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Getting Started with WordPress: Content Management

WordPress Dashboard Screenshot

Screenshot of the Menus page in the WordPress Dashboard

On the web content is king! In order to satisfy the search engines and help get people flowing to our site we need great content as well as an easy way to manage changes to our content. WordPress is a popular web site or blog platform that makes managing our content easy. Come join us for an overview of setting up WordPress on wordpress.com or on your own hosting account with wordpress.org.

Course Description and Prerequisites

Take charge of your website or blog by learning how to navigate the state-of-the-art publishing platform that is WordPress. This course will help you become proficient in managing your site content and basic functionality. You will learn how to: find a host and setup your WP site; navigate the WP dashboard; configure your blog and web pages; use categories & tags to organize content; upload and manage media files; personalize your site with widgets; develop custom menus; install & configure new themes. This class is appropriate for both WordPress.com sites and self-hosted WordPress.org sites. Prerequisite: Basic computer and Internet Browser skills

Day One: WordPress Content Management

We begin with a brief history of WordPress and discuss what exactly it is. Then we will learn how to setup or install our WordPress site and talk about the best options for choosing a hosting account and purchasing a domain name. Once we are comfortable with installing a new WordPress site we will get an in-depth review of creating and managing the content for our site. We will examine the four primary content types provided by WordPress: Posts, Pages, Media and Comments. With some content in place we will take a look at switching themes, creating custom menus and using widgets to add additional content to our sites.

Day One Outline Register CFU Outline PDF
  1. Greetings & Introductions

    1. A Little About Me
    2. A Little About You
  2. A Preview of the Day Ahead

    1. Learn About WordPress, Basic Concepts & Fundamentals
    2. Walk Through the WordPress Dashboard Content Sections
    3. Talk About Themes and Theme Customization Options
    4. Learn How to Create Menus and Widgets for Content Asides
    5. Optimize the WordPress Settings to Meet Your Needs
    6. Answer Any Questions You May Have About WordPress
    7. An Hour Lunch and 2 - 10 Minute Breaks
  3. So, What is WordPress?

    1. WordPress Began as a Blogging Platform
    2. WordPress is Also a CMS (Content Management System)
  4. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

    1. WordPress.com
      1. Hosted Service
      2. Free*
      3. Ad Supported (sometimes)
      4. Limited Features*
      5. No Plugins
    2. WordPress.org
      1. Requires your own hosting + domain
      2. Free*
      3. No ads!
      4. Limitless Functionality*
      5. Tens of Thousands of plugins
      6. WordPress Support Codex & User Forums
  5. How Does WordPress Work?

    1. All Content (pages, posts, menus, etc..) is Stored in a Database
    2. All Media (images, audio, video, documents) are Stored as Files
    3. Media File Path Names are Stored in the Database
    4. The Design of the Site is Contained Within the Theme (or set of templates)
    5. Functionality Outside the Core of WordPress is Contained Within a Plugin
  6. How Do I Get Started?

    1. Get a Web Hosting Account (PHP, MySQL, Linux)
    2. Many Hosts Offer 1-Click WordPress Setup
    3. Alternatively, Download from WordPress.org & Upload to the Server
    4. Follow the Install Instructions
  7. Hosting & Domains

    1. Some Hosting Options
      1. I Use GoDaddy - Good Customer Service
      2. Blue Host - WordPress optimized
      3. Host Gator
      4. WebFaction
      5. Find Many More Options with a Google Search for "Hosting"
    2. Register your domain
      1. With Your Host
      2. From Other Domain Provider
      3. Try NameCheap.com
    3. Additional Reading on Choosing a Hosting Account
      1. WP Beginners Site on Hosting
      2. Article on WP Hosting by Yoast
  8. WordPress Content Sections

