About WordPress

  • How Is WordPress related to other blogging applications?

    WordPress was primarily inspired by Noah Grey’s Greymatter open-source web log and journal software. It is related to b2, sort of a second cousin twice removed. You can use WordPress to post your own stories, ideas, rants, reviews, links, pictures, etc. In addition, you can customize the look and feel of your site. Numerous themes are available and may be modified in many different ways. Through the use of WordPress Themes, you can quickly change the look and style of your site. You can also extend WordPress’ functionality through the use of Plugins. Plugins let you create the website or blog that suits your needs. As you can see, its functionality exceeds or at least is similar to what is available in most blogging tools today.

  • What is WordPress?

    WordPress is open source web software that you can install on your web server to create your website, blog, community, or network. WordPress started out as a tool for blogging, but has evolved into a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS), capable of powering websites, networks, and communities.

  • Why Choose WordPress?

    One of the principal advantages of WordPress is that you are in control. Unlike remote-hosted scripts such as Blogger and LiveJournal, you host WordPress on your own server. Installation is very simple, as is the configuration. Unlike other software programs, there are not a million files to chmod nor are there dozens of templates to edit just to get your site set up and looking the way you want.

    Also, Blog pages in WordPress are generated on the fly whenever a page is requested, so you do not have multiple archive pages clogging up your web space. Waiting for pages to rebuild is a thing of the past because template changes are made in scant seconds.

  • What are WordPress’ features?

    At the core of WordPress is a simple interface similar to the desktop publishing software you use today. With no coding experience or expert knowledge necessary, the learning curve is often about as short as typing in your site’s URL and logging in. In fact, most users are able to pick up the basics without any training at all. Interfaces are polished and easy to use, and are the result of years of refinement. It’s the power of Microsoft Word with the intuitiveness of an iPhone.

  • What is the GPL?

    The GPL is an open source license. This means you are free to modify and redistribute the source code under certain conditions. You can read more about why we chose the GPL on the License Page.

  • Do I need to know PHP to use WordPress?

    No. You should be able to use WordPress through the user interface, without ever having to touch PHP.

    The only time you would modify your WordPress website with PHP would be when integrating some of the plugins. There are a small number of plugins that still require manual edits to your files. In most cases, clear instructions are usually given within a text file with the plugin.

    Other than that, you would not be changing any of the PHP files.

  • Can I transfer my blog to a self-hosted WordPress installation?

    You can transfer any blog or website from any service you wish. We have a list of guides which will help you to transfer from your specific platform.

New To WordPress

  • How do I get a custom 404 Error Page?

    While you work hard to make sure that every link actually goes to a specific web page on your site, there is always a chance that a link clicked will slam dunk and become a famous 404 ERROR PAGE NOT FOUND.

    All is not lost. If your visitors encounter an error, why not be a helpful WordPress site administrator and present them with a message more useful than “NOT FOUND”.

    This lesson will teach you how to edit your “error” and “page not found” messages so they are more helpful to your visitors. We’ll also show how to ensure your web server displays your helpful custom messages. Finally, we’ll go over how to create a custom error page consistent with your Theme’s style.

  • What are template tags?

    A template tag is code that instructs WordPress to “do” or “get” something. In the case of the header.php template tag for your WordPress site’s name, it looks like this:

    <h1><?php bloginfo('name'); ?></h1>

    The template tag is <?php bloginfo(); ?> wrapped in an H1 heading tag. The bloginfo() tag gets information from your User Profile and Options > General in the Administration Panels. In the example here, the word name inside of the quote marks in the tag instructs the tag to “get the blog’s site name”. This is called a parameter.

  • How do I learn more about styles and CSS?

    The CSS file is where it all comes together. On every template file within your site there are HTML elements wrapped around your template tags and content. In the stylesheet within each Theme are rules to control the design and layout of each HTML element. Without these instructions, your page would simply look like a long typed page. With these instructions, you can move the building block structures around, making your header very long and filled with graphics or photographs, or simple and narrow. Your site can “float” in the middle of the viewer’s screen with space on the left and right, or stretch across the screen, filling the whole page. Your sidebar can be on the right or left, or even start midway down the page. How you style your page is up to you. But the instructions for styling are found in the style.css file within each Theme folder.

  • How do I make my web pages print pretty?

    WordPress makes it easy to style your WordPress site with Themes, many of which are tested thoroughly on different computers and browsers before being released. These are designed for the screen. But what about having your WordPress site designed for print? Some people still like to print out web pages and read them at their leisure, so consider designing your WordPress site for print.

