Step 3 – Learning WordPress

by Matt Banner | Get free updates of new posts here | Last Updated on

How to Maximize the Power of WordPress

Lessons in Step Three:

  • Understanding the Dashboard/Layout
  • Changing Themes and Design Options
  • How to Find/Install Plugins
  • Ways to Make Google Favor Your Blog


A Look at The Dashboard

Once you login, you’ll see this:

wordpress dashboard


Here is a short explanation of what everything does:

  • Posts – a list of your blog posts where you can edit older ones, publish, or create news ones.
  • Media – all of your stored pictures, videos, and audio files that you’ve uploaded.
  • Pages – permanent sections of your site (About Me, Contact Us, things like that)
  • Comments – look at all of the messages people have left behind for you. Review and delete spam comments here.
  • Appearance – the place where you install new design themes and structures.
  • Plugins – search for, and install new plugins for a variety of purposes. (more on that soon)
  • Settings – Change your blog’s title, tagline, email, and all the other important settings.


Choosing Your Theme/Layout

Your blog’s design, look, and structure are represented by the theme you choose. Click on “Appearance” and then “Themes.”

wordpress themes

Search for themes that you like, you can also use the “Apply filters” tool to narrow the search. When you’ve chosen, click “Install” and then click “Activate” on the following screen.

theme search filters

Finding and Installing Plugins

wordpress plugins

Plugins do a variety of things:

  • Improve your blog’s layout
  • Create email signup forms
  • Manage spam comments
  • Add buttons to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Much more!


When you’re ready to add one, click on “Plugins” and then “Add New.” Use the search bar to find one you like, install it, and then click “Activate Plugin” on the following page.


Remember that not all plugins are made equal. Always research reviews before installing.

Gaining Google’s Favor (Also Known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO)

Making your blog optimized means that it will be easier for people to find. This is an ongoing process, but here are a few ways to get started on the right foot:

1. Head into your WordPress Settings and click Permalinks. Change the default setting to Post Name so when you write posts, the link is clean and simple such as

permalink settings

2. Keep track of your comments to avoid spam. To do this, go to Discussion under your settings and select the option to Manually approve comments.

comment settings

3. Download plugins to help with optimization like the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin and be sure to read up on the latest SEO tips and tricks so your blog gets views!


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