WordPress Essentials: The Complete Guide

 Introduction To WordPress 

Course Overview

What You Need To Know!


Course Description:

The course is an online interactive course designed to explore the WordPress (hosted) platform which is wordpress.org. The course is designed to take you through a step by step process of building your website. The course will cover in details all aspects of WordPress in the first ten lessons followed by a project where you will apply everything you learned in the preceding lessons to reinforce your learning and create a blog or website you can be proud of.

Course Content:

The course consists of ten lessons and one final project…..

  • Lesson One – Introduction to WordPress. This lecture will cover the similarities and differences between the two WordPress platforms
  • Lesson Two – WordPress Home & Updates Screens
  • Lesson Three – WordPress Left Sidebar Menu Screens
  • Lesson Four – WordPress JetPack Screen
  • Lesson Five – WordPress Posts Screen
  • Lesson Six – WordPress Media, Comments, & Contact Screens
  • Lesson Seven –  WordPress Pages Screen
  • Lesson Eight – WordPress Appearance Screen
  • Lesson Nine – WordPress Plugins Screen
  • Lesson Ten –  WordPress Settings Screen
  • Final Project – The final project will be an opportunity to apply everything you have learned throughout the course.  You will be required to create a website with a pre-determined theme or a theme of your choice, add pages, posts, contact form, calendar, upload images & video format and publish your content.

What is the Objective of this course?

The objective of this course is to teach you how to create a basic responsive WordPress.org website or blog using the WordPress (hosted) platform.

Who should take this course? 

This course is designed for anyone looking for tools tips and techniques to create and maintain their own blog or website such as:

Online Course - Transparent

  • Artists 
  • Administrators
  • Administrative assistants
  • Business owners   
  • Consultants
  • Copy editors 
  • Counselors, medical and healthcare professionals    
  • Course designer and developers
  • Educators 
  • Legal professionals
  • Publishers
  • Real estate agents
  • Anyone with a desire to learn how to create a WordPress blog or website

After completing this course, you will:

  • Understand how to use the WordPress dashboard/admin page and left sidebar menu to create dynamic and professional websites and blogs.
  • Explore and select a set of plugins, widgets, and theme layouts to enhance the objective look and feel of the website
  • Understand how to manage the WordPress media library
  • Understand how to work with the WordPress visual editor to format your content
  • Explore best practices for creating WordPress websites.
  • Select responsive themes for the website that is compatible with different screen sizes, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop screens.

What do you need to follow the course?

Technical requirements

  1. Basic understand of WordPress. If you need to, take “How To Create A Basic WordPress Blog Or Website” course to develop your  WordPress skills. Go to course (optional): How To Create A Basic WordPress Blog Or Website
  2. Your Domain name  (A registered name for your website if you do not already have one)
  3. WordPress installed on your computer
  4. Alternatively, if you already have a custom domain name you may map it  with the WordPress platform directly from your host’s website. Send me an email through “contact us” to find out how.

Non-technical requirements

  1. Two open browsers (set side-by-side)
    • The course browser
    • An open browser to practice the lessons
  2. A desire to learn a new skill

What to expect

Creating a website takes quite a bit of time; therefore, I recommend going through the course lesson by lesson first. After completing all ten lessons, you will most certainly have developed the knowledge and skills to tackle the project and create your own site. I also suggest that you build your project in stages, and do not hesitate to reach out for help if you feel stuck or have questions to help you along the way by using the “contact us” form located in the top menu bar.

Course Website

The course will be available online and you are required to register to access the course. Following registration, you will be given unlimited access to the course.

The course website will allow you to review, explore and further develop your knowledge of WordPress. You will be able to work at your own pace and leisure and select only the topics or subjects that you wish to develop further.  At the end of each lesson, you will be required to complete a short evaluation of the lesson.

Online Course Requirements:

Computers: PC or Mac (desktop /mobile), internet connection, Windows 7, Mac OS X Book(s): none (course will be conducted online)

Assessment (workshop evaluation) 3 + 1 Feedback

  • Reflection on Learning: At the end of the workshop participants will write a reflection report based on their learning. Discuss their learning: Challenges, surprise, new, areas to further develop etc.
  • Workshop: What needs to be changed, improved, remove, timing, level (too advanced, too basic)
  • Facilitator: Level of engagement, how questions were handled, explaining concepts, assisting, coaching, approach, friendliness

Note: WordPress platform is constantly updated, therefore content for this course is subject to change as the technology for creating WordPress websites changes.

Let’s go for it!

How to follow the course!

This page provides a few helpful tips to assist you successfully follow and complete the course.

Navigating between lessons

Navigate between previous and next lessons by clicking on the navigation tabs located on the left and right sides of the screen.

