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­WordPress Basics – Part 1

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Check out the ultimate WordPress guide that explains in depth every aspect of the site-building process!

What is a CMS?

CMS is an abbreviation for a Content Management System. A CMS provides a graphic interface and all the needed instruments for constructing and managing а website. Such a system makes it easy for its users to create, amend, publish and delete online content, as well as change the design layout and the entire structure of a given website.

What is important to know about the CMS platforms is that using one does not require proficiency in coding or knowing programming at all – with a CMS, you can create a fully functional website from scratch without delving into technical terminology like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Another important and useful feature of the CMS platforms is that they allow collaborative work when building and maintaining а website. This means that several CMS users can log in to the same content management system and work on the same site at the same time. For example, the content creators could be working on adding a new article, while the developers are enhancing the website’s security, and another group of IT professionals is customizing the site’s design and appearance to further personalize the pages to fit precisely the website’s purpose.

There are many different CMS platforms in existence. Depending on your goals and vision for the website you wish to create, you can search for the most suitable platform for your particular case. Usually, each individual CMS offers a set of instruments that are useful in a particular situation – some are optimized for blogs, others for online shops, and others still excel at visual representation.

Some of the most famous CMS platforms are:

  • WordPress
  • HubSpot CMS Hub
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Squarespace

In this article, we will focus on what WordPress is and tell you about some of the CMS’ fundamental components.  WordPress is not only the most widely used CMS but is also probably the most flexible one and is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced professionals.

In the next paragraphs, you will learn more about the system and how to benefit from its enhanced versatility and flexibility.

 

What is WordPress?

WordPress is by far the most popular CMS. This is also one of the easiest CMS to use by non-tech-savvy people. In fact, one of the very few steps you should make to use it is to select a domain name and install the platform.

On a technical level, and according to Wikipedia, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database.

The best thing about WordPress is that it is based on open-source code. This means that it isn’t restricted by any copyright or trademark and it is completely free. This also means that WordPress’ source code can be modified and updated by anyone.

As it comes to the other terms in the description, MySQL and MariaDB are free PHP-based open-source data management systems that, as the description suggests, allow you to store and use the data relevant to the website. MySQL and MariaDB are two of the most popular database solutions and provide you with intuitive and functional tools to distribute and use all the stored information.

Such systems are required because all the data which appears on the website must be stored somewhere. This information should also be available for management by the website’s administrators. Data that is stored and managed by the database management systems includes, but is not limited to:

  • Website’s posts and pages
  • Categories and tags
  • User comments
  • Plugins
  • Themes

WordPress is a preferred CMS for numerous other reasons. Along with being user-friendly and versatile, the system also includes benefits such as:

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Simple and clean design
  • Easy applying of changes
  • Enhanced functionality with the addition of custom components and tools called plugins
  • Scalability

What makes WordPress unique is one of the system’s main components – the themes. They allow you to create and fully customize an appealing layout for your website. Indeed, the WordPress themes are among the most recognizable WordPress components, because of their versatility and seamless incorporation in the site construction process. In the following paragraphs, you will read more about them and what makes them so useful and flexible.

 

What is a WordPress Theme?

The themes are one of the most fundamental components of WordPress. What a theme does is change the look of your site without the need to apply coding or any other kind of programming skill. Themes are important because the right website design can drastically improve the user experience and the overall satisfaction of visitors.

More precisely, themes consist of graphic files, style sheets, and PHP code that altogether change the site by changing its typography, color schemes, image positioning, text formatting and fonts, buttons placement, and styles of blog posts and thus take care of the visual representation of the website’s data and content.

As with other aspects, the WordPress themes are highly customizable and bring enhanced personalization options and flexibility.

Depending on the purpose of the website, you can choose among WordPress blog themes, eCommerce themes, business ones, themes for entertainment, social networks, and thousands of others that can please even the most demanding WordPress users. Also, WordPress allows users to customize any theme and even create their own from scratch.

If you are interested in the topic, then definitely check out our dedicated article:

 

What are WordPress Pages?

A WordPress Page is a document that contains information and can be viewed via an Internet browser. Usually, the website pages include text and media files, along with other functional elements – buttons, menus, and widgets.

In most cases, a website is comprised of several web pages that are logically connected with each other. However, a website can be comprised of a single web page – it is up to you to include as many or as few pages as you deem necessary.

The general idea behind the pages is to display static information – one that is not often changed and updated.

Usually, such information includes:

  • Information about the site.
  • Details about the website’s owner and his interests/business.
  • Contacts.
  • Legal information and disclaimers.

When it comes to design, the web pages should be visually consistent with each other. This means that their content may vary, however, the layout and overall vibe should be identical. Usually, WordPress makes this possible by incorporating a Page Template with each WordPress theme. Such an option allows users to quickly set up their pages and create a layout that is uniform throughout the website.

You should also know that there are WordPress pages with dynamic content – one that is updated regularly. This type of dynamic content is oftentimes called a post. The main difference between the static content pages and the posts pages is that the posts’ purpose is to be occasionally updated with new time-bound information, whereas the web pages with static content are usually designed to show ever-green information for a long time.

To get a deeper insight into both, the next section explains more about the WordPress posts.

See also:

 

What is a WordPress Post?

A WordPress Post is a piece of informational update that most commonly contains text and media. In most cases, you can publish posts regularly and WordPress sorts them in a logical order. Usually, the default order is chronologically reversed – the more recent your post is, the higher in the list it appears.

