An overview of the WordPress backend

On first inspection, the WordPress backend can be confusing. I’m going to break this down for you as there are really only a few items that you really need to know about to get up and running. As part of my package pricing, I can do all of this for you, but if you want to get your feet wet and start hammering out content, these are the basics:

  1. Settings
    • General
    • Reading
    • Discussion
    • Permalinks
  2. Pages
  3. Appearance > Menus

1. Settings

General: When you first installed WordPress through your hosting control panel, you may have entered some of this info. Basically you just need to make sure your Site Title and Tagline (if used) are entered, as well as the url of your site. Tip: If you have your WordPress install in a subdirectory, you would remove the subdirectory in the Site Address (URL).
Reading: Here is where you determine if you want a static page for your homepage or your list of posts. I usually recommend a static page, as you can also list your recent posts on it as well.
Discussion: If you are just starting out, you may want to disable comments for now.
Permalinks: Most commonly, you want to choose Post Name for this.

2. Pages

These are the static pages of your site. They usually don’t change too much, and contain basic information like Home, About, Contact, etc. You need to set these up first. Tip: even if you don’t have the content nailed down, just go to Pages > Add New, add a title and then Publish. You will need these to populate your navigation.

3. Appearance > Menus

This is where you will set up your main navigation. Tip: You can also have other menus for other locations, such as the footer. Click the link to Create a New Menu, give it a name (something like Main or Primary is good), and hit Save Menu. Now you can add pages by checking from the list on the left and clicking on Add to Menu. Don’t forget to save again! Underneath where your Page titles are listed are other options, including Custom Links for outside links or to add a Parent menu item that doesn’t actually link to anything.

That should be enough to get you started, but if you want a deeper dive, there are plenty of other resources out there. Check your hosting company for their posts, or try some of these.