How to create a website on your own – Part 2 ( configuring WordPress)

Note: This is part 2 of the post series.  You can access Part 1 here.

The next step in creating your website is to configuring WordPress. One of the reasons for WordPress enduring popularity is the flexibility, ease and multitude of options it provides to create a great looking website.  Before we get into the details of creating the website, it is important to understand how you can configure and customize WordPress.

You can customize WordPress by installing and configuring the following on top of your WordPress Installation:

  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Widgets
  • Menus
  • Pages/Posts

You can do all these through WordPress administration screen. You can reach the WordPress administration screen by entering http://<yourdomainname>/wp-admin.  This will prompt for a username/password.  Please enter the WordPress administration username and password you keyed in while installing WordPress.

Plugins

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress installation. Plugins can either extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites without having to know a single line of code. They are very powerful and to use. Usually there will be a plugin for most of the features you are looking for.  While majority of Plugins can be freely obtained from WordPress Plugin repository, there are some amazing plugins that are commercially available from third-party vendors.  As an administrator, you can install and add and manage your plugins from Plugins section of WordPress administration page.

Themes

WordPress Theme allow you to “skin” your website. Essentially, WordPress theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a look and feel for your website and also to make sure that there is a unifying style for your website. You can use a theme to change the way your  website looks, without having to “code” for it.  Each theme comes with a different design, layout, and features. You can choose the theme that suits your taste and requirements.

You can add change and manage the themes from the WordPress administration page from the section under Appearance » Themes.   As with plugins, there are many free WordPress themes available at WordPress Theme repository  which you can install and try for free.  There are also many amazing, highly customizable and feature loaded themes commercially available also.

Widgets

Widgets are packaged code which performs a specific functionality.  Most of the WordPress themes give specific areas where widgets can be deployed and visualized.  Widgets can be dragged and dropped in these areas .  Here they will allow you to add contents and features to the website.  Usually widgetable areas are the header, footer and sidebar. The available widget areas will vary from theme to theme.  You can install and manage the widgets from Administration page from the section Appearance » Widgets.

Menus

Menus or Navigation Menus allow you to create custom menus for your website using which you can allow the users of your website an easy path for navigation through the website.  Menus actually help you to offer a structure to your website and help users find information easily.   Menus are closely linked with the themes.  Themes  help specify the location for menus. You need to create menus through the  Appearance >>Menu  section of the administration page and link it to a Location (offered by the theme) where it will be displayed.

Pages/Posts

Pages and posts are where you enter the real content of your website.  The posts and pages are essentially rich content and can contain a combination of media and rich text.   These appear in the prime content area of your website. Pages and Posts can be created and managed from the administration page through the sections Pages or Posts respectively.

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