Beginning WordPress New Beginning

Beginning WordPress has been dormant for quite some time as I’ve been too busy to keep it up.  That’s one of the big problems with Blogging.  Real Life tends to get in the way. New Theme – Divi from Elegant Themes As part of the relaunch of the site, I’ve gone ahead and installed a new theme.  I still love Elegant Themes due to the variety of choices available, and the theme I’ve just installed, Divi, promises to be the best of the batch.  Filled with ways to customize it, I think this will be a fun theme to work with.  Now all I have to do is learn the darn thing… Coming Soon – Updated How-To Guide The how-to guide on this site is a bit dated.  For the most part all of the steps are the same to get started with WordPress, but the graphics are no longer current.  I’m going to try and get those straightened out in the next few weeks.  I still endorse the same companies that I’ve been doing business with since I started, namely NameCheap and HostGator.  I’ve been with them three years now and have not had any problems. While the site was a good, high-level guide it lacked both depth and breadth.  I’m going to try and rectify that with good, beginner-level articles that tackle one small thing at a time.  If the servings are bite-sized, then they should be more useful.  If we wanted to search through pages and pages of techno-speak, we’d buy a book, right? Enjoy and let me know what you think!...

Manually Updating WordPress Themes

Manually Updating WordPress Themes If you use a theme that is not from WordPress.org you will end up having to update that theme manually.  This includes basically every premium theme that you can get, including the excellent ones I get from ElegantThemes.  Luckily, this is a simple process that can be accomplished without any special technical skills. How to Automatically Update A Theme Part of the magic of WordPress is that it enables people with very little technical training to produce very professional websites by automating much of the work involved.  Automatic updates are a godsend as they enable webmasters to keep their site’s components up to date with a few clicks.  Having spent 20 years working with computers professionally, I must say that this is the largest labor saving innovation that I’ve seen and I love it. If you have a WordPress theme that can be automatically updated you would simply click the box indicated in the photo to the left by arrow #1, and then click the Update button indicated by arrow #2.  Bing, zam, boom.  Your theme gets updated lickedy split. If you do this with a theme that cannot be automatically updated, you will see a screen like the one pictured to the right.  Simply click the Return to Theme Page link circled in pink.  That will take you to the WordPress Themes page. The WordPress Themes page is the control center for managing your themes.  Through it you can install, delete, and switch your themes with a few clicks.  And indeed, through it you can manually update your WordPress theme. How to Manually Update...

What are Breadcrumbs in WordPress?

Breadcrumbs in WordPress I have been blogging for a few years now and have wondered the entire time,”What the heck are breadcrumbs?  Can they make my blogs better?”  Clearly they aren’t required for a WordPress blog, but can they make a WordPress blog better? What are Breadcrumbs? Simply put, breadcrumbs enable you to put a navigation aid at the top of your page.  When you see at the top of a webpage such as: Home –> Articles –> WordPress –> What are Breadcrumbs in WordPress you are seeing a trail of breadcrumbs. Beginning WordPress does not use breadcrumbs because the site navigation in so flat that they are not needed, but if your site has a complicated navigational structure they can be very useful to your readers. How to Implement Breadcrumbs in WordPress The simple answer is get yourself a plugin.  You could write some code into your site’s functions.php file (or find some online that somebody else has posted), put I am a fan of plugins because they are so easy for a non-technical person to implement.  A search on WordPress.org for “breadcrumbs” reveals 89 results!  That’s a lot of choices. You may already have a plugin that does breadcrumbs as sometimes this gets added in as extra functionality.  I personally use the Yoast SEO plugin (not an advertisement for the plugin, that’s just what I use), which has the functionality built in.  So if I wanted to implement them for this page I would literally go and click a check box, define the character(s) that separate layers of the navigation (such as the –> I put in...

Why use WordPress? Because it is Simple and Good!

What is WordPress? Per the WordPress.org website, “WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog.”  But what does that mean really? WordPress is a piece of software that handles all the hard parts of creating and maintaining a website for you.  In the old days, a person basically had to be a programmer to create web pages.  Every single thing that appeared on a website was manually coded in HTML (HyperText Markup Language), and woe unto you if you made a serious mistake, such as forgetting a semicolon.  Nowadays?  If you so desire you can concentrate on creating a great website and leave all the grunt-work to WordPress. Technically speaking, WordPress is a content management system using PHP and mySQL to manage all the bits and bobs that go into a website.  There are several others out there, but I believe that WordPress is the most widely adopted.  It allows a writer to create content, manage pictures and other media, and wrap it all up so that anybody with an internet connection can access it. Why Use WordPress? While there are several other similar platforms out there, there are a few advantages to using WordPress.  Since is has such a large user base, and is open source software, the entire user community can create extensions (themes, widgets and plugins, which I’ll get to later) vastly increasing the capabilities of the base software.  This website, at the time of writing this article, uses over a dozen plugins to automate some of the management or extending the capabilities of the base system. Easy to Install Having...

Changing the Font Color of Your WordPress Blog

Altering the font color of your blog is one of the fastest ways to customize it.  Depending on your chosen theme, this can be very simple. Changing the Font Color of Your WordPress Blog I use Elegant Themes due to the variety of themes at a reasonable price and the uniformity of the user interface.  This example holds true for Elegant Themes themes, but your theme is likely to be slightly different. With any theme you install, including the WordPress default, there is a default font color.  Often times the theme developer selects something that looks good and gives the theme a unified flavor, as did this blog’s theme which is from Elegant Themes.  However, colors selected by others may look really good but may not be precisely what you want for your blog.  If you have a good theme, changing the color should be no problem at all. In my several different blogs I use different themes from Elegant Themes because they all have the same interface, which makes it very simple to customize the sites.  If your theme does not have an option like I describe below you will need to edit the CSS file to alter your font color, which is how I personally did it before discovering the right way to do it.  However, if your theme requires you to jump through the hoops of editing your CSS file get a new one.  The default WordPress theme does not have theme options to change the font color, so you’re stuck editing the CSS if you use the default theme. First, as shown in the image...

