Getting Familiar With The WordPress User Interface (Part 2 of 2)

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In the previous post, we looked at went through the following sections of the WordPress user interface:

Next we will be looking at:

Appearance

This is where you will be able to make changes to the look and feel of your blog.

Depending on what theme you’ve installed, you might have more options available.

By default you will have the following options available:

Themes

This where you can install and activate your themes.

We discussed how to do this in a previous post.

Customize

This is where you will find a visual editor for making changes to your theme such as Site Identity, Menus, Widgets and more.

WordPress customize
WordPress customize

The purpose of Customize is to see your changes in a live preview before publishing them.

Widgets

Here you will be able to add widgets to your theme, but what are widgets?

Widgets are blocks that you can use to change parts of your theme.

For example, the Twenty Seventeen theme for WordPress comes with three widget-ready regions namely, a blog sidebar and two footer regions.

WordPress widgets
WordPress widgets

What types of widgets are there?

And many more…

You can either drag and drop a widget to assign it to a region.

Or click and assign it to a region.

Assign WordPress widget
Assign WordPress widget

You can assign as many widgets as you want to a region.

Menus

This is where you will be able to create menus for your blog and place them.

By default there will be no menu, so you will need to create one by giving it a name.

Create WordPress menu
Create WordPress menu

Once you have given it a name, click on Create Menu.

Now you will be able to assign items to your menu such as:

To add an item to your menu, select the item and click the Add to Menu button.

If your theme supports children menu items, you can items underneath each other.

A child item will be indented.

WordPress menu structure
WordPress menu structure

Under your Menu Structure, you will find your Menu Settings.

This where you can also automatically add any new parent pages to your menu by enabling Automatically add new top-level pages to this menu.

And you can select the placement of your menu.

The placements that are available will be related to the theme you are using.

The Twenty Seventeen theme offers two placements, Top Menu and Social Links menu.

WordPress menu settings
WordPress menu settings

If you are unsure of where your menu will be displayed, you can assign the placement in the Customize setting to see it in the live preview before publishing.

Once you are happy with your menu, you can click Save Menu.

If there is more than placement available for menus, you can create more than one menu and use them in different places.

Editor

We will be going into more detail about the Editor and how a WordPress theme fits together and what it involves in a future post.

For now we will be skipping this.

Plugins

You might be wondering if plugins and widgets are the same thing, they are actually quite different.

Just to re-iterate, widgets are blocks that can be used to change various regions of your theme and your theme also needs to have widget-ready regions.

Plugins are different in that they don’t require your theme to support them but they should be compatible with your version of WordPress.

Plugins provide extra functionality to enhance WordPress and your blog.

To see what plugins have been installed by default, hover over Plugins and click on Installed Plugins.

WordPress installed plugins
WordPress installed plugins

In the next post we will be installing the essential plugins for your blog.

Users

To see the list of users on your blog, hover over Users and click on All Users.

At the moment, you should only see your account as an administrator.

WordPress users
WordPress users

What is an administrator?

An administrator account has permissions to change anything in WordPress.

What other types of users do you get?

To create a new user, just click on the Add New button.

You will need to fill in the details for the user such as their username, password, etc.

By default, you can leave the option enabled to inform the user that their account has been created.

Your profile

You can also update your own personal details such as email address, display name, bio and profile picture in this section.

To update these details click on Your Profile under Users.

WordPress your profile
WordPress your profile

These details can be used in various places depending on your theme, except for personal things such as your email address.

Tools

We’ve already looked at the tools available in WordPress in a previous post.

This is where you can export and import content.

If you are not aware, the EU recently enforced a new law that is aimed to protect the data of users, namely General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.

In accordance with GDPR, you can export any user account data if requested by that person.

You can also erase any account data here.

WordPress tools
WordPress tools

Settings

As the name suggests, this is where you will be able to change various settings for your WordPress blog.

To get started, hover over Settings and click on General.

General

You want to make sure your Site Title and Tagline is right.

WordPress general settings
WordPress general settings

You can go through the other settings here, but the defaults should be fine for now.

Writing

Here you will be able to change settings that is related to creating posts, such as the default category and format.

WordPress writing settings
WordPress writing settings

If you have a category that you will use often, I suggest changing the default category to that here.

Reading

The first setting you can change is what type of homepage do you want for your blog, you can either have all your latest posts or a static page.

You can choose a static page for both your homepage and posts.

WordPress reading settings
WordPress reading settings

This might sound confusing so let me explain.

You might want your homepage to have more than just your lastest posts (this doesn’t mean that it won’t have posts at all) then you can choose a static page you’ve created.

If you choose a static page for your homepage, you might still want a page that displays only your posts, which is why you can set a posts page as well.

As we mentioned in the previous post, when creating a page you can choose a page template.

Depending on the theme you are using you might be able to choose a homepage template and a posts page template.

You will then be able to choose those pages here.

Just below your homepage settings, you can also choose how many posts you want to be displayed.

By default this is set on 10, so it will only show your 10 latest posts that you’ve published.

The Syndication feeds show the most recent and For each article in a feed, show is related to the RSS feed for your blog and you can leave the default settings as they are.

WordPress reading settings
WordPress reading settings

Make sure that the setting Discourage search engines from indexing this site is disabled because you want search engines to index your blog so that it will show up in the search engine results.

Discussion

These settings are for comments on your blog.

The default settings do the job, so we won’t be changing anything here.

If you want to know more, you can browse through them.

Media

Here you can change the default sizes of images that you upload to your Media Library as well as the way they are organized.

Unless there is a special reason, you can also leave the default settings as they are.

If you don’t want your media files to be organized according to the month and year they were uploaded, you can deselect the Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders option.

WordPress media library organization setting
WordPress media library organization setting

Permalinks

This is the setting where you can change the structure of your inbound links.

Inbound links are any internal links, when you link from a page to a post or from one page to another.

The default setting should be Day and name, which is not the best for SEO because it can create long and confusing links.

WordPress permalinks setting
WordPress permalinks setting

Instead you can change it to Post name.

So instead of your links looking like this:

http://becomeawppro.com/2018/06/07/sample-post/

They will look like this:

http://becomeawppro.com/sample-post/

Privacy

Also to tie in with GDPR, WordPress added a Privacy setting which can help you setup a Privacy Policy page for your blog.

And we are now done with the WordPress interface.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry we will be re-visiting some these settings in later posts and the more you use it the easier it will become.

Summary

In this post, we looked at the user interface of WordPress from changing the look and feel of your blog to updating settings.

Next, we will be looking at Installing & Configuring The Essential Plugins For Your WordPress Blog.

If you want to stay up to date with the Become A WordPress Pro series, please make sure you subscribe.

Thank you for reading and please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

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