Site Tutorials

Getting Started With WordPress.com

Welcome to WordPress.com! Whether you want to start a blog, build a website for your small business, or something in between, there are a few basics that apply to every site you’re looking to build.

You can use this guide to learn:

  • How to add content, like posts and pages, to your site
  • How to use the Block editor
  • How to use the Customizer to make site wide changes, like adding a menu and setting the home page.

The Building Blocks of WordPress.com

There are two parts to every WordPress.com site:

Content – the content on your site is made up of pages, posts, and media. You can add or edit pages and posts by going to My Sites → Site → Posts/Pages. Changes are made using our Block editor.

Customization – Site wide changes, such as editing menus, adjusting colors, adding widgets, additional CSS code, and more, are done from our Customizer. You can get to the Customizer by going to My Sites → Design → Customize.


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Adding Content

The first thing we’ll look at is how to add content. To do this, go to My Sites → Site. You’ll see there are a few different options for adding content to your site, such as Pages and Posts.

 What’s the difference between a post and a page?

A page is best used for content that isn’t going to change very often. Good examples of pages would be a home page, an about page, a contact page, or even a page that lists your products or services.

Posts or, blog posts, are more like news articles. Good examples of posts include updates about your industry, a personal journal, movie reviews and other similar specific pieces of writing. Every site built on WordPress.com has the ability to add a blog, but you don’t have to use it!

We have more information on the difference between the two here.

Adding Your First Page

For now, let’s just add a few pages to your site.

First, go to My Sites → Site → Pages, then click Add New Page.

This will open the Block editor.

You may see an option to select a pre-designed template upon creating a new page. You can choose an existing template and edit it further, or start with a blank page.

On the right side of the editor are the document settings. From here, you can see the status of the page, add categories and tags to posts, set a featured image, and much more.

The parts that make up the Block editor. If you don’t see the settings panel on the right, select the “gear” icon next to Publish

Let’s take a deeper look into the editor itself!

The Block Editor

This is our Block editor, and it functions the same whether you’re creating a post or a page. You can add content to the page by inserting various blocks. You can do so by clicking the block inserter icon which is found in various places within the editor.

There are multiple ways to add a block and choose the block type you need:

  • Click  at the left of any empty block.
  • Click  at the top left of the editor.
  • Hit the Enter/Return key from a selected block to create a new block below it.
  • Click  at the top center of an existing block to add a block above it.
  • Click on the three dots just above a selected block and choose to add a block above or below the current block.
Different ways to add a block

There are all sorts of blocks that you can add – paragraphs, images, galleries, columns and tables – the list is quite exhaustive! You can see a list of blocks we have available here.

Some common blocks you might want to make use of are:

When you click on the block inserter icon , you can search for different types of blocks, or scroll down and expand each list to see what’s available. Once a block is added, you can reorder them by using the arrows on the left and right, or by clicking and dragging.

Whenever you add a block and select it, you’ll notice there are more block settings on the right side of the editor. Each block has its own set of parameters you can adjust. Switch to the “Document” tab at the top to go back to page settings.

Removing a Block

You can remove a block by selecting it, clicking on the ellipses menu, and choosing Remove Block.

If you need more information on our Block editor, check out this in depth guide.

Once you’re happy with how your page looks, go ahead and click Publish… in the top right. Have some more pages you want to add? Go ahead and publish them, then head onto the next step. If you want to add a blog page, create and publish a page called “Blog” (or whatever you’d like!) and leave it blank. We’ll add the blog posts in the next step.

Worried about people viewing your site before it’s done? Go to My Sites → Manage → Settings and adjust the privacy settings to Unlisted or Private. There’s more info on that here.


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The Customizer

Now you should have a few pages of content to work with. Let’s make sure people can view them! We’ll want to open the customizer to make these changes. To do so, go to My Sites → Design → Customize

Setting a Home Page and Posts Page

The first thing we should do is set a homepage. To do this, select Homepage Settings. From here, you can choose whether your homepage displays a list of your latest posts (Your Latest Posts), or select A Static Page (common for Business sites). If you choose a static page, you can also choose a page to display a list of your published posts.

Setting a home page and a post page
Adding a Menu

Great, now let’s add those other pages we created to your menu so visitors can navigate to them. To do so, go to Menus → Primary → Add Items. You’ll now see a list of published pages! Click on the pages you want to add to the menu.

You can click and drag to reorder menus, and create submenus by clicking and dragging them underneath each other. You can also use the Reorder option to do this. Notice how the changes are reflected in the preview of the site on the right.

There’s more information setting up your menus here.

Saving Customizer Changes

Once you’re done, make sure to click Publish to save the changes! Think of this as a save button – if you’ve set your site to Private, visitors still won’t be able to see your site until you’re ready.


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Common Questions

This guide should help you get up and running, but maybe there are some more features you’re looking to implement! Here’s a list of common questions and features:

How do I have a page that shows only specific blog posts, not all of them?

These are called category pages! To set these up, create a few blog posts and assign them categories in the post editor. Then, go to the customizer to edit your menu. When you select Add Items you’ll see a section for Categories. From there, you can select a category to add it to your menu. Now, only blog posts given that category will show up on that page. There’s more info on how to set this up here.

You can also use the Latest Posts block to display a list of blog posts with a specific category on any page.

How can I add plugins?

All sites on WordPress.com come with a large amount of built in features that should cover what you need. Additionally, sites on our Business and eCommerce plans have the ability to install custom third party plugins.

How do I connect my domain?

Any site with a purchased plan can connect a custom domain. You can use one you already own or register a new one with us. There’s more information about adding custom domains here.

How can I change themes?

You can change themes by going to My Sites → Design → Themes. Feel free to change themes as many times as you like! Changing themes affects the look and feel of your site, but not the content. There’s more information on themes here.

Keep in mind some themes may require additional setup. These steps will be detailed on the theme setup page.

What are widgets?

Widgets are tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the specific areas of your site. You can add widgets by going to My Sites → Design → Customize → Widgets. From there, you can see a list of available widget areas on your site that you can use. Widget areas are theme dependent. There’s a list of widgets that you can add on your site here.

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