Introduction to WordPress

This workshop is aimed at beginners and provides viewers a brief introduction to the WordPress open-source software. The workshop introduces WordPress, provides its brief history, and shares its features. It also provides an overview of how to install WordPress, provide a demo of features such as posts and pages, taxonomies, themes, plugins, custom post types, and custom fields.

This workshop showcases WordPress 5.6 and was shot in January 2021.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand what WordPress is and what its features are.
  2. Learn how to install WordPress.
  3. Learn about WordPress features such as posts, pages, etc.
  4. Get an overview of plugins and themes.

Comprehension questions

  • What are the languages used to build WordPress?
  • What is the difference between and
  • What is the difference between themes and plugins in WordPress?
  • How can we add categorize contents in WordPress?


Thanks for joining us today, we request WordCamp India online. I am Ahmed Lawson, and this is the workshop day, the first day of the workshop and welcome to the very first session. So let me share my screen and get to my slides real quick.

Hope you can see my screen now. And once again, welcome to WordCamp India. And this is your session, Introduction to WordPress, your first workshop today. You can follow me on twitter at Maxine. Okay. And let’s talk with a little bit about me. My name is Mohammad Moxie, and I’m a senior React engineer at Artie cannon. We are a WordPress VIP agency based out of India and the US. We work with large clients, enterprise clients such as BMC, Penske, media Corporation, Google, Facebook, and so on. I also write for popular magazines, developer focus magazines online such as Smashing Magazine, and a few others. I will feature my work on publications like CSS tricks, WP tavern, post status, and so on. In my free time, I like to explore the natural beauty of Sri Lanka and also travel to different parts of my country, my fantastic illustration. And I like to also do trekking in the wild in natural springs and streams and so on. And I also like to sip on different types of tea, and I get my time. So let’s start for the session today. So this is an introduction to WordPress. So let’s start with the fact that cold hard fact 39% of the web is built on WordPress, which means WordPress is huge. And in my opinion, WordPress is here to stay. So let’s see why WordPress is so popular. When you say 39% of the web. It’s a large chunk of the web is within WordPress, CMS. So let’s see why. And let’s see why you should consider WordPress and why how you can get started with WordPress. That’s how the talk is going to be for today the workshop. So, yeah, the WordPress. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. Like I just said, it covers 39% of all websites in the world. And some of the most visited websites are WordPress websites. In the on the internet. WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mitel, the two co founders of WordPress, and they are based on a previous open source CMS called P2. cafe Learn. WordPress promotes open source as an idea. It’s not just open source as free software. It’s more like an idea and a part of our culture in the WordPress community. WordPress is free to use, modify, distribute and so on. And WordPress is free in both senses. It is free as in, you can use it for free, and it also has freedom. So WordPress gives you freedom to change the software as you want and modify and distribute and even make money by selling your products based on WordPress. The WordPress one of the strongest parts of WordPress is its community, which is unique. If you see online communities focused on WordPress, there will be a community unlike any industry. So be a part of the community and enjoy an organized by the heartbeat of the community. So let’s start with a WordPress definition. So WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool, and a content management system short for cms long form of CMS based on PHP, MS SQL or MySQL, which runs on a reposting service. So that’s a lot of words, a lot of maybe new words for folks who are new to web development, perhaps or the CMS or even for open source communities. So let’s start with the first hardware which is free and open source. So in our case, let’s break it down. And free and open source means it’s free as a free of charge, meaning you don’t have to pay a cent to work with WordPress on your local environment. And the second part of fee is that fee the freedom to do anything with it. So you can modify the way you want. You can commit, like you can open a pull request, you can change the way you can create, like you can change it and sell it if you want to even. So WordPress is also blogging to CMS.

