Follow these steps to put the finishing touches on your new WordPress website. Along the way, you’ll learn where and how to adjust the most important settings.
- SITE IDENTITY
- SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS
- EMAIL FORM
- POST SNIPPETS SHORTCODES
- SIDEBAR WIDGETS
- FOOTER WIDGETS
- WIDGET SHORTCODE AREA
- POST CATEGORIES
- POST TAGS
- CSS STYLESHEET (OPTIONAL)
Change your Logo and check that your Site Title (company name / website name) is correct in the Customizer. To do that, login to your WP Dashboard and in the left-hand menu hover over Appearance and then click Customize. Then click Header > Logo & Site Identity. Optionally, you may choose to hide the Site Title from the Site Header altogether in order to make room for a wider logo image if you prefer. Click Publish to save your changes.
Update your social media icons and links. To do this, go to Appearance > Widgets and click on Widget Shortcode on the far right. In the dropdown, click on Lightweight Social Icons to open it. Edit, add or remove your social profiles here, then click Save to save your changes. Learn more about the Lightweight Social Icons plugin.
Next, check your email form settings within the Simple Basic Contact Form plugin. We’ve already set it up for you, but its a good idea to follow this step to learn how to update your email form settings in the future. Go to Settings > Contact Form. Then click on Plugin Options to review all settings and make changes if needed. Click Save Settings to save your changes.
Review your Post Snippets shortcodes and edit them if changes are required. Post Snippets shortcodes are used to display content or code blocks in multiple places across your website, such as your phone number and address; just update your phone and address shortcode snippets once and the changes apply site-wide, saving you the tedium of updating this information on a page-by-page basis. How easy is that!? To review or edit your Post Snippets, go to Settings > Post Snippets. Modify only the ‘phone’, ‘phonelink’, ’email’, ‘address’ and ‘businesshours’ snippets if necessary. Do not edit snippets indicated by “DO NOT EDIT” in the description. BTW, Post Snippets work in both Posts and Pages.
The vertical Primary Sidebar is visible on the right-hand side of your Blog and single Posts. The sidebars contain Widgets. Add, remove or re-arrange your Sidebar Widgets by hovering over Appearance and then selecting Widgets from the sub-menu. Add new widgets by dragging them from the Available Widgets area into the Primary Sidebar. While in the Widgets Editor, widgets can be dragged up or down within the sidebar for proper positioning. Your sidebar can also be positioned on the left or the right of the page (or both) via the Customizer by going to Appearance > Customize and then clicking Layouts > Sidebars.
Footer Widgets are displayed horizontally at the bottom of all Pages and Posts. The theme is currently set to show 4 footer widget areas. Add new Widgets by dragging them from Available Widgets and into the Footer Sidebar widget areas. Widgets can be dragged between footer sidebar widgets to arrange them in the order you wish.
At some point, you might wish to use a widget within the content of your Pages or Posts rather than the Sidebar. The Widget Shortcode plugin allows you to do this by generating a handy shortcode that can be copy-pasted into Pages and Posts so the widget output will be displayed there. We use this feature to display your Lightweight Social Icons below the email form on the Contact page. To use this feature, go to Widgets, drag a widget into the Widget Shortcode Area, change or configure the widget, click Save, and then a shortcode will appear at the bottom that can be copied and pasted into your Pages or Posts.
Your theme’s main colors can be changed via the Customizer settings. To edit your colors, click on Customize. Then click Styling > Global Colors. Set new colors by pasting in your color hex values or using the built-in color picker. Click Publish at the top to save your changes.
Background colors may be set via Customize > Styling > Background. Colors for additional areas of the site such as the Header (including the Navigation Menu, Buttons, Mobile Menu Sidebar) and the Footer, can be set by clicking on their respective names in the Customizer. For more information, see Customify’s Customizer Settings Documentation.
Posts appear in your Blog and are displayed in reverse-chronological order. Set the Visibility of all sample posts (including this one) to Private so they won’t be visible to your site’s visitors. You can do this quickly in bulk by going to Posts; then use the checkbox at the top of the Posts list to select all posts, select Edit in the Bulk Actions dropdown, click Apply, select Private in the Status dropdown, and then click Update. All Posts will now be private as indicated by the Private status message next to each Post Title.
Next, try adding a New Post; then assign it a Featured Image, a Category, and a Tag or two.
To make your Blog super user-friendly, set up your Post Categories to organize your posts into specific topics. Categories should be broad; think about how a newspaper is organized into News, Sports, Business and Entertainment sections. Categories should be used in the same way. Use category names that will help your blog’s readers find information they are looking for more quickly or to discover additional related posts. Best practice is to choose only one category for each post. To set up your Categories, go to the Dashboard and hover over Posts, then select Categories from the sub-menu that appears. Try adding some new categories and deleting any that you don’t need.
To organize your Blog content even further, apply Tags to your posts also. Tags should be more narrowly-defined than Categories. Use them for specific brand names, locations, sub-groups, etc. Going back to the earlier newspaper analogy, articles in the Sports category could be tagged with ‘NBA’, ‘NFL’, and ‘MLB’ to further segment these posts into basketball, football or baseball sub-categories. Best practice is to use one or two tags at most. For example, you could tag a post about the 2018 NBA Champions with the tags ‘NBA’ and ‘Golden State Warriors’. The setup process for Tags is similar to that of categories, as described above. Click here to edit your tags now.
Finally, it’s time to edit your Pages. Use the existing page content as a framework for your own content or start a new page from scratch. If you’d like to preserve the sample pages for future reference, use the Post Duplicator plugin feature to make a copy. Go to Pages, hover over a Page Title and you’ll see Clone in the list of actions that appear underneath. Click Clone and then a copy will be created. You’ll see the copy the page indicated with – Draft next to the title. Now you can edit the original published page and refer to the unpublished copy if needed. If you make a mistake and need to revert to a previous version of the page you’re working on, use the Revisions feature to go back to a previous version of your page.
Set your custom WordPress login URL to improve your site’s security. Because everyone knows the default login URL for WordPress, it’s often the #1 point of attack for hackers. The WPS Hide Login plugin allows you to set a unique login path of your own choosing, such as
/my-wp-login. To set your custom login URL, go to Settings > WPS Hide Login. And remember to write your new URL down and bookmark it so you don’t forget!
The BNE Testimonials plugin handles your customer testimonials. Testimonials can be easily placed into Pages or Posts using shortcodes. Sample testimonials are already set up for you and appear on the Home and Services pages. You can edit these by replacing the existing sample content with your own, or start from scratch with new testimonials and then deleting the samples. Note how Categories are assigned to some of the testimonials; these are used to select which testimonials are displayed. For example,
category="customer" was added to the testimonial shortcode on the Services page to show only the testimonials categorized as ‘Customer’. To edit your Testimonials, go to Testimonials in the main menu of the Dashboard. As a Custom Post Type, Testimonials use their own set of Categories which can be edited by hovering over Testimonials and then clicking on Categories.
To fine-tune the look of your site, use the child theme’s CSS Stylesheet located at Appearance > Editor. The stylesheet allows you to set your fonts, colors, margins, padding, and more on a site-wide (global) or per-element basis. If you’re not familiar with CSS, stick with using the theme’s Customizer settings. While viewing the stylesheet, you’ll see that a number of customizations have already been made. Comments are used to document how and where they are used. You can find an excellent reference to learn CSS online at w3schools.com/css.