WordPress Essentials for Business

A fast-start (90 min) WordPress training sequence designed for small-business owners creating a new website
121 reviews
  • Marc Beneteau is the founder of WP Academy, where he has trained thousands of small-business owners, self-employed professionals, virtual assistants, and others to make professional-looking (and profitable) websites in WordPress. Before he started teaching full-time, he ran a web design business, and was CTO of an internet startup before that.

  • Mukesh Agrawal CEO, Edurila & Entrepreneur

    I am a young entrepreneur and CEO of Edurila !

    I am full of Ideas, my brain doesn't stop thinking even when I sleep. For me, ideas come from everywhere.

    I am passionate and working as an Startup Entrepreneur in the field of E-Learning & Online Education for web developers, designers and students in need of quality training and resources.

  • Lifetime access to 34 lectures
  • A community of 15900+ students learning together!
  • 60+ discussions

WordPress Essentials for Business

A fast-start (90 min) WordPress training sequence designed for small-business owners creating a new website
121 reviews


Discover courses made by experts from around the world.

Take your courses with you and learn anytime, anywhere.

Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.


WordPress Essentials for Business is a quick (90 min) but thorough overview of using WordPress to create a business website. It is designed for busy small-business owners and self-employed professionals who want to quickly master the WordPress software for the purpose of creating an attractive website that generates leads and sales.

The course covers almost all of the WordPress user interface. We learn by doing as we build out an actual website for a client of ours, explaining and demonstrating key concepts along the way, such as themes, plugins, widgets, images, etc. Students should download the project files from http://wpacademy.com/essentials and then follow the tutorial on their own website, repeating the keystrokes and mouse sequences as they build out their own site. You can expect to walk away from this training with an attractive website and a solid understanding of WordPress fundamentals.

To take this course you will need a self-hosted WordPress website under your own domain and hosting account, and we will show you how to set that up. Domains cost about $10/yr and a hosting account will cost you an additional $7-10/mth, and will host all of your business and personal websites.

Update Nov/2013: WordPress Essentials is now free, thanks to the generous support of donors to our crowd funding campaign for the WordPress Business Encyclopedia 2014! After you complete your WordPress Essentials training, you will be in a great place to upgrade to our WP Encyclopedia 2014, and tackle the more complex work of creating a professional-looking, profitable, lead-generating website. WP Encyclopedia includes chapters on: Advanced Content Creation, SEO, Shopping Carts & Payment Systems, Newsletters & Auto-responder Systems, Online Video Production, Social Media Integration, and much more. It is currently the most comprehensive video training available anywhere for creating a WordPress business website, and also the world's first "help manual" style documentation for WordPress and related web marketing technologies (a "help manual" is a documentation format that allows you to easily search and click-through to related topics).

Here is full course content, module-by-module:

WordPress Fundamentals
01: WordPress: What & Why
02: WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
03: What you will need

Hosting WordPress
04: Understanding domain, hosting, and name servers
05: Choosing a Domain Registrar & Hosting company
06: Installing WordPress on your domain

Building out your site: content and navigation
07: Tour of an out-of-the-box WordPress site
08: Tour of the WordPress dashboard
09: Creating Pages and Posts
10: Using the Visual Editor
11: Adding an image
12: Hyperlinking
13: Configuring a blog, static site and mixed site
14: Removing home page comments box
15: Adding a flat navigation bar
16: Adding a drop-down navigation bar
17: Installing a free theme
18: Installing a commercial theme
19: Modifying your theme settings, adding a header
20: Working with Weaver theme
21: Setting up Post Categories and Blog pages

Widgets and Widget Areas
22: Using the Latest Posts, Post Categories & Custom Menu widgets
23: Using the Text widget to post arbitrary Text or Images to your sidebar
24: Using the Text widget to post a Youtube video

26: Introduction to plugins: Akismet comment spam protection
27: Using the RSSImport plugin; plugins that require shortcodes
28: Installing a commercial plugin

Fine-tuning your site
29: Permalinks
30: Discussion settings & Comment moderation

Next steps
32: Commercial themes
33: Graphic sources
34: WordPress Security
35: How to learn more

Additional WP Academy courses Udemy or in production:

    • Technical experience is not required (other than to use a browser)
    • You will need to setup a self-hosted WordPress website under your domain, which we will show you how to do. Domains cost about $10/yr and hosting accounts are between $7-10/mth
    • Over 34 lectures and 1.5 hours of content!
    • Complete your first self-hosted WordPress website in under 2 hours
    • Understand domain and hosting
    • Understand the WordPress user-interface and key concepts such as the Media library, themes, plugins, widgets and more
    • Small Business Owner, Self-employed Professionals, Social Media consultants, Virtual Assistants... anyone who wants to create a professional WordPress website, either for themselves or their clients


30 day money back guarantee
Lifetime access
Available on Desktop, iOs and Android
Certificate of completion


  • 1
    Before you begin: WP Encyclopedia Road Map
  • SECTION 1:
    WordPress Fundamentals
  • 2
    WordPress: What & Why
    Understand the reasons why WordPress has become the world's most popular Content Management System
  • 3
    WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

    WordPress comes in two "flavors"

    You can create a free WordPress blog at WordPress.com, and then assign it to your own domain name for about $20 per year. The content will be hosted on the WordPress.com servers, and as such you need not worry about hosting.

