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Start receiving emails

You’re wordpress website start to come in shape, you have posts, pages, widgets and menus.

What about receiving email ?

Yes you need to allow people to reach you, for that all website use code and protocole that’s are around since the internet debut. But for wordpress you need to start coding stuff that already exist.

So we gone use a plugin to set up a email form and start receiving emails. Plugins are extensions that allow you to add features to your WordPress core installation.

  1. we gone look for a plugin for email,
  2. install it,
  3. and set up some essentials part of it.

Find a plugin for emails

Go to your plugin admin page, add click to the ‘add new’ button.

Add new button

On the plugin page you can just make a search from the search box, we gone make a search for ‘contact form’.

plugin page

As you can see you have a lot of choice. You can choose any plugin that you want, before that, it’s good to get more informations, just click on the button with that mention to know more about the extension, when you done click ‘install now’, and after that ‘activate’.

For the tutorial we have chosen the plugin ‘Contact form 7’. After installation you’ll get a new tab on admin menu name ‘contact’ with a enveloppe as a icon.

the contact form page

When you go to the plugin page, you have a default contact form already set with a shortcode. This form contain already all you need to receive emails, so copy the shortcode.

Yes indeed the plugin uses your email address as a admin of the website and will sent all new email to that address, you can customize the form and settings by clicking on the ‘edit’ available below the form name, it appears when you hover the form name.

the form shortcode

You can now paste the shortcode on a page to display a contact form as content of this page.

embedded contact form

To create a menu for you new contact form page see the post on menu creation on WordPress.

Check you the page on you website and test the emails, well done ! You can receive email now.

Your new form for emails
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Widgets how to use them in wordpress

Widgets are features offered by a template in WordPress, those features allow to display content in area other than the menu and the main content areas.

We can say that using widgets allow you to start customzing your website.

  1. where to find the widget ?
  2. start using efficiently widgets,
  3. I don’t find what i need as a widget.

Where to find widgets ?

Widgets page

Widgets can be find in the Appearance=>widgets tab of thr WordPress back office. You get a page with blocks those blocks are named widgets areas, on teh picture above we have 3 blocks available, their names indicate that they’re part of the footer of the website.

So this mean that there is actually 3 container that can be filled by widgets in the footer area.

To start adding widget just click on the ‘+’ button in the widget area you prefer.

pop up with widget

As you can see above, you get to choose the widget you want to add to the area, you can have more choice by clicking on ‘Browse all’.

Widget column list

Now you have all the widgets available on a list, for example you can choose the ‘Latest Posts’ widgets, after your choice you get the list of the last posts on your wordpress (see below).

‘Latest posts’ widget

You need to ‘update’ the page with the button on the top right corner to save your change. You can close the widget list by clicking on the cross above the list.

You’re all set ! Go to your website home page, you can see the list of posts is in the footer now.

homepage screenshot
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Create my first menu on WordPress

To create a menu in WordPress you need:

  1. a link to a destination content
  2. a menu name
  3. a menu location
  4. pick your menu items and order them

A link to destination content

All menu items allow to access a content on your website, you need first to create those content, they can be posts, pages, products if you’re creating a e-commerce website.

Add a post screenshot

Create a menu name

You can have more than one menu on WordPress, this can be important depending on your template. To create menu name go to the Appearance => menu tab in your admin area.

Admin menu page screenshot

Below the tab ‘Edit Menus’ you can see a notification to create a menu id needed. WordPress have by default a menu that is created, in this image you can see this menu is named ‘first’ and have 3 items.

By clicking on ‘create a new menu’ you get a new page to do so.

Create a menu page screenshot

Create a menu location

A menu location, is the place where you want to use your menu, on the page above, we have many choices below the ‘Menu settings’ title, you can see for example that your menu can be allocate to the footer and not only the ‘Desktop Horizontal Menu’ a more frequent location ( below the header ).

Pick your menu items and order them

Menu page with Add menu items columns on the left

After having created a menu, you can fill it with menu item. Going back to the appearance=>Menu page, you have ‘the Add menu items’ column to choose from to add you menu. One thing to keep in mind is that all your contents are available in that column, each one sorted by category, Pages, Posts and so on. For example if your have products has content, you will have a category product to choose from.

Last task order your menu, indeed to have you’re items menu in order you can drag and drop them, wordpress is very intuitive, you can also give a name to you menu item, by clicking on it new fields become available.

That’s it you’re menu is ready, you can enjoy it.

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Install WordPress

This part of our course on WordPress is kind of the basic of all website creation nowadays. What i’ll learn here can be apply to install others website or application on a host.

wordpress back office

Find a host

A website is code host on a server, and server area is own by an host company that lend you server space for a monthly or yearly fee, this fee can by really cheap depending on your needs.