Using Permalinks in WordPress

WordPress uses ugly URLs by default as your post addresses.  Using permalinks greatly improves access and searchability of your posts. Why to Use Permalinks in WordPress WordPress is setup to use your page and post ID when referring to a particular post or page.  This post could be BeginningWordpress.com/?p=99 as an example.  If you look at the actual page address, it is actually BeginningWordpress.com/using-permalinks-in-wordpress/.  The main benefit of using permalinks is that they help search engines understand what your post or page is about.  Permalinks use the title of your page as part of their web address making them easier to find and categorize. How to Implement Permalinks in WordPress Turning permalinks on is quick and painless.  To do so, simply: 1.  Select the “Settings” option from the WordPress menu at the left of the screen as circled in the image to the right.  Remember that your menu may differ from mine depending on what plugins you have installed. 2.  Select the “Permalinks” option in the submenu that opens as shown in the image to the left.  Again, remember that your menu may differ from mine depending on which plugins you have installed. 3.  Select the format you wish your permalinks to have from the options, as shown in the image below (click any of the images to enlarge them). The first option is the WordPress default.  The URL is simply your blog site and the page or post number.  Simple, but it gives no useful information. The next two options enable you to put a time stamp into your URL.  I don’t like this option as it adds...

Scheduling a Blog Post Using WordPress

Sometimes when blogging you have several great ideas at once, and other times you have none.  By scheduling your posts you can smooth out your production and insure a steady flow of interesting posts for your readers. How to Schedule a Post Using WordPress There are days when you can sit and write five posts, and then there are sometimes weeks where you cannot think of anything worthwhile to write.  By scheduling posts you can write all you want when your muse inspires you and set them up to post at a later date. Step 1: Write Your Post Clearly you need to begin by writing a post. Step 2:  Alter Publishing Method Look at the menu items on the right side of the post editing page.  Yours may not look exactly the same as mine because of various plugins that you or I may have. One of the sections of menu options is labeled “Publish”.  Within that section there is an option with a little calendar symbol that says “Publish immediately Edit“. Click the “Edit” link on your menu page (not on this page – the  “Edit“s on this page are not actually links to anything). Step 3:  Select Publication Date and Time When you click on the “Edit” link, a new box opens up allowing you to set the date and time to publish your post.  Simply select the Month from the dropdown list, the date and the year, and set the time if you would like. Click the “OK” button. Step 4:  Schedule The last thing that you need to do is be sure to click...

Using Widgets

Widgets are a great feature of WordPress that enable you to quickly add functionality to all of your pages.  With their drag and drop simplicity, you can often accomplish in just a few minutes a change that will enhance your whole site.  The best part?  You don’t need to write a single line of code. What is a WordPress Widget? A WordPress Widget is a small plug-in piece of code that enables you simply implement certain things into your webpage.  Want to add a bit of text to every page of your site?  Put it into a widget.  Want to include a search function on your site?  Use a widget.  Want to give users quick access to your archives?  Use a widget. Now while widgets are small bits of code, you do not need to know any code to use them.  You just find one that does what you want and then use the WordPress Widgets option under the Appearance menu item to get to a drag and drop interface.  Drag, drop, and then customize if you want to.  Done. Where Does One Obtain WordPress Widgets? WordPress comes with a number of widgets included by default, but you can obtain more on the internet.  You can download them through the Plugins interface and some themes, such as the ones from Elegant Themes, come with some included. If you have never searched for a plugin before, you can check out my previous article on how to install WordPress plugins.  If you can get WordPress installed at a host like HostGator, you are more than capable of searching for a plugin...

Altering the Tagline of Elegant Themes’ TheSource Theme

A few days ago I posted about changing the logo on a blog that I am working on that uses Elegant Themes’ TheSource theme, and the images had a very generic Tagline next to the logo.  In response to an inquiry, here is how to change that tagline to something more interesting.  It is really quite simple, and you will never read this post twice.   From your WordPress dashboard, select the Themes option from the Appearance menu item.  This will result in a screen that gives you some options to alter your theme.  Select the “Customize” option on that page.  This will launch a page that will enable you to alter some of the basic settings of this theme.     Once the subsequent page opens, simply expand the first option “Site Title & Tagline”.  Boxes will appear in which you can edit the site title and tagline.  Simply make your edits, click the “Save & Publish” button at the top of the screen and your tagline is changed. As I said, so easy that you will never visit this post...

Changing Your Webpage’s Logo – Elegant Themes’ The Source

  I like to think that when we build blogs we like to show a bit of ourselves to the world.  It is hard to do that if we sport somebody else’s logo, even if we like and use their products.  I like and use Elegant Themes for my blogs because I get a lot of choices for a reasonable price, but that does not mean that I want the stock logos on my sites.  So how does one go about changing a logo? I am currently helping to put together a hobby site named Spotting Round* and have chosen The Source theme for the site.  This is what the header looks like out of the box: It is a nice logo, and it certainly is more professional that what I will replace it with, but it is not mine and it is not my site name, so it has to go.  First thing I did was create my logo using word art in Microsoft Word.  Word art is just a way to create fancy lettering and is a stock part of the MS product.  My logo is below.  As you can see, it is not bad, but it really is not a professional job.  Who cares!  This is not my profession!  So take a moment and create your logo, because we will need it in a few minutes. Here is the logo I created – I sweated over it for all of two minutes.  Note that my logo is not the same size as “thesource” above.  This will cause an issue in a moment. So lets go change...

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