Tips for working with your WordPress site

THere’s some basic information to get you started putting up posts and pages on your WordPress site

Posts and pages

The basic building blocks of a WordPress site are “posts” and “pages”. They are basically the same kind of thing (short documents) but

The difference between pages and posts is basically…

  • Pages are for stable, semi-permanent information that is part of the structure of a web site — things like information about the club, information about when and where you play, contact information, and off-site links. The kind of stuff that never changes, or changes only rarely.
  • Posts are for less permanent, time-dependent information — pictures of a specific past event, announcements of upcoming events, and so on. For an announcement of an upcoming event, you can write a new post, and it can include basic information, registration procedures, cost, date & time, directions, maps, and links to things like Google maps. And when the event is over, you can just delete the post with the announcement.

So… how does one create (or edit, or delete) a page or a post?

Here’s a screenshot of what you’re probably seeing when you log in.

wordpress_dashboard

If you want to add a new post or modify an existing post , click on “Posts”. That will show you a list of options, including “All Posts” (shows a list of all posts and allows you to edit one) and “Add new” (which allows you to add a new post).

If you want to add a new page or modify an existing page, click on “Pages”. That will show you a list of options, including “All pages” (shows a list of all pages and allows you to edit one) and “Add new” (which allows you to add a new page).

Writing text for a page or a post

When you get to editing, you pretty much just write text and then save it.

There are two interfaces to the editor — that is, two different ways to view what you’re writing as you write it. They are called “text” and “visual” and you can switch between them by clicking on the “text” and “visual” tabs.

wordpress_edit_dialog

  • visual – this is a “What You See Is What You Get” interface.  In it, the text looks like something you’d see in a word processor like Microsoft Word.  If you want to bold some text like John Smith, first highlight it with your mouse, then click on the “B” tab (at the top tool bar) and the text will become bolded.
  • text – this is a lower-level interface where you see what’s going on “under the covers”.   For example, something that looks like John Smith in the visual editor will look like <b>John Smith</b>, where <b> means “start bolded text” and </b> means “end bolded text”.   The text interface gives you more control, but it also requires more computer knowledge to use.

When you’re finished editing, scroll down until you see the blue UPDATE button.  Click it and you’ve published your page or post.

Useful trick – how to add a picture

It is easy to embed an image (a picture, a photo, a drawing) in a page or post.

First, use your mouse and click on the place in your post where you want to insert the image.

Then, in the toolbar at the top, click on the Add Media button.  You will first be asked to upload the image from your computer.  Then you will be asked how you want to insert it into you post (aligned left, right, or centered… sized small, medium, or big… with or without a caption).   Once you’ve done that, if you don’t like the result, you can simply delete the image from your post and then go to Add Media and insert it again with a different alignment, size, or whatever.  (You won’t have to upload it from your computer again, though.)

Useful trick – how to add a link to another web site.

First, write your post.  Include the words that the user should click on.  For instance, you might write

I’ve been reading about Egyptian mythology lately, and find it very interesting.

Then, in another window,open the Egyptian web site, and Copy its web address.  (Highlight the web address, and then press CONTROL+C).

Switch back to the window with the WordPress editor, and highlight the words “Egyptian mythology” and then (in the toolbar at the top) click on the little icon that looks sort of like a paperclip (a link in a chain?).  It will pop up a little dialog box and you can paste your link (perhaps http://www.egyptianmyths.net) in.  And you will get

I’ve been reading about Egyptian mythology lately, and find it very interesting.

You can use this technique for posting links to Google maps into your post.  That’s useful if you want to tell people about where you play, or give them a map to the location of some event.

Useful trick – how to put a screen shot into a post

If you want to capture screen shots and put an image into a post, there is a very useful – and widely-used, and free, and safe and trust-worthy — utility that I highly recommend.  It is called Greenshot and you can download it free from http://getgreenshot.org/

Once you download and install it, you can grab screenshots whenever you want, save them as image files, and then upload them an insert them into one of your posts.  You can even add simple graphics to the screenshots, such as text and circles and arrows.  I used Greenshot to create the screenshots at the top of this post.


That should be enough to get you started.  The important thing is just to play around and try a lot of things.  It is almost impossible to break anything important, so don’t be afraid.  Just try a lot of things… play around with them and see what they do.  

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to do just about anything you want to do.  And if you keep playing, you’ll learn new tricks, and pretty soon you’ll be able to do more than just the basics.  You’ll be able to do some fancy stuff too.


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