Welcome back to Our Love Affair with WordPress. In last month’s Episode 3, we customized the Harmony WordPress theme for a fictitious bra-fitting business. In this final Episode of Part 4, before we move on to Part 5 in the series, I’ll cover how you can add a little finesse, searchability and optimization to your weblog once you have the blog design, layout and basic elements down. The following are a few enhancements to your WordPress blog (or blog-powered website) that will make your blog more dynamic, optimized and user-friendly.
February 22nd, 2008 · No Comments
January 6th, 2008 · No Comments
In Part 4, Episode 2 of Our Love Affair With WordPress, we chose the Harmony WordPress theme as our template for Perfect Fit, our fictional bra-fitting business. Again, bearing in mind that Perfect Fit is an unusual business, the theme layout is standard but we want to add a little something extra to make it special. In Episode 1 you learned what steps to take to create your ideal blog or website. At this stage, we’ve already decided on the tone or mood of the website, the layout and navigation. And now we have a theme on which to recreate our ideal structure and navigation before setting the mood. The next step now is editing your theme so that the layout is exactly what you planned before dressing it up in something sexy.
The Harmony theme is almost the ideal layout for Perfect Fit. Only a few things need to be moved around or added:
January 2nd, 2008 · No Comments
In the last installment of Our Love Affair with WordPress we discussed blog design in all its glory and step by step. You learned that design is more than the way the blog looks, it’s also the way a blog is structured. Now, let’s assume you’ve followed the first three steps in the seven steps to blog design in Episode 1: you’ve defined the purpose of your site, set goals, have a mood in mind and have developed an information architecture (structure and navigation) that’s ideal for your site. Now it’s time to put it all together using WordPress as your content management system.
You can approach creating your blog in two ways: 1. Use and modify one of hundreds of free themes available at the official WordPress themes site themes.wordpress.net, or other unofficial but equally wonderful sites like Wordpress Themes, WordPress Theme Park or visit Using Themes at WordPress.org for a non-exhaustive list of sites with free WordPress themes you can download; or 2. Visit WordPress’s Stepping into Templates page on how to create your own theme from scratch.
October 29th, 2007 · No Comments
Last time on “Our Love Affair With WordPress” you learned about blog content. You learned that good content is relevant, engaging, mostly free, cites sources, should contain visuals and ultimately reflects you or your business. So, let the courting continue with the pretty stuff, design. The allure of WordPress is its seemingly infinite capacity to change its looks from one blog to another, keeping things fresh and interesting for designers and visitors alike. The WordPress publishing platform is the blog designers wet dream because it is so flexible, open, and capable of creating a look as simple a look as Simpla to a more involved design like Alexified. Before we continue, I’d like to make sure we’re all on the same page about what design means in the blog (and website) design world. Design means structure, look, navigation and technology, not just the look of a blog. Savvy?
October 22nd, 2007 · No Comments
So, back for more? Couldn’t resist, huh? Well, let’s get started then. Friday, we went over the The Essentials of Blogging and talked about how content, categorizing (including archiving) and commenting are the main staples of blogging. A blog exists for content and sociability for the most part. The goal of any blogger should be to make your blog as interesting to read as possible and that promotes interactivity (usually through commenting and often also through sharing and bookmarking, which we’ll cover later). Your content must also be categorized in such a way your readers know where to look for articles on a given topic or maybe even a specific article. Category listings, archiving and tag clouds are the most common methods of effective and simple ways to organize your blog articles without confusing or frustrating your readers.
Though categorizing and commenting are essential, content is king. More importantly, your written content is king and executioner. A blog is nothing without good content and everything with it. More to the point, good content is what brings in readership. Relevant content creates a following. Crappy content kills a blog.
October 19th, 2007 · No Comments
On Wednesday’s discussion Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 1 - A WordPress Overview, we gave you a few essential links to visit on getting intimate with WordPress. Hope you and WordPress have bonded a bit. If you have and are already convinced that blogging with WordPress is ideal for you, contact Poles Apart Design to help you get your blog up and running. Otherwise, it’s time to take a step back and review the Essentials of Blogging on WordPress. The main thing to note is that WordPress’s self-hosted blogging platform is fast, light and extremely customizable. From a theme as basic as Kubrick to one as feature rich as Revolution, you can go from creating a personal blog that is a simple log for your thoughts to a robust community or business blog with a lot of content, advanced sociability functions and seemingly endless means of categorizing and archiving all content. Remember, a blog is just a regularly updated journal or chronicle of articles and other bits of information such as images and links, published as web pages. And with WordPress, you can create many, many ways to organize, archive and display your articles and bits of information in chronological or discontinuous order. Its up to you.
So before we get into how a WordPress blog works in particular, I’m sure you’d like to know how a typical blog works in general. Well, three main aspects of a blog are: content (and how it’s organized), comments and categorizing. Of course there is more to a blog than these three things, but these three Cs are the basis of blogging.
October 17th, 2007 · No Comments
If it’s not yet obvious, we LOVE WordPress here at the WordPress PAD. We’d marry WordPress if we could, seriously. But alas, it’s not legal and well, sort of gross if you think about it. So, let’s not. Let’s instead focus on how to get the best out of WordPress. Our Love Affair With WordPress is a series we’d like to continue until you cry mercy and tell us enough already, we get it, we give up, we’ll join you in your love lust with WordPress, sheesh…or something like that. We love to blog. We love talking about how we love to blog. It’s a sickness we want no cure for.
First thing’s first. What is WordPress? Well, it’s a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Gibberish? Not really. But, to put it simply, WordPress is a very, very, very good and free blog publishing platform. What’s a blog? A blog is a regularly updated journal or chronicle of articles and other bits of information such as images and links, published as web pages. What makes WordPress a superior blog publishing platform is that it is free, user-friendly and the web designer and developers dream because it’s easy (and fun) to customize. This benefits blog readers too since many plugins can be used by many people creating a more dynamic and social blogosphere.