This is the fifth post of my WordPress Complete Tutorial series.

For all tutorials in this series, please visit:

In the previous tutorials, we’ve set up our blog, changed the theme and get all the settings ready. We are going to do some publishing in WordPress today.

Creating & Editing Category in WordPress

Let’s login to the Admin Panel. Before we go for posts, we need to create a category for our posts. Click Categories under Posts section.

WordPress Category

We create a category called, “Testing Category“, it’s a top category, we don’t specify any parent category to it. Most of time we don’t need Description, you can input whatever you want. Click Add New Category.

Now we have two categories, one is the default category, “Uncategorized“, the other is “Testing Category” that we just created.

WordPress Edit Category

Move your mouse cursor to the name of the category, it shows four links. The first and second, “Edit” and “Quick Edit” are for editing, you can change the name of the category.

And then comes the “Delete” links to delete the category. You can’t delete default category where you set in Writing Settings. Posts under the category you deleted will be move to default category if they don’t have any other category.

The last link is “View“, you will find all posts under this category when you click on this link.

Post Editing Page in WordPress

We’ve got our category now, let’s publish our first post. Click Add New under Posts section.

WordPress Post EditingThis is where we add and edit posts. In the middle of the page is the post editor. You can see the title box and text area for content.

There are three useful sections that help us in editing posts.

  • Upload/Insert Media(Red): this is where you upload images and other media for the post. The first icon is for uploading and editing image, we’ll use it all the time.
  • Editor Mode(Blue): Visual mode is what you see is what you get style, it shows everything in the post, like images, videos. And HTML mode shows the HTML code, you can make small modification via editing HTML code, for example, changing the border of a image.
  • Editor Button(Yellow): this will only show in Visual mode. They are useful functions for editing content, like making bold text.

On the right hand side, you can see a Publish section where you can preview your post, save your post as draft and you can also specify when the post should be published.

Categories section shows all categories you have, you can choose which category this post should be, you can choose more than one category and you can create a new category here as well.

Post Tags section is for adding tags for the post. Tags are keywords of the post, you can insert several tags related to your post, so that readers can find the post via these tags.

WordPress Screen Option

On the top right of the page, there is a Screen Option where you can choose what to be showed on this page.

If you theme supports Featured Image, there will be a Featured Image section under Post Tags section, where you can set a thumbnail for the post.

Publish a New Post in WordPress

Let’s try to create a post. Enter whatever you want in the title and text area, and then I will insert a image from my computer, click on Add an Image icon in Upload/Insert Media section, it shows a popup window for adding image.

WordPress Add Image

The first tab is From Computer. You choose a file from your computer and upload to WordPress. The second tab is From URL, means you can insert an online image by provide the URL of the image. Media Library contains files you have already uploaded to WordPress.

Click Select Files to choose an image from computer, upload will automatically start, you see a processing bar showing the percentage of uploading.

When finished, you are able to edit the information of the image.

WordPress Image Editing

It’s recommended to enter Title and Alternate Text, because they are useful for SEO(Search Engine Optimization).

Link URL is what to show when readers click on the image. You can choose None that makes no link for the image, File URL is direct link to the image, we usually use this one, it shows the full size of the image. Post URL is the link to the post where the image belongs to.

Size can be changed in Media Setting. We’ve talked about this in the last tutorial.

Remember to click Insert Into Post to insert the image, if you don’t want to insert, click Save All Changes.

Here is the result.

WordPress Post Testing

Choose “Testing Category” as category of the post and insert some tags. You can input tags one by one or all together with comma to separate.

WordPress Tags

Last thing I want to talk about is Permalink right under the Title. This is the link of the post, you can change it by click on the highlighted part. It’s a important element for SEO, you should use some main keywords of the post, skip those meaningless word like “to”, “and”, “an”.

Ok,  everything is ready, click Publish. Refresh our blog to see the new post.

WordPress New Post

You see the new post under the category of “Testing Category” with two tags of “Testing” and “WordPress”

Let’s go back to Admin Panel, click All Posts under Posts section.

WordPress Manage Post

You can see all you posts with some basic information. This is where you manage them, you can delete or edit several posts at once via Bulk Actions. You can use Quick Edit to modify basic information of the post, like Tags, Categories. Or you can click on Edit to change a post content.

Editing Post Tags in WordPress

Let’s go back to Admin Panel, I want to talk about post tags.

