WordPress Basics Getting Started with WordPress: Essential Steps for Beginners
Getting Started with WordPress: Essential Steps for Beginners

Upon completing the installation of the WordPress system, we are ready to dive into WordPress! This popular content management system offers users a plethora of options and tools to create their websites with ease. In this article, we will delve into the fundamental settings and definitions in WordPress, starting from the installation process to template selection. Understanding these basics is crucial for anyone looking to set up and customize their WordPress website effectively.

Installation Essentials

During the initial setup of your WordPress site, several key parameters need to be defined. Let’s explore these primary settings:

  1. Username and Password: You’ll begin by selecting a username and password to access your WordPress dashboard. Ensure you choose a strong password for security purposes.
  2. Language and Timezone: Next, you can choose the language in which your WordPress interface will be displayed. Additionally, setting the correct timezone ensures that your content’s publication times align with your target audience.
  3. Site Name, Description, and Tagline: Your website’s identity starts here. Provide a concise yet descriptive site name, a brief description, and an optional tagline to convey the essence of your site.
  4. Permalink Structure: Permalinks determine how your post and page URLs will appear. WordPress offers various options for structuring your links, such as date-based or custom formats. Make your choice based on your site’s SEO and readability needs.

Template Selection

Once you’ve configured the basic settings, it’s time to choose a template (also known as a theme) that defines your website’s design and layout. WordPress offers three primary options for selecting a theme:

  • Free Themes from the WordPress Repository: You can browse and install free themes directly from the WordPress theme repository. These themes are reviewed for quality and security, making them a safe choice for most users. To install one, go to the “Appearance” section in your dashboard and click on “Themes.”
  • Premium Themes from Marketplaces: For more customization options and advanced features, you can opt for premium themes available on marketplaces like ThemeForest and others. These themes often come with dedicated support and updates. After purchasing, you can upload and activate them from the WordPress dashboard.
  • Custom-Built Themes: If you have specific design requirements or prefer a unique look for your website, you can create a custom theme. This can be done either by yourself, if you have coding skills, or by hiring a web developer. Several online resources and communities offer guidance and tutorials for building custom WordPress themes from scratch.
    We work with resite.pro a company that specializes in custom template development

Dominant and Essential WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins are instrumental in enhancing the functionality and features of your website. In this section, we will discuss some dominant and crucial plugins that serve various purposes, along with their alternatives.

Yoast SEO

  • Category: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Function: Yoast SEO helps optimize your website for search engines by providing on-page SEO analysis, meta tag management, XML sitemap generation, and readability checks. It offers suggestions to improve your content’s SEO.
  • Target Users: Bloggers, content creators, and website owners aiming to improve their site’s search engine visibility.
  • When to Use: Use Yoast SEO when you want to optimize your content for search engines and enhance its overall quality.
  • Alternative: Semrush SEO Writing Assistant provides similar features for optimizing content and offers real-time recommendations for improving SEO performance.
  • Link: Yoast SEO

Contact Form 7

  • Category: Forms and Contact
  • Function: Contact Form 7 allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms easily. It offers customization options and integration with various email services.
  • Target Users: Website owners and businesses looking to collect user inquiries or feedback through forms.
  • When to Use: Choose Contact Form 7 for a simple and lightweight form solution.
  • Alternative: Gravity Forms is a premium plugin that offers advanced features, such as conditional logic, multi-page forms, and payment integrations.
  • Link: Contact Form 7


  • Category: E-commerce
  • Function: WooCommerce is the go-to plugin for creating online stores. It offers features for product management, cart functionality, payment gateways, and inventory control.
  • Target Users: E-commerce businesses and entrepreneurs looking to sell products or services online.
  • When to Use: WooCommerce is essential when you need to set up an online store and manage product listings, payments, and orders.
  • No Direct Alternative: WooCommerce is the dominant e-commerce solution for WordPress. While other e-commerce plugins exist, none match its popularity and functionality.
  • Link: WooCommerce

