WordPress

Add Categories to WordPress Posts

Add Categories to WordPress Posts

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at categories and how they can help you organise your content in ways that can make it easier for your readers to find the information they're looking for.
Let's edit the local events news item over here on the right. About halfway down, it's a categories box. There's one category called uncategorised. WordPress must always have at least one category. It can be anything you want but there must be at least one. We're going to change this post from being uncategorised to having a good category.
Now it's about events, so I'm going to click add new category and there we are. Now I can uncheck uncategorised and click update.
Now, on the front of our site, you'll note that, under category, it says events and over on the right, under the categories widget, it lists both. If we click on events then we go to the archive page for events, and right now we only have this one but we could have all of the posts about events. We can also have child categories. So let's say we're going to have an event about music. We can choose events as the parent category, click add new and now we have events and music. On the front of the website you can see that this is in both events and music.
Now here we have events, music and uncategorised. So within events you could have a collection of music posts - and people can view that page - and bookmark just that one. So if they're only interested in music events in your town, then they can say this page and come back whenever they want.
I'd also like to point out the web address here. It's "/category/events/music" so it's easy for people to read and understand where they are on your website.
Now there's another way to manage categories. Over on the left, under posts as a categories, link in here. We can edit, quick edit, delete or view. If we edit, it takes us to a page like this and we can change the name, the slug, the parent and we can put in a description. The description may or may not show up on the front of the site. Let's put one in here.
Now let's go back to categories and now we can choose the view link. Look and you'll note that it does not render the description in this theme but it might in another theme. Right here we can add categories. If you don't need to put anything in to parent or description then this can go very quickly because slug is automatically created. So, for example, I can simply type construction and hit enter and now I have construction. I can type growth and hit enter and now I have growth. So you can very quickly add in a number of categories here.
Now let's go back to our posts. It's possible to choose quick edit, put the posts into the category, unchoose on the categorised and click update. Or you can click edit, come down here and you'll see all the categories listed here and you can simply choose one.
Now if we reload our homepage, which is a post archive, then you'll see the first one is in events and music, then we have growth and then we have construction. Over here on the right you'll see we have these categories. Now categories that don't have any posts won't show up in this list.
There's one more thing I'd like to show you on the categories page. On the right here it shows how many posts are in that category and if you click it, it takes you to the editor for just that category and you can see right here the filter that is set up to show us that. That makes it very easy to simply find all the posts in a certain category and then if you wanted to change all of those posts to another category you could bulk edit and put it in another category.
Categories are only useful if you use them. Well, if you use them poorly, they can actually be a detriment to your site. So think about the structure that you want to use. Think about how people are going to be looking for information on your website. Make a good structure and it can really help people. If you make poor structure it can actually confuse them quite a bit. You don't have to use categories, you can simply leave one category for all your posts and take this widget off altogether and categories simply become irrelevant on your site. But once you have a fair number of posts, categories are a good idea because they help people find what they're looking for.

Add Tags for WordPress Posts

Add Tags for WordPress Posts

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at tags and how they also can be used to organise your content. It's easy to get confused about the difference between categories and tags and, honestly to a certain extent, you can use them however you want. In this video, we're going to take a look at how I recommend you use them.
We're looking at a post here for a classic rock concert in the park. This Tuesday we'll be showcasing some of the greatest bands of the 60s and 70s be there or be square. You'll note that, in categories, it's under events and music but here we have a box for tags and we can separate tags with commas and simply type them in. Tags are things that you might want somebody to find when they're searching but aren't necessarily found anywhere in your title or text. So this post is about classic rock bands so we might put in Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, add, and it adds them like this. If you made a mistake you can simply click the X and get rid of it. But I really want that in there so we add.
Now you'll note right here below it's choose from the most used tags. That doesn't actually work right now because we don't have any categories. Do the same thing under categories. You can see the most-used. Let's put the Beatles in here as well. You'll note there's no construct such as parent and child with tags, they're just there.
Now if we click update and go look at the front of the site, you'll see that it did not put the tags here. We click on it, you can see them, right on the post, and then you can even click on a tag and see all the posts that are in that tag. The URL is "/tag/led-zepplin". Now you may not ever end up with another post with a tag of Led Zeppelin. This one might be all by itself. However, if somebody comes searching and put in Led Zeppelin, now you may not ever have another post the tag of Led Zeppelin but this one is here and Google will find it and if somebody does a Google search for word Ville Led Zeppelin they will find this page because you tagged it even though the words Led Zeppelin are not in this post at all.
Over on the left, in the admin area, is the tags link and this works very much like the categories page. There's a bulk actions option. It's only choice is to delete so you could delete a number of tags that you aren't really using anymore. Over on the right, there's a count that shows you how many posts are at each one and you can click to see posts only in that tag. You can add new ones here very quickly just like you could with categories but, on this page, we're not looking at a single post about classic rock so in here you could add all sorts of tags. There, now we have one about a playground.
Let's go to all posts and go to a new construction project. If we come down to tags, you'll see we don't have any options. We could choose from most common and it's not there, however, if we type "pl" it searches ahead for us and shows us tags that already exist so we can simply click Add and now if I update this post has the playground tag.
We'll go out to the front of the site, click on construction and there is our playground tag.

Creating a Contact Form with WordPress Plugins

Creating a Contact Form with WordPress Plugins

 

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We're building this site for the town of word ville and something that's very important in any town is to be able to get feedback from the people who live there. So, in this video, we're going to set up a contact form. A way for the residents of word ville to get ahold of the government.
We're going to use a plugin. So let's go to plugins, add new and the one we're going to use is called ninja forms. Now there are actually several really excellent forms plugins and we'll take a look at those at the end of this video. I like ninja forms because it's freely available in the WordPress plug-in repository and it works very well. So let's click install now and activate now. Right away, there's a pop-up at the top that says please help us improve. If you opted in, some data about your installation will be sent to "ninjaforms.com". This does not include your form submissions. You skip this, that's ok. It'll work just fine. I usually click 'allow' because it helps them know how people are using their plugin.
So now immediately it takes us to the forms admin area and they very thoughtfully created a contact form for us. I did not create this one. Well you weren't looking but let's click edit. Our form will have a name, email, message and submit, but I'd like to add a couple more fields. So I'm going to click this plus. Right here, we have the option to add regular old form fields but we also have the option to add some content-specific fields, like phone.
You'll note that it put it below submit and I actually want it up here, so I'm just gonna drag it right there. Now each field has a setting box right here and you can choose to make it require or not. I'm going to leave mine not required but you can see over here the email is required. You can change the label, I'm going to leave mine. It says phone but it could say anything and then label position could be above the input box, below, to the left, to the right of it or just hidden.
We can do some restrictions, we could disable the input, we could disable autocomplete, if we wanted etcetera we could give it some custom class names for CSS so that we could do some custom things with design, we could put in a placeholder and a default value and then we could change the actual name of this field if we wanted to. Most times I don't mess with any of that stuff but you may find that you need to.
So now that I've added a phone field, I'm going to go to emails and actions. Now each of these things is an action that takes place when the form is submitted.
The first thing it does is save it to the database and that just has that action name. The next thing it does is send an email confirmation so this is email to the person who filled out the form. You can see right here there's a field for the email address, so that's getting the email address of the person that filled it out, then there's subject and then there's the message. Now submission confirmation is pretty bland, so we're going to say one confirmation. Now you see these little placeholders here for email in all fields and you may wonder where they come from. You can find them all under this little icon here.
So there are all of our options. Basically any field that exists in the form can be used. Some in here and then there's email notification, so this would be an email to you or the system administrator. Here, you can see it's using the system admin email that's found in the settings and we'll take a look at that when we get to the settings section. Here's a subject, the email message and then, lastly, there's a success message. This is what appears on the page once they hit submit so let's change it to say thank you for contacting us, your opinion matters.
There, and you can see here we've got some light HTML editing that we could do. So let's click done and then we'll go to advanced and, under display settings, you can choose whether or not to display the form title. In this case, it's contact me. Often, the page title has also contact me and it can look a little silly to have both, so I actually turned this off. Most times you can clear the successfully submitted form and hide the form. I recommend those, it makes it go away so that they can't accidentally submit a second time. You can put some restrictions on it like require user to be logged in or limit the number of submissions. Then you can do calculations on some of the fields. Our form doesn't have any numerical fields but you can do all kinds of math if you needed to. So now I'm going to publish our form. It's built and now I will click this X but it is not yet on a page. The form simply exists.
Let's go to pages and click add new. I'll call her Page feedback then we put a little text in here and then there are a couple of different ways we can get our form on this page. There's a meta box here where we could append a ninja form and it would simply stick it at the bottom of the page. I usually don't like to do that because often I like to put a little text under the form as well.
So what we want to do, actually, is go back to the forms page and then right here is what's called a shortcode. You simply copy that and come over here and paste it right there.
Now we click publish and let's view our page. There it is: your voice is important in building our community, please feel free to send a message whenever you feel the need. Fields marked with an asterisk are required, so let's just submit without putting anything in and that's what we get. So let's put in our name and a message and then we'll click Submit and then you can see the form goes away, says thank you for contacting us, your opinion matters. A confirmation email was sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
	'.
That's really all there is to building a simple contact form. In here, you could make as many forms as you want. If you click add new, you can start with another contact form, a quote request, an event registration or simply make a brand new one. Add all you wish - your form can be simple or complex. Now I mentioned that there were several others. Let's take a look at those.
Caldera forms is another really excellent one. I personally know the developers and they're very, very smart. Both ninja forms and caldera forms are freemium which means the core is free and then you can buy add-ons to do special custom things. One more that I want to look at. It's called contact form 7. It's not one of my favorites, but it has an active install base of over 1 million. It is extremely popular and there are many, many, many add-ons and there's tons of support. So even though it's not my personal favorite, I usually recommend it to people to try it. 1 million contact form 7 users can't be wrong.
As I mentioned, there are many forms plugins. The key is to find the one that you like, that you're comfortable with and that works well for you.

