[LEGACY] AHSM Updates - WordPress Customization

*Update 2019*

The images have been removed from this article as they are no longer relevant to the new portal. I will be migrating these and new articles in the near future.


WordPress is an open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. For the purposes of this documentation, the current environment is a WordPress website built for AHSM - Association of Hypnotherapy & Stress Management. To begin first head over to www.AHSM.org.uk and you will be presented with the Home Page. This is the Front End of the WordPress environment and is visible to any user who types in your address. To begin alterations you will first need to access the WordPress dashboard. This can be done by adding wp-admin - http://www.ahsm.org.uk/wp-admin to the end of the Hyperlink.

Accessing the Dashboard

Once you arrive at the dashboard you will be presented with a login screen. This login screen will require a username/email address and a password. If you need to register simply select 'Register' from the bottom and fill out the appropriate information. A previously registered member will need to 'Activate' you before you can log in. Note that all users will have different permissions providing different access to the website; This access can be changed by an Administrator role or higher. The roles are as follows:
  • Super Admin – somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features. See the Create a Network article.
  • Administrator (slug: 'administrator') – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
  • Editor (slug: 'editor') – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
  • Author (slug: 'author') – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor (slug: 'contributor') – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber (slug: 'subscriber') – somebody who can only manage their profile
For reference of this guide you should be aware you will have  Administrator role by default however it has been restricted to prevent issues to the site. These permissions can be changed during the life or the site and the requirement of the speicific user.
Once logged in you will be introduced with the Dashboard. On your Dashboard, you can see active widgets, available menu items, 'Screen Options' and Help tabs.

Customizing the Dashboard

To customize the Dashboard simply select the Screen Options tab on the top right of the screen. 

From here you can simply un-tick each box to disable that element. In the case of the Dashboard, this is the Dashboard Widgets however this will change on a Page by Page basis. If you click Screen Options again the menu will retract and you will be back on the Dashboard. Notice beside Screen Options Help is also available. This will give you a full overview of different elements of WordPress and can be very useful for new users.

Editing Pages

Now that you understand how the Dashboard works select 'Pages' from the side menu. You will be presented on the Pages which make up your website. For this demonstration I will be making changes to the Home Page so click on 'HomeFront Page' to continue. This same concept will work for all pages so you can use this part as a reference for other pages.  When you arrive at the Home Page 'Edit Page' screen click Screen Options at the top right to disable un-needed elements. I would recommend removing the following options as in most cases they will not be needed: 

This will provide you with a much easier environment to work with. Once you have disabled the un-needed boxes scroll down till you get to the Visual Composer tab. This is the tab where all page editing is done. Visual Composer is a page builder plugin for WordPress that features intuitive drag and drop functionality. This allows easy editing for people unfamiliar with coding or advanced concepts. To begin editing simply scroll to the element you wish to edit. If you notice as you hover over each element a menu will appear: 

As you can see from the screenshot above I am highlighting the 'Welcome to the AHSM' text box so I can edit it. By simply selecting the pencil I can make changes. 

As you can see by the screenshot above; by simply selecting the pencil on that element a text box opens allowing me to alter that specific element. Once I make my changes I can simply select 'Save Changes' followed by Update in the top right corner update the Publish widget to make the changes. This same concept can be applied to any element on the site including pictures and video. More information can be found on this YouTube video :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtzN-b0UbWY

Adding Articles of Interest / Hypnosis Scripts

To add an Article of Interest or Hypnosis Script simply select Add Articles from the side menu followed by Add New. For the point of this documentation I will be using the Arctic Scene as its the other currently 'Members Only' article and Hypnosis Script. As previously mentioned I would begin by going into Screen Options at the top and disabling the following:

As you can see for this specific area we have a lot more boxes available. This is due to multiple types of post formats which are as follows:
  • standard - This is simply for a regular post to the site.
  • gallery - A gallery of images. Posts will likely contain a gallery shortcode and will have image attachments.
  • link - A link to another site.
  • image - A single image.
  • quote - A quotation. Probably will contain a blockquote holding the quote content. Alternatively, the quote may be just the content, with the source/author being the title.
  • status - A short status update, similar to a Twitter status update.
  • video - A single video or video playlist.
  • audio - An audio file or playlist. Could be used for Podcasting.
For this purpose, I will be using standard, as this is primarily what this area will be used for. Once you have set you Screen Options scroll down and begin type (or pasting) your article. To enter distraction free mode simply push Shift+Alt+W. I find this makes it a lot easier to type without seeing other elements on the page. Once completed scroll down till you see the Excerpt box. Use either a quote from the article or the first few sentences here. This will be shown before you click on the article giving someone who is viewing the site a sense of what the article is about.
As you can see from the screenshot above I have pasted the first few sentences from the article into the Excerpt box. I have then selected my Format as Standard and selected my Categories as Hypnosis Scripts. Finally due to this being a Members Only article I have selected Block This Post. Depending on the type of article, you will customize this fields accordingly. To post a video related article simply change the Format to Video and under the Blog Item Settings box fill in the For Video Post settings. The best way to get familiar is to post and experiment. As this is the area in which you will always start with a blank page this can take some time to get familiar with. Simply use the Publish and Update buttons to re-save changes until everything looks perfect.

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