One of the best solutions to create a website, either a musician, business, online shop, church or any other kind is to use the most popular and easy to use content management system named WordPress created by Automattic in 2003. The CMS is open source created using the PHP programming language and the MySQL database having more than 43.000 plugins, most of them free and more than 15.000 themes, some of them with plugins included.
You can install WordPress in a couple of minutes either using an FTP client such as WinSCP, FireFTP or Filezilla together with a Mysql database or using the automatic installing script Softaculous, this being the easiest way to install WordPress.
After installation, you can use multiple themes and plugins to enhance your website and you can create a very useful and interesting one without needing to know programming, but for advanced users and programmers, you can enhance furthermore your website by making custom themes and plugins or just by modifying the ones that already exist.
WordPress Dashboard Review
After you log in to your dashboard, or more commonly known as the control panel, you have access to a lot of features starting with stats regarding the number of articles, pages, recent posts. Here you can see recent news regarding WordPress and you can create a quick draft writing the title and what you want to do. There are also available some screen options where you can check what you want to see on your screen, this option being available for each section of your dashboard.
The second option on the dashboard is about articles where you can see all written articles even if they are published, on draft or pending and you can sort them by title and date. Here you can see not only the date and the title of the written articles but also the authors, categories, and tags together with the number of comments if there are any.
You can use multiple tools for one or more articles by checking the ones you want to edit or delete and in order to add a new article, you just press the add article button from the black menu and then write down the title, the content, the categories and the tags. Depending on the theme you use, you can also upload one featured image and select the article type.
The Article editor is almost the same with the page editor and resembles with the Word one, but you can also save the article as a draft, publish it, delete it or put a password on it in case that there are more authors on the website. There is also available a visual editor where you can use features like Word and the text one where you can see the source of visual editor and write down HTML, CSS and JS code.
The Categories section of the articles has a list of categories together with a description and the number of articles that have the specific category. Here you can also edit, delete or add and you can also put a parent category if it is the case.
The third part of the WordPress dashboard is the Media one where you have all the media you uploaded from images, documents and so on and where you can add new media or sort them after months, type of media or you can search them by name. Each file, especially the images can be edited the modifying title, legend, description, alt text and you can even edit the image by cropping and so on. At every file, you can delete, get a short link or edit the long one as you wish.
The last part are the Tags where are similar with the categories so you can see the list of tags with the number of articles they have and you can delete, add or edit one, additionally you can see the most popular tags, but, unlike the category section you cannot put a parent tag.
Files can be added through the multi-file uploader with drag and drop or browser button or the browser’s uploader by selecting the file.
The Page section is the same as the article section where you can also see the trash, but you don’t have categories or tags, in rest the editor is the same and also the status of the page: publicized, private, draft, password protected.
The Comment list is similar also with the article, you can see those in waiting, approved, spams and trash, and also you can filter them after authors, reply to and send to or after types of comments: real comments or just pings. Here you can see also the IP, e-mail address and the date for each comment.
In the Appearance you can see themes that are already installed. You can search new ones filtering after colors, name, and specific features. It is possible also to customize in real-time depending on the selected theme. Modifying the header, the footer, the sidebar, the layout and the content area as you want. Set up widgets to the available widget zones: menus, calendars, category and others. You can create custom menus as well and place them in different widget zones. The available widget zones are dependent on theme you choose.
In the appearance, you can see additional options of the theme such as header, background edit CSS and editor where you can customize furthermore the layout and specific theme parts.
The Plugins section are vital for your WordPress site because you can see all installed plugins either active or deactivate. You can also edit them using the Editor, update them, delete them and sometimes use their settings. To add new plugins you just press add a new button and search the one you need.
The Users section is where you offer other people access to your website making them administrators, subscribers, contributors, authors or editors and here you can see the number of posts they wrote or to edit/ delete their profiles. You can even edit your own profile here.
The Tools section has a bookmarklet used to share articles from other websites to your own website or you can import and export the content to various other platforms such as Blogger, Livejournal and so on.
The last section is the Settings page. Here you can set general settings, where you have control over titles, taglines, URLs, admin email and membership. Here you can set the date format, time format, the language of the website and the starting day of the week. In the Writing section you choose default post category, default post format, different options for posting via email and update services.
The Reading settings are especially useful for your visitors. Here you can choose what the front page, the number of blog posts per page, and search engine visibility. The Discussion settings are also for your website’s users. You can disable or enable the commenting option for the visitors. It is possible to choose different comment layouts with avatar or without. Moderation type of comments is also set here.
The Media settings are all about image sizes and organizing uploaded files. The Permalink settings is for having nice and user-friendly links through your website.
The dashboard admin bar
In WordPress, once you are logged in, you have access to a dashboard admin that always appears on the top and you can use it to see your front-end website, the dashboard, the updates you need to do, the number of comments, to create a new article, page, media or user or to go to documentation and support for WordPress problems.
The text editor
The WordPress text editor is similar with the Microsoft Word, but you can also write code if you choose the simple text editor which accepts HTML, CSS and JS codes but also has a number of useful buttons such as add media, bold, link, quote, code, more, lists buttons, delete, insert, image button or you can use it like in Word if you choose the visual editor where you have even more buttons available some of them similar to the text editor: add media, bold, delete, lists, quotes or new ones such as font size, font color, underline, links, indent and so on.
In the end, with the WordPress Dashboard, you can either transform your website to a blog, an online shop or everything else in a couple of minutes, or you can write a lot of content making a beautiful and large community around your website.
If you are looking to build a website with WordPress, I suggest reading our linked tutorial. I highly recommend checking out the page with recommended WordPress hosting providers, if you are looking for a reliable hosting service for your WordPress blog or website.