What it means is that you can create your own blog. Blog means you write content on, on your website, about your self, it can be about your interests can be about your job, anything that that interests you, you can write posts about it on your website. And with the CMS, you use it to manage the content on your website, or your portal or your app without really writing any code. That’s the power of the CMS. If you want to traditionally build websites in the old school way writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you would have to hand code all individual pages, which is really time consuming. But when you use a CMS, it makes it that much easier for you. And you’re able to just focus on your own writing, which is a big win, which is a huge win in the web development world that which really took the web developer industry into great leaps. Yeah, so they use PHP and MySQL or MySQL. PHP is a programming language, which is used by WordPress, it’s one of the oldest programming languages. And it’s, it has been tried and tested. MySQL is the database for running WordPress. So all your data is using a database software called MySQL or MySQL. Both PHP and MySQL are also open source. And all of this you hosted on a web hosting service. You have to you can either post it on your own server and then put it on the cloud. Or you can connect it to the internet or you could hire a server space in one of the popular server, server hosting providers around the world. You can Google for the popular ones. So let’s see why you should consider WordPress and why I love WordPress perhaps. Yeah, so WordPress is popular for its ease of use. So if you take WordPress can be great for a content writer. It can be absolutely fantastic for developers and it can be equally equally great for hackers. When I mean hack, I do not mean the typical script kiddies or hackers. I mean, the people who use WordPress, use a few plugins use a few things and put a site on by themselves. That’s what I meant by hacker, meaning they don’t write actual code. But I mean, they perhaps bring a plugin and a T migrated website on their own. And yeah, so WordPress is also known for its famous five minutes, five minute install, meaning you can get started with WordPress very quickly. So it saves time. It’s sometimes it can take you 30 seconds sometimes can be it can take you more than five minutes. So five minutes is an average time. Yeah, again, WordPress is very popular for how easy it is to get started with. And yeah, and again, coming back to the free as in freedom. You don’t have to pay anything. Like they say on It’s priceless. And it’s also free which I fully believe it because ours like 1000s and 1000s of hours have been utilized to Make WordPress the software that it is today. And yeah, so lighthouse 100% perfect lighthouse is possible on WordPress. I have done it on my own website when I had TWA and amp plugin installed. So you can use a combination of amp accelerated mobile pages, and progressive web app. Those are just plugins, you can install those plugins on the latest WordPress theme and you can get a perfect lighthouse score. And I just want to say that it is possible with WordPress. And WordPress is safe and secure. Unlike what you may have heard online or someone who may have had a bad experience in WordPress, may have told you it is insecure. But I have been running WordPress for the last six years I have not faced a threat so far on my personal site. I hope it stays that way. So this is something I saw on Twitter very recently about two days back. So in terms of security standpoint, Sara what’s the best to CMS and yeah, I like this apply reply from always he said WordPress is excellent provided you manage it will hire a manager or go with SAS, meaning you should know how to manage and how to use WordPress or you go with an established WordPress manager such as those going around. And also you can of course use to get the best version of WordPress. So on top of what you have, with WordPress core, one of the great strengths about WordPress is that you can use plugins and themes to customize the look and feel and also the functionality of your website. Let we’ll get into this when we do the actual demo for the workshop. And work this is also SEO friendly.

For example, I did not use any special techniques to get to number one on I only have And I was able to get to the first result on Google or domain name is quite popular. And let’s do a little bit of clear up. I mean, sometimes when you begin with WordPress, you may not know the difference between and So let’s clear that up for all of us. So is by Automattic. They are they are a company based in the US and which is remote, which is distributed, and is open source. So is paid meaning you can have a free version of If you have a subdomain, for example, can be used for free. But if I want my own domain like something with a full domain, you have to pay for WordPress. With, the software is fully free, you can install I will get to it in the next slide. But yeah, it’s the free version where you hosted not your own service. So let’s see what the differences are. So we get what is your point we get started quickly and easily. With that all you need a domain you almost failed in terms of what a basic blog would need. But if you use a subdomain it is fully filled. And we all give you all the WordPress features such as all the plugins that are installed all the themes that you can find and even all your custom code, even material from the fraud team, you can use it on website, you have to pay to use additional features because it’s at the end of the day to SaaS model sock as a service you can use any team like like I just said in the previous part. So is run by is run by the WordPress Foundation, which is the open source foundation governing the project. Let’s talk a little bit about self hosted WordPress VI, you can find this on And yeah, we can perhaps get started with our demo for now. So to run WordPress on your local, there are a few ways to do it. Back in the day, I used to have XAMPP. I used to run WordPress on XAMPP when I had windows, and once WP engine or local by flywheel was introduced, I wanted to try it out. And I saw that it’s a very easy way for a beginner to get started. You can also try it can Stein server press and a few others, there are a bunch of others. The reason we are using local is because that’s in my opinion, that’s the easiest way to get started. But there is no affiliation between myself and Google. So let’s start discussing what we will going through what we will be going through for the day. We will be starting by installing WordPress on our local server. And then we will be exploring what are cages What are posts and what are attachments. Then we will see what are taxonomies. And so categories and tags are the primary taxonomies. And we will look at themes and plugins. And finally, custom development using custom post types and custom fields for WordPress. So let’s get started. Let’s let me introduce our local That’s where you find the local server for installing and getting started with WordPress with ease and speed. So you don’t you don’t have local first on your computer. And you open the local app and you create a website. And once you create a website, it will you can go to the dashboard this way the WordPress dashboard looks like so you it will always have the slash WP admin if you want it or you can customize it if you want. This how the front end looks like this is the latest default WordPress theme. So let’s get to our demo for the day. Okay.

