Understanding WordPress Admin Panel is an integral thing before we start blogging. For example, learning the difference between posts and pages will help you what to publish as a page and what needs to be published as a post. Just like that, learning how home page works differently from categories or archive page is a necessity. In this lesson, we well look into that.
What is CMS?
CMS stands for Content Management System. WordPress is a CMS.
If you Google “the best CMS”, you will get WordPress first in result as content management system software, which demonstrates how famous and well used it is. More than 44% of CMS websites on the internet runs on WordPress. You can read more about it here.
What is the difference between posts and pages?
Some of my students make the mistake of publishing their blogs as pages instead of writing on posts. Of course, they learn from it and correct it. But learning the difference and avoiding the mistake will save you a lot of time.
So what is the difference? Why do people get them mixed up?
Posts are the entries of your blog. These are entries that appear on your website in descending order – showing the latest entries first. The descending order arrangement makes it easier for the reader to find the most recent article first. All posts are categorized and can be tagged to organize and help find them easily.
The key differences are viewing order, category, and tags. A post will have all that functionality in it. It is ordered in descending order and it has categories as well as tags. On the other hand Pages doesn’t have any of those features.
We have talked more about this on the article Posts vs Pages.
Pages are used to create your contact page and about us page, etc. Pages are used for specific purposes like that.
Categories and Tags
Categories heps you group posts in to a certain way. A post can have many categories, but it is recommended that you limit the post to minimum categories as your visitors will not be happy to see one post in all the categories.
However, it can happen in many cases. This way you keep your website organized and easy to use.
Tags are also used to organize the website content. Unlike categories it is ideal to add as much as relevant tags to a post.
Let’s say for example you have a post in the “books” category, where you might also have tags like “fiction”, “multilanguage”, “English”, “Croatian”, “Serbian”, “Technology”, etc.
In short, both categories and tags helps you group posts. It is ideal to keep categories limited but more tags.
You can add categories and tags to the menu. You can also include a tags cloud (like wordcloud) on your website.
Understanding WordPress Menu
WordPress menus are just like the menus of restaurants. Each category on the restaurant menu shows you all the items that fall under that category. The menu will be categorized in a way that will help you find the item that you want easily.
Just consider WordPress posts as restaurant menu items. So, like in the restaurant menu, you should have several posts under each category in the menu. This way, when the user selects a category from the menu, he will see all the posts available under that category.
So, don’t add posts directly to the menu. Assign categories to posts and add categories to the menu. That way, all the posts are available on the menu.
You have to create the menu from the admin panel. You can create more than one menu. You can even create submenus. In this manner, you create a user-friendly guide in your menu.
We will look into how to create menus practically in a future lesson, inshaAllah.
Understanding WordPress Widgets
Usually, you find a search bar, recent posts, categories, archives, and more in the sidebar of the website. These are all widgets and there can be enormous widgets that can help you achieve more goals.
Widgets can be added to your website’s header, footer, and sidebar based on your theme’s design.
Plugins are used to add additional functions to your website. It can also help you improve existing functions.
Examples of plugins can be an LMS, or learning management system. This LMS will help you run courses and manage your students as well, which is not available in the default functionality of the WordPress website.
So, plugins basically gives you additional functionality that you don’t have by default in your WordPress application.
We will learn LMS plugin in a future lesson, insha’Allah
Themes decide how your website looks. It’s the layout and appearance of your website. It controls the color scheme and uniformity of your website.
Themes are available under the Appearance menu in the admin panel. Maybe just because it changes the whole site’s visibility. It determines how your site will function.
Understanding WordPress themes is essential. You need to know what suits your purpose best. You need to consider if you want to go free or purchase a theme. Even more, you should consider if you have to build a custom one for website.
You can add your taste and style to your WordPress site with different themes available from different websites. WordPress.org alone has more than 10,000 FREE themes for you to install instantly on your website.
That’s the number only for FREE themes. You have more premium themes with better quality, functionality and support.
Themes, Menu, Widgets, Plugins, and Pages are usually things you deal with rarely. Usually only before you launch your website.
What you are going to use on a regular basis will be Posts. Categories and Tags actually come inside posts. So you can include them as well.
Understanding WordPress before you start your first post is an essential task.
Now that you know the interface, it’s time to post your first post.
In the next lesson, we will post our first post, inshaAllah.