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so let's get started welcome to today's webinar we are dishing about wordpress so if you've been hearing a lot about WordPress and you're wondering if it's the solution for your website then you're in the right place this is going to help you as a beginner get comfortable with WordPress and how to use it we're gonna give you a behind-the-scenes look at the wordpress dashboard and then walk you through the steps of setting up your first website but first we want to know so we know who we're talking to today we want to know what is your experience with WordPress there's a poll that's gonna be launching on your screen and the question probably needed to be edited a little bit but we want to know how much experience do you have with WordPress how confident do you feel and using WordPress take a minute look at the choices on the screen and answer with the one that's most most closely resembles you I'll give you just a second okay so some answers still come in but it's really pretty interesting it looks like a lot of you already have a WordPress website but you're wanting to be more confident in how to use it so I feel pretty comfortable that even if you have a WordPress website you're gonna learn some things today that are still going to be useful for how to manage it some security things you might want to know and of course we'll go over design themes and plugins so I hope there's gonna be a little bit for everybody here and we're really glad that you have joined us so let's get back to the slides here so first off let me introduce myself and the voice that you've been listening to for a few minutes my name is Blaire Williamson I am the content marketing manager for Hostgator I manage the Hostgator blog which is a wordpress website and I've been working in WordPress since 2010 and building sites in WordPress since 2014 I'm also joining me today is Shaun denden he's the product manager for Hostgator he's been around with Hostgator for a while so he's been on lots of different teams from systems administration to support customer experience and Shawn's a big deal on her product team and that means he's building lots of the features of the Hostgator platform so he knows a lot of the ins and outs of what we're working with in the Hostgator platform and then of course in wordpress of Shawn thanks for joining me today Thank You Blair excited to be here yeah I'm glad you're here too I'm also online we have Jana Thibodeau she's part of our social media team here at Hostgator and she's gonna be following along with your comments on social media so you can share what you like or even questions on twitter using hashtag hg webinar and then also Jana's gonna be following along in the chat window to help with our Q&A section at the end anything else you want to throw in Jana now I think you covered it I'm gonna be tweeting some highlights live from the at Hostgator handle so you can check those out now yeah and if you want to ask a question on Twitter you can even ask them after the event if something comes up just use that hashtag hg webinar and we'll we'll try to get you an answer awesome thanks Jana okay so let's get started so what is WordPress kind of for those of you who are not familiar with it this is a foundation if you are familiar with it you're probably gonna know some of this so just bear with me but WordPress is a content management system which means that it's a software that can help you create and edit content and it's the most popular content management system on the market right now in fact more than 30% of websites worldwide are run by WordPress it started as a blogging platform and really any type of website is now can be used forward WordPress is an open-source content management system that means anybody can contribute code build features build design themes for WordPress so this is really really great because that means there's tons of people that have become really familiar with WordPress that can help you out with what you're working on it also means that WordPress is like really customizable because there's lots of features that you can find online lots of design themes you can put anything to on it and customize it how you want but on the other hand this doesn't mean you need to be a little bit more aware of security because since anybody can just build things for WordPress you want to be aware of what you're getting make sure that it's safe that it's reputable and we're gonna give you some tips on how to do that today WordPress the software itself is free to use which is really great all you need is a domain and the hosting space for it so that's like a huge benefit of WordPress another big benefit that that I appreciate that you might be interested in as well is that there are multiple user accounts that you can have on one website in WordPress so let's say you have multiple people that are responsible for your website and you want different people to be able to log in with their own accounts but then you can also give them different levels of access so maybe one person is an administrator level which means they can do anything on the site and edit manage manipulate anything and that maybe you have somebody else that is gonna be managing the blog and you only want them to have like author access to create a page but not to be able to edit the design so that's a really great benefit of WordPress okay so next thing you need to know is about the dashboard so now that we know a little bit about WordPress and kind of the background history of what it is let's look under the hood so the dashboard is the first place that you're gonna login when you come to your site from the dashboard you're gonna manage all the features and the settings of your site and then you will also if there are updates or notifications from WordPress you'll see those when you log in to your dashboard as well so when you log in you can log in from your Hostgator cPanel but honestly for me the easiest way to log into any WordPress website is by adding just a little bit of code to the end of the web address like this so any website in the world if you add slash wp-admin to the end of the website it'll pull up the login screen for you to be able to log into that site this is actually how I log into the Hostgator blog every day so this is the easiest quickest way to get to login so now they kind of know how to log in I'm gonna pass it over to Sean so he can give us a demo of the dashboard and start showing us some different things so give me just one second I'm gonna pass presenter access to Sean great Thank You Blair okay and thanks everybody for joining us so yeah we're gonna hop right into the dashboard just for context real quick before we do so I am running this on a just a hostgator hatchling package so nothing really fancy there I do have an SSL that's available to me that was provisioned automatically for free so we're gonna set that up as well but just want to make sure it's there before I configure WordPress to use it another thing you know about this this is running on PHP seven WordPress still runs on a lot of versions of PHP but we strongly recommend going with the most up-to-date version you can any modern reputable hosts should be able to provide a good version of PHP for you and obviously Hostgator will provide a free SSL as well so going to WordPress so we started with a very vanilla installation of the newest version of WordPress when it comes to security that's probably one of the biggest things to start with so making sure you're running the up-to-date version so this is WordPress five point three point two I believe which is what came out in November of 2019 or December of 2019 we'll take a look at the updates in a second just to make sure if you're using an older version of WordPress I would encourage you to update as soon as possible just as a general best practice so we added slash wp-admin onto our URL to get to this login page I'm using myself a password manager I'm using Chrome in this instance I don't necessarily recommend the chrome password manager over any others but having worked on thousands of WordPress