Okay. So let me create a new site call this site WordCamp. India. And you can have advanced options. For example, if you do not want a hyphen in a visit, we can call it like WordCamp in your local or you can call it WC, Indian, local and so on a call WC, Indian, local.

Okay, and this is don’t use a blueprint, if you want, you can use the blueprints. And we continue. There are two options to go with. Either you can go with preferred or custom with few very custom, you can select the what version of PHP you want, and what web server you want and what database version you want. But let’s look at the preferred option. I normally use localhost, I do WordPress, and the password that I normally use. And if you can, if you want, you can use it as a multisite. But for our case, let’s call it a normal site. multisite is an advanced topic, where you can have multiple instances over multiple instances within the same database using the same database. So now site local site is being provisioned. To reiterate, this site is only in my local computer. And I have confirmed I need password to get started.

Okay, so now that it started, I will create a different open site. And yeah, this is how it looks like this is a default WordPress site. So this is the title of the website that we enter. And the tagline for the site, just another WordPress site. And this is the first post. So it says Welcome to WordPress, this is your first post, edit or delete, then start writing if you only can start editing it right away. And let’s login to the backend for now. So click on the admin and I go to WP admin. So in that I could use a username and password that I created earlier. Remember me Okay, and this is the default dashboard WordPress dashboard. This is the default WordPress front end. This is what the user would see if a default WordPress is installed. And this is what the admin will see, we have a fresh WordPress install. So let’s explore WordPress a bit. So this is the post, if I want to add it, I can either click on Edit here, I will be taken to the backend. And this is the Block Editor that you might have heard of all Gutenberg, with this block, new Block Editor, all your content is a block. So it’s very interesting.

For example, I can start writing and I can add a heading or a paragraph. In this concept. Every item is a paragraph every blocks. So every block is an a specific part of what you want. For example, let’s say you want to write some entry. You can add this.

So these points, this is another kind of talk the right time all day. So let’s add an image perhaps. Let me before Media Library, we would not have any images. So let’s pick an image from perhaps here. It’s at this image if it’s possible to add it, okay. wp-admin Okay, it’s a key IPC attribute so it does not be added perhaps.

Let me quickly add an image, a supported image type perhaps. I’ll just add the WordPress watermark. Okay, so I did this and there’s an image, I can use the image to align center align right All align less, you know, and I can also do quite a bit, I can even do full bit. So it looks huge in, if I see the front end now, this will look huge. So all these options you can easily do with WordPress. So let me delete. So that’s the power of Gutenberg. I can talk for Gutenberg all day. Because it has a bunch of blocks, for example, I can use a full coat. And I can say it will be packaged in a beautiful day, like a full court. All these beautiful options defense. And, yeah, so I can create a table for example, I can do a cover image and a lot more. I can go on and on and on about it. For example, if I were an embedded tweet, I can do that. Or YouTube video. And yeah, there’s lots of Yeah, you should definitely explore Gutenberg. But Gutenberg is a topic of its own. So let’s get back to what we were focusing on. So this is how editor post. And if you want to create a new post, you press Add New. And like I call it, this is a new blog post, I call it a new blog post, though, and this is, this isn’t a new post, in which case, I can assign it a category. Categories are a way to categorize WordPress posts. I’ll call it what can

I give it a tag? Intro news. But yeah, these are again, tags up with tags are another way to categorize a post, I can give it a featured image, perhaps I can use this image itself. And I can give it an excerpt. It’s nice, yeah. So let’s see how it looks like our front end, view post. And the new posts and these the featured image. And hello and welcome this blog posting with the category is a category. So it is the author’s name, WordPress. And this is the category WordCamp. And these are the tags that we use. So if I want to go to all posts tagged WordCamp I click on this and it comes. And if I create a another blog post tagged WordCamp.