    However, WordPress.com is not recommended for hosting professional websites, because it has a limited number of available themes and plugins. In particular, commercial themes and plugins are not supported. You will be very limited in terms of your ability to customize and monetize the site.

    It’s much better to host your WordPress site yourself using the so-called "Self-hosted" WordPress, also known as WordPress.org

    WordPress.org is not a hosting company!

    Rather it is the repository of all the open-source WordPress code, including all the free (open-source) themes and plugins that people have contributed.

    The remainder of this training guide assumes that you are using Self-hosted WordPress

  • 4
    What you will need

    What you absolutely need to run self-hosted WordPress:

    • Most people will need a Web Hosting Account to run WordPress (unless you just want a simple Blog). Most hosting accounts cost between $7 and $10/mth, depending on how many months you pre-pay.
    • You will need a Domain Name. Domain names cost about $10/yr. Many hosting plans include your first domain name.

    What you probably need:

    You may choose to go for some higher-value products or services, such as:

    • A Professional Theme or Theme Framework. This may give your site a more attractive appearance than a free theme. Most themes cost between $70 and $90
    • Some Professional Custom-Designed Graphics, such as a header or ebook cover. Although you can do this yourself, the cost of this is quite modest, typically $50-100, and you can even pay much less.
    • A commercial Stock-photo Image Library. For about $30 you can get a lot of very high-quality images.
    • Free Plugins are usually sufficient, but if you are running a membership site you may want a commercial Membership site plugin, for about $100.
    • You will probably want a Newsletter (Mailing List) Management System. There are some good free ones, especially for smaller lists. Others cost between $15 and $30/mth.

    By following this training, you can get a very professional website for between $30 and $300 initial cost, plus between $100 and $300 a year for your hosting and newsletter service.

    Additional websites beyond your first site will cost you little or nothing.

    Compare this to the "old days" where building a website cost an average of $2000 to $3000!

  • SECTION 2:
    Hosting WordPress
  • 5
    Understanding domain, hosting, and name servers
    Properly hosting a new, self-hosted WordPress site is challenging for beginners, however if you read carefully below and follow the instructions you should be good.

    To host a website (any website including self-hosted WordPress), you need a Domain Name Registrar company (e.g.GoDaddy ) and a Hosting Company (e.g. BlueHost or Hostgator ).

    Occasionally, the same company handles both, but we recommend that you keep them separate, e.g. register your domains through your domain registrar, not through your hosting company. Hosting companies are sometimes known to include one free domain name in the hosting plan but then charge a premium fee for additional domains. And domain registrars (such as Godaddy) often do not provide great hosting service.

    Exception to this rule: if you are just starting out your first site it’s fine to register your first domain name when you first purchase hosting; however you should register additional domains through your registrar and then point them (assign them) to your hosting account as described below.

    Any good hosting company will allow unlimited domain hosting. This means you can have multiple domains with separate websites under one monthly hosting fee. You would very rarely need more than one hosting company.

    Be aware as well that transferring domains from one domain registrar to another, and websites from one host to another, can be an administrative nightmare. Save yourself from this by having only one hosting company and only one domain registrar from the get-go.
  • 6
    Choosing a Domain Registrar & Hosting Company

  • 7
    Installing WordPress on your domain
    Once your domain is “hosted”, you can install WordPress on it. Almost all hosts have a 2-click WordPress installer program. You can Google “Installing WordPress on [your hosting company]” for instructions, or else review the Installation tutorials on WordPress.TV
  • SECTION 3:
    Building out your site: content and navigation
  • 8
    Tour of an out-of-the-box WordPress site
    Tour of an out-of-the-box WordPress site
  • 9
    Tour of the WordPress dashboard

    How to access your WordPress site dashboard

    Your WordPress dashboard is the administrative interface to your WordPress site. This is where you manage all your content, navigation, site layout, etc.

    For most self-hosted WordPress sites, you normally access your dashboard by simply appending "/wp-admin" to your url, as in:


    And then logging in with your username and password.

  • 10
    Creating Pages and Posts

    Understanding WordPress data elements

    You need to understand the basic WordPress data elements: Posts, Pages and Links.