websites I will tell you that when it comes to security if a website is compromised it's generally one of three culprits either the updates were very far behind the password was insecure or there was a plug-in that was insecure so whatever works for you to make sure that you're using a strong password something that's long and unique and stored in a safe place I would strongly recommend so moving on let's go ahead and login yeah as I mentioned using a password manager for this login screen really just want to make sure you've got a secure password just make sure not to reuse the make sure computer can't guess it so we'll go ahead and login keeping it in the same window okay great good with the dashboard yep we got it terrific Thanks okay yes as I mentioned pretty convenient place to to get to quick links and shortcuts as you get familiar and you get in the habit you sort of understand your way around a lot of times the shortcuts you need will be available right from here as time goes on you can start to customize this etc but as I mentioned for now we're going to take the long way around so underneath dashboard there's this home page the right now and then there's an updates cage below that so first just want to make sure that I'm running the latest version of WordPress and then as I mentioned I'm also really glad to see that I know that future updates will be applied automatically I don't want to have to be concerned about whether or not my websites secure one of the best ways to make sure that it is secure is to stay up to date so really great feature there and then again just as I mentioned the only weird thing on this page that I can tell after a fresh installation is that the time looks about 6 hours in the future which again as a computer geek pretty good indication that that means that this is set up for the wrong time zone so as we go through the WP admin area here we'll keep an eye out for that one so let's just take a look to these different sections moving into the Post's area so posts you know WordPress is used for a lot of websites sort of all around the world all different types of industries it has a lot of functionality and extensibility that lends itself to that but at its core WordPress definitely is is a blogging platform that's really where it originated and you'll you'll see some indications of that so you can think of your your posts is kind of like your blog there are things that are more reflective of maybe what you did or something that happened or something that will happened but something that's associated with a particular time we'll come back to these a little bit when we create one for now just notice that WordPress does provide you one default post as an example you'll be able to see that on your web site as soon as you do the install so you might have already noticed that so we'll come back to that in a little bit but suffice to say is you move forward and manage your posts this will be the page that you use to do that in our media section so continuing on with the con the content area here your media library basically lets you manage all of the things on your website that aren't text the things that aren't your posts and pages but it may be audio recording that you have spreadsheets video files other things you'd kind of like to be able to attach to a page maybe embedded within it but then obviously you're not going to be able to type out an image you know so as you continue to develop your website and develop your content your media library will become very helpful if you say you know I'm looking for this one specific image maybe I need to make a slight change to it etc now let's go into pages so pages and posts are pretty regularly confused I'm ensuring that posts are kind of like the the entries you would see in a blog pages are more of the the static longer living content of your website one way I like to think about it is hosts would be about the things you did and your page would be about the things you like to do maybe your page is about generally what the mission of your business is and your posts are about recent projects or new offerings or something like that so slightly different concept between posts but a pretty intuitive one if your posts or you like your blog your webpage is more like your your pages like your traditional website same thing here I might have told a little fib a little earlier that this was a vanilla install we did go ahead and create one page that we'd have available for everyone with some recommendations and links so you'll see that if you visit the WordPress webinar dot info domain moving into comments so comments are a really terrific way to help establish and build a community if you've been on Amazon or Facebook you know this this is a new to us right really helpful on the other hand though it can be a lot of work really cultivating the the dialogue and the community that you want to have is isn't isn't easy you really have to take the time to engage your community there and also there you can have to do some maintenance as well with spam or things like that there are solutions to to helping to mitigate spam comments but for now because of the the nature of this website I'm not really ready to take comments I don't think I have the bandwidth to maintain it and because I'm just starting I want to keep the complexity pretty small so there's an example comment that we can look at here but I'm gonna go ahead for this one and move that to the trash it's just a default comment and I'm gonna be turning comments often a little bit while I get started so these are your four sort of main areas for your comment your posts which are like your blog page your media which is kind of like your multimedia things that aren't texts your pages which is more like your your traditional websites where you might put your about Us page or a Contact Us page or something like that then in your comments which is really the content that your users create in response to to the content that you create moving past that we're going to get a little bit more into the feel and functionality of the website so the next area that we have is our theme section so themes are they're very important to establishing a good website and they're really important to providing the the usability and balance that your your users are looking for that said a good theme can only be as can only be as effective as the content behind it and for that reason I would generally recommend starting with your content your posts and your pages before getting too far into the look and feel of it a great theme really supports the content and that'll be easier to see as you take a look at them once you have that content so we'll come back to themes in a little bit but this is where you would go to change the appearance of your site there's some customization things like widgets and menus I'll touch on a couple of those as we go through this but otherwise we'll probably hold off on the more advanced topics for a later webinar continuing down the list here we get to plugins so I mentioned earlier that there are generally three things that are going to help keep a website a WordPress website secured more than any one is having a very strong password that a computer can't easily guess the next one is making sure that your software is kept up-to-date the third one is really being very judicious about the plugins that you use and making sure that those are also kept up to date you can see that WordPress comes with two plugins by default the first one is the Akismet anti-spam plug-in this is a this a good plugin it's very effective at its goal and can really cut down on the maintenance of managing comments that said for the time being we're not going to have comments on this site and so I'm not going to be enabling this plug-in so you can see I'm leaving it in a dis activated state there the next plugin that we have is Hello Dolly this was written by Matt Mullenweg the the creator of WordPress and really what it's there for is for developers and people who want to write a plug-in to be able to take a look at a very simple one we really don't have any need to you know put a