WordPress Site Structure and Organization

This article supports my recent presentation at PDX WordPress Meetup titled “Organizing Your WordPress Site.”

Please note that I’ve included articles from ClarkWP Magazine, the student run and managed site for my Clark College WordPress classes, as reference material throughout this article.

Before beginning to structure and organize, or reorganize, your WordPress site, there are some WordPress terms you need to know.

Whiteboard with site structure.

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Tablets for Educators and Students in College

Student works on Samsung Note in class.I was asked to speak at a 30 Clicks Clark College Library lunchtime event on the subject of computer tablets for educators and students. These are the notes and research for that event.

  • A tablet is a mobile computer that relies upon mobile apps to function. The screen is typically 7 inches or wider.
  • Smartphone is a mobile computer that relies upon mobile apps to function. The screen is typically 5 inches and smaller.

This is the basic description of a tablet, once known as a handheld computer. Featured on the original Star Trek television show, and in all the series that followed, the padd set the standard for what would become today’s computer tablet.

Before and after - laptop verses tablet weight and carryingPersonally, I’ve had just about every computer out there, and when I discovered handheld computers, which eventually became mobile computers, smartphones, and tablets, I was in heaven. In the beginning, these small mobile computers fit in the hand and were excellent for reading ebooks. As they became more powerful, they became laptop replacements.

Above all else, the greatest reward of moving from laptop to tablet was weight – and portability.

This article is not designed to be a complete dissection of how to use tablets in education, but to represent a few interesting tidbits I uncovered while preparing for my presentation on using tablets in education, specifically for college students and educators.

The article is divided into three sections, all specifically targeted towards the student and educator:

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The First Website Revived

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The Web as we know it went “live” April 30, 1993. The very first web page and website Tim Berners-Lee and the WWW team put online has been brought out of the archives by CERN.

First Website in the world on the web by Tim Berners-Lee and CERN team - front page.

The web page and site was reconstructed by CERN from an archive found on the W3C site, which is a 1992 copy of the first website, not the original. The research team is still searching for the original or an older version.

Mark Boulton is involved with the CERN team to help restore the first website. He described their determination to preserve this moment in world history.
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How to Link to Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags, Authors, and Feeds in WordPress

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WordPress code logo thumbnailThis is a tutorial on how to link to the various features found on a typical WordPress site.

Wish to promote an author your site? Need the link to their author pageview? Wish to link to a specific category? Want to share the link to your WordPress site feed?

There are many times when you may wish to link to a feature or function on your site. Here is a list of the various areas you may wish to link to from posts, Pages, Widgets, and in emails and social media posts to help people find information on your site.

How to Copy a Link

We call them “links” but the proper names are hypertext link and the link is created with an HTML Anchor Tag.

A well-formed link in HTML looks like this:

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/" 
title="Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress.">
Lorelle VanFossen</a>

It features the link to the destination, the title selector to describe the destination of the link, and the anchor text, the words visible on the page to the reader.

This is called a well-formed or properly formed link as these three items are required by US and international law for web standards and web accessibility.

To copy a link, there are two methods. The first is the most commonly used technique.
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WordPress Site Models

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WordPress serves as a web publishing platform and Content Management System (CMS). There are a variety of layouts and site organizational structures to choose from when setting up a WordPress site. These are known as site models.

There are three core site models: blog, static, and hybrid.

There are pros and cons to each one. Let’s look at each one.

The Static Site Model

Site model example of a static website, each page on the site a separate web page - graphic by Lorelle VanFossen.In the old days, websites consisted of static web pages, one web page for each article. Today’s CMS platforms like WordPress offer the same static feel and structure as a design decision.

The challenge of using WordPress as a static site takes a little thinking around the whole posts verses Pages and categories verses tags content organization options. In general, most static sites will never use posts only Pages.
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Stats: The Analytics of Reading to the Bottom of the Page

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In “How people read online: Why you won’t finish this article” on Slate Magazine, author Farhad Manjoo explores the statistics on whether or not you will read to the bottom of his article.

I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone. You “bounced” in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time “engaging” with this page at all.

So now there are 100 of you left. Nice round number. But not for long! We’re at the point in the page where you have to scroll to see more. Of the 100 of you who didn’t bounce, five are never going to scroll. Bye!

OK, fine, good riddance. So we’re 95 now. A friendly, intimate crowd, just the people who want to be here. Thanks for reading, folks! I was beginning to worry about your attention span, even your intellig … wait a second, where are you guys going? You’re tweeting a link to this article already? You haven’t even read it yet!

He talked to many expert web analytics researchers and analysts about the statistics associated with reading an article on the web. The numbers are fascinating, and may change how you write your next post.
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Web Statistics and Analytics Glossary

Web Analytics WordleThe following is a general glossary of terms associated with web statistics and web analytics.

Affiliates/Affiliate Marketing: Advertising and promotional marketing where the webmaster offers advertisements or endorsements for a commission based upon traffic and traffic conversions (click-throughs).

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors visiting a single page on the site. This is a comparative measurement of how many visitors enter and exit a web page without visiting other pages on the site. The Bounce Rate is often viewed as a percentage such as the total number of visitors that arrived and left from only that page compared to the total number of visitors to that web page (not the entire site visitors count). Confused with the exit rate, the Bounce Rate is often reported as a measurement of the time a visitor spends on the page, known as the Page Duration or Time on Page.