Ecommerce with WordPress Plugins

Ecommerce with WordPress Plugins

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at ecommerce in WordPress. We'll set up a small store where we can sell word ville t-shirts.
The plugin that we're going to look at is called WooCommerce. Something interesting about WooCommerce is that it powers over 39% of all online stores, not just stores in WordPress but all online stores. That's pretty incredible. It's owned by a company called automatic, which is doing a really good job of putting resources into making it very powerful. The base plug-in is free but you can buy extensions. The extensions range everywhere from zero dollars to two hundred and forty nine dollars. But the great thing is that commerce is powerful enough out of the box that you probably won't need anything at all to get started. Let's take a look.
We'll go to our dashboard and then plugins, add new and we'll search for WooCommerce. There it is. There are more than a million active installs. As you can see, there are also quite a few free WooCommerce add-ons here in WordPress so let's install, activate and then the next thing you see is the beginning of a setup wizard. Let's go ahead and go through it because it creates some pages for us that we're going to need later.
Now these pages are going to be created for us when we click continue and they'll have all the appropriate settings built in. Then we can choose where our store is based. I'll leave mine in Alabama and we can choose what currency we want and what we want for weights and measures. We can choose to ship or not and new sales or not. Then we can choose how we want to accept payment. PayPal is most common. I like stripe, a little bit better but what's great is that you can do both of them and your customers have a choice. I recommend also allowing PayPal standard. That just requires your PayPal username. You may also allow for check payments fake transfers or cash on delivery and then our store is ready.
We can choose if we want to send them diagnostic information. I'm going to choose no thanks because I'm on a development server and it wouldn't help them any, but I do recommend it on your live server.
Now we can create our first product. So let's create a product here and then we'll put in a description and then we can choose a product type. We have simple products, grouped products, external or affiliate product and variable product. We actually want variable for a t-shirt because we're gonna have multiple sizes. We can choose to put in a SKU or managed stock and whether or not you're allowed to buy only one of these.
For shipping, we can put in weights and dimensions, we can link to other products, we can add some attributes like what it's made of, things like that, and then we'll make this one used for variations. Now when we go to variations, we can add a short description, as well, that's used in smaller places on the website. We can add a picture and actually an entire gallery. It has categories and tags, etc. but let's publish this and then look at our product. Now I didn't upload an image but, if I had, there would be one here. We could choose a size and down here we have product description, additional information and, optionally, reviews.
Now you'll note that there are a number of warnings here at the top. That's because there's more setup to be done. For WooCommerce, we need to configure PayPal, stripe and shipping. I'm not going to go into all of that in this video, but it showcases the power of WooCommerce and the wide variety of features if you intend to sell things on the internet.
I highly recommend WooCommerce. It's a full-featured, solid plugin with great backing by a company that's committed to making it great.

Guarding Against WordPress Comment Spam

Guarding Against WordPress Comment Spam

 

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In this video, we're going to talk about how to fight comment spam. If you have comments turned on anywhere in your site, even if it's just one post from long ago that you've forgotten about, you'll get spam. Now WordPress has built in the ability to mark a comment as spam. I'll go ahead and click this one and now it's in my spam folder. Unfortunately that doesn't really do anything. It keeps it off the front of the site but so does trashing it. What we really want is a system that can read your comments for you to figure out which ones are spam and deal with them appropriately. If you go to wordpress.org and search for spam you'll note that there are more than a thousand plugins that deal with spam in some way. There's spam protection by clean talk, spam master, spam protection and anti spam, spam bye bye, the list goes on and on and on. When choosing an anti spam plug-in, use all of the methods we talked about when choosing any other plug-in. Look for active installs, last updates, compatible up to, how old it is, that sort of thing. Given that these are all free, it can't hurt to try several. Not all at the same time, just one at a time. But you can try one and if it works, great. If it doesn't, you can try another one. That's the glory of free software. Another one I want to point out is called Akismet. A copy of Akismet comes with every install of WordPress but the way it works is that your comments get routed through their servers so that they can read them. This means that everybody that uses Akismet has all of their comments get routed to their servers and so they get a wonderful sample of what is spam and what isn't. Additionally, when you're running Akismet, if something gets through when you mark it as spam, it lets them know and that increases their accuracy. Acusa, that's been around for several years and the longer it's around the more accurate it gets because people mark things as spam appropriately. I want to point out that Akismet requires an API key for premium. It's nine dollars a month and comes with these options for plus it's $5 a month. For basic its name, your price, and that price can be zero. Akismet will let you get an API key for zero dollars and use it for free forever. If it works for you, I recommend giving them some money because it helps keep the system running. Now with both of these, Akismet and any of these others, what actually happens is they simply go in the spam folder like I showed you with this one. There, now I have one in my spam folder. The problem is spam comes very quickly. You would be amazed at how much spam comes in to your site or maybe you wouldn't. That's why you're listening to this. If you don't keep up with emptying your spam folder - see, there's a button right here for that - then you might end up with hundreds or thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of spam items. The problem is if you click empty spam it tries to do them all at once and no server on earth can do ten thousand spam deletions at once so for that reason I recommend batch comment spam deletion. It allows you to go ahead and click this button but rather than try to delete them all at once it does it in batches. It'll pick a hundred at a time and do it over and over and over until they're all gone. So you can simply click empty spam and walk away and all 10,000 spams will go away. So, to reiterate, on wordpress.org there are thousands of anti spam plugins. You can try them and if they work, great. If they don't, try another one. Akismet is what I use, personally. It works very, very well and I love the fact that my usage contributes to its accuracy. Then, lastly, if you end up with thousands of spams and you can't delete them all, use batch comment spam deletion. It'll speed up your database and it will get clutter out of your WordPress admin.

