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Getting To Know Your WordPress Website

Getting To Know Your WordPress Website

So you have a brand new WordPress site, but where do you begin? You need to get to know your WordPress site and how to navigate it so that you can get started with your online marketing through WordPress.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

How to log in to WordPress

When logging into your WordPress account, your login URL is your domain name followed by /wordpress-admin.


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How to customize The SideBar

Your sidebar (by default) is made up of widgets. These widgets can be pulled in or taken out based on your needs. You’ll find these in Appearance – Widgets.

  • Posts – This is where you can create a new blog post for your site or manage existing posts and drafts.
  • Media – This is where you can manage your photos, documents, etc. that you have added to your site. You can use this same option to add new media to your site.
  • Pages – You can use this option to create pages on your site or manage existing pages and drafts.
  • Comments – If you choose to have comments enabled on your site and posts, you can manage and respond to these comments here.
  • Appearance – In this menu, you will be able to manage:
    • Your Themes
    • Your Widgets
    • Your Menus
  • Plugins – This is where you can add new plugins or manage/update existing plugins.
  • Users – If you need to change your password or grant access to an admin/IT department to your site, you can set them up with a user account here.
  • Settings – This is where you can manage the settings and details of your existing plugins and your general settings such as your site title, url, etc.

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Pages VS Posts


When you create pages, you want to make sure the content in these pages are made up of evergreen, timeless content.  You’ll use Pages and subpages or Parent Pages and Child Pages.

  1. About Your County
    1. About the City You Serve
      1. About the Area You Serve
        1. Neighborhood in the Area #1
        2. Neighborhood in the Area #2
        3. School District
          1. Schools in the Area
            1. Specific School #1
            2. Specific School #2
  2. Browse By Location
    1. Location #1
      1. Homes for sale in ________ Between $100,000 – $200,000
      2. Homes for sale in ________ Between $200,000 – $300,000
    2. Location # 2
      1. Homes for sale in ________ Between $100,000 – $200,000
      2. Homes for sale in ________ Between $200,000 – $300,000

In this example, these are pages that are made up of IDX Widgets (showcases of listings), as well as content about the county, city, area, school districts, schools, and more. This content does not change (with the exception of the listings, which update automatically).


When you create posts, these are going to be informative, hyper-local non-permanent content for your site. They could be featured real estate listings, special events, articles about selling or buying a house and so forth.  Some examples of some blog posts would be:

  • What to look for when buying a home in __________.
  • Things to do in ___________ for Christmas.
  • What you didn’t know about living in __________.
  • Best places to eat in __________.

These posts have the possibility of the content expiring, which in that case, you update the blog post or create a new blog post the following year with updated content fitting that year’s places, stats, etc.


Media includes files such as:

  • PDF Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Word Documents
  • Powerpoint Presentations
  • Images

When you click on the media section on your sidebar, it provides you with the option to add new media, or view existing media that you have already uploaded to your site. Each “media” item that you upload comes with a personal URL that you can use to link the item in your posts. You can easily access these links while in the pages and posts editor, rather than having to go to “media” in the sidebar.

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WordPress Themes

Stock Photos

When you go to “Appearance” and then “Themes” in your sidebar, you will see the existing themes that you have available to use on your site. You will not see many to start. In order to search for more themes, you can click on the “Add New” button towards the top of the screen. This will allow you to browse different themes for your site.

IMPORTANT: You want to make sure that the theme that you choose is mobile responsive. You can be sure the theme you are searching for is mobile responsive by clicking on “Feature Filter” and checking the box that says “Responsive Layout.”

See also  Building a Membership Site

If you have purchased a theme from another website and they have provided you with a downloadable zip file to add to your WordPress site, you can click on “Upload Theme” at the top of the “Add Themes” page. This screen will allow you to browse your computer for the theme file that you downloaded. Be sure to click “Activate” once you have chosen a theme in order for it to be active on your website.

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Widgets are features that you can add to your sidebars, headers, and footers on your site. Widgets include IDX Previews, HTML Codes, basic text, etc.

