approval to make it suitable for other users
Spam – If you discovered a comment looks like a spam, click here to inform wordpress community
Trash – Click Here to delete a comment.
Appearance – When you click the Appearance menu in the navigation menu, a submenu
drops down with the following links as shown below:
✓ Themes: Click this link to open the Manage Themes page where you can manage the themes available on your blog. We will learn about using themes on your WordPress blog, and how to manage those themes in Lesson 3.
Customize – This is where you customize your theme. More in Lesson 3.
✓ Widgets: This link opens the Widgets page where you can add, delete, edit, and manage the widgets you use on your blog….more on Lesson 3
Menus – This is where to configure menus for your site header and navigation
✓ Header – This is where you configure the header part of your blog…more in Lesson 3
✓ Editor: This link opens the Theme Editor page where you can edit your theme templates.
You can try out the links as explained above but don’t make any major changes to your blog, just simply use the back button to return back to your dashboard.
Plugins – Plugins are software written to add more features to your wordpress blog. The next menu in the navigation menu is Plugins. Click the Plugins menu to
expand the submenu of links as shown below:
✓ Installed Plugins: Click this link and open the Manage Plugins page where you can view all the plugins currently installed on your blog. On this page, you also have the ability to activate, deactivate, and delete plugins on your blog
✓ Add New: This link opens the Install Plugins page where can search for plugins from the official WordPress Plugin Directory by keyword, author, or tag. You can also install plugins directly to your blog from the Plugin Directory
✓ Editor: This link opens the Edit Plugins page where you can edit the plugin files in a text editor. I very strongly advise against editing plugin files unless you know what you are doing.
Users – WordPress installations comes with a database which stores information including users of the blog. We will cover Users in details in our advance learners class. The Users menu has three links:
✓ All Users: This displayed all registered users on your blog. You are the first registered user on your blog, your username, Name, email, role and posts will appear as shown above. You can as well view, delete and edit users.
Add New – You can add users to your blog via this link. Fill the box provided and add.
✓ Your Profile: This link will displayed your profile. You can edit your profile through this link.
WordPress General Settings
Settings – We are about to set your wordpress blog. Under the settings menu click on the first option, which is ‘General’. The following screen shows what you will see.
The first two options are for the site title and the site tagline. These will show what you
entered when you installed WordPress. If you aren’t happy with what you chose then you can change them here. The effect of the change will be seen on your front page as shown below:
When choosing a site title and tagline you should always take into account that you have two audiences. The first is the human visitor to your site, and the second is the search engines who will be ranking your site.
For the search engines, you need to make sure that the title and tagline are on-topic for the content that you plan to have on your site, and ideally contain the best keywords within that niche that will attract the most visitors.
However, the most important thing is to make sure that your title and tagline make sense to your human visitor. They should be accurate and compelling. They should make the visitor want to stay on the site and explore further. Always write for the human visitor, but keep the search engines in mind also.
WordPress Address (URL) – This is your blog internet address already registered for you. Take note of the SSL installed which converts your links to https://
Site Address (URL) – This is relevant only if you want the homepage for your site to be seen to be in a directory other than the one in which you have installed WordPress. I’ve never needed to use this and all I do is copy and paste what I entered in the WordPress Address field into this field.
Email Address – The email address displayed here was used during installation of wordpress. Make sure you enter a valid email address here as this is the address that notifications will be sent to when someone signs up to your site (if you decide to allow subscribers), when comments are made, or other admin purposes.
Membership – This allows you to say whether anyone can register for your site. In another setting we will be looking at later you can choose to allow comments from only people who are registered with your site. This cuts down on the spam comments you will get, as a lot of them are created by bots. Unfortunately, it will also cut down on the number of genuine comments you get as a lot of people just can’t be bothered registering. How much spam you get, and how much it bothers you, will largely determine whether what you choose here. Of course, you may have a site that doesn’t need or want outsiders to be registered, in which case just leave this unchecked.
New User Default Role – With this option you can set what level a newly registered person to the site will be. The default is subscriber, and unless you have specific reason to change this then leave it as it is.