Sorting posts has also another meaning – posts can be aligned and logically distributed with the aid of the dedicated WordPress categories and tags. These instruments allow both the users and site visitors to quickly browse and search for the posts they are interested in.

Most commonly, the blog contains a mixture between text and media, which are altogether related in a certain way. The initial idea behind WordPress was to become a flexible blogging tool. However, because of the system’s vast potential, it eventually became a versatile and reliable site-building platform.

Adding a blog section to any site is highly beneficial for numerous reasons. The most notable are:

  • The blog can become a powerful marketing tool – businesses can add details about their products and services with engaging text and media.
  • You can share your insights about a certain topic – publishing such content may well result in more website visitors.
  • Blogs can become an online place for discussions – prompting communication among visitors can boost their overall number.
  • A properly maintained blog section can greatly improve the site’s ranking in search engines.

In most cases, there are numerous components to the WordPress posts that need to be put in some logical order. Usually, this is done, because it helps you and your website visitors browse the information more quickly and easily. Such distribution is made possible with two versatile and useful WordPress components – tags and categories. In the following sections, we share what these are and how they can help you distribute your online content.

If you are aiming at launching an online blog, but don’t know where to begin, then have a look at our dedicated article, which explains how to set up your blog.

 

What is a WordPress Category?

Categories are used to separate the post page content into logical groups. Since this page is comprised of content pieces that are related to each other, it is oftentimes necessary to include some order in the blog section. Usually, such distribution is useful for both you as a website owner and your website visitors.

WordPress categories distribute all the blog content hierarchically and allow for a quicker and easier search for a specific piece of blog content.

This distribution approach is beneficial for many reasons. The main ones are:

  • Categories can help you search, update and amend your posts quickly and easily.
  • Categories greatly improve the user experience, as they help the visitors search for information easily.
  • Distributing your content via categories can contribute to a better search engine ranking of the entire website.

 

Consider the following example:

Imagine you start an online blog about the automobile industry. The idea is to publish articles regarding everything new in the automotive world – reviews of the latest street-legal models, commentary on exclusive tuning projects, and overviews of the newest racetrack automobiles.

As time passes by, you gradually build up a fair number of articles. It is highly likely that you experience difficulties managing them, due to their ever-growing number. You notice that your readers also would love to browse and filter quickly their preferred content – some prefer to access a group of only new model reviews, while others want the know more about the tuning projects.

Here’s how the WordPress categories might help you in this scenario:

You start to sort out your blog posts in a logical way – sort out all reviews of the latest street-legal models in a new category named, for example, Street-Legal vehicles. Following the same logic, all reviews about tuning are sorted in another category named Tuning Projects. You do the same with the rest of the content.

However, creating only a few main categories is still not enough. For more detailed grouping, add some sub-categories. These are categories contained within another category.

Within the Street-Legal vehicles category, add several more, for example, sort all the posts in this category by country of origin. For example, add WordPress categories like American vehicles and European vehicles. For even more clarity, add some more sub-categories within European vehicles – German vehicles, Swedish vehicles, French vehicles, etc. Do the same with the American Vehicles category.

Now add even more subdivisions in each sub-category. For example, in European Vehicles, the German Cars category start adding German vehicle brands as sub-categories. For example, add Volkswagen, Porsche, and BMW. Do the same with all other categories and brands.

Following this example, you should place the review of the new 2021 Porsche Panamera GT here:

-Street Legal vehicles

   -European vehicles

      -German vehicles

         -Porsche

Such logical division and distribution can be greatly beneficial for you, as they bring transparency and order to the entire post section.

Along with categories, WordPress features one more versatile distribution tool – tags. When combined with categories, tags contribute to better-structured content and easy search options. In the next section, we talk about what WordPress tags are and how you can incorporate them into your website.

 

What is a WordPress Tag?

WordPress tags are another useful asset that brings order to your post section. Tags, like categories, sort your posts in a certain way, however, they do that in a different manner. Usually, categories sort entire topics under a certain name, while tags only describe a certain detail in the content.

The main difference between WordPress categories and tags is that categories are based on a hierarchical structure and encompass a large amount of content, whereas tags are not aligned in such a manner. Tags do not include this main- and sub- division and every single tag are completely independent of all the others.

When it comes to readers, tags give an insight into the character and the vibe of a certain article prior to reading it. For example, if you start a book review blog and write an article about Stephen King’s latest novel, and sort it in all relative categories, you can add such tags: Stephen King, Horror, Thriller, and Suspense. 

With such tags, readers who have a glance at the tags will instantly know what the overall vibe of the book is like. Also, in this particular case, website visitors can browse the Horror category and filter all the articles within with the tag Suspense. This will add more flexibility to their search preferences.

In a different example, tags can point out different herbs and spices within a cooking blog. By using them, the author can quickly give an insight whereas a particular recipe is spicysourcreamy, or, for example, sweet.

Furthermore, when used properly, tags can add a kick to your search engine optimization.

Want to know more about WordPress tags? Here’s our dedicated series of articles:

 

Conclusion

WordPress is by far the most popular website building platform. According to WordPress.org, more than 40 percent of the websites on the World Wide Web are based on it. There are several reasons for its popularity:

  • WordPress is free.
  • WordPress features an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • WordPress is one of the most versatile web-building platforms in existence.

Knowing more about the system can bring you numerous benefits for your online presence, regardless of whether you simply enjoy managing a website for fun, or you are planning on monetizing it. In either case, it would probably be best to start with the basics.

If you want to create a brand-new website, but aren’t sure where to start, then first check out our free website hosting services.

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