Thank you for your patience and willingness to embrace all things WordPress in the half day WordPress beginner course. These are the class notes.
These notes serve as your “book” for learning WordPress. The only book I recommend is George Plumley’s WordPress 24-Hour Trainer.
The following are overall references for learning more about using WordPress from Lorelle.
- Lorelle’s WordPress School
- WordPress School Tutorials
- WordPress Publishing Checklist
- Site Master Plan Worksheet (PDF)
- Site Brainstorm for Content Structure and Organization Worksheet (PDF)
- Online Persona Plan and Worksheet (PDF)
- WordPress School: Learn to Use Web Browsers
Get to know your fellow WordPress members in your community. The WordPress Community in the Portland area meets frequently around the community. There is a downtown Portland meeting once a month for the general WordPress audience, a Developers Meetup for coders and hackers, a social WordPress Meetup in Vancouver, Washington, and community WordPress Meetups in Beaverton/Hillsboro and other Portland Metro areas and Washington and Oregon.
For more information on WordPress, how it works, what it is, how the business model works, etc., see the following references.
- What is WordPress? – Learning from Lorelle
- The History of WordPress – Lorelle Teaches
- What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog – Lorelle Teaches
- Differences Between WordPress Versions: WordPress.org, WordPress.com, and WordPress MS – WordPress.com Support
- First Steps With WordPress – WordPress Codex
- How I was Introduced to WordPress – ClarkWP (student perspective)
- How to Get Help with WordPress – Lorelle on WordPress
- Introduction to Blogging – WordPress Codex
- New To WordPress – Where to Start – WordPress Codex
- What You Most Need to Know About WordPress – Lorelle on WordPress
- Why is WordPress Free? What are the Costs? What is the Catch?
- Why You Should Use WordPress?
- WordPress Features – WordPress Codex
- WordPress Codex – About WordPress
- WordPress Semantics – WordPress Codex
WordPress Setup, Login, Settings, and Profile
The following is information related to setting up WordPress.com, logging in and out of WordPress, the general settings for your new site, and adding your profile information to the site.
- Site Settings: Go to Settings > General:
- Set the Site Title
- Set the Site Tagline (subtitle)
- Set the time zone
- Set the Blog Avatar, the Blavatar. Note that your Gravatar image and Blog Picture may be the same or different.
- Go to Users > My Profile and set the first, last, and full name.
- Set your Display Name.
- Write a short bio in your “About You” section, typically 1-3 sentences.
- Set your Gravatar and create a Gravatar Profile.
The New WordPress Editor and Interface
I appreciate everyone’s patience with the new interface under development with WordPress.com. The traditional interface is called the “Classic Interface,” and is the one you will want to spend the majority of your time working on when developing your site. The new interface is specifically for publishing posts and Pages.
I recommend you use the following direct links to find your way. Please print this page or copy these to an email or file saved to your portable drive or student server location as a reference.
To use the classic editor to create posts, go to Dashboard > Posts > Add New
To use the classic editor when you edit posts, use the Posts -> All Posts menu, hover over the post title and click the Edit link.
If you are bring your own computer to class or working on this from your own computer at home or work, a WordPress.com support forum moderator created browser scripts and bookmarks to help you return to the Classic interface, and explained in more detail in “A hack to use the classic editor in WordPress.com” by The Penguin says.
UPDATE: WordPress.com is redirecting the bookmarklet and reporting an error. I’m hoping it will be updated soon, but the error is not consistent, so try it anyway.
The following are links to information about WordPress Pages, posts, categories, and tags, the core content of WordPress.
- The Difference Between Pages and Posts
- WordPress Pages (timeless content):
- Posts (timely content):
- Categories and Tags
The following are educational and support articles that deal with the publishing process in WordPress as well as tips for writing for the web.
- WordPress Editors:
- Visual Editor
- Distraction Free Writing Editor
- Text Editor
- How to Edit a Post or Page – ClarkWP
- Screen Options
- Difference Between Visual and Text Editor – ClarkWP
- Tips for Using the WordPress Text Editor – ClarkWP
- What’s on the WordPress Kitchen Sink? – ClarkWP
- Publishing MS Word Content in WordPress – ClarkWP
The following are articles on writing for the web and the structure of post content.