It’s a category of new category perhaps all in JavaScript and give it a tag of WordCamp publish it. Now, if I see I can see two ports and what would WordCamp tech, so that is tagging and categories also working in a similar way. For example, if I delete the category of WordCamp, Asia and I can go to slash category and WordCamp these two will. So again, Tags and Categories are a way to categorize a group together similar posts. Normally category is usually used as primary, meaning more like a higher level taxonomy of high level categorization. And tags are normally used. multiple tags are used in a post to categorize all the things that the post is talking about. So we just discovered what is a post in WordPress, perhaps post is like the basic or the base, post type. And WordPress has different types of post types. And let’s start. So let me explain. So WordPress has different post types. And one of those is also called post. And the other one is called pages. Think of posts as content type. So the first content type is called posts. Okay. And the second content type is called pages. And I’ll call it about I just started about this is what can’t do. But what bridges act like a typical page, it is Green, it will not change, and force rather have a date, how many of you see a post, it will have a date. And it will have categories, it will have tags and so on. But if you take a page, it will just have the title and the content, it will not even have the author most of the time. So that’s the difference between a page and a post. A page is evergreen, it’ll always be there. Post is not evergreen, it will have different dates, and it will change. And the homepage, the latest post usually comes first if it’s a blog page, if it’s the blog archive page. So we saw what is a post and what is a page, perhaps we can add the page to our menu. So under appear, this is the dashboard menu. So this it has something called menus. This will come up in the front end. So let me show you how. So let’s say we have a created minion, I’ll call it primary menu and assign it to the primary menu. And I’ll create so if I see you now.

Okay, so the about pages here. And this was already there, this sample page. This is an example page by WordPress themselves. So when you install a fresh copy of WordPress, you will get this sample page. So this is the menu front primary menu. And this is the WordCamp. India. So if you want to see the other menu, it’s called secondary menu, create a new menu and for sure, right, right, is perhaps just an interview, I just post them. And if you see here, the secondary menu is here. Okay, the secondary menu, and this is the primary meaning. So let’s see what we can cover. Now I want to talk about installing, we did talk about installing force pages, attachments, and categories and tax we did. And let’s talk about plugins and themes. So when I talk about attachments a little bit, so attachments are the menu media items here. So let’s say I want to add a new item here, I can select from my local. And let’s say I want to, okay, this image I just added here. And I can use this image in one of my posts, just edit this post. And perhaps I can, okay, all the image and the library and this image, I can also convert this image into a cover. When I do that, I can do it. Like this. Align it full width, and I can even right, this is awesome.

So if I see this post, I can even though a few interesting things like background. And booth like this would be this parallax effect, which used to be really cool back in 2015. And we stride out a lot of CSS to achieve this. But now with WordPress and Gutenberg, you can achieve it with just a click of a button or a click of a checkbox. Okay, so this is something I really love about Gutenberg that you can achieve all these with just the clicks. Okay, so we already looked at postbase attachments, taxonomies. And this talk about themes and plugins now, which is a huge part of WordPress. So let’s talk about themes first. So now we have the 2020 theme. This is called the 2021 theme, actually, this theme, and if you want to check out the 2019 team, it’s all about a sticker clicking on it and it’s really active. How is the 2019 team? It was much different from before. It’s like a completely new website. How it was it just took a single click of a button. It’s we have completely changed our website to something entirely different. It’s similar again to something else, let’s say to the 2020 team Okay, this is again, something very different again. It’s like we just changed our website, again, on small looks like a completely different site, just the click of a button. So let’s say you’re not happy with the default themes, but they are the like one of the best things, some of the best things you can find WordPress, let’s assume you don’t have. These are called the default themes that comes every year 2019 2020 and 2021. So let’s say not happy with one of them, you can just click on add new theme, and you can pick from you can select from 1000s of things, actually. And if you’re still not happy, you can buy a custom made theme from the stores online. Or Still, if you’re not happy in build your own theme. Okay, let’s click. I have something that I like. But let’s see what is popular. Okay, let’s see. Okay, I had something in mind called 10. Scratch, which I use for my very first website.