Embedded information/instructions

Additional information or instructions are embedded at key points within an image, to location the embedded information/instruction look for a question mark ? and click on the bubble next to the question mark to reveal the information/instructions.

Table of Contents

At the end of each lesson is a Table of Contents to help you navigate easily between lessons.

All images in the lessons are for instructional purposes and are set to either enlarge or magnify.

To enlarge an image scroll your mouse over the image and click on the + sign


To magnify an image, mouse over the parts of the image you wish to magnify…

Social Media Management image for WP


Additional resources are also available on the right-hand sidebar of each lesson.

WordPress - How To

Contact Instructor

You may contact the instructor at any time throughout the course should you have any questions and/or run into issues. Click on the “contact us” tab in the menu bar at the top of the page to submit your question(s).

Click on the navigation tab below to go to Lesson One. 

Lesson One: The WordPress Platform Screens

This first lesson will focus on highlighting the similarities, differences and main characteristics of the two WordPress platforms: WordPress.com & WordPress.org

Each of the main screens will be reviewed individually in details in subsequent lessons.

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Dashboard Left Sidebar Menus

As you can see the Left Sidebar of both screens contains the same elements with one main difference. Plugins! Plugins are a property of only WordPress.org. To learn more about Plugins click on “How To Add New Plugins” in the right-hand sidebar under “Helpful Resources”.


WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Home Screens

The Home screens of both platforms have some similar characteristics but many differences as well.

For example; the WordPress.com Home Screen includes six sub-screens:

  • Comments I’ve made
  • Site Stats
  • My Blogs
  • Blogs I follow
  • Akismet Search
  • Omnisearch

The WordPress.org includes only one sub-screen:

  • Updates


WordPress.com Store versus WordPress.org JetPack Screens

WordPress.com includes a store for purchasing and managing your domain names and premium themes. Both platforms offer thousands of free themes; however, it is possible to purchase themes-called premium themes for use on your WordPress platforms.

WordPress.org does not include a store but JetPack. JetPack screen is where you will find settings, site statistics, akismet and Omni search.

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WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Posts Screens

Both screens consist of the same elements: all posts, add new, categories and tags with the exception of “Copy a Post”. Copy a Post allows you to make multiple copies of your posts. With WordPress.org, this function is installed as a plugin and is available on both Pages and Posts screens, allowing you to duplicate both your pages and posts.

Duplicate Page 1 Duplicate Post 2




WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Media Screens

The media screens are similar. Click on “Library” to access previously stored images and videos or click on “Add New” to add new images and videos to the Library.

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WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Pages Screens

Pages screens


WordPress.com Feedback and WordPress.org Contact Screens


WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Appearance Screens

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WordPress.com versus WordPress.org Settings Screens

This brings us to the end of the lesson.

Please complete the brief survey and submit, next click on the next lesson tab to continue…..



Lesson Two: The WordPress.org Dashboard

Home & Updates Screens

The WordPress Dashboard is the admin side of the platform; it is the screen that will be displayed after login into your website.

In addition to the left sidebar menu the Dashboard contains two main screens:

Home Screen & Updates Screen

‘Home’ Screen

When you click on ‘Home’ in the top left sidebar menu, the screen as shown in the image below will be displayed.

The ‘Home’ screen is where you will find:

  • At a Glance – At a glance is a snapshot of your pages. It tells you the quantities of posts, pages, and comments recorded on your site.
  • Quick Draft – This is where you will write a quick post….an idea that came to mind and you want to jot it down or an idea for a post you do not want to forget.
  • Activity – A list of all your recent post by date and titles


Updates Screen

Clicking on ‘Updates’ in the top left sidebar menu, the screen as shown in the image below will be displayed.

This is the screen that notifies you of updates to WordPress, Plugins, and Themes. It is important to complete the updates in a timely fashion in order to ensure the proper functioning of your website.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.

This brings us to the end of the lesson.

Please complete the brief survey and submit, next click on the next lesson tab to continue…..


Lesson Three: The Dashboard

Left Sidebar Menu

In addition to the Home and Updates Screens, the Dashboard Left Sidebar consists of the following screens:

  • JetPack
  • Posts
  • Media
  • Links
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Contacts
  • Appearance
  • Plugins
  • Settings

Each screen will be reviewed in subsequent lessons.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.


Lesson Four: JetPack Screen

The JetPack Screen is linked to your WordPress.com account and gives access to additional functionality to enhance your WordPress.org site.

