A Guide to Master WordPress: From Newbie to Pro

Whether you're a WordPress beginner who wants to jump from newbie to pro, or just need to learn the basics, you've come to the right place.if you can understand this guide and have a spark of passion for WordPress, you're good to go. The easiest route to master WordPress is to dive right in.

A Guide to Master WordPress: From Newbie to Pro

Mastering WordPress requires a lot of attention and hard work, but it is not as difficult as it is thought to be. If you have a strong determination and can put in the time, it will be quite easy for you to learn WordPress and become a pro. 

Newbies looking to build their knowledge and confidence in WordPress must stick to this article until the end. This guide will cover topics like WordPress installation, theme installation, plugin installation, making WordPress secure and migrating WordPress to a new host. 

Let's begin with the WordPress Installation First. 

Installing WordPress 

There are several ways to install WordPress on your web hosting server. However, most people prefer to install it manually. Not only this procedure is secure but also makes you familiar with the various functions of WordPress. As a newbie, you must choose this method to enhance your Knowledge. Let’s learn how to install WordPress manually step by step. 

Downloading the WordPress 

Visit the official website of WordPress and download its latest version. 

Upload the downloaded file to your hosting account- 

There are 3 ways to do it 

  • By using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). 
  • Through File Manager. 
  • Via Uploading Secure Socket Shell (SSH) 

The most users find file transfer protocol more convenient 

Creating the User & MySQL Database 

To create a database, first of all, you need to access the control panel of your web hosting. WP stores all its data in this database. It acts as a storage house for all your website data. It stores data such as text file, plugins and WordPress theme. 

Creating the User & MySQL Database

See the following steps how you can create a database. 

Step #1: Log in the control panel your web hosting.
Step #2: Search for ‘MySQL Database Wizard’, most probably you will find it in the Database section. Click on it. It will open up a window where you have to create a database user and fill the information such as username, password, etc.

create a database.

Step #3: Set Database user credentials and hit ‘Create User’ button. 

Step #4: Now you will be taken to the next step, where you have to select the privileges options, you may check privileges options as per your requirements. If you’re setting an admin account then you can select all the privileges. However, if you are making this account for your employee, you may restrict his/her actions by choosing fewer privileges. 

Note - Save all the database details in a separate text file for the future use. 

Filling the Details in WordPress 

To connect database with WordPress, you need to fill up few important details. Let’s see how to do that: 

Filling the Details in WordPress

When you will start WP on your browser, it will ask you to fill up some important details to connect up with your database. You need to fill up database name you have created in the above step. 

Step #1: Next, enter the database username & password. Always choose a difficult and lengthy password. We would suggest you to use the combination of numbers, special characters to create a strong password. 

Step #2: Now choose the database host. You can ask this information from your web host. 

Step #3: Don’t keep the ‘Table Prefix’ option ‘WP’. Choose a different prefix to make your database more secure.

Submit all these details and hit ‘Submit’ button available at the end. Now you will be able to connect database with your WP. 

WordPress Installation 

You’re done with your primary steps. Now you have to run the WordPress installation. For that, you need to execute an installation script. You may find installation script using either of the following URLs: 

WordPress Installation URLs

Note - You have to replace yourdomain.com in the above URLs by your own domain URL. 

It will take you to the ‘Welcome to famous 5 minutes WordPress Installation Process’ page. That’s all, you’re done with installation. 

After installing the WordPress, your next step should be making your site attractive, feature-rich, fast, and beginner friendly. And for that, you need to pick the right theme and plugins. Let’s find out how to pick the best-suited theme for WordPress. 

Selecting a perfect WP theme should be your top priority. After all, a theme is an important factor that makes your site stand out among others. It is not only crucial from aesthetic aspect but also plays a crucial role in search engine optimization, website load speed, browser and device compatibility. 

Apart from this, sometimes, compatibility of plugins also depends on your theme. 

Marketplaces to find the best WordPress themes 

The official WordPress theme directory is the best place to begin your search your ideal WP theme. It is one of the largest collection of free WordPress themes where you can find a suitable theme for almost every niche. 

Before choosing a theme, don’t forget to ask yourself the following basic questions. 
  • What is your website for? 
  • What is the purpose of your site? 
The other popular options for WordPress themes are as per below. You can find both free and premium themes there. 
  1. Mojo Marketplace 
  2. ThemeForest 
  3. Elegant Themes 
  4. StudioPress 
  5. CSSIgniter 
  6. StudioPress, etc. 

Tips to Choose the Best Theme 

  • Pick a responsive theme so that your site can be easily accessed on the devices of all shapes and sizes. 
  • Make sure it supports all the important & popular plugins. 
  • Always select the theme that can help you optimize your site for search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. 
  • Make sure your theme is offering enough customization options. 
If you are still confused how to find the best WordPress theme for your site, read this fantastic post on 000webhost.com. This post contains the list of top free 35 WP themes in 2018. 

