WordPress is an easy tool to use. However, it has a very wide functionality, even more so when you use advanced design templates and plugins, so it is not strange to find many doubts and problems when you are a beginner.
Luckily, the doubts are usually the same for almost all bloggers and they are not so many.
So I have created here a compilation of the answers to the most typical and most important questions in WordPress, along with many references to guide posts, tutorials and all kinds of material to help you master this platform like an expert.
Any questions you want to ask through the comments will be very welcome. Of course, we ask you to be questions about WordPress of general interest.
It is not the idea to respond here to specific problems of yours that are not of general interest (incidents with your WordPress installation, etc.). With these types of things they will help you better in forums such as the support of your hosting or the support of WordPress.com
Before asking your question, I also recommend that you take a look at the table of contents below. Since the questions are repeated a lot, chances are your question is already answered one way or another in the existing questions.
I will address the questions in a brief way, without going into depth (which doesn’t make sense here). It is about having a first orientation with the most important thing that allows you to get out of trouble, or continue digging on your own.
And in the event that your question is about blogging in general and not about WordPress in particular, I recommend this page:
What is WordPress and how does it work?
I have organized the questions into thematic groups, so it would be logical to start with the most basic: doubts regarding the basic nature of WordPress.
What are the main differences between Blogger and WordPress?
I would highlight as main differences the following:
- Blogger only exists as a version hosted by Google (similar to WordPress.com), there is no option that you can use with your own hosting comparable to WordPress.org
- For starters, perhaps something easier to start with Blogger. It is an opinion that is frequently heard, although it is strongly debatable.
- Compared to the simple version of WordPress, WordPress.com has some very interesting specific features that WordPress.com does not have, such as its template designer (themes), integration with Google Analytics or the possibility of using AdSense , but…
- … The migration from Blogger to WordPress.org is much more difficult and the learning of Blogger is no longer of any use to you (if you use WordPress.com, you take advantage of all this learning also with WordPRess.org)
- … and you are 100% under the control of Google,which is a capricious company and will not hesitate to close this platform at the moment that you are not interested in continuing with it, no matter how much users protest, as it did at the time with Google Reader , for example.
And here is also a reading that discusses this topic in a much more detailed and nuanced way:
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
The mess Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has created using two such similar names has been enormous.
In fact, I don’t usually get so many direct questions about the differences as questions where I realize that the person is confusing them or hasn’t realized that they are two different options.
Let’s understand each other: the application is the same in both options (the WordPress application), but used in two very different ways, which also implies big differences between what you can do with one option and the other.
The essential differences are as follows:
- By creating your blog on WordPress.com youonly need to open your account, they already create your blog (or website). In return, your blog is under the control of Automattic (like a blogger blog with Google). You also have a free plan, but very limited (it does not even allow you to use your own domain). The most expensive plan (“Business” plan) is the only one that can be bought in benefits from a blog with its own hosting (the WordPress.org option).
- With orgyou have to download the WordPress program yourself (which is free software ) and install it on a server of yours, the server of your company or a hosting service such as, for example, Ionos (1&1), which is the option that we use. And we recommend you (more information and a discount coupon here).
To make a decision on which option to choose, I highly recommend reading this post that details in detail all the differences between these two WordPress options:
What do I need to be able to use WordPress?
In principle very little, if you use WordPress.com, in 5 minutes the account is created and, in theory, you already have an operational blog and ready to publish.
The problem is that this blog will be “Moneyless”, that is, as is, it is a little sad and you will want to personalize it with a design (WordPress theme) that you like and that fits with your content, even with your own logo.
You will have to do some basic configurations such as the use of permanent links or the time zone of your blog, apart from learning the basic concepts of WordPress: creating posts and pages, how to insert images, what are the categories and labels, how to create menus, etc.
On the other hand, the really powerful version of WordPress, WordPress.org , will also require you to contract a web server with a hosting provider since you have to install and maintain this version of WordPress yourself .
This is not a big problem because there are good hosting services like the one used by this same blog, Ionos (1&1).
Furthermore, nowadays, more and more hosting are offering you not only a support service for your hosting, but also specialized supports for the most popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla and Prestashop .
