WordPress Tip#2: Header

Changing the header in Wordpress is simple, and easy to forget how you did it

WordPress Tip #2: Header

It turns out that the left Dashboard menu item labeled “Appearance” holds some of the most important tools in WordPress.  In fact, if you don’t change the appearance of your blog, it’s pretty much going to remain a generic Theme.

Change the picture on your Header with the following steps.  Click on Header, then Browse.  This let’s you look through your home computer files to find a new photo.  Don’t worry what photo you use, but if it’s a photo of you, it probably should be wearing clothes. You will the have an opportunity to select a portion of the photo to paste into the Header.   Go ahead and try it.  If you are using Theme Twenty Ten, you now will want to find a horizon-type shot that includes a section that is looong and not too tall.  Bonus Tip:  Remember how you changed your Header: Dashboard->Appearance->Header.  I forgot how I did it and had a devil of a time changing it.

WordPress Tip #1: Very Basic Widget Manipulation

WordPress Tip #1 for the complete ignoramus:  Learn how Widgets work.  Widgets are one of the most powerful tools in WordPress, even though they seem buried halfway down the menu on the left side of your Dashboard screen.

Once you have selected a WordPress Theme and have your blog running, open Dashboard and go to Appearance and then to Widgets.

Click the down arrow on one of your “Widget Areas” on the right side  Doesn’t matter which one, but make it “Primary Widget Area.”  Now click and drag one of the widgets displayed in the center of the screen — doesn’t matter which one, but for now grab “Text” —  drag it to the Primary Widget Area.  A rectangle outlined with a dotted line will magically appear.  Drop the Widget in the Widget Area.  Now type something in it, either in the title or the text box.

Now look at the change in your blog’s appearance by clicking on the very top of the page, your web site name.

Do you see the text you typed?  You have just fooled with a widget.

Remember: widgets are good, widgets are dear.

Now Go Back to Dashboard -> Appearance -> Widgets (you can’t change widgets from anywhere else as far as I know, which is not much).  To see the widget you made, click on the arrow on the Primary Widget Area, then grab your Text widget and drop it in the Inactive Widgets area.  Experiment like this with other widgets.  Nothing can go wrong unless you delete or remove a useful widget from your theme.

Are you an experienced WordPress user, and have I insulted your intelligence?  Good.

Are you an inexperienced WordPress user who has read something you don’t understand?  Bad.  Send me a comment.  I’m not asking for questions.  I’m asking if you read something you didn’t understand.

WordPress Tips for the Bewildered

WordPress Tips for the Bewildered

I’m starting this page because I just started to use WordPress and once you learn something “obvious,” it becomes more difficult to explain. Most of my math teachers had this problem. “See? See?,” they asked, pointing at an equation. Well, no, I didn’t. That was why I was in a math class rather than joyfully outside, playing with a stick. And because what was complicated for me had become obvious to them, they could no longer see through my eyes.

So I am setting out to spell out my most simpleminded, most obvious, most idiotically simple discoveries in the use of WordPress. My purpose is not to impress you with my knowledge, but to take advantage of my ignorance.

Once you have installed WordPress from your WebHost (I use Blue Host (which supports WordPress with one click installation) and have been extremely happy with them — I’m not saying they like idiots, but their support staff have been very patient and always there for me, 24/7). For those of you following along, I am using the default WordPress Theme “Twenty Ten,” but it shouldn’t be too critical which Theme you pick.