What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog

Colorful text says blog versus website.We live in a world of ever changing terms and jargon. Let’s see if this will add to the confusion or clear things up when it comes to what to call a blog and what to call a website.

A website, or site, is a collection of web pages.

A site is designated by its domain name, the part of the address or URL that defines the site such as WordPress.com, WordPress.org, or lorelle.wordpress.com.

A web page is any page on the web, usually found within a website.

A web page address is an extension of the domain name that points to the web page location on the site, such as example.com/article-title or example.com/2014/03/21/article-title/.

A blog is a site with content displayed in reverse chronological order.

These are the facts. A site can be a blog and a blog is a site.

However, there are the myths that we have to deal with. Continue reading

Web Design: Tools, Color Wheels, Charts, Theories, and More on Color

Colored ball in a quilt of colors.Most business owners don’t consider the importance of color when thinking about promoting their business. They just want the colors to match their business cards or logo.

When it comes to choosing colors for your website, it can be as easy as planning the colors to paint the rooms in your house. It begins with some color theory, then pull out your old color wheel and give it a spin. Right?

Well, it would if colors on the web were that easy.

In order to understand how colors work in web design, you need to know some important concepts.

I’ve put together this summary of resources to support these and included many online free tools, color charts, color wheels, and more to help you learn more about how web colors work and how to choose colors for your web design or WordPress Theme.
Continue reading

Web Page Annotation and Markup on Live Web Pages

Teaching web publishing with HTML, CSS, WordPress, etc., and working with clients, I long for the ability to just look at a web page or PDF and draw on it. Point out what works, what doesn’t, editing notes, and somehow share it or preserve it. Or make notes. To scribble a note that says “I need to remember this” or “this is cool!”

Well you can.

HongKait offers “Top Web Annotation and Markup Tools,” a huge list of tools that allow you to annotate – write on – web pages. You can highlight sections, draw on them, doodle, whatever.

You can instantly share or save your annotations.

Think of the possibilities. You are working on a WordPress Theme with a client. They can scribble on the page making notes while you are chatting about it on the page at the same time.

Developing a WordPress Plugin? Imagine running tests with this with this level of collaboration. “What if I over it over here? How does this look to you?”

Layers is a tool that allows you to have a conversation on a web page with annotations and image shows the conversation and graphics.In one example, Layers, the tool allows you to add sticky notes, tweets, maps, videos, and images on web pages. Comments can be public or private. You can invite others to participate in an ongoing discussion of the web page to make it highly collaborative. Oh, this so is going to work out nice for students and clients.

Some of these are online apps, some are downloadable programs, and others are web browser extensions and add-ons. There are tons to choose from.

I’m going to use some of these in future classes to markup homework assignments, labs, etc. And what until my clients see these. Wow!

How to Choose a WordPress Theme

When it comes to choosing the right WordPress Theme, there is a right way and a wrong way. And both may be right for you.

First, let’s look at what people look for and what influences them in the decision process with a WordPress Theme, and the myths of their reasoning.

Comparing the same 2011 WordPress Theme - the light and the dark version - totally different.

The default WordPress 2011 Theme has two versions, dark and light. By changing the background image, these two sites on the same Theme are completely different.

How much does it cost?

First of all, the majority of WordPress Themes in the WordPress Theme Directory are free. Before you start investing in a WordPress Theme, stick with free Themes so you can test drive them.

If you fall in love with one and lack the web design experience or time to modify it, contact the author and hire them to fix this to your liking.

A paid or premium WordPress Theme is no better or worse than a free Theme. Don’t believe the hype. You are usually paying for support or additional features you may or may not need. Price does not dictate quality. Continue reading

How to Schedule Your Posts in WordPress

Example of the Publish Immediate, future or schedule post feature of WordPress.To schedule a post or Page to publish at a time before or after this moment, you may use the Schedule feature in WordPress.

  1. Edit or Add New post or Page.
  2. In the Publish panel of the screen, go to Publish immediately.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Set the Month, Day, Year, and Time.
  5. Click OK.

WordPress Schedule future post feature allows you to set the date and time the post or Page will publish.If the post or Page is a draft, the Publish button will change to read Schedule.

If the post or Page was published, it will say Update.