To find a host company, just type and search, host for my website and google will help you with that.

Now after you have visited some host websites and choose from them, you can create an account and subscribe to a host service. This part of course vary upon your choice.

Register a domain name

Here come the second important part of the process, register a domain name, this mean register the name of your future website, like, Your host, again, offer that service and allow you if you look about it in their menu, to buy your domain name, choose a name, an extension like “.com”, “.us” pay the fee and your all set, for the first part.

Now you possess all the tools for creating your wordpress website.

Install wordpress on your server

Last part is to create your website or better said install a wordpress version on your server, here you can choose two options.

The host one click solution

Your host offer to create a wordpress website with one click install process ( this is the easier way to go) you just need to follow your host instructions on how to set up a wordpress website, today almost all host offer that kind of solution, so you can install wordpress and link it to you domain name

Get wordpress and upload it on your server ( manual option )

Go on and find the last version of wordpress ( in a zip or tar packaging ), download and unzzip the package.

When unzzip you get all the wordpress directories and files. This part need a bit more work, but you actually control every step of the installation on your server. To upload on your server the file you need a server manager like Filezilla, or Cyberduck, thoses tools are free. You can download them on their respective website.

Filezila board

You can also upload you files using a server manager, call also FTP tools using the one integrate to you host account. This option ca be easy or hard depending on what you host allows.

Personnally i thing is better to use un FTP tool, cause you start to understand how you website works. To use this you will you server credentials though, server name, password, port.

Done ! your ready to use wordpress.

Again install per you host is easier, so you go on your domain name, you will see that screen below with the name of your website.

wordpress website

if you’re installing your website using a manual method with FTP tools, server credentials and domain name already link to the server you will that screen below

WordPress installation screen

This is actually a good news.

It’s means that your domain name is pointed to your server and that wordpress is on the first stage for installation.

So choose your language, and after that you’ll a second screen.

example of installation screen

This page is important cause here you’ll tell wordpress which database to use. With a server a database is another tool use by all website, is allows simply to keep your datas and to interact with it.

IMPORTANT: this screen display dummy infos don’t use those.

All the infos ask here are all available in you host account.

  1. database name
  2. identifier use to connect to your database
  3. password of the database
  4. the database address
  5. a prefix table for the wordpress table use some characters 3 or 4 and put a underscore after, for security reason don’t use the default ‘wp_’ prefix.

Once all that completed you’ll will see a success and a link to your home page.

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Using wordpress as a blog or a website

What will you create a blog or a website ? WordPress by default works on a blog setup, indeed you first page or homepage when you just install it is a page showing blog posts one after another.

This behavior can be changed to display pages and not posts.

This is one of the basics of wordpress, pages and posts are two separate thing in wordpress.

back office menu

When you start a new posts on your wordpress, this post will appear on the blog loop, and all posts are link together, indeed at the bottom of a post your will see links towards previous and next posts. This a blog behavior allowing your visitor to enjoy contents that follow a logic.

Pages on the other hand are not connected one to another, so usually they are use like any website page, a home page, a description or about page, a pricing page, you see the point.

menu and sub menu for pages

When you just install a fresh WordPress site, the homepage display the so call archive page of wordpress, this a page with all the posts in a loop. If you check your posts in your back office you will retrieve the same exact content. But usually you don’t want this page to be your home page.

Choose your homepage

To choose what content to display in your homepage go to the setting menu.

Setting – reading admin page

This is where ou choose what to display as a home page, by default, the boxe ‘Your lastest posts’ is checked, so you get the posts and the archive posts template. To choose a page instead and have a more website like behavior choose ‘A static page (select below)’ boxe, and use the dropdown list to select a page to display from all your page, evidently you can create a page before doing this. Voilà ! you have a real home page link the page you want.

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What is wordpress ? And where to get it ?

WordPress is a Content Management system, a big word to say that it is a program that manage contents. At first it’s what develop to create blogs, and it quickly become successful for websites also. There is many other CMS (Content Management system) out there Joomla, Prestashop, etc… A CMS allow one thing , is to start right a way creating contents and not spending much time on technical issues about how to set up a working website. In short a CMS gives you a ready to use website, that you can fill with contents.

With time WordPress is become the number one CMS, this is another reason to use it, what’s come with this status is that there is a big community around the CMS, this community help to maintain wordpress, but also provide new extensions called “plugins”.

For more info on WordPress, don’t forget Google is your friend.

Our goal on Ilearnwp is to give anyone the keys to enter the wordpress world, this can allow to create you own blog or website, sell product on it or find a job as a wordpress website builder.