Rita Klement WordPress Guide

Rita Klement WordPress Guide

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Rita, the following is a very abbreviated version of my regular client WordPress guide, to use as a starting point for your coaching session. Some of the content below may not apply to your installation of WordPress, but hopefully you will find some useful tips!


    After you log into the WordPress CMS, you will probably see some of the following items in your Dashboard:
    1. Posts – are one of the two main types of content within a WordPress site (the other is Pages). Posts, better known as blog posts or news posts, are typically organized chronologically.

      Learn much more about the difference between posts and pages here:
      What is the Difference Between Posts vs. Pages in WordPress
    2. Media – is the library of images, PDF’s, and other media files that have been uploaded to WordPress.
    3. Pages – are the webpages that you see in the main navigation sections of the site, such as “About” and “Contact Us.” They are organized hierarchically in a tree structure.
    4. Comments – User comments on posts or pages where that function has been enabled.
    5. Appearance – where you go to access the navigation menus, widgets and other functions on your WordPress website.
    6. Profile – where you access your user profile in the WordPress Dashboard.
    7. [Collapse menu] – will give you a smaller menu to deal with, using only icons.

      *NOTE: the latest WordPress CMS is completely responsive, so you can access any of the above functions in any browser on any size device!

    Depending on your theme, you can customize many parts of your website’s overall look and feel using the “Customizer.” You should be able to access this by going to Appearance > Customize. Check out the following video showing how to use the Customizer in Hestia Pro, which is one popular theme that many websites use (such as my client Kitsap Conservation District). The video starts here at 2:04:
    *NOTE: Whenever making changes to the overall website design, you’ll want to go slow and take care to check your progress on the front end after each change, so you can retrace your steps if you make a mistake.

    You should have several choices for adding or editing content in WordPress. Some examples might include Beaver Builder, Elementor, the Gutenberg editor, or the Classic Editor. Each is a reasonably user-friendly option, but is also slightly different from the others. At this time, my suggestion is to use Beaver Builder, but you may want to try a few and see for yourself! These four options are explaned below:
  5. *NOTE: Whenever making changes to page or post content, you’ll want to go slow and take care to check your progress on the front end after each change, so you can retrace your steps if you make a mistake.

    1. Beaver Builder – Most of my client websites use a 3rd-party, drag-and-drop editor plugin called Beaver Builder. My clients have usually found this to be the easiest way to add and edit content.

      For more information on converting existing content from Beaver Builder to the Classic Editor or Gutenberg (and vice-versa), visit:
      Convert content between WordPress 5 and Beaver Builder

      Check out the following video showing how to edit content using Beaver Builder. The video plays here between 2:24 and 6:00… my own video is in the works, but this one will do for now:
    2. Elementor – I do not typically use the page builder Elementor with any of my client sites. However, I did find this detailed video, which hopefully can give you a few tips on how to get the most out of this plugin:
    3. Classic Editor – Many WordPress users prefer to stay with the Classic Editor. To use the Classic Editor, go to Pages > All Pages, and hover over the page you want to edit. Select “Edit (Classic Editor).”

      To see my guide on Adding/Editing Page and Post content using the Classic Editor, visit:
      WordPress Classic Editor Guide
    4. Gutenberg – As of WordPress version 5.0, the CMS has incorporated its own native, drag-and-drop block editor. To use Gutenberg, go to Pages > All Pages, and hover over the page you want to edit. Select “Edit (Block Editor).” In my clients’ experience, the Gutenberg editor is promising, but it is “not quite there yet” in terms of ease-of-use.

      For more information on using Gutenberg, visit:
      How to Use the New WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg Tutorial)

    The images and graphics (as well as PDFs and other files) live in the Media Library of WordPress. See below for some important tips and tutorials:
    1. Using the image editor – While it is recommended that you use Photoshop or similar software to do advanced image editing, WordPress has a basic built-in image editor that can perform a number of the tasks you might need to accomplish. When you’re viewing an image in the media window, click “Edit Image.” A new page will appear with a row of buttons at the top that will give you several options, with pop-up tool tips when you hover over them. You can change the size of an image by going to “Scale Image” and specifying the dimensions. Basic images within pages can be many different sizes, but should be limited to about 2400px wide for most website designs. It’s recommended that you not increase the size of lo-res images, as this will cause them to appear “fuzzy.” To crop an image, click and drag a little on the image to get a crop-box started, and then in the two “Selection” parameter windows to the right, enter your desired dimensions (e.g. 300 x 300)… this will make the crop-box the desired size. Hover over your box until you get a cursor with four arrows, drag the box to where you want it positioned, and click the Crop button in the top row of buttons (on the far left).

      RESTORING ORIGINAL IMAGE – It is always recommended that you save an original version of the photo you are altering to your desktop before you save your changes in the WordPress image editor. However, if after saving your edited image you need to revert back to the original version, click Edit Image, and Restore Original Image.

      NOTE: Images that are not optimized and/or are high resolution (300 dpi or more) may take a long time to upload (for example, images that have just been uploaded from your digital camera), and will probably not display as quickly as images that are optimized for the web. Hi-res images can also take up a ton of space on the server! It’s typically best to optimize these images for the web in Photoshop or other software.

    1. Menus – For more on managing your navigation menu(s), first you’ll need to go to Appearance > Menus. Then check out the following video for more info on menus (plays here between 1:16 and 4:56):

    1. From time to time, widgets, plugins and WordPress itself will require updating. Updates typically happen when developers release security patches or add extra functionality. It’s an essential practice to keep your plugins and WordPress version updated to the latest versions. The top two reasons for sites being hacked are insecure passwords and outdated (vulnerable) software. WordPress has introduced automatic background updates in an effort to promote better security and to streamline the update experience, but by default, only minor WordPress releases are enabled (e.g. v5.1.1, v5.1.2). These minor releases are usually for maintenance and security purposes or translation file updates. Only core WordPress files will be auto-updated; your theme and plugins won’t be automatically updated. When your site is auto-updated, your site administrator will be notified by email. If your WordPress installation can’t update itself automatically for one reason or another, your site administrator will be notified of this as well.

      For more information about assistance with ongoing WordPress maintenance, ask me about the Abell Smith Design Website Care Packages!
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