Getting Used to WordPress

If you’re someone that is just starting to use WordPress, or perhaps you are coming over from a different CMS into the WP world, there are a few things that you may need to get used to.

Here’s a list of 5 things that probably every WP user should know about.

  1. WYSIWIG vs html. WordPress uses what is known as a What You See Is What You Get editor. What that means, is that the built in editor works much like the word processor interface that you are used to using when composing emails using an online email client or whenever you’re typing out a letter to someone. Yes, you do have the option of switching over to an html editor if you prefer to use that, but for the most part, you’ll be using the WYSIWIG (pronounced “whizzy-wig”) editor.
  2. Plugins. Out of the box, WordPress is a very capable CMS, however, there are some things that you just can’t do with the application as it comes. That’s where plugins step in. There are many different plugins for things like forms, SEO, image galleries and to modify the functionality of WordPress. Some plugins require configuration, others do not. The thing to remember, is that if there’s something that you’re trying to do and can’t figure out, there’s probably a plugin that will help you accomplish that.
  3. Themes. Some people call them templates, but whatever you call them, themes are what control the look and feel of your site. Changing themes is as easy as just selecting the theme under the “Appearance” menu. Installing a theme, is as easy as clicking the “Install Theme” link, under Appearance > Install Themes.
  4. Self-hosted vs Hosted. This is probably one of the biggest points of confusion. You always, always need hosting for your WordPress site. The difference come in whether you use the free hosting that WP itself provides, or you pay for your own hosting account. If you use the free hosting, you are limited as to what type of theme and plugins you can use, as well as the type of content that you can post. You’ll also have a website with a “your-site-name.wordpress.com” address instead of a “your-site-name.com” address.
  5. Hosting accounts. Speaking of hosting accounts, if you self-host your blog, you will need to purchase a private hosting account. Nowadays, most webhosting providers support WordPress, so that’s not really a problem. Some webhosts will provide you with a one click install, and others want you to install manually. Just ask to see if the host supports a one click install or not.

Those are 5 things that you may need to get used to if you’re planning on starting a new website or blog using WordPress.

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