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Wordpress for Dummies


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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii Introduction 1 About This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 2 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 3 Where to Go from Here 4 Part 1: Introducing WordPress 5 Chapter 1: What WordPress Can Do for You 7 Discovering the Benefits of WordPress 7 Getting set up the fast and easy way 8 Extending WordPress's capabilities 9 Taking part in the community 10 Choosing a WordPress Platform 11 Choosing the hosted version from 13 Self-hosting with 14 Chapter 2: WordPress Basics 17 Shining the Spotlight on WordPress 17 Dipping Into WordPress Technologies 19 Archiving your publishing history 20 Interacting with your readers through comments 21 Feeding your readers 22 Tracking back 23 Dealing with comment and trackback spam 24 Using WordPress as a Content Management System 25 Exploring the differences between a website and a blog 25 Viewing examples of blogs and websites 26 Moving On to the Business of Publishing 27 Part 2: Setting Up WordPress 29 Chapter 3: Setting Up Blogging Base Camp 31 Establishing Your Domain 32 Understanding domain name extensions 32 Considering the cost of a domain name 33 Registering your domain name 33 Finding a Home for Your Website 34 Getting help with hosting WordPress 35 Dealing with disk space and bandwidth 36 Understanding Secure File Transfer Concepts 38 Setting up SFTP on your hosting account 39 Connecting to the web server via SFTP 42 Transferring files from point A to point B 45 Editing files via SFTP 46 Changing file permissions 48 Installing WordPress 50 Exploring Preinstalled WordPress 50 Installing WordPress manually 52 Setting up the MySQL database 53 Uploading the WordPress files 55 Last step: Running the installation script 57 Chapter 4: Understanding the Dashboard 63 Logging In to the Dashboard 64 Navigating the Dashboard 65 Welcome to WordPress! 66 At a Glance 67 Activity 68 Quick Draft 69 WordPress News 70 Arranging the Dashboard to Your Tastes 70 Finding Inline Documentation and Help 72 Setting Options in the Dashboard 75 Configuring the Settings 75 General 75 Writing 79 Reading 81 Discussion 82 Media 88 Permalinks 90 Creating Your Personal Profile 90 Setting Your Site's Format 93 Posts 93 Media 94 Pages 94 Comments 95 Appearance 95 Plugins 96 Users 97 Tools 97 Chapter 5: Establishing Your Publishing Routine 99 Staying on Topic with Categories 99 Changing the name of a category 100 Creating new categories and deleting others 103 Examining a Post's Address: Permalinks 105 Making your post links pretty 106 Customizing your permalinks 107 Making sure that your permalinks work with your server 109 Discovering the Many WordPress RSS Options 111 Writing Your First Entry 112 Composing your blog post 112 Dressing up your posts with images, video, and audio 116 Refining your post options 116 Publishing your post 119 Editing your post 121 Look Who's Talking on Your Site 122 Managing comments and trackbacks 122 Moderating comments and trackbacks 124 Tackling spam with Akismet 124 Part 3: Flexing and Extending WordPress 127 Chapter 6: Media Management: Images, Audio, and Video 129 Inserting Images into Your Content 130 Aligning your images 134 Inserting a photo gallery 135 Inserting Video Files into Your Posts 140 Inserting Audio Files into Your Posts 142 Keeping Media Files Organized 143 Chapter 7: Making the Most of WordPress Plugins 147 Finding Out What Plugins Are 148 Extending WordPress with plugins 149 Distinguishing between plugins and themes 149 Exploring the Plugins Page 151 Identifying Core Plugins 153 Incorporating Akismet 154 Saying Hello Dolly 157 Discovering the one-click plugin update 158 Using Plugins: Just the Basics 160 Installing Plugins Manually 162 Finding and downloading the files 162 Reading the instructions 165 Uploading and Activating Plugins 165 Uploading a new plugin 166 Activating a plugin 166 Setting Plugin Options 168 Uninstalling Plugins 169 Understanding the Open-Source Environment 170 Finding Plugins Outside the Plugins Page on the Website 171 Comparing Free and Commercial Plugins 173 Chapter 8: Finding and Installing WordPress Themes 175 Getting Started with Free Themes 175 Finding free themes 177 Avoiding unsafe themes 177 Previewing themes in the Theme Directory 180 Installing a Theme 181 Browsing the free themes 183 Previewing and activating a theme 184 Exploring Premium Theme Options 186 Examining the Default Theme: Twenty Seventeen 191 Exploring the layout and structure 191 Customizing the header media 194 Customizing the colors 197 Including custom navigation menus 198 Enhancing Your Theme with Widgets 199 Adding widgets to your sidebar 199 Using the Text widget 202 Using the RSS widget 203 Part 4: Customizing WordPress 207 Chapter 9: Understanding Themes and Templates 209 Using WordPress Themes: The Basics 210 Understanding theme