WordPress Blog Training June 2010

8  to 8:30 Introduction to Web 2.0 Applications (Tim)
Slide presentation/discussion

8:30 to 9:00 Blogging in the Classroom -Overview (Erin)
Slide presentation/discussion


9:15 to 10 Introduction to WordPress (Tim)
Logging in to WordPress
Basic setup

10 to 11 Setting up the Classroom Blog (Erin/Tim)
Selecting a template
Adding links
Creating pages and creating and adding content (Google Documents and presentations)


11:15 to 12:30 Refining the Blog Setup (Tim)
Eliminating spam
All about Plugins and Widgets

12:30 to 1 Finding Online Help with WordPress
Atomic Learning


8 to 8:30 Review and Questions (Erin/Tim)

8:30 to 10 Adding Content (Erin/Tim)
Photo Galleries
Email notification
Adding Users, Editors, and Publishers

10 to 12:30 Refining your Blog
Independent work on adding content and functionality

12:30  to 1 What’s Next?

Uploading Files

If you would like to use WordPress to manage links to PDFs, Word documents or other files, here are the steps:

1. Create or locate the PDF or other document.

2. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.

3. Open a new post/page or edit an existing post/page.

4. Click on Add Media at the top left of the edit window.

6. Click on the Upload Files tab, click Select Files and find your PDF to upload.

7. Once the file is uploaded (and it is smaller than 2 megabyte) copy the  URL (Web address on the right and close this window (X in upper-right). Don’t click insert into page.

9. Type in the words you want to use for the link to your PDF (e.g., “December Newsletter”).

10. Highlight those words and click on the chain link icon in your tool bar.

11. Right click and paste the File URL you copied. Click the white arrow in the blue box and then click Publish or Update to save your changes.

Click View Post at the top of the screen to admire your link and test it out!

All-Time Favorite Spam Comment

And here is my all-time favorite spam comment:

“Superbly written article, if only all website owners offered the same quality information as you, the internet would be a far better place. Please keep it up! Cheers.”

Recognizing Spam

WordPress, being as popular as it is, has a downside: It collects a lot of spammers. Spam comes in the form of comments to your blog. Spammers hope you’ll approve their comments because spammers leave their Web address in the comment giving their Web site more traffic.

There are four things you can do:

1. Install appropriate plugins that will eliminate most of the spam. In your Bethel Blogs you can activate a plugin called Akismet. Simply by activating this plugin most of the spam will never reach you.

2. Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks. You can do this by going to your dashboard, scrolling down to Settings >Discussions and then unchecking the second box (“Allow notification from other blogs”).

3. Although you want legitimate comments, if you create a post where you don’t want comments, be sure to turn off comments for that particular posting. You can do this by scrolling to the bottom of your post in the edit mode and unchecking “Allow Comments”.

4. And finally, recognize spam when you see it. If you don’t recognize the name of the person commenting and the email address isn’t familiar, it is likely spam. The most telling sign is spammers try to make it sound like they read your blog, when in reality it is likely an Internet robot madly posting all over the place. The comments are generic and often sound like this:

“Thanks for taking the time to post this.”
“Dear admin, thnx for sharing this blog post. I found it wonderful. Best regards, Victoria…”

At first you might feel flattered that someone is reading your post. Once you’ve seen a few of the spam comments, you’ll be able to delete them (or better yet), mark them as spam as you delete them. I wait until I have a few and then go in and delete them as a group.

If you have questions or comments about this post, add a comment unless, of course, you’re a robot in which case I hope your joints rust.

WordPress: Two Words Capital P

I love WordPress. I currently have five WordPress blogs even though I don’t have enough to say to fill even one. I’m like a kid in a software candy story. Okay, I admit it: I even made WordPress t-shirts. To know WordPress is to love it. Here are the top 10 reasons you’ll love WordPress too:

10. Anyone can learn to use it. I can teach someone to use WordPress in 20 minutes and they’d be happy as a clam blogging away for years.

9. It is open-source. That means it is free.

8. WordPress is a Web-based application so it doesn’t run on your computer. There is no software to download and manage. You can go to a number of Web sites and set up your blog in minutes for free.

7. It’s complicated, but only if you want it to be. The beauty of WordPress is its flexibility. It can be used by the total Web novice or the high end user. There is enough to WordPress to keep the most avid techie engaged.

6. Themes galore! Unlike BlogSpot, you aren’t confined to a limited number of themes and functions. There are hundreds of free themes to download and use. And you can change themes with a click of the mouse.

5. It doesn’t have to look like a blog. WordPress is so flexible that you can make it look (and work) like a Web page but with the ease of managing a blog. You get the best of both worlds. Continue reading

Adding a Photo Gallery

Here’s how to add a photo (or any image) gallery to a WordPress post or page:

1. Create a new post or page.

2. Enter text if there is a story that will accompany the photos.

3. Place the cursor where you’d like the photo gallery to appear.  In this example we’ll place four images across the post (or four columns) and  below this text Press Enter to  put the cursor on a line by itself.

4. Next click on the Add Image icon at the top of the post window.

5. Select the tab where your images are located. In this case they are on my computer.

6. Hold the control key down and select the images (two to as many as you want).  Click Open.

7. Once images load, click on Show next to each image if you wish to add a caption or edit the picture.

8. Set the number of gallery columns and click on Save.

9. Publish the post. The results should look something like this:

Word Press Tip o’ the Week

If you run across an html widget you’d like to install, or any legitimate html code for that matter,  and would like to install it as a Widget in WordPress, here are the steps:

1. Copy the embed code for the widget.
2. Go to your WordPress dashboard and, under Appearance, click on Widgets.
3. Drag the Text Widget to the side bar.
4. Paste the embed code into the Text Widget window, save and close.
5. The widget should now show up on your blog.

Welcome to Bethel Blogs

Bethel School District is now using WordPress  blogging software. This dynamic, yet easy-to-use program is available to all Bethel staff members. Creating your blog is a snap! You are required to take a one hour training to ensure that you have the requisite skills to manage your blog.  Watch this space or your email for future trainings.