JetPack is a plugin that is available through WordPress.com. You must install and activate the Jetpack plugin in order to activate its features such as:


  • Connection settings – Manage JetPack connection
  • Notifications –  On-site activities
  • JSON API – Access content through the cloud


  • Site Statistics
  • Social Sharing
  • Publicize
  • Related Posts
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Subscription – Newsletters

Security (Free and Pro subscription available)

  • Security scanning of your website
  • Protection
  • Monitor
  • Site Backups


  • Tiled Galleries
  • Carousel
  • Custom CSS
  • Mobile Theme


  • Contact Form
  • Spelling Check and Grammar
  • Post content by Email

Watch this short video and learn how to activate and install JetPack into your dashboard.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.

Lesson Five: Post Screen

What is a Post?

A WordPress post is what makes up the blog aspect of your site. These are generally news or informational updates about a certain topic or talking point. Postsare listed in reverse chronological order and can be tagged, categorized and even archived on your site.  Taken from: https://ithemes.com/tutorials/wordpress-posts-vs-pages/

The Post Screen in WordPress.org is somewhat identical to that of WordPress.com, except with WordPress.org you can add additional functions by way of plugins. To review the post screen in more details, please click here to review the WordPress.com course relating to “Post”.

WordPress Post Screen: By clicking on Post  → All Post will direct you to this All Post screen where you get a global view of all your post included post date, author, categories and tags. This is where you get to edit, delete and view each post. To create a new post  from this screen, click on “Add New” from the top left of the screen.



Click on the bubbles in the image below to review the specifics of Posts.


Lesson Six: Media, Comments

& Contact Panels

Media Library

The Media Library is where all your images and videos uploaded to your site will be stored.


Comments Panel

This is where you will manage comments that people post on your website.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.

Contact Panel

This is where you get to manage your contacts.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.

This brings us to the end of the lesson.

Please complete the brief survey and submit, next click on the next lesson tab to continue…..


Lesson Seven: WordPress Page Screen

What is a Page?

Lesson Eight: Appearance Screen

Appearance is where you will go when you need to make changes to your website’s look and feel.

The appearance screens include:

  • Themes
  • Customize (customize your theme)
  • Widgets
  • Menus
  • Header
  • Background

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.


Lesson Nine: Plugins Screen

What are Plugins?

Plugins are designed by developers as additional functionaly to work with the WordPress.org platform and to enhance the look and feel of your site they provide custom functions and features so that each user can their site based on their specific requirements or objectives.

Click on the bubbles next to the question mark in the image for more instructions.


The official WordPress Plugins Repository

There are two ways to search for plugins in the repository

1. By clicking on one or all of the following categories:

  • Featured
  • Popular
  • Favorite

2) By searching for Plugins using keywords such as:

  • Newsletter
  • Social Share
  • Store
  • Subscribe
  • Project

Lesson Ten: Settings Screen

Settings Panel

This is where you get to manage your sites’ settings. Some plugins are also saved in the settings panel.

This brings us to the end of the lesson.

Please complete the brief survey and submit, next click on the next lesson tab to continue…..


Final Project  

About the Final Project

Open browsers to work on the project if needed 

What to expect:

This final  project is about creating your own website using everything you’ve learned through the course.

There are no wrong or right answers if you are not sure how to perform a specific task, check the Additional Resource list in the right-hand sidebar. If you did not find an answer to your question(s), complete the contact us form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

A pre-designed hosted domain link was emailed to you after you completed all ten lessons.

If you did not receive a link with your live/hosted domain name, contact me through the contact us form.



  • First, click on the link in the email you received to get to access the live WordPress site
  • Next, sign into your WordPress account
  • Enter your User Name and Password that you were given

WordPress - Login PassW image 2

 After you’ve signed in, you will be directed to the WordPress Dashboard.


In the left-hand sidebar menu click on Appearance

Select Theme in the drop down menu – you will be taken to the Theme Repository.

Click on “Add New” in the search field type twenty sixteen

Select the theme.

notice the last time the theme was updated and the number of time it was downloaded click on activate/ install the theme.

Create Your Website

Create the following pages (use ipsum dummy articles if needed):

  • One page + 2 sub-pages
  • Contact Us + contact us form
  • About Us + 1 Image full size
  • Products + 2 image positioned 1 right and 1 left + 1 video
  1. Format contents with Heading 1 and Heading 2
  2. Colors and fonts of your choice
  3. Social icons

Create the following posts:

  • Post + featured image + two categories + two tags
  • Post + gallery minimum 6 images + two columns + thumbnails
  • 1 Sticky post
  • 1 password protected post
  • 1 private post
  1. Format contents with Heading 1 and Heading 2
  2. Colors and fonts of your choice
  3. Social icons

Add Plugins

  • Search
  • Subscription

Add Widgets

  • Calendar
  • Translator

Select Shortlink and post to Facebook

When you have completed your website post it to Social Media Academy on Facebook for review and feedback.

Your feedback is extremely important to me. Please take a moment to complete the course evaluation by clicking on the link below.

Course Evaluation

Thank You!