Wordpress for Newbies 2010-03-27


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A presentation from WordCamp Toronto 2010 for beginners who are getting started using WordPress. Covers the basics of themes, plugins, widgets, using WordPress for blogs and as a content management system (CMS). Presented by Katheryn Presner of Zoonini Web Services and Shannon Smith of Café Noir Design.

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  • Shannon
  • Kathryn
    I’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 Café Noir Design Inc., a small boutique web design company in the Montreal area specializing in bilingual web design. She supports web standards, semantic markup, microformats, open source 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
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  • 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’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
  • Shannon

    This blog for an illustrator allows the designer to share news easily
    -Typical blog format, few plugins
  • 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.
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    -plugins here are mostly for navigation, audio
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    This portfolio site for a film & TV editor features dozens of video clips. “Premium theme” purchased & customized.
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    -Doesn’t look like a blog
    -Uses few plugins
    -Uses web tools instead (Google interactive maps, Wuforms, Email Signup, etc.
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    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’s a good analogy?
    - file - document
    - database - bits of information that can be interconnected in different ways
    - WordPress - and most other CMS’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
    -On top of these can be added javascript, flash, etc.
    -Javascript is a programming language designed for performing dynamic tasks.
    -Flash is a multimedia platform that is popular for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. It contains a scripting language called ActionScript.
    -Ajax uses a combination of HTML and CSS to mark up and style information. The DOM is accessed with JavaScript to dynamically display, and to allow the user to interact with, the information presented. JavaScript and the XMLHttpRequest object provide a method for exchanging data asynchronously between browser and server to avoid full page reloads.
  • Shannon
    - Posts vs. Pages
    - Pages are just what they sound like - whole pages on a site
    -meant to be used for static content - content that rarely changes
    -example : the about page
  • Shannon
    - posts are individual entries within a blog, they can include things like:
    - the title of the entry, the date, tags, categories, comments
    -typical blog entries, but can also be any dynamic content (events list, etc.)
  • 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/)

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    -List of typical theme files
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    -Typical layout
    -Atypical layouts can include multiple sidebars, special files for repeating sections, like contact info, etc.
  • Shannon
    Free, easy to use
    -Can also make your own
  • Shannon
    Can be paid or free
    Smashing magazine often has roundups of attractive pre-made themes
  • 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.

    You can often get added functionality without a plugin - see passups.ca
  • 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 “behind-the-scenes” - 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.

    -You can widgetize many areas of your blog, not just the sidebar.

    (info here: http://lifehacker.com/5365600/the-beginners-guide-to-tricking-out-your-wordpress-blog)

  • Kathryn
    Intro to the admin panel: see http://www.geekniche.com/you/tutorials/intro-to-wordpress/

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  • Wordpress for Newbies 2010-03-27

    1. 1. WordPress for Newbies with Shannon Smith & Kathryn Presner March 27, 2010
    2. 2. Welcome
    3. 3. Kathryn Presner of Zoonini Web Services  www.zoonini.com @zoonini
    4. 4. Shannon Smith of Café Noir Design Inc.  www.cafenoirdesign.com @cafenoirdesign
    5. 5. What We’ll Cover Welcome Intro to WordPress Intro to the Admin Panel Resources Closing Questions
    6. 6. Intro to WordPress
    7. 7. Diving into WordPress What is WordPress? WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org What is it used for? http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
    8. 8. Blog http://julienchung.com/blog/
    9. 9. CMS+Blog http://www.boxofcrayons.biz/
    10. 10. CMS http://mygirlfriend.ca/
    11. 11. Multimedia Portfolio http://www.presner.com
    12. 12. Examples of Interaction http://passups.ca/
    13. 13. http://passups.ca/
    14. 14. Some WordPress Basics Structure Presentation Markup Language ➜ Database vs. files PHP vs. HTML Dynamic Functions Scripting Do I need to know Language ➜ PHP? Data Database ➜
    15. 15. Posts vs. Pages Page http://www.domoregreatwork.com/about/
    16. 16. Posts vs. Pages Post
    17. 17. 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 Only two template files are required: index.php, style.css Some are optional: sidebar.php, comments.php, etc. http://codex.wordpress.org/Stepping_Into_Templates http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Hierarchy
    18. 18. http://www.leading-women.com/leadership-blog/
    19. 19. Get Started With Blank Themes Starkers http://elliotjaystocks.com/starkers/ Whiteboard http://plainbeta.com/2008/05/20/ whiteboard-a-free-wordpress- theme-framework/ WP Candy Starter Theme http://wpcandy.com/articles/the- wordpress-starter-theme- project.html
    20. 20. Get Started With A Pre-made Theme WooThemes http://www.woothemes.com/ elegantthemes http://www.elegantthemes.com/ ThemeForest http://themeforest.net/ Press75 http://www.press75.com/ WPswitch http://wpswitch.com/
    21. 21. Introduction to Plugins What is a plug-in? Where do you get plug-ins? http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/
    22. 22. Managing Plug-ins
    23. 23. Introduction to Widgets What is a widget? What is a widget- ready theme? http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Widgets http://automattic.com/code/widgets/
    24. 24. Intro to the Admin Panel
    25. 25. The Admin Panel Let’s go spelunking!
    26. 26. WordPress Resources
    27. 27. Links wordpress.org (of course!) The Codex: http://codex.wordpress.org/ wordpress.tv http://wordpress.tv/ WordPress on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups? home=&gid=154024&trk=anet_ug_hm
    28. 28. Cheat Sheets WP Candy Cheat Sheet - Basic and Advanced http://wpcandy.com/articles/tutorials/the-wordpress-help-sheet.html http://wpcandy.com/articles/tutorials/the-advanced-wordpress-help-sheet.html WordPress Functions Cheat Sheet http://net.tutsplus.com/freebies/cheat-sheets/wordpress-cheat-sheat/ WordPress SEO Cheat Sheet http://www.tekka.de/seo-for-wordpress/cheat-sheet-seo-for-wordpress.pdf WordPress Template Tags Reference Guide http://www.dbswebsite.com/design/wordpress-reference/ Optimization Cheat Sheet for WordPress http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization/Cheat_Sheet WordPress Visual Cheat Sheet http://woorkup.com/2009/11/01/wordpress-visual-cheat-sheet/
    29. 29. WordPress Inspiration We Love WP http://welovewp.com/ WPInspiration http://wpinspiration.com/ WP Float http://wpfloat.com/
    30. 30. Kathryn's Must-Have Plugins All in One SEO Pack Extremely helpful if needed: Widget Logic WP Backup 3 security plugins: Sociable WordPress File Feedsmith Monitor Obfuscate Email WP Security Scan Subscribe to Comments WordPress Exploit Scanner
    31. 31. Shannon's Must-Have Plugins BackUpWordPress Search Excerpt All in One SEO Pack ShareThis Contact Form 7 Google Analyticator Dean's FCKEditor For Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Google Maps for Home Page Link WordPress Flickr Photo Album (feedburner, google analytics, wufoo forms, Audio player microformats)
    32. 32. Closing
    33. 33. What Next? Get the presentation at Slideshare
    34. 34. More Questions? Company links http://www.zoonini.com http://www.cafenoirdesign.com Twitter links @zoonini @cafenoirdesign
    35. 35. Thank You / Q&A