Click Post Tags under Post section.

WordPress Post Tag

This is quite similar with Categories page. You can add or delete tags here. Deleting tags will not cause the posts to be deleted.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you’ve learn:

  • Managing Categories.
  • Managing Post Tags.
  • Publishing and Managing Posts

You are able to write your blog posts and publish them to the world now. And in the next tut, we’ll learn how to manage Links, Pages and Comments.

This is the forth post of my WordPress Complete Tutorial series.

For all tutorials in this series, please visit:

We have our blog created and a nice theme installed. The layout of the blog is basically ready, so we are going to talk about some other settings of WordPress.

General Settings

Let’s go to Admin Panel(http://YourBlog.com/wp-admin), we will take a look at Settings section. The first Item is General settings.

WordPress General Settings

Here are the basic settings of the blog. You can change the name of the blog(Site Title), your slogan(Tagline), timezone and date time format.

Writing Settings

These are the settings for writing and publishing content.

WordPress Writing Settings

Size of the post box is the size of the editor, 20 lines means you can type 20 lines in text area, there will be a scroll bar when you pass 20.

Formatting is about graphic emotion and XHTML formating. It’s not recommended to check the second option.

Default Post Category and Default Link Category sets which category to used when a post/link is not specified to any category.

Press This is a tool let you easily grab content from other website and post it to your blog, you can try it out following the instruction.

Post by email: there is a detail instruction can be found here.

If you host your own WordPress blog, you’ll see some other settings in this section, like Remote Publishing and Update Services. we’ll leave them to later when we talk about self-installed WordPress blog.

Reading Settings

Reading settings are about what to be showed to readers. You can set how many posts to be displayed on the home page and how many in RSS feed.

WordPress Reading Settings

Email Settings is only available on WordPress.com, it’s a email sent to your subscribers. You won’t find this in self-hosted WordPress blog.

Discussion Settings

There are a lot of options in this section. They are mostly self-explained. We’ll go through the most useful items.

WordPress Discussion Settings

Default article settings: you should check all three items of this part.

Other comment settings: these are optional and personal, choose what you like. I suggest you to check the first item, ““, this make sure you can communicate with commenters.

The second item, “

E-mail me whenever: it’s better to check “A comment is held for moderation“, it will send a email to you when a comment is held for moderation, you should either approve it or delete it. You should reply to comments as soon as possible. This will make commenters feel like you’re concern about them.

Before a comment appears: check “Comment author must have a previously approved comment“, this means you need to approve the first comment by a commenter, if one has a comment approved before, his comments will be showed automatically, you don’t need to approve them again.

Avatar: is an image that represents you. WordPress uses Gravatar service. This service allows you to use your avatar in different websites/blogs without uploading again. WordPress will recognize your avatar via email. So if you set up your Gravatar with the same email on your blog, you can see your avatar here.

Default avatar is for those who have no Gravatar/Avatar.

Media Settings

Media settings are about images and videos.

WordPress Media Settings

You can set default image sizes, there are three types of image size, you will be able to choose them from editor.

Auto-Embeds: will convert video URL into a video. For example, you post a link of a video on YouTube in your post. WordPress will embed the video into the post, so that you can watch it on the blog.

Privacy Settings

There is only one option in privacy settings, it’s about visibility of your blog.

WordPress Privacy Settings

Conclusion

There are some other settings I didn’t talk about, because they are only available on WordPress.com. If you install a blog on your own server, you won’t see them. So that I skipped them, and I guess you can figure them out by your won, if you’ve got any questions, feel free to comment here.

And there is one more important setting, Permalinks, that I didn’t cover, because it’s not available on WordPress.com, I’ll talk about this later in this series.

This is the third post of my WordPress Complete Tutorial series.

For all tutorials in this series, please visit:

In the last post, we created a blog on WordPress.com. We will continue working on that blog, the topic of today is the themes.

Change Your Theme

How the blog is displayed is based on the theme used. Let’s go to the blog we created, ZackLive.WordPress.com, At the bottom of the page, we can see this blog is using a theme called, Wu Wei which is designed by Jeff Ngan. Let’s try some other themes.

WordPress.com Themes

Go back to Admin Panel, you can visit Admin Panel by adding wp-admin to your blog’s URL, in this case, it will be: http://zacklive.wordpress.com/wp-admin.