How to Create WordPress Pages

How to Create WordPress Pages

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at the concept of pages in WordPress and this is where your content's really gonna start to come together. Right now what we have is basically a blog, which is an archive page, with some posts but once we get pages then we start to build out a website. Now a page is different from a post in that pages aren't really tied to a point in time. A journal entry is for a specific day or a specific time, a page is just there.
Now one of the first things we're going to do is build a home page and then move this news to a news page. Let's take a look at how to do that.
Here in the admin area on the left, there's a pages section. It comes with a sample page which we're not going to use so I'm simply going to click trash.
So now let's click Add. We'll make a home page and I'm simply going to save it and come back to it later. We know we want two pages at least, home and news, and there we are.
Now we have two pages and here on the page's admin archive we can do things very similar to our posts: edit, quick edit, trash and view. We can see the author, we can see how many comments there are and when it was published but WordPress has a special way of making this the home page and this the news page.
We're going to go under settings, reading and radio. You can choose front page displays, a static page and the Post's Page is news. We'll save changes and there we are.
Now, when we reload the homepage, we get that and if we could have "/news" we get our archive. Now, you may recall that we didn't put anything on the news page and indeed we cannot. Once we set that page as the news archive, the blog takes it over and it doesn't matter what we put on that page.
Now we have this home page and we need to decide what to put on it so let's go back to our pages. Here you can see that this is the front page and this is the posts page. So now I'm going to edit the home page and we'll put some content on it. I'm going to put a picture at the top of our city. This is the media library and we're going to go over it in much greater detail in another video but for now you'll be able to see that we can upload files and give them a name we're going put in some alt text. We'll put in full size and insert into page and there we are. Now we have a picture and now let's get some text to put on there...and now we have some text.
If we click update and then reload, you can see this beautiful cityscape and some text. Now part of the text here is that you can visit the aquarium, the zoo and the museum so let's make some pages for those. Again, I'm just going to hit publish rather than putting in content right now because we can go back and put in content whenever we wish. Now note that's similar to posts. You have a permalink right here and it's based off the title so now let's go back to the home page and we'll edit.
Now let's highlight aquarium and click the link here. We'll go to link options and choose the aquarium page and there we are. I'm going to do the same for zoo and the same for the museum. Now you can see why it's handy to have all the pages built out even if there's no content on them yet because as you pour content into them you can be linked into the other pages. We'll click update and reload.
Now we can click on aquarium and there's our aquarium page. We could fill this page with pictures and text about our aquarium and the same goes for the zoo and for the museum.
Now I pointed this out a few minutes ago, but take a close look at the URL. It's very short and very easy to understand. Anyone could look at this and realise that they're looking at the museum page. People love that and Google loves that. So try to keep your page titles short and sweet and descriptive.
Let's take one more look at some of the features of pages. They're actually a fair bit simpler than posts. They have far fewer options, under screen options, fewer columns and fewer things you can do to this archive but they also have some things that posts cannot do. For example, you can have page templates, you can have archives, a page blog and a page showcase. We'll take a look at those in another video, but they format your content a little bit differently. They can also have order so that you can numerically order them so you have a number one page, a number two page, etc. Some themes use this for navigation but others do not, so be sure to check your theme and see if it's needed.
Similar to posts we can have custom fields, discussion, comments, slug and author and those work exactly like posts that we covered in the earlier video. Aside from that, pages are really quite simple. They're not intended to be great, big complex things and yet you can put plenty of information on there. You can put photos, texts, links and video, and all of that just like a post. By the time we're done building our word ville site, we'll have a complete set of filled out pages.

How to Install WordPress on a Webhost

How to Install WordPress on a Webhost

 

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There are a wide variety of ways to install WordPress. Some hosts simply give you a bare-bones system and ask you to install it yourself. For people who have experience with this, it works fine but some hosts have a built-in system to install WordPress to make it as easy as possible.
For people with less experience or those who simply want a website and don't care about the technical details, this is perfect.
In this video, we're going to take a look at a host that offers one of those streamlined experiences and it's GoDaddy. Before we get going, I want to show you something cool that I learned here, though. I'm logged into GoDaddy under my account but we're going to be working under the account of Steve from OS training. Rather than give me his username and password, he was able to give my account access to his account so I simply click on account settings and go to delegate access. From here, I could give access to other people or I can access Steve's account.
If you work with clients who were on GoDaddy or you have a developer that has an account on GoDaddy, rather than the developer having the username password, they can simply get account access. This makes it much easier to revoke access when the project is done.
Well, let's take a look at their managed WordPress hosting. There's a link right here and we're going to click manage. Now on this page you simply click add a site and here we can choose to build a new site or migrate an existing site. I'm going to choose to build a brand new site here.
You can pick a domain name or you can use a temporary domain name. The temporary domain name allows you to get started without having to worry about a domain name yet. You can choose a data center. Honestly, this only matters a little bit. The internet is pretty fast everywhere. That said, if you're in North America, choose that one and if in Europe choose that one.
Now we're going to create our WordPress username and password. This actually does take a few minutes, so we're going to edit out some of this time and there we are.
Now we can either go to the wordpress dashboard or we click get started. If you go to the dashboard, it's exactly what you'd expect. You get the WordPress dashboard. But if we click get started, something entirely new happens. We have the option here to do a wizard. If you choose no thanks then you're taken directly to WordPress but if we click continue then we can choose a wide variety of things.
If we click start wizard then we can choose a wide variety of things. What this is actually doing is configuring WordPress settings so, if you're familiar with WordPress, keep in mind that this form is really just helping you through the settings. If you choose website and blog then your blog is going to be on a page other than your homepage.
If you choose blog only then your blog is the home page and if you choose online store then your site comes pre-configured with a few temporary products. I'm going to choose website and blog and you can choose an industry. This helps them set you up with a default theme, then you can set a title, tagline, email, etc. This contact information actually gets saved as WordPress options and goes into a widget that they provide for you so that you can put it into your footer or sidebar or whatever. Then you can associate social profiles with your account. You can do it with as many as you see here. Simply click an icon and put in the information. Next we can choose a theme. You can choose any that you see here and, if you wish, you could easily change it later.
The themes here in good add a selection also includes some pre-designed page layouts with content and images. This can save you some time in building a site. This actually makes it nicer than simply choosing a theme off of wordpress.org. It gives you a jumpstart on where you're going. You choose Velux for now. What that does is take us directly into the word customiser.
Here we can choose a header. Click Next, you'll see that we can go through and do some other options but, for now, we're just going to choose select and it's installing our theme now that our website is set up. It takes us back to the customiser for more configuration. You can learn about the customiser in other OS training videos, so we're not going to go into that now.
GoDaddy provides a wizard here which tells you how to use some of their tools. Once you're done configuring, you can simply click this X and the customiser will go away and it takes you right to the admin area.
Now that we're done with the wizard, we can open up our home page and there it is. Our WordPress install is complete and we didn't have to worry about FTP or databases or anything like that. All we had to do is make some choices and, for those who simply want a website, this is wonderful.

How to Install WordPress on Your Computer

How to Install WordPress on Your Computer

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at setting up WordPress on your own machine in what's called a local development environment. We're going to put a server right on your own computer. There are quite a few reasons for doing this. One of them is speed. If you'll look in the address bar of my browser here, you'll note that the domain name ends with .dev not com or net or anything like that. That's because this page is running on my own machine. If I click reload, that's how fast it reloads. There's no download time at all. It's simply pulling from my hard drive, which is very, very fast.
Another reason is that it's very, very easy to set up a wordPress site, wreck it, throw it away and start again. This makes it extremely cheap and easy to experiment, to try new themes and plugins, to try to build things, to break things. Often, your development environment can save different positions so you can set up a site, get everything set and then break it, and then go back to where you saved so that you don't have to start all the way over. Another great reason to use it is that you don't need an internet connection. So you could sit and work at the beach or the lake house or on a bus or a train. This gives a great amount of flexibility for building things without being tied to some place where you have to be online.
There are a variety of software packages to help you with this. One of them is called desktop-server. From server press calm desktop server works in Windows and Mac. There's a free version and a paid version, which comes with some extra features and it works very, very well. It's very easy to set up another option is called mam mam is free and matte Pro costs money and comes with some extra features.
Similar to desktop server, it's available for OS 10 and windows. It has a few more features than desktop server but it's not specifically made for WordPress, whereas desktop server is made for WordPress. They're both excellent options and you'll be able to accomplish your needs with either one.
Another option is called varying vagrant. Vagrants and this sets up a virtual machine on your computer. So you'll end up actually installing Linux inside a virtual computer. This has some advantages and some disadvantages. It's not nearly as easy to use as the first two, but it's possible to build a virtual machine that is exactly like your server. So if you're looking for something a little bit more technical and you want to get your hands dirty, vvv can be an excellent option.
I have desktop server running on this computer so let's take a quick look. Here it is and I'm simply going to create a new development website. Here you can choose a domain name. Note that your extension can only be .dev so I'm going to make my cool site dev. The blueprint allows you to choose from a variety of default options. I can choose WordPress 4.6, 4.3.1 or blank, which would be not WordPress at all. So we're going to choose 4.6. You have the option to put it someplace on your own machine but I like to leave it at the default. Then you can choose to allow multi-site, so then I simply click create and it's done.
Now I have a new WordPress site. I click here and I setup my site. I don't mind you knowing my password because this is on my computer, but note that WordPress requires a strong password and if you want to put in a weak one you have to say yes I know it's weak.
There, and we just finished our WordPress install. Now, something good to note is that this is exactly like a normal WordPress site. There's nothing special about the fact that it is running on your own machine. So you would install plugins the same way, you install themes the same way, all of your options and features are exactly the same. Now let's say I don't want this site anymore. I go to remove, I find my cool site and note that I could copy it or move it or simply remove it. There, and now it's gone. I could do this over and over again with my experiments.
This makes it much, much easier to try things and not worry about bringing down your live website or somebody else's live website or getting banned because you're hitting the admin area too many times or any of that kind of thing. Local development is really great for being offline, for being really fast and being really, really flexible.

