WordPress is a free, open-source website creation platform. It is the easiest and most powerful blogging and website builder in existence today. In more technical terms it is a Content Management System that allows you to host and build websites. WordPress contains plugin architecture and a template system so that you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio or online store. Key elements of the WordPress ecosystem include Admin dashboard, Posts, Pages, Plugins, Media Library, Themes, Comments, Users.
Uses of WordPress
Not only does WordPress power a whole number of business sites and blogs, but it is also the most popular way to create an eCommerce store. With WordPress you can create:
- Business Websites
- eCommerce stores
- Social Networks
- Membership sites
Key components of WordPress
While WordPress is user-friendly, it can be slightly overwhelming for a new user. Each WordPress site contains a standardized set of components which make up the basic building blocks of a WordPress site. Educating oneself with the key elements of the WordPress ecosystem makes it easier and more rewarding to navigate this powerful platform and thereby benefit from it.
The key elements of WordPress ecosystem are as follows:
This is the interface which will be used by you to manage almost every aspect of your website. It is virtually the control panel for the entire WordPress website. A WordPress dashboard is where one can create and manage content, add functionality in the form of plugins, change one’s page appearance, add new functionality, and change styles in the form of themes. You can use the WordPress dashboard to see WordPress-related news, create a quick draft post and much more.
The dashboard is separated into multiple pages, each devoted to a critical aspect of your site. You can navigate between them using the menu on the left-hand side. Some options also have additional subpages which appear when you hover over them.
Posts are a crucial part of the WordPress ecosystem and are used to create various types of content. They are most commonly used for Blogs but they can also be used for any timely or regular content such as news articles, image galleries and so on.
To create a post one needs to use WordPress editor. When you are done editing the post you can save it in a few different ways. To post it on your site you can click on publish or save draft in case you need to edit further. When a post is saved or published, you will see it listed on the All Posts screen.
WordPress pages are similar to posts. They are both created and edited using the same interface and can contain the same types of content. The difference between Pages and Posts is how they are used on your site. Pages are mainly intended to hold the timeless content static and they are not expected to change regularly.
Pages, an integral element of WordPress, also make up the site’s structure.
The Media Library
The media library is where all media files required by your site to supplement the text are kept. This may include audio, videos, and documents.
Files can be uploaded by dragging and dropping them from a local folder onto the relevant WordPress page created for this purpose. Once the files have been uploaded to the media library, you can then include them in posts and pages by clicking on Add Media button on any content editor.
WordPress Theme determines how your content is displayed on the front end. You can change the themes of your WordPress site after choosing from thousands of free WordPress themes or you can get the theme straight from your dashboard.
You can preview several options from the WordPress Theme directory, to see how the theme will look on your site before installing it.
Plugins are what makes WordPress the most popular website creation platform in the world and are the most important element of the WordPress ecosystem. A WordPress plugin is software you can install on your site with just a few clicks. This gives extra functionality to your website without needing any extra technical knowledge.
Plugins can be used to do almost anything at all. Your currently installed plugins can be seen on the dashboard on the Plugins screen. Free plugins can be added to your website directly from the dashboard from the WordPress Plugin directory. Plugins can be used to add the simplest features such as Dark Mode which changes the colour of your admin dashboard and also the most radical ones such as Jetpack which contains dozens of features such as website statistics, a content delivery network and easy social media sharing.
Comments are a perfect way of letting visitors engage directly with your content. This feature is enabled on posts by default although it is disabled on pages. It is advisable to regulate the comment section to prevent your site from getting potentially harmful or abusive comments.
A user in WordPress is anyone who can access your dashboard. Each user has their profile and their personal information and credentials. The user is also assigned a role. The user role dictates what each person is permitted to do on your site for example an Administrator has access to all features and actions such as posting content, installing plugins, changing the site’s theme etc however a Subscriber will only be able to view and manage their profile information.
You must assign people the correct user roles and avoid giving too many permissions to users who do not require them. This helps your WordPress ecosystem be more secure.
Besides the main components mentioned above, there are also elements of WordPress such as Menus, Tags, Categories, and Comments which make WordPress very simple and flexible for anyone to use, regardless of their prior experience. By understanding how its core components work and how to use them one can get the best out of this powerful platform.