Install WordPress

Quick & Easy Setup Guide

Last updated on November 21, 2020 by Janz Nordman

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This setup guide has been composed based on the classical WordPress installation process and may differ from WordPress.com environment.

Step 1 Install a New Theme

You can make your website look excellent by installing either a free theme from the WordPress.org themes directory or uploading any theme from a 3rd party theme marketplace. When you set up an online store, please consider installing the Porto Multipurpose & WooCommerce Theme for your e-Commerce store.

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WordPress Admin Appearance Step

Step 2 Install Another Page Builder Plugin Optional

Since version 5, WordPress includes a next-generation page builder called Gutenberg. Though you can use your own favorite page builders like SiteOrigin, Elementor, or anything else, I highly recommend using Gutenberg blocks when you need a simple and fast website.

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WordPress Admin Page Builder Step

Step 3 Add Pages to Your Website

Pages are generally for non-chronological and hierarchical content like About or Contact. They live outside of the normal blog chronology and are often used to present timeless information about yourself or your website. You can use pages to organize and manage the structure of your website content.
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Step 4 Add Posts to Your Website Optional

When you create a post in WordPress, it’s the same as writing a regular blog entry on your timeline. By default, posts appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s landing page. You can freely skip this step when blogging doesn’t belong to your plans.
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Step 5 Customize Your Theme

In short, every modern WordPress theme allows you to polish the appearance of your website. Through the customization, you can add a personalized touch to make your website more unique and desirable for your audience.
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Step 6 Install the Optimization and Security Plugins Optional, Advanced

NB! Skip for Quick Website Setup

You can enhance and speed up your website by installing any of the dedicated WordPress plugins created for this purpose. For example, please take a look at the Smush Plugin for image optimization or WP Rocket Plugin for WordPress caching. Use Wordfence Security Plugin to protect your website from the dangerous threats. Besides, Akismet Plugin helps you block spammers.
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Step 7 Setup CDN Solution to Speed up Your Website Optional, Advanced

NB! Skip for Quick Website Setup

I strongly recommend installing Cloudflare CDN to your environment when setting up WordPress. Though there are many other excellent CDN providers on the market, Cloudflare has many great features additionally that you can apply on your website.
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Appearance

It’s really important to make your site looking great in terms of User Experience and Engagement. Through the various submenus, you can change the way how your website looks and behaves. Because each theme may have a different set of features, you should try out more than one theme before choosing the most suitable one.

Appearance > Themes

WordPress Admin Appearance Themes

WordPress always comes with the default theme installed for you. You can explore the default or install a new one of your choice.

WordPress Admin Appearance Themes Install

You can add a new theme by either uploading one or clicking on „Add New“. In this guide, we will proceed with the search option. You can type your favorite theme name in the search box and click on „Install“ button to install selected theme to your environment. The final step is to press on „Activate“ to enable the corresponding theme for you.

Recommendation for Advanced Users

Always consider carefully before installing any new theme. Themes code quality may vary and there are lots of bad quality software out there that doesn’t meet the best practices and/or official standards. Take a look at the user reviews written by other users and try out official demos prior to installing a new WordPress theme, and do not keep any inactive themes in your environment as this increases the backup size.

Appearance > Customize

WordPress Admin Appearance Customize

On the left, you can find sidebar menu where you can change the different settings of your website. On the right side, you can see your website’s live preview. When you change anything on the left side you can instantly see your changes on the right side. Can it be any cooler? I simply suggest to take a tour and go through as many settings as possible to get some clue what can be set and where you can do that. One more thing, don’t get yourself lost in this labyrinth, please.

The bottom on the left you can find three device preview icons. You can preview your website for desktops, tablets, and mobiles. This feature gives you an idea of whether your website is designed responsively enough. When everything looks awesome you can “Publish” your changes to the World Wide Web. By the way, you can find the “Publish” button next to the “cog” on the top. You can also decide whether you would like to “Publish” everything now, “Save Draft” or “Schedule” for publishing later. It’s all up to you.

Note

The customization page may display differently for you as this is directly related to the theme installed on your WordPress. However, the setup and principles are the same for all themes.

