Answers to frequently asked questions about WordPress

As a WordPress developer, I get asked a lot of questions about WordPress! In this post I’m answering some of the questions that I am asked the most.

As a WordPress developer, I get asked a lot of questions about WordPress!

I also regularly visit forums, Facebook groups and Subreddits to see what questions people are asking so that I can create valuable tutorials and content that I know is going to help WordPress users.

Today I wanted to compile some of these frequently asked questions into one post along with my answers to them.

In this post, I am going to be answering some of the questions I am asked the most about WordPress.

Note: This post focuses primarily focus on self-hosted WordPress websites unless stated otherwise.

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress itself is a content management system (CMS). It is an open-source platform which means it is openly shared and anyone can use it.

WordPress.com is essentially a hosting service provided by WordPress. It uses a modified version of the WordPress CMS. WordPress.com websites run on WordPress.com servers which means you don’t need to sort out the web hosting (i.e. the space online where your website lives) yourself. The most basic WordPress.com plan is free which is why this is a popular option with new bloggers.

WordPress.org is the website you go to if you want to download the WordPress CMS. It’s completely free to download, but once you have downloaded it you need to upload it to a web host and create a database to run it off. WordPress.org websites are more often referred to as “self-hosted WordPress websites” because you are responsible for hosting the website.

For more information, check out this post I wrote which compares the pros and cons of WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

How much does WordPress cost?

The WordPress content management system (CMS) itself is actually free. However, in order to use WordPress on a live website you need a domain (i.e. the website URL) and hosting (i.e. the place online where your website lives). You can find hosting online for free but I strongly recommend that you don’t go down this route.

The cost of your domain and hosting will vary depending on who you buy from. But to give you a rough idea, I’m hosted with Krystal (affiliate link) and my hosting and domain together cost around £60 per year.

You can try out a self-hosted WordPress website before you invest for free by creating a local WordPress on your computer. The easier way to do this is using a free tool called Local by Flywheel. I have a tutorial that shows you exactly how to do this.

Who is the best hosting provider for my WordPress website?

The best hosting provider for you will depend on your situation and your requirements. Things you might want to take into consideration are:

  • Cost
  • Support/customer service
  • Storage capacity
  • Bandwidth
  • Security
  • Uptime/reliability

I personally use and recommend Krystal (affiliate link). Their prices are really reasonable and you get a lot of storage space for your money. They also have fantastic customer support and their uptime is great too.

Can I move my self-hosted WordPress website from one host to another?

Yes. You don’t have to stay with one hosting provider forever!

Moving from one host to another involves exporting your WordPress files and database from your current host and moving it all over to your new host.

I have a tutorial which will take you through the process step by step. Alternatively, I can do the hard work for you! Find out more about my WordPress support services here.

Is WordPress a secure platform to run a website/blog on?

WordPress is a secure platform to run a website on. In fact, there are hundreds of developers behind the scenes working to ensure that the platform is kept safe.

However, like most websites, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% hacker-proof, and it is your responsibility to keep your content safe and secure.

There are lots of simple measures that you can put in place to improve the security of your WordPress website. You can find out more about WordPress security in this post.

Do I need to know how to code to use WordPress?

No. It’s easy to set up and use WordPress without having any experience with code.

For instance, you can use plugins to add extra functionality to your website, and you can use pre-made themes (i.e. templates) to make your website look beautiful.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you need to add code to your website, such as when you set up Google Analytics or link your website to a Google Search Console account. However, you’ll probably have to do this no matter what platform you run your website on!

And, if you are interested in learning to code then go for it! I’m a self-taught developer and learning to code has changed my life!

How can I improve my SEO on WordPress?

The beautify of a self-hosted WordPress website is that you can freely install plugins that add extra functionality to your website. This includes plugins that can help you to improve the SEO of your website.

My personal favourite SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. Yoast can be used to help you to optimise your content for search engines, generate sitemaps, add the meta tags that social media platforms use and so much more. I have a tutorial on installing and setting up Yoast SEO which you can read here.

Other things you can do to improve your SEO are:

Can I hide the toolbar at the top of the page when I view my website?

Yes, you can. For years I used to add a piece of code to hide this toolbar, but then I realised that there is a much easier way to do it.

You can actually hide this toolbar by updating the settings on your user profile page. To do this, hover over Users in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click Your Profile.

Under the Personal Options heading you will see an option that says 

Changing this setting will only hide the toolbar when you are logged in. If other users of your website also want to hide this toolbar they will need to log into their own account and update this setting on their profile page.

How do I stop all of these spammy comments I’m receiving on my posts?

The easiest way to stop spam is to install an anti-spam plugin. An anti-spam plugin will detect spammy comments, catch them and put them in a spam queue rather than displaying them on your website.

Personally, I use and love a plugin called Akismet which you can learn how to install and set up here. Since starting HollyPryce.com almost a year ago, Akismet has caught over 2,000 spam comments! Deleting these manually would have taken a long time!

Alternatively, you could turn on comment moderation. This means you have to approve comments before they can be displayed on your website.

To implement this, hover over Settings in the left-hand menu and click on Discussion.

Then look for the option that says Comment must be manually approved and tick the tickbox next to this to turn on comment moderation.

Can I create a page that shows all of the posts in a certain category?

Yes. In fact, a category page is automatically generated when you set up categories and assign them to a post. This page will display all of the posts that you assigned to this category (if your theme is set up correctly!).

To view the URL of this page, hover over Posts in the left-hand menu and click Categories.

On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see a list of all of your categories. If you hover over a category you will see a link that says View.

If you click on this link a new tab will open and it will show you the page displaying all of the posts in that particular category. For example, if I clicked on View for my WordPress category it would take me to this page.

You can then add a link to this page in your main menu or your sidebar or where ever you want to link it!

Also, if you use tags then you can use the exact same method to find the URL of the page that will display all posts associated with that particular tag.

Can I sell products through my WordPress website?

Yes. If you want to set up a shop to sell either physical or digital products then I recommend using a plugin called WooCommerce.

I’ve written a series of posts on setting up WooCommerce and using it to sell products which you can find here.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the name of the new content editor that WordPress have developed. It was released just last week with the WordPress 5.0 updated.

The classic editor that you use to create your posts and pages in WordPress will disappear and be replaced with an editor that is based on “blocks”.

To find out more, check out this post I wrote.

Any other questions?!

If you have any questions about WordPress that I haven’t answered in this post then feel free to leave me a comment on this post, or send me an email using the form on the Contact page, and I will get back to you with an answer.

No question is a silly question!

Pin for later?