If you want a search widget on your sidebar, in a footer or header, or on a page, you would drag and drop the proper IDX Widget from the list of available widgets to the section that you see on the right side of that page. Get there by going to Appearance – Widgets.

If you are looking to add a tracking code to your site, you can drag and drop the “Text” widget from the list of available widgets to the footer section and paste the HTML tracking code in the text widget.

Widgets are something that you will want to play with until you find the right look on your site of IDX Widgets, Text Widgets, etc.

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Building the Menu

WordPress Menu Structure

When creating menus on your site, depending on the theme, you are able to have multiple menus. You can have a different menu on the bottom of your site than the one that you have available at the top of your site. You can also have a main menu at the top of your site and a smaller menu above that for contact info, blogs, etc. It all depends on what you want your site to look like and what you would like accessible to your visitors and where you would like them to be able to access it.

To set up your menu, you will need to enter a name for your menu and click “create menu.” To set up your hierarchy, you simply drag and drop your existing pages from the “pages” section on the left of the screen to your menu. If you would like a page to be a part of the drop-down under that main page, you can drag and drop that page from the “pages” section underneath the page you already have on your existing menu.

You will see that sub-page positioned slightly more towards the right, so that it is easy for you to know by looking, which pages are on the main menu, and which pages are included in the drop-downs underneath those main pages in the menu bar.

The main menu should be simple and should not have too many drop-down menus. Create a clear 5 point navigation and then guide the visitor from page to page. Remember, all of your pages and posts will not go into your menu. These pages will be found through search engines, social shares, search bars, etc.

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Plugins are a feature of WordPress sites that allow you to bring in third party software to enhance and optimize your WordPress account. When you start your WordPress site, there are two plugins you want right off the bat:

  • WordFence
  • Akismet

These plugins are meant to enhance the security on your WordPress site and protect from hackers and other potential intrusions.

Plugins can also include features such as:

If you have a free WordPress account, you do not have the Plugin feature. This is a feature that you will receive if you have a paid WordPress account, and it provides some great opportunities to customize your WordPress site and provide great integration settings to optimize your online marketing and lead capture efforts. Some of the big real estate web developers build on WordPress yet lock up the dashboard so that you can’t add plugins. They actually do this to prevent site crashes from conflicting plugins and vulnerability to hackers etc.

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When you have more than 1 person who is going to be accessing your WordPress site on the back-end (creating pages/posts, updating plugins, etc.), you will want to make sure that they have a separate login for the site.

To add a new user, you can click on the “Add New” option at the top of the screen and enter the required information to set up their account.

See also  WordPress Redirect Plugins and How to Use Them

The good thing about creating separate users is if for some reason you lose a member on your team or need to grant someone temporary access, you can easily remove that user when you no longer wish them to have access to the back end of your site.

To delete or manage a user, move your mouse over the user’s name on the “Users” page and you will see an “edit” option and a “delete” option.

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When you download a plugin, you can move your mouse over the “settings” option on the left sidebar to see a list of your existing plugins that you can customize the setting for. Each plugin is going to have different settings and options.

The general settings provide you the option to change your site title and tagline, your settings when writing pages and posts, your settings for others reading your pages and posts, as well as settings for discussions if you are choosing to activate the comments option on your site.

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Creating your First Post

When you click on the Post or Page option on your left sidebar, you will be provided with a list of existing pages/posts along with an “Add New” button at the top.

When you click “Add New” you are provided with a blank post/page screen. You can type in a title and enter your content in the first blank space under the “Add New Post” or “Add New Page” text at the top. Your blog/page content will go in the larger white box underneath your title.

In your blog post, you have a few different options in the “toolbar” that is provided just above your content text box. You have the option to edit the text itself such as making the text bold, italicized, or with a line striking through the text. You can include bullets or numbered lists. You can choose to have specific text be identified as a quote by WordPress, which will show your text in a different format as the rest of the text in your post.

The line to the right of the quotation icon provides a horizontal line through the body of your text in that section. It acts as a break in your text. We have included a horizontal line below as an example.

