WordPress is a free blogging tool and also a very efficient content management system. In this article, we will focus on providing useful and informative data for people who want to manage a WordPress powered website. We will also cover troubleshooting questions and how you can walk through them. For clarity, we have put together some common WordPress questions and answers in detail. Now, let us take a step further as we get into the subject of the day.
Seeing that this article is quite lengthy, we have grouped the questions into four different categories, so that you can easily access the content that is relevant to you, whether you are a beginner or have already been using the system.
You can also watch this video that guides you through the process of setting up your own WordPress site:
Beginner’s Guide: Getting Started with WordPress
1. What is WordPress?
A: WordPress is a software in the cloud that initially started as a blogging platform and has evolved into a content management system. It offers a great set of tools which will allow you to create a unique website. It is also great for posting all forms of information including text, images, and video links. With its incredible features including themes, plugins, and widgets, you can change the look and style of your website at any time. WordPress was first released on May 27th, 2003 so it has a long history of serving bloggers, companies, and people just like you.
2. Do I have to know how to program PHP before I can use WordPress?
A: WordPress can be used efficiently without having to alter PHP directly. WordPress themes and plugins are already written to integrate with the WordPress system seamlessly without having to write a single line of PHP code. However, some plugins may require you to alter some code, if that is the case, instructions on how to do so will be stated.
3. How can I start a WordPress Blog?
A: A WordPress blog can be set up both through WordPress hosted in www.wordpress.com or self-hosted on any hosting platform you have. It is easy to install, and there are quick setup guides to help you through the process. There are tons of YouTube videos as well to help answer any questions. If you have a hosting server bought from any web hosting company, the control panel (CPanel) always come with a free WordPress setup option on the dashboard. Some companies do not use a CPanel and have instead their own type of interface to make things seamless.
4. What is the cost of setting up a WordPress site?
A: WordPress is entirely free. However, you will pay for your domain name of your own (e.g. www.yourblogname.com), hosting, and if you buy a premium theme. In many cases, you can get a custom domain name by paying for a hosting account on web hosting companies such as Hostgator, Godaddy and others. However, it is highly recommended that you keep your domain name registration and hosting with different providers. You can get a hosting account for as low as $2.99/month on BlueHost for the first year and with a slight increase in the years to come. You can use NameCheap to pick your domain name. Problem solved!
5. Is it possible to use WordPress without using other blog features?
A: Even though WordPress started as a blogging platform, it has now become a complete Content Management System(CMS) with easy to use plugins that can provide a world of functionality. WordPress has been used to build many business websites, learning platforms, membership sites, and other functions that are beyond what it was initially set up to do.
6. How can I make money from my WordPress site?
A: The list of ways to make money from your WordPress site is endless, and new ways to make money from WordPress site are coming out every day. Starting from affiliate sales, product sales, ad placements, selling online courses, teaching and mentoring, pay-per-click and so on. As I said, the list is endless. It will take time before you can monetize your blog, so the best thing to do is just get started. As you move along, you will pick up on what to do and will learn from your mistakes.
Common WordPress Questions: The Basics
1. How can I select a theme for my Wordpress website?
A: Your theme controls the appearance of your website or blog, it makes up the entire UI. There are numerous free and paid themes available for WordPress sites, so this depends on what you need. First, determine if you want to use a free or paid WordPress theme. Paid themes come with additional support and guaranteed updates. The one that I recommend is Genesis from StudioPress. Genesis provides a framework for you to build upon and there are tons of plugins that are built specifically for the Genesis framework. There is a long list of child themes as well. Next, you should consider your audience, topics, language requirements and compatibility with plugins. However, your WordPress theme should complement the content of your website. For instance, if you are starting a blog, then you should select a theme that improves readability. You should also check that the theme is responsive, multilingual, mobile friendly and is compatible with most browsers.
