Online WordPress Tutorials

picture of question marks

WordPress isn’t difficult to use but it can be a bit overwhelming when you aren’t used to it. It doesn’t take long to become familiar with the basics, but to start with you may find yourself wondering what the difference is between a post and a page, and what on earth a widget is for.

There are plenty of online resources to help you learn about WordPress, including the WordPress Codex.  Here are a few more suggestions of websites with a structured approach to teaching the essential things that a newcomer needs to know to enable them to update their WordPress website. Just click on the links below to access the tutorials.

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Transform Your Website with a New Theme

watercolour butterflies

Every WordPress website needs a theme to tell it how to display the site’s content. The theme contains templates to determine where all the different elements should go and a style sheet to control their appearance.

One of the great things about WordPress is that you can transform the way your website looks and works just by installing and activating a different theme. The same content can be displayed in a completely different way to give a very different look to your site.

 

To illustrate this, I set up a test site for a fictitious photographer and tried out several different themes. You can see screen prints of the results below.

Please note that I am not necessarily recommending these themes; it was just an exercise to show how easy it is to change a site’s appearance. In each case I have just used the default settings whereas if I was using one of these themes on a live website then I would spend more time personalising it.

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Add Functionality with Plugins

WordPress plugins add functionality

Plugins contain code that adds extra abilities to your WordPress website.

For example, the slideshow below was produced using the Meta Slider plugin.

  • beetle
  • butterflies
  • hoverfly
  • plant
  • seedheads
  • skipper
  • spider

 

Installing this plugin added an extra section to the WordPress dashboard for putting slides into the slideshow and controlling its appearance, speed etc.

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CSS Controls Your Site’s Appearance

Use CSS to decorate your website

A WordPress theme includes a style sheet containing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code that determines the appearance of the elements of the website – from the size and colour of the text, to the way the images line up on the page.

For example, if I want to add a blue dashed border around my images, as shown below, then I could do it by adding this CSS to the style sheet:

“border: dashed 2px #4c5ea0;”

cakes

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