    By default, when a user prints a WordPress web page that is not designed with printing in mind, the style sheet is stripped away and the page prints as if there is no style sheet. It tends to look like a long line of information beginning with your header, the content, then the long list that is your sidebar, then footer. Not very pretty.

    To see what your WordPress site looks like for printing, print out a page or, from your browser’s menu, choose Print > Print Preview. Not very pretty, is it? And fairly wasteful of paper having that long list of sidebar blogroll links printing out over two pages.

  • How do I make the text wrap about the pictures?

    In order to take advantage of these new CSS classes for image alignment and the text wrapping around the image, the WordPress Theme must include the following in the style.css found in the WordPress Theme directory.

    img.alignright { float: right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; }
    img.alignleft { float: left; margin: 0 1em 1em 0; }
    img.aligncenter { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; }
    .alignright { float: right; }
    .alignleft { float: left; }
    .aligncenter { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; }

    When adding the image in your WordPress blog, select the image alignment as right, left, or center in the Image/Media Panel.

  • How do I change the “read more” link?

    Excerpts (teasers) can be shown on WordPress through two methods:

    The first, keeping the the_content() template tag and inserting a quicktag called more at your desired “cut-off” point when editing the post.
    The second, by replacing the the_content() template tag with the_excerpt().
    In both cases, if you have set anything in the Excerpt meta box on the post editor screen, that text will be used. Otherwise, the excerpt will be automatically trimmed.

    The most commonly used method is the first one, because the user editing the post can choose between showing the whole content or just the excerpt, individually for each post. However, using the_excerpt() in your template file can also get a teaser from the first 55 words of the post content, without the need to place a more quicktag in the post.

    To add a more quicktag in your post, put your cursor where you want to end the excerpted content of your post and click the more quicktag button. quicktags are the little buttons found above the editing window in your Administration > Post > Add New Post. They include bold, italic, links, and others, and the famous more.

  • How do I use smileys/smilies or emoji in my posts?

    Smileys, also known as “emoticons”, are glyphs used to convey emotions in your writing. They are a great way to brighten up posts. smile emoticon

    Text smileys are created by typing two or more punctuation marks. Some examples are:

    😉 is equivalent to smile emoticon
    🙂 is equivalent to smile emoticon
    🙁 is equivalent to sad emoticon
    😕 is equivalent to confused emoticon

    Emoji are the ideograms or smileys 1f604.png used in electronic messages and Web pages. Originating in Japan on mobile devices, they are now commonly available on devices worldwide, ranging from mobile to desktop computers.Different operating systems have distinct methods of accessing emoji. Note that these methods work in most applications, not just WordPress.

WordPress Installation

  • How do I Install WordPress?

    WordPress is well-known for its ease of installation. Under most circumstances, installing WordPress is a very simple process and takes less than five minutes to complete. Many web hosts now offer tools (e.g. Fantastico) to automatically install WordPress for you. However, if you wish to install WordPress yourself, the following guide will help. Now with Automatic Upgrade, upgrading is even easier.

    The following installation guide will help you, whether you go for the Famous 5 Minute Installation, or require the more detailed installation guide.

  • What is the Famous 5-Minute Install?

    Here’s the quick version of the instructions for those who are already comfortable with performing such installations. More detailed instructions follow.

    If you are not comfortable with renaming files, step 3 is optional and you can skip it as the install program will create the wp-config.php file for you.

    1. Download and unzip the WordPress package if you haven’t already.
    2. Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL (or MariaDB) user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
    3. (Optional) Find and rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, then edit the file (see Editing wp-config.php) and add your database information.
    4. Upload the WordPress files to the desired location on your web server:
      • If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (excluding the WordPress directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
      • If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your website (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), create the blog directory on your server and upload the contents of the unzipped WordPress package to the directory via FTP.
      • Note: If your FTP client has an option to convert file names to lower case, make sure it’s disabled.
    5. Run the WordPress installation script by accessing the URL in a web browser. This should be the URL where you uploaded the WordPress files.
      • If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/
      • If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/

    That’s it! WordPress should now be installed.

  • How do I Configure the wp-config.php File?

    One of the most important files in your WordPress installation is the wp-config.phpfile. This file is located in the root of your WordPress file directory and contains your website’s base configuration details, such as database connection information.

    When you first download WordPress, the wp-config.php file isn’t included. The WordPress setup process will create a wp-config.php file for you based on the information you provide.

