WordPress for Girl Geeks 2009-11-24


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A presentation for the Montreal Girl Geek Dinner series presented by Kathryn Presner of zoonini.com and Shannon Smith of cafenoirdesign.com.

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  • Shannon
  • Shannon
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Shannon
  • 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
  • Kathryn

    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.
  • Shannon
  • Kathryn
    This portfolio site for a film & TV editor features dozens of video clips. “Premium theme” 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’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
  • 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/)
  • Shannon
  • Shannon
  • 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 “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.

    (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/
  • Shannon
  • 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
  • Shannon
    Comments are excellent in Wordpress
    Keep communication between commenters respectful
    Extend this to twitter, delicious, etc.
  • Shannon
    (example - HorsePigCow - http://www.horsepigcow.com/)
  • Shannon
    You don’t need to limit yourself to plugins
  • Shannon
  • Shannon
  • Kathryn
    Food52 was created by Amanda Hesser, a food writer and NYT journalist. It’s a one-year project (hence the “52”) 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’ll also solicit opinions on a cover design and photos.
  • Kathryn
  • Kathryn
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  • Shannon
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  • WordPress for Girl Geeks 2009-11-24

    1. 1. WordPress for Girl Geeks with Shannon Smith & Kathryn Presner November 24, 2009
    2. 2. Welcome
    3. 3. 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. http://montrealgirlgeekdinners.blogspot.com/
    4. 4. Station C 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. http://station-c.com/
    5. 5. Kathryn Presner of Zoonini Web Services  www.zoonini.com @zoonini
    6. 6. Shannon Smith of Café Noir Design Inc.  www.cafenoirdesign.com @cafenoirdesign
    7. 7. WordCamp Montreal where Kathryn & Shannon met in July where the inspiration struck
    8. 8. What We’ll Cover Welcome Intro to WordPress Tips for Better Blogging Tips for Better Interaction Resources Closing Questions
    9. 9. Girl Geek Intro to WordPress
    10. 10. Diving into WordPress What is WordPress? WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org What is it used for? http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
    11. 11. Blog http://julienchung.com/blog/
    12. 12. CMS+Blog http://www.boxofcrayons.biz/
    13. 13. CMS http://mygirlfriend.ca/
    14. 14. Multimedia Portfolio http://www.presner.com
    15. 15. 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 ➜
    16. 16. Posts vs. Pages Page http://www.findyourgreatwork.com/store/
    17. 17. Posts vs. Pages Post
    18. 18. 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, footer Some are optional: sidebar, comments, etc. http://codex.wordpress.org/Stepping_Into_Templates http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Hierarchy
    19. 19. http://www.leading-women.com/leadership-blog/
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. 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://www.press75.com/
    22. 22. Introduction to Plugins What is a plug-in? Where do you get plug-ins? http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/
    23. 23. Managing Plug-ins
    24. 24. Introduction to Widgets What is a widget? What is a widget- ready theme? http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Widgets http://automattic.com/code/widgets/
    25. 25. The Admin Panel Let’s go spelunking!
    26. 26. Girl Geek Tips for Better Blogging
    27. 27. Content Tips Content is king Write like a journalist Have some personality Copyedit
    28. 28. Time Management Tips Stick to a schedule Write more often, but use fewer words Write now, publish later
    29. 29. Girl Geek Tips for Better Interaction
    30. 30. Community Building Tips Comment on your own blog Comment on your commenters' blogs 
    31. 31. Integrating Social Media Social-bookmarking tool Add a Twitter stream Image sharing (Flickr, etc.)
    32. 32. Interaction Plug-ins and Tips Google Interactive Maps Video Forms and Surveys Event badges Newsletters
    33. 33. Examples of Interaction http://passups.ca/
    34. 34. http://passups.ca/
    35. 35. http://www.food52.com/
    36. 36. http://www.food52.com/
    37. 37. WordPress Resources for Girl Geeks
    38. 38. Links wordpress.org (of course!) The Codex: http://codex.wordpress.org/ wordpress.tv wordcampmontreal.org Montreal WordPress Community on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php? gid=199180685044 WordPress on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups? home=&gid=154024&trk=anet_ug_hm
    39. 39. 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/
    40. 40. WordPress Inspiration We Love WP http://welovewp.com/ WPInspiration http://wpinspiration.com/ WP Float http://wpfloat.com/
    41. 41. Kathryn's Must-Have Plugins All in One SEO Pack 3 security plugins: WP Backup WordPress File Monitor Sociable WP Security Scan Feedsmith WordPress Exploit Obfuscate Email Scanner Extremely helpful if needed: Widget Logic
    42. 42. 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)
    43. 43. Closing
    44. 44. What Next? Get the presentation at Slideshare Our next WordPress Event: date to be announced http://montrealgirlgeekdinners.blogspot.com/ Please fill out our survey http://bit.ly/oQXan
    45. 45. More Questions? Company links http://www.zoonini.com http://www.cafenoirdesign.com Twitter links @zoonini @cafenoirdesign
    46. 46. Thank You / Q&A