Hello Dolly phrase on our web site so we're gonna go ahead and delete this plug-in for now so pretty straightforward to delete a plugin we'll come back in a little bit and add a new one as well but for the time being when you want to look at extensibility of your website just know that the plugins are probably where you want to start continuing down we get to our users so bloomin shouldn't they one of the big benefits of WordPress is that it can support multiple users with multiple different access roles so that's really helpful for instance if you have someone working on your team to create content but they're not familiar with WordPress and you don't want to break anything right so you can just create a new user that's just an author and that way they can create posts but they can't manage your website settings you could also have editors contributors subscribers so we won't get into those roles and generally if you're just starting your you're probably best off just sticking with one user but as time goes on if other people start to help on the website definitely take a look at creating different users for each person to just make sure you can keep things manageable avoiding the accidents etc last sort of long before we get to settings is the tools section these tend to be pretty specific needs and specific use cases that are addressed by these tools so I'm not going to get into any of those except for the import tool specifically if you're coming from another blogging platform a blogger or live turn or you just have an RSS feed and you don't want to start completely from scratch as you move to WordPress the import tool can be a decent way to to jump start moving your content from that other platform so if that is the the situation that you're in and you're just starting out and you've come from another platform I would encourage you to take a look at this import tool aside from that most of these are a little more advanced and the kind of thing that I wouldn't worry about when I'm just getting started and then finally we'll move into the settings so this is the last this is the last of the menus on the left here you can do a lot in the settings section but there's only really a few things that we need to do to get started so first of all I didn't set a site title when I installed WordPress so I'm gonna go ahead and do that now let's say WordPress 101 and it gives you a tagline which is kind of like a subtitle for your website you don't have to use it but we'll leave it there so as we go through we can idea of how it fits with the themes etc I'll just change this to one more WordPress site looking at this site address the WordPress address in the site address generally speaking these these should be the same for for most of us if you're running Molde full web sites on one domain that might be different but by and large they should be the same now I mentioned a moment ago that Hostgator will provide a free SSL certificate for any domain that's that's configured to work on our servers so I want to go ahead and turn that functionality on while I'm here all I need to do is just tell WordPress that instead of using H ttp to use HTTP and that way WordPress will start insisting on using the SSL you may notice that right now at the top left of my page it says not secure because I'm not using that SSL but it's available it's free so I want to turn it on taking a look down the list you see the administration email address it's important that that's valid especially if you need to reset your password or something for membership we don't let anyone register on our site right now that may be something that we'd want to look at down the road as we get our content together and we really want to start engaging our community but for the time being we're not ready for the the management overhead hey Sean we'll skip yeah while you're on this page and you've referenced the HTTPS and the SSL a couple times we have some people that are saying they're not familiar with SSL can you just give us like the two sentence explanation of SSL absolutely yeah so traditionally with with web pages with HTTP as they would say everything was transmitted in plain text which basically means that if the Internet's just a room full of people talking you can hear what everyone is saying if you have the the right level of access what HTTPS does what CSS cells or secure socket layer or whatever you want to call them what they do is they encrypt the traffic from the browser to the website so your internet service provider can't see what your traffic is someone else sitting at the same Wi-Fi hot spot at the coffee shop they can't see what you're doing so we call them secure certificates but a better way of thinking about that might be about privacy what they really do is they they let you keep privacy between your personal computer and the web server that your website is running on so even though today I'm not leaking yeah as you say like even though I'm not in credit cards I still I'm going to turn on HTTPS because it's it's a good practice and in this case it's pretty so so why not yeah that's all I was gonna say is it doesn't prevent you people from like hacking your website it's not like the main security tool need to prevent hackers but it protects information when somebody is filling out information on your website so if somebody is filling out a contact form or like Sean said taking buying something online and putting their credit card information into your website it helps protect that information so somebody can't just easily find it and steal it and hostgator does offer ssl certificates for free so you can just go to our help site it's helped hostgator.com and figure out how to turn on the ssl certificate for whatever type of package you have like Sean said it's free and you need it so go ahead and do that yeah and you'll notice I think you know we're still looking at the SEO implications of SSL that's theirs I think they're slightly favored there but you can expect that as time goes on your users will come to expect HTTPS more and more and likely Google will continue to emphasize and sort of throw warnings when it when it sees the websites aren't using it so definitely a good idea okay great Thank You Blair I appreciate that so I think just about done on this page we have no new members because we're not ready for that yet so they'll be a subscriber it doesn't really matter yet we are in English or in the United States so we'll leave that one there and then here's our time zone so glad this one came up because I noticed that was a little wrong earlier if you don't know how far you are from UTC which is a pretty geeky thing to know the other way to pick your time zone is just to name the biggest city in your time zone so for instance if I were in the East Coast I would go with New York if I were in the UK I might go with London much to the chagrin of those of us in Houston the biggest city in our time zone is Chicago so we will go with Chicago for our time zone that way whenever I post something it will show you know 12:30 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. otherwise if you're happy with the way your dates look your time format we're going to go ahead and click Save okay and you'll notice now the not secure has been replaced with a lock up at the top left and if I click into the URL you can see that this website is now running on HTTPS so whenever I send more data or type something into WordPress that'll be encrypted between my browser and the web server so there are a few more settings that you'll want to get into is you become for more familiar with creating content there settings on you know how do you want creating new articles to look like etc generally not something you need to get into at this point but as you start to become more familiar definitely worth taking a look at there Blair I'm gonna move into actually going ahead and creating a post did you have any other no that's a great idea I was I was hoping you would do that because I know where we're running a little behind what I thought we went so let's show him how to do a post and how to use the editor okay and I just