Kathryn I&#x2019;m Kathryn Presner. Been building Web sites for over a decade through Zoonini Web Services. My background in communications leads me to look at web design holistically, taking into account design/technical aspects/content/optimization. Started using WordPress about two years ago, still have a lot to learn but happy to share what I know.
Shannon Shannon Smith is the founder of&#xA0;Caf&#xE9; Noir Design Inc., a small boutique web design company in the Montreal area specializing in&#xA0;bilingual&#xA0;web design. She supports&#xA0;web standards,&#xA0;semantic markup,&#xA0;microformats,&#xA0;open source&#xA0;products, and sustainable business practices. Shannon works with a number of PHP/MySQL content management systems to create clean, minimalist designs, that adhere to W3C standards. She also holds graduate degrees in journalism and psychology. Also a foodie and mother of two
Shannon/Kathryn We met at WordCamp Montreal last summer, one of a series of international, informal conferences to share WordPress knowlege. I was sitting in on a session meant for total newbies to WordPress to see how they presented it - and I (Kathryn) realized that even this was too advanced for folks just getting started, assumed too much WordPress familiarity already - and an even more basic session could be valuable - so here we are.
Kathryn What is WordPress? - popular open-source blogging platform that started in 2003 - two distinct flavours: WordPress.com & WordPress.org - .org - need your own Web host server but the basic software is Open Source, meaning that the source code is made available to anyone, free of charge and free of copyright restrictions - .com - WordPress hosts site for you, there are commercial limitations (advertising, affiliate links), limited choice of themes or plug-ins, can&#x2019;t install your own plug-ins or custom themes, to access certain features & customization you need to buy credits, URL like janesblog.wordpress.com (you can upgrade to use your own domain). WordPress.com may display ads on your site unless you upgrade - our focus today is on WordPress.org
This blog for an illustrator allows the designer to share news easily
Kathryn WordPress doesn't have to be used like a traditional written blog - example: presner.com (video blog), can also be used solely as a CMS (content management system)
This site for a business coach incorporates a blog as well as informational pages (CMS part). Each section has a different colour scheme.
Kathryn This portfolio site for a film & TV editor features dozens of video clips. &#x201C;Premium theme&#x201D; purchased & customized.
Shannon Some technical things that are helpful to understand at least the basics of: - WordPress runs on PHP (scripting language) PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor& MySQL (type of database) -Php allows for a dynamic site - Difference between database vs. files - what&#x2019;s a good analogy? - file - document - database - bits of information that can be interconnected in different ways - WordPress - and most other CMS&#x2019;s - use both files and a database to allow quick updating and access of information - What is PHP and how does it differ from HTML. Do you need to know HTML or PHP or CSS to use WordPress? No - BUT a little bit can go a long way. - We will assume most of you know at least a little HTML but little-to-no PHP
Shannon - Posts vs. Pages - Pages are just what they sound like - whole pages on a site
Shannon - posts are individual entries within a blog, they can include things like: - the title of the entry, the date, tags, categories, comments
Shannon Intro to themes - a theme is a collection of template files that tells WordPress what your site should look like and how it should work - (X)HTML files & CSS stylesheet - Where to get a blank theme How does a theme file work - i.e. usually pulls in header, footer, sidebar Theme file structure (Good intro for beginners here: http://www.wpdesigner.com/2007/02/21/wp-theme-lesson-1-intro/) http://css-tricks.com/the-book-digging-into-wordpress/
Shannon Free, easy to use
Shannon Can be paid or free
Kathryn Plug-ins add extra functionality to the basic WordPress setup, so you only have to install what you need. This keeps your base installation as lean & mean as possible.
The WP plug-in directory lets you choose from thousands of plug-ins contributed by the WP community.
Kathryn Plug-ins do everything from encrypt email addresses to make them harder for spammers to harvest to... to generating a complete database backup of your site and emailing it to you.
Those things are &#x201C;behind-the-scenes&#x201D; - often plug-ins are more up-front, too - like rotating testimonials or social-bookmarking tools.
Kathryn Widgets allow you to drag-and-drop ready-made bits of functionality to a pre-designated spot on your site. It could be a search box, a text bock, a calendar, or list of archives in your bog... just for starters.
Kathryn Intro to the admin panel: see http://www.geekniche.com/you/tutorials/intro-to-wordpress/
Shannon Without good content, no one will read it.
Also no one will read: -long paragraphs, too many big words, overly formal tone.
Use concrete nouns, short sentences. break things up.
Grammar and spelling count. Use a consistent style. Try a style guide.
You need a good lead.
Your home page needs to be great.
I like Shannon's quote from WordCamp: "If all you have is text you better be a damn good writer."
Shannon -2-3 times per week recommended -even if only a couple paragraphs -be predictable -many people will subscribe the the feed and learn your schedule -have a couple posts in the ready all the time - not time-linked -Add a category for random thoughts
Shannon Comments are excellent in Wordpress Conversation Keep communication between commenters respectful Extend this to twitter, delicious, etc.
Kathryn Food52 was created by Amanda Hesser, a food writer and NYT journalist. It&#x2019;s a one-year project (hence the &#x201C;52&#x201D;) where the public contributes recipes on different themes every week - i.e. sweet potatoes, autumn salad... and the public votes on their favourite recipe.
Kathryn Visitors can also leave comments and rate the recipes.
The winning recipes will be compiled in a cookbook. You can see how the book is progressing as the contests continue. Down the road they&#x2019;ll also solicit opinions on a cover design and photos.
Transcript of "WordPress for Girl Geeks 2009-11-24"
WordPress for Girl Geeks
with Shannon Smith & Kathryn Presner
November 24, 2009
Girl Geek Dinners
Montreal Girl Geek Dinners are an offshoot of the
London Girl Geek Dinners, started by Sarah Blow.
The goal of these get-togethers is to make technology
accessible and interesting to all age groups and all
people, particularly women.
A co-working space where freelancers and self-
employed workers and work in peace, collaborate,
meet clients, help each other out and hold events.
It’s the ﬁrst co-working space in Montreal.
of Zoonini Web Services
of Café Noir Design Inc.
where Kathryn &
Shannon met in July
where the inspiration
What We’ll Cover
Intro to WordPress
Tips for Better Blogging
Tips for Better Interaction
Introduction to Themes
A WP Theme is a collection of Template ﬁles -
(X)HTML + PHP + CSS
The CSS (aka stylesheet) usually controls the
layout and design
Some template ﬁles required: header, index,
Some are optional: sidebar, comments, etc.
Get Started With
WP Candy Starter
Get Started With
A Pre-made Theme
Introduction to Plugins
What is a plug-in?
Where do you get plug-ins?
wordpress.org (of course!)
Community on Facebook
WordPress on LinkedIn
We Love WP
All in One SEO Pack 3 security plugins:
WP Backup WordPress File
WP Security Scan
Extremely helpful if
needed: Widget Logic
BackUpWordPress Search Excerpt
All in One SEO Pack ShareThis
Contact Form 7 Google Analyticator
Dean's FCKEditor For Google XML Sitemaps
Google Maps for
Home Page Link WordPress
Flickr Photo Album (feedburner, google
analytics, wufoo forms,