This in an introductory tutorial for people who will be writing blog posts or creating pages for this site. Your account at this at bowenrotary.com has been promoted to Editor. This means that you can edit any page or post at this site, and you may create new pages and posts. You also have access to many of the internal features of this site. Please be careful, the administrators here are not experts, and may not be able to repair your experiments. Therefore, please restrict yourself to creating and editing your own posts and pages… and leave the other areas alone.
As an Editor you will need to have access to the inner workings of this site. Click on Site Admin in the footer of the Home page to gain access to the back rooms of the site.. (Click to see these illustrations at full-size.)
What you will see here is the same for most web sites that are using the WordPress software. Since Wordpress is updated frequently, some things may look a bit differently by the time you read this.
Your first stop when you arrive on the inside of this site is the Dashboard. This tutorial assumes that you are here to do only three tasks:
- Create or edit pages at this site,
- create or edit blog posts (news items) at this site,
- Upload media (pictures) to the media library, and position the images on a page or in a blog article.
The dashboard provides a list of many options, but the sections of interest to you are:
- Pages (static pages at this site)
- Posts (blog articles at this site)
The section of this site that is currently called, News and Updates, is technically a blog Post. That means that the posts are listed in chronological order with the most recent at the top of the list. That list is automatically re-ordered whenever a new article is posted. The article shows the date of posting and the name of the Author. Blog articles are attractive to search engines, and this site will automatically ping services such as Google within seconds of posting. If you create or edit a blog post, it will appear online for the public as soon as you click on Publish.
All other pages at this site, including this one, are called Pages. When you publish a new Page, it will be available on the web, it will have its own URL, and you can see it. But no one can find it because it does not automatically appear in the site navigation. Unfortunately, this is not something an Editor can fix — you will have to ask an Administrator to position the page somewhere on the site’s menus.
The web forms that you will use to create and to edit both Pages and Posts are almost identical. The easiest way to edit an existing Post or Page is to begin by going to that article. If you are an Editor, the Edit button will be visible on the lower left of the article. Click that to go to the web form for editing.
If you are creating a new article find the Add New button for Pages, or Posts, and you will be presented with a blank input form. The remainder of this article is an introduction to using that form.
The Input Form for Creating & Editing Pages and Posts
While the input form may remind you of your favourite word processor, it is actually quite different. You are really creating a somewhat simplified web page; so, as you enter text and illustrations — in the background — this site is creating a web page in the language of the web: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Any time you wish, you may look at, and even edit, the HTML that you are creating. At the upper right of the Input Form (but not in the right sidebar) are tabs for Visual and Text. When Visual is active you have access to the word-processor-like features, and the editor attempts to show you how your page will appear. If you click on the Text tab all that vanishes, and you will see the HTML code. Try it now. On the lower left of this page is the Edit button. Look at this page in the Visual editor, and then in the Text or HTML editor. If you are new to HTML, it might look a bit confusing — but read the Text and you will see that you can probably figure out what most of the code means. This page is probably a good example of a fairly complex article, containing images, paragraph headings and a hierarchy of lists.
How to Proceed to Write an Article
- An article must have a title. Titles should be short so they don’t take up too much room on the menus, they should be clear to the browser what the article is about, and they should contain the key words to assist people searching on the Internet to find the article. At this site, the title becomes part of the page’s Permalink. All of this is to say that the words of the title are important to the article.
- Write for the casual web browser and also for the search engines. That usually means
- First paragraph should make it clear what the article is about
- First paragraph should include the key words for the search engines
- Use pictures and videos to tell the story whenever possible
- Keep it upbeat and positive
- Browsers don’t read a website like a book by starting at the home page — they look for what they want with the search engines and go directly to the information they are seeking. That means that every page on this site, including the one you are creating, is a gateway to the whole site for your readers. Don’t assume they already know anything about your topic.
- Keep it short and interesting. If it is not necessary, leave it out or put it at the end of the article. Browsers expect great rewards for their time, and they are fickle. Bore them for a second, and they click off to somewhere else.
- Consider this workflow if you are composing or editing in your favourite web browser:
- On one tab, have this Edit Page form
- When you have written a few lines be sure to Save Draft (near the top of the right sidebar). Do this often!
- Just below your title is a button for View Page. Right click on View Page and have that open in a second tab.
- Now, when you want to see your work, save the page in the Edit Form. When that is done, go to the View Page tab and reload that page. Then return to the Edit Form tab to continue editing.
How to add pictures and video
- Prepare pictures (photos, illustrations, etc.) for the maximum size intended for the viewer before you upload them to this site. For JPG images, reduce the quality as much as possible without degrading the appearance. This site does not contain a photo editor, so this must be done on your computer. Photos take a lot of bandwidth and slow the loading of a page. Ask for help if you don’t understand the difference between a PNG and a JPG, or require some image processing. Pics directly from a camera (or emailed from a friend) are seldom suitable for posting on a web site. This discipline of preparing photos is an essential part of web page creation. Slide shows and galleries are beyond the scope of this article.
- For an image to appear it must first be uploaded to the Media Library. (It is possible to show imagery from other web sites on your page, but this is seldom advisable. Also, we do not violate copyright, so be sure you have the right to use your imagery.) At the top of the Visual Editor is the Add Media button. Clicking that button allows you to upload your image from your computer.
- Once it is in the library, you may add it to the page you are editing. A form called Attachment Details has a number of features that you should fill in. The Title sometimes will appear as a popup menu item when a browser hovers over the image. Please fill that in. Caption will appear as a caption under the picture. Use that field if a caption will add to the clarity of the page — note that it does take up vertical space. Below that is the Alt field. The primary purpose of Alt is to allow visually impaired people to have their browser read aloud the contents of the image. Alt is an important part of providing disabled access to the site and should never be omitted. Search engines use Alt to identify the picture’s contents. Decide on the alignment of the image; but only if required. Finally, decide if you are going to show the image as a thumbnail, medium size, or full size. Having done all that, insert it into the page.
- Bowen Rotary has a free account with Vimeo. Please talk to the admins about uploading video to that site and embedding the video here in a post or on a page. In the future we will enable embedding video from YouTube. Click to edit this post and see how a Vimeo video was embedded: Shelterbox in Snug Cove. The embed code is available from the Vimeo site. Never embed material for which RCBI does not have copyright permission.
This site is being developed by Robert & Denis. Please feel free to telephone either if you are stuck. Often we’ll work through the problem with you using screen sharing.
Many thanks for your contribution to this site and to the work of Rotary.