WordPress For Dummies
With WordPress, you can truly tailor a blog to your own tastes and needs. All the blogging tools you need are readily available: Some are packaged with the WordPress software; others are third-party plugins and add-ons created by members of the WordPress user community. With a little research, knowledge, and time spent on your part, you can create a WordPress blog that suits your needs and gives your readers an exciting experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Finding WordPress Resources
If you use WordPress as the platform for your blog or website, you can use any or all of the many tools that WordPress offers.
|With This Tool||You Can|
|WordPress Plugin Directory||Browse through thousands of downloads that let you do almost anything you can imagine — and you can imagine quite a lot, can’t you?|
|Free Themes Directory||Choose from hundreds of themes to manage the look and functionality of your home page.|
|WordPress Codex||Try the Codex to tap into the encyclopedia of WordPress knowledge.|
|WordPress News & Updates||Check out this section of the official WordPress website for the latest news and notes on all things WordPress.|
|Support forums for WordPress.com||Post questions, answers, and comments for other WordPress users who are using the hosted/commercial version of WordPress.com.|
|Support forums for WordPress.org||Post your questions and obtain answers from the vast WordPress community for users of the self-hosted WordPress.org software.|
Finding WordPress Community Support
The WordPress blogging community has volunteers who run support forums for each version of WordPress. In these forums, exchange questions and answers with seasoned users. Be sure to access the right forum for your WordPress version, or run the risk of annoying the natives.
|If You Are . . .||. . . Use This Forum|
|Using the free hosted solution provided by the fine folks at WordPress.com||http://forums.wordpress.com|
|Running the single-user version of WordPress on your own Web server (self-hosting)||http://wordpress.org/support|
|Searching for a repository of information about the overall use of WordPress||http://codex.wordpress.org|
Touring the WordPress Dashboard
The WordPress Dashboard has main menu items that are standard across both versions — WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Submenu options may vary with the WordPress version.
|Dashboard||Find basic information and statistics for your blog, as well as information from the WordPress Development Blog and other blogs run by those involved with WordPress development or resources.|
|Posts||Write new posts and edit previous ones. Create categories to organize your posts by topic; upload images; create post excerpts; send trackbacks; manage custom fields.|
|Media||View all media files you’ve uploaded to your blog, including images, audio, video and more. Upload and manage new media files with the built in media uploader.|
|Links||Manage and categorize link lists (blogrolls) on your blog, add new links and edit or delete old ones.|
|Pages||Write and publish new static pages for your blog, and edit or delete previous ones; and assign pages to custom page templates|
|Comments||Manage comments here by viewing, editing, or deleting them; also manage your comment moderation queue and comment/trackback spam.|
|Appearance||Manage your WordPress themes by viewing them, activating them, and editing them in the Theme Editor. Use and configure Sidebar Widgets here, too.|
|Plugins||View a listing of plugins installed in your WordPress blog. Find new plugins, install, activate, deactivate, upgrade and edit them here.|
|Users||Manage your users and subscribers and edit your own profile here.|
|Tools||Import data into your blog from another blogging platform (like Blogger, Typepad or Movable Type) or export your current blog data into a backup file. Upgrade your WordPress software to the latest version using the auto-upgrade feature!|
|Settings||Set the general options for your blog in this section. You find settings for blog posts, RSS feed, discussion options, privacy, and permalinks here.|
Locating a Reliable Web Host
WordPress can host your blog using the WordPress.com hosted service; if you are using the self-hosted WordPress.org software, you need a quality, reliable web host. Below are WordPress-friendly web hosting services: