WordPress for Beginners — The Ultimate Guide for 2021

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WordPress is a free and open-source content management system. We will help you provide the ultimate guide to learn  WordPress for beginners. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system, referred to within WordPress as Themes.

WordPress is the simplest, most popular way to create your own website or blog. WordPress was primarily a tool to create a blog, rather than more traditional websites. That hasn’t been true for a long time.

Nowadays thanks to changes to the core code, as well as WordPress’s massive ecosystem of plugins and themes, you can create any type of website with WordPress.

Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

WordPress.Org

WordPress.org, often called self-hosted WordPress, is the free, open-source WordPress software that you can install on your own web host to create a website that is 100% your own.

The WordPress software is open-source, so it is free to download and use.

To use the WordPress.org version of WordPress, you’ll need to have a domain name and web hosting, purchased from a reputable company like Hivalidity.

Most web hosts offer a WordPress “quick install” or done-for-you installations of WordPress to help you get started if you don’t want to install WordPress yourself. WordPress.org is the non-profit foundation of Automatic.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a for-profit service that is powered by the WordPress.org software. It’s simple to use, but you lose much of the flexibility of the self-hosted WordPress.

By default, your website’s URL or domain will include the “WordPress,” like myblog.wordpress.com.

Paid upgrades include a custom domain, Google Analytics integration, and more storage space, the ability to add your own plugins and themes and more.

WordPress.com is owned by Automatic, a company founded by one of the original WordPress creators, Matt Mullenweg.

More about WordPress

WordPress began in 2003 when Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg forked a little-known blogging tool known as B2/cafelog. Little and Mullenweg sought to create a better blogging platform, built on the original B2 code base, but with more robust features and more consistent development.

The result is WordPress. First a tool blogging, WordPress quickly grew to be an extensive content management system (CMS) able to handle a variety of websites.

WordPress is an excellent website platform for a variety of websites. From blogging to e-commerce to business and portfolio websites, WordPress is a versatile CMS. Designed with usability and flexibility in mind, WordPress is a great solution for both large and small websites.

In non-geek speak; WordPress is the easiest and most powerful blogging and website builder in existence today.

WordPress website

A WordPress website is any website that uses WordPress as it content management system (CMS). WordPress powers both the backend of the website (the interface where a user logs in to make changes or add new content) and the fronted (the visible part of the website that your visitors see on the web).

Here are just a few examples of the types of website you can build with WordPress:

1. Blog

A blog is a special type of website devoted to sharing thoughts, photos, reviews, tutorials, recipes and so much more. Blogs usually display the most recently published content first.

2. E-commerce website

An e-commerce website allows you to sell goods or services online and collect payment systems. You can download and install a WordPress e-commerce plugin to extend the default functionally of WordPress so you can have an online store on your website.

3. Business website

Many businesses will benefit from having an online presence in the form of their own website. If your business needs a website for customers to learn about your company and what you have to offer, WordPress is an excellent option. Customers can contact you, ask for a quote, schedule an appointment, and much more.

4.  Membership website

A membership website allows you to put content behind a paywall or an account login. To access pages or posts, users must log in or pay for the content. WordPress can also handle membership websites with additional plugins.

4. Portfolio website

Show off your artwork, design skills, and more with a portfolio website built on WordPress.

5. Forum website

A forum website can be a helpful place for users to ask questions or share advice. Believe it or not, many forum websites run on WordPress.

6. Event website

Hosting an event? WordPress makes it easy for you to share your event details and sell tickets.

7.  E-learning website

Students can take online courses, track their progress, and download resources and much more from an e-learning website. With a special kind of plugin called a WordPress LMS plugin, you can offer online courses from a WordPress website.

8.  Wedding website

Share the details of your big day with a wedding website built on WordPress. With an array of WordPress wedding themes, you can get a website up quickly and easily.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing a WordPress website. WordPress themes and plugins can add new design options and added functionality. Check out WordPress.org for free themes and plugins.