    •Posts are time-sensitive articles, and are normally listed on your “Blog” page in reverse chronological order. You may choose not to have a “Blog” page at all (e.g. your site could have only static pages or “Pages”), OR you may choose to configure your WordPress site as a blog and to have your home page display your blog posts (this is the default configuration). Posts allow comments, although you can close or disable comments on individual posts. Posts have categories, which you set up in the Posts > Categories menu. If you create a post but don’t assign a category, it automatically gets assigned to the “Uncategorized” category (which you can rename to something else).

    •Pages are so-called static pages – they display content that isn’t time-sensitive, such as your Home page, About Us, Services page, and so on. Pages do not normally allow comments, nor are they part of your RSS feed (content distribution). Pages do not have categories, but can be created in a hierarchical structure.

  • 11
    Using the Visual Editor

    The WordPress Visual Editor is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web-based editor that you can use to create and edit all your WordPress pages and posts. It is a very powerful editor that allows you to enter and format text, hyperlink text and images, insert images and videos, insert html code, and more.

    Some people prefer to use a client-side editor for their sites such as the free Windows Live Writer, which has the advantage of easier formatting and allows you to paste in images directly.

  • 12
    Working with images

    This video shows you how to add Images in WordPress, and how to scale and crop images from inside WordPress.

    Images are stored in your media library in 3 (sometimes 4) different sizes for the same image.  Once you add an image to your media library, you can reference that same image from different pages or posts — you don’t need to add it again.

  • 13
    We review the "Hyperlink" button on the WordPress Visual Editor toolbar.
  • 14
    Configuring a blog, static site and mixed site

    How to setup WordPress for either a blog or a static site (business-oriented website)

    Almost all business websites are configured as Static Sites -- meaning they have a Home page, Services pages, Contact page etc. 

    By default, WordPress is configured as Blog -- meaning the front page has all the Posts in reverse chronological order.

    Your first step (unless you are creating a Blog) is therefore going to be setup WordPress to function as a static site.

  • 15
    Removing home page title & comments box
    By default, all WordPress pages have user comments enabled. You will usually want to disable comments on all your Pages, and only allow them on Posts. 

    You will also want to call your home page something other than "Home", or else tell WordPress not to display the page title. This video shows you how.
  • 16
    Adding a flat navigation bar
    When first installed, WordPress puts a navigation bar with all your Pages.  You want to change this in order to put only the pages or posts that you want in your navigation bar, and also re-order them. 
  • 17
    Adding a drop-down navigation bar
    A drop-down navigation bar allows you to better organize your content for easy access to visitors.  This video shows you how.
  • 18
    Installing a free theme
    The most powerful feature of WordPress is the ability to easily change themes. Here is how to access thousands of free themes.
  • 19
    Installing a commercial theme
    Using a commercial theme on your site will likely increase its quality and help you do the job faster. This is how you do it.
  • 20
    Modifying your theme settings, adding a header
    We take a peek inside the powerful Weaver theme options, then we prepare the theme to receive our header, and then we add the header graphic.
  • 21
    Working with the Weaver theme
    About Themes and Theme Frameworks

    Themes are customizable to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the theme's design and complexity. Choosing a theme that meets your aesthetic and functional requirements, and yet is highly customizable, is likely the biggest challenge you will face in creating your new website.  At WP Academy, we recommend commercial themes as they can make a very attractive yet flexible site quite rapidly. The free Weaver theme however is also quite good, and so we have chosen it to build out our demo site.

    Where to find your theme options panel

    Your theme options panel is under the "Appearance" menu. Depending on the complexity of the theme, you may find just a few settings, or you may find pages and pages of available settings. A sophisticated theme will give you very fine-grained control of the styling (or presentation) of every element of your site, and may also give you a choice of sidebar locations, allow you to change the width of your site and of your sidebars, etc.

    Note that even for a theme that does not give a lot of theme options, you can always customize your theme's look-and-feel (colors, fonts etc) by changing your theme's CSS.
  • 22
    Setting up Post Categories and Blog pages
    By default, WordPress comes configured as a Blog.  This means your home page contains all of your posts, across all categories.  You can move your blog page to a place other than the front (home) page, and link it from your navigation bar as described here; but by default your blog page will still contain posts in all categories.

    Sometimes you want to configure your site to have many different Blog pages, each specializing in a particular content area, or Post Category.  Many people are confused by how to do this, but its quite simple. This lecture will show you how.
  • SECTION 4:
    Widgets and Widget Areas
  • 23
    Using the Latest Posts, Post Categories & Custom Menu widgets
    Widgets are used to add content to a "Widget Area".  Widget areas are provided by your theme to put your content.  Themes provide, at minimum, a Widget Area called a Sidebar. 