Here you can explore the offers of some of the most popular hosting providers:
Create web pages with WordPress
Let’s now look at the questions specific to the initial phase of creating a web page with WordPress.
I want to set up a company website, not a blog. Does WordPress work?
WordPress was actually designed as CMS (content management system). In fact, it is the most widely used system for creating websites. With which here you already have the answer: yes you can.
Now, in practice everything depends on the website you want to set up, if it is a website of low or medium complexity (number of pages and structure), WordPress will almost certainly be the best option.
If it is really very large and complex websites that require a very sophisticated navigation flow, permissions for users, and perhaps a very personalized behavior according to the user, then you will reach the limits of WordPress and it is worth studying alternatives.
How to know if a website uses WordPress?
If you are curious to know if a website uses WordPress, it is very easy to get out of your doubt: there are specialized tools that “sing” for any website if it uses WordPress or not.
One of the most popular is IsItWP:
On this website you simply enter the URL of the page you want to browse and the tool will tell you if it is created with WordPress or not.
What is the best version of WordPress for beginners?
There is no single answer to this question, it depends on your needs.
The classic choice was to choose the platform without limitations, WordPress.org, in exchange for a little more technical difficulty or the simplicity and immediacy of WordPress.com, but in exchange for limitations.
But all this has been blurred a lot because there are already many hosting services that offer support options for WordPress or even the complete management of your WordPress site, which makes it practically as easy as for users as in WordPress.com.
On the other hand, WordPress.com has also evolved and offers a “Business” plan much more powerful and affordable than in the past. Now it is very close to what you can do with WordPress.org in your own hosting.
Therefore, I consider a more nuanced reading on the subject as the one you can find here necessary:
What I want to dissuade you 100% from is the idea of using free hosting, unless it is only to learn and play around. Before using a free hosting, better stay on WordPress.com.
Here I explain why:
How is WordPress installed on a hosting?
Luckily, nowadays it is no longer very difficult, installing WordPress in a hosting is quick and easy. With good hosting and this guide, you will be done in less than 5-10 minutes.
What hosting do you recommend for WordPress.org?
Many people ask me every month “What do you think of XYZ hosting?” And it does not fail: it is always about the typical offers around € 2-3 a month, the cheapest on the market and of more than dubious quality.
My advice is very simple: get out of trouble by wanting to save you € 2 or € 3 a month that you recover by taking about two less coffees a month and hire a good option that gives you guarantees and peace of mind. You will avoid wasting hours and hours with problems and incidents.
The best solution that I can recommend you are the Ionos (1&1), SiteGround and Bluehost hostings. In all of them you have excellent features and support, WordPress support if you need it and affordable prices.
As an alternative, if it is very important in your case to have space and bandwidth without limitations for very little money, within cheap hosting, I can recommend Hostgator.
All of them usually also offer discounts on the initial contraction with special coupons that you can access here:
How much disk space does WordPress need?
First of all, I want to tell you that it is difficult to make exact calculations due to the great variety of types of blog and content that people publish.
But having said that, we can try to approach in a very indicative way what I am going to do.
The space consumption in a WordPress blog basically consists of four factors:
1. The installation of the WordPress PHP files
These are the WordPress files that you install on the hosting, they initially occupy approximately 20 Mbytes.
This space increases as you install plugins. Generally, it shouldn’t go much more than 100 Mbytes over time, but it is advisable to check the WordPress plugin folder in your hosting (wp-content / plugins) from time to time in case anyone goes to hell.
The images are undoubtedly the lion’s share. It is essential that you optimize the images you upload.
As this is another topic that must be treated in some depth, I refer you to this reading so that you understand the problem and see how to optimize your images before uploading them to your website:
The post is already somewhat “old” (one of the first published here), but it is still perfectly valid today, so take a look.
The question is as follows: if you optimize your images well for use on the web, they should not occupy much more than 100-150 Kbytes on average, except in special cases.
To this we must add that WordPress internally creates resized variants of the images, which adds to the space consumed.
In short, as a guide, we can calculate a reasonable average of about 500 Kbytes, or what is the same, 0.5 Mbytes per image.
