Tutorial: Presentation, Plugins and Users
To cover the final basics of using WordPress we need to look at the final 3 menus in the admin area.
This area allows you to control the look of your WordPress site. Under Presentation – Themes you’ll see all of the themes you’ve uploaded to your site. Themes are stored under the /wp-content/themes directory, each in their own individual directory. Simply click the theme you want to run on your site.
Presentation – Widgets is the section that allows you to drag and drop widgets into your sidebar and easily control the order in which your widgets are displayed all by simple drag and drop methods. This is great for non technical users, just make sure the plugins you add are widgetised and not standard plugins.
Finally, the Theme Editor found under Presentation – Theme Editor, is where you can edit your theme files online. However before this works you may need to change the permissions on your theme files to be writable by the server. This means going into your FTP program, open up the theme directory, highlighting all of the files and changing the permissions (chmod) to 766. Personally, I don’t really recommend this for the simple reason is that you update something online, you don’t have a backup copy. If something happened to your online version you would lose those changes. Also, I’ve often made minor updates to the online files and then made a major change via my offline file and uploaded it, losing my changes! So now I try to ensure I only ever update the offline files.
Plugins allow you to extend and improve your WordPress site with ease. A plugin is very easy to add to your site. You simply upload the file or files (usually contained within a directory) to the /wp-content/plugins/. Then when you go to the Plugins page it should be listed as a plugin awaiting activation. On clicking ‘Activate’ the plugin will install itself. Usually plugins will come with extra instructions for adding it into your site. If your site is widgetised then you should just be able to find it under Presentation – Widgets and drag the widget into your sidebar. If your site doesn’t use widgets then you’ll need to copy the code given if needed.
Most plugins will also come with an options page for you to change some of the options for that plugin. This page, if it exists, will appear under the Options menu. The latest version of WordPress also has a handy utility that tells you when your plugins have a new version out. This is very important as plenty of people remember to upgrade WordPress but not the plugins that they use.
WordPress allows for more than one user account on the system. You can create various accounts for people and give each account a user level which restricts their access. To read about the various user levels I recommend the Roles and Capabilities page on the WordPress Codex.
Users – Authors & Users lists all of the user accounts created and lower down on the same page you can add a new user account. For every user account that’s created, an email is sent to the registered admin email, so that you can keep an eye on what your other users are doing 😉
Then you have Users – Your Profile, which allows you to update your own profile and password. If you’re comfortable with writing HTML then you may want to untick the ‘Use the visual rich text editor’ which is the MS Word style toolbar that appears when you come to write a post or page.
So that’s all of the menus covered now and all of the basics covered. If you’ve missed anything or not sure on anything, be sure to go back through the tutorial posts to find the answer to your question, or feel free to leave a comment on the relevant post 🙂