Quick Start Guide

If it is your first time using WordPress and you need to know the basics, this quick start guide is a great place to start.

Create a Site


Get started. To get started, visit the Express site creation form, which will ask you to select your site URL and Title.


Select your site URL. Select a site name that is descriptive and easy to recall. The URL cannot contain any special characters, spaces, capitalization, etc. Example: URL ending – “summertravel.”

The URL cannot be changed after a site is created.


Title your site. The site title is the title visitors see at the top of your site, and can be more formal and descriptive. Example: “My Summer Travel Site”

You can always change the title later.


Set Privacy Options. Select “Yes” in the privacy settings in order to make your site searchable on the Express network.


You’re all done! After completing the form successfully, a new page with “Congrats” comes up. Click on site URL to see your site. If your site is not created, it is likely because there is an issue with the URL you are trying to create. An error message will appear below the field that needs to be corrected.

Orientation to WordPress Features

Now that you’re on your site, you will see both the default design of your site, and the admin toolbar along the top. There will be plenty of opportunities to customize the look and feel of your site, but it’s a good idea at this point to click through and see some of its features.

Some common elements of WordPress features:


Blog posts are typically shorter, topical entries. Posts are often featured on the homepage of your site, and can be written regularly.

To add a new post: Posts > Add New. This will take you to a page to create a post. You should select a title, add content in the post field using the rich text editor, add a category and/or tags, and publish. To add a post, hover over the “+ New” link in the Admin bar and select “Post.”

Once on the “Add New Post” page, it is easy to add a title, the content of a post, create or select a category, and publish an entry.

Once you have published your post, it is easy to both view and edit the content of the entry.

Categories and Tags

One of the many features of a blog is the ability categorize your posts based on the concepts of “Categories and Tags.” We feel strongly that posts should at least be placed in a Category for help in organizing and finding content over the long term.

Categories are broad groupings of post types. For example, if you wrote a food blog, your categories might include “breakfast” and “dessert.” Tags are more specific to the content of the post, so if you wrote a recipe for chocolate cake, you might categorize it in “dessert” and tag it “cake” and “chocolate.” Categories are useful on your blog when readers visit and want to view several posts that are similar. Tags are useful to find specific posts and for searching on the SB You network.


There are a lot of ways customize the look and feel of your site, starting with the theme. The theme is the design of your site. We will only cover a few quick ways to customize your site, but there are a lot of support materials available should you want to customize further.

Select a Theme. On left menu, click Appearance > Themes. The default theme, Twenty Twelve, is highly recommended for its ease of use and simple design.

Activate your chosen theme (if not Twenty Twelve).

Change Title and Tagline. Once selected, you can hit “Customize” to change the site Title and Tagline (title shows up in the browser tab, tagline shows as a subtitle in some themes).

Change the banner image. From the customize menu, you can change the banner image at the top of the site under “Header Image.” You can select a different default image, or upload an image of your own.

You can also customize the Header text color, the Header image, background, and which page is your “Home” page (it can be a static Welcome page or show all of the most recent posts) . . . but all of these options can be customized later as well, so don’t worry about doing everything here now.

Remember to click the “Save” before you click “Close” to change your Customization settings.


Pages are typically static content that gives visitors more information on the site. Pages are different than posts in a few ways. Each page created gets a unique place on your site with a unique URL, whereas posts populate the same area of the site. An About page is a common static page on most sites.

To add a new page: Pages > Add New. Fill in the title and body content.

ITS Support

If neither the above content or the content provided on the support page have answered your question or technical issue, please reach out to the IT Service Desk for assistance. 

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