Sample WordPress Guide

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Sample WordPress Guide

Copyright © 2020, Abell Smith Design  •  (253) 250-3628  •  abell@abellsmith.com  •  abellsmith.com
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SELECTED FEATURES

A few of the special tools and features that have been included with your website
  • ABELL SMITH DESIGN THEME – Your website uses the standard Abell Smith Design theme, which can be customized to give it a unique and personalized look
  • WORDPRESS 5.X – Your new site has the latest version of WordPress installed as your website’s Content Management System (CMS).
  • CMS IMPROVEMENTS – Implemented extensive improvements and customizations to the default WordPress interface, to maximize the usability of the CMS.
  • FUNCTIONS & FEATURES – Installed a number of essential plugins and widgets to enhance site functioning and performance, including:
    • Contact form
    • Events Calendar
    • Testimonials
    • Images enhancements – gallery display, Lightbox popup effects, Metaslider slideshows, image “smushing” and auto-resizing (keeps image sizes down to improve site speed), easy image replacing in media library
  • RESPONSIVE DESIGN – By design, your website is completely responsive for viewing on devices of all sizes.
  • GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Installed Google Analytics, for measuring traffic on your website.
  • SECURITY – Implemented a number of security enhancements to guard against various attacks (e.g. brute force attacks).
  • AUTOMATIC DATABASE BACKUPS – Activated automatic backups of the MySQL database at regular intervals, in case of server/site crash.

  1. LOGGING IN TO WORDPRESS

    Here’s where you go to log into the WordPress CMS:

    adminURL

    Your usernames and passwords for your two WordPress user roles (Admin and Editor) have been sent in a separate email.

    1. USER ROLES – The “Editor” user role minimizes the amount of stuff you need to deal with in the WordPress Dashboard (as opposed to “Administrator,” which has access to most site functions). Most of this guide is written for a user logged in as an Editor.
    2. LOGIN LIMITS – For security, login attempts have been limited to 10 retries, after which the IP is locked out for 20 minutes (4 lockouts increase the time to 24 hours). Go to Settings > Limit Login Attempts to change these settings.

      Note: sometimes WordPress might require a couple of attempts to log in successfully, if previous credentials are stored in your browser’s cache. Let Abell know if you ever find yourself locked out completely!

  2. GETTING FAMILIAR WITH WORDPRESS

    You will see a few items in the menu to the left:
    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.
    2. Events – where you go to add or edit events in your Events Calendar.
    3. Media – is the library of images, PDF’s, and other media files that have been uploaded to WordPress. Note: a special plugin has been added to organize your media library into folders… see below for more info on that.
    4. 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.
    5. Testimonials – where you go to add or edit your customers’ testimonials on your Testimonials page.
    6. Gallery – where you go to add or edit image galleries.
    7. Appearance – where you go to access the Customizer for your WordPress website (see below for much more on this important function).
    8. Profile – where you access your user profile in the WordPress Dashboard.
    9. MetaSlider – where you go to add or edit image slideshows.
    10. [Collapse menu] – will give you a smaller menu to deal with, using only icons.

      *NOTE: your version of the WordPress CMS is completely responsive, so you can access any of the above functions in any browser on any size device!
  3. HOW TO CHANGE THE OVERALL WEBSITE DESIGN

    You can customize many parts of your website’s overall look and feel using the “Customizer,” which you can access by going to Appearance > Customize. Check out the following video showing how to use the Customizer in Page Builder Framework, which is the framework that your theme was built upon. The video plays here between 3:01 and 9:40… my own video is in the works, but this one is a good place to start:
  4. HOW TO ADD/EDIT CONTENT IN PAGES AND POSTS WORDPRESS

    You have three choices for adding or editing content in WordPress: the Beaver Builder plugin, the Classic Editor, or the built-in Gutenberg 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 them all and see for yourself! The three options are explaned below:
    1. Beaver Builder – Your website has a 3rd-party, drag-and-drop editor plugin installed called Beaver Builder. My clients have usually found this to be the easiest way to add and edit content, and a number of enhancements have been made to the Beaver Builder functioning on your site.

      Also 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. 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
      (https://abellsmith.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Wordpress-Classic-Guide.pdf)
    3. 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)
      (https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-use-the-new-wordpress-block-editor/)
  5. HOW TO MANAGE IMAGES ON YOUR WEBSITE

    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. Managing images
      Check out my video tutorial on managing images in the Media Library below:

    2. Making changes to the Home page slideshow
      See below for my video on using MetaSlider, and how to make changes to the Home slideshow on your website:
    3. 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.
    4. Replace Media – A special plugin has been added to allow quick and easy replacement of items in the Media library. In the media library list view, hover over an item and select “Replace Media.” Make sure the new item has the exact same file name as the old item (e.g., “image.jpg”), select the “Just replace the file” radio button, and click Upload.
    5. Galleries(Video tutorial on using the image Galleries in development, check back soon!)
  6. ADDITIONAL FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS

    1. Events(Video tutorial on using the Events Calendar in development, check back soon!)
    2. Testimonials(Video tutorial on using the customer Testimonials in development, check back soon!)
    3. Using your WooCommerce StoreHere’s how you manage your website’s store, if you have one:

      Your store was built using WooCommerce, a flexible, open-source eCommerce solution built on WordPress. There are a ton of WooCommerce tutorial videos out there to help you get familiar with the platform, but the below looks like one of the most complete and succinct. It’s recommended when you watch the video that you have your WordPress Dashboard open in separate browser tab, so you can pause the video often to try out the instructions. If your store has already been created, you can ignore the installation and Wizard setup overview (skip ahead to 7:12):

    4. Miscellaneous tips
      • Embedding YouTube videos in a post or page – In YouTube: Navigate to the YouTube page for your selected video, and right below the video, click the “Share” tab. Select “Embed”, and you’ll get a window with the embed code. Copy this code.

        In WordPress: To add a video into a post, choose Posts > Add New Post in the Classic Editor. Simply paste the embed code into the content of the new post in your WordPress Text Editor. Click “Publish.”

  7. WORDPRESS MAINTENANCE

    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 Package!

And much more! Your guide will be customized for your website and experience.

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