Website management part 2: three steps to update your WordPress website
By Kirsten Meintjes
Now that you are equipped with the basic terminology, part 2 will dive into the actual website updates. If your website was developed by Yellow Door, it will have been built on the WordPress content management system, so this tutorial will address WordPress websites specifically.
Before I delve in to part two, here is a quick recap of part one. Websites are made up of various little elements that need to all fit and “play nicely” together. A website is a dynamic entity that requires consistent attention and maintenance, otherwise it is at risk of becoming stale. Sometimes there are amendments necessary for which one needs to get professional assistance, but often you will actually be able to perform various tweaks on your own.
We choose WordPress to host the websites we build as it is a stable system used globally (it powers 26% of all websites) and it is scalable and adaptable to almost every need. Furthermore, navigating and managing the backend is intuitive, so we are able to equip our clients with the skills needed to do basic updates themselves, thus saving them time and money.
1. Write a blog post
Under posts on the left panel, click the “add new” button.
You will then be presented with an editing screen with an array of posting features. The first thing to do is enter a title. Next, enter the actual content of your post in the open field below. If you want to format your text, use the toolbar options located just above the text field. These are similar to what you find in MS Word or any other popular text editor.
When the bulk of your post is written, you will add some information in the right-hand panel area. Firstly, under categories, either select an existing category, or click the blue “add new category” button. “Tags” allows you to quickly add new tags or keywords; basically, any words that are related to the post topic.
Finally, by clicking the blue publish button, your post will go live, so it is best to do this once everything else has been completed.
2. The header and footer
As mentioned in part one, updates to the header and footer are done in a separate area to the rest of the changes on your pages. This is efficient because once an update has been done, you will not need to replicate it anywhere else. In other words, the changes will roll out to the rest of the site automatically.
To update the website header, you are likely to want to do one of two things:
a) Change your logo: navigate to the theme options from your dashboard. You should find the name of your theme in the left-hand panel – this might be Jupiter/ XStore/ Avada. Hover over this name, and “theme options” will come up. Click this and navigate to the “logo” section and add a new image accordingly.
b) Add/ remove a page from the navigation menu. To do this, from the dashboard hover over “appearance” and click on “menus.” Here, ensure you have the main navigation menu selected, and add or remove items from the left-hand panel.
To update the footer, hover over “appearance” in the left panel and click on “widgets.” A page with various widget areas around the site will load. Depending on how many columns you have in your footer, you will have that number of footer widget areas displayed on the right (e.g. in this example 3 footer columns = 3 footer widget areas). Edit or remove existing elements from each footer column, or add a new element from the options on the left.
3. Update general copy and images
Regardless of what page you’d like to edit any copy and/ or images on, the process is generally the same.
Click on “pages” in the left-hand panel and then select the page you would like to edit (here we have selected the “about” page). On the page that opens, there will be various containers – correlating to content on the page – with the existing set of content. Scan through the page until you find the content – be it images or copy – that you’d like to edit. Hover your cursor over it and click the editing pen. You can now edit or replace content with your new content.
When all edits to the page are done, you can click the preview button to see how the changes will appear on the site, without committing to them. If you are not happy with something, go back and make the necessary edits. When done, click the blue update button which will make these changes go live.
Although this post only covered the basics, about 80% of updates you might want to do on your website are covered in the various steps above. For anything else, please refer to your handover tutorial, or alternatively give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org !