Click Appearance->Themes. There are a lot of great themes listed here. Most of them are free to use, some Premium themes require you to purchase.

We go with some popular themes. Click Popular under Browse Themes in the middle of the page. These are the most popular themes on WordPress.com. You can find some well-designed themes here. We will try INove theme for this time.

Scroll down the page to the bottom, you’ll find INove theme. Or type INove in the search box to find it.

WordPress.com INove Theme

It shows the name of the theme, a short description and tags. Tags describe the features of the theme, such as two-columns, right-sidebar.

Now click on Preview to see how it works for your blog, or click on Activate to use this theme. I’ve activated INove theme, let’s see what’s the difference.

WordPress.com Blog Theme

A totally new blog! Just one click you’ve got a new design of your blog. And it’s all free, what can be better?

Sidebar and Widgets

You may notice that INove has a right sidebar, which is different from the default theme. We can edit the sidebar from Admin Panel.

WordPress.com Widgets

Click Appearance->Widgets.

Widget is one of the most amazing things of WordPress. It’s a small tool which contains different features, such as showing latest posts. You can add or remove these widgets to your blog by drag-and-drop. You don’t need to edit any code to change the layout of your blog.

Widgets are usually used in sidebar. Sidebar is like a container for widgets, you put widgets into a sidebar so that the widgets can be functional.

Some themes have only one sidebar, others may have several, there is no limitation to the number of sidebars, it’s all based on the design of the theme.

INove theme has one sidebar, right sidebar. You can drag-and-drop your favorite widgets into it. It’s better that we put some thing that will help readers to find out more about our blog in the sidebar. Like Categories, Recent Posts and so on.

After modifying the sidebar, we need to refresh our blog to see how it works.

WordPress Sidebar

We’ve got the new sidebar now. If you want to remove any widget, just drag and drop it off the sidebar area.

WordPress Menu

Let’s set up the menu for the blog.

Go to Admin Panel, click on Appearance->Menus.

Wordpress Menu

The left hand side is inactivate, because there is no menu for now. We can create a menu by entering a name for the menu and click Create Menu. Here we use “My Menu” as the name.

WordPress Menu

Ok, we’ve got our menu. We need to allocate the menu to theme – select a Theme Location for the menu. There is only one menu location in this theme, the Primary Navigation. We choose My Menu for this location and click Save.

WordPress Menu Item

We can set up items for the menu now. The first item we need is a Home button which is a link back to the home of the blog. We will add a Custom Link to the menu. Enter the URL of the blog, in this case, it’s “http://zacklive.wordpress.com” and “HOME” as Label. Click Add to Menu.

We have our first item for the menu, let’s add more. Check the Page of “About” and click Add to Menu. Do the same to our only category, “Uncategorized”. So that there are three menu items. We can edit and remove them by clicking the triangle on the items.

WordPress Menu Edit

Remember to click Save Menu when finishing editing. Refresh the blog to see the new menu.

WordPress Blog Menu

Everything works fine.

Concludesion

In this tutorial, you learned:

  • Changing WordPress Theme
  • Editing Sidebar and the concept of Widget
  • Editing Blog Menu

In the coming tutorial, We’ll go through other settings of WordPress.

This is the second post of my WordPress Complete Tutorial series.

For all tutorials in this series, please visit:

I am going to guide you to register a free blog on WordPress.com today. We will use this blog as a testing blog, you can try out the power of WordPress with it.

WordPress.com is a blog service website run by the company behind WordPress, Automattic. They offer free and paid blog service powered by WordPress.

Register a Blog on WordPress.com

This is the homepage of WordPress.com, it shows latest posts on WordPress.com. You can select your language from the drop down box on the top right.:

WordPress.com Homepage

To get our free blog, click on Get Started Here. You need to provide some information about your blog.

WordPress.com Signup

The first thing is to select your own domain, you can use a domain under WordPress.com for free, which is like: YourName.WordPress.com. Or you can register a .COM/.NET/.NET here. WordPress.com will host your both your domain and blog. It’s very convenient, you don’t need to worry about the setting of your domain. The only thing is that it’s a little bit expansive, $17 per year, usually a domain company charges for a price under $10.

Here we choose WordPress.com to get a free account. I use ZackLive.WordPress.com as my domain, and ZackLive for username. And then enter your password and email. You can select your language in the drop down box as well.

