WP tips

Easy WP Guide

A simple, easy to read WordPress Manual

You won’t find any talk of HTML, PHP or creating WP Themes here. What you will find is a simple, easy to read WordPress manual that will guide you through the process of editing your site content.

You can read the Easy WP Guide WordPress manual online, download the free PDF, or purchase the eBook or brandable Word document. If you’re a WordPress consultant, use it to help your clients get the most out of their brand new site.

Grab a copy today and start learning!

WP tips

help from other WP fans.

There are many tutorials out there – and this post will merely introduce you to a few to start with. It would be brilliant if you could share your findings with me so I can add them here for everyone to enjoy and learn from :)

Please note this is a post in flux, i.e. it will be updated, changed and added to as fitting.

Links to websites you may find useful

Learning WordPress & WordPress TV

The organisation behind WordPress have a lot of materials for people publishing on WordPress websites and also those working with WordPress as web designers and web developers.

Learning WordPress is a website including training courses and videos for people that would like to learn more about WordPress. A lot of this information is aimed at experienced users and developer.

WordPress TV contains presentations from WordCamps, which are conferences for people using WordPress.

How to Create a Post or Page with the WordPress Block Editor

This is a video demonstrating how to create post and pages on WordPress.

WP tips

cookie info via inspect

It’s important to know/understand where the details for our cookies ‘live’ within our browser, on our computers. Here are a few notes and screenshots to explain.

Inspect element

In order to get to the information of the cookies being set on a certain page, we can use the developer tools, built into most modern browsers.

Right-clicking on the page, or a specific element on the page, will call up the ‘Inspect’ function which will allow us to view the underlying code and various addtional specifics.

Depending on the browser or prior use, the inspector will call up an extra window pane (or window) to present the details.

Of course, this is a tool for developers primarily, but useful for us to find the cookie info ~ via the ‘Storage’ tab:

This now lists stored information and can give us insights into the specifics of the cookies set by the page we are viewing. For your projects, you will likely use a plugin which will retrieve the related details automatically, phew ;)

useful reading:

WebToffee to the rescue

Luckily, the CookiesYes plugin will make your life easier by offering a cookie scanning option. This is the final step and should be done once you are finished with the site. Once your content is all published, you’ve configured your theme as required and you’ve activated the plugins you’re using (deleting the ones you don’t) — run the cookie scanner and complete the settings for this. You should check on the categories, only keep those you need and remove the ones you don’t.

As an example ~ check out the cookie settings (link in popup) on this new website promoting the book ‘understanding well-being data’ by UoS’s own Susan Oman:

WP tips

working in the editor

The latest updates to WP [1] have brought new themes and more changes to the interface. The views in the editor are aiming to make writing a more focused and calm experience. The usual left-side panel offering an overview of admin function is hidden by default now.

If you are very new to working with WordPress, you might like this as a distraction-free way to write your text. However, if you have worked with WP before, then this might catch you out and be quite confusing.

This is when plugins are useful ~ restoring a previous default. To stop the automatic full screen mode, install and active the following plugin:

Disable Block Editor FullScreen mode
By Ankit Panchal

Once installed, you’ll see the admin interface remain consistent throughout. You will still be able to manually set your preferences if you wish.

  1. WordPress[]

How do I fix my menu?

I’ve had quite a few emails about the setup of a good menu from you – so I thought I’d do a quick demo video to recap how to edit your site menus. And most important – what NOT to do :)

screenshot comparison

follow-up questions

I’ve lost my privacy policy page.

Your WordPress install now includes the option to use a sample privacy policy page, provided by Automattic (the people behind WordPress). We went through this together in one of our workshops – so first thing to check is the list of your pages in admin. You might already have one, it might be saved as ‘draft’ and not be published yet.

If you do not have the page anymore, you can simply create a new one :) In admin, go to Settings > Privacy — and set or create the page.