Here I am thinking of things like websites that, for example, make eBooks available to your readers in PDF form or allow software download, etc.
The option you choose already depends 100% on your particular case, it can be zero or many Mbytes if you offer lots of downloads. Therefore, here there is no estimate that is worth
4. The WordPress Database
WordPress stores its contents in a database (MySQL), along with other information such as the information of the authors, tags, categories, etc.
Posts and pages usually take up very little because they are basically pure text (which takes up very little). In general, there will be very few posts or pages that exceed 10Kbytes of space.
A key issue here is that WordPress saves reviews every time you edit a post. It is advisable not to accumulate many for not multiplying the space of the same and for this a plugin like Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions can be very useful.
If you do that right, the consumption of this part will be almost negligible.
In our blog, for example, with almost 300 posts and pages (September 2018), and generally very long compared to the average, we are at 129 Mbytes for the entire (optimized) database.
Final example calculation of the space consumed
Now that we know how to calculate the space that a WordPress installation consumes, we can now make a generic example that serves as a general guide.
For this we are going to think of a typical blog with, let’s put 3 images per post as an average and 100 posts published and reasonably well optimized.
As stated above, these would be the consumption accounts for disk space of your hosting:
- 50 Mbytes of installation + plugins.
- 150 Mbytes of images
- 10 Mbytes of various download files
- 25 Mbytes of database
Total: 385 Mbytes
One last comment: a real drain on disk space in hosting is usually email (by the attachments). As it is something that has nothing to do with the web as such, many people forget this.
Therefore, be careful with this. It is as simple as making sure that the email reader you use deletes the emails once downloaded (this is usually what a default configuration does). And also be especially careful with accounts where you accumulate mail that you never open, etc.
In any case, the typical administration tools of a good hosting such as Ionos (1&1) (typically cPanel), allow you to see the space consumed and locate where the consumption comes from.
I am a web designer, would you recommend me to jump to WordPress to make my clients’ websites?
It is not that I recommend it, except in some exceptions, I consider it practically obligatory
WordPress is not only used to create blogs, but to create any type of website of a small or medium size. It is no coincidence that it is the most used platform in the world to create websites.
The reason for my recommendation is that, although WordPress is easy for the user to use, you do not lose any design customization capacity, if you need it, you can design as custom as if you did it “bareback” with HTML. Of course, you have to learn how it is done.
In return, you gain a giant leap in productivity and add potential for added value for your customers due to its functionalities for editing and publishing content.
The key here is its flexible theme architecture (pre-designed layout templates that install with a simple button click) and plugins (extensions that extend its functionality). In the official free WordPress repository alone, there are thousands of themes and tens of thousands of plugins.
Design templates can be used as is by customizing a minimum set of options or you can customize them down to the last detail, all of them.
What varies according to the case is the way to do it: very powerful templates like Divi you design without knowing how to program anything (everything is done with a visual editor) and other simpler ones require you to have programming knowledge in HTML , CSS and, depending on the case , also a little bit of PHP .
As a web designer you can do everything you would do by designing directly in HTML and CSS.
Even in the simplest templates (typically free), even if they don’t have their own options for advanced customization, you can always achieve a high degree of customization using CSS (something that WordPress itself allows).
I assume that as a web designer you already know CSS, but if not, here you can learn them:
And finally, I also want to clarify that everything said refers to WordPress.org (the version that requires own hosting), the limitations of WordPress.com do not allow you to enjoy these fantastic possibilities in your most basic plans.
How do I set up Google Analytics for my WordPress blog?
In WordPress.com you need to have the “Business” plan, in which case you will have to configure your Google Analytics ID in the WordPress.com configuration.
At WordPress.org you can do it, either manually, by inserting a tracking code provided by Google Analytics, or with the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin that basically does the same, but avoiding manual work.
I want to migrate from Blogger to WordPress. What do you recommend, WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
I strongly advise against migrating to WordPress.com, unless your blog is very simple, with very few contents (a few dozen entries at most). The main reasons are as follows:
- com is very limited in its free version and cheap payment plans. You will lose features with respect to Blogger such as the ability to customize the design or AdSense advertising.
