Blogging for Dummies

WordPress.com is fairly easy to use. You don’t have to get into the arcana of coding or HTML or any of the fancy computer stuff. If you can send an email, you’ve got just about all the technical skills to post here.  Let’s walk through a simple text-only post.

Text

First, when I sent an invitation to you as an admin, it should have been emailed to you, along with a link to the dashboard here (the dashboard being the non-public facing side of the blog, where you compose posts, and manage the blog.  The address for the dashboard is https://thelexicans.wordpress.com/wp-admin/  so you might wanna bookmark that.

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The dashboard

On the dashboard, you see an overview of how many posts there are, recent comments, and the recent statistics for the blog.

On the upper right, there is a bar labeled “Quick Press” that’s probably the easiest way to add a new post.

dashboard

Upper right of dashboard.

Hover your mouse over the right end of the Quick Press line, and you’ll see an arrow to expand that box.

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Quick Press Expanded

You then put in a title, and type in your post.

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Sample text

You see a couple icons between the title and the content spaces. Those are for adding pictures, video, polls, and whatnot. Let’s leave that aside for just now.

Under the content space, you’ll see space for tags. Tags are purely optional. Basically, they’re used to highlight keywords or subjects of the post. It won’t hurt a bit if you ignore them.

Now you have the option of either hitting the publish button and sharing your thoughts, or hitting the Save Draft button.  If you save your draft, you can come back to it at another time, finish it, edit it, delete it or what have you. It will show on the “recent drafts” line under the QuickPress feature. If it doesn’t show there, it doesn’t mean it was deleted or disappeared, it just means it isn’t recent. Don’t flip out.  You can still find your drafts under the “posts” button on the upper left of the dashboard.

Pictures

There are two prime methods of inserting pictures to your post here at the Lexicans. You can either upload them to the media library here, or hot-link them from where you find them on the web. Hotlinking sometimes doesn’t work. There’s plenty of space in the media library, so unless your pictures are a gigabyte in size, don’t worry about sucking up storage.

Upload- Let’s say you have a picture on your hard drive  of a kitten F/A-18 in full grunt you want to share with the crowd.  In that space between the title and the content, the first icon is “upload/insert media.” Click on that.  Here’s what you should see:

add media

Add/insert media popup.

Click on the select files button, and you should see a windows explorer tab open, to navigate to wherever your picture is:

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Select your file

When you select the picture you want, WordPress will upload the picture to the blog’s media library.

uploaded

Formatting page

You can fill in the blanks above, but the important thing is the “insert into post” button.

We’ll save the hotlink option, and how to embed a youtube for next time.

Also, on the blogroll on the right side of the blog, there’s a link to LearnWordpress.com that I highly recommend you all take a look at.

I also briefly want to mention that both Word 2007 and Windows Livewriter are available as drafting tools. I write most of my posts in Livewriter and publish from there. It’s free, and relatively easy to use.

Questions? Feel free to hit me up, either in comments, email, or if you really, really need help, I’ll give you my phone number.

15 thoughts on “Blogging for Dummies”

  1. Can you add me as an admin? Wouldn’t mind putting a toe in the water.

    Thanks,
    Byron

  2. xbrad, I can now open the dashboard (which I couldn’t last night) but I don’t see the email.

    shipfitterATcomcastDOTnet

    Byron

  3. Thanks for adding me as an admin, xbrad. I’m late as all get-out with this… but ya know what they say about that.

  4. Uber-super-admin comment: I find it preferable to bring over photos and videos from other applications instead of using the WordPress system. Flickr has its issues, but does work OK for this. YouTube likewise.

    Two main advantages to imbedding a image/video vice uploading directly to WordPress. First the “host” has a quota restriction (someone somewhere ends up paying for this space). Second, WordPress offers less control over the images than Flickr or other platforms… control as in copyright, content ownership rights, etc.

    But more importantly, if you plan to re-use public domain images from a photostream (say the Navy’s Flickr page), then imbedding is the proper way to do it.

    I can do a quick spread on this if anyone is interested.

  5. Of course the first thing I wanted to post was the YouTube video of the Folding of the Flag on Tuesday and the bagpiper…and a bit of a story added on about bagpipers I have known. I’ll wait until you are able to give a brief about the process. Everything else has worked well and I added myself to the blogroll.

  6. Art, I tried to go to the dashboard and it told me that “shipfitter” is not an authorized admin…go figure

    Byron, who thought he’d give this blogging thing a whirl, since I’ve been reading them for nearly ten years now.

    1. Doublecheck that you’re at the lexicans, and not here. I love ya, but haven’t added you here.

      Yet. If you still have trouble, shoot me another msg and I’ll work on it.

  7. Hey, as a former Nuke Electrician on the BillyB, once in a while a synapse fires, and I remember something interesting or funny (to my pea-brain). One or two other people might find that fired synapse at least tolerable. Could I become an admin, purty please?

    jshawley at earthlink dot net.

    Thanks, and thanks for creating this site, for strength!

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