This is Tim I like a lot when I started with WordPress back in 2015. I used this on my personal website for quite a long time. So let’s see how it looks like. So you might have wondered, I like flat, rather plain and minimal designs. This was my one of my favorite themes back in the day. So yeah, so we looked at themes, and you can install themes from the repository. These are all free themes. And if you are not satisfied with 333 theme, you can buy a free premium theme or build your own theme. Let’s look at plugins. Now. Let’s say you want a plugin to sell things online. So what would you do if you go to WooCommerce WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms and it’s built on top of WordPress installed WooCommerce. And you’re ready to start selling products and become an enormous project. With a few tip soft buttons, and some more work behind the scenes. Let’s say let’s I guess, get to the next point, which is custom posts and custom fields. For that we can do it in two ways, we can either use a plugin or use custom code. So for our example, we will use a plugin called Custom Post Type UI. And it’s created by web dev studios. Let’s install that. And while we’re at it, it’s also Okay, it’s activated. And let’s add a new post type. Let’s say you want to write let’s say we’re not happy happy with posts and pages, we want something extra, something more. So let’s say we want to book and we want to use that as the start starting point. Okay, at post type. And now you have books here. So with book you can add a new book. Let’s call it Oliver Twist. This is a book by Charles Dickens.

If you see here, it says book and Oliver Twist. Let’s say we want to categorize books in a certain way, we can actually use a custom taxonomy. We’ll call it genre. And we can assign it to books. So once we do that types category at the tags on me, and now we can go to books. And if you see here, you can click on genre. I guess Oliver Twist is lit correction. I don’t know what it’s all about. So I can categorize this as literature and now if I see under books, if I go under my books, I will have genres and genres I will have a twist and if I can say Oliver Twist when there is so these will be of custom, complex topic. But when you do custom development is absolutely necessary. So let’s talk a little little more and more custom fields. So the perfect bug plugin for custom fields is called advanced stuff. builds. And with this, we can we can install this plugin. It has over millions installations and activated custom fields, add a new field.

And let’s say you want to assign it to all the books. And let’s say you want to have author bits, let’s publish it. So if you want to display the author, so let’s say you go to my books and audio test and we want to show who the author is by field, not by text or by and the author’s name is Charles Dickens. So now it will be updated and the author’s name would be chopsticks. So I’ve tried to bring it to the right, it’s possible. I can also bring it to perhaps this way. Yeah, so the book oligopolist, Charles Dickens is here. It’s made screen more visible here. Okay, now I guess it’s a little more visible, that the name of the author is Charles Dickens. Okay.

So if you want to see the book, in the front end, you go here, you click on view. And if you want to show who the author is, in Franklin, you have to write custom custom code for it, you can, you can look into the ACF documentation to see like some people get fields and use this field or use field. acf and you will use it inside of your team to show it on the front end. So since this interaction if you use this on the on the team that governs this, under the fiat currencies, the template file that governs this theme, it will be visible to you on the front end with the name, author. So since we are running out of time, and since this is just an introduction to WordPress, I think it pretty much covers what we wanted to do for the day. So let me come to conclusion now. So once again, we covered all about installing WordPress locally using local by WP Engine. We saw posts, pages and attachments, we looked at taxonomies, namely categories and tags tags, we looked at themes and plugins. We looked at WooCommerce. We looked at our CPT UI, and we looked at ACF, three different plugins. And they will talk about custom post types and custom fields using those plugins and custom taxonomies. Also we looked at using genres for books. So coming back to the conclusion. So perhaps you will have heard different arguments for WordPress and against WordPress. So it will go on forever. I think people will say bad things about WordPress, people would say good things about WordPress. But for me, I would I have only mostly good, good things about WordPress. And I think arguments about his word preschool or not, or what was his trending or not always is WordPress buying or not mostly pointless. I think it’s rather the better you focus on the tools, focus on the perfect tools that we have at hand and use it to benefit us and our clients and employers and so on. So yeah, final message for all of us is to spread kindness, let us spread kindness. And yes, so thank you for listening to me today. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. If you have questions, you can always reach out on Twitter at Lipson okay. Again, thanks for having me today. with you all it has been a pleasure talking to you every interview. Yes, I’ll see you soon. Bye bye.

Workshop Details


WordCamp India 2021

WordCamp India is a three weekend regional online WordCamp from Jan 30 – Feb 14.

Muhammad Muhsin

Full Stack Engineer with a ♥️ for WordPress and React. I work as a Product Developer at Awesome Motive. I love to read, listen, write, speak, and explore!