And make sure to complete your GDPR setup with the Cookie Notice, see cookies & GDPR post for video tutorial on how to set up the privacy page, and use it as part of the GDPR consent.


assessment questions

This post is meant to serve as a reminder and as somewhere to post questions etc. Do email me or comment here, I’ll be more than happy to help and answer all your questions.

deliverables in summary

The brief

  • to create a site which aims to help
  • to produce and edit appropriate content for online consumption
  • to deliver a website designed for a select target group
  • to ensure that the site performs well
    [accessibility / loading speed / responsive design]
  • to submit a project document, including site plan and rationale

The criteria

  • evident site purpose for common good
  • well structured content, easy to accesss
  • all text is well written and free of errors
  • content designed for target audience, phrasing reflects suitable tone
  • media content is accessible (e.g. alternative text for images)
  • any quoted/sourced content is clearly referenced/linked
  • pages load fast and with full content
  • layout, including all media, adapts to different viewport widths

read session notes ↗

2,500 words?

In case you’re worried about the word count, and what document you are to write – please double-check the deliverables and read the session notes.

In short, the 2,500 word are the content of your website, i.e. the text you write and publish on your website. In addition to this text, you should write a 500 word report on your project, the project documentation which discusses your rationale.

Your submission

You will submit your work as any other project via Turnitin. Your submission will be the 500-word project document which has to include the following:

  1. URL/link to your website
  2. site plan to show final content structure
  3. project documentation, outlining your focus on the brief, your approach to content and your choice/setup of theme

Optional but recommended addition:
screenshots of your website’s pages (core pages if not all).


Project questions

Following our tutorial sessions, I’ve collected some of the recurring queries here, elaborating a little on the answers I gave you during our session.

How do I make my images accessible to blind users?

Please do check on the WP tips → category where I’ve put together some posts on this and other subjects we covered in our workshops.

For this particular question – see adding ALT text →

How should I present references and media credits?

Up to you :) — however best fitting your site and content. For referencing sources, giving image credit and additional links for the media your site might include – the method of referencing should fit your site and its context.

You might decide it is important to link to the original author of a video right next to the video itself. This will be a good way of giving credit and promote the original producer.

Or you might decide that all references are best collected and included as an index of info, and then link to this page in your footer only, for example. Here is an example from the student gallery, VE are healthy, which uses this approach – check the footer for the link.

How do I set up a good menu?

Your site menu should allow quick and easy access to your content. It will likely consist of links to pages as well as categories. Links to pages will show that page’s content, i.e. one piece of content shown in its entirety.

Links to categories are different and will show the collected posts, ordered chronologically. Posts might be shown as headings with images only, or show excerpts, or full content (depending on your settings).

For your websites overall, I’d expect to find one/two links to pages and the rest are links to categories. This is a fairly typical setup and works well to present your content and an easy-to-understand manner. This very website features this kind of navigation.

The menu includes one page link only, to the ‘about’ page (which is also set to be the homepage here), and the rest are category links which will access their collected posts.

Make sure to check on the menu’s location, typically you might have 2 menus in total. One main site menu (called primary or site navigation), and possible as added footer menu which would link to additional content, such as the legally required privacy page, or your reference page, for example.

What is wrong with my site/theme?

Quite a few of you were asking about editing specific parts of content on the site, about certain odd behaviours of layout and other odd display issues. This was all likely linked to the theme you’ve chosen and the additional requirements of it.

Please do remember my advice: do not use themes which require you to install additional plugins!

While not all of those themes are bad – I think it will be too difficult for you to make a good judgement as most of you are new to working with WordPress. Hence, you might select a theme that asks you to install various plugins, configure lots of settings – could even ask you to pay for the pro version in order to enable functions and so on. Your site might end up being only partially working, still not allowing you to edit your content as you’d like and load extremely slowly.

So if you see prompts in the admin asking you to install plugins, then this could be why your theme is not fully working due to the lack of additional functions. My advice would be: find a new theme! One that works without additional requirements ~ most good themes have enough features to meet the needs of your site.

Also, see Claire’s post on what to avoid!

And remember: your content is what is most important, and ease of use is higher valued than flashy effects which often only distract.


editor view modes

The latest WordPress update sets the editor in fullscreen mode by default, hiding access to the usually visible admin panel. To get this back, you will have to exit fullscreen mode, see the options, in top right corner of your window.

changing view mode

  1. Top toolbar
    move block editor to top
  2. Spotlight mode
    fade out other blocks
  3. Fullscreen mode
    as set by default since v5.4 update

editor view modes

NOTE: this a super-quick fly-by demo – intended to be paused as needed (hit SPACE bar or use controls).