WordPress is a valuable tool for a number of reasons. It is used by individuals and organizations for blogging, but also to create fully-functioning websites.
WordPress is available in a number of versions:
- the free hosted service is where most individuals host their personal WordPress blogs – www.wordpress.com
- the free open-source downloadable version can be used to set up your personal blogging platform. (Note many hosting services nowadays include the functionality to auto-install WordPress for you.) – www.wordpress.org
WordPress is used for much more than blogging. it has the facility to create pages, which means it can be used to build a complete website.
You set up and manage your blog in your Dashboard. Here you can also see your site stats. The left-hand navigation bar provides access to all the other WordPress functionality (as shown in the screenshot below).
Posts is where you can write new and manage existing posts. You can write a post in Visual mode or Text (HTML) mode. You also have a lot of control over when to publish the post, as well as its visibility. If you want a post to remain at the top of your front page, select the Stick this post to the front page box.
Media is where you upload and manage the digital assets you use in your posts and pages.
Pages is where here you can add pages and manage existing pages.
Appearance is where you can find, install and manage your blog themes, add widgets to the sidebars – e.g. that display blog archives or social tools, as well as create custom menus of pages that can also be added to the sidebars.
Plugins is where you can find and install plugins that add extra functionality to your blog, as well as update any existing plugins. There are thousands of plugins that are written by 3rd party developers that you can use.
Settings is where you manage the blog settings. For example, in the Reading settings you can change your blog’s front page to a page rather than a list of posts if you prefer..
Guides & Resources
- What’s The Difference Between Running Your Blog On WordPress.com & WordPress.org?MakeUseOf, March 2013
- Easy WP Guide WordPress Manual, December 2012
- The Ultimate Guide for Choosing A WordPress Theme, WP Kube, January 2013
- Set up your blog with WordPress: the ultimate guide, MakeUseOf, October 2011
- Periodic Table of WordPress plugins
- Creating a e-Portfolio using WordPress, Leicester University
- ePortfolios with WordPress, Helen Barratt