WordPress Tutorial For Beginners 2019

WordPress is one of the most popular and widely used CMS. Brands like Microsoft, Facebook, Walt Disney, Mozilla, Sony, Bloomberg etc. uses WordPress not because it is just secure but also because its simplicity. 29% of internet runs on WordPress. In this WordPress tutorial for beginners you will learn how to install WordPress and start publishing!

Table of Contents

wordpress tutorial for beginners
WordPress Tutorial For Beginners

Introduction – WordPress Tutorial For Beginners

What is a CMS?

Content Management System (CMS) — a system that helps you including but not limited to create, edit, share digital content by you, your team or your company. A CMS helps you to present digital content to your audience.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system based on PHP and MySQL that is usually used with the MySQL or MariaDB database servers but can also use the SQLite database engine. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system.

Wikipedia

It is free software, a CMS that lets you publish very easily on the Internet. WordPress’ mission includes but not limited to accessibility, performance, security and ease of use. WordPress is written in PHP.

You can learn WordPress very easily. In this article I have tried to focus very basics of WordPress from installation to dashboard overview. Following this WordPress tutorial for beginners you will be able to launch you website very easily and quickly.

WordPress.com OR WordPress.org?

wordpress tutorial for beginners -WordPress.Com Vs WordPress.Org
WordPress.Com Vs WordPress.Org

In WordPress.Com you can avail 4 paid packages respectively Personal, Premium, Business, eCommerce and a free package with limited facilities. Free package includes,

  • Sub-domain under wordpress.com.
  • Hosting up to 3 GB.
  • Dozen free themes.

But it has some notable limitations of the free package such as,

  • No plugin installations.
  • No theme customization.
  • Limited Analysis.
  • Ads from WordPress.Com.

WordPress.Org provides the WordPress software that you can use to build your WordPress website in your way. It is self-hosted, you will need a good hosting package to host your website. You can do anything you want such as install plugins, customize the website theme on your requirement etc.

Give it a try, go to WordPress.Com, sign up, your site is just 4-5 simple steps away.

If your budget is limited and you need control then I will suggest you to use WordPress.Org. In this article we will focus on self-hosted WordPress i.e. WordPress.Org.

Getting Started – WordPress Tutorial For Beginners

Download WordPress

At first download the latest version of WordPress from wordpress.org or simply click this link to directly download the file.

If you have SSH access, please execute the command bellow on terminal then extract the files to the directory you want WordPress to be served from. You can skip next step (Uploading WordPress) if you are doing it on your server terminal.

wget https://wordpress.org/latest.zip

Secure Socket Shell (SSH) — secure, powerful cryptographic protocol that you can use to access your server remotely.

Upload WordPress

After that, upload the files to your hosting account and extract it, move the files to your website’s root directory unless you want to serve it from a sub domain or directory. If you want to serve it from a sub-domain or directory, move the files to your desired destination.

Database Creation

cPanel – Shared Hosting
  • Please login to cPanel and click on MySQL ® databases under Databases. After that please type in the database name and click on Create database.
WordPress Tutorial For Beginners - create database in cPanel
cPanel database creation
  • Now that we have created a database, let’s create a user to manage the database. Go to the MySQL ® databases if you are not there, scroll down a bit and you will see MySQL users. Type in name and password for your user and click create user, you can also use the password generator plugin of cPanel to generate password.
wordpress tutorial for beginners- Create database user in cPanel
Database user creation in cPanel
  • After that please add the user you just created to your WordPress database that you also created a while ago.
WordPress Tutorial For Beginners - Add user to database in cPanel
Adding user to database in cPanel
  • Once you click Add you will be taken to another page where you select the permissions for the user in that database. If you are familiar with SQL you already know what these are, it is totally okay if you are not. Please check the All Privileges which grants the user to do anything in that particular database.
Grant all privilege to a user on a database in cPanel
Changing user privileges on a database in cPanel
Server – Dedicated Hosting

If are you managing your own server or you have SSH access and you have MySQL installed than please login to your server account and execute this commands. I will be using same names as we used above to demonstrate, however you can choose any name you want as long it doesn’t conflict with existing one.

Even though this WordPress tutorial is for beginners, I am including considering you have dedicated hosting and encouraging you to learn server administration.