Plugins

Plugins > Installed Plugins

WordPress Admin Plugins

Here you can activate, deactivate, delete and install corresponding plugins of your choice. By default when you install any WordPress plugin the first time, they are not activated yet. Click on „Activate“ to enable it, “Deactivate” otherwise. You can always click on „Delete“ whenever you would like to remove any plugin. There may be more options depending on the plugin installed to click on. Please feel free to try everything out yourself.

Recommendation

Always consider carefully before installing any new plugin to WordPress. Ask yourself whether you really need it. Maybe some other plugin has similar functionality bundled already? Installing fewer plugins is always a better option in terms of performance.

Plugins > Add New

WordPress Admin Plugins Install

You can add a new plugin by either uploading one or clicking on „Add New“. In this WordPress installation guide, we will proceed with the search option. You can type your desired plugin name in the search box and click on „Install Now“. Before that please make sure that the current plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. Incompatible plugins may cause issues or significantly slow down your website. I also strongly do recommend reading reviews because there may be some valuable feedback given by other users. You have been warned! Finally, you can „Activate“ your plugin.

Recommendation for Advanced Users

Whenever possible try to measure the performance before and after the new plugin is installed. Plugins code quality may vary and there are lots of bad quality software out there that doesn’t meet the best practices and/or official standards.

Pages

Pages > All Pages

WordPress Admin Pages

Here you can see all your available pages. When you have too many of them then you can filter them like „All“, „Published“, „Draft“ and „Trash“. You have even option to „Filter“ by date for faster lookup. Most of the time you’ll work with draft versions, but sometimes you would like to update some existing pages also. On the top-right corner, you can use the search box and click on „Search Pages“ when you have inserted any keywords.

Note

By default, there’s no way to add categories and tags to pages. After installing Category Tag Pages plugin you can also set categories and tags to your pages and get some overview of how your content is grouped together.

Pages > New Page

WordPress Admin Pages Add New

On the new page view, you can add a new page title and start adding content. You can use + icon in the upper-left corner to add new blocks for your page.

Block is the component to add content in the new WordPress block editor. There are many different block types you can use for your content. Below you can find a standard list of blocks that are available:

Common Blocks

  • Paragraph
  • Image
  • Heading
  • Gallery
  • List
  • Quote
  • Audio
  • Cover
  • File
  • Video

Embeds

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • WordPress
  • Spotify
  • Vimeo
  • Many more…

Formatting

  • Code
  • Classic
  • Custom HTML
  • Preformatted
  • Pullquote
  • Table
  • Verse

Widgets

  • Shortcode
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Latest Comments
  • Latest Posts

Layout Elements

  • Button
  • Columns
  • More
  • Page Break
  • Separator
  • Spacer
  • Media & Text

You can take a closer look at WordPress.com page about how to add blocks.

WordPress Admin Pages Modify

Each block has its own block-specific controls that allow you to manipulate the block inside the editor. The toolbar has the following options: Change Block Type, Left Alignment, Center Alignment, Right Alignment, Bold, Italics, Insert Hyperlink, Strikethrough, and More Options.

Every block has options in the sidebar in addition to the options found in the block toolbar. If you do not see the sidebar, click the “cog” icon next to the “Publish” button. As you can see, the paragraph block offers Text Settings, Color Settings, and Advanced options.

Text Settings

This allows you to change the paragraph’s font size, either with relative percentages or down to the pixel. These semantic options can be modified by your theme to help keep your styles looking consistent. You can also add a dropcap letter to your paragraph block.

Color Settings

Text and background colors can be set on per-block basis, allowing you to call attention to important content. The color section will warn you if a color combination is difficult to read.

Advanced

The advanced tab lets you add a CSS class to your block, allowing you to write custom CSS and style the block as you see fit.

WordPress Admin Pages Publish

You can preview your page when clicking on „Preview“ on the upper-right corner. When you have finished your changes then you can „Publish“ your page to the World Wide Web.