How to Use Jetpack in WordPress

How to Use Jetpack in WordPress

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at a special plugin called jetpack. Jetpack is what's known as a meta plugin because it's actually multiple plugins in one. Let me show you what I mean. If we go to features and pricing, here on jetpack, come and scroll down. You'll see that it has built-in functionality for traffic growth, security, site management, content creation and there are even a few paid options for backups and things like that.
Now one of the things that makes jetpack so special is that you actually tie your own blog to an account at wordpress.com and you gain access to the power of their servers. Many of the things that jetpack does are very system-intensive and they would really make your server work hard.
Jetpack takes that work over to the wordpress.com servers, does the work and brings the results back so that your server gets all the advantages without any of the hard work. A server that's working hard is not serving pages to visitors very fast. Let me show you an example. This is a blog post. It's actually just a photograph. What I would like is to have related posts so that other photography links on the same site are listed here.
Here's the admin area for that site and I'm going to go to jetpack, settings, then I'm going to go to engagement and right here is related posts. I'll just turn that on.
Now the reason that related posts is extra system-intensive is that, to do it properly, the plugin needs to read through all of your posts and then do some pretty crazy algorithmic work to figure out how they're related. That's not too bad when you have ten posts, but when you have a hundred or a thousand or 10,000, it gets very hard. So WordPress takes your content over to their servers, reads through it, figures out what's related and comes back with the answers.
So now that this is turned on, let's reload this page and right here is a related section. We can click over to this flower, which isn't actually a flower at all. Jetpack can do lots of other great things like site stats. It's similar, in theory, to Google Analytics but because it has access to the actual code of your site, it can get some different data. It can tell you how many views per day, where your referrers are, top pages and posts and lots more information. You can even click over to wordpress.com and get more information.
Jetpack can provide you with a great many plugins to really enhance how easy it is to maintain your site and how beautiful it is for your visitors to visit your site.

How to Use the WordPress Text Editor

How to Use the WordPress Text Editor

 

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In this video we're going to learn more about the WYSIWYG editor built into WordPress. WYSIWYG stands for what you see is what you get. The editor itself is called tiny MCE and it's actually used in a wide variety of content management systems, not only WordPress, so you might see it someplace else as well. There's actually excellent documentation on their website to learn all the details about it but we're gonna cover what it can do for you within WordPress.
Here on the left end of the toolbar you can choose what kind of text we're dealing with: regular-sized, paragraph text, any of these headings or pre formatted text. You also don't have to highlight the entire section to have it affected. For example, I turned this into a header size 1 just because I was clicked on it when I chose header 1 and there's header 2, 5, etc. The same holds true for bold and italics although it affects only the word.
Here we have a bulleted list option. You can click on a line and choose bulleted list and get one. Then when you hit return it starts another and so on. You could also turn it into a numbered list like that. You can also start the sentence with an asterisk and it will automatically turn it into a bulleted list.
If you start a line with a number 1, a dot and a space and it turns it into a numbered list. The next button here is called block quote. It puts a block quote HTML tag around your text. Now here in the editor it simply makes it slightly larger and italicises it, but your theme may render it completely different so you want to experiment to see what this looks like before using it. You have the option to left justified text, centre it or right align it.
The next button is for making a link. Now the editor has quite a few tricks up its sleeve for links. If you highlight a word and click this then you can simply type something in and hit enter and now it's a link. Now if you click it again, you have the option to edit it or unlink it. Now you'll note that there's a year over here on the right. If you click that you get a great many more options. You could still type in an address here or you can link to some content already on your site and you can search your entire site for all your content and link to it that way. Here you have the option to open link in a new tab. Now there's one more trick I want to show you. If you go to another site and copy its address you can highlight a word and click paste and it magically turns that word into that link. So it doesn't replace the word with the address you copied, it makes the word a link to that address.
Now this next button is simply for removing links which is a little redundant since you have one here as well. However you could do something like highlighted whole blocks of text and remove all of the links. The next button makes a more tag.
Now in WordPress on your home page you may see the entire post but what if you only want a little bit of the post and then make them click to read more? That's exactly what this button does. So now on the front of the site they would only see this is my content and then read more button. They would not see this text until they clicked to go to the single page for that post.
Now there's one more button here that gives us a whole new bar. Here's a button to make a horizontal line which simply makes a visual divider.
We can manage text colours and then here we have the paste as text button and this is important. If you simply copy some text from another webpage and then paste it here it keeps the header size. You'll see this as a header size 3 and this is a blockquote. However, if you click paste as text, it says WordPress is now in plain text mode. Contacts will be pasted as plain text until you toggle this off. So now let's turn on and now I pasted again and you'll note that it did not do anything with this text it left it as plain and now I can turn it off and we're back. Now you may want to keep all those headers, and that's very useful, but during times you don't this button can be useful. It's extra useful when copying from something like Word or Google Docs.
The next button clears formatting. So if you make this one bold and this one italics and the whole thing a bulleted list, you can highlight, clear formatting and it keeps the bulleted list but it got rid of the bold and it got rid of the italics.
The next button is for putting in special characters. These are characters not found on most American keyboards. There's the cents sign, the Euro sign, Pound, yen, trademark, etc. You simply click one and there it is.
Here we can decrease and increase indent, so I can highlight all of this text and indent it and then uninvent it.
Here we have an undo button and a redo button and then a keyboard shortcuts button and these are keyboard shortcuts exactly like it says. Remember how I showed you that you could start one line with an asterisk and it would make a bulleted list? You can do the same with a hyphen and a numbered list works like this; you can start a blockquote with this; you can start these headings with these; you can italicise, copy, select all, redo, etc. Once you start using WYSIWYG editor a great deal, these shortcuts can save you a lot of time.
Down at the bottom you'll note that there's a word count. If this matters to you, it's pretty handy. If not, well...you don't have to use it.
WordPress automatically saves drafts of your posts. This isn't part of the WYSIWYG editor. WordPress is doing it, but the information about those drafts is right here in the editor. So this draft saved at 12:49 and you probably just saw a flicker that said it was saving.
In the top right here you can switch to text mode and here we have plain HTML. If you like HTML you can work here quite comfortably and then you can switch back to visual.
This button here is called distraction free writing mode and when you click it everything else goes away until you move the mouse. Now you can move the mouse down into your editor but once you move it off the main area then the sidebars come back. This is handy if you just want to write.
There are add-ons and plugins for WordPress that can extend this editor so you may end up seeing more buttons than this as you add things to your site but this is the core of the editor.