tried some of my notes I mentioned I was going to turn off comments so real quick before I do that I went to settings and discussion and say where it says allow people to submit comments on new posts I'm gonna turn that off for now in the future again I might turn that back on but for now I'm just not ready so if you're not ready for comments you can go ahead and just turn those off for new posts under that setting okay so to create a new post actually you know what I'm going to create a new page first so you'll notice we created one page already recommendations from the webinar and then WordPress gives you a draft privacy policy so this isn't published yet it's in that draft status so we can only see it because we're logged in and then they give you one sample page I'm going to go ahead and just edit this sample page for the time being okay so when you come into the editor for the first time you'll get a little bit of an introduction to the press block editor it's kind of similar to desktop publishing software and it's really not far off from a modern sort of a word processor so I would encourage you to go through the tips as you check this out the first time in the meantime we'll go ahead and make this page our own so when you're starting a website one of the most challenging things can be is just just actually getting the content on paper I always recommend starting with why sometimes this is an about Us page sometimes it's you know just a description of your services or it's a little bit of a bio but starting with while you're building a website will really help make the rest of the content creation much more straightforward so what I did is I created a new paragraph just by typing enter in front of the second one and I'm gonna say okay this blog is created to support customers or WordPress users in getting started nothing crazy I'm not gonna make you watch me type there's a lot of other comments here you can see these blocks already exist so I'm gonna go through and I'm just going to delete these blocks for now I don't really need them so pretty straightforward you can see editing it is uh is very clear I want to add in a link as well one great website is the WordPress codex this is effectively their knowledge base and it's a really helpful resource if you need any any information on how WordPress works so I'm gonna add in so to add a link I'm just going to highlight this click on the link and then paste the URL so now I've got a good link to the WordPress codex maybe I want to add an image as well so I can just sort of click on the image here I'm going to do an upload I'm gonna get my snappy WordPress image so again pretty straightforward in terms of how to organize this it's pretty intuitive kind of what you see is what you get here as you make it through creating your website you'll notice there's a preview button at the top right so you can click on preview and get an idea of what this page would look like based on your current theme so nothing fancy but just looking to get started this will help us understand where we're at so I'm gonna go ahead and click update so that's pretty much it I can do the page again in a new tab see what it is outside of preview mode you notice looks like the same page so that's great the preview mode really helps you get a good idea of that okay so we've got a page let's go ahead and make a post as well you can see by the way since I added an image that image is already showing up in my media library so we're not gonna spend a lot of time in the media library but something to be aware of so let's go make a post I'm gonna go ahead and delete this hello world post and we'll just make a fresh one so click add new at the top it's a large okay so this is a more of a time driven thing right so I'm talking about the the birth of the blog over time as the blog gets popular people will probably stop reading this page but this is my initial post okay so again pretty straightforward it is the block editor I like to just use enter to add a new paragraph same thing as with the pages you can easily go at an image you can add a gallery of images just take a look at the different blocks available play around with them there's really a lot you can do there but I generally recommend keeping it simple as you get familiar you get that content created and then just keep expanding from there in this case though I am I don't want to publish this right away this is a blog post maybe I still want to build a couple of things out before I before I make this pace this post live so I'm gonna do is on the document side here on the right you'll notice that it says publish immediately what I'm gonna do instead is I'm not going to publish immediately I'm gonna push it out about 20 minutes and we're gonna say let's publish this at 1:00 p.m. I know this is in central time now cuz I fixed the time zone so let's go ahead and publish this at 1:00 p.m. we have that set you can see that the date there is correct just double check that and now your post button at the top right is BR publish has become schedule so we'll click on schedule are you ready it'll become public on February 20th or 5:00 your 12th they want me to add tags then I'm not gonna add tags for now and we'll go ahead and schedule it so really helpful feature there especially when you're creating new blog posts if you want to get in the habit of releasing new content every day you can start building a backlog of those posts and just schedule them to update so really provides a lot of flexibility in management and lets you still keep a good active website in a way that meets your schedule okay and I think with that we've got a website we have a post we have a page we've got a site title let's start taking a look at the appearance here so I mentioned you know starting with content is is always going to be a good decision you really want to be able to find a theme that supports your content in your messaging and it works in such a way that it helps bring that to your users it's very hard to do that if you don't have the content we don't have very much content at this point but we have enough that we can get a basic idea for what our website might look like so I'm gonna go ahead and add a new theme in a moment Blair will take us through looking at professional and paid themes but for now we're just going to start with a free one in terms of security I would generally recommend going with a pretty popular theme generally in WordPress with open source the more popular and updated something is that a good indication that it'll be well supported and well maintained into the future so it looks like this Astra theme is the most popular theme that didn't come pre-installed with WordPress Astra is a very high quality theme so I'm gonna go ahead and install this theme okay that's installed you can see I can either activate that or do a live preview so I'm going to click into the live preview here so similarly to when we previewed our page the theme live preview allows you to see what your website looks like as it currently is you can see ours right now is is pretty empty we've got recommendations from the webinar page which Blair did a great job on and we have our sort of Y page but we don't have a lot on our home page it mainly moved most the content over to the side so I like the look of this a lot I think we're starting with a pretty pretty straightforward text-heavy web site we want it to be easy to read I like the spacing on here that the colors don't seem that they're distracting and they work well so I think this is probably good enough for what we need today it looks like there's a lot of functionality on the left so as time went on if I needed to customize that I could if I wanted more options Astra supports additional features as well for a professional version but this one looks like it's good enough for me I can create my content in here so I'm gonna go ahead and click activate and publish and that's it so I have my my new theme published so as you see this is what our wordpress blog looked like when we started it had a hello world with the default content we're going to do reload on this page and see what