The Essential Guide to WordPress

Everything you need to know to get build and manage a website using WordPress as a content management system, either at (hosted) or at your own self-hosted site.

1. Getting started with WordPress

The WiredPen essential quick start guide for working with WordPress. And yes, even if you are self-hosted, you need to set up an account at

  • Get an account at
  • Get to know the WordPress dashboard
  • Configure WordPress general settings
  • Configure WordPress permalink settings
  • Managing your WordPress profile (and gravatar)
  • v
  • Self-hosted WordPress: finding a hosting company
  • Self-hosted WordPress: the 5-minute install

2. Creating content with WordPress

What’s the difference between a post and a page? How do I publish, edit or stage content? I don’t want a blog, just a website!

  • Should I make a post or a page?
  • The WordPress writing settings
  • The WordPress reading settings
  • How to make a new post in WordPress
  • How to make a new page in WordPress
  • Updating (editing) published WordPress content
  • Scheduling a WordPress blog post
  • What are post formats?
  • How do I make a hyperlink?
  • Styling content so that it makes sense to search engines (semantic web)
  • Using WordPress to manage a website, not a blog (static home page)
  • A word about screen options
  • Publishing with a mobile device
  • Using an editorial calendar
  • Copyright, public domain, and creative commons licensing

3. Integrating media into WordPress content

How to include photos, images, video, audio and auxiliary files like PDFs in your WordPress posts and pages.

  • Include an image in a post or a page
  • Setting a featured image
  • Create a photo gallery
  • Include video or audio in a post or page
  • Include a PDF or other document in a post or page
  • How to use the WordPress media library
  • The WordPress media settings
  • Using other people’s content

4. Managing content in WordPress

The difference between categories and tags and how to optimize a WordPress site for search engines (SEO).

  • Categories versus tags
  • Best practices with WordPress categories
  • Best practices with WordPress tags
  • WordPress and SEO

5. Customizing your WordPress site personality

Everything you need to know about themes and custom menus so that you can make your WordPress site as individual as you are!

  • What is a WordPress theme?
  • Selecting and installing a new theme
  • How to customize a WordPress theme
  • How to create custom menus in WordPress
  • Change the appearance of text (fonts)
  • The CSS editor
  • Parent and child themes
  • Theme frameworks
  • Think mobile
  • The best theme shops

6. Customizing the WordPress site experience

Everything you need to know about plugins and widgets.

  • Widgets versus plugins
  • What is a sidebar?
  • Jetpack: the master plugin set
  • Customize your widgets
  • Find and install plugins
  • Essential plugins

7. Getting social with WordPress

From sharing on social sites and managing comments to customizing how your content shows up on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Manage spam with Akismet
  • Discussion and reading settings
  • Keeping comment conversation civil
  • Sharing your content across social sites
  • Make it easy for others to share your content
  • Customize how your WordPress content appears on Twitter and Facebook
  • Why you should integrate your WordPress site and your GooglePlus profile
  • When you need even more conversational options (BuddyPress)

8. Managing your WordPress site

Backups, security, migration and multi-author sites.

  • WordPress security: the basics
  • WordPress backup solutions
  • What about cacheing?
  • Managing a multi-author site
  • Using your account for login
  • Understanding where your data lives (MySQL and image files)

9. Making money with your WordPress site

  • Making money on sites
  • GoogleAds and WordPress self-hosted sites
  • Ecommerce essentials for WordPress sites

10. Migrating your site from to self-hosted WordPress

  • Paying Automattic to do it for you
  • WordPress migration with Import and Export
  • Using a different plugin
  • Understanding where your data lives (MySQL and image files)

11. How the web works (and why you should understand it!)

  • What is a domain name?
  • What is a domain registrar?
  • What is a website hosting company?
  • What is an IP address (and why do I care)?
  • How do pingbacks and RSS work?
  • What is FTP?
  • What is a LAMP stack?

2 replies on “The Essential Guide to WordPress”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.