Click this when you are ready to update or publish the post or Page. Continue reading

WordPress Introduction Course at Clark College Continuing Education October 16, 2012

Starting October 16, 2012, I’m presenting the Introduction to WordPress at Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education in Vancouver, Washington.

The CTEC 280 Clark College WordPress Introduction course continues as a four credit course. This is the college level course for WordPress users wanting to learn how WordPress works and how to use it better for half the price and no degree credits or college registration required.

REGISTER:
Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education
The Introduction to WordPress
6-8PM October 16 – December 6
Columbia Tech Center in Vancouver, Washington
$299 Item # F257
Register: Online or call (360) 992-2939

The Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education program, The Introduction to WordPress, is a slightly scaled down version of the full credit course. It is a thirty hour course designed for anyone looking to learn how to use WordPress for a personal or business website. It covers the basics on how to use the WordPress platform including installation, content management, configuration, SEO, and user experience strategies. The course also covers more advanced areas including WordPress Themes, Plugins, and advanced settings. No prerequisites are required, though familiarity with web browsers and web pages in general is highly recommended.

The Clark College CTEC 280 WordPress Introduction course will be offered Winter Quarter. If you are interested in the course as part of a degree or business education course, contact Reesa McAllister, CTEC offices, at 360-992-2456 to learn how to register and/or get on the waiting list for the class announcement.

The Basic Structure of a Blog Post

There are many ways to present a post or article on a web page. This tutorial will cover the basic formatting, styles, and structure.

Every WordPress Theme handles the basic elements in a post different, making the headings stand out in a variety of ways, adding borders around images or not, adding design elements to a blockquote…the list is long. I recommend that you test your own WordPress Theme by writing a test post following the examples in this article, or you may use the Sandbox Post for Testing WordPress Themes. It is a text file with HTML code representative of all the HTML tags found in a blog post.

Formatting the Post in WordPress

Before we begin, I will be making references to the formatting toolbar found on the post and Page Edit Screens. It is blow the post title area and directly above the content textarea where you will write your post.

The WordPress Visual Editor Toolbar featuring the Kitchen Sink Button which expands to feature a second row.

By default, you see only one line of buttons in the Visual Editor. The last button on the row is called the Kitchen Sink. If you click it, a second row will drop down. Continue reading

Most Common Database and Programming Errors

WordPress, web database, and web designers need to pay close attention to these two articles from TechRepublic: “Five common programming mistakes” and “Five common database development mistakes.”

The first one deals with the most common programming mistakes, a few I’ve done myself. UI craziness and variable naming inconsistencies will often eat up my time as I resolve their issues.

The second article on database development mistakes addresses many of the issues I and others have with dealing with other people’s work. A missing mistake that should be on the list is a lack of inline documentation, the notes a developer should leave to not only remind them of what happened here and why choices were made, but informs future fixers of what is going on. Without these, we have to read the code like a book, and not everyone writes based upon readable standards. We spend too much time playing detective for the simplest of fixes.

A comment in the first article really caught my eye and sums up so much of what causes problems with the code.

This isn’t the tool’s fault — the error is between the keyboard and the chair. On the one hand, it speaks volumes about the quality of these tools that I trust them so much that I lost a lot of my vigilance; on the other hand, it is still my fault that I allow convenience to turn my brain off entirely. I have learned to slow myself down when using code completion and take the extra second or two to ensure that I have made the right choice.

The biggest problem is what is sitting in the chair – remember that next time you start blaming.

WordPress Links and Blogroll Feature Gone in WordPress 3.5

With the release of WordPress 3.5 soon, expect to see the WordPress Links feature, also known as the Blogroll, gone.

I’ve written more about this in “Blogrolls Gone in WordPress. How to Save Your Links” on .

The article includes an explanation of why as well as tips and techniques for exporting and saving your WordPress links, and how to display them in new ways within WordPress.

Tutorial: Tools for Evaluating and Testing Web Pages

There are many online tools, web browser extensions, and add-ons to help you evaluate and test web pages. We will be talking about web page validation later, but you can use these tools now to become familiar with such tools and how to integrate them into your web browser.

Most browser-integration tools are browser specific, compared to online tools which sit in web pages, accessible through any browser. Browser-integration tools include extensions, add-ons, and bookmarklets.