    1. WordPress Posts
      1. "Timely" content, has a published date
      2. News, Blog, Updates, Events etc.
      3. Can be scheduled in the future or pre-dated in the past
      4. Contained in Categories or tags
    2. WordPress Dashboard New Posts
      1. Title Field and Permalink
        1. The Title Displays Throughout the Theme
        2. The Slug
        3. Editing the Slug
      2. Tiny MCE Text Editor
        1. The Editor Icons One-at-a-Time
        2. Visual Versus Text Tabs
        3. Adding Media to a Post
        4. Adding YouTube Videos
      3. Organize with Formats
        1. Some Themes Have Specific Templates
        2. Can Use to Organize your Post by Format
        3. Themes May Offer Format Links
      4. Organize with Categories
        1. Organize Your Posts with Categories
        2. Use for Primary Site Topics
        3. Categories are Hierarchical
        4. Managing Categories
      5. Organize with Tags
        1. Organize Your Posts with Tags
        2. Use for Non-Primary Topics
        3. Tags are Not Hierarchical
        4. Managing Tags
      6. The Featured Image
        1. Themes Usually Use for Blog Roll
        2. Some Themes Also Use in Individual Post Templates
      7. Publishing & Updating
        1. Post Status
        2. Post Visibility
        3. Post Publish Date
      8. Screen Options
        1. Excerpts
        2. Send Trackbacks
        3. Custom Fields
        4. Discussion
        5. Slug
        6. Author
        7. Revisions
    3. WordPress Pages
      1. Static content, no publish date
      2. About Us, Contact, etc
      3. Parent / Child Pages Hierarchy
    4. WordPress Dashboard New Pages
      1. Title Field and Permalink
        1. The Title Displays On It's Corresponding Page
        2. The Slug
        3. Editing the Slug
      2. Tiny MCE Text Editor Same as for Posts
      3. Page Attributes
        1. Parent/Child Hierarchy
        2. Multiple Templates
        3. Page Order
      4. The Featured Image
        1. Some Themes May Use in Individual Page Templates
      5. Publishing & Updating
        1. Post Status
        2. Post Visibility
        3. Post Publish Date
      6. Screen Options
        1. Custom Fields
        2. Discussion
        3. Comments
        4. Slug
        5. Author
        6. Revisions
    5. WordPress Media
      1. Images (JPG, PNG, GIF)
      2. Documents (DOC, XLS, PDF)
      3. Audio (MP3)
      4. Video (MP4)
    6. WordPress Dashboard Media Library
      1. View as Tiles or List
      2. Attachment Post/Page Status
      3. Captions
      4. Alternative Text
      5. Description
      6. File Information
      7. Pre-Determined Image Sizes
      8. Image Editing Capabilities
      9. Settings >> Media
    7. WordPress Comments
      1. Users Can Comment on Posts/Pages (if you let them)
      2. You Can Perform All Mediation Tasks for Comments
      3. Disabled on Most Business Sites
      4. Comment Plugins are a Good Option
    8. WordPress Dashboard Comments
      1. Mediate Comments
      2. Commenter Information
      3. Comment Status
      4. Comment Editing
      5. Settings >> Discussion
  9. WordPress Dashboard Appearance

    1. WordPress Themes
      1. A Theme is a Collection of Templates Dictating the Look and Feel of Your Site
      2. Can Be:
        1. Purchased
        2. Downloaded for Free
        3. Custom Designs
      3. .COM Has Limitations on Which Themes You Can Use
      4. May provide functionality...
    2. WordPress Theme Sources
      1. 3,000+ Free Themes are Available on WordPress.org
      2. Commercially Supported GPL Themes
      3. 5,308 Premium Themes on ThemeForest
      4. 87 Themes with Support! for $69? Elegant Themes
    3. WordPress Dashboard Appearance >> Themes
      1. New WordPress Install Always Has 3 Themes Included
      2. The First Theme Listed is the Active Theme
      3. Only 1 Theme Can be Active
      4. The Theme Details Button
        1. Theme Title
        2. Theme Version
        3. Theme Author
        4. Theme Description
        5. Theme Rating
        6. Deleting a Theme
      5. The Live Preview Button
      6. The Activate Button
      7. Good Practice to Delete Unused Themes
      8. Adding a New Theme
        1. Add New Button
        2. Search Themes on WordPress.org
        3. Upload Theme (zip file)
    4. WordPress Theme Customization
      1. Utilized Heavily by Some Themes, Others Not so Much
      2. Options Vary Based on Theme Support
      3. Options May Include:
        1. Background Colors & Images
        2. Fonts & Font Colors
        3. Logos & Header Images
        4. Custom Navigation
        5. Page Layout Options
      4. Hire a WordPress Developer to Make Custom Changes Not Offered by Theme
    5. WordPress Dashboard Appearance >> Customize
      1. Lists Available Customization Options on Left Side
      2. Provides Live Preview with Your Content on Right Side
      3. Some Options are Also Found in Settings or Appearance Menus
        1. Site Identity (title, tagline, favicon)
        2. Static Front Page
        3. Menus
        4. Widgets
      4. Make Sure to Save Your Changes!
    6. WordPress Menus
      1. This is Where You Create Your Site Navigation
      2. Link Within Your Site; Posts, Pages & Media
      3. Link Outside Your Site
      4. Indent or "Nest" Items to Create Dropdowns
      5. Some Themes Have Multiple Menu Locations
      6. Some Themes Offer Social Media Icon-Based Menus
    7. WordPress Dashboard Appearance >> Menus
      1. Create a New Menu
        1. Give the Menu a Name
        2. Click Create Menu Button
      2. Menu Item Source Links
        1. Pages
        2. Posts
        3. Custom Links
        4. Categories
        5. Tags
        6. Formats
      3. Menu Structure
        1. Drag and Drop Menu Items
        2. Drag Menu Items to Order
        3. Indent Menu Items for Sub Menus (dropdowns)
        4. Always Save Your Menu!
      4. Individual Menu Item Settings
      5. Menu Settings
        1. Auto Add Pages
        2. Theme Location
      6. Manage Menu Locations
      7. Manage Menus with Customizer
      8. Screen Options
        1. Add/Remove Menu Item Source Links
        2. Advanced Menu Properties
    8. WordPress Widgets
      1. What the Heck is a Widget? Where Do They Go? What Do They Do?
      2. A WordPress Widget is a Small Block that Performs a Specific Function
      3. A Widget Can be Informational Only (menus) or Have Functionality (Twitter)
      4. Many Blog Features Come Standard with a WordPress Installation
      5. There are Many Plugins that Can Add widgets (Twitter, Facebook, etc)
    9. WordPress Dashboard Appearance >> Widgets
      1. Available Widget Areas
        1. Governed by the Theme
        2. Theme May Have One or More Widget Areas
      2. Available Widgets
        1. Archives
        2. Calendar
        3. Categories
        4. Custom Menu
        5. Meta
        6. Pages
        7. Recent Comments
        8. Recent Posts
        9. RSS
        10. Search
        11. Tag Cloud
        12. Text
        13. Can Add More Widgets with Plugins
        14. Widgets May Have Customizable Settings
      3. Inactive Widgets
        1. Place Widgets Here to Preserve Settings
        2. Great for Widgets that are Reused
      4. Manage Widgets with Customizer
    10. WordPress Dashboard Appearance >> Editor
      1. "SCARY CODE PLACE"
      2. Always Opens on the Style.css File
      3. Allows You to Edit Your Site's Template Files
      4. All Template Files for Your Theme are Listed on the Right
      5. If You Don't Know What You are Doing it is Best to Not Go Here!