it looks like now so a little bit different it doesn't have the the front content it's got the links to the recommendations from the webinar and it's pretty readable so it could be fancied up a bit but it'll definitely work for us for now Blair do you want to take us through what a professional theme or what a paid theme process looks like sure so for most people one of these free themes might work totally fine for you but if you're interested in a little bit more customization or let's say you need to add some special features to your site specifically this is most common with something like an online store then you might be interested in getting what we call a premium theme or a paid theme and when you're looking for premium themes the most important thing that I would recommend is that you look for one that comes with really good documentation meaning it has a really good user guide that can show you how to set up all the features in the sections like you've seen with the one that Sean just installed it kind of looked blank right I mean it's still a shell and you have to figure out where to put all the pieces and that's where your documentation that comes with a theme can be really helpful it can show you specifically where everything needs to go and how to set it up so I want to show you what I was looking for earlier with themes a couple let me give me just one second to take over a presenter mode so I can show you my screen okay so like I was saying you might let's say you are interested in building a an online store the most common most popular plug-in that we recommend for online stores is WooCommerce WooCommerce is a plugin that you attach to WordPress to help you run a store and there's lots of places that you can go find themes but for something like WooCommerce you're definitely going to need a theme that's compatible with WooCommerce you can't necessarily just put any theme on top of WooCommerce and have it work I'll tell you a little story I actually have this happen with a client they had built their first website it was beautiful looked great it was live and then they come to me and wanted me to set up their online store for them they had already decided they wanted to use WooCommerce but the theme they chose wasn't compatible so I had to start completely over and build another site so that it would work with WooCommerce so that's my first tip is if you are thinking forward in your vision for your site and you know you want to put something like WooCommerce something special or unique to it just make sure that the design theme that you're choosing is compatible and this is an opportunity where I think it would be helpful or beneficial to choose a premium theme you might be wondering how much do premium themes cost well of course like with anything else the price varies but in my experience most themes are under $100 I bought one just yesterday to demo for this webinar and it was less than 45 dollars so it's you know pretty affordable for having something that you can customize and have it look a little different than what comes installed in WordPress so I chose this Pet Shop theme and it keeps sending me into the dashboard but I want to show you what this looks like from the homepage so with WooCommerce there will be a lot of different themes and you know ways that you can shop around but I chose this one called pet shop it has a preview demo of what the site would look like and it comes with a live demo in it's kind of like a dummy site that's a live demo that you can scroll through and look to see how you like it but it also comes with all of this documentation so before you even decide to buy it you can see that there's a lot of information on how to install the theme and it comes with different instructions here like hey you need there's a key theme that you need to type in to prove that you you know bought and paid for it I might not have known that if I hadn't gone through their documentation so this is where I think it's really helpful to go through the documentation also right here it has like you know how to configure your storefront how to set up your homepage template recommended image sizes so this is really helpful so I definitely recommend that you look for a theme that comes with some really good documentation so once I downloaded the are paid for the the plug-in or the theme sorry even in my account I can right here I can go back to you can see documentation I can go back to the specific documentation that came with it but let me show you how to install this theme if you had selected a premium theme so once I'm able to log back in it's really as simple as going back to the theme section so right here from your theme section see how up in the left hand corner it says upload theme so if you click on this and then choose the file obviously we're on Shawn's computer night right now so he's not going to have it because I purchased the theme but it will give you the option right there to choose the file at the top you click on that and it will you can just choose the zip file keep it in the zip file from where you purchased it and the themes and then it'll just upload it right in there and then you'll see the themes show up down here below in your different options of the themes that are available and you'll just go through the same steps that Shaun showed earlier of you know clicking through select activate it's just as simple as it is to select one of these free themes but you just go through that additional step to be able to upload it so when it comes to customizing the theme and I talked about this a second ago as far as something you need to look in the documentation for the theme there's three places that you can look for and how to customize this and Shaun demoed a few of them earlier but wine is under the your theme settings one is under appearance customize and you'll see this in the left sidebar Shaun showed that earlier it gave you all the different options and the other one is in the widget section yeah see right here this is the customize section so it'll show you which different pieces you can easily customize and then Shaun if you'll go back to the dashboard from this widget section I want to show you what this looks like so a widget is a piece of content or functionality that you can have on your site and and I like to think about widgets that they come in sections so if you think about your website or the design whatever design you're in you can think about this even from the demo of the design think about taking that site and breaking it into grids like if you were to put it you know rectangle shapes all over the site so Sean's going to show you see how on this right-hand side where it says recent comments on the search bar like that is clearly like a vertical section right there the page on the left or it says recommendations from the webinar that is clearly a vertical block section as well and then your navigation across the top where it says WordPress 101 webinar that whole bar is an you know a vertical or sorry a horizontal section across the top as like a block of content right so if you think about how to think about this page in grids that's where you might often find your widgets and a lot of times with widgets we definitely think about the sidebar so what you're looking at right now is under the appearance widget section on the right hand side is these are all the sections that are available with your design theme so you have a main sidebar a header which is I showed you that's might be where your image or your logo is for your site and then you've got a bunch of different footer sections these could be horizontal sections that go across the page and then on this left column where it says available widgets these are all the widgets that you could put into those different sections so like you see Sean doing right now he just grabbed the one that says archive and dragged it over there and you can drag and drop it into the section where you want it to go so you can put it like he's putting an image there right now we do this a lot with our blog it's like an ad that shows you know a picture of a new feature that we