How to manage owning a website that you update yourself. This article talks about adding your first content, and using categories and displaying menus with widgets.

Owning A Website

Assuming that you’ve followed the DIY Websites basic steps you now have the WordPress CMS installed on your own host’s server . You can access the administration area via the login link at your own domain name, and can see the default theme when you put that URL into your browser.

Hello World!

ideas & tipsIf you skipped the part where I explained this before, the first thing to do is to make a settings change. In the admin area, on the left side menu, at the bottom, there is a Menu Title called SETTINGS with an arrow beside it. Click the arrow to “drop” the menu and click on PRIVACY .

You have two choices. To let search engines index you or NOT. Tick the box for NOT and SAVE the change. Your website is now officially under construction while you add some content.

This means your experimental stage with it’s more glaring mistakes won’t be displayed or recorded by search engines. In fact it’s highly unlikely that anyone will ever find you unless you give someone the URL. So, when you are ready to go “live” to the public, change this setting back to ALLOW search engines to index you. Don’t forget!

Now, lets add some content. There are two article content areas for WordPress, called Posts & Pages.

Posts

When you first go to your front page it will display your latest Post by default. There is a sample post there called Hello World, with an instruction that reads – “Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!” Note that a Post displays a date. Delete the “Hello World” Post.

Posts are for news articles. If people subscribe to your feed they get an updating listing of the 10 newest Posts. If you only post articles on one topic, then that’s all you need do. Add New Post and Publish.

Before you have much content, it can be hard to know how to use categories and tags. I find its good to just use tags at first. When you have some posts to start sorting then you can start categorizing them by sorting them into categories. As long as you don’t set permalinks to show category, you can change these often until they are just about perfect for you.

Categories & Tags

As time goes on however you’ll want to group your Posts into Categories and use Tags.

The default Category is Uncategorized. Change this by calling it by a general name like News or New Articles. Then if you make a Post and forget to categorize it, it’s still in a “true” category, until you pick up the mistake and file it correctly.

If you have done some planning you probably have a list of main topics ready for Categorization, so you could start by creating these first. If not, it doesn’t matter as a new Category can be created when you create a new Post, on the right menu. Keep your Categories lean at first with top level Categories only. Later on you can create sub- categories, or you can use tags as subcategories.

For example you might start categorizing with lists like these

Events
Books
Products
Music
News
Videos
My Journal
Upcoming Events
Favourite Music
Breaking News
Funny Videos
re free schedule
Or add subcategores likeEvents – Festivals, Music, Movies,
Books – Fiction, Biographies, Travel
Products – Electronic, Luxury, Bargains,

Tags are a second form of categorization that is often displayed in a tag cloud. For example with posts in the Events category, you might choose to tag them with things like this.

Free Activities
Outdoor Activities
Indoor Activities
Preschoolers
Kids
Teens
New Jersey
Staten Island
Brooklyn
Spring
Summer
Fall

Each Category and Tag can be displayed, depending on your theme or by choice, as a link. The link will lead to a category or tag page, which lists a feed of the posts related to this tag.

Tags and Categories are great places to use your main keywords, as well as to sort your content so it can be easily found, by people looking for more posts related to the one they are reading.

Pages

Pages are more similar to a normal static website. They are intended to be used for content that is always available for viewing and therefore for each page you create, it’s Title appears in the header menu bar. If you have 20 pages this menu bar can become crowded and unmanageable. The main solution, if you want to use many pages, is to create a top level category for pages.

On the left admin menu, there is no choice to create Page categories, as there is with Posts. So, create a page called – well lets say Articles for now. Add a New Page, type Articles as the title and save it, just as it is. Now Add another New Page and while it is open, scan the admin menu on the right. There is an option, with a drop menu, to choose a “Parent” and make this new page a “Child” of it. When you drop the menu, you’ll see the page you called Articles, select this. When you save this new page, it will be categorized as an Article.

Depending on your Theme or how you display a Pages menu, child pages will display as a drop menu. Your top menu bar stays uncluttered, with one word links like, Home, Articles, Legals, Sitemap.

Home Page

The last main thing to know is how to switch the default view on the home page, that is currently showing the latest posts as a feed. If you want an article instead on your home page you will need to two things. First, create the article you want to use. Second, create a blank page, as you did for Articles, and call it something that you want you latest posts to be called. It could be BLOG. It could be News or Journal – the name is your choice, but make it a name that people will want to click on while still being relevant. Save it with just this title, as before.

Now go to SETTINGS again, on the left admin area, and choose READING.

At the top you can set your front page selection. Click the circular radio button to A Static Page and select the two pages you want from the drop menu, The article for Front Page and the BLOG page for Posts Page. Now your latest posts will display under the top menu bar link BLOG and your visitors will always see the static page first when they arrive on the home page.

Sidebars & Widgets

OK, lets move on to your sidebars. Under APPEARANCE on the left admin menu, choose WIDGETS.

This is a drag and drop interface. On the right are the parts of your site where you can use widgets. Click the arrow on the right of the segment title (eg Right Sidebar) to drop the content area. Click and hold an Available Widget, like Recent Posts and drop it into the blank space. Click the arrow on Recent Posts to change it’s title or configure the widget if it has other options, if you do make changes here, you must save them. Close the widget to shrink it back. Add another widget.

Open the website, or refresh the page if it is already displaying in your browser, and see your changes. Check out all the available widgets. When you don’t want them displayed, just drag them back to the middle and drop them there. Many plugins add more available widgets and help you to display menus in different ways.

I Can Update My Own Website

As to adding Themes and Plugins, once you go looking for them, there will be plenty of instructions included on their download pages or in a read me file, on how to add them and install them, as well as how to use them.

I know I am just scraping the surface for things that your content management system can do, but this is more than enough to get you started so you can update your own website.

You can always subscribe for more content, there is a also a paid subscription you can upgrade to for advanced content after you have subscribed. If you order a DIY website you will be a VIP member able to see all the DIY tutorials, videos and tips that are available.

Explore your admin menus and experiment. You can always open a preview of your website by Right Clicking the Site Name link at the top left side of your admin area and choose open in new tab. When you make changes “refresh” the page by clicking the circular arrow icon at the top of your browser to see your changes. Have fun!

Don’t Forget!

ideas & tips

And don’t forget to turn search engines back on when you are ready to go LIVE!