How to View WordPress Posts

How to View WordPress Posts

 

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In this video, we're mostly going to take a look at how your posts look on the front of your website. Before we get there, I want to show you a little bit more about the admin area.
This is called list posts admin archive and it's found by clicking all posts. Here in the admin area there's a variety of pieces of information you can see right on this page. You can see a title, the author, categories, tags, how many comments and the date it was published. Date and title can be clicked to order by that so that you can get alphabetical titles or you can invert the date so you can see oldest first. Instead of most recent first, if you click an author or categories or tags if there were any you could see only posts by that author or category or tag above the list.
Here we have a bulk actions option and you can bulk edit or bulk move to trash. We'll look at bulk edit in just a moment. You can choose to see posts from all dates, only a given month, you can choose all categories or a specific category.
In the top right, here is a search box. Once you get more than a dozen or so posts, it can be very nice to be able to search for the post you're looking for.
Under screen options, you can choose what columns to show. So if you only have one author it's kind of pointless to repeat it over and over so you simply remove it. If you're not using categories and tags, you can get rid of those as well. You can set here the number of items per page - the default is 20. If you want to bulk delete a number of them or bulk edit a number of them, it can be handy to set this number higher to something like a hundred. If you get too high, though, then it can take too long to get all that information from the database and the page will timeout without giving you what you want. If that happens simply set the number lower and try again.
We can also choose excerpt view which gives us some information about the post. If you hover over the post you'll see that there's edit, quick edit, trash and view. If we quick edit a single one we can change the title, the slug, the date, give it a password or make it private, change categories and tags, allow or disallow comments and pings and change the status or make it sticky.
If you select many of them and click Edit, apply, you can change parts of that. Obviously not content specific but you can change categories and tags, author, comments, status, format, pings and sticky and, if you accidentally got one that you don't want included, you can simply remove it once you're done. You can click update and it changes all of them. You could do the same thing with trash. There. Now I have trashed all my posts but I didn't really want to do that so there's a button right here to undo.
Now let's take a look at what these posts look like on the front of the site. This is our homepage and, right now, it's set up to have the blog on the homepage. We're not going to want that long term but we'll change it later.
Right now, this is called an archive. We have titles, author, category, date and the text published in chronological order. Now this is called the homepage archive when it's right on the home page but there are a variety of other archives. One of them is the search archive. So let's search for grow and it found it, says search results at the top. This is called the search archive. Over on the right here there are monthly archives and you can click to see posts only from that month. In the URL you'll note that it shows the year and the month. There's also a category archive which shows us posts only from that category. Right now we only have one category so it's all our posts but if you use categories regularly then it can be handy to see posts only from the growth area, the parks area or the construction area.
Under recent posts, you'll see that you can click on an individual post. You can also click on the title of any post and this is called a single because it's a single item, a single post. At the top we have the title and the same meta information that we had before but now we also have the option to leave a comment normally. It would ask for name and email etc but since I'm already logged in it knows who I am so all I need to do is put in a comment.
Here at the bottom we have what's called pagination. We can go to a previous post, if one exists. The next post. If we're on the oldest post, we don't get previous. This post has a comment and so we can see it right there and we can even click reply to reply to it.
So, as you can see, there are a number of ways that you can present your posts to your readers. You'll want to check each one of them when you get a new theme to make sure that it looks good, no matter where your reader is looking.

Introducing WordPress Plugins

Introducing WordPress Plugins

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at WordPress plugins. Now plugins are extra code that you can add to your site to add extra features. Unfortunately, plugins are packaged very nicely so that it makes it super easy to add and remove plugins. First let's go to wordpress.org and see what kinds of things are available. This is "wordpress.org/plugins" and we're here on the featured page. You'll note at the top that it says there are 47,624 plugins available. On the featured page, we can see Beebe press which is forum software and buddypress which can help turn your entire site into something like Facebook.
Jetpack is actually a meta plugin. It contains a whole bunch of other plugins. Akismet helps keep spam off your site, theme check make sure that your theme is actually up to snuff and WP super cache can help make your site go extra fast. But if we click popular we can see that there are at least 34 pages of them.
Google Analytics by monster insights helps integrate Google Analytics with your site. All-in-one SEO is for SEO just like Yoast - their competitors - and they do things a little bit differently but they're both excellent. Google XML sitemaps WooCommerce is for e-commerce. Contact form 7 ads contact forms to your site. The list goes on and on and on. So how do you get these, you ask? Well, actually what we want to do is go back to our site and under plugins I'm just going to click install plugins. You'll see that we already have three. I have one called akismet which is to keep spam off the site but it is not active at the moment it's just sitting there.
Hello Dolly is kind of a toy. It was written Matt Mullenweg and was one of the very first plugins, and it's sort of a demonstration.
Lastly, I have here the WordPress beta tester which allows me to get beta versions of WordPress if I want them. So now I want to add a new one. I can either click add new on the left or add new at the top - they do the same thing.
Now I can see a bunch of plugins that are just suggested, featured, popular and you'll note that these are all the same plugins that were on the other site. That's because they are just recommended and then if you have an account at wordpress.org you can get your own favorites. I have an account so I'm going to put in my name and click get favorites and these are my favorites.
So to install one, all you have to do is click the Install Now button. Then what I want is down the page here a little bit and it's called simple page ordering. So now I'm going to click install now and it is installed but it's not working yet. I need to activate it. Fortunately, I can do that right here and now it is active you can see it in the list and you can tell it's active because it's a light blue color and there's deactivate now.
What does this plug-in do you might ask? Well in the video about making pages, I pointed out that you could order them by changing that number in the little box. Well this plugin allows us to simply grab them and reorder them, this way. So by dragging aquarium under civics, I made it a child of civics. I move it up, it's not anymore. If I move it below home safety then it's still its own parent but it is below civics. Now this is only useful if the theme uses that number but if your theme does use that number then dragging and dropping these is way better than going into every one of them and changing that number, trying to get them all in the right order. Now when a new version of a plug-in comes out, WordPress will tell you there will be a little indicator up here by the comments bubble. They're leaning the cater here next to plugins and if you click it you'll be able to click update.
Right here there's a bulk actions option so if you click both of these you can activate and now Akismet is active. It put up this alert and Hello Dolly is active. All it does is put lyrics to the songs Hello Dolly right up here. So I don't want either one of them active anymore so I'm going to deactivate something.
That's important to remember. Is that not all plugins are equal in quality. Some of them are written quite poorly and can actually slow down your site quite a lot. Some of them haven't been updated in quite a while. Let's take a look at how we can tell some of those things.
If I click add new (we'll just pick this one just arbitrarily), there's a more details link. It says warning this plug-in has not been tested with your current version of WordPress. Now since I'm running a beta version of WordPress, that doesn't surprise me but over here on the right I can see it's compatible with up to 4.4.5. It's probably compatible with the latest version but you can't be sure. You can see there are three hundred plus active installs; you can see who the author is and when it was last updated. This one was last updated just two weeks ago, so we know that George is keeping it up to snuff. We have six ratings and the average rating is five stars so it's probably pretty good.
Once you've spent a little time in the WordPress community, you'll start recognising more and more contributors. I recognise almost all of these people and they're quite excellent developers so I can tell that this is a good plugin, also by the people developing it. If you go to other notes it tells you where you can get together with the developers to help work on this plug-in, maybe ask questions, etc. All of the plugins have this. More details link here. It has features, active installs, compatible up to 4.7. Here are the reviews. If you click reviews, you can actually see the reviews so before installing a plugin make sure you read the more details. Make sure it does what you want.
If you find that you don't want a plug-in you can simply deactivate it and then delete it from your site. I also recommend that you delete any plugins that you don't have active.
WordPress plugins that are not active can still be accessed from the web and if there's a security hole then it can still be abused so it's common for people to deactivate a plug-in but leave it, thinking that it's not hurting anything and never look at it again. Years later it's still sitting there and it might have a security flaw that has been patched but you haven't updated because it's deactivated.
So, to reiterate, if you're not using a plug-in please delete it. You can get it back any time you want as you build your site think carefully about what you need your site to do and look for plugins that do, that don't just install plug-ins that are neato or fun because they can slow your site down. That said, if it's your own personal blog and you're having a wonderful time, go for it.

Introducing WordPress Themes

Introducing WordPress Themes

 