structure 210 Connecting templates 212 Contemplating the Structure of a WordPress Website 213 Examining the Anatomy of a Template Tag 215 Getting Familiar with the Four Main Templates 216 The Header template 216 The Main Index template 221 The Sidebar template 225 The Footer template 226 Other templates 226 Putting a Theme Together 227 Connecting the templates 228 Using additional stylesheets 237 Customizing Your Posts with Template Tags 238 Using Tags with Parameters for Sidebars 238 The calendar 240 List pages 240 Post archives 242 Categories 244 Getting widgetized 245 Chapter 10: Tweaking WordPress Themes 249 Styling with CSS: The Basics 250 CSS selectors 250 Classes and IDs 251 CSS properties and values 253 Changing the Background Graphics with CSS 253 Uploading an image for background use 255 Positioning, repeating, and attaching images 256 Using Your Own Header Image 258 Customizing Colors in Twenty Seventeen 260 Creating Custom Navigation Menus 261 Adding the Custom Menu feature to your theme 262 Building custom navigation menus 263 Displaying custom menus with widgets 268 Changing Font Family, Color, and Size 269 Changing font color 270 Changing font size 270 Adding borders 271 Understanding Basic HTML Techniques 272 Inserting images 273 Inserting hyperlinks 274 Inserting lists 274 Chapter 11: Understanding Parent and Child Themes 277 Customizing Theme Style with Child Themes 278 Loading a parent theme's style 280 Customizing the parent theme's styling 282 Using images in child theme designs 283 Modifying Theme Structure with Child Themes 287 Overriding parent template files 287 Adding new template files 288 Removing template files 289 Modifying the functions.php file 289 Preparing a Parent Theme 291 Chapter 12: WordPress As a Content Management System 293 Creating Different Page Views Using WordPress Templates 294 Uploading the template 295 Assigning the template to a static page 296 Creating a Template for Each Post Category 298 Using Sidebar Templates 301 Creating Custom Styles for Sticky, Category, and Tag Posts 302 Working with Custom Post Types 304 Adding Support for Post Formats 312 Adding post formats to a theme 313 Using template tags for post formats 314 Adding Support for Post Thumbnails 318 Adding the post thumbnails to a theme 319 Adding custom image sizes for post thumbnails 320 Exploring the Custom Fields Interface 321 Adding Custom Fields to your template file 323 Entering the code in the template file 324 Getting WordPress to check for your Custom Field 326 Exploring different uses for Custom Fields 327 Optimizing Your WordPress Site 328 Planting keywords on your website 329 Optimizing your post titles for search engine success 330 Writing content with readers in mind 330 Creating categories that attract search engines 331 Using the tag for images 332 Chapter 13: Hosting Multiple Sites with WordPress 333 Deciding When to Use the Multisite Feature 334 Understanding the Difference between Sites and Blogs 335 Considering Web-Hosting Services 336 Enabling the WordPress Network Feature 338 DNS 339 Apache mod_rewrite 340 Virtual host 340 PHP 341 Installing the Network on Your Site 341 Exploring the Network Admin Dashboard Menu 343 Managing Your Network 345 Settings 346 Sites 351 Users 355 Themes 357 Plugins 358 Updates 359 Stopping Spam Signups and Splogs 359 Diverting sploggers with settings and code 359 Preventing spam with plugins 360 Chapter 14: Upgrading, Backing Up, and Migrating 361 Getting Notified of an Available Upgrade 362 Backing Up Your Database 364 Upgrading WordPress Automatically 365 Upgrading WordPress Manually 366 Migrating Your Existing Site to WordPress 369 Movin' on up 369 Preparing for the big move 370 Converting templates 371 Moving your website to WordPress 372 Importing from Blogger 373 Importing from LiveJournal 375 Importing from Movable Type and TypePad 376 Importing from Tumblr 378 Importing from WordPress 380 Importing from an RSS feed 380 Finding other import resources 381 Moving Your Website to a Different Host 382 Creating a backup and moving manually 383 Using a plugin to back up and move to a new host 384 Part 5: The Part of Tens 385 Chapter 15: Ten Popular WordPress Plugins 387 AppPresser 387 Jetpack 388 Subscribe to Comments 389 Facebook 390 All in One SEO Pack 391 BackupBuddy 391 WP Super Cache 392 WooCommerce 392 Google XML Sitemaps 393 Sucuri Security 394 Chapter 16: Ten Free WordPress Themes 395 Hybrid Core 396 Hestia 396 Responsive 398 P2 398 Annotum Base 399 Blackbird 399 iTheme2 400 Esquire 401 Nisarg 401 Optics 402 Index 403

About the Author

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is co-founder of WebDevStudios (, one of the largest WordPress design and development agencies in the world. Lisa is a regular public speaker at national events on topics such as WordPress, development, design, CSS, and social media. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter @LisaSabinWilson.

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