WordPress Features

WordPress Features

As a website building platform and CMS, WordPress boasts an impressive feature set. Here are just a few of the many features of WordPress.

1. SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) begins at a technical level and WordPress delivers an exceptional code base for SEO. SEO allows your website’s content to be found via common search engines such as Google or Bing.

2. Speed: WordPress is a lean website framework that is constantly striving to remove code “bloat” that slows down the loading speed of a website.

3.  Mobile-friendly: Most WordPress themes are now mobile-friendly or responsive out-of-the-box.

4.  Media file library: WordPress includes a built-in media library where you can upload and embed media files such as images or videos into your pages or posts. You can even perform basic edits to your images within WordPress.

5. Easy-to-use user interface: WordPress is very easy to use with no complicated settings. If you can use a WordPress processor, you can use WordPress. WordPress also has a focus on accessibility.

6.  Custom menus: WordPress makes it easy to create navigation menus with links to your pages or custom links.

7.  Built-in blog: Adding a blog to your website is as simple as publishing a post.

8.  New in WordPress 5.0: The WordPress Block Editor- WordPress 5.0 introduced the new Block Editor, also known as the Gutenberg WordPress Editor. The new editor transforms the way you edit WordPress pages and posts. Now you can design and arrange your content with a more flexible “drag and drop” approach.

Benefits of WordPress

If you’re wondering why WordPress is such a widely used website content management system, here are some of the benefits of WordPress as a website platform:

1.  Simplicity: WordPress allows you to publish and build your website content quickly. Even as a beginner, you can easily use WordPress.

2. The cost is free: The actual WordPress software available on WordPress.org is free to download and use. You will, however, need to pay for web hosting and a domain name.

3.  Flexibility: WordPress allows you to create many types of websites from personal blogs and online magazines and newspapers.

4.  Easy to use: If you can use word processing software like Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress to build and manage a website.

5.  Open-source software: WordPress is open-source software that is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), meaning it isn’t owned by a single company or entity. Hundreds of developers and users collaborate and contribute to the software to make it better. The spirit of open-source means constant improvements, accountability and free usage for everyone.

6. No need to know code: WordPress removes the requirement of needing to know how to code in order to build a website. While WordPress utilizes a variety of coding languages, there’s no need to know any of them to use WordPress.

7.  Extendable with WordPress plugins: The core WordPress software can be extended with WordPress plugins. WordPress plugins are bits of software that you can upload to your website to add more features (such as e-commerce, SEO, backups, contact forms and more). There are thousands of free WordPress plugins available on the WordPress.org plugin directory and a thriving premium (paid) plugins industry.

8.  Highly customizable with WordPress themes: WordPress themes provide the design and layout of your website. With a click of a button, you can change the entire look of your website by applying a new WordPress theme. More advanced WordPress are most like WordPress page builders, giving you even more control of your layouts.

9.  Website security: While no website platform is 100% secure, WordPress security continues to improve with a vigilant security team of core developers and users. Common WordPress security issues are usually due to user error, rather than the software itself.

10.  A thriving community of users and developers: When you have a WordPress website, you can also get involved in the greater WordPress community through your local WordPress Meetup,
WordCamps and more. The WordPress community has a reputation of being incredibly welcoming, helping and innovative.

11. A premium plugin and theme industry: While these are loads of free plugins and themes, most serious WordPress website owners invest in premium (paid) or themes.

WordPress Usage Statistics Across the Web

According to usage statistics of content management systems now report that WordPress powers over 60 million websites, or 41% of all websites on the internet and over 60% of all websites whose content management systems are known. Because WordPress is free and easy to use, it has widely adopted as the gold standards for website builders.

Who uses WordPress?

Rest easy, knowing you’re in a good company if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blog, news outlets, music sites, Fortune 500 companies and celebrities are using WordPress, including NBC, CBS, USA Today, Time, Disney, Airbnb, Spotify, TechCrunch and even the Pioneer Woman.

