5. How WordPress Works

You followed the guide to configure your PC for web development, understood how a local server works, and installed a copy of WordPress on your computer, now what?

Now, let’s understand how WordPress works!

Explaining everything about WordPress in a single article is unthinkable… The possibilities that the CMS offers are too many…

But today, we will see the main things, lay the foundations to build our skills with WordPress!

In this article, I will teach you specifically:

  • how WordPress handles content
  • how to create Articles and Pages


Now that you have installed your WordPress site locally, let’s understand how to enter the backend.

After starting Apache and MySQL from XAMPP, open the browser and type “localhost/” + the name of your site.

If you followed the previous lesson, you should type: http://localhost/wp-test/

You should see the home page of the standard WordPress site.

Now to enter the backend, go to the URL bar and add “wp-admin”.

The final URL will then be this: http://localhost/wp-test/wp-admin/

At this point, we find ourselves on the WordPress login screen.

Enter your credentials and log in.

Here is the WordPress backend. From here, you can manage all the content on your website.


But how does this backend work?

It’s very simple. On the left, you will find all the sections to configure your site, while on the right, you will see what you are currently editing.

Take some time to scroll through all the items in the sidebar menu of the backend to get a general idea of how it works.


Now let’s understand how content is managed in WordPress.

When we create a new page for our site, we can choose between two possibilities:

  • Articles
  • Pages


Articles are content listed in reverse chronological order (from newest to oldest). They are used for blogs, newspapers, and all sites that are constantly updated.

Articles can be divided into categories and can contain tags. This makes them easily traceable by users.

They also encourage conversation through the presence of comments at the bottom.

An example of an Article is what you are reading now!


WordPress Pages are standalone pieces of content, one-time, without particular relationships with other site content. An example of a Page is the site’s contact page or the “about us” page. This type of content usually does not have a comments section.

Both of these types can contain text, images, links, and anything else you may want to include in your content.


If you took a look at the WordPress backend sidebar, right between Articles and Pages, you will find the Media section.

This section gathers all the resources you will upload to your site, such as photos, images, pdfs, etc…


The graphic part of your site is managed through the “Appearance” section.

Within this section, you can find:

  • Themes: It is the “clothing” of your site, what surrounds your content. In simpler terms, the graphics. Through this section, you can search and install new themes for your site.
  • Customize: This section allows you to customize the installed theme. Some themes have more customizations than others.
  • Widgets: Widgets are blocks that perform a specific action (such as a list or a menu) and can be added to a specific location on the site, like the sidebar.
  • Menu: It allows you to create and modify the menus on your website. An example of a menu is usually the site’s navbar, which allows you to navigate and find desired content.
  • Background: It allows you to change the site’s background. This item is linked to the default WordPress theme; if you install a new theme, it might disappear.
  • Theme Editor: Allows you to edit the style sheet of the theme. Here, things get interesting. If you try to open it, you will see

a sheet written in CSS language. If you continue to follow this site, you will learn how to navigate easily through these types of files.


All the features you want to implement on your site can be found in the “Plugins” section.

Plugins are small software that allow the site to perform a specific function.

For example, if you want to add a contact form to your site, you can look for a plugin that handles this function.

There are thousands of plugins for endless functionalities; just try searching.

Through this section, you can search and install new plugins.

Plugins, after being installed, must be activated to function.

I hope this general overview has been helpful in understanding, in broad terms, how WordPress works!

I recommend trying to spend some time creating articles and pages, installing themes and plugins, and see what happens!

Practice is the best way to learn!