have coming up you can put an RSS feed you can put a list of your most recent pages you can put your categories you can do a little block of custom HTML if you want to you know put an image with a link and you know maybe you have a special plug-in or feature somebody's built you you can use that little blank HTML section and then you just the way you can do these if you think about it so look at the main sidebar right now how you have searched recent posts and recent comments if you wanted to move those around and you wanted your recent comments above recent posts you just pick up one of those and just drag and drop it around in order it's really easy and then you'll see that automatically update on your home page so that's one thing you need to be careful about is this doesn't have like a Save button if you will like you're editing this live as you go but you saw how easy it was to just change it back so that's the widget section make sure you look there for some of the different layout features of your website Sean I think we have a few minutes to cover quickly plugins you want to talk about some plugins and show us show us where to do that and how to you know choose a great safe plugin absolutely yeah so just to recap at this point we've gone through we've created some some content which helps us sort of lay out what our website is – Blair's point if you're gonna do ecommerce or something I would consider that the same kind of content you'd want to get done early at that point you can take a look at your your theme find something that fits it against Blair's point if you're gonna have a story you want to make sure you've got a theme that suits that store so this is where you would add that sort of key functionality if you need to if there's something you need your website to do that WordPress doesn't do out of the box so if we wanted to add one commerce for instance we would just come right in here and do a quick search for WooCommerce and we'd find it at the top there sorry we show that again so you'd see that there's a WooCommerce plugin available in this case what I think I'm really looking to set up on my website is I want to make sure that it's very fast like most websites they get read way more than they get updated and reading a website should be really quick and it's important to keep your users engaged so that's where I'm going to start now finding a plug-in to use for that I happen to know that what I'm looking for is a caching plug-in but if I search for that there's ninety seven pages worth of results you know how do I find a plug-in that's going to work for me that I know is going to be reliable secure well-maintained etc so there's a few options to that end one you can go and look for a rating so a Hostgator put out a blog post that we go through the 15 most popular plugins popularity is a pretty good indication that it's been tested by a lot of people and it's working well for them so you can kind of you can kind of follow the the popularity is a good indicator in this case though my hosting provider Hostgator right I use the WordPress super cache plugin for improving my site performance and they provide rundowns on all of the settings that I need to go through to make sure that it's optimal for the environment and I get my site going as quickly as possible so I'm going to go ahead and install the super cache plugin so we'll hop over here I'm gonna type in super cache okay and I can see it right here so some things I would look at before I install the plug-in how frequently is is updated it was updated just two weeks ago that's a really good sign that this is being kept up to date it's being maintained it's created by automatic who is the company who creates WordPress so obviously if you know the the organization that creates it that's a good sign it has a very high rating and it's installed on over 2 million active installations so these are the really good things to look at if I was looking at a plug-in that had a two-star rating and only five reviews only 10 installations and last updated a year ago I would never install that on my website definitely want to stick with things that are well maintained and well regarded so with that said we'll go ahead and click install and the plugins installed I'm gonna go ahead and turn it on here and click on activate ok so now it says alright there's a warning my servers not configured the cache is disabled so that's fine let's go through and look at the instructions that we have here so I'm gonna go to the general settings I'm going to go to the Advanced tab I'm going to turn on caching and I'm gonna move over to expert and so what does this say I need the first third and fifth boxes to be checked under miscellaneous so I'm going to click the first the third and the fifth box for that so enable caching don't cache for known users compress pages we'll cash for known users yang cash we're going to cash for all so I don't want to go through each step of these and then if you ever need help of course if you're a hostgator customer we'd be happy to help walk you through this as well I'm gonna go ahead and update that we see okay so there's a lot more information inside of this we are running low on time or I would take y'all through every step here but at least understand how this works in general I'm not even yeah I'm not I'm gonna leave this warning here again if we weren't over time I would walk y'all through that but this is what I was gonna say this is another thing about plugins if you think plugins are sort of like the software that you download and install and add on to WordPress and the plugins you kind of have to think of them just like you know like if you were to purchase let's say Microsoft Office right you would go to Microsoft Office to ask for the how to use office right rather than going to your computer and asking like your Mac how do I use office right it doesn't come with instructions installed off Microsoft Office comes with the instructions installed so think about plugging plug ins the same way like go find the website for that plug-in and you can find the install instructions there and kind of learn in their documentation how to really use that plug-in to you know really get the most out of it I do that a lot with all the plugins that I use on the Hostgator blog as I go back to the plug-in like go back to the source to read and learn about it and Sean is there any kind of like high level things you wanted to cover before we take a few minutes to ask answer some questions yeah absolutely I guess there's just a couple more points I'd I'd want to make so building a word building a website you you put a lot into it right developing your content creating your theme etc you do what you can to keep it secure to protect that investment to go along with that the next thing I would strongly recommend that's a bit outside the scope of this this webinar is is to make sure that you're making backups and make sure you're making them regularly it's one of the best favors you can do your future self there are a lot of methods for doing that that Hostgator would provide support for a lot of different options for making backups and most most food web providers will if you're looking for something that's pretty much just set it and forget it you want to make sure you have frequent off-site backups I would recommend code guard but there are other options available as well that are free out of the box the next thing and I kind of mentioned this is uh we want to keep things simple when you're starting there are a lot of plugins to Blair's point the plugins are written by different organizations they have different standards and they all are gonna require a little more work add a little more complexity and add a little more risk so you definitely want to keep things as simple as you can that said if you want to build a complex website you're gonna need to add in that additional functionality if you're looking for support with that kind of thing Blair mentioned looking at the documentation for the plug-in creator for the theme creator it's very helpful at Hostgator we do also have a premium support service just-just