Following the horizontal line, you will be able to choose the alignment of your text: Left, Center, or Right alignment.

Just to the right, you will see 2 link options. The first link is to add or edit a link in your blog. The second link icon is to remove a link entirely from the text you have selected in your page/post.

The next icon is the “insert read more tag” which is helpful to reduce bounce rates on your page. This will hide a portion of your blog until they click “read more” to see the rest.

Beneath the first set of icons, explained above, you will find “formats” and “paragraph” which allow you to choose a default format for the text highlighted in your post.

The icons to the right provide additional formatting options such as underlining the text, align the text in a “justified” way, which will make sure the text is lined up evenly on both sides of the text.

You will be able to change the color of the text, paste content, remove any existing formatting, and include special characters.

The final icons will allow you to indent a paragraph, undo your last action, and provide keyboard shortcuts if you would rather use keyboard shortcuts for the above functions, rather than using the toolbar.

Visual vs Text Tabs

In the upper right corner of your content box, there are two tabs labeled “Visual” and “Text.” The Visual option will allow you to see your post in a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get). The text option will allow you to edit the HTML formatting for the post — this is where you will include lead boxes HTML codes, video embed codes, etc.

Adding photos and video to Your Page/Post

When you would like to include a photo or file in your post, you can click on the “Add Media” button above your content box to choose existing media you have already uploaded into your WordPress site by clicking on the “media library” tab or upload new media by clicking on the “Upload Files” tab.

To upload a new file, you can click “Upload Files” from the “Add Media” button, click the “Select Files” button and find the file on your computer that you would like to include in your page/post.

See also  10 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices for WordPress Websites

Once the file is uploaded, you can click the blue “Insert into Post” button in the lower right corner.

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Categories are important to help your visitor navigate your blog posts. You want to create main categories such as “home buying”, “home selling”, “things to do”, etc. for your blogs to be categorized under.

Each post that you create needs to be placed under a single category that represents the general goal/topic for that blog or page.

For example, if you are writing a blog post on “How to Stage Your Home for the Holidays in Las Vegas,” you will place it under the “Home Selling” category since the general topic for this article is selling a home.

Your categories should be general and then you can use tags to be more specific as you build. When you build posts that rank well on the search engines, you may notice your category ranking well on Google on its own.

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How to use Tags

Tags are going to be more specific to the post/page that you are creating so that when people search on your site, they can find the post or page that fits what they are looking for the best. Tags should be used when you believe you will have more than one post on this topic, yet not enough for it to earn its own category.

Using the same example as before, you would want to use tags such as:

  • Your blog post is about the escrow process. You may put your blog post in the category: Home Buying and then add the tag ESCROW or TITLE.
  • Your blog post is about short sales. You may put your blog post in the category: Home Selling and then add the tag SHORT SALES or DISTRESSED SALES (maybe including foreclosures)
  • Your blog post is about Ascending Prices and shrinking inventory. Your blog post might go in the category “Housing Market” and your tag is: Home Prices or Inventory Supplies

If you include specific topics within your blog, be sure to include those in your tags, as well.

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The featured image is typically displayed above the Title on your page/post as well as on the list of your blogs if you have a blog feed set up on on one of your pages. This makes your blog more eye-grabbing when looking at it from your feed of blog posts. The placement of the featured image will vary depending on the theme that you have chosen for your site.

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Publishing Your Blog Post

When you publish your blog post, you have a few different options:

  • Save Draft – When saving a draft of your post, it will save any progress and changes you make, but the post or page will not be visible on your site publicly.
  • Preview – Preview will allow you to see exactly what your page/post will look like when you choose to make the post/page publicly available on your website.
  • Status – Once you publish your page/post, you can change the status from published to draft and back again, if needed.
  • Visibility – You can decide who can view your page/post by making it password protected or private so that only you can see it.
  • Publish – You can change whether you want to publish your post immediately, or schedule it to post at a later date. This is a great option if you decide that you want to publish multiple pages/posts, but you don’t want them all to publish at the same time. This will create a great option to schedule them out.

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