Document Options

  • Status & Visibility – this option gives you the ability to make a page public, password protected, or completely private. You can schedule pages to automatically publish themselves at any time in the future.
  • Permalink – permanent URL to your individual page. A permalink is what another website will use to link to your page. The URL to each page should be permanent and never change — hence permalink.
  • Featured Image – pages can have a single featured image, which many themes and tools can use to enhance the presentation of your site. Can be used inside related content sections.
  • Discussion – allow/disallow comments.
  • Page Attributes – allows you to set page parents and templates, and to change the order of your pages.
  • Astra Settings – based on the installed theme, this option can be absent in your environment. Here you can modify page level theme settings.

Posts

Posts > All Posts

WordPress Admin Posts

Here you can see all your available posts. When you have too many of them then you can filter them like „All“, „Published“, „Draft“ and „Trash“. You have even options to „Filter“ by date and category for faster lookup. Most of the time you’ll work with draft versions, but sometimes you would like to update some existing posts also. On the top-right corner, you can use the search box and click on „Search Posts“ when you have inserted any keywords. Here you can also view categories and tags for your posts to get some overview of how your posts are grouped together.

Posts > Add New

WordPress Admin Add New Post

On the new post view, you can add a new post title and start adding content. By using the + icon on the upper-left corner you can add new blocks for your post. When you would like to preview your post then please click on „Preview“ on the upper-right corner. When you have finished your changes then it’s time to publish your post by simply „Publish“.

Tip

For good blogging tips please take a look at How to Write a Damn Good Blog Post.

Document Options

  • Status & Visibility – this option gives you the ability to make a post public, password protected, or completely private. You can schedule blog posts to automatically publish themselves at any time in the future. You can also change the post format, though first, you need to make sure that your theme supports different formats. Understanding the post formats:
    • Standard is the default post format, your everyday blog post. You can also add video, images, galleries, and whatever else you would like to a regular text post.
    • Image is intended for single image posts — a quick snap of your workout or your dog.
    • Video is for, well, videos.
    • Quote highlights your blockquoted text in a bolder way than standard posts typically do.
    • Link is for those days when you just want to share a link to a fantastic article you read.
    • Aside from brief snippets of text that aren’t quite whole blog posts, such as quick thoughts and anecdotes.
    • The gallery is for, well, galleries.
    • Status for a quick update about what you are doing right now.
    • Audio for your favorite tunes or podcasts.
  • Permalink – permanent URL to your individual post, category or tag. A permalink is what another website will use to link to your content. The URL to each content resource should be permanent and never change — hence permalink.
  • Categories – a helpful way to group related posts together, and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Categories also make it easier for people to find your content. Categories are similar to but broader than, tags. Can be used to dynamically present related content blocks inside similar posts and pages.
  • Tags – useful way to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Tags also make it easier for people to find your content. Tags are similar to but more specific than, categories. The use of tags is completely optional. Can be used to dynamically present related content blocks inside similar posts and pages.
  • Featured Image – posts can have a single featured image, which many themes and tools can use to enhance the presentation of your site. Can be used inside related content sections.
  • Excerpt – an optional summary or description. Can be used inside related content sections of other posts or pages.
  • Discussion – allow/disallow comments, pingbacks & trackbacks.

Posts > Categories

WordPress Admin Categories Add New

Simply type category name, slug, description, and click on „Add New Category“ to add a new category for your website. On the right side, you can see all the available categories. You can easily „Edit“, „Quick Edit“, „Delete“ or „View“ each category individually.

Note

Categories are the mechanism to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Categories also make it easier for people to find your content when they navigate e.g. to https://www.yourdomainname.com/category/{slug}/ where {slug} is the value that you set for each category.

Posts > Tags

WordPress Admin Tags Add New

Simply type tag name, slug, description, and click on „Add New Tag“ to add a new tag for your website. On the right side, you can see all the available tags. You can easily „Edit“, „Quick Edit“, „Delete“ or „View“ each tag individually.

Note

Tag is the mechanism to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Tags also make it easier for people to find your content when they navigate e.g. to https://www.yourdomainname.com/tag/{slug}/ where {slug} is the value that you set for each tag. Tags are similar to but more specific than, categories.

[Next Steps] Quick Website Setup

Thanks for Reading and Good Luck on Your Journey! Need Some Help or Would Like to Ask Something about Current Content? Please Add a Comment 🙂

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