How to Add an Extension or Add-on to Your Web Browser

To add an extension or add-on tool to your browser:

Continue reading

Tutorial: How to Inspect, Edit, and Save a Web Page

This tutorial from the HTML Fundamentals Class I taught at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, is a guide that will show you how to:

  • View the source code of a web page.
  • How to save a web page to your computer
  • How to view a saved web page on your computer
  • How to open a web page in your text editor
  • How to view the CSS/Stylesheet for a web page
  • How to inspect the HTML and CSS of a web page
  • How to view and edit a web page at the same time

To begin this tutorial, have your web browser and text editor open on your computer. It does not matter which browser or text editor you are using. The process is basically the same.

How to view the source code of a web page

  1. Go to a web page such as the test page for the class, Welcome to Lorelle VanFossen CTEC 122 HTML Fundamentals Class on the Clark Web Server.
  2. Right click on an empty space on the web page and choose View Page Source or View Source.
  3. The resulting popup window (or tab) will show you the underlying HTML structure of the page.
  4. You may save this to your hard drive or go back and save the entire web page to your computer.

Continue reading

Links and the Anchor HTML Tag

This is a tutorial from the HTML Fundamentals Class I taught at Clark College in Summer 2012. It applies to HTML and WordPress.

There are five basic forms of links on a web page.

  1. External Links
  2. Internal Links
  3. Jump Links
  4. Image/Multimedia Links
  5. Email Links

Link Basics

Links are the gateway to the web, the interconnected parts of the web that allows a web user to easily move from document to document.

A link consists of the following HTML tag structure.

<a title="Link to article title." href="http://example.com/article.html">Anchor Text</a>
  1. a: The HTML Anchor tag.
  2. title: It is required by US federal law and international law that all links have a descriptive title property. The value text must describe the destination link in a way that will inform the user of what the destination material is about and help them decide to click through. It should be no more than a few words and written in sentence form, a simple instructional form such as “Link to article on links.” This is read out loud by screen readers.
  3. href: The Hypertext Reference is the destination link. In general, it is typically an absolute link written with the full http: address such as http//example.com/article.html.
  4. Anchor Text: This is the text which the HTML Anchor tag wraps around. It is the visible element of the tag on the web page.

Continue reading

Cleaning Up Your HTML and CSS Code

Dirty Markup interface for cleaning html, css, and javascriptTeaching HTML Fundamentals at Clark College in Summer Quarter 2012 was a step back into history and a good learning lesson for me about teaching but also about HTML.

I’m sharing a lot of the tutorials and guides I created for the class here which you can find in various categories but specifically under the HTML tag.

I’d like to share with you one of the great tools I uncovered. It’s called Dirty Markup and describes itself as the “Tidy and Beautify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code tool.”
Continue reading

Tutorial: Tidy Your HTML and CSS Code

The following is a tutorial for the HTML Fundamentals Class for Clark College. The information pertains to all web design, development, and WordPress fundamentals in WordPress Theme and Plugin development.

There programs designed to "tidy" your HTML and CSS into a format that meets typical standards for code layout. These take hard-to-read markup (code) and clean them up into a consistent format.

These tidy programs will not fix your broken code, but they may identify errors to help you fix it yourself.

Example of Tidy HTML cleaner before and after

Tidy programs were originally created by Dave Raggett to help clean up the HTML code. HTML TIDY now supports HTML5 and HTML exported from Google Docs, Word, and other publishing programs.

There is now a community supporting TIDY and you can learn more on TIDY Sourceforge Project.

There are also CSS TIDY programs. These work the same as the HTML versions. They include: CSSTidy and CSS Formatter and Optimiser/Optimizer (Online).

TIDY is available for cleaning up online or offline, and is incorporated into many text editors and programming editors. it is available for a variety of operating systems and in different programming languages such as Java, Perl, and Python.

To use these, follow the instructions provided by the developer. Always save a backup of the original file, called "about.bak" or something similar, just in case.

For online versions, it is as simple as uploading the file to be cleaned or pasting the file contents into the form. Copy the cleaned code and paste it into a copy of the file name or create a new version of the file and rename it to the desired name.

Learn More About TIDY