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Getting Started With WordPress

If you are totally new to WordPress, and even newer to the idea of a PHP driven website, we have the information you need to help you learn about how this all works. The more you understand about the basics, the jargon and terminology, the core structure, and the process, the easier it will be for you to get a grip on what it takes to ask questions about WordPress to get the help you you, and what it takes to customize your new WordPress site.

To start, check out First Steps With WordPress. This article literally holds your hand through the process of your first introduction to WordPress. As you read it, imagine a WordPress Support Forum volunteer is sitting beside you, guiding you through the process of looking at all the parts and pieces and then slowly setting up your site.

If you have a brush of familiarity with websites and website design and structure and you are anxious to just jump in, then begin with New to WordPress – Where to Start as it lists the various articles you will need as you go through the process step-by-step.

New to the whole language, jargon, and terminology of WordPress? There is a lot to learn like the difference between posts, Pages, and single and mutli-post views. Simply put:

  • A web page is any page generated in your WordPress site.
  • A post is a anything that has your blog, article, or general post information entered in the Administration Panels Write Post panel. Posts are listed chronologically by default on the front page, archives, and category views.
  • A Page is a psuedo-static web page that usually hosts information like About, Contact, and other information that is not chronlogical. A Page does not have a category, nore is it viewed on mult-post views.
  • A single post view is a web page that features only the post within the layout of the website. It may or may not show comments on the same page.
  • A multi-post view is a web page that features more than one post on the page such as the front page of the site, archives, and categories.

You can learn more about the terminology and jargon of WordPress in the article on WordPress Semantics.

The transition for many from HTML to XHTML may seem confusing. Basically, HTML is the older brother of the improved XHTML. For a basic overview, see HTML to XHTML for information on what may need to change in your old posts and articles when importing them to WordPress.

One of the most important features of WordPress is the easy ability to enter your blog or article content to your site. You can assign categories to posts, add excerpts, custom fields, and even set your post to be published in the future, so you can work ahead and allow WordPress to automatically release posts so you can get on with the rest of your life and your WordPress website will continue to work for you. You can learn more about writing posts in WordPress at Writing Posts.

And don’t forget, WordPress has a whole group of articles on the WordPress Codex that are the tutorials you need to help you get started. Called WordPress Lessons, they take you step-by-step through setting up your site and customizing each aspect of your new WordPress site including:

There is a lot to learn and if you are a beginner and just getting started, these links and articles should help you get a handle on how WordPress works and what it has to offer you and your readers.

14 Comments

  1. Emi Ireland
    Posted March 16, 2006 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Just one comment — thanks so much for providing all these great WP resources. I’m new to WP and am finding your site VERY helpful.

  2. Posted March 16, 2006 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Only one comment? ;-)

    Thank you for that one. If you’d like to leave more, please leave a message at the sound of the tone.

    Hee hee. Glad to help.

  3. Posted January 7, 2007 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Actually, I still don’t get it. Is this a commercial product or a set of scripts, or what? I clicked on the logo to get here. The layout is nice but first impression is that this might be a blogging centre and/or a product of some sort that can make a blogging centre or blogging client? It’s not so clear.

  4. Posted January 7, 2007 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m not clear what you are asking. Are you asking “What is WordPress?” or are you asking me what my site is about?

    When you are trying to find more information about a site, check the About page to get more information and hopefully, the blogger has provided it.

    Also, look around at all the information on the page and you can usually get a clue about the blog’s subject matter. At the top of my blog I wrote a description of what this blog does:

    Helping you learn more about blogging and WordPress every day with help, tips, advice, and techniques for blogging and using WordPress, and WordPress.com. The blogging help you need. Now.

    I hope that helps.

  5. Posted June 7, 2007 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I am trying to close double spacing between the lines of my post: Philadelphia Public Schools. I have a Cat ‘N the Hat poem but it is double spaced not single. How can I make it single?

  6. Posted June 7, 2007 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    To create “single” lines between each line,<br />
    Put a manual line break after each line.<br />
    You may want to consider changing to the non-Rich Text Editor text<br />
    So you can add the code manually and not suffer vex.

    Okay, so I’m no poet and now you know it. :D

  7. Posted June 7, 2007 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    To Lorelle the poet, who don’t know it. Me? When it comes to WordPress, I’m a dope with no hope. But, since I’m so dopey, is there any way I can email you diropely. (Thats’ directly that rymns)

  8. Posted June 7, 2007 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Information to contact me is on my Contact, but be warned, I do not offer WordPress help privately except through the WordPress forums and my work. But you made me smile anyway.

  9. Posted June 8, 2007 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, okay we’ll work through the forum. That way everyone will see how dopey I am. I don’t know whay you mean when you say you can make single lines by: ,

    Can you be more exact? And how do I change to non-Rich Text Editor? You need to write to me like I’m 10 years old and just starting. Thanks.

  10. Posted June 8, 2007 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Have you read What Do I Do With My New WordPress.com Blog? That will help.

    Under the Profile Panel in your WordPress Administration panels, you can set the default for the Rich Text Editor or not. Even if you are using the Rich Text Editor, along the top is a tab for HTML/CODE depending upon the version you are using. Click that and you will be taken to the HTML editor where you can add your line breaks. Just type them in at the end of each sentence. Very simple.

    One of the biggest problems many beginners have is that they make this all too complicated. It’s really easier than you think. Slow down and just read the screen and take it one step at a time.

  11. Posted June 8, 2007 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, great advice. You have been helpful. It’s appreciated.

  12. Anne
    Posted July 28, 2007 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve been perusing your blog for a while now and think I am almost ready to make the attempt…thanks for providing such a great resource for WP.

  13. Dan Green
    Posted November 14, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m quite interested in WordPress but can’t even take the first step. I click the “sign up now” button, fill out a form with my information and get an error message (copied below).

    The message gives me a “contact us” e-mail address, so I wrote to this address to explain the problem. I got a message back the next day from WordPress.com support with a different link to a sign up page. I signed up again and got the same error message. I wrote for help again and the entire problem repeated itself.

    Lorelle – how do I sign up for a WordPress account? Is this a hint that WordPress is not at all user-friendly?

    The error message:
    “Dagnabit! There’s been an error. Please contact us with your blog address, and report this completely incomprehensible phrase: “error number 497@68.167.249.112” (which means something to somebody, promise!)”

    – Dan

  14. Posted November 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    @Dan Green:

    I’ve reported the error to WordPress.com support, which is what you did and should do again. Hopefully, they will investigate this further.

    WordPress.com and WordPress is exceptionally user-friendly, so sayeth over one million users of WordPress.com and millions of users of the full version of WordPress.

    Personally, I cannot help you with this problem as I do not work with nor for the company and have no access to any administrative areas of WordPress.com. I’m just a blogger, like you will be, with no special privileges. Hopefully, they will get this fixed for you soon. Keep trying and working with them.

    And do use Firefox and not Internet Explorer, as there may be problems with your browser or system that is preventing access from your email account to the blog. Maybe your email account is messing up the link to the blog. I don’t know what the error number means, but they will help you fix this if you keep working with them, and only them.


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