    Inside a Widget Area you add "Widgets", which are content items that are either pre-filled by WordPress, or in which you can put your own content.  Some widgets are built-in to WordPress, and others are installed (made available) by your theme or by a plugin. 

    Here are 3 very popular built-in widgets that you can use: the Recent Posts, Post Categories & Custom Menu Widgets. We show you how they work and explain everything about Widgets, Widget Areas and Sidebars.
  • 24
    Using the Text widget to post arbitrary Text or Images to your sidebar

    The Text widget is the most important one for you to know as it allows you to put arbitrary html into your sidebar (or into any widget area).  This can include text, images, videos, subscription forms, etc. 

    This lecture you will show you how it works.

  • 25
    Using the Text widget to post a Youtube video
    Posting video to your sidebar in WordPress is super-easy with a Text widget. Here is how you do it.
  • SECTION 5:
  • 26
    Introduction to plugins: Akismet comment spam protection
    A "plugin" is like an "app" that you add to your WordPress site -- it adds functionality that is not included in the base WordPress installation. 

    Plugins, like Themes, can either be free (you download them from the WordPress.org plugin repository from inside your dashboard), or you buy them from a plugin vendor and install them from a zipfile (also using your dashboard).

    This lecture introduces you to plugins and shows you how to use a very popular one called Akismet, that provides comment spam protection on WordPress sites.
  • 27
    Using the RSSImport plugin; plugins that require shortcodes
    RSSImport is a powerful free plugin that allows you to place content from any site or blog which has an RSS feed. Seeing how it works will help you understand plugins.  We also demonstrate a very powerful feature used by some plugins called "shortcodes".
  • 28
    Installing a commercial plugin
    A commercial plugin is one that you have to buy (i.e. it is NOT free).  Commercial plugins can be extremely useful and sometimes are essential. Here is how you work with them.
  • SECTION 6:
    Fine-tuning your site
  • 29
    How to give your pages and posts user-friendly links (url's)

    A "Permalink" is the expanded url of any page of your site, as in "http://yoursite/your-fantastic-article-here" . You want it to be as friendly as possible to humans and to search-engines as well. This is easy to do.
  • 30
    Discussion settings & Comment moderation
    When someone comments to one of your site's posts, the comment is normally held in the moderation queue until you approve it. Here we review the suggested Comment Moderation settings in WordPress.
  • SECTION 7:
    Next Steps
  • 31
    Commercial themes
    Using a commercial theme is the fastest way to a professional-looking site.  But with so many choices, where to begin?  This lecture introduces a concept called the "Theme Functionality Grid" which will help select the best theme for a business-oriented website. 
  • 32
    Graphic sources
    Professional stock-photos and graphic headers are the second predictor (besides commercial themes) for a site that looks professional. Here is where to find great stock photos and look for talented and affordable graphic designers.
  • 33
    WordPress Security
    Your WordPress site MUST be backed-up and updated regularly. If you don't, it is virtually certain that you will get hacked sooner or later, leading to hassles and embarrassment, or even having Google displaying an ugly security warning on your site and nobody being able to access your website. Follow the simple instructions in this video, however, and you should be good. 
  • SECTION 8:
    Where to learn more
  • 34
    Where to learn more?
    Where to learn more? If you have enjoyed this series, and want to learn more, you probably want to review your options in this short video. 


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


  • 86
  • 27
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2


  • David Briley
    Instructional Excellence

    From beginning to end this is the most complete and yet compact instructional course I have taken. When you finish this course you will have a great conceptual beginning to wordpress and be able to begin your website.

  • Beverley Brown
    Fantastic course

    Wow - I learnt such a lot in this course. Admittedly I knew a bit about Wordpress as I have done other courses but this one had the most info and lots of things I did not know! Great that the videos are short - I watched the whole thing from start to finish in one hit! Thanks very much!

  • Tarek Ezzat Mohammed
    Tarek Ezzat Mohamed


  • Lionpig21
    Exactly what I was looking for!

    This course explained everything I was hoping to learn about WordPress! It did go a little fast so I found myself first watching to video then playing it again to take notes, however I am glad I found this course!

  • Tom Rumikern
    Incredibly helpful for a newbie!

    After fighting my way through the jungle of self-discovery and carving out a basic website / blog on WP.com, this course cut through so much confusion! I could've saved many hours of orientation.. While I didn't have my own domain or webhost established yet, many of the concepts discussed are easily applicable to the more elementary hosted WP.com . I wouldn't hesitate getting the WPEncyclopedia as described in the course. It contains the course and a lot more. And the donation for it is flexible and appears to go directly to a charitable educational initiative. I look forward to exploring the rest of their materials. So extraordinarily helpful - and FREE!