staffed with wordpress experts who can help with this kind of thing so that's our WP live team if you are looking for that one on one very detailed support or you're dealing with a more complex environment or you just want some help for the first couple months while you get started and have someone available I would recommend WP live as well but keep it as simple as you can while you get started I think those are that's really the pretty much and to my advice keep your pewter side updated keep it simple focus on the content and I think you'll you'll have a good time okay thanks Sean I know that this has been a whirlwind of information in a short amount of time and we're a little bit over but I know we do have some questions that people wanted us to address for right now Sean I'm gonna leave you with the presenter access in case we need to demo anything and then you know I can always kind of do like I did before and show you which things to click on if I want to show something off but Jana has been taking questions throughout the webinar and on social media Jana do you have some questions that we should go over right there has been so many questions it's hard to keep up this has been a very great audience a couple of ones I'm gonna try to combine but there seem to be a lot of talk about knowing if a plug-in is compatible which I think you answered but then there was like if you upgrade the plug-in or the theme is there a risk that it's gonna break something yes and unfortunately certainly is we've we've all been through that if you get the new version of you get the new version of Windows you get the new version of Mac or Android or iOS that there can be challenges there there's two two general rules of thumb that I would stick to is that generally the more frequently you update the less likely that is to be a concern if you tried to update from Windows 95 to Windows 10 you could expect that a lot of things are going to break if you update more frequently there's smaller changes and you can sort of understand those if something's if you're if you're getting to the point where you know you're you're running a high volume website it gets back again to really making sure you're picking the right plugins and the right themes that are updated frequently that have a strong user base those are really good indications that the developer is putting in the effort to make sure that they're not going to be breaking their their users websites and finally it gets back to backups again you you want to make backups before your doing before you're making major changes in the beginning when you're just getting started you can probably take backups manually and be in this pretty safe place if you're putting a lot of effort into it it's really critical to your business setting up daily backups so that you can you can address that quickly is paramount I there's always a practical decision to be made between updating your software and preserving the current stability and functionality but you know it is a website live on the Internet the internet is filled with a lot of bad computers and so updates really are important if you want to stay safe better to break a functionality on you know knowingly and restore from a backup than to have a malicious actor break into your website and be in a much tougher situation perfect um couple of questions about converting a site either from a builder to WordPress or the other way around what kind of concerns would a user have around that that can be a challenge with a lot of builder platforms they tend to be you know kind of what we'd call a walled garden they they're really nice on the inside but they can be very difficult to get out of if you're using one of the more common ones like we have we mentioned here a tumblr or blogger live journal you can do a rough import of your content and they're all there are also other services available online but I won't get into but you can google and find services to help with that if you are with Hostgator of course reach out to our support team and we can take a look at that specific situation and see if there's anything else that we can do to help you Blair I think this is for you there was a few questions about paying for a premium theme is that a one-time fee or an annual fee yeah that's a good question in my experience it's typically a one-time fee and you could have some that offer like a you know up I got an update but almost all the ones that I have seen picking an annual license that you use one or pay for one time and get to update whenever they release updates another thing that you will see when you're looking at paid themes is whether you're trying to use it on one site or multiple so some sites will give you like a if you want to think about it like a package deal where like you can use this one theme on unlimited number of sites then you'll pay more for that but in my experience the ones that I've used so far has been a one-time fee rate so I think a couple of questions have come in when you're talking about backups just now Sean is there a plug-in for backup or how would somebody you know set up how do you recommend somebody set up those backups there are there are a number of plugins for backups if you're using WordPress that are pretty reliable I would take the same approach you can look through our blog I think we have a backup one in here or just check out you know go into plugins and just do a search real quick for for backups and make sure that you're looking for one that is make sure that you're looking for one again it's popular that's updated regularly that has high reviews hostgator also we do partner with another organization called a code guard which does a really good job at tracking your database changes and your file system changes and gives you the ability to actually kind of look through and roll back to a specific date we'll post some blog links to to our page that we have here are some plugins to try and we'll make sure to include some guidelines on backup options as well all right do we have time for any more Blair should we I think it looks like we've still got a bunch of people hanging on so they you know if you've got a couple other big ones we should cover and let's go ahead and do it absolutely another one that seemed to pop up while you were talking about themes is how does the child theme differ and/or work with your your main theme yeah so I think your child theme is probably referencing WooCommerce so for instance on on WooCommerce you might have like one design look for the main pages of your website and then you know a theme that is specific to the product pages on your website so because obviously you wouldn't want your homepage to look like a product site right with like ten blocks of you know pictures of things and no place to put content or you know pages of text so a lot of times that's kind of where you have a child theme paired with a main theme it's just for one certain section but if you have a child theme it's usually gonna come packaged that way so you're not going to just be able to turn on a different theme for a certain page of your site a lot of times you might also see that with a blog like maybe there's a different layout for the blog page that's separate from the main website page but if you have that like I said it's going to become Pat it's going to be packaged as a deal with your theme it's not you can't put two different themes on one website so look for that when you're buying your package for your theme okay another one I know we talked we addressed SSL but we're still getting a lot of comments on that Shawn if even though SSL is free people do have to go activate it and would you suggest that they go to support for help with that or I guess people are struggling with finding it come on their dashboard or cPanel gosh yeah it's pretty subtle in WordPress itself inside of the settings to set it to HTTPS and that can work that works really well when you're working with a fresh installation there have been times where if you if you've already put a bit into it it can get a little more complex than that we do recommend a specific plug-in that can