Time zone – There is an excellent chance that the server that your website is hosted on is in a different part of the country, or quite possibly a completely different country, to where you are located. As such, there may be a time difference between where you are and where the server is. If you want your posts to reflect the date and time stamp of where you are then click on the drop-down list and choose the nearest city that is in your time zone, e.g. pick Lagos for Nigeria as show below:
Date Format – WordPress offers a few default date formats for you to choose from. If you like one of those then pick it. This is how dates will be displayed on your posts.
Time Format – As with the date, you can choose from one of the formats on offer or create a custom format.
Week Starts On – Choose the day you prefer the week to start on. Click Save Changes and let move to the next item
Writing – The next option under ‘Settings’ is writing. And as the name implies, these settings control some of the default behaviour for WordPress when you write a post. Just about everything that is in the Writing section will be left untouched at this point. There are some parts you will need to come back and change later on.
Reading Settings – The settings here have a major impact on how your site will look and behave. The default behaviour for WordPress is to behave as a blog, with the latest posts being displayed on the front page, with the newest at the top and then going down in chronological order. If that is what you want then just leave the ‘Front page displays’ set to ‘Your latest posts’.
If you prefer to have a static front page, which you might if you are creating a corporate style site (or pretty much anything other than a blog) then you will need to choose the option for a static page. Then from the ‘front page’ dropdown pick the page that you want to be the front page. You should also choose another page to be the page where your posts will be displayed. We will discuss more on this later in Lesson 5.
How many posts to show? – The first option determines how many posts will appear on the page that is showing your blog posts. This could be the front page of your site, if you chose that option above. Or it could be the page that you nominated as the posts page, or a category page. If your posts tend to be long then do you really want 10 of them showing in their entirety on the one page? Here, you have the option of selecting a different number of posts to be displayed. You may leave it as it is for now….we will change it later.
Discussion Settings – The fourth option listed under Settings is the Discussion Settings. One of the great things about WordPress is that it encourages interaction between the website owner and visitors to the site. If someone is interested in what you have written they can leave comments, ask questions, or compliment or criticize what you have said. When one person starts up the conversation others tend to join in. It creates repeat visitors to your website, as well as fresh content that Google loves.
Not all sites are suited to people commenting on the content, and not all bloggers want comments, so WordPress allows you to control whether you allow comments or not, and if you do allow them, how you want to handle them.
Default article settings – The first set of options covers the default article settings. When you create a new post it would get tedious if you had to keep setting the same options in each post, so WordPress allows you to set the defaults here. If you create a post and want to change one of these settings then you can still do so within the post.
Attempt to notify blogs linked to from the article – If this is checked then WordPress will attempt to ping any blogs that you have linked to in your post to let them know that you have done so. The keyword here is ‘attempt’. It is not foolproof (but it does work very well) and relies on the other site having the next option switched on to allow notifications from other blogs.
Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) – If this option is
checked then when another site has a link to one of your posts then your site will be notified by a WordPress ping from that site. The subsequent trackback will show up in the comments section of your post.
Allow people to post comments on new articles – If you want to allow comments on your posts then check this. Remember, you can always turn it off for specific posts if you want to. This is just setting what you would like to do most of the time.
Comment author must fill out name and e-mail – This attempts to make the comment author take some accountability for their comments. No verification is carried out on either the name or email, so they could fill in fake details. However, this setting is useful for getting to know your genuine commenters.
Users must be registered and logged in to comment – This option goes a step further in
attempting to prevent spam comments. It makes the visitor register on your site before they can leave a comment. When they register they will be sent an email and have to confirm their registration before they can comment. If you are going to use this then remember to allow open registrations.
Automatically close comments on articles older than 14 days – In the default settings we chose whether to allow comments on new articles. This setting is where we decide how old a post is to still be considered ‘new’. The 14 days can be changed to whatever you want, but 14 is a good default. Once a post gets to be older than 14 days (or however many days you have specified) then a visitor will no longer be able to add fresh comments. Once your site gets beyond a certain size then managing comments on all of your old posts would become unmanageable, so it makes sense to keep the discussion restricted to current post topics.