- Migrating to Blogger is not trivial and, especially if your blog already has a certain volume of content, you will have more than one incident and headache to solve. At WordPress.org you can get out of trouble with everything because it allows you full control, but at WordPress.com you are more limited and complicated. Problems that are difficult to solve are likely to arise.
- Starting from an asset like the blog that you have and for which you want to continue betting (otherwise you would not be considering this, right?), Do things well and migrate to the professional version, with all the possibilities of WordPress, what is WordPress.org
How to edit WordPress content
Editing content in WordPress is easy, but as with everything, it is difficult to start. Let’s see the main questions that come to us (and that people search the Internet):
How to enter the WordPress desktop as a user or administrator (admin)?
To access the desktop of your WordPress site you can use several “standard” URLs:
- https://your site.com/wp-admin
- https://your site.com/admin
- https://your site.com/wp-login.php
I would also like to remind you to avoid using the username “admin” that WordPress proposes by default in its installation, since with a name known as this you make it much easier for hackers who try to enter your WordPress site.
What difference is there between posts and WordPress pages?
Posts (posts, articles,) are what, together with comments, really makes a blog a blog.
They are contents that are published periodically and in a sequential order, the last post published is the first on the list. A new publication displaces the previous one, like the numbers of a magazine. It is as simple as this.
The pages are exactly the same at the content level, but the difference with the posts is that they are designed for more static content.
On the other hand, our “About …” page does not make any sense as a post. It makes sense where it is: in the menu of static pages that do not change or change very few times.
Sometimes there is content that could very well be both, for example this same post: it makes sense as a post, but it would still fit in as a “Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about WordPress” page.
What’s the difference between WordPress categories and tags?
Over time, a blog accumulates a lot of content and it is essential to organize it.
For this, almost all blogging platforms have the concepts of categories and labels. They are very easy to use, but you have to be clear about the philosophy behind these concepts to apply them well.
Looking at the blogs that are out there it is evident that many people are not clear at all, so I want to review them here with you.
Actually it is very simple:
The categories must represent your main thematic lines. They should be as few as possible (I recommend no more than 10 and better 6-8).
It is normal (not overwhelmed by this) that you are not clear at first and that they vary.
But if you are a little organized and take care of the classification of your content, they should tend over the years to become more and more consolidated.
The labels are the “fine thread”, they capture the nuances that the categories do not capture. That is, if a category of BloggerGeeks is “WordPress”, appropriate tags within this category could be “plugins”, “templates” , etc.
You will usually find these tags at the beginning or at the end of the posts. Some sites also continue to incorporate the famous tag clouds, although they are already a bit out of date.
A final tip that I want to give you is to try to control the excessive use of labels. Most people tend to create label “inflation” by using different terms for the same things.
Try to control that because if the number of labels is triggered they lose their meaning.
How to create posts and pages in WordPress?
Content creation is done entirely within the WordPress desktop, with the corresponding WordPress user.
In the screenshot you can see above, the WordPress menus from which you will access the editor of posts and pages have been highlighted.
How to duplicate (clone) a page in WordPress?
There are different ways to duplicate or clone a page or post within WordPress.
You can simply do it “manually”, in which case you would create a new entry or a new page and copy and paste the content into it.
For this, I recommend you to carry out the process of copying and pasting with the HTML editor, since when copying only text (the HTML code of the content) it is more difficult for you to have problems:
An alternative to this is to use a cloning plugin like Duplicate Post, for example. Personally I am not in favor of it because the fewer WordPress plugins you have installed, the better, and something so simple I do not see that it justifies adding one more plugin.
And a warning: avoid duplicate content on your site as much as possible.
There is nothing wrong with having fragments of content repeated on your site, but a massive duplication of content will negatively affect your website on Google.
How to insert an image in WordPress?
WordPress stores the images of the content in its media library.
If you want to upload an individual image to a content, I recommend doing it with the “Add object” button of the visual WordPress editor that you can see below:
If you have a considerable number of images (5 or more, for example) that you are going to use in a content, you can go a little faster if you upload them all in one go.
To do this you have to go to the media library menu which is also highlighted in the image above.
How to include audio and videos in WordPress?