- Post Structure:
- Post Content Types:
- How to Link to a Post, Page, Category, Tag, and Author in WordPress – ClarkWP
- What is a Properly Formed Link? – Lorelle Teaches
- Links and the Anchor HTML Tag
- How to create a Link in the WordPress Visual Editor – ClarkWP
- Creating and Using HTML Jump-links – ClarkWP
- The Power of the Link – Lorelle on WordPress
- Changing a Life With a Link – The Blog Herald
- Blockquotes and Citations:
- Post Excerpts:
- Sticky Posts:
- Using Sticky Posts in WordPress – ClarkWP
- How to Set and Manage Excerpts in WordPress
- Post Visibility — Support — WordPress.com
- Sticky Posts « WordPress Codex
- How to Make Sticky Posts in WordPress
- A Quick Guide to Creating Sticky Posts in WordPress – ITX
- WordPress Sticky Posts: How to Use & Style Them – Elegant Themes Blog
- Writing for the Web:
The following are articles about writing, formatting, and publishing specific WordPress Pages for your site.
- The About Page:
- The Contact Page:
WordPress offers a variety of ways to publish content to your WordPress site. Here are a few tutorials on the options that go beyond access by desktop or mobile.
- The Basics You Must Know About a WordPress Theme – Lorelle Teaches
- WordPress School: Pageviews
- Blog Exercises: Know Your Pageviews
The following tutorials deal with WordPress Widgets, the modular design and content elements found in the sidebar, footer, etc.
- WordPress Widgets – WordPress Codex
- Widgets and Sidebars in WordPress – Support — WordPress.com
- WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget – Lorelle on WordPress
The following are tutorials associated with designing and using Header Art in WordPress.
- WordPress School: Header Art
- Designing Headers « WordPress Codex
- Design That Shines: 10 Tips For A Dynamic Blog Header – IFB
- Personalizing your WordPress.com blog: Part 2 – Custom Image Headers – One Cool Site
- WordPress Header Design 101 – Art of Blog
- Blog Headers: 20 Great Examples and Best Practices – Webdesigner Depot
These tutorials are associated with customizing the background images for a WordPress site.
The following are recommended reading material and tutorials on WordPress Menus, the key navigation areas of your WordPress site.
- Custom Menus — Support — WordPress.com
- Navigation Menus – WordPress Codex
- Appearance Menus Screen – WordPress Codex
- Custom Menus Arrive at WordPress.com – one cool site
- Custom Menus: Featuring Older Content – one cool site
- HTML Formatting for Custom Menus – Digging Into WordPress
- How to Create Custom Menu Structures in WordPress – Elegant Themes Blog
Site models are the part of the bones of a WordPress site, beginning with solving the age old mystery, “What do we do with the front page of our site?” The Front Page Dilemna defines the site model, whether or not the front of your site greets visitors with a blog model or static front page. The site models are:
- Blog: Content displayed in reverse chronological order with Pages in the main navigation menu to “static” content.
- Static Front Page: Content on the front page of the site is static. It may be updated at any time but it does not contain any post content or dynamically generated content. The site may feature an intregrated blog.
- Static Site: Every web page of the site is created with a Page. No posts are involved, thus no categories or tags for grouping content.
- Dynamic Front Page (aka Hybrid or Integrated): Features a dynamically generated front page mix of static and blog content. It may feature a slider or featured posts presented differently than blog content. The site may or may not have a separate blog page. This site model could be as simple as using Sticky Posts or a Page Template that generates and displays your content distinctively from other models.
Many of these designs use the Featured Image feature built into WordPress. Ready through the WordPress Theme specifications for how they handle featured images and content.
For more information on site models in WordPress, read:
- WordPress Site Models – Learning from Lorelle
- Using WordPress Themes – WordPress Codex
- What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog – Learning from Lorelle
- Blog Exercises: Site Models – Lorelle on WordPress
- Website, Blog or Hybrid: What’s your style? – one cool site
- Creating a Static Front Page – WordPress Codex
- Featured Images:
Whether working with a WordPress Theme or attempting to tweak or customize, or even build, your own, these tutorials and articles will help.
- Site Design Introduction, Concepts, and Basics
- HTML and CSS the WordPress Way
- WordPress Theme Development – Getting Under the Hood
Multimedia in WordPress
Your images and video must be prepared before embedding in WordPress. Videos, in general, are not directly uploaded to your site but hosted on a third-party service such as YouTube or Vimeo. Images are to be edited before uploading to prepare them for presentation on the web.
Raw images are not recommended for uploading and use on the web specifically because their file type is not one recognized by typical web browsers. The image file types that are include JPG, PNG, and GIF. Most photographic images are set in JPG formats. Flat, two dimensional works such as screen captures and cartoon or drawings tend to be in PNG format.
