If you’re exploring your options for the best platform to use for your website, you may be looking into WordPress. Chances are someone has recommended that you use WordPress. If you have never built a website before you may be wondering if WordPress is difficult to use?
The short answer, no WordPress is not difficult to use. You may have heard that it’s too complicated for a beginner. It’s actually quite easy to use once you understand what its main features are and how to use them. You might be surprised by how easy it actually is to use.
That’s the quick answer. You might not believe me, especially if you’ve taken a stab at WordPress, but I am going to explain what WordPress is, why you should learn WordPress, and why some people think it’s difficult to use.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. Web designers love it, bloggers love it, and you will too. Why do people like it so much? It’s an open-source CMS (content management system). Because it is open-source, there are literally thousands of themes and plugins you can use with it.
With WordPress, you can create a website, online shop, event calendar. blog, directories, and more. It requires no knowledge of coding or programming. Even a beginner who knows nothing about web design can use WordPress.
WordPress.com Vs a Hosted Website
In order to create a WordPress website, you can either use WordPress.com or create your WordPress website using a hosting company like Bluehost, GoDaddy, SiteGround, or HostGator. WordPress is a software you install., but many people opt to host it at WordPress.com. Essentially WordPress.com is a hosting company for WordPress websites. Instead of having to install WordPress, you can just create your WordPress website on WordPress.com
Most people that use WordPress install it on a hosted website. This way they have complete control of the website and can use it with their own domain name. Think of a hosting company as paying rent for server space. WordPress can be installed on a server and then you just pay the fee for hosting it.
WordPress can be installed using any hosting company. Most hosting companies come with a one-click install for WordPress or a managed WordPress option. If you purchase managed WordPress hosting, you can just go right to your WordPress dashboard. If you purchase Cpanel hosting, you use Installatron, click on WordPress, and easily install it in one click.
The WordPress Dashboard
The first step to learning how to use WordPress is understanding how to use the WordPress Dashboard. The dashboard can seem confusing, but once you understand all the features of the dashboard and how it works, it’s pretty easy to navigate. In the dashboard, you will see all the features along the left sidebar – posts, media, pages, comments, appearance, plugins, users, tools, and settings. If you are not creating a blog you don’t need to use posts or comments, but every WordPress website comes with a built-in blog.
Posts and Comments
Posts and comments are blog features. If you add a blog to your WordPress website, posts are added under the posts section. To add a new post, all you need to do is go to Posts. Then add new post.
Your media library is where all your images are stored. When you add an image to a post or page it will be added to your media library. You can select images from your media library to add to pages and posts as you design your website.
Appearance is where you update the theme and customize your website. To add a new theme, just go to Theme. This will take you to your Theme Manager. You can activate a theme that is installed or search for a new theme to install. Appearance is also where you will find your navigation menu and widgets section.
You can create more than one menu and place your menu in different locations, depending on your theme. Most themes also have widgets. Widgets are sections of your site such as social shares, recent posts, a calendar, or a search bar. Widgets can be added to your header, footer, below your posts, or other areas of your site.
Tools are where you can import and export posts or pages. You can also check site health or improve your site speed using the tools section.
Settings are where you change the general settings on your WordPress site such as your sites name. This is also where you select which page you want to be the home page and select how you want your URLs to be structured.
What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are extra features or add-ons to WordPress. This is one of the things people love about WordPress. If you ever want to add a feature like embedding a pdf into a page, adding a calendar to your website, adding a shop, form, or gallery to your website, there is usually a plugin to do it.
Some of the plugins add functionality to your website, but there are also SEO plugins, site speed plugins, plugins to style your website, add-ons for themes, and add-ons for e-commerce. There are literally thousands of plugins for WordPress that allow you to fully customize your website and add advanced features to your site.
What are WordPress Themes?
WordPress themes control all the major design elements of your WordPress website. This includes the colors, fonts, and layouts for your pages. They contain all the CSS files for your website. You don’t need to know how to use CSS to work with a theme, but if you understand CSS you can customize your WordPress website more easily.
When you install WordPress, it automatically comes with a few free default themes. You can use one of the default themes, or do a search for a theme. There are hundreds of free themes to choose from. A couple of easy themes that beginners like working with are Divi and Astra. Both are not difficult to use and are great for someone just starting out with WordPress.
What are WordPress Page Builders?
Page builders are a plugin for WordPress that allows you to build pages without using coding. Most page builders offer visual drop and drag editing. This way you can see what your page looks like as you create it. Additionally, many page builders come with starter templates, which are pre-designed pages. This is perfect for a beginner. You just start with a template and customize the colors, spacing, or move elements around.
