Text Widgets, Digg 3-column vs. Blix 2-column WordPress.com Themes

A reader commented on the tutorial “How to Use a Text Widget to Customize a WordPress Sidebar” today to ask if the Blix theme supports text widgets. It looks to me like it definitely does. Has anyone else had trouble with this?

The same reader asked about adding a custom header to the Blix theme. The custom header can be changed in the WordPress Dashboard under Appearance > Custom Header. Not all themes support a custom header, but the Blix theme does. I have not created a tutorial showing how to do this yet. Sorry! But it looks pretty straight-forward. Hopefully not too hard to figure out.

One other thing I should mention: BE CAREFUL ABOUT SWITCHING THEMES.

If you have a 3-column theme like the one I use on Business Blogging 101 (Digg 3 Column) and you are using widgets in both sidebars – especially custom text widgets like I show you how to create in the “How to Use a Text Widget to Customize a WordPress Sidebar” tutorial – then you should be aware that, if you switch to a 2-column theme, all of your widgets from the second sidebar will be moved into the one sidebar.

If you plan to keep the 2-column theme, that’s fine! You would want to move them all to the one sidebar so that they don’t disappear. However, if you are just “trying out” the 2-column theme to see how it looks, you will have to manually recreate your text widgets when you switch back to the 3-column theme. Otherwise, they will all remain in the left sidebar.

How do I know this? I just did it myself! Oops! It took about 15 minutes of copying and pasting text widget content back into the second (right side) sidebar to put everything back to the way it was.

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WordPress Tutorial – How to Upload & Link to a PDF, Microsoft Word doc, or other doc in WordPress 2.7

This beginner-level WordPress tutorial is an update of the existing tutorial on Business Blogging 101 and YouTube called “WordPress Tutorial – How to Upload and Link to a PDF, Microsoft Word Document, Excel, PowerPoint or Other Doc Using WordPress“. That tutorial was done using an earlier version of WordPress. This tutorial uses WordPress 2.7.

This tutorial shows three things:

1) How to upload a PDF, Microsoft Word doc, PowerPoint or other Office-type document using WordPress 2.7

2) How to insert a link to that document into a WordPress post or page. (Visitors to your site can click on the link to download or view the document.), and

3) that there are two things called “Media Library” in the WordPress 2.7 Dashboard, one of which has more information about the files in the Library than the other does. It’s helpful to see how you get to each of these Media Libraries because you can find the URL link for a file in only one of them, which can be confusing!

UPDATE: WordPress 2.8 fixed the problem of the file URL. Before 2.8, the file URL was only visible in the Media Library that you access via the page/post editing interface. But with 2.8, you can find uploaded file URLs in either one of the Media Libraries. Thanks, WordPress crew!

How to Upload & Link to a PDF, Microsoft Word doc, or other doc in WordPress 2.7


In the comments for this post, a reader asks about how to paste text from Microsoft Word into WordPress. (See discussion below for more.) As part of the answer to that question, here is a screen shot of the WordPress HTML editing tab and window.

 

The WordPress HTML editing tab and window.

WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a Static Page Your Home Page & Hide a Double Home Page Link

UPDATE – PLEASE NOTE:
The latest version of WordPress, WordPress 3.0, includes custom navigation menus. They are built into the new default theme, Twenty Eleven. Many themes on WordPress.com support custom menus. If your site is hosted on WordPress.com or you are using a theme that supports the new custom navigation menus, hiding a double Home page link is easy. See the tutorial on WordPress 101 called Building Custom Menus.*

IF YOU HAVE A SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS SITE WITH AN OLDER THEME:
If you have a “self-hosted” site instead of one hosted on WordPress.com, you may be able to use the Exclude Pages Plugin for WordPress to hide your extra Home page link and any links that appear in your sidebar Pages navigation.

You can’t install plugins on sites hosted by WordPress.com. That’s one of the main drawbacks to hosting with WordPress.com. For those sites, this YouTube video tutorial (below) is still useful.

If you like this tutorial, you may also like: WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a “Child” Page (Subpage) and How to Hide a Link in the Pages Sidebar Widget

This beginner-level WordPress Tutorial shows how to make a “static” WordPress page your Home page (also called a “front page”), and how to hide the second Home page link that sometimes appears in your site navigation when you make that static page into a Home page.

By default, a WordPress website displays the blog page on the home / front page. For example, on the Business Blogging 101 website home page at https://mcbuzz.wordpress.com you see blog posts with the most recent post at the top of the page and earlier posts below that.

WordPress allows you to select a different page as your home page, so that you can display more traditional content like information about yourself or your business. You can also create another page to use as your blog page, with a link to that page in your site navigation. Watch the video tutorial below to see how to do this.

One problem you may run into when you make a static page your home page is that the link to that page now appears in the main site navigation, so that you have two links to the same home page – usually the page called “Home” in the main site navigation. The second part of this tutorial shows how to remove one of those links from your site navigation so that visitors to your site are not confused by the duplicate link.

WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a Static Page Your Home Page & Hide Double Home Page Link

*Note the “Pay What You Wish” pricing on WordPress 101. Business Blogging 101 is not an affiliate of WordPress 101 WordPress tutorials, meaning that I don’t get a kickback for referring people there.

WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a “Child” Page (Subpage) and How to Hide a Link in the Pages Sidebar Widget

UPDATE – PLEASE NOTE:
If you have a “self-hosted” or third-party-hosted site instead of one hosted on WordPress.com, you may be able to use the Exclude Pages Plugin for WordPress to hide Child Page links that show in popup submenus under your main navigation links and any links that appear in your sidebar Pages navigation.

You can’t install WordPress plugins on sites hosted by WordPress.com. That’s one of the main drawbacks to hosting with WordPress.com. For those sites, this tutorial is still useful.

This beginner-level WordPress tutorial shows 1. How to make a “child” page or subpage of another page (a “parent” page) using the WordPress 2.7 editing interface. And 2. How to hide a link in the Pages sidebar widget, in other words, how to keep a link to a page