WP Rocket

  • Category: Performance Optimization
  • Function: WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that improves website speed and performance by creating cached versions of your site’s pages. It also offers optimization features like lazy loading and database cleanup.
  • Target Users: Website owners aiming to boost site speed and improve user experience.
  • When to Use: Use WP Rocket for a comprehensive performance optimization solution.
  • Alternative: Autoptimize is a free plugin that provides similar performance optimization features, including script and CSS optimization.
  • Link: WP Rocket


  • Category: Email
  • Function: WP Mail SMTP ensures reliable email delivery from your WordPress site by configuring SMTP settings. It helps prevent email delivery issues.
  • Target Users: Website owners and administrators dealing with email delivery problems.
  • When to Use: Use WP Mail SMTP when your WordPress emails are not reliably delivered.
  • Alternative: Easy WP SMTP offers similar functionality for configuring SMTP settings and is a suitable alternative.
  • Link: WP Mail SMTP


  • Category: Multilingual
  • Function: WPML is a premium plugin that facilitates multilingual content management on your website. It allows you to create and translate content in multiple languages.
  • Target Users: Websites catering to a global audience and requiring multilingual content support.
  • When to Use: Choose WPML when you need comprehensive multilingual support and are willing to invest in a premium solution.
  • Alternative: Polylang is a free plugin offering multilingual support and is suitable for basic multilingual websites.
  • Link: WPML


  • Category: Security
  • Function: Wordfence is a security plugin that provides firewall protection, malware scanning, login security, and monitoring for your WordPress site.
  • Target Users: Website owners concerned about security threats and vulnerabilities.
  • When to Use: Install Wordfence to bolster the security of your WordPress site and protect it from various online threats.
  • Alternative: Sucuri Security offers a comprehensive website security solution, including monitoring, firewall, and cleanup services.
  • Link: Wordfence

These plugins, along with their alternatives, play pivotal roles in shaping your WordPress website’s functionality, performance, and security. Choose the ones that align with your specific needs and goals to create a robust and feature-rich website.

Managing and Maintaining WordPress Plugins: Best Practices

When it comes to extending the functionality of your WordPress website, plugins are indispensable tools. They allow you to add features, customize your site, and enhance user experience with ease. However, the convenience of plugins comes with responsibilities, licensing considerations, and potential security risks that need careful attention.

Convenience in Functionality Enhancement

Adding Features: Plugins empower you to expand your site’s capabilities without intricate coding. Whether it’s adding a contact form, optimizing SEO, or integrating e-commerce, plugins offer solutions for diverse needs.

Licensing Considerations

Choosing the right licensing model for your WordPress plugins is essential to ensure a sustainable and cost-effective approach to managing your website’s functionality. Here, we’ll delve into the licensing options and considerations, including examples of both premium and free plugins:

Premium Plugins

Lifetime Licenses: These licenses provide you with perpetual access to plugin updates and support without the need for annual renewals. They are ideal if you plan to use the plugin long-term and want to avoid recurring costs. Examples of plugins with lifetime licenses include WP Rocket for performance optimization and WPML for multilingual support.

Subscription Licenses: Subscription-based licenses require regular renewals, often on an annual basis, to continue receiving updates and support. These licenses are suitable if you want to stay current with the latest features and ensure ongoing compatibility with WordPress updates. Plugins like Yoast SEO Pro and Gravity Forms operate on a subscription model.

Free Plugins

Open-Source Licenses: Free plugins often come with open-source licenses, such as GPL (General Public License), which allows you to use, modify, and distribute the plugin freely. These plugins are an excellent choice if you’re on a tight budget or prefer the freedom to customize and adapt the plugin to your specific needs. Examples of popular free plugins include Contact Form 7 for creating contact forms and Akismet for spam protection.

Donationware: Some free plugins operate on a donationware model, where users have the option to contribute financially to support the plugin’s development. While donationware plugins are technically free, consider making a donation if you find the plugin valuable and wish to support its continued development. An example is the Classic Editor plugin, which restores the old WordPress editor interface.