Unlike using a website builder like Squarespace or WIX, which only come with one editor, WordPress has many page builders to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, WPBakery, and Avada Live. This is one of the reasons people love WordPress. Page builders like Elementor are incredibly easy to use and allow you to create amazing websites without having to use code.
Why You Should Learn WordPress?
Even though there is a little learning curve with WordPress, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to use it. There are so many great reasons to learn how to use WordPress. It may take a little practice, but it’s totally worth it.
While you do have to pay for website hosting when you use WordPress, WordPress itself is free. You can install it on any hosting account. Unlike other website builders, website hosting is affordable and can cost as little as $2-3 a month.
You can create websites without coding knowledge
The biggest perk to WordPress is you don’t need any coding. Interestingly, people often avoid WordPress because they think they need to know how to write code to use it. Not at all! It does help to know some HTML and CSS, but you can create a WordPress website without using code at all.
There are tons of resources
There are tons of tutorials, YouTube videos, and forums to ask questions about WordPress. If you want to learn how to use it, there is no reason you can’t. It’s not nearly as difficult to use as people think. Once you get started you’ll see how easy it is. If you have a question, you can almost always find the answer on Google.
It’s easy to move or transfer
WordPress is portable. It’s easy to backup and move. Don’t like your hosting company? No problem. You can backup your website in minutes and move it to another hosting company. Other website builders like WIX, Squarespace, and Weely are impossible to move. If you decide you want to move your site to another company, you will have to redesign it.
It’s scalable and great for large websites
If you plan to have a large website, WordPress is the best platform for growth. Some of the biggest brands use WordPress because of how powerful it is. You can add hundreds or thousands of posts and pages to WordPress. You may need to invest in a bigger hosting plan, but WordPress can accommodate very large websites that use a lot of resources.
Finding help is easier
WordPress is the most used platform so if you have any issues building your website, there are usually tons of videos and tutorials to answer your questions. Additionally, if you ever want to hire someone to help you with your website, add content to your site, or search engine optimize it, there are tons of designers and freelancers that work with WordPress.
Why Do Some People Find WordPress Difficult to Use?
WordPress is not as intuitive as website builders like WIX. WIX is easy because you just click on a theme and your website is created. Then you just drag things around to customize your website. Although WordPress has the same sort of easy page builders to use, the dashboard isn’t as straightforward.
When you create a WordPress website, to build your home page you start by creating a page for it. Most themes have a home page layout already created for you. All you have to do is edit the page for the home page. However, you don’t just sign it to WordPress and see your website. You have to go to the Pages section, edit a page, and publish it to see your changes live. Some page builders display a live preview.
The default themes and the default editor are sometimes difficult for a beginner to use. Although they aren’t really complicated, the default themes are pretty basic. If you want a custom website, you may get frustrated with the default themes. There are a ton of free themes available, but premium themes give you more options and pages that are already created for you. Most come with a demo site that you just import and customize.
Why is WordPress difficult? Some themes are hard to work with and customize. Not only that, but because there are so many options for themes, page builders, and plugins, learning how to use each one can take time. Every time you use a different page builder or theme, you have to follow the documentation, learn how to use it, and customize it. You might think that all the themes work the same way, but that’s where it can get confusing. One of them may keep all the options in a theme dashboard, while another theme you might customize using the WordPress Customizer. Figuring out how each theme and page builder works takes practice.
If you are a beginner, the best way to start is to work with one theme, and one page builder until you get good at using it. The two easiest and most popular page builders are Divi and Elementor, although some people prefer Beaver Builder or WPBakery. Whichever theme and page builder you decide to work with, stick with it. Practice with just it, and when you get comfortable with it, try another theme or page builder.
Other Reasons WordPress Can Be Difficult to Use
The other reason that WordPress can be difficult is simply because of how many updates WordPress makes. Each time WordPress makes an update, themes need to be updated. Plugins also need to be updated. Updated themes and page builders sometimes come with glitches. Any bugs are usually discovered quickly, but it can be frustrating to work with a page builder and suddenly start having issues.
Generally, when there is an issue with WordPress, it’s not with the theme, it’s with a plugin. Sometimes plugins conflict and cause themes to malfunction. Make sure when you download a plugin you read the reviews and check to see how many times it’s been downloaded. If you have issues, deactivate all your plugins and reactivate them one at a time to figure out which one is creating the conflict.