Doing this is extremely easy in WordPress, it’s as simple as putting the URL of the resource in question.
In the case of videos, it supports all known video platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).
In these cases, simply paste the URL of the video in question into the content. WordPress will recognize it and will display the corresponding player instead of this URL.
This is known as “embedded videos” and on this same page you have several examples.
What is very important is that this URL is not layout as a link, but that you leave it as normal text.
If you make the URL a link in the editor, WordPress would understand that you don’t want the video to be embedded, but you want to view the link as such.
In the audio, the way to proceed is similar.
An MP3 file, for example, would be linked by simply putting the URL to that file. WordPress will recognize it and, just like it does with videos, it will show an embedded player instead of the URL.
Remember that, as with videos, the URL should not be converted into a link, normal text should remain for everything to work as expected.
How to schedule the publication of an entry?
In WordPress, when editing a new entry or page, in the publication panel, by default, the “Publish” button will appear to publish this entry. If you click, it will be published immediately.
However, you can also defer the publication to the date you want by editing the programming section of the publication, which is the area highlighted below in the image. Here, next to the “Publish immediately” text, you will find an “Edit” link.
By clicking on this link, you can set the publication date as you can see in the image:
How can I create a contact form in WordPress?
It is very simple, in WordPress.com a functionality is already configured that allows you to quickly insert a contact form (see image).
At WordPress.org, you do not have this same function pre-installed, but instead you have an infinity of different more or less sophisticated plugins depending on your needs.
One of the most popular and the one we use is the Contact Form 7 plugin that you can find on our blog & blogger resource page.
WordPress templates and plugins
The design templates (also called “WordPress themes”) and plugins are the “soul” of WordPress and one of the big keys to its enormous success.
Let’s see the most important doubts about this point.
What are WordPress themes / plugins / widgets and how do I install them?
Some very quick definitions:
- Templates or themes: these are design templates with which you can completely change the look of your blog. There are free and paid. It is important to choose suitable templates for your content. For example: a template for a photography blog (very visual, a lot of prominence of images) versus one of philosophy (few images, a lot of text).
- Plugins: small programs that extend and / or modify WordPress to unimaginable extremes. For example, there are plugins that turn your WordPress blog into an authentic online store in true “Amazon”In this post we tell you in depth what exactly is a plugin.
- Widgets: they are a kind of special visual plugins that appear, above all, in the side bars. Typical example social widgets (such as Facebook or Twitter fan list).
Are themes and plugins paid only once or do I have to pay for them every year?
Keep in mind that there are hundreds of companies that make WordPress themes and / or plugins, logically each one has its own policies, and there is no unique formula.
The licensing issue is a sensitive issue and, therefore, all manufacturers (at least, the serious ones) have a section on their website where they clarify their policies in this regard. So look it up and check it out.
That said, most follow the following pattern: With your initial payment you have the right to use for life, but not to the support and updates one expired the first year. To continue having support and updates, it is normal to continue paying an annual fee.
This is the case, for example, in the topic that we most recommend: Divi.
There are also (few) companies that allow you to update the software indefinitely, but I am not aware of any case in which you have access to lifetime support with a single payment.
How to know which template (theme) a WordPress website uses?
To find out the WordPress template used by any site, I recommend the WPThemeDetector.
One of the most important things that it outperforms many other tools is that it not only detects the site theme, but also more complex situations like using a child or custom theme.
How to install or change a template (theme) in WordPress?
Themes can be directly from WordPress if they are in the WordPress repository (where there are thousands of them free).
If they are not in the repository, it is necessary to upload the file that contains the theme to your WordPress site (it is usually frequent in the case of paid themes).
Once the theme is installed in either way, it needs to be activated for the site to use it.
Changing the current theme to a new one is as simple as installing a new one.
In the “Appearance / Themes” menu you can perform these operations and in the “Appearance / Personalize” menu you can customize the aspects that the theme lets you change: things like logos, header images, color scheme, fonts, etc.
In the case of more sophisticated themes (paid professional themes, above all), it is common for the theme to additionally install its own menus within the WordPress desktop that will give you access to additional customization options.
How to install and activate a plugin in WordPress?
The way of working with plugins is practically identical to the way of working with themes described in the previous section.