2. How do I install a WordPress theme?
A: After you have carefully selected your preferred WordPress theme, the next step is to install it. Now, in your WordPress admin area, go to “Appearance>>Themes page and click on the “Add New” Button on the top. On the next page you can search for your preferred theme on the theme directory or if you have your theme as a zip file, all you need to do is click the upload button to select the zip file and install it. If you are just starting out there are many free themes already available for use without the need for you to upload anything.
3. How can I install plugins?
A: Plugins are like applications for your WordPress site. With plugins, you can add information such as contact forms and photo galleries to your site. To install plugins, from your WordPress admin area, go to “Plugins>>Add new page.” Next, search for the plugin you are looking for by typing in keywords or entering the name of the plugin (if you know the name). Click on the install button next to your desired plugin and it will be installed automatically. If you have a paid plugin you can upload it as well. Finally, you will need to click on the activate button to start using the plugin.
4. Which Plugins can I use for my website or blog?
A: There are thousands of plugins available in the free WordPress plugins directory. However, not all of them are great so you have to be careful on which one you use. Look at the ratings, number of installs and other aspects before installing them. Keep in mind that you also want to keep the number of plugins as low as possible without sacrificing functionality. Some great WordPress plugins include Constant contact, Sucuri, MonsterInsughts, WPForms, OptinMonster, Yoast SEO, etc.
5. Why is the “plugins menu” not on my admin panel?
A: This happens when you are using WordPress.com to create your site. It is a blog hosting service that was created by the WordPress co-founder. It is an excellent hosting service, but there are some limitations, and the inability to install plugins is one of them. If you want to install your plugins, then you will have to move your website from WordPress.com to a paid hosting platform such as BlueHost or WPEngine.
6. How can I add blog posts?
A: WordPress comes with two default types of content which are pages and posts. Pages are static and not part of a blog but posts, on the other hand, are part of the blog. Pages are meant for contact forms, about, FAQs and other functions. To add a new blog post, go to “Posts>>Add New “Post and enter your title and post content. If you want to create a new page, go to “Pages>>Add New “Page.
7. How do I use categories and tags?
A: Categories and tags will allow you to organize your site content into topics which make it easier for your users to go through your content. Categories are meant for broader topics along with using sub-categories to further separate them out. For example, on a beauty blog, you can have categories for hair, skin, and facials. Tags, on the other hand, are used for more specific topics that are discussed in a post or article.
8. How can I embed videos in WordPress?
A: It is possible to upload videos directly to your WordPress site, but this is not recommended. Instead, you should use a video hosting service such as Vimeo or YouTube to upload the video, and then embed it into your site by using the code provided by either platform or through a plugin designed to post videos.
9. How can I display photos in rows and columns on my WordPress blog?
A: Now, when you add multiple photos to your WordPress blog or site, by default, they will either appear side by side or on top of each other, which does not look good at all. You can display your photos in rows and columns using various plugins. If you do not have multiple photos you can simply embed the images with the given editor.
10. How can I add a navigation menu in WordPress?
A: A navigation menu holds the main links that can be used to access different sections of your blog. It is usually at the top of the site and some themes have two header menus available. I would avoid the themes that use the menus to the side. Also, be sure that your theme has a mobile-friendly menu as well. WordPress has an easy-to-use menu management system. You can quickly create menus by adding links and displaying them in the locations defined by your WordPress theme.
1. How can I start an online store with WordPress?
A: WordPress powers numerous online stores and e-commerce websites all over the globe. You can add an online store to your WordPress site using an e-commerce plugin for WordPress. This will enable you to sell both physical and digital goods. To start an online store with WordPress you will need an SSL certificate which is essential for accepting payments. There are hosting providers that will provide an SSL certificate for free depending on the hosting solution. CloudFlare also has a flexible SSL as well. There are various plugins to help you with your store by displaying products and providing gateways to accept payments.