The next three options cover how you want your comments to be laid out. Do you want the older or newer comments to appear at the top? Do you want all your comments to appear on the one page, or do you want them broken into multiple pages if you get lots of comments? Do you want comments to be nested? Nesting comments can make the thread of the conversation a lot more readable. Whatever you set these three options to really comes down to your own personal preference.
You can choose to be notified whenever someone leaves a comment on one of your posts. In the next group of settings we will decide if a comment should be approved by the site administrator (i.e. you or someone you have appointed to run the site) before it can appear on a post. If you allowed comments without approval then you can be emailed every time a comment is made, which is a useful feature since you really don’t want racist or offensive comments on your website without you being aware of them.
If you decide that you would rather have comments approved by you before they are published then it would be a good idea to check the box to notify you that comments are being held in the moderation queue and are ready for you to check and approve.
Comment Moderation & Comment Blacklist – These two options allow you to define words that you have reason to believe may be in comments left by a spammer. The first option allows you to list the suspicious words which could occur in a spam message, but then again could also be used in a genuine comment. By putting them in the moderation queue you can check them and approve them, or reject the comments as spam. In addition, you can choose to hold any comment which has more than a certain number of links in it. Spammers will tend to use as many links as they think they can get away with. A typical, genuine comment, would have no links, or maybe one at most. It is a good idea to leave the default setting at 2, unless you have a good reason to change it.
The comment blacklist box is for those words that you are certain would only be used by a spammer. For example, if you had a website all about stamp collecting it would be hard to imagine why anyone would be leaving a comment that contained the word ‘viagra’. Enter the word ‘viagra’ into the blacklist box and any comments that contain that word, either in the comment itself, the URL, or email address, would get flagged as spam and will not appear on your website.
With both the comment moderation and comment blacklist options you can also enter IP addresses. So, if you find that you are getting a lot of spam comments coming from a small number of IP addresses then you can enter those IP addresses into the blacklist box and, regardless of the words in the comment, those comments will get flagged as spam. NOTE – IP addresses used by the commenter are listed next to their comment in the comment moderation queue.
Avatars – An avatar is a small image that appears next to your name when you leave a comment. If you’ve used Twitter or Facebook then you will already be familiar with the concept of an avatar as you will have chosen an image for your own account. You may not bother about Avatars for now.
Media Settings – Next on the Settings list is the media settings. This is where you will control things such as the size of images that can be displayed on your website, as well as where they will be saved.
The images sizes that are shown in the previous image are the default ones that are used by the standard WordPress install. Start with these but be prepared to alter them to suit the theme that you are using. For example, if the theme you use allocates 600 pixels wide for the content column then adding a picture that is 800 pixels wide is going to look a real mess! You may wish to choose a ‘Large size’ that is 600 pixels or less.
Permalinks – The last of the settings options is one of the most important. When you install WordPress, any posts it creates are given an ID number that WordPress assigns. Here is an example of a link to the ‘Hello World’ post that WordPress has when you install it…http://www.your-domain-name.net/?p=1
The number at the end will change depending on the post that you are looking at. There are two problems with this. The first problem is that a URL like that is not memorable at
all. The second problem is that when you look at the URL it means nothing to the person
looking at it, and it also gives Google (and the other search engines) no idea of what to expect when they visit the page.
With the second method it is clear to you, clear to the person you give the URL to, and clear to the search engines, what to expect on that page. With a domain name such as
test.assure.ng, and a page called ‘lesson 1’, it is clear to everyone what your page is about and makes good sense from an SEO perspective.
The WordPress permalink settings allow you to do just this, and a whole lot more. In the
following image you can see some of the options available to you.
I can’t tell you which of these to go for as that will depend on what you want to do with your website, how frequently you will be posting, and what way makes sense for your content to be grouped. I personally normally choose ‘Post name’, which would give you a URL like we used in the ‘lesson 1’ example.
If you are running a website where grouping content by date is important then one of the date-based permalink settings would be better for you. It wouldn’t make sense in our stamp example as the date that WordPress uses is the date that the post is published, and not the date of the stamp we are talking about.
We have come to the end of this lesson.
You can post your comments/questions in the comment box below. We will try as much as possible to reply most comments…but remember to check your email address for answers to unpublished comments.
Thank you…..and happy blogging….
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