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In this video, we're going to talk about themes for WordPress. Themes are what make your site look the way it does. We're here in our word Ville dashboard and we're under appearance, themes and right now I have nine themes installed.
Our current theme is called a west raining breeze and you can sort of see that, it looks similar. There's an image here and a sidebar, there's a menu at the top. We haven't built our menu but we have our image in our sidebar.
Themes are one of the most powerful parts of WordPress because it's so easy to make something so unique. If we go to "wordpress.org", under themes you'll see that there are actually thousands and thousands of themes available and you can simply scroll through them. These are all free. If you click on one, you get a better picture and a description. You can find out where it came from and you can find out who made it. There's even a preview button. But something that's important to note is that often the image used in the thumbnail is a customised version of the theme. For example, the person who built that theme had this picture of this woman, the preview does not. The preview can look pretty boring, actually, so keep in mind that you may see this pretty picture and end up with something like this but, that said, almost always you can take this rather bland look and turn it into exactly what they intended. In addition to all of these free themes, there are commercial themes. These are themes that you pay for. Now what's interesting is that the themes themselves under the GPL. You may recall from early in our series that GPL means that the software is free. What you actually pay for is support and that can be pretty valuable. They can help you get it configured properly, they can help you if you can't figure out their instructions, all of that kind of stuff.
Now what's different about commercial themes is usually you buy them, you download a zip file and then you bring it over here to your admin area, you click add new and then there's an upload theme button here. You simply upload it and it will install it for you.
If instead you want to install a theme that's in the free repository then you can simply click install and, similar to plugins, it's not really running until you activate it. But what's cool is you can do a live preview here and the nice thing about this live preview is that it actually uses your own content, as opposed to the content they had on "wordpress.org".
So I haven't actually activated this yet but I get to see what it looks like. Over on the left, here we have something called the customiser and we'll look at that in just a moment.
Right now, the themes we have installed are OS training breeze view - which we just installed - and then the various 20 themes. These are named after years and they're made by automatic so the latest is actually called 2017.
First, let's look at what our website looks like right now. We have a logo at the top, a nice big banner, etc. So now let's activate 2017 and reload and now it looks like this there's our homepage still. So the chain, the look of this here at the top, is the customise button and that brings us to the customiser.
Now the options in the customiser vary from theme to theme. Some themes use it more heavily than others. Most of them have some similar elements though, for example, site identity word ville. We have not just another WordPress site. Let's change that. You can see it changing down here. As I type, I'm going to type in an exclamation point, but watch. Down in the bottom of this page changes right on the fly. Then if I click Save and publish then it's live. It wasn't actually live until I clicked save, so the customiser allows you to make changes and view them in your own site with your own content before committing.
Now some of the elements right on this page have a pencil and they can help you jump to the right section inside the customiser. So, right now, we have this picture of a cactus. What would it look like if we had our city? Now our particular image is small enough that it doesn't look great when it's this large but, if you were taking a picture of your own city or anything else, it would be much larger and much more beautiful.
Let's quick save and publish this and see what it looks like without the sidebar there. It's really quite attractive but let's say this theme is not for us.
Let's go back and we'll choose OS training breeze again, reload and we are exactly back where we were. You can try as many themes as you wish this way. Llet's try 2015. There it is. Llet's preview 2010. There we go. Now the great thing about preview is that we still get to use the customiser so we can work with it and do whatever we want with it and then ,if we decide we don't want it, simply get rid of it.
Later on in our series, we're going to be using the customiser to make this word ville page look much more attractive including building, navigation, a better header and changing what's in the sidebar.
To reiterate, themes are what make your site look the way it does. There are many free plug-ins at wordpress.org and there are some excellent commercial ones linked from wordpress.org if you want something custom, something really unique. It's not that hard to make your own theme. If you're not interested in development, you could hire someone to build your own and then it will work just like any other theme. You simply install it and it wraps right around your content.

Introducing WordPress Widgets

Introducing WordPress Widgets

 

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In this video, we're going to talk about WordPress widgets and we're gonna start by defining a widget. A widget is actually a small piece of code that does one small specific thing. Traditionally, they go on a sidebar. So over here we have a search widget, recent posts widget, recent comments, etc. but they don't have to go in the sidebar. They could go in the bottom, the top or right in the middle. It really depends on how your theme is built.
Let's take a look at how this thing is built. Here in the admin area or under appearance widgets and these are all the different kinds of widgets that we could use. On the right, here are the different widget areas. We have an area for the top, an area for the footer, the right showcase and bottom. They're all called sidebars out of tradition but the one in the footer is obviously not in the side and then one at the top is obviously not on the side but let's take a look at what we have here. This is our right sidebar. If we go back to our home page, you'll see right here in the right sidebar their search, recent posts, recent comments, etc. Now our site actually has a search box right here at the top so we don't need another one right here. So to get rid of it, we simply drag it out and now it's gone. There's no saving, there's no updating. If we reload now you'll see that it's come. So what else don't we want? You probably don't want meta, which has a login area and, on this page, I don't think we want recent comments. So now let's go back and see what we have. We have recent posts, archives and categories.
What other kinds of things might we want? His archives calendar relates to our posts and then there's categories. There's a custom menu widget here that we could use to make custom menu, and we'll take a look at that when we get into the menu section next, but right here is an image widget. Let's drag that over here. Now, the image widget is not built into WordPress. That came from a plug-in that I got called image widget.
So the first thing we do is select an image and we'll promote the aquarium so we'll pick the jellies here. We click insert into widget and you'll note that it's actually really big right here but that's okay. So for our title, we can put in visit the aquarium and then we can put in a caption. Then we can make a link and you can link to anything. I'm going to link to "/aquarium" because that's our page for the aquarium and we can choose to have them stay in the window or open a new window. Here we can choose the size of the image. Now, visually, the image is not going to get bigger than its box but if you choose full size then it's going to be really big and swish down into a tiny space. If you choose thumbnail, it's actually going to be too small. So what you really want to do is pick one that's just a little bit bigger than the space that there is so that it squishes as little as possible and then you can choose alignment left, center or right. We're going to choose none, so now we click Save and let's go look at our homepage.
Here we have a box at the top that says visit the aquarium and there's a little bit of text. If you click on the image, it goes to the aquarium page. Now this theme also has some other areas to put widgets. Let's look at what we can do in the footer.
Now in our footer we might want some information about where our town is, so let's see if we could find a Google Maps widget. Little plugins add new search for google map widget. Look at the details to make sure this is a quality one - updated three weeks ago, compatible up to 4.6.1, active installs 100,000, average rating of five. It looks pretty reputable so let's click install. Now activate and there's a little pop-up telling us how to use it but let's now reload our widgets page and here is a Google Maps widget. So I'm going to click and drag that right over here and I'm going to remove the title and we're going to pretend we are in Word Ville, Oklahoma. Then there are a bunch of normal Google options here.
Now one of the great things is this isn't actually going to put a map on our page. It's going to put an image of the map which will load much, much faster. So let's click Save, then reload, look at our footer and there's our map. If we click, it opens an actual Google map.
Now we might also want some weather so let's add new and we'll search. Now this one was last updated seven years ago, so I'm going to pass on that one. This one was updated seven days ago and has 4,000 active installs, so I'm going to view more details and look at the screenshots. That looks like it could do, so let's click install now and activate. Now, we will reload our widgets page. I've been putting widgets in the sidebar by dragging so far but you can actually click and choose just like that and save.
Now let's reload our page and that made a really pretty widget but it is far too big, so what we learned about plugins is that if we have one we don't like we simply deactivate and delete. So instead, what I'm going to do is put in a text widget, which is plain text, anything you want to say. You can choose automatically had paragraph tags so the only HTML I needed to write in was the h4 for City Hall so now I click Save and I actually put it in the wrong sidebar but that's okay because you can easily drag widgets from one sidebar to another. There we go and you can add all the widgets you want.
Let's go ahead and put the meta widget over here as well and that provides things like links to site admin logout etc. Now there are many, many widgets available and it's really easy to just load up on widgets and make your sidebar be much, much longer than your page. This one already is but we should have some more information on our home page, actually, so it would work out.
Think about the content of your page and think about your widgets. Make your widgets support your content rather than the other way around. Widgets are fun, they're gadgety, they're neato, but think about your content, think about your readers and make sure that they're actually doing what you want them to do.

Managing WordPress Users

Managing WordPress Users

 