In this case, you must do it through the “Plugins” menu.
How to know which plugins a WordPress website uses?
A good tool to find out what plugins a site uses is ScanWP.
I don’t see the “plugins” menu
If you have read the previous paragraphs, you can imagine the answer:
It is very simple, you are on WordPress.com and you were not clear about the difference between the two WordPress variants: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.com does not support plugins, except in the “Business” plan. Therefore, this menu does not exist if you have one of the lower plans.
Visibility and web positioning with WordPress
If you have a website, you want it to appear on Google. Let’s see the most frequent questions about WordPress at this point.
Is WordPress good for SEO and web positioning?
The answer is simple: yes, it is good, even very good.
In the SEO page level (SEO On Page) is very important to have a good structure of HTML on pages with corresponding elements for the page title, headings and subheadings content (<title>, <h1>, < h2>), etc.
WordPress does this very well and also allows you to use very useful SEO support plugins, such as Yoast SEO. Therefore, all this will help you with your positioning of your website.
Now, this is not enough. The positioning of your website will not be automatic.
WordPress gives you very good tools, but if you want your website to rank, the SEO job has to be done by you (search for keywords, adapt the content structure to them, etc.).
It is like thinking that by having an excellent nut wrench, the wheels of your car are going to change themselves.
And be patient because you are not going to learn SEO, nor get results in two days.
My WordPress page does not appear in Google
If you have not done an SEO job, it is very difficult for your website to appear on Google. It is just what I just explained in the previous paragraph.
Therefore, I also refer to the post to learn SEO that I mention in the previous paragraph.
Let’s look, finally, at some of the typical problems that WordPress users encounter.
My blog is slow, how can I make it go faster?
This is not a trivial issue, it becomes really complex if you dig deeper, but it is very important, among other things, for your positioning in Google.
To give you an idea, in the redesign of our website in which we have also optimized the blog a lot, we have passed a response time of less than 1 second of around 10,000 page views / day.
But all this is useless if you do not have a good hosting, so the first thing is to make sure that you have a suitable provider:
In fact, in a few months we will publish a series of posts on this subject given its importance and the lack of material in Spanish that has convinced us.
To optimize your blog, the first thing you should do is reliably measure the real speed of your site, for this I recommend a service like Pingdom that also informs you of falls.
From here, even without going into the depth that this deserves, some basic but effective guidelines can be given:
In the case of WordPress.com there are not many actions that the user can do directly since it is the WordPress team that is in charge of optimizing their servers.
Among the few things (but very important) they can do is optimizing the size of the images and choosing the theme (there are lighter themes and others that are heavier, there is no other choice but to try).
The WordPress.org case is much more interesting (and complex):
- The most important factor by far: as we said, the condition, sine que none, is having chosen a good hosting. With poorly chosen hosting, there is simply little to scratch. As I have already commented throughout this page, I mainly recommend the hostings of Ionos (1&1), SiteGround or BlueHost.
- Use a cache plugin. To choose the right one, check out the resources for bloggers & bloggers.
- The above applies to images and themes as well. Thanks to using WordPress.org you can use plugins that automatically optimize images like CW Image Optimizer or apply clever tricks like the Lazy Load
- And speaking of plugins, be careful with this: use only the essential plugins. Plugins add load to WordPress, especially those that make intensive use of the database. So watch this.
My blog has disappeared, I only see a blank screen (or with strange codes). What can I do?
This is something that can happen to you at WordPress.org, at WordPress.com this should not happen.
You have come across the famous white screen of death and normally this will have happened to you after taking some action such as installing or updating a plugin or fiddling with your blog code.
To know what steps to take to solve this problem, I recommend this very complete guide that they have prepared in WordPress Help.
What are Pingbacks and Trackbacks, and what are they for?
Both are a mechanism that allows you to automatically notify other sites of a page that links to a page of those sites.
WordPress supports pingbacks and trackbacks, although you can enable or disable them, as you prefer, in the WordPress comment settings.
In my personal case, I prefer to have them activated since due to the high visibility of our website we receive many of these notifications that, when mixed with the “authentic” comments, are more annoying than useful.