Budget: Assess your budget and the importance of the plugin’s features. If a premium plugin offers critical functionality and long-term benefits, a one-time payment for a lifetime license may be cost-effective. On the other hand, if the plugin’s role is less central, a subscription model or free alternative could suffice.

Plugin Reliability: Research the reputation and track record of the plugin developer. High-quality premium plugins often come with responsive support and regular updates, ensuring reliability and security. Free plugins with active developer communities can also be dependable.

Feature Set: Evaluate whether the features offered by a premium plugin justify its cost. For some websites, free alternatives may provide sufficient functionality without the need for paid options.

In conclusion, your choice of licensing for WordPress plugins should align with your website’s needs, budget, and your long-term commitment to the plugin. Consider the specific features, developer reputation, and the value a plugin brings to your site when making licensing decisions, whether opting for lifetime, subscription-based, or free plugins.

The Risk of Plugin Proliferation

Multiplying Plugins: While plugins are incredibly useful, overloading your site with too many can lead to complications. Each plugin can potentially introduce conflicts, compatibility issues, and security vulnerabilities.

Plugins can pose a security risk, so it is important to carefully consider their use.


Security Concerns

Code Injection Plugins: Plugins that allow code injection, such as file managers or PHP code inserters, can be security risks. Unauthorized access to such plugins can lead to malicious code execution and compromise your site’s security.

Unnecessary Load

Redundant Plugins: Be cautious of plugins that serve redundant purposes or offer marginal benefits. For example, plugins solely designed to add a WhatsApp button may add unnecessary load to your site without substantial value.

Maintenance Is Key

Regular Updates: To mitigate security risks, it’s crucial to keep your plugins up to date. Plugin developers frequently release updates that patch vulnerabilities and improve performance. Set up automatic updates if possible.

Backups: Before updating plugins, perform full backups of your website. This precautionary measure ensures that if an update causes issues, you can easily restore your site to its previous state.

Testing Environments: Whenever possible, test plugin updates in a staging environment before applying them to your live site. This way, you can identify and resolve conflicts or issues without affecting your visitors.

Crafting Your Website’s Initial Content

When setting up a WordPress website, one of the foundational steps is creating and organizing your initial content. This process involves defining categories, crafting essential main pages, and delivering your first articles. Today, we have the advantage of using the Gutenberg block editor for content creation, but it’s important to note that there are alternative interfaces available, such as the classic editor and page builders like Elementor and Visual Composer (VC).

Organizing Categories

Category Creation: Begin by structuring your content into categories. Categories help visitors navigate your site, making it easier to find relevant information. For instance, if you’re running a cooking blog, you might have categories like “Recipes,” “Cooking Tips,” and “Restaurant Reviews.”

Tags: Complement categories with tags for even more precise content organization. Tags are like keywords that provide additional context to your posts. For instance, a recipe post might be tagged with “Vegan,” “Gluten-Free,” or “Italian Cuisine.”

Essential Main Pages

About Us: The “About Us” page introduces your website or organization to visitors. Share your mission, team, and the story behind your site. Make it personable and engaging.

Contact: Create a “Contact” page to facilitate communication with your audience. Include a contact form or provide contact details for inquiries.

Terms of Use (Terms and Conditions): A “Terms of Use” page outlines the rules and guidelines for using your site. It sets expectations and helps protect your rights.

Privacy Policy: A “Privacy Policy” page informs visitors about how you collect, use, and protect their data. This is particularly crucial for compliance with data protection regulations.

Today, the importance of website accessibility is rapidly growing, not only as a best practice but also as a global legal requirement. Accessibility measures are no longer confined to isolated regions; they are becoming universal obligations.

This transition towards inclusivity has been particularly evident in Israel, with initial accessibility requirements in place, and it is now expanding to encompass a much broader scope, including the United States. In 2024, a significant legal milestone is set to take effect, mandating accessibility compliance for all websites. This marks a pivotal shift, making website accessibility a legal requirement rather than an optional consideration.