After clicking Sign Up button, a activate email will be sent to your email, you need to click the link in the mail to activate your blog:

WordPress.com Activate email

You will be redirected to the Dashboard of your blog’s admin panel.

Dashboard of a WordPress Blog

Here you will see the basic information of your blog, like how many posts and comments on your blog. You can drag and drop to re-arrange the Dashboard, and you can select what to be showed in Screen Options on the top right.

WordPress.com Dashboard

The video provided by WordPress.com is the best way to understand the Dashboard.

Let’s check out our blog.

Your First WordPress Blog

You can visit your blog by clicking on My Blog on the top Admin Bar. Or directly type your URL in your browser, for my blog that will be zacklive.wordpress.com:

WordPress.com My blog

On the top of the page, you can see a Admin bar, that can only be seen by the owner of the blog. You can use it to go back to Dashboard or publish a new post quickly.

Right below the Admin bar is the blog Menu. We have two links, Home and About. You can change this in your admin panel(Appearance->Menus).

The big title, zacklive, is the name of my blog, and followed by a default slogan, “Just another WordPress.com site“. You can change these in your admin panel(Settings->General).

And here comes the post, you can see the post title(Hello World!), publish date and content. Post category is under the post.

There is a blank area at the bottom, that’s where sidebar is placed. There are usually three kinds of sidebars: Left, Right and Footer sidebar. For this theme, we have footer sidebar(at the bottom of the page), you can edit sidebars in admin panel as well(Appearance->Widgets).

Conclusion

So you have your first WordPress blog, you can try it out in Admin Panel.

In the next tutorial, I’ll show you how to work with themes to make your blog looks better.

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to talk to me via comment.

WordPress Complete Tutorial 01: Introduce WordPress

This is the first post of my Complete WordPress Tutorials series. For all tutorials in this series, please visit:

What is WordPress?

I suppose you have the concept of blog, or you can figure it out in Wikipedia.

WordPress is originally designed for blog, but now it becomes a full-featured CMS(Content Management System) , which means you can create all kinds of websites with WordPress.

So if you want to have your own personal website(blog), or you’re looking for a tool to create and manage your websites(CMS), I will suggest you to try WordPress. It’s one of the most popular CMS and blog platform in the world(Top 3 CMS: Drupal, WordPress, Joomla) .

Full features of WordPress is described here. And here are some of my favorites:

  • Everything of a Blog: Post, Page, Comment, Trackback, Tag…
  • Theme and Plugin System: Theme and plugin are separated from the core. So that you can change as many themes as you want, or install plugins to get new features without changing(re-installing) WordPress.
  • Easy to update: You can upgrade WordPress, themes and plugins with one click in Admin panel, rather than re-installing or uploading files.

Why You Need a Blog?

There are a lot of blog posts telling you why you need a blog. I’d like to suggest you to read this post by Mark Suster. He’s talking about startups, but you can figure out the power of blog, here are two examples from that post:

Example 1 : Mint.com

Think Mint.com. In their early days they had an enormously effective blog on the topic of personal financial management. They created a reason for their customers to aggregate on their site on a regular basis. They became both a thought leader in the space as well as a beautifully designed product. They created inbound link juice on topics that drove more traffic to their site. Type “personal financial management” into Google.  Mint.com is the second result. Smart.

Example 2: Magento

Think Magento. They are an open-source & SaaS provider of eCommerce solutions. They are the fastest growing player in the world in this space. They achieved all of this before they raised even a penny of venture capital. eCommerce is an enormously competitive search term. Yet type it into Google and the third result (behind the Wikipedia entry and ecommerce.com) is Magento. Magic. They did it by creating a blog, discussion board and hub for eCommerce advice and information.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com

WordPress.org and WordPress.com

There are two WordPress websites: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

What’s the difference?

WordPress.org is for the open source project of WordPress. Here you can download your own copy of WordPress and install it on your server. And there are a lot of great themes and plugins can be found here.

WordPress.com is a blog service website run by the company behind WordPress, Automattic. They offer free and paid blog service powered by WordPress. You can have a WordPress blog by signing up on their website. The disadvantage  is less flexibility. You can’t edit everything, and they have limitation on themes and plugins.

That’s It for Lesson One

I guess that’s enough for the first lesson. In the next post, I will guide you to go through WordPress.com. You will understand how to blog in WordPress.