Installing Theme 

Installing & Activating WP theme is fairly easy. You can do it in just two steps. 

Installing WordPress Theme

Step #1: Theme Installation 

Access your WP dashboard. Go to the Admin Panel->Appearance->Themes 

  • Next, go to ‘Install Theme’ and then hit the ‘Upload’ link. 
  • Choose ‘Browser’ option, navigate to the folder having the theme.zip file. 
  • Once the uploading process is completed, hit ‘Install Now’ button. 
Step #2: Activating Theme 

As soon as the installation procedure gets completed, you will see a window. Click on ‘Activate’ link. It will automatically activate your theme, now you can customize your theme according your requirements. 

Installing Plugin in WordPress 

After activating the theme, you might be thinking to install some major plugins on your site that can bring more functionality to your site. If you have no idea how to install plugins, just follow the below steps. 

Step #1: Log in to your WP dashboard. 
Step #2: Go to Plugins-> Add New 
Step #3: In Search box search for the plugin, you want to install. 
Step #4: Hit the ‘Install Now’ button. 
Step #5: Next, click ‘Activate’ option. 

Congratulations! your plugin has installed successfully. 

Must Have Plugins for your Newly Built WordPress Sites 

Plugins play an important role in enhancing the functionality and features of your site. However, it is necessary you install the best one plugins only. 

Let’s have a look at some popular WP plugins 
When it comes to the best SEO plugins, WordPress SEO by Yoast always tops the list. It is not just an SEO plugin, it is a complete optimization solution for your site. 

WordPress SEO By Yoast

Using this tool, you can perform various advanced SEO tasks such as canonical URL setting, XML sitemap, breadcrumb navigation, etc. 
The page load speed of your site also plays an important role in the search engine ranking. Therefore, you must give enough emphasis on the speed of your site. W3T Total Cache plugin lets you optimize your site for speed and performance. It claims to improve overall site performance up to 10X. 

3. WPForms 

As a web owner, allowing your audience to contact you should be your top preference. Contact us section that contains your name, phone number and email id. is not enough capable to offer your website a professional touch. 

Therefore, you must invest in WPForms plugin that lets you build user-friendly contact form with in few minutes. 
As website building takes a lot of hard work and investment, you should never take its security back seat. Updraft plugin helps you keep a regular backup of your site data. With a single click, you can restore all your files and data. 

5. Sucuri

Nowadays, security is one of the major concerns for web owners. Sucuri is a popular WordPress security plugin that is known to offer the best protection against website hacking, DDoS, brute force, XSS attacks, malware, etc. 

Common WordPress Errors 

If you want to turn from newbie to ‘Pro’ WordPress owner, it is necessary that you are aware of its common errors and solutions to fix them. Though WordPress is one of the most reliable platforms in the world. However, like most CMS platforms it is not entirely free from all the flaws. 

Let’s know about some common WP error and quick solution to fix them. 

The White Screen of Death 
The White Screen of Death is a quite common error in WordPress which comes without any error message. The only thing that you see is White Screen. There could be various reasons for this error such as exhausted PHP memory, plugin, etc. 

You can increase the PHP memory limit of your site by adding the following code into your WordPress configuration PHP file (wp-config.php file) 

Define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘3000M’); 

If you think plugins are responsible, disable all the plugins on your site and then Re-enable them one by one and check which plugin is causing this error. Uninstall that plugin and try a fresh install for that. 

Errors Establishing a Database Connection 
It is another common WordPress error that you may come across as a newbie. This error usually arises when you use wrong credentials (DB host, username, password) to access your database. 

In case you are receiving the same message on both sides (back end & front end) of your site then there is a possibility that your database is corrupted. Place the following code into the configuration PHP file of your site to repair your database file. Once the repair process is over, remove this code from your configuration PHP file. 

Code: Define(‘WP_Allow_Repair’, true) 

Returning 404 Error 
As a WP owner, you may encounter this error at some point. There are numerous causes responsible for this error, but most common among them is a .htaccess file. If this error is just on the one page of your site, not the whole site, probably permalinks are responsible for the error. 

For that, you need to reconfigure the permalinks. Go to the Settings>Permalinks and click on ‘Save Changes’. That's all. 

If this method is not working, you can try updating .htaccess file manually. For that, you will need to log in to your hosting server. You can use File Transfer Protocol to access your server. You can find the .htaccess file under the file section. The simplest way to modify the .htaccess file is to change its permission to 666 and make it writable. Next, update your permalinks settings. 

