Main Points: Quick and Easy WordPress.com, Ben Pollock’s presentation for Fayetteville WordCamp 2012-14
Part One, the Blog, quickly
I. Folo to intro
First purpose: Re-define blog, other terms, in Sets of Two
Float around this WordCamp. If you find in the first 5 minutes of a session that the topic is not for you, move. If you’re confused, the program is too complicated for you now. If you’re bored, go be challenged. Find another one real quick. The teachers all understand and forgive you in advance.
II. Blog and Website
Ask: Who wants a blog, website, personal or for group?
Denotation: 1997 origin: Web Log: Automatic day-time stamp, for scientists and techies to see chronologies in team projects, what came and in what order. That’s the denotation of blog.
Connotation: Personal blog vs. the sleekness of a Website
WordPress and similar enterprises call themselves blog platforms. But full, conventional websites are built on them.
Meanwhile, in last 5-6 years corporate websites have added “blogs.” The tone is personal, and there’s that date-stamp.
This makes “blog” confusing.
Starting here, now, I’m going to show you how to build your own website on WordPress, that may or may not include a blog. And there’s not a thing wrong with … just a blog.
III. WordPress — There’s two of them, my 2nd Set of Twos
WordPress.org — software you download to your computer then upload to your website — when you have a website, with a domain name — that the address that ends in dot-com or dot-net. It is free, and because the software is not tethered to anything but your own website you can do what you like with it. Free but — free but you have to spend some money to have your own website — it may be around $200 a year, not much but there it is.
(Mini-twofer: Domain fee/year, Hosting/year minimum costs)
WordPress.com is a spot on the Internet — there are several places like this — that will host your website for free.
Free has a few catches at WordPress.com.
- You can’t sell space for 3rd-party Web advertising. (WordPress.com VIP program can). You can sell your own stuff, though. PayPal etc. fine. • New rule: Blogs running “paid content” / “sponsored content” are banned on .com. (Anything goes on .org, because you own it on your server.)
- There’s a limited amount of space. It’s actually a lot, 3 GB — unlimited text files & 2,500 images. But a video, even just a few seconds long, or an audio clip like an MP3 — that eats so much space you have to pay extra for the room. Or you can post to YouTube or similar free spots, then link.
- You get hit up all the time to pay for extras. Ignore!
- You can’t customize design. Unless you pay extra, then you should move over to WordPress.org — and listen carefully to the other sessions today, because customizing the code is the topic of nearly everything outside the 101 Track.
IV. Free, and Free
1. The kind of “free” where a basic element can be bait. Before the Internet, a sample perhaps was 5 percent so you’d buy 95 percent. The Internet reversed this to the “98” or “99 percent” rule. A company can offer some exclusive services for huge amounts of money then give away the rest. That is Google. That is Facebook. And that is WordPress.com‘s come-ons. WordPress.org doesn’t have those. The for-profit part of WordPress is called Automattic – with two, rather three t’s in the name.
2. aka “open-source.” Professionals and dedicated hobbyists — and I consider myself in the latter — share information voluntarily, because it helps the whole field thrive — it’s the “rising tide raises all boats” theory. Example: Walgreens & CVS, to be directly across College Avenue from one another. Example: the Internet browser Firefox. The nonprofit behind it is called Mozilla and its first effort was the browser Netscape. You paid $30 for this weekend. Sponsor underwriting funded the rest. We teachers volunteer. For over 15 hours this weekend, food and drink, and Open-source.
WordPress is not the only free website service. Also Blogger from Google. There are two major fee-based ones, Moveable Type and Typepad. Nothing of theirs is better than WordPress.
Part Two: The WordPress Twos
I. To repeat: WordPress.com and WordPress.org and … website and blog
II. Static (website files) timeless and Dynamic (blog files) – timely
III. Pages are what WordPress calls static. Posts are what WordPress calls dynamic. Posts can have categories. Pages can be parent-child in hierarchy.
If a restaurant has a website, its hours would be on a static page, but the daily special on a dynamic post. A static page is up-dateable, but generally fixed in place. A dynamic post is intended to be news, timely.
Part Three: The Demonstration
I: Account creation at WordPress.com
II. Blog creation page
• Blog address — subject to it not being taken, can be changed later but not something you want to do often — you want people to find you. It will have that dot-wordpress-dot-com after it. But for zero dollars, you get unlimited amounts for text and up to about 2,500 photographs. (to change later: Dashboard -> My Blogs (choose blog) -> Change Blog Address)
• Blog name — clear and not too long. More description in the “tagline” field. (to change blog name or tagline later: Dashboard -> Settings -> General.
• Username — Pick a sensible one, because it cannot be changed and will apply to other WordPress.com blogs.
Start with the Twenty Ten theme. It has just enough flexibility and customizability to be unique for a personal or business (and nonprofits) sites. (available in both .com and .org)
Blog Name, Tagline, then upload header photo.
IV. Dashboard. Way too many settings to list.
• Main ones: Posts, Media, Pages, Appearance, Users, Tools, Settings
(show the two dashboards — .com and .org)
Upload: About, Rules of the Game, Equipment (as “child” of Rules) and Croquet Busy-ness. And Croquet News
Show bold and ital, images and links
• These have links and images.
Dashboard -> Appearance -> Menu. To put Pages in the header.
Categories, here let’s set up Upcoming Games, Game results
VII. Static Home Page — Making a Website out of a Blog
Front Page, The ongoing Croquet Equipment sale (Croquet Busy-ness). Latest Posts, call it Croquet News
Dashboard -> Settings -> Readings -> Front Page Displays