What Former Students Have Said

Great class! Thanks for the handout.

Sylvie I. - June, 2016

Donnie is very knowledgeable & approachable, plus kept the class informative & interesting.

Ruben C. - June, 2016

Great job! Signing up for another class.

Mike T. - June, 2016

Extremely informative & helpful for me. I feel like I gained some good knowledge.  Minor system issues prevented full benefit of class & I wish that didn’t happen.

Kim W. - June, 2016

Great Class!

Sam S. - May, 2016

Excellent class – will be back for next class. Thanks!

Frank M. - April, 2016

Great class!

Mary W. - April, 2016

I learned exactly what I was hoping for. THANK YOU! I’m very excited. I would’ve liked to get into the practical, hands-on part of the work quicker.

Kristi H. - April, 2016

Class content and presentation were just what I needed to move ahead. Thanks.

Jeff P. - March, 2016

Excellent job explaining complex material in a way I could understand. Thanks! 🙂

LeeAnn R. - March, 2016

Great Instructor.

Shelly D. - February, 2016

The instructor does a great job and is very generous about offering help. I’ll be back for another class soon.

Marian C. - January, 2016

The best thing I learned was changing themes.

Jim S. - January, 2016

I will be taking more classes! Thank you. This was my first class at CFU. Great Value.

Jamie L. - December, 2015

Overall a great class!

Jodi P. - December, 2015

This was really helpful!

Curry H. - October, 2015

I needed more help – the instructor made it available.

Catherine C. - September, 2015

Thanks!

Andy B. - August, 2015

Instructor was excellent. A true expert in the subject matter.

Byron M. - June, 2015

Very good.

Yolanda S. - June, 2015

The instructor was very knowledgeable and went at a great pace to support learning – thanks!

Tiffany A. - June, 2015

Fantastic course, great presentation and knowledge transfer to students.

Valerie D. - May, 2015

A little more explanation on overview and how each menu item relates to another would be helpful. Also, slowing down a tad and talking about every click being shown.

Jeff R. - April, 2015

I learned a lot today. Thank you.

Regina S. - April, 2015

Really liked the class.

Chris M. - March, 2015

Thank you! Very helpful!

April A. - December, 2014

What I appreciated about this class was the breadth of content. I did not walk into the class with many questions, and now that i have had a good walk-through, I believe that the content and application will fuel those questions. The instructor asked what would make the class more engaging, and I think more expectation for what we need to walk away with might help fuel questions.

Erin C. - December, 2014

Instructor was receptive to questions.

Grant M. - December, 2014

Thanks for the help. Taking all the info in.

Joe L. - December, 2014

Our instructor was very informative and made it easy to understand.

Brittannie M. - December, 2014

Overall excellent! I got lost in the technical chatter. I think a 2-part class might be good – get an assignment and then produce in class, get feedback and ask follow up questions.

Pat O. - November, 2014

This was very helpful and will try to attend the next level.

Christina R. - August, 2014

Thanks so much for the extra time and help – you are great!

Jenny G. - August, 2014

Difficult material presented in layman’s terms. Yay!

Beth J. - August, 2014

There was a lot to take in, but I’m relieved I can reach out.

Diana D. - July, 2014

With a small class the pace can be a little faster for the first half of the day. The second half was more interactive and useful.

Maxine M. - July, 2014

Very descriptive. Sometimes too much on what seemed to be simple.

Mike K. - April, 2014