2. How can I add an email subscription to my WordPress blog or site?
A: The best way to convert your visitors into subscribers is through MailChimp, Constant Contact, or other list management services. This will allow you to send the content directly to their inbox. There are numerous services and plugins for setting up email subscriptions in WordPress. You can use MailChimp RSS to Email, Aweber RSS to Email or Jetpack subscriptions.
3. How can I get more email subscribers?
A: If your blog or website is new, it may be difficult to convince users to subscribe. You can use one of our recommended plugins OptinMonster and Thrive Leads to increase your email subscribers. Other ways to grow your email list include, using multiple sign-up forms, offer content upgrades, creating multiple lead magnet pages, adding a sign-up call to action on your Facebook page, and using other social media platforms instead of just depending on your blog.
4. How can I find free images for my WordPress site?
A: Images are important because great images will make your blog or site more interesting and hence, your users and subscribers will spend more time on your website. However, you cannot just download and add any image to your website because they may be copyrighted. There are numerous graphic artists and photographers that put their work under free domain so that people like you can access them. You can check out Unsplash, Public domain archive, Public domain pictures, Little visuals or New old stock for free images.
5. How can I create my own images for my WordPress site?
A: If you cannot find a suitable image for your blog on any of the free image platform, you may need to create a custom image for yourself. There are numerous tools you can use to create these images without having to learn graphic design. Some of them include Canva, Visage, Piktochart, Ribbert, infogr.am, Pixlr, Fotor, etc.
6. How can I improve SEO on my WordPress site?
A: Search Engine Optimization is a set of best practices which will allow you to get more traffic to your websites from search engines. WordPress is SEO friendly, but you can also improve SEO on your WordPress site. You can use Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack to make your website more search engine friendly.
7. How do I deal with comment spam?
A: As your blog or website grows, you may start to notice a series of comment spam on your posts. This can be very annoying, and if not handled properly it can take up a lot of your time while also taking away from your page ranking in SEO. However, you can effectively reduce comment spam on your blog using the right tools. For starters, you will need to install and activate the Akismet plugin which will help you monitor your WordPress comments for spam and automatically block them. The next thing to do is to enable comment moderation on your website so that you can approve all comments manually before they appear on the site. To do this, go to “Settings>>Discussion” and scroll down to “Before a comment appears” section. Check the box next to the “Comment must be manually approved” option and “save changes” to store your settings.
1. My WordPress site is slow, how can I speed it up?
A: Having slow website is one of the worst things to happen to your blog since nobody likes to visit a slow website. So many things can make your WordPress blog slow, but I won’t bore you with the details, I’ll just go straight to the solutions. One thing I would recommend is installing a caching plugin, W3 Total Cache preferably. Also, you can consider changing your web-hosting for a better one. If you are using a shared host and your blog gets a lot of traffic, there is every possibility of your website getting slow. Serving out your site through a Content Delivery Network(CDN) is essential if you want to have a super fast website. You should also look into the functionality provided through CloudFlare.
2. How can I fix common WordPress errors on my own?
A: Most errors you’ll encounter on WordPress has already been encountered and solved by some other WordPress user. Your best friend is Google! First thing I will advise you to do is search for the error message on Google and if you are lucky your solution might be sitting there on page one of the results. WordPress also has a support forum where you can search for your solutions or ask other WordPress users and experts what to do. You can go to wordpress.org/support to join the forum.
3. How can I protect my WordPress site from hackers?
A: WordPress is the most used CMS in and that makes it of special interest to some hackers who are out to have fun. But not to worry, you can secure your website by purchasing SiteLock or similar solutions. This will help to keep your website safe and secure while lowering your risk of getting hacked.
4. What should I do when I am locked out of WordPress admin area?
A: Being locked out WordPress admin is not a common problem unless you continue to forget your password again and again. In such cases, there are various reasons as to why it happened. You might have errors like Error Establishing Database Connection, Seeing a white screen in your WordPress Admin, Incorrect Password Issues, Lost Admin privileges, PHP Errors, etc. Either way, I will recommend you search Google for each problem and look for solutions from others in the WordPress support community.