An overview

AEJMC makes WordPress available to member organizations sharing space in the AEJMC Network. Simply stated, WordPress is a system of scripts that manage and interact with  data tables containing your Web site content. How your content appears on screen – what your site looks like – is governed by a group of files that together comprise a WordPress theme.

Typically, a theme has at least 7-9 (or more) php files plus a style sheet (style.css). Most theme designs also incorporate a number of graphics files (such as .jpg, .gif, .png, or .svg  files). Thousands of WordPress themes are available free from the wordpress.org site. Professionally developed themes or “premium” themes often have elaborate style sheets and custom functions.php files, and maybe other php files as well.

Two basic versions of WordPress exist – WordPress hosted at wordpress.com, and self-hosted wherever your server is. The two versions are similar from a user point of view, but not identical. They are very different from an administrative point of view. At the AEJMC Network, we are running the self-hosted, multisite variety which from an end user point of view behaves very much like the wordpress.com version.

While themes govern how your site looks, plugins add functionality to a WordPress site. Plugins might allow you to create a slide show or display local weather.

The way you get content into your database (your Web site) is by entering text and short codes into an editor provided within WordPress. Images, video, audio, and other media files are inserted directly into pages and posts, or uploaded directly into WordPress’s Media Library.

Finding out more

To find out more about the basics of WordPress, you might try these options.

  1. Avail yourself of online tutorials at lynda.com and/or atomiclearning.com. Many schools have accounts with these digital tutors.
  2. Read introductory books or ebooks on the subject, such as
    1. WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) by Matthew MacDonald (Oct 29, 2012)
    2. Teach Yourself VISUALLY WordPress by Janet Majure (Apr 10, 2012)
    3. WordPress Websites Step-by-Step – The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Website or Blog With WordPress by Caimin Jones (Jan 4, 2013)
  3. Study documents in this site spelling out things to consider in selecting a theme and choosing plug-ins, as well as terms of use for WordPress in the AEJMC Network.
  4. Master an understanding of security risks inherent in the use of WordPress themes, plug-ins, comments, and other features.

AEJMC Network Terms of Use –»