Subject: DMA - Digital media- 2013
Class 04 - More Blog Customisation
Additional things you can do to customise your site
Shortcodes are keywords in square brackets that allow you to insert coded modules into your Wordpress posts and pages without actually writing the code. There is a good list on the page below that has instructions for different usages:
This page has some good hints and ideas for getting your blog connected to others and to other social media sites.
If you have a smart-phone, you can download a free app that allows you to post to and manage your blog from your phone - which is great if you want to post images and ideas on the fly from anywhere. It's a good way to keep a steady stream of updates on your blog - the more content you can post, the better the blog looks overall.
Get a Homepage
This page shows you how to create a static home page for your blog. If you do this, you'll need another page on your menu to access the blog posts as they won't be visible.
Create Custom Menus
If you want to create custom menus, it's not difficult, but you have to follow the appropriate steps. To create menu items you need to either have created Pages, or need to have your posts linked to Categories, or you can create menu items for External Links. Whichever option you choose, they need to be in place or you need to know what you're doing before you go to the Menu area of your Dashboard.
If you create static Pages for your blog, they are usually not linked to anything - so they can't be accessed from your blog unless you add them to a Menu.
When you go to the Menu area of the Dashboard, you will need to create a menu (or edit an existing menu), add items to the menu and organise them, save the menu, and then you need to Activate the menu or it won't be seen on your blog - this last step is one that people often forget and then wonder why they can't see their new menu in their blog.
Create: things to do this week
1. You should hopefully have some good quality images of your artwork saved as JPEG or PNG at 72dpi, ready to upload to your media library. You can do this either from the Dashboard, or when adding a Post or Page
2. create at least one gallery or slideshow of your work. Don't forget to use titles, captions etc to properly document your work. You might also want to experiment with the other settings in the media area such as alignment, size, etc.
3. if you haven't already, make sure you have a blogroll linking to your classmates' blogs, and make sure you have widgets set up like the Tag Cloud and the Archive so that it is easy to access your blog content in different ways
4. if you haven't done this yet, make sure you have Categories and Tags for all of your blog posts. This helps to build a contextual picture of your blog and makes it easier for visitors to find content according to keywords.
5. try some of the other customisation options for your blog - if they suit you.
Show me your blog
I will come around and officially review everyone's blogs towards the end of class today. I want to see your interface layout, and the content you have started to enter such as responses to the videos shown in class, and examples of your own work. I will give you feedback on your progress and suggestions for improvement where relevant.
Homework / Readings
Just keep tweaking your blog to get it looking the way you want it and have it set up so you can easily make regular posts.
Some interesting websites and blogs by artists and designers