  1. At first please execute sudo mysql to access MySQL shell.
  2. Here please execute create database myWPDB;, if the execution is success you will see Query OK,....
  3. Now please execute create user 'myUser'@'localhost' identified by "myPassword"; to create a user with the specified string between qutation(“”).
  4. It is time to grant the user to the database, please execute grant all privileges on myWPDB.* to 'myUser'@'localhost';.
  5. Finally execute flush privileges; to save the changes.

Do not forget to put a semi-colon (;) after each SQL command. It serves as a full-stop (.) in SQL. A correct SQL statement will must have a semi-colon.

WordPress Setup – WordPress Tutorial For Beginners

Auto Configuration

In this type of setup WordPress does the configuration for you, you don’t have to edit the files and configure it.

  • At first go to your website, it will automatically redirect you to the WordPress installation page if you have the files in right directory. Please click on Lets Go to continue.
WordPress Tutorial For Beginners - WordPress initial setup screen
Initial setup screen
  • Please fill in the information, leave database host as localhost. It is suggested to change the table prefix to improve website security.
WordPress setting up database information on setup page
Filling database information on WordPress setup page

Manual Configuration

Before going any further let’s see how to manually configure WordPress for installation. WordPress configuration is made using a file named wp-config.php (see image 1) which contains settings including but limited to database, site address, debug settings etc. However this file doesn’t come with WordPress package, WordPress provides a template or sample file named wp-config-sample.php. We will use the sample file to make our own configuration file. Open the sample configuration file.

  • At first copy the wp-sample-config.php to wp-config.php and open it.

First line here is where you specify your database name, second line is for your database username and the third line is for your database user password.

  • Now please change the lines with your valid information. For example,
  • After that edit the table prefix as you want, $table_prefix = 'myWP_';

In manual configuration we have to do another step extra compared to the automatic configuration. We will have to manually set Authentication Unique Keys and Salts — authentication keys and random which helps adding another layer of security to website cookies and passwords.

  • Now please save and close the file.

If you see this below it means something wrong with your give database information. Its okay, mistakes will happen as you are a beginner in WordPress and you will learn from your mistakes. T solve this problem make sure you enter the right information and the database user has access on the database.

Can't select database
Database authentication error

Finalizing Setup

If everything is correct than you will see this page and click Run the installation.

run the installation of WordPress setup
Run WordPress setup
  • After that you will see the page requiring to fill in your site information, please fill them in and click Install WordPress.
wordpress tutorial for beginners - wordpress site information
Filling site information
  • Then you will see a success page, you have successfully installed WordPress!
wordpress tutorial for beginners - WordPress login
WordPress successfully installed

Dashboard Overview

This is how your dashboard of a newly installed WordPress site will look like,

WordPress Dashboard
WordPress Dashboard

On the left side there’s the WordPress menu from where you can access every settings available in the WordPress administration area. WordPress is so simple that you will figure out everything just by looking. Here’s a quick overview of some the menus,

Dashboard: The place here you get to access of the settings, has two links — Home, which leads to dashboard and the other is Updates, where you can update you installed plugins, themes and WordPress core.

Post: To create and manage posts, categories and tags for your website.

Media: The menu where you upload and manage existing media files. Here is two sub menu — Library & Add New

Pages: Where you create and manage your existing web pages.

Comments: Gives you access to the user replies to your posts and lets you manage them.

Appearance: Lets you install new themes, manage existing themes, add widgets, menus to your web pages & posts. This is menu where you change your website look.

Plugins: To install and manage plugins to your WordPress site.

Plugin is something that extends functionality of your WordPress site but choose them wisely. Always install or use up-to-date plugins.

Users: Create and manage users of your website.

Tools: Gives you access to some tools like Import / Export to import or export you website data, Site Health — to check overall health of your website.

Settings: A menu that includes settings like General, Writing, Reading, Discussion setting, Permalink setting etc.

Conclusion

Your website is live and running the latest version of WordPress. It will look something similar,

Newly installed WordPress website
Left to right, newly installed homepage

WordPress dashboard is so simple that you will be able to customize the site very easily. Keep your WordPress Core, themes and plugins updated. You can use a caching plugin to make the site load faster on user-end storing cache on their browser once they visit your site. Use a backup plugin to backup your site and its database. Also don’t forget to install SSL, you can get SSL from Let’s Encrypt. Keep an eye on my blog for WordPress security hardening and optimization tips.

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Disclaimer: This content – WordPress Tutorial For Beginners 2019 and everything used in this content are copyrighted materials of S M Mahmudul Hasan, please credit properly if you are using material — image, paragraph etc.

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