Here are some of our favorite examples:

  1. Whitehouse.gov – The official Whitehouse.gov website is powered by WordPress.

WhiteHouse Website Powered by WordPress

  1. Microsoft – Microsoft uses WordPress to power its official blog. It also uses WordPress to power blogs for specific products like Windows and Skype.

Microsoft Blog Powered by WordPress

How to start using WordPress

Now you’re probably asking, “How do I start WordPress?”
Again, WordPress is free. Yep, that’s right- it’s 100% free. You can get started today with a WordPress website in just a few steps.

You’ll just need a few things to get started with WordPress:
1.  Quality web hosting.
2. A domain name.
3.  The WordPress software installed on your website (most web hosts will handle this for you.)

If you’d rather use the hosted version of WordPress available on WordPress.com, you’ll simply need to create a WordPress.com account to get started.

What is a WordPress Plugins?

A WordPress plugin is a package of additional code that you can upload to your website to add new features, functionally, or integrations.

  • Plugins can be added via the Plugins menu in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Using the built-in search function, you can find a free plugin available on the WordPress.org Plugin directory.
  • Plugins can also be packaged as zip files that you upload through the Plugins menu uploader in your WordPress dashboard.

What is a WordPress Theme?

A WordPress theme provides the design “framework” of your website. Most WordPress themes provide:

  • The overall design (the look, feel and style) of your site
  • Site-wide font styles
  • Color scheme
  • Styles for blog posts and blog archives
  • Page layouts (or templates)
  • Widget locations
  • Additional stylistic details

WordPress for beginners
Some of these are operated like WordPress page builders, allowing you to create your own page layouts without code.

1.  Themes can be added via the Appearance > Themes menu in your WordPress dashboard.
2.  Using the built-in search function, you can find a free theme available on the WordPress.org
3. Themes can be packaged as zip files that you upload through the Appearance > Themes menu uploader in your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress For beginners

WordPress is easy for beginners, yet powerful for developers: As discussed earlier, WordPress is a very easy platform to get started with. It’s very easy to set up and run. Most web hosts come with what are called one-click auto-installers. WordPress is as simple to use as a word processor like Microsoft Word.

What makes WordPress dominate this much?

  • WordPress is free. You can download it right now with no money involved at all.
  • WordPress is open source. It’s a community project built by thousands of volunteers around the globe.
  • Everyone can participate. Everyone can build upon WordPress and help the platform grow even more.
  • WordPress is modern. If some feature is considered “a standard” in website software, you can be sure that WordPress has it.
  • WordPress is versatile. It can run any type of website. No matter if it’s a simple business site, a blog, a photo site, a hobby site, a professional corporate site, a portfolio site, a wedding site, a fitness site, a directory site, even an e-commerce store, WordPress can easily handle it all.
  • WordPress is accessible and user-friendly. It can be used by users with impaired vision with no problem.
  • WordPress works on all screen sizes and devices. You can access your website via a desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone.
  • WordPress is extensible. You can add custom features to WordPress with the help of plugins.
  • WordPress is beautiful. There are thousands upon thousands of free and premium design packages (called themes) available for WordPress. You can install those in a single click.

What happens when you Google “WordPress”?

Goggling “WordPress” is perhaps one of the few confusing things about WordPress.
Here’s the problem; when you Google the term “WordPress” you’ll find two primary results:

1.  WordPress.com
2.  WordPress.org

Even though basic common sense would suggest that both these sites should be the same, there are not.
In fact, they’re very different. Here’s what WordPress when looking at the .org vs. com is;

3.  WordPress.com is a fully commercialized online platform.
4.  WordPress.org is the open-source software project that we’ve been describing above.

How does WordPress work?

Case (a): If you want to build a fully-featured website with WordPress
For that, you need two elements:

  • A domain name- the address of your website; for example, ours is hivalidity.com
  • A web hosting setup-aka. Web server- the place where your website is going to be kept.