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In this video, we're going to talk about how to manage users in WordPress. If you're only running a blog for yourself, and there's only one of you, then you don't really need to worry about it too much. You shouldn't really have any other users, though. There is the option to have subscribers. We'll take a look at how to manage users and the different possible roles they may have in the admin on the left. Under users, you can view all users and right now we only have one and it's me. User information is sometimes rendered on the front of the website as well. For example, here's our news post about movies in the park and it says written by Topher and it's a link. If you click it then you get to go to an archive of all the posts by that user. So it's worth remembering that some of this information actually gets shown on the front of the site. Now when you're looking at the user archive in the admin area, you can see how many posts that person has written, their role, their email address, their name if they've entered one and then this is called a Gravatar. It's related to gravatar.com and it's used only if that user has an account at gravatar.com using the same email that is here. From right here, you can change the role to any of one of these and we'll talk about those in a few more minutes. You could bulk delete users and then you can search users on a site. With many users, the search can be very useful. Let's edit this user and look at some of the options on a per user basis. You can disable the visual editor when writing. I don't know why you'd want to do this but some people simply prefer HTML. Then there's an admin color scheme and simply by clicking you can change the color scheme of the admin area. I never do I just like the default. Then you can enable keyboard shortcuts for comment moderation and there's a link here to the codex. That helps you know what can be done and then there's the spot toolbar at the top. You can optionally show it or not show it. By default, it shows for everyone when they're logged in, some people simply don't like it. Then we get to personal information. You'll note that I don't have written in here a first name or last name and that's okay, that works, but I'm going to go ahead and do it and then there's a nickname required. I'm going to make mine a little more readable and then display name publicly as and you can choose from any of the above fields. I'm simply going to choose nickname. There's contact info, an email address is required and in fact users can use their email address to log in now. They don't have to use their username, that's one of the reasons that email addresses are so important. You may never have two users with the same email address, the website is optional. Some themes put it on the front of the website, some don't and the same goes for biographical information. Here we have profile picture. WordPress grabs the profile picture from Gravatar, if it can, but, if it can't, you can set your own. Here we can generate a new password. It's possible to be logged into this site from two different places maybe you logged in at work and left it logged in and when you get home want to log it out. You can simply click this button and it will take care of it for you. Now, you'll note that it didn't talk about role on this page. That's because you may not change your own role, you can only change it for others, even if you are an administrator. Now let's take a look at roles. I'm going to click add new and required is you to name an email and then there's this non-required information: a password, then the option to send the user an email about their account and then here we have roles and roles are very important. Let's talk about those. An administrator has full power to do everything. They can manage plugins, themes, content, users, everything an editor can do. Everything with content, which means they cannot change plugins, themes, settings or manage tools but they can do anything with anyone's content because they're the editor. An author can do anything with their own content, so they can write and publish and unpublish etc. A contributor can write but not publish. It must be reviewed by the editor or the administrator. Lastly a subscriber can't do anything with any content. There's very little they can do, besides change their own name and their own password. What they can do is be logged in to your website and have the website know about them. This is particularly useful if they comment a lot because then they don't have to put in their user. Nope, they don't have to put in their name, their web address, etc. They just comment. Also logged in users when they comment are rarely moderated. Usually they're known users because the site owner sees the account being created and if he doesn't like them he simply deletes the account. New rules may be invented and added to WordPress at any time and this is very common with e-commerce. When you install WooCommerce or easy digital downloads you may end up with an inventory manager and a sales manager. These roles allow someone to log in and deal only with e-commerce materials, never seeing any other content or settings or things like that. This can happen with just about any plugin. If you get a photography plug-in you might end up with a variety of other rules. If you run a large newspaper with WordPress, you might end up with more rules than the ones that it comes with. If you run a site with multiple people using it on a regular basis, think about what role they should have, what they need and what they do. Make sure that they have the right rule, otherwise they end up frustrated and start believing that WordPress can't do the things that they need to do, simply because their permissions are wrong. So feel free to make multiple users for your website think carefully about passwords. Make sure they have a good password and think carefully about rules and make sure that they're able to do what they need to do on your site.

Photo Galleries in WordPress

Photo Galleries in WordPress

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at another feature of the media library and that's image galleries. Earlier we built a page for the aquarium and we didn't put anything on it. Well, in this video we're going to make a really cool photo gallery.
So here at the top, in the admin bar, we can click edit page and then click add media. Now the first thing I'm going to do, click upload files, I'm going to click all of my files from my trip to the aquarium and click open. Now I have five new images uploaded and I'm going to click create gallery here on the left. Now it's still showing all my images but it's only going to create a gallery with the images that are checked. I don't want one in the gallery, I can uncheck it. I want it back in, I recheck it.
So now on the bottom right I'm going to click create new gallery and now I'm actually making the gallery. What I was doing before is choosing what images I wanted in the gallery but now I'm creating it. You can have captioned images in the gallery but you don't have to. You can choose what happens when people click on the images. We're going to choose media file. You can choose how many columns - we'll leave it at 3 for now. You can choose to have them in random order or this order. If you want to change this order, you simply drag them and then there's size. We can choose thumbnail, medium, large or full size.
Let's start with thumbnail. Now we click insert gallery and it looks like that in the editor but it doesn't look like that on the front end. So let's hit update and then view the page. It looks like this, which is a little awkward, but you can, I could, get the large images. So I don't really like the way this looks, so I go back and I can click this pencil over my gallery and I can say I want medium. Update and reload my page and that looks quite a bit better. That's still a little odd, so I click the pencil again and I say I want just two columns and update and reload. That looks a bit better.
Now one of the really great things about WordPress photo galleries is that, while they're very simple, they are extremely extendable. There are dozens of plugins that can do wonderful things with this gallery. They can make slideshows, they can make zoom effects, all sorts of things. Let's put it in random order and I want to show you what's actually going on behind the scenes. Here we see the images, here in a gallery, but if we click text you'll see that it's just this bit of text called a shortcode. It says it's a gallery that we're linking to the file, the sizes, medium to columns, the post IDs of the images and how we want it ordered. So now if we reload, the order changes every time we load. This may be good, it may be annoying. You need to gauge based on what your readers like.
One of my favorite gallery extenders comes with the jetpack plugin and we did an entire series on jetpack that includes how to make your galleries look great.
So, if you're excited about galleries, I strongly recommend you watch the jetpack series and learn about their built in galleries.

Speeding up Your WordPress Site

Speeding up Your WordPress Site

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at some ways to speed up your website. One of the easiest ways is to make your images have smaller file sizes. We're looking at a gallery here and if we click this fish, it goes to the full size image. Now my browser is presenting it to me in such a way that I can see the whole thing. The image is actually much larger and, if I click again, it zooms like this. So this is a really, really big image. Here's that same image on my computer. If I right-click and go to get info, we can see right here that it is 5.4 megabytes. That's a really big image. Now we've seen in another video that WordPress actually makes multiple versions of images when you upload them so if I right-click on this one and view image in a new tab you'll see that it's actually much smaller and I saved that one and that one is only 33 K, which is really quite good. So what that tells me is that this page itself is really going to load pretty quickly but if people want to click and view this image it can be very tedious if they're not on a super fast connection. So how can we make our images smaller? This website is called Optimizilla and it is perfect for compressing your images, reducing the amount of data in the image while maintaining a good quality picture. Let's click upload files and I'll upload this large one. Now, simply by uploading it and accepting the default settings we compressed it by 74%. Here's the original and here's our compressed. You can't really tell the difference and you'll be able to tell even less of a difference when it's actually shrunk, on-screen. But we can do even better. There's a quality of 70 now. We've reduced it by 89%, we're down to 602k. If you zoom in, you still can't really tell the difference. So let's go some more. Now you can see some difference here but if we zoom back out you still can't really tell. We're down to 369 K, down 93%. So now I'm going to click download. We have fish-min. So here's fish and here's fish-min, can't really tell the difference. Now the one that WordPress compressed got down to 33 K but imagine if we started with something that was already so much smaller and file size that would get our smaller sizes down even more. Large images are the number one thing that's slowed down your website. If you can compress those and make them load faster, your site will go a lot faster. The next thing we can do is called caching. WordPress has a plug-in called WP super cache. When you load your WordPress website, it actually talks to a database a whole bunch of times and it builds the page every time. With a caching plug-in, rather than build it every time, it saves it so that the next person gets the one built by the last person. It's much, much faster. Incredibly faster. If you expect any kind of traffic at all on your website, I strongly recommend you get a caching plug-in. There's an entire series at ostraining.com about cashing your website and making it go faster. Now there's a caveat to using a caching plugin that's very, very important. This site is hosted on GoDaddy and GoDaddy has a built-in caching system. You can tell because when you go under the GoDaddy icon here, there's a flush cache. Now many WordPress specific hosts offer built-in caching. If they do that, you don't need a plug-in and, in fact, your plugin may cause trouble. I also recommend that you use it rather than using a plugin. Don't try to turn it off and use your own plugin. The one built by the host for their servers is almost certainly going to run much more smoothly than any plugin you could get because it was custom built for their servers. So if you're already on GoDaddy, be sure to use their caching system rather than another caching system. So, to summarise, the two things that you can do to speed up your site the most are having much smaller image file sizes and using caching. Now I say these two as opposed to these seven or these 10 or whatever because these two are by far the most significant advantages. There are many more other things you can do to speed up your site but the speed ups get much smaller the farther you get from here. Smaller images and caching provide very dramatic differences and the great thing is you can go back and do it now even if you already have a site. You can go back and take your images, optimise them and re-upload them. You can add caching at any time. So if you already have a site or you're building from scratch, be sure to have compressed images and a good solid caching system.

The WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress Dashboard

 

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Let's start learning how to use WordPress. At this point, make sure you have a wordpress site you can play with. In the previous two videos we showed you options for installing a site. First we need to log in. Here's how to do it.
We want to go to "/wp-login.php" on your site. You may find a link to that on your home page. Some themes set that up by default but if it's not there simply go to this address and then put in the username and password that you created during your setup. You can optionally remember me and if you can't remember your password you can click lost your password and it will email you a link to reset your password, then simply click login. When you first log into WordPress, the first thing you see is the dashboard. The dashboard is intended to give you an overlook of your entire site. The first box you see is called 'at a glance'. This will tell you how many posts you have, how many pages and how many comments. If you have any unmoderated comments or comments that need some attention they'll also be listed here. It tells you what version of WordPress you're running, what theme you're running and this is important. It says search engines discouraged. Normally, that would be a bad thing since this is on my own machine and I don't want Google to know about it yet. This is appropriate but it's nice to know that it's there because if this were your live site, you would want to change that quickly.
Right below that is the activity box. This gives you a bit more information about your posts and comments. This shows the status of all your comments, it shows recent comments and gives you the option to actually take action on those comments.
Here we have the quick draft box. Content placed into this box start a blog post but you can't publish one from here and it's not very complete at all, really. It's just for taking notes and beginning blog post ideas that you can come back to later.
Something that's really slick about the dashboard is how flexible it is. Each of these boxes has a little arrow and you can window shade it. Additionally, you can move the boxes around. This is handy based on your needs and which ones you want to use. If there are some that you don't want at all, you can click on the screen options button here and you can hide quick draft, for example, and you'll note that there are some others here that we didn't see before. This holds some WordPress news. It shows a popular plugin and then there's a welcome screen. Normally you only see the welcome screen the first time you install WordPress but it has some pretty handy buttons and if you want to get it back you can do that. Then when you're done with it you simply click dismiss and all that does is uncheck this button.
Each of these boxes is called a dashboard widget and there are many plugins which install other dashboard widgets. For example, if you get an e-commerce plug-in you'll end up with a great big dashboard widget that shows you recent sales, trends in sales, most recently purchased items and things like that. You can get statistics plugins that get information either from wordpress.com or Google Analytics and shows you your recent statistics right here in your dashboard. Just about anything could go in here really.
Down at the very bottom, it says thank you for creating with WordPress. Over here is another important bit of information. You are using a development version. Cool. Stay updated. What this really does is show what version you're currently using. If your version is outdated it'll tell you and give you a link to update it immediately.
The dashboard can be an extremely useful place for information about the health of your website. I recommend that you position the widgets in the way that makes it most effective for you and then keep your eye out for other good Dashboard widgets that can help you manage your website better.

Using the WordPress Media Library

Using the WordPress Media Library

 

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In this video, we're gonna talk about the media library that is built into WordPress. The media library allows you to store images, music, video and be able to use them just about anywhere you want, posts pages, whatever.
We're looking here at the dashboard and, on the left, there's a media link and here's the library. Right now, we all have one thing in it and it's the image from our home page that you saw in an earlier video.
Now, right here in the library, you can search your items. You can filter them by type, by date uploaded and you can make them look a little different. You can also add new, you can select from your home machine, you can see your photos in your finder and simply upload them. Let's upload this one and there we are, it's done. Now we can click on it, you can see the image nice and large and you can see information about this image. There's the file and the type, when it was uploaded, the file size and the dimensions. You can see the URL of the picture itself right here and then there's a title. I recommend always putting in alt text. This makes it easier for people with screen readers to be able to know what's going on with your images. Here we could view the attachment page, edit more details or delete permanently. I'm going to click Edit more details. This allows us to give the image a title, a caption, there's the alternate text and the description can actually have HTML in it.
So now I'm going to hit update without actually changing anything but then I want to go back to here and down in the lower left there's a button that says edit image. This allows you to do some very rudimentary image editing: you can rotate it and you can flip it and, depending on whether or not your server has the right tools, you can crop. Over here you can actually change the size of the image, you could crop it and then you could choose to apply changes to only some of the sizes, which brings me to a cool thing. When you upload an image, WordPress actually makes multiple sizes of it. We're going to take a look at the deep. We're going to take a look at the settings in greater detail later but for now let's take a quick look.
Every time you upload an image, it creates a thumbnail size of 150 by 150 pixels a medium size of 300 by 300 and a large size of 1024 by 1024. Now, these are maximum heights so if you have one that is wider than tall it'll keep the aspect ratio. It won't always give you square images. It also maintains the original one so that you can work with it later if you need to so. That's how you upload and manage images right in the media library, but you can interact with the media library in other places. For example, under posts here are our news items here's the classic rock concert in the park I'm going to click right here at the beginning of our text and click add media, I'm going to upload, and this is very much like the uploader in the media library, and now I can choose alignment left, center or right. When you choose left and you can choose to link to nothing linked directly to the image link to a page showing the image or a custom URL so you could link to anything. You could link to Google if you wanted to. I'm gonna leave it at media file and then you can choose a size. The full size would be ridiculously large. That would be really painful for people to download and view but we can choose large medium and thumbnail. I'm going to choose me and click insert into post and there you see it.
So now I'll click update and on the front end you can see our image. But now, what if we want to move it to the right? If you click it, there's some options here for alignment and now it's on the right. If you click it again and click the pencil, you can edit the caption, the alternate text. You could change the alignment, the size, how it links and there's even an Advanced section where you can put in some custom CSS items. You can also edit which is just like the Edit we saw before, or you can replace it. You can actually put up a different image in place of this one. You can also grab the corners of the image and resize it. Now it doesn't actually resize the image it stretches it which made me fine in this case it looks just fine but some images don't stretch well so you should experiment with that. Let's do one more. I'm going to click here at the top again, click add media and now I'm simply going to select an image that's already there and our alt text is already there so I can simply insert into post. Except I forgot that I want the large one centered so now I click update and it looks like that and that's actually a little bit too big, so I go back and I say large is too large so we'll make it medium and float:left which is far more readable for our visitors. However, I still left it to click to original. The original is actually very very large so people can zoom in if they want to.
The media library can hold more things than just images. Can also hold audio and video, and we'll take a look at that in a future video.

WordPress Embeds from Other Sites

WordPress Embeds from Other Sites

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at another way to embed multimedia in your site, but this is multimedia that you find around the internet. The easiest way to explain it is to show you.
I'm going to create a new page about home safety. Safety is important and in word ville we want our people to be safe so I've made this page and I'm going to make it a child of the civics page. So now we have a little text and the video that I want to embed is from YouTube and it's right here. Now they have options for sharing. You can click embed and you could copy this code but you don't actually need to with WordPress. I'm going to take the address from right here in the address bar and I'm going to paste it right here and that's it. I didn't do anything to expand the video, it just appeared there.
So now I'm going to click publish and you can see our URL is "/civics/home-safety" because we made it a child of civics. Let's view this page and here it is. We can simply click play. A lot move into making a house a home. You, we, have all the usual YouTube options. We can change quality, we could click to watch on YouTube. I own a chromecast, so I could cast this to my TV or I could go fullscreen. Want to make it comfortable? Of course, but above, now, how did that work in WordPress? It's called oEmbed and it looks like this. oEmbed. All you have to do is paste in a URL. You can do some other things like this and specify things like width and height, but you don't have to. What's extra cool about oEmbed is that it works with all of these sites. There's Flickr, Hulu, Imgur, Instagram, Kickstarter, Meetup, SoundCloud, speaker deck, tumblr, Twitter. They all work.
Let's go grab a few tweets about home safety. Let's pick the home safety UK and we'll do this one so I'm going to click this tweet and now I'm simply gonna grab that URL and we will edit and down below my video I'm simply going to paste the URL and there we are. Now it looks like that. So if I update, go look at my page, there's our video, there is a tweet and again everything works. You can follow, you can favorite, you can retweet and you can reply Oh embed can be a wonderful way to include content from around the internet on your site but you must be careful that you're not breaking copyright.
Not everybody wants you to be able to put their stuff on your site so be sure to read the site and make sure that the permissions are right so that you can use their content on your site being able to embed video, tweets, photos and all of that can really enhance your site.