    You can manually create a wp-config.php file by locating the sample file named “wp-config-sample.php” (located in the root install-directory), editing it as required, and then saving it as wp-config.php.

  • How do I get WordPress to Use My Language?

    Below is a list of languages WordPress supports. Each translation team below works to translate WordPress into their language. If you are interested in helping them translate WordPress or other related projects, please read the Translator Handbook or contact the translation editor(s) for your language using the “Team” link.

    Note that some translations teams have fully translated WordPress into their language, while others are not yet complete. This page tracks the progress of translation teams.

  • Do I Need to Create a Database?

    WordPress requires access to a MySQL database or MariaDB database to store information. So you need a database.

    You can create a new database if:

    1. You have not already created one on the server
    2. Your generous host offers you more than one database, and you wish to have a separate database for the website you are setting up.

    It is not essential to create a new database for each WordPress installation.

    • If you are using the same database for multiple WordPress installations, take care to edit the wp-config.php file ensuring that each installation has a unique database prefix.
    • If you are setting up a new database for a new website, edit wp-config.php, and be sure to get the database name, and other details correct.

WordPress Security

  • What is a “security” issue?

    A security issue is a type of bug that can affect the security of WordPress installations.

    Specifically, it is a report of a bug that you have found in the WordPress core code, and that you have determined can be used to gain some level of access to a site running WordPress that you should not have.

    Your site being “hacked” is not a security issue. The security issue will involve knowing how the attacker got in and hacked the site. If you have details on the attack, then email us. If not, then the Support Forums are a better place to report such an issue.

    You forgetting your password or losing access to your site is not a security issue. If you lost access through a bug in the WordPress code, then that might be a security issue.

    Generally, security issues are complex problems. If you are wanting to report a security issue, then that’s great! You’re in the right place. However, be sure that what you’re reporting is actually a security issue. The experts that you are reporting it to are very busy, and don’t usually respond to non-security issues.

    In other words, the security mailing addresses are NOT for support. Don’t send general problems to them.

  • Where do I report security issues?

    If you are here to report any sort of security issue with a WordPress.com site, then please send an email with complete details to security [at] automattic.com. If the issue you’re trying to report is on WordPress.com and is not a security issue, then please use their support forums instead.

    If you’re having an issue with your own self-hosted WordPress.org site that is not a security issue, then please use the WordPress.org support forums.

    For security issues with WordPress plugins, follow the information on Reporting Plugin Security Issues.

    For security issues with the self-hosted version of WordPress, then you should send an email with the details to security [at] wordpress.org. Include as much detail as you can.

    In all cases, you should not publish the details.

  • Why are some users allowed to post unfiltered HTML?

    Users with Administrator or Editor roles are allowed to publish unfiltered HTML in post titles, post content, and comments. WordPress is, after all, a publishing tool, and people need to be able to include whatever markup they need to communicate. Users with lesser privileges are not allowed to post unfiltered content.

    If you are running security tests against WordPress, use a lesser privileged user so that all content is filtered. If you are concerned about an Administrator putting XSS into content and stealing cookies, note that all cookies are marked for HTTP only delivery, and are divided into privileged cookies used for admin pages, and unprivileged cookies used for public facing pages. Content is never displayed unfiltered in the admin. Regardless, an Administrator has wide-ranging super powers, among which unfiltered HTML is a lesser one.

    In WordPress Multisite, only the Super Admin can publish unfiltered HTML, as all other users are considered untrusted.

  • Why are disclosures of usernames or user IDs not a security issue?

    The WordPress project doesn’t consider usernames or user ids to be private or secure information. A username is part of your online identity. It is meant to identify, not verify, who you are saying you are. Verification is the job of the password.

    Generally speaking, people do not consider usernames to be secret, often sharing them openly. Additionally, many major online establishments — such as Google and Facebook — have done away with usernames in favor of email addresses, which are shared around constantly and freely. WordPress has also moved this way, allowing users to log in with an email address or username since version 4.5.

    Instead of attempting to hide a public identifier, WordPress attempts to encourage users to choose strong passwords instead, through both user interface as well as education.

  • Why did I get this “Password Reset” email?

    If you get an email saying “Someone has asked to reset the password for the following site and username”, this means someone visited the password reset page on your site. Anyone can visit this page, since it must be open to all for it to be accessible to those who have lost their password. Your password can be reset only by those who can read your email. If your email account has not been compromised, you can ignore this email.