How to run a website with WordPress

WordPress is a blogging package right? Well if you think that you’re absolutely right but only partially.  WordPress, which is most likely the worlds most popular blogging package is also a great piece of software to power small business websites.

In all of these cases as well as many, many others WordPress was used to create and manage complex websites which skyrocketed to the top of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages because they used WordPress as a powerful content management tool, making the website much easier to manage and therefore a better tool for busy marketing staff.

How do you use WordPress to run a website?

Actually, that’s the best part of WordPress. Once you’ve signed up for a great hosting package such as Bluehost’s $6.95 per month solution, you can install WordPress by simply clicking their one step installation process and voila! You’re website is setup with the world’s most powerful blogging package instantly.

So then, how do you use WordPress to run a website? Once you’ve installed WordPress you’ll need to make changes to a few key files, called template files. These template files are what control how your website looks to visitors. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The header.php file is what appears on all pages at the top of your page
  • The footer.php file is what appears on all pages at the bottom of your website
  • functions.php is where you store common PHP code to call if from all pages, most often you can ignore this
  • index.php is the heart and soul of your website, technically you can remove all the other .php files and format just this page to make every page on your website look the same.
  • pages.php is used to format content edited in the Pages tab of the WordPress control panel
  • single.php is used to format content edited in the Posts tab, by seperating these two you can format pages (such as About Us or Contact Us) to look different than content pages (such as a press release or CEO blog)
  • categories.php is used to format pages which list posts, archives.php is similar but for tags
  • search.php is used to format the results of a search

Once you’ve changed the look and feel of your website, you can use the built in WordPress editor to allow different members of your team to post content to the website, add marketing or press releases and even adjust prices!

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