WPBeginner has been helping WordPress beginners since 2009. Over these past years, we have received all levels of questions (some beginner, some advanced). Overtime some questions have been asked over and over again. In this article, we will share most frequently asked questions by WordPress Beginners with answers.
1. I don’t see the Plugins Menu in my Admin Panel
Answer: There are few reasons why this would happen. If your blog is hosted on the Free WordPress.com platform, you do not have the ability to add plugins. If you do not have administrator level account on your WordPress installation, then you will not see the Plugins tab.
Check out the differences between Self Hosted WordPress.org vs. Free WordPress.com
2. I am locked out of wp-admin, and my website shows a blank white screen
Answer: This most likely happens when you paste a code from a website with wrong formats. Sometimes the formatting error is done on the website where the code is available however most of the time, this error happens because you pasted the code on the wrong location. Unfortunately, you will not be able to make the edits using your wp-admin section. You will have to use FTP to login to your web host and modify your theme’s file.
Consider following our Beginner’s Guide to Pasting Code from the Web into WordPress.
If you don’t know what is FTP, then consider following our video tutorial that will show you how to use FTP.
3. I upgraded WordPress and now I don’t see Custom Fields area, authors area and more
Answer: In the newer versions of WordPress, the core User-Interface (UI) team has decided to make the admin interface much cleaner. Therefore, those options are checked off by default. If you look in the top right hand corner of your screen, there is a Screen Options tab. Click on that and check the fields that you would like to see.
Relevant Article: How to Customize WordPress Admin Area for Beginners
4. My Facebook Like Button does not show the right title or image
Answer: This is NOT a WordPress issue. It is because Facebook’s script cannot properly detect the information from your website. However, there are WordPress plugins that allows for a seamless integration with Facebook which will get rid of this plugin. Consider installing and activating Simple Facebook Connect plugin. You do not have to configure it or anything. Alternatively, you should be using WordPress SEO plugin, and it has a built-in Social feature that will solve this issue. (See our Guide)
5. My site loads slow, How can I speed it up?
Answer: There are several things you can do to speed up your website. First thing you need to do is consider adding a caching plugin to WordPress. We use and recommend W3 Total Cache. Another thing you can do is use a Content Delivery Network provider. We use and recommend MaxCDN (See our infographic about What is a CDN and Why you need it). You should also consider using a better web hosting provider. Shared hosts are usually slower. If you are receiving a lot of traffic, then you should consider moving to a VPS or a Dedicated server.
Last but not least, check out our presentation about Maximizing Performance and Speeding up WordPress.
6. How can I install Google Analytics in WordPress?
Answer: We have written an extensive article on How to Install and Setup Google Analytics in WordPress. It is important to mention that you will NOT be able to install Google Analytics in your WordPress.com blog. They provide a built-in feature called WordPress.com Stats.
7. How can I setup Email Subscription for my WordPress Blog?
Answer: There are two methods that you can use. This can be done for free by using FeedBurner however in our recent experience, FeedBurner has proven itself extremely unreliable. We recommend using MailChimp and setup RSS-to-Email Campaign. It is free for upto 2,000 emails. You will have to start paying after that. You can also use Aweber for this.
8. How can I embed videos in WordPress posts?
Answer: All you have to do is simply paste the video URL in a line by itself. Check out our article on how to easily embed videos in WordPress.
9. How do I create a lightbox popup in WordPress?
Answer: We recommend a plugin called OptinMonster (we created it). It is a paid plugin, but it does everything you want and more. Check out OptinMonster.
10. Can I install WordPress in my computer?
Answer: Yes, you can install WordPress in your computer for testing purposes. However, if you want other people to see your WordPress site, then you must have web hosting. You can watch our videos on how to install WordPress in a local server environment (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
Note: This should be for testing purposes only. Other people will not be able to see your site.
11. How can I add an image gallery to my page?
Answer: You can use the built-in Gallery feature to add image galleries to your WordPress posts and/or pages. Here is our article on how to add gallery in WordPress with lightbox. If you want to have albums/gallery structure, then you can use a gallery plugin like NextGen Gallery. We have used it and found this plugin to be a bit bloated. If you want, you can consider hiring a developer who will create a much simpler gallery like structure following our tutorial on how to create a photo album gallery in WordPress.
12. How to create a slider in WordPress?
Answer: There are tons of free and paid plugins available for sliders in WordPress. We use and recommend SlideDeck because it is very easy to use from the WordPress backend. Consider checking out our step by step guide to creating a slider in WordPress with Slidedeck.
13. How to Create a Contact Form in WordPress?
Answer: There is a free plugin called Contact Form 7 which is great for most basic contact forms. However, if you want a truly powerful plugin, then you should consider checking out Gravity Forms. We use this plugin extensively throughout our sites as well as on our client’s site. It allows you to collect payments through contact form, capture emails for optin, and much more. Here is a simple tutorial on how we used Gravity Forms to create a donate form for a non-profit.
14. How can I monetize my WordPress blog?
Answer: This is such a broad question that there is no exact answer. Answer will vary from niche to niche and require testing. We have given a presentation on this subject “How to Monetize Your WordPress Blog”
15. Which theme are you using? Is it available for download?
Answer: We are using a custom theme built only for WPBeginner. It is not available for download. However, you can hire us to build you a totally awesome WordPress theme as well.