Internal Server Error 
Sometimes, also cited to as ‘500 Internal Server Error’, it is a quite common error in WordPress. Most WordPress owners encounter this error at least once in their lives. Most of the time, plugins and WP theme are responsible for this error. 

First of all, check for the corrupted .htaccess file. Rename this file to something like .htaccess old and save the file. Now refresh your site and see if the error has resolved. If it is not working, try enhancing the PHP memory limit of your WordPress. 

If both methods are not working, take the help of your hosting provider. Contact their technical support. You may also find a quick solution for this error on various online forum supports. 000webhost.com forum support covers various issues related to hosting and WordPress, you may use that as well. 

As said before, website security should be your top priority, we bring some quick ideas for you to keep your WP site protected. 

How to keep Your WordPress Site Secured? 

  • Use 2-Factor authentication - By introducing the 2-factor authentication in your login page, you can give an extra layer of security to your site. In 2 factor authentication, a user has to provide login details for two different components. And as a website owner, you have to set those components. It can be anything. For instance, you can set a secret code or password along with your regular password. Google Authenticator is one of the reliable plugins for obtaining this feature. 
  • Protect Your WordPress Admin Directory - It would not be wrong to say that WordPress admin directory is a heart of any WordPress Website. Therefore, you should protect it from getting breached. You can create a password for your wp-admin directory. 

By opting this security measure, dashboard users will have to submit two passwords. One password will protect login page while another will protect your admin area. 

Now, you are one step closer to master WordPress. Now you’re aware of how to install WP, how to install theme and plugins and how to fix some common WP errors. Now let’s see how you can migrate your WordPress Site 

Migrating/Moving of a WordPress Site 

We would suggest you invest in the right hosting companies from the beginning. A good hosting company must have the capability to fulfill the present and future requirements of your site. Make sure your hosting company offers an option to upgrade to premium plans. 

There are plenty of hosting companies available where you can host your site for absolutely free and later on upgrade to their premium plans as you feel your site is growing such as 000webhost.com, Freehosting.com, Awardspace, Byethost, 5GBfree etc. 

Don’t worry migrating WordPress to new host does not require re-installation of WordPress. The platform is flexible enough to handle such situations. Before moving to a new server we would suggest you create the backup of your entire site which must include all the text file, plugins, theme, images, etc. 

Follow these steps: 

Step #1: Backup your website
You may use File Transfer Protocol to download all your data to your computer. Log in to your web host and copy all of the files from the root directory and save them into your computer. 

Step #2: Export the database 
It is quite easy to export database. Most hosting provider access your database using phpMyAdmin. Just log into the control panel of your host and access phpMyAdmin. Select your website database and hit ‘Export’ from the menu. Make sure the export method is set to Quick and formal is SQL. It ensures that your backup is globally accepted for MySQL. Next, you have to click on ‘Go’ and download the .sql file. 

Step #3: Upload Website Files
You have copied the entire data of your site. Now it is time to upload it. Login to your new hosting account using the Filezilla and access to its web root. Next, drag your files from your computer to the web root of new hosting. 

Step #4: Create a Database 
Before moving your database to a new host, create an empty database. Login the control panel of your new hosting account. Next, create a new database and give it an appropriate name according to your site. Next, create a new database user. Next, add the new user to this new database along with all Privileges. Save database name, username, and password somewhere for the future use. 

Step #5: Import the database
Once you have set up your database, it is time to import the database. For that, again you have to log in to PhpMyAdmin on the new hosting account and click on the new database you just created. Now, click on ‘Import’ available on the top. 

Next, click on the browse button and upload your .sql file. Click ‘Go’ and the database will begin importing. 

Fix the WordPress Configuration PHP file

All your data has been successfully moved to new hosting account. Now you need to bring database and files together by modifying the WordPress Configuration PHP file (wp-config.php) file. 

You may use FileZilla to edit this file. Look for the following setting codes in this file. 
  • DN Name 
  • DB Username 
  • DB Password 
  • DB Host 
Now take database information which you have saved and replace the old database information in these codes. That’s all. You have successfully migrated your WordPress 

Final Words 

Hopefully, after going through this post, you will no longer be a newbie to WordPress. In this post, we tried to cover all the information that can help you start your online journey with WordPress. 

A New Guide to Master WordPress: From Newbie to Pro
A Guide To Becoming a Respectable WordPress Professional

To become WordPress professional, keep eye on what is happening new in the world of WordPress, follow some good blogs on WP and join WordPress meetups and camps. Keep practicing and experimenting. 

Thanks. you have written a great article. I love to read this article. :-bd

Anonymous 4/11/2018

Which hosting are you using for your blog? This is super fast in loading. :f1

Blogger Spice says: 4/11/2018

You are most Welcome bro ;)

Blogger Spice says: 4/11/2018

I am using Google Blogger hosting. :D

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