Clicks: Clicks are actions by the user of clicking a link or object on the web page to interact with it. Clicks are also the term used by some statistics programs such as WordPress.com Stats to indicate a click on a link to an external web page.

Click Analytics: A form of segmentation and analytics, it is the study of a site’s performance based upon the number of clicks, what is clicked, and the path a visitor takes through various clicks or pageviews.
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Tutorial on Creating Footnotes in WordPress

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Footnotes are often requested in my workshops and classes. I’ve published “Creating Footnotes in WordPress” explaining how to do this in WordPress on .

Footnotes have been replaced by links, but there may be times when you wish to link to a footnote in a blog post.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of using footnotes from the article.

Links cover one or more words thus are easier to see and easier to click over a larger area. Footnote links are tiny, hard to see, and hard to click, especially if you have mobility issues.

Footnotes are familiar to academics, scientists, and researchers. If you are publishing such papers or writing for that audience, it would be natural to include traditional footnotes.

There are also times when you may need to cite a source that isn’t online. How would you site a paper or reference that is not online? A footnote serves to cite the source while not interrupting the natural flow of the content with explanations in parentheses.

Three techniques are described in the article.

You may use WordPress Plugins that make adding footnotes to posts easier, or you can create them manually.

The process of adding footnotes manually to WordPress involves using jump or page links with the footnote numbers within the content to “jump” down to the footnote list at the bottom of the post.

I’ve included an example of how to create footnote jump links to take the reader to the footnote list and not a specific item in the list, and how to create a footnote jump link to a specific footnote in the list if there are many footnotes in the article.

Family History Blogging Resources and Tips

Knapp family of Taylor Rapids, Wisconsin, Ed, Lloyd, Melvin, Emma, Glenn, Nora, circa 1924 - Lorelle VanFossen archives.The following information are resources, tips, techniques, and instructions for starting and developing a Family History blog. These resources are for Lorelle’s family history blogging workshops, classes, and presentations. The focus of these resources are on blogging your family history, not about genealogy research, though it is often hard to separate the two.

This resource list will help you learn more about using , the self-hosted version of WordPress, and , the hosted verion of WordPress, as well as how to publish multimedia, gedcom files, and share the stories and tales of your family’s history. It also includes information on privacy and other legal policies as relates to family history research and blogging.

Family History Blogging Articles by Lorelle VanFossen

The following links are to articles I’ve written on family history blogging, including an ongoing series on genealogy blogging.

Resources on Blogging Your Family History

The following are articles and tutorials on how to blogging your family history. Continue reading

How to Add Images in Your Post Content

Round beach rocks in shade - photography by Brent VanFossen.Images, graphics, photographs, drawings, cartoons, badges…our websites are filled with imagery.

This article addresses the techniques used by WordPress for aligning images and image sizing and links in published content. Check your publishing platform for their methods.

Image Terminology in WordPress

There are several terms we need to develop to help you understand how images are used in WordPress. The most important terms describe the images within WordPress based upon how they are used and generated: original image, published image, media file, and attachment image.

The image uploaded to your site is called the original image or image file. When uploaded to WordPress, a minimum of three sizes are automatically created and stored in the wp-content/uploads/ directory on the server. The images are grouped by year then month by default.

The image sizes available for displaying in your content are thumbnail, medium, and full-size. Depending upon the image’s original size, large and x-large may be available. Full-size is the original uploaded image size.

When an image is used on a web page in WordPress, it is typically viewed within the content area of a post or Page. For the sake of this tutorial, we will called this the published image. WordPress makes available the three size options by default.

Image Sizes and Links

WordPress Media Uploader featuring multiple images - screencap by Lorelle VanFossen.

The WordPress Media Uploader redesigned in 2012 now features Attachment Display Settings options. They include setting the alignment of the image, the size of the published image, and the Link To feature. Continue reading

What is a Properly Formed Link?

I talk about properly formed links or proper HTML anchor tags in all of my articles, workshops, and classes. This article serves as a tutorial and reference guide on the proper formation of HTML links.

Links tie the web together, linking one site to another, one web page to another. They are critical to helping us find information and understand what is being written.

In “What You Must Know About Writing on the Web,” I describe a link dump:

Ugly is as ugly does. Don’t clutter up your site with ugly link dumps.

A link dump is when the blogger is lazy and just pastes the link into their post such as http://lorelleteaches.com/2012/10/14/what-you-must-know-about-writing-on-the-web/ instead of the properly formed What You Must Know About Writing on the Web.

Which is easier to read?

A properly formed link makes it not just easier to read the post, it is clean and presents professional looking content. It invites the reader to click.

How to Create a Properly Formed HTML Link

To create a properly formed link, you may use the Visual Editor toolbar button called link or Hypertext Link.
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Exploring the New WordPress Media Manager

WordPress 3.5 is due December 5, 2012, and brings with it the new Media Manager, a much anticipated improvement to the Media Uploader and Media Library in WordPress.

Check Out the New Media Manager in WordPress is an extensive article and review I’ve published on . It features a step-by-step tutorial on using the new Media Manager for uploading and managing your images, video, and audio on WordPress, as well as a few of the unusual quirks in the new feature.

If you have a WordPress.com site, you will be able to test drive the new WordPress Media Manager. Those with the self-hosted version of WordPress will need to wait until December 5 when WordPress 3.5 is released or become a beta tester.