WordPress 101

Women's Information Network, April 21, 2016

by Beth Soderberg / @bethsoderberg

Why is learning to manage web content useful?

  • You don't want to rely on a developer.
  • You'd like to expand your professional skills.
  • You want to build your personal/organizational brand.
  • You want to become a designer, information architect, or developer.

Why are we here?

My Story

What is WordPress?

An open source content management system!

A content management system or CMS eliminates the need for any kind of programming by the users of a web publishing system.

Open source software – including the underlying programming code – is licensed for anyone to freely use, copy and modify in any way they choose.

Technically speaking, a WordPress website is made up of:

  • WordPress Core
  • A database
  • A theme
  • Plugins

A Tale of Two Websites

What the Visitor Sees

  • The website homepage, content pages, search pages, etc.

What the Site Manager Sees

  • The WordPress Dashboard
  • Administrative pages to edit content
  • Tools to manage menus
  • Tools to manage site settings
  • Lots of other tools!

WordPress Permissions

  • Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile.
  • Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts, but cannot publish them.
  • Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts, including the posts of other users.
  • Administrator – somebody who has access to all of the administration features within a single site.
  • Super Admin (multi-site installations only) – somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features.

Let's take a look!

Where to Start: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?


  • You can create a free account that will give you a free website.
  • With a free account, the URL of your website will always include wordpress.com (e.g. https://bethsoderberg.wordpress.com/).
  • You can pay for feature upgrades (e.g. using your own domain name).
  • There are theme, plugin, and customization restrictions.
  • There is free personalized support.

Where to Start: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?


  • You can download the WordPress software and install it on your own server.
  • You can fully customize all elements of the website.
  • You can use the support forums to ask and answer questions.

Hosting vs. Domains


  • A web host is a server where the files and database for a website are hosted.
  • A server is a computer with special software that lets you serve websites and other data to users through the internet.
  • Shared hosting means that your website is on the same server hardware as many other websites, but all of the sites are kept separate by special software.
  • Dedicated hosting means that your website is hosted on a computer that has the sole function of hosting your website. You do not share hardware with other websites.

Hosting vs. Domains


  • A domain is the URL that will take users to your website.
  • A top-level domain is the part of the URL to the right of the dot (e.g. .com, .net, .org).
  • A second-level domain is the part of the URL to the immediate left of the dot (e.g. google, facebook, twitter).

Theme Directory

Plugin Directory

  • Plugins in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory are reviewed, but can be submitted by anyone. There are also premium versions of some plugins.
  • To install a limited number of plugins on WordPress.com, you must use the built in plugins feature.


Thank you!

Find me at bethsoderberg.com or on Twitter @bethsoderberg.

These slides are located at: http://bethsoderberg.com/slides/2016/womens-information-network/wordpress-101.html#/

There will be tutorials based on this workshop on my blog!