Images are to be resized by physical size and optimized for the smallest file size that is appropriate for the resolution and physical file size, allowing for the fastest viewing times on a web page. In general, the longest edge should be less than 1300 pixels for high quality images. Professional photographers may consider slightly wider. The file size should be reduced as much as possible and stay as close to 100K as possible or less for images less than 1000 pixels at the widest, and rarely larger than 300K for photographic images. Check with your graphic program on how to resize and optimize the image during the save or export process to a JPG.
The key things to remember when uploading an image to WordPress are:
- Set the title (if the file name is properly named, it becomes the title and requires no or little editing)
- Set the ALT Text (the Alternative Text) to describe the image for the visually impaired
- Set the image alignment to right, left, center, or none
- Set the image display size appropriate to the placement of the image in the content area (no wider than 60% of the content column width for text to wrap around, and full width for centered images)
- Set the Link To to attachment or none EVERY TIME
Remember, media is for downloadable media such as MP3, docs, PDF, etc. Attachments are for all images.
- WordPress School: Images
- WordPress School: Image Preparation
- WordPress School – Image Lessons on using the Online Editor Pixlr
- Image Publishing Guidelines – Google Webmaster Tools Help
- How to Add Images in Your Post Content
- Check Out the New Media Manager in WordPress « Lorelle on WordPress
- Aligning Images in WordPress – ClarkWP
Portfolios in WordPress
The Jetpack WordPress Plugin, included on WordPress.com, offers a feature called “Portfolio Content Type,” adding the option to easy convert any WordPress Theme into a portfolio.
While there are some WordPress Themes that are designed for or better suited for portfolio content, with a few steps it is easy to convert any Theme into a portfolio. Here are the reference articles on creating a portfolio.
- Portfolios — Step-by-Step Guide – Support — WordPress.com
- Portfolios on WordPress.com — WordPress.com News
- Portfolio, Photography Websites and Themes Examples – WordPress.com
- 3 Easy Options for Presenting Portfolios in WordPress » ClickWP
- Custom Content Types — Jetpack for WordPress
Instructions for Exporting and Importing WordPress Content
To export the data from your WordPress.com experimental site:
- Go to your WordPress.com site.
- Go to Tools > Export
- Export XML File (save to desktop)
To import the saved file to another installation of WordPress (self-hosted) or another WordPress.com site:
- Log into the site.
- Go to Tools > Import
- Import XML file saved to desktop (or wherever).
- NOTE: Please install the WordPress Importer WordPress Plugin if you are installing to a self-hosted version of WordPress.
- Assign Authors: You may create a new author with a new login name or assign posts to an existing author on the site.
- Import Attachments: Please check Download and import file attachments. This will migrate your images, documents, and other attachment types to the new site. Without this, your images will not move with the content.
Check out your newly migrated site. Note that the design does not move to the new site. While there are Plugins that will help you in the process for a self-hosted site, you will need to reset the customization and WordPress Widgets for the new site.
For more information and tips on moving your WordPres site:
- A Step By Step Guide to Migrating Your WordPress Website To A New Web Host – WPExplorer
- Export — Support — WordPress.com
- Import — Support — WordPress.com
- How to Transfer WordPress – WordPress Migration Tutorial
- Moving WordPress « WordPress Codex
WordPress for Photographers
The following are articles and sites specializing in WordPress topics for photographers.
Remember, while there are many Themes that state they are specifically for photographers, any WordPress Theme may serve as appropriate for your needs. Look for the bones and know that you can change the colors and experiment with various site models to make the site look the way you wish to meet your own self-publishing needs.
- WP Photographers – Empowering Photographers with WordPress – Aaron Hockley
- WordPress For Photographers: Your Questions Answered
- Ten common mistakes by photographers using WordPress
- WordPress Tips & Tricks – Have Camera Will Travel
- The Ultimate Guide to Photoblogging With WordPress
- WordPress Photographer Examples: 7 Folks Doing It Right
Historical Images – Detectives and Forensics
Many expressed an interest in photography forensics, the detective work associated with researching, studying, dating, and uncovering clues about family history through photography. Here are some resources for more information.
- Forensic Genealogy Book by Colleen Fitzpatrick
- Identifinders’ Blog | We Find People
- Forensic Genealogy Explained | Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
- Forensic Genealogy: Seeing With New Eyes – Genealogy Today
- What Is Forensic Genealogy? – Archives
- Heritage Forensics – Research and Restoration
- Genealogy, Forensics and the Digital Age : NPR
- Ancestral Discoveries: 2014 Forensic Genealogy Institute a Great Learning Experience
- Photographs | History Detectives | PBS
- Photo Detective with Maureen A. Taylor
- Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries (Book)
- Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs (Book)
- More Dating Old Photographs (Book)