Overview of WordPress general functions

Ways to create content

WordPress provides 2 native ways for creating content: posts and pages. Posts are used for creating blog content. Posts can be commented, and have a “blog” format. They are categorized (even if you don’t create any category or associate a post to a category, the post will be associated to a “Uncategorized” category).
Pages are more independent. They are often used to create specific independent pages, as part of a website for example.

In addition there are numerous plugins to create content in another way than posts and pages. For example, this content is made through a plugin, and so it is not using posts or pages.

Quick view of shortcodes

Some themes can come with specific plugins to create your content. For example you may have a theme with which you are going to create specific blocks that will be used in some specific pages of the theme, but you may also have the option to display these block contents in a specific page or post of WordPress. This option can be done with shortcodes. Shortcodes are WordPress shortcuts to a specific content made with a specific plugin. Each plugin can have its own shortcode syntax. Just go to the page or post in which you want to display your content and enter the shortcode with the code specific to the content you have created. It may look like this: [theme-block id=1280].

Shortcodes are very useful as you can create a page by mixing content made through other plugins and display this page wherever you want in your website thanks to the “Menus” of WordPress. (See below)

Appearance > Menus

“Menus” is the tool to organize your content on your website. You may want to create a main menu to display at the top of your website, or a menu to display in your footer or on the left side of some specific pages. In all cases, it starts from the “Menus” menu.

From the left side you can choose which kind of content you want to add to your menu:

appearance-menu-wordpress

You may find other kinds of content to integrate in your menus depending on the plugins you have installed in your WordPress. Indeed some plugins for creating content add  a menu option to your menus with the content made through the plugin.

Pages and posts options are for adding specific pages or posts to your menu.

Categories allow you to integrate a specific post category to your menu. For example, imagine you have 3 categories: “Technical news”, “Developer news” and “Marketing news”. You can thus create a menu like this:

First choose a title for your new menu and save it:

menu-name-wordpress

Choose your categories from the “Categories” option on the left, then click on “Add to Menu”:

categories-menu-wordpress

Then, in order to make of this menu the main menu of your website, you have two ways to do that:

  • By checking the option “Main navigation” in the “Theme location” section:
    menu-settings-wordpress
  • Or by going to the menu “Appearance > Customize” and then you can choose the main menu for your website from the theme customization options.

Save it and here is what you could get:

exemple-menu-wordpress

How to create other menus?

Ok we’ve just seen how to create a main menu, now how to add a menu in the footer or on the left side of your website? You can do that with the Widgets option of WordPress! Just create your menu, then go to the Appearance > Widgets menu. On this page, choose the “Custom menu” widget:

custom-menu-wordpress

 

Click on it and choose at which place of your theme you want to display it:

custom-menu-widget-area-wordpress

 

Then choose the menu you want to display at this place:

custom-menu-select-menu-wordpress

 

Then save, and that’s it, your menu is now displayed at the chosen place on your website.

Appearance > Editor

After you have read a few articles of this blog and practiced a little bit, you may use this section for your own customizations. That’s correct, that’s what it’s all about here, customizations.
So in this section you can see a list of files on the right and the content of the selected file in the center. This is for enabling you to access the content of a specific file and make your own changes. The files listed here are the main files of your theme, so you may not see the file you are searching for a specific customization.

This is the same thing as if you have downloaded the file via FTP from your server to your computer, made your changes and then uploaded it again to your server. It’s just easier because you are modifying directly the file which is on your server without having to download it on your computer and then upload it again to your server.

Plugins

That’s the place for uploading the plugins you may have found on the Internet and you want to use on your website.

To install a plugin, just choose “Add new” and then upload the plugin zip file. Once it is uploaded, choose to activate it.

It will appear on your plugin list. From this list you can choose to:

  • activate/deactivate a plugin
  • update a plugin

Settings

General Settings

In this section you will define your site title and tagline. These items may be used by several items of your WordPress. For example if you use a commerce plugin, it may use this title and tagline for your signature in the purchase receipt email. So choose a tagline with caution as it may be used in all your communication. The other items on this page are quite obvious to set up.

Reading

This page can be quite important if you are using a theme and you cannot manage to get the same homepage as the one displayed in the demo of the theme. First, be sure to read the theme documentation as you may have more information about how to choose the page for your homepage. Otherwise you can use this settings page to choose the suitable homepage. In the section “Front page displays” choose “A static page”, then select in “Front page” the page you want to display.