really help set up HTTPS for you as well so we'll go ahead and add that to the recommendations together there are plugins that can they can do that for you – yeah and grace dropped I just dropped that in the chat as well there's a page on our help website that has more about you know what is the SSL why do you need it and then how to it's a step-by-step guide for enabling your free SSL based on the type of site you have so even if you're using something other than WordPress there's instructions on this page that will tell you how to activate it on your Hostgator website okay another one that came up was when you guys were talking about images people were asking if there's a limit to either the image size or the overall like the number of images are you gonna get dinged for taking up too much bandwidth or server space that's pretty much – I would say from like from the just like a general general response I would say you are not really going to run out of the number of images you can have in WordPress and Shawn I know you're gonna contagion on this later – but you know your web hosting provider may determine like a number an amount of space that your designated with your package so that's where you could end up with an issue Shawn can talk about this in just a second but like the Hostgator blog has been up since but 2013 and there's you know so that means there's like thousands and thousands of images in there and we're still hosting them on the same blog so that's not a problem and then I know Sean if you want to talk about this with like with your hosting package size space also there are plugins that you can use to help your images speed up so there's a plug-in called yeah smush and that's what we recommend that you use so that you can still load large images without taking a long time to download those images anything else you want to add to that Sean yeah I think that's perfect yeah I would say generally images especially in 2020 images just aren't that big a lot of long videos might be more likely to to cause you to run into disk space issues at Hostgator all of our shared hosting packages have unlimited disk space and so by and large we we just don't see problems with that with our customers in terms of space there's no built-in limit to WordPress and you should have all the room that you need to host the images and video for your site if you're with with any modern reputable hosting provider there are alternatives though YouTube is great for videos you know so a lot of times you might want to look at a way to embed a YouTube video instead of having it separate on your website you're gonna get functionality and you can expand your presence into another area etc and then Blair makes a good point if you're going to be uploading very large images you don't want to make every one of your users download a much larger image than they need and then have them shrink it to fit in there at their desktop the browser will do that for you but it'll be slower so yeah definitely there are plugins like Smosh that can help optimize your images I get them to the right size and then caching plugins which can help with that as well so I wouldn't worry about the disk space I think Blair makes a good point about the speed but yeah there are great solutions for that ok got just a couple more do you want that easy whatever the hard way yeah this goes back to the beginning I guess you had mentioned PHP and we got several questions honestly kind of throughout about how to update the PHP and a couple of people even mentioned that they're getting the alert that it needs to be updated great yeah so the the PHP versions are important so at Hostgator what what we do is we'll set up the new version of PHP for new installations but to the question raised earlier about updates and potentially breaking things we won't automatically move customers to that version of PHP because we we can't be 100% certain it that everything will work and we would hate to take someone's website down PHP 7 is remarkably faster than the previous versions of PHP so I would strongly recommend it if you have an existing site with Hostgator and you need help moving that over I'd probably recommend calling us or we can look at doing another webinar putting out a blog post about that if we don't have one handy but normally that's something you would change inside of your your hosting control panel or cPanel so yeah I would recommend well we'll get a reference on our web page and then if you're with Hostgator i'd encourage you to call in and we can we now get that changed for you ok and finally some questions were coming up when you were talking about tags just can you explain that real briefly what the benefit is there and exactly what they are I could take tags stron so tags are kind of a feature from WordPress originally being a blogging platform so put on your ear blogging hat for a second there's two things you can have here actually I want to cover both of them together there's categories and there's tags so categories are sort of like your buckets of information so if you're thinking about blog articles you know maybe you're a cat our fashion and cooking and home decor but then your tags are even more specific to that and you can tag a specific article by specific topic so maybe on my cooking category a tag would be you know chicken beef and fish so that then within that category somebody could find the specific item they're looking for we use this on the WordPress or on the Hostgator blog the same way so we have big things that are like marketing tips you know web hosting tips and then I can break it down into WordPress themes WordPress plugins like all of those things can excuse me can be tags and then I can use tags to display my content on my website in different ways so you know maybe I have a plug-in that operates by filtering content by tags and then you can display those tags like on a word cloud on your which would be like you know shows a bunch of words and then you can pick one and see all that content so I just really like to think of tags is sort of like a really specific way to help label your information so that people can find what to read in the specific way and then as I mentioned tags are very helpful for sorting content in different plugins so you know I can have a section that will pull in any article that's tagged as chicken recipe so you should think of it as a way to sort your content into buckets and then you can use those tags to display the content in different ways on your site I know some people also asked about tags with in SEO or in search it's not really going to impact your SEO that much because it's more like just a way to sort and organize content on your own site more than it is like a major indicator to Google search so it's not tags are not a you know a major factor in the Google algorithm as far as what's going to make your site you know stand out or searchable and for more background on SEO we do have a webinar from a few months ago on SEO that's on our blog that you can go find and learn some basics about how to get get your site optimized for our search anything else then we need to cover Janna I don't think so the a lot of questions asked I think you know a follow up of a blog or if people want to continue to ask them on Twitter using that hashtag we will certainly try to address it yeah that's a great point so continue to send us your questions like Janna said on Twitter with hashtag HG webinar you can also respond to that webinar email that you got as a reminder and and we do have a copy of all your questions so we will sort out what we need to do next as far as reaching out to you individually or like Janna said putting together a blog post for the top questions I think that might be in our future so keep an eye out for that and Shawn anything else on your in you wanted to touch on quickly no that's it thank you both and thanks everyone for joining really appreciate it great thanks so much thanks again for joining us today hope you've learned a lot and be looking for a follow-up survey in your email thanks so much you .

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