While the specific accessibility standards and guidelines are still evolving, and clarity on mandatory compliance measures is being sought, the direction is clear: web accessibility is rapidly becoming a fundamental and non-negotiable aspect of digital presence.

It is imperative for website owners, developers, and businesses to stay informed, monitor regulatory updates, and proactively take steps to ensure their websites meet the evolving accessibility requirements. This proactive approach not only safeguards legal compliance but also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and the needs of all users, regardless of their abilities.

In this transitional period, the status of websites that are not yet legally obligated to comply with accessibility standards remains somewhat uncertain. However, the prevailing trend is undeniably shifting towards universal accessibility, and it is advisable for all website owners to prepare for the imminent changes by familiarizing themselves with accessibility guidelines and best practices.

Content Creation with Gutenberg

Block-Based Editing: Gutenberg is a block-based editor that simplifies content creation. It allows you to structure your content with various blocks, such as paragraphs, headings, images, and more.

Reusable Blocks: Gutenberg enables you to create and save reusable content blocks. This is especially handy for elements you’ll use across multiple pages, like call-to-action buttons or testimonials.

Dynamic Content: Gutenberg supports dynamic content, including custom post types and custom fields. This flexibility allows you to display dynamic information like events, testimonials, or product listings.

Alternative Interfaces

Classic Editor: If you prefer a traditional editing experience, the classic editor is available as an option. It provides a straightforward, non-block-based content creation process.

Page Builders: Page builders like Elementor and Visual Composer (VC) offer drag-and-drop interfaces for building and designing pages with ease. They’re ideal for users who want more control over the layout and appearance of their content.

Conclusion Essential WordPress

Starting with WordPress as a beginner involves key steps like installation, template selection, and essential plugins. Managing plugins wisely, considering licensing, and avoiding excessive use is vital. Crafting initial content and ensuring accessibility are crucial for a successful site. Embrace Gutenberg for content creation but be aware of alternative interfaces. Stay informed about evolving accessibility requirements as they become a global legal obligation. By following these steps, you’ll create a strong WordPress site tailored to your needs.

Questions and Answers

Q: How do I choose my website’s layout?

A: Selecting your site’s layout depends on your preferences and goals. WordPress offers various themes that you can customize to match your vision. Free themes from the WordPress repository are a good starting point for beginners, while premium themes offer more advanced options.

Q: How many plugins are recommended for my site?

A: The number of plugins you should use depends on your specific needs. While there’s no fixed limit, it’s essential to maintain a balance. Stick to essential plugins that enhance functionality, performance, or security, and avoid excessive plugins that may cause conflicts.

Q: When should I seek professional help, and on what topics?

A: Consider hiring a professional web developer or designer when you have unique design requirements, need custom features, or encounter technical issues beyond your expertise. Additionally, consulting an SEO expert can be beneficial for optimizing your site’s search engine visibility.

Q: Do I need to tailor my site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

A: Yes, optimizing your site for SEO is crucial for better search engine rankings. Choose an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO to help with on-page optimization, meta tags, and readability. Proper SEO practices improve your site’s visibility and reach.

Q: How can I improve site speed with plugins?

A: To boost site speed, consider using a caching plugin like WP Rocket. It creates cached versions of your pages, optimizing load times. Another option is Autoptimize, which optimizes scripts and CSS to enhance performance.

Q: What are the most useful plugins for managing comments and preventing spam?

A: For comment management and spam prevention, plugins like Akismet and Wordfence provide robust solutions. Akismet filters spam comments, while Wordfence offers security features like firewall protection.

Q: How can I safeguard my site from data loss and disaster recovery?

A: To protect against data loss, regularly back up your website using plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy. In case of issues, having backups allows you to restore your site to a previous state.

A: To increase site traffic, consider using plugins like Yoast SEO to improve SEO and Wordfence for security. Additionally, keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up to date to minimize vulnerabilities.