WordPress

Earth and Sun Quiz

Now that you have watched the Khan Academy Scale of Earth and Sun video, you’re ready to take the quiz to see how close you were paying attention. Although Khan Academy provides some practice activities, having the quiz and video on your WordPress site keeps your audience focused right here. This quiz is a Google Docs form. So you will see the results in a Google Spreadsheet.

What’s in a Post Name?

Apparently not commas. Depending on how you have WordPress configured (see below), using a comma, period or perhaps some other punctuation marks in your post name will break the link to the post. It seems to be just good practice not to use a comma or period in your post title and to avoid any unnecessary marks as well including colons, quotation marks and slashes.

To see how you have WordPress set up to create the links to your posts (and pages):

1. Go to the Dashboard and click on Settings.
2. Under Settings click on Permalinks.
3. If you have Permalinks set to include the name of your post, either change it to some other format, or be cautious when creating post titles and avoid unnecessary punctuation.

Two more suggestion:

1. Make each post name unique. Having all your posts named “Room 25 Newsletter” doesn’t say anything about the content of the post and it doesn’t help user find posts when searching.

2. Make post names short but expressive. Using action verbs in the name makes it more interesting. A post name of “Science Projects” might be improved with “Science Projects Dazzle Parents”. The name for this post might have been “Commas Can Break Your Links”.

Make 2012 the Year of WordPress

Welcome back to school! The Chinese New Year is January 23 and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. Let’s make our 2012 the Year of WordPress and make updating your WordPress site your new year’s resolution. The timing couldn’t be better. WordPress 3.3, the newest version, is now installed on your site. Check out all the new features. And we now have over 30 themes for teachers to choose from including these new ones:

Paradise
Ink Spots
Pink Chalk
Astronomy
Blue Header
Learning Tree
Mustang
Technology

Look for these two WordPress workshops when you receive this month’s Bethel Training Opportunities email:

WordPress Dr0p-In: Stop by to get your questions answered or learn a new WordPress skill. Stay for 10 minutes or the whole 90 minutes.

WordPress Next Steps: Get step-by-step instructions on how to add some great WordPress features to your site including videos, picture galleries, widgets and plugins,  embedded Google Docs,  posts sent to your email list and much more.

Use the search box at the top left on this page to find other posts that give you step-by-step instructions for a variety of WordPress skills.

Questions? Comments? Ask or share by clicking on the “Leave Comment” link at the bottom of this post.

 

WordPress 3.3 Brings New Functionality

WordPress 3.3 is here and all Bethel WordPress sites have been upgraded to the new version. Here is a quick overview of changes that you’ll want to look for:

File Type Detection

We’ve streamlined things! Instead of needing to click on a specific upload icon based on your file type, now there’s just one. Once your file is uploaded, the appropriate fields will be displayed for entering information based on the file type.

Drag-and-Drop Media Uploader

Adding photos or other files to posts and pages just got easier. Drag files from your desktop and drop them into the uploader. Add one file at a time, or many at once.

Flyout Menus

Speed up navigating the dashboard and reduce repetitive clicking with our new flyout submenus. As you hover over each main menu item in your dashboard navigation, the submenus will magically appear, providing single-click access to any dashboard screen.

Header + Admin Bar = Toolbar

To save space and increase efficiency, we’ve combined the admin bar and the old Dashboard header into one persistent toolbar. Hovering over the toolbar items will reveal submenus when available for quick access.

Adding an Insert More Tag

If your post is rather long and would require the reader to scroll to continue reading, you might consider adding an “Insert More” tag to jump to the full story. Here’s how:

1. Compose your post then find the point where you’d like the jump to occur. Place the cursor there. If you have a picture or graphic with your post, put the “Insert More” tag at least below the picture so it stays on the front page.

2. Move to the edit window menu bar and click on the “Insert More” button. You’ll see the line appear where the cursor is blinking.

3. Publish or Update your post and then view the post to see how it looks. Not where you want the “Insert More” tag?

Continue reading

WordPress Next Steps

WORKSHOP AGENDA

1. What are widgets and plugins?
2. Akismet Spam Blocker
3. Subscribe2
4. Managing Comments
5. Uploading PDFs to WordPress

Helpful How-Tos

1. How do I add a single image to a post?

2. H0w do I resize an image?

2. H0w do I add a video to a post?

3. H0w do I add a  Google Document?

4. How do I add a Google form (survey or test) to a post?

5. H0w do I add a table to a post or page?

6. How do I add a Google Slide Show to a Post?

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 the 2011 WordPress Theme (which is the default for new sites), pages appear across the screen below the large graphic header. Any new page you add 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!

Tip of the Week: Adding a Table

Sometimes one column just isn’t enough. You might have a list of 20 things to add to your post like some links you want students to use for a project. Putting them in one long column isn’t a very good use of space. You can add a table to a post in several ways:

1. By far the easiest way is to simply cut and paste these 9 lines of HTML code into you post with the HTML tab active. Then switch back to the Visual tab and you’ll see that your table is ready for entry:

<table style=”text-align: left; width: 590px; height: 32px;”
border=”0″ cellpadding=”2″ cellspacing=”2″>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td align=”left” valign=”top”></td>
<td align=”left” valign=”top”></td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>

Your table should look like this:

MS NBC News
ABC News
LA Times
The Nation
New York Times
 News Hour Extra
Front Pages from Around the World

You can adjust the width of the table by clicking on the HTML tab and changing the width to a smaller or larger number depending on the size of the center column of your site.

2. A second way to create a table in a WordPress post is to use the plugin WP Table Reloaded. Although this plugin takes a bit more effort than using the HTML code, it also provides a few more bells and whistles. You can see an example of the WP Table Reloaded plug in at List of Bethel Bloggers. WP Table Reload is a plugin ready for you to activate in all Bethel Blogs.

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