Wanted: WordPress website tutorial
February 21, 2013 8:42 AM   Subscribe

What are the best online resources to guide me in developing a website using WordPress?

I know how I want the site to look, and I have designed other websites using handcode and rough tools such as Word. The site won't be complicated, about 8 pages with drop down menus and rotating photos on the front page. I would like to also link to Flickr and YouTube from this site.
posted by braemar to Technology (8 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
There are several good websites listed here to teach you how to make your own theme.

That's the long and code-writing way. If you want something up asap, your best bet might be clicking through the free themes available and finding one that matches your needs.

Another option that bridges the gap between those two is to use a theme that gives you the barebones. You take that and create child themes to customize the look of it. I've used Thematic with success.
posted by royalsong at 8:59 AM on February 21, 2013

The best resource is Wordpress' own Codex.

It sounds like your website will be relatively simple, so you could get away with using a pre-built theme (from either the Theme Directory or for-purchase themes such as from Themeforest or Woothemes).

If you are comfortable installing Wordpress on your own server (or have a server lik Bluehost that helps you through the process), you have a lot of flexibility in theming and development.

If you are not comfortable with that, you can also check out Wordpress.com - which is the hosted version of Wordpress (good for people who do not have their own servers). Wordpress.com has their own set of themes - some of which are usable on self-hosted sites, some of which aren't.

On preview, I see that royalsong has pointed out one of the popular theme frameworks. Those are good for getting started.

Read First Steps with Wordpress.

One thing I find trips up new users of Wordpress is the menu system. Check out this from the codex.
posted by kellygrape at 9:04 AM on February 21, 2013

It's not online, but this book helped me get through the basics. If you've got Amazon Prime and a Kindle, you can borrow it for free.
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 9:07 AM on February 21, 2013

Frankly if you think Word is a web development tool you'd be best off grabbing a nice template. There are lots. 2nding themeforest. All of what you describe can be done without starting from scratch.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:08 AM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh, and as for connecting Flickr and Youtube -

Depending on how you want to connect them, there are lots of different plugins and widgets that can help you.

Plugins extend the functionality of your site. Widgets add content and features to your Sidebars. Examples are the default widgets that come with WordPress; for post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc. Plugins will often add their own widgets. (from the codex).

Check out the Wordpress plugins page - there is a search feature that allows you to find plugins. Just search "Flickr" or "Youtube" to find more plugins than you could possibly ever need.

As you get started, give a look to the featured plugins (like Jetpack), as well as Google Analytics for Wordpress.
posted by kellygrape at 9:09 AM on February 21, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks very much for the responses so far.

One thing I should have added: I'm not hell bent on using WordPress, if there are any other fairly easy and straightforward ways to build and manage a website I'm open to hearing about them. I've heard that WordPress is quite powerful for building non-blog sites and got the impression that the interface is easy to use but if there is something easier that builds professional-looking sites, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks humboldt32: maybe I should spend more time on ThemeForest, so far I did not see the kind of template I was looking for in terms of design. Can these templates be customised further in terms of colour and layout?

Kellygrape, I'm looking to do everything from WordPress.com and having a URL point there rather than hosting on my own server.
posted by braemar at 9:19 AM on February 21, 2013

If you're looking to do everything on Wordpress.com, you likely won't be able to use a Themeforest theme.

Go and sign up for a Wordpress.com site, and check out the themes they have there. Yes, MANY of them can be customized for color and images. Your choices for plugins will be more limited with a wordpress.com site, but I think you will find you are able to do what you are looking for.

Here's a basic tutorial on how to use Wordpress.com to set up a website (as opposed to a straight blog).

There are many tools out there that will allow you to set up a website. Wordpress is relatively simple to learn, and there is a great user base of support out there. It is not your only option for completing this project, but based on what you have said your needs are, it definitely can fit the bill.
posted by kellygrape at 9:30 AM on February 21, 2013

posted by Su at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2013

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