WordPress Custom Menus

Using the basic WordPress set up allows you to have pages appear on your site as a menu. Most themes do this by default. When you look at a WordPress Theme (which is the default for new sites), pages appear across the screen below the large graphic header. Any new page you create will appear there as well.

But what if you want to have a menu that includes posts, categories, Internet sites or even documents? Or maybe you don’t want to have all the pages show up on the menu. That’s where WordPress Custom Menus comes in. Here’s a very quick How-To on using this feature of WordPress.

To create a custom menu:

1. In the Dashboard scroll down to Appearance and then click on Menus.

2. Click on the + tab just above Menu Name in the top-middle of the screen.

3. Give the menu a name and click Save Menu.

4. On the left-hand side of the screen you can select from existing pages on your site by putting a check next to one or more pages then click on Add to Menu. You can also add a post as a menu item. How cool is that?!

5. You can add custom links by entering a URL and giving the link a name. Click on Add to Menu and you’ll see your link appear on the menu.

6. You can order your menu items by dragging them up or down to reposition them.

7. Be sure to click Save Menu before proceeding.

To add your  new menu to your site:

1. Click on Widgets under Appearance in the Dashboard.

2. Find the Widget area where you’d like the menu to appear. Open that Widget area and drag the Custom Menu Widget to that area.

3. Select the menu you’d like to use (assuming you have more than one), give it a name and save it.

Now you’re all set. Go to your site and see what chaos you have wrought!

Quick Edit from the Dashboard

In WordPress version 4.2.2 you can make changes to widgets and see the changes in real time. Here’s what it looks like:



Select the widget from the list on the left, then make any edits you want. Save at the top of the sidebar and click the “X” to close. It is as easy as that. And the beauty of this feature is that you see the changes you make in real time before you save and commit to the changes. Here’s a quick video snippet so you can see what it looks like:


Tip of the Week: HTML Code Part 2

Okay, you saw how easy it was to plop a picture in a sidebar. Text is even easier. Let’s say you want to add something like this:

Big Book Sale Wednesday!
Follow this link to sign up for this week’s Book Sale drawing. You could win an iPad!
Book Sale Drawing

Using the post editor, you can underline, make text bold, and make the font a bit larger. You can also add a link without writing a speck of HTML coding. Once you like what you’ve created, click on the Text tab to see the HTML code that WordPress created:

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong> Big Book Sale Wednesday!
</strong></span>Follow this link to sign up for this week’s Book Sale drawing. You could win an iPad!
<a href=”http://www.bethel.k12.or.us/clearlake”>Book Sale Drawing</a>

As we did in the last post, copy that HTML code and go to the Dashboard > Appearance and >Widgets. Drag a Text Widget to the Primary or Secondary Widget area. Paste in the HTML code. But before you save it, make sure to check the box “Automatically add paragraphs”. Save your widget and view your site. Your HTML code will look something like this on your front page:


WordPress 3.8 is Here!

ectoplasmAll Bethel School District WordPress sites have been upgraded to version 3.8. Although there aren’t a lot of dramatic changes with 3.8, the Dashboard has had a real makeover. You’ll find the Dashboard has a much more intuitive look and feel with new color schemes, better fonts and a more dramatic contrast.

You can even customize the color of your Dashboard. You have a choice of nine different color schemes. You can select a new scheme by logging in and clicking on “Your Profile” under “Users” at the far left of the Dashboard. Give Ectoplasm a try or maybe you’d favor Ocean or Sunrise.

WordPress 3.8 gives users a better experience with tablets and phones. No matter how your users are viewing your site, WordPress will format to match screen size and resolution.

The new WordPress default theme, 2014, is the most elegant yet. It provides a magazine-like experience for users and is very customizable.

Widgets have also gotten a new look with a compact layout and easier ways to edit. You can now just tap a Widget to add it to a sidebar, header or footer.

Have questions about version 3.8 or anything WordPress, just post a comment below.


Adding RSS Feeds to your Blog

One nice way to create community with WordPress is by adding RSS feeds from other bloggers. RSS stands for real simple syndication. An RSS feed lets you show another person’s blog on your blog.  With Bethel users this might be colleagues’ blogs; but you might know a principal in Beaverton or a national education figure who are bloggers. Here’s how to set up an RSS feed showing the latest blog entry on your sidebar:

1. Go to your Dashboard and scroll down to and click on Widgets (under Appearance).
2. Drag the RSS Feed widget to the side bar.
3. Enter the URL of the WordPress site (or other blog) you’d like to display. If this is a Bethel WordPress site, the URL would be:


Replace “user_name” with the Bethel blogger’s user id. That id will show up in the address window at the top of your screen when you are viewing her blog. For all but the newest of employees, this would be the first letter of their first name and their last name (e.g., pburrows). For brand new employees, this would be their first and last names written together (e.g., danamiller).
4. Decide how many posts to show for each (the default is 10, but 1 makes the list shorter) and whether or not to show the whole post. By default you will just see the post title.
5. Save the Widget settings and then close the Widget.

Repeat steps 1 to 5 for the next blogger you’d like to include.

Need assistance? Just ask: Email Tim or call 541-517-4911.