What You Most Need to Know

WordPress word wordle artIntroduction to WordPress is focused on the core features and functionality of WordPress right out of the box – or out of the WordPress.com box. We’ll explore the full features of WordPress and WordPress.com and concentrate on content building strategies and setup. The extra features that come with free WordPress.com blogs are based upon popular WordPress Themes and Plugins, giving us experience using the extensible and customization features of WordPress.

If time allows, we’ll work our way towards basic WordPress development, planning website layouts and content support for a variety of business needs.

You will learn:

  • What is WordPress?
  • WordPress Installation and Setup
    • How to setup a WordPress.com blog.
    • Categories, tags, and content organization and navigation.
    • Content organization, development, and management.
    • WordPress installation options.
    • WordPress and Web Standards.
    • Troubleshooting WordPress.
  • Content Management
    • Web writing tips and techniques
    • Web publishing with the visual editor, HTML editor, QuickPress/PressThis, mobile, and alternative publishing tools.
    • Publishing multimedia with WordPress.
    • How to use Post Format Types.
    • Content scheduling.
    • WordPress feed management, integration, and customization.
    • Introduction to WordPress development for employers and clients.
  • Interactivity
    • Comments and spam management.
    • Understanding WordPress interactivity through trackbacks, pingbacks, and pings.
    • Social media Integration.
    • Automation
  • Customization and Design
    • Introduction to basic core site customization (header art, widgets, etc.).
    • WordPress Widget functionality and customization.
    • How to create and manage custom menus.
    • Introduction to dynamic web page generation.
    • Introduction to dynamic web design.
    • Introduction to WordPress hybrid sites.
    • Introduction to WordPress Themes.
    • Introduction to WordPress Plugins.
  • User Roles and Multiple Authors
    • Managing a private or restricted access WordPress site.
    • Multiple users and authors (permissions/authorities).
    • Managing multiple contributors.
  • SEO and Analytics
    • Basic analytics and statistics with WordPress.com Stats.
    • WordPress and SEO.

The program is fairly flexible based upon student abilities and learning process. Topics will expland into more technical aspects in WordPress as much as time permits.

start here button to get to class schedule.Your starting page will be Clark Continuing Ed – WordPress Intro – Schedule and Homework, your guide to the schedule, homework, and assignments of the course.

The following things you need to know apply to classes taught at Clark College specifically, but may apply to all courses and workshops offered by Lorelle VanFossen on Introduction to WordPress and similar trainings and classes.

What Do You Need to Know to Take This Class?

The class requires are competency with computers and web browsers, as well as basic writing skills. For more detailed information on the course requirements, see the Syllabus.

Students will require the following skills for full participation in the course:

  • Basic writing skills.
  • Basics and familiarity with photo and graphic editing.
  • Web browser familiarity and basic proficiency.
  • Familiarity with links.
  • Familiarity with blogs and websites in general.
  • Familiarity with search and online research techniques.

You will need to be familiar with the following features on Firefox and Chrome web browsers:

  • Opening a link in a new tab.
  • Opening a tab.
  • Moving between tabs.
  • Viewing the source code/page source.
  • Adding browser extensions/add-ons.

Students should be a registered member of one or more social media networks and services, specifically:

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Gmail or web-based email account
  • Facebook
  • Windows Live ID Account for Windows Essentials (optional)

The following materials and supplies are required during the class:

  • USB Thumb Drive or Portable Hard Drive and/or SD Card
  • Approximately 25 copyright free photographs, digital graphics, or your own personal graphics and photographs for publishing on your blog. They can be any family-friendly images.

While it is not necessary, it is recommended that you have HTML Fundamentals and Introduction to PHP or familiarity with HTML and PHP if you wish to pursue WordPress towards a career. Check with Clark College’s course catalog and counselors for more information on the various programs you will need for a WordPress and web professional degree program in the Computer Technology Department (CTEC).

What You Need to Know When You Arrive the First Day of Class

Be ready to:

  • Create your own blog.
  • Have something to say and share on your blog, enough for six weeks.
  • Use social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Google+).
  • Interact with fellow students.
  • Interact with fellow bloggers.

You should have already read the following:

What to Read

In addition to the Clark Continuing Ed – WordPress Intro – Schedule and Homework for the class, most of the notes and homework will be on Lorelle Teaches, a site dedicated to educational materials for my classes and workshops.

There is no required textbook for the class. All materials will be made available to you via the Clark Continuing Ed – WordPress Intro schedule and homework page.

For preparation for the class, I recommend you read the following:

Additional resources may be found on the following:

If you still require a book to guide you through the class, I recommend WordPress 24-Hour Trainer by George Plumley.

If you are a registered student with Clark College, I recommend you read the online articles and ebooks on WordPress in the Clark Library’s online collection (requires Clark College student login – Registered Students Only):

Naming Conventions – What to Call It

There are a variety of books available in print and ebook form on WordPress. Some are excellent but cover older versions of WordPress. Some cover topics we might beyond what we will cover in the class. I highly recommend you dive into all of these as there is excellent information in all of them.

While many of these authors are familiar with WordPress, not all started out that way, so there are many naming convention issues that cause much confusion to those new to WordPress.

During the class, we will be using the proper names for the parts, pieces, and features of WordPress, which may not be reflected in these books. Here are a few of the key references that may be different in the books.

  • WordPress Administration Panels or Screens: The “backend,” admin, dashboard, and management pages are properly called the Administration Panels or screens (as of 2010). A panel on the Administration Panels is the dashboard, however Dashboard is a trademarked name and is not to be used unless referencing the specific panel.
  • WordPress MS: Within the past two years, what was known as WordPress MU is now called WordPress MS or WordPress Multisite. It is also referred to as a blog network. It is the multiple blog network version of the self-hosted version of WordPress.
  • WordPress.org versus WordPress.com: WordPress.org is known officially as the “self-hosted” version of WordPress. It is unofficially called dot org, whole, full, unlimited, and “free” version of WordPress. WordPress.com is the “hosted” version of WordPress. It is unofficially called dot com, limited, beginner, freebie, free version, and other variations, most of which are not valid references. WordPress.com is the full version of WordPress hosted by Automattic on their servers. There are a variety of WordPress Plugins and features that expand the capabilities of the core of WordPress, but you are not able to edit the core, add new Plugins or Themes, or do anything that could put the entire network or yourself at risk. Sites hosted on WordPress.com are also subject to the WordPress.com Terms of Service whereas the self-hosted version of WordPress has no such terms for usage.
  • WordPress Version Naming Conventions Changed: Since 2009, a lot of work has gone into the User Interface (UI) of WordPress to make it easy-to-use for everyone, from the beginner novice to advanced professional user. You may run into a few of these in the books but most make sense as they are synonyms. For example, the Blogroll became the Links Manager, then back to Blogroll, and is now called Links, which is a feature used to create a list of links as resources or references on your site, usually in the sidebar.
  • WordPress Plugin Directory: The older books refer to a variety of locations for downloading WordPress Plugins. The WordPress Plugin Directory is the only official repository of WordPress Plugins, and the only source of Plugins for automatic installation through the Administration Panels. It is sometimes called the Repository.
  • WordPress Theme Directory: The WordPress Theme Directory is the only official source for WordPress Themes and the access point for downloading and installing new WordPress Themes through the Administration Panels. It is a fallacy that paid or “premium” WordPress Themes are better than free Themes. Both are available through the Theme Directory and reviewed by the Theme Review Committee.

Class Requirements

Bring your questions, enthusiasm, and willingness to embrace a fun and new way to communicate and connect with the world.

For more information on the requirements, expectations, and more things you need to know, see:

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