Though it might sound technical, getting your hands on both is rather straightforward. There are companies that can register a domain name on your behalf and also grant you access to a web server. They will also take care of installing WordPress for you. One of such companies is Hivalidity.com

Case (b): If you’re not thinking about launching a fully-featured site yet, but just want to experiment with WordPress in a sandbox-like environment, you might to consider installing WordPress on a local server.

Now, the trick with WordPress is that, from a technical point of view, it’s a package of software. Only it’s the kind of software that you don’t install on your own computer directly but instead run through a web server. So if you want to do that locally, you first need to get a local webserver.

How to extend WordPress and change the design

The first thing that most people like to do with WordPress is customizing the default appearance/design of their websites.

As mentioned earlier, WordPress is very easy to extend and modify- both regarding new functionally and design.
First, let’s talk plugins.

Plugins are small pieces of software that can be installed on your WordPress site to extend its built-in set of features. There are thousands of free plugins available on the web. Here are some good starting points:

  • Here’s a list of the essential plugins that all WordPress users should consider.
  • And here’s how to install a WordPress plugin.

Themes are your all-in-one design packages that can change the way your website looks in a couple of clicks. They can be installed on your WordPress website just like plugins.

There are thousands of free themes available here, plus many reputable theme stores that offer premium WordPress themes.

What type of websites can you make with WordPress?

WordPress can power virtually any kind of website, from a simple blog to a full-featured business website. You can even use WordPress to create an online store by using the popular WooCommerce plugin.

WordPress is easy enough that anyone can use it. It’s also deep enough that many web professionals choose WordPress as the starting for custom websites.

Some of the most popular websites in the world are built with WordPress. Take a look at the WordPress Website Showcase, and you’ll see everyone from The New York Times Company to the Rolling Stones using WordPress. WordPress is used widely across nearly every industry, including non-profit.

How do you get WordPress support?

As WordPress’s popularity continues to grow, the community of users and fans is expanding rapidly.
Thanks to its vast open source community, there are plenty of places to get WordPress help when you need it. Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com offer support forums.

Independent training websites (like WP Apprentice) provide support to members. And, of course, there are hundreds of WordPress books to guide you on your WordPress journey.

And if you’d like to connect with the WordPress community in your area, check to see if there’s an upcoming WordCamp event near you. WordCamps are one of the best ways to make connections with WordPress experts in your area.

Why Hivalidity is the best platform to host your WordPress Website?

Hivalidity is a world-class managed WordPress hosting provider powered by Google’s insanely fast, and ridiculously stable cloud infrastructure.

Hivalidity designed and fine-tuned the solution for websites using the world’s largest CMS and e-commerce platform – WordPress and WooCommere, and has a dedicated support team consisting exclusively of WordPress developers.

Hivalidity helps you host your website on Google Cloud which is considered to be the best option for beginners.

7 Reason Why Google Cloud is Best for WordPress Hosting

 

Hivalidity is keenly aware that people — real people with lives, businesses, and families — have entrusted them with keeping their WordPress websites up, safe, and running their best.

That’s why Hivalidity is committed to delivering exceptional performance, a 99.99% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support delivered by real-world experts, access to knowledgebase, and an easy-to-use dashboard to make managing multiple websites as simple as possible.

For details, visit the link: https://www.hivalidity.com/

We are sure, reading WordPress for Beginners guide would give you enough knowledge that you can start your own WordPress Website. So what are you waiting for?

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love Hivalidity’s WordPress hosting platform. Turbocharge your website and get 24/7 support from our veteran WordPress team. Our Google Cloud powered infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance, and security. Let us show you the Hivalidity difference! Check out our plans.

About the author

Vandna Gupta

Vandna helps our customers make the most of their websites' and focuses on our inbound marketing efforts; everything from developing new online growth strategies, content creation, technical SEO, and outreach within the HiValidity community. Her background includes System Engineer, Business Analyst, Product & Social Media Manager, as well as Online Marketing.

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