Day 4: The Basics: Categories and Comments

As humans, we categorize so many things: our clothing, our food, our friends, and even our coffee (I’m drinking some decaf, fair trade, fresh ground coffee now!). We also like to comment on anything and everything:-).

Reason

Breaking your content down into categories will allow you more flexibility on rendering that content on the front end for users. You also want a way for people to give you feedback in a way that is easy and fun for them to do so.

Recipe

Go to another blog or website and leave a comment. Notice two things:
1. Do you need to sign in OR is there a comment program or plugin that they are using?
2. Is there discussion going on in the comments or is the content pretty much comment free?

Resource

One great way to make sure you’re only getting comments from reputable sources (i.e., NOT spam) is to install a comments plugin (we’ll talk about installing plugins later). Two popular plugins are Disqus and Livefyre Feel free to install one of these or find another that you like!

Questions

Do you typically leave comments on posts or articles you read? What kind of things do you say? Do you already use something like Disqus or Livefyre?

Day 3: The Basics: Your First Page

If the post is the fresh and dynamic content, the page is the foundation and static portion of your site. Pages inform and typically or more general than posts. Typical pages are titled About, Resources, Services, Portfolio, and Contact Us.

Reason

You don’t always want your content updated in a “tumblog” fashion. Pages allow for static content that informs and directs people to take action. These are the parts of your website you will update the least.

Recipe

Create your about page!

What can you say about yourself?

Don’t forget to include a picture or video! They are worth a thousand words:-)!

Resource

Since the assigned topic was to write an About Page, I thought I’d include a podcast conversation about About Pages Check out this podcast discussion on About Pages.

Questions

How does the idea that your “About Page should be about your audience” strike you? Counter-intuitive? Fake? A great move? Let me know!

Day 2: The Basics: Your First Post

We all want a website for different reasons: blogging, content management, display our portfolio, put a professional foot forward, etc. Here is how to create your first post.

Reason

More and more, blogs and new posts are becoming a central way to update your audience and keep your website fresh with content. Fresh content is great for maintaining your crowd’s interest, as well as helpful for SEO purposes.

Recipe

Now, create your first post! It could be about anything.

For bonus points: create 5 different posts, all around one subject. Publish one immediately, and set the other four to be scheduled to go out, one per week.

Congrats! You already have a month of blogging done!:-)

Resource

If you’re wanting to blog, two GREAT resources of articles are THE article on “How to NOT Suck at Blogging” and a series on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog

Questions

What did you write about in your first post?
Did you use other media besides writing? Let me know!

Day 1: The Basics: General Settings and Permalinks in WordPress

“The beginning is always today.”
― Mary Shelley

Getting Started Off Right

This assumes that you have installed your WordPress software on your self-hosted website. You can also use these tutorials on your WordPress.com account, though some of the functions will be a little different.

If you need help installing the WP software on your site, let me know. However, I’ve made some tutorials on how to use a typical “one-click” WordPress install here Check those out first.

Reason

BEFORE we start posting or creating any content, it’s important to go in and get some basic settings arranged so that your website can get started on the good foot!

Recipe

If you only change one thing in your settings, change the Permalink structure. This will make your urls prettier, and helps with SEO in various ways.

Resource

Check out the latest updates on WordPress software straight from the source: the WordPress.org Blog

Questions

What questions do you have about settings?
Is there anything you would change that I didn’t cover? Let me know!

21 Days to WordPress Proficiency: An Introduction

21DaysToWordPress

What is Your Situation?

Do you have a WordPress based website but you feel like you don’t know where to begin? 
21 Days to WordPress Proficiency will take you from the initial install of your site to installing plugins, do basic customizations in HTML and CSS, and, most importantly, allow you to be a self-educating and proficient WordPress user in 21 days.

The Plan

This plan’s main goal is to educate you about the basic WordPress  functions, and provide the resources and get you in the habit of exploring everything the WordPress community has to offer so that you can be proficient with your WordPress website as quickly as possible.
For ever day, there will be a Reason (“why are you learning this?”), a Recipe (“how tos”) and a Resource (“Where to find more information”).It’s a series of 5 minute screen cast videos that walk you through everything you need to know about setting up your site, publishing your first post, and finding themes and plugins.
WordPress is a VERY powerful platform, and there’s a ton you can do with it.
Have fun! That’s the point, isn’t it?
–Nate

**Videos are best viewed on a desktop/laptop device. YouTube videos will be available soon!Photo Creds:
Photo Creds:
Gal at computer from Victor1558.
Official WordPress logo.