Documentation:WordPress Blogs for Beginners

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Creative Commons Attributions License: Search Engine People Blog, Blog With Authenticity without Getting Fired

Introduction

Session Objectives
Upon completion of this workshops, participants will be able to:
- Create a basic webspace
- Create and add pages and post, categories and tags, images and multimedia
- Customize the appearance of the webspace

What is a Blog?

A weblog, or "blog", is really a webspace on the Web. Weblogs cover as many different topics, and express as many opinions, as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential, some have enormous readership, some are university course websites, while others are mainly intended for a close circle of family and friends.



A WordPress webspace is made up of basic elements: pages, posts, categories, and tags. Understanding the difference between a page and a post is core to understanding WordPress. A page and a post are both a collection of paragraphs and look almost identical. Pages form the basic information about a site, such as “About the Author” or “Contact Information.” 

 A page is on a topic and there is one page on that topic. A user views pages one at a time. A post is like a collection of pages. A post belongs to a category. A site has multiple posts about each category. In my site, I have a category called “Articles.” As I post an article, I categorize it under Articles. This enables a viewer to see my articles by clicking on the category “Articles.” A user can view a single or multiple posts at a time. A post is time sensitive, reflecting when it was written with the most recent shown first. The more website-like a blog is, the more posts it will have. Pages are website-like, posts are blog-like.

Where Can I get a Blog or Webspace?

Examples

  • Worldwide Examples of Wordpress sites:
  1. http://magazine.wsj.com/
  2. http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/
  3. http://www.rollingstone.com/
  • UBC Examples:
  1. http://blogs.ubc.ca/dean/
  2. http://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522/
  3. http://blogs.ubc.ca/phar330/
  4. http://efolio.educ.ubc.ca/whyandhow/
  5. http://leap.ubc.ca

Brainstorming Activity - Define the Purpose of Your Site

Write down some of the possible reasons why you want a WordPress site and ultimately whatyou hope to accomplish with your site. Discuss your strategy with your colleague and share your ideas with the group.

Pages and Posts: Two ways of displaying content on your site

WordPress employs two fundamental content types: pages and posts. These content types behave quite differently and therefore it is important to understand when to create a page or a post.

Pages are static. They are a good way to publish information that doesn’t change much, like an "About" or "Contact Us" page. Pages are usually linked from the main navigation bar on the Homepage.

Posts are dynamic. Posts are always associated with a date and are really meant to update your audience.

Some key differences:

  • Posts are:
  1. dynamic (you may create a couple of Posts a day!)
  2. displayed in reverse chronological order (placing the most recent content at the top of the page)
  3. can be assigned tags and categories (helps with search engines!)
  4. meant for updating your audience
  5. are syndicated via RSS
  • Pages are:
  1. static content that will not change - or very, rarely anyways (Examples are 'About Me', 'Contact Me', 'Services', etc.)
  2. not related to categories or tags
  3. do not appear in RSS feeds
  4. may have sub-pages (this gives the appearance of a more traditional website)


Examples of Pages and Posts

Portfolio Community of Practice Site
Communicating Science Blog

Activity 2: Creating pages and posts

Using the WordPress Basics 1 guide, create pages and posts for your site. Refer to your brainstorming worksheet when planning the overall layout.

Customizing your Site: Themes, and Widgets

WordPress Themes

  • Can provide control over the look and presentation of the material on your webspace.
  • Changing your WordPress Theme does not impact the content of your site only the header image and widgets.
  • Themes to try out:
  • Coraline, Twenty-ten: Have the most flexibility and functionality of the UBC Blog themes
  • Neutra 0.3.3, White as Milk 1.0: Examples of minimal themes
  • Monotone 1.1: Photoblogging theme

Widgets

A Sidebar “Widget” is a term that WordPress has chosen to describe the sidebars on your webspace. Widgets are things you can add to your webspace to make it more interesting, such as a calendar, links to your favorite websites, a search feature, a tag cloud, and so much more!

  • Widget examples
  • Text widget: Allows for HLTML and text to be added to your sidebar
  • Category widget: Displays your pages
  • Tag cloud widget: Displays your tags
  • RSS widget: Aggregate RSS feeds into your site
  • Calendar
 widget: Creates a calendar in your sidebar linking to the date that each post was created on

Privacy

The Privacy Settings control your webspace visibility to search engines like Google. You can decide if you would like your blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines or not. If you don't want your blog available to the search engines you can block search engines, but allow normal visitors to see your site.

Privacy Settings

  • I would like my site to be visible to everyone including search engines
  • I would like to block search engines but allow normal visitors
  • I would like my site to be visible only to registered network users
  • I would like my site to be available only to site subscribers
  • I would like my site to be available only to site administrators.



Resources