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  3. Working with WordPress

Working with WordPress

This page contains a few tips to help get you started with WordPress. The documentation from WordPress is wonderful, and is something you should open in a separate browser window as you work with your new website, https://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_WordPress_-_Where_to_Start#Step_Four_-_Set_Up_WordPress

WordPress Dashboard

Login to your new site’s administrative interface, mysite.org/wp-admin, which takes you to the Dashboard. Here you find links to all of the major functions in a WordPress site:

WordPress Dashboard

To Change the Theme

WordPress sites may have different designs and layout, based on the theme you choose.  There is one chosen for you by default, but you may change it at any time.

  1. In the Appearance menu on the left of the Dashboard, select Themes.
  2. Select a theme you like from those provided. Alternatively, you can Add New which takes you to a theme directory where you can easily spend a lot of time testing out different layouts and designs. For now, pick one of the pre-loaded themes or add one of the more popular themes and activate it.  Visit the public side of your site, mysite.org, to see how it has changed.


WordPress sites are made up of two primary types of content:

  • Posts are pieces of writing that appear in reverse chronological sequence, with the most recent post appearing first on your blog.
    • Posts are designed to be like journal entries. Posts work well for process and progress blogs about your writing, research, teaching, or for digital project development.
  • Pages are plain web pages that are not organized by the calendar. Pages appear in the main navigation of a WordPress site, and can be arranged in any order by using Menus.

To Edit an Existing Page

  1. Click on the Pages tab in the left menu of your WordPress admin. Find the About page, click the title to open it.
  2. An editing window appears, and from there you may replace the filler text with some text introducing yourself and describing the nature of your online portfolio.
  3. Scroll over the buttons in the toolbar above the text box. Rolling your cursor over those buttons shows pop-ups identifying what each does–including adding links.
  4. If you click on the right-hand most button, the ‘toolbar toggle,’ you will see additional formatting options.
  5. Click on the tab Text on the right of the editing window to see the html code that WordPress is writing to display your text. Click the Visual tab to see how that text will appear.
  6. When you are done, click Update in the lower right corner of the screen. A message indicating that the page is updated will appear under the title. Click on View Page to see how the page now appears.

To Create a New Page

  1. Click on Pages in the left hand menu of the Dashboard, and select Add New.
  2. Add text and format as needed.
  3. Click Publish to post immediately or click Edit beside Publish immediately to set your publishing date.

To Edit a Post

  1. Click on the title of your blog to return to the Home page.
  2. Find the first post titled ‘Hello world!’ and click Edit under the post title.
  3. On the editing page, change the title and the filler text with your first blog post.
  4. On the right is a box headed “Categories” (you may need to scroll down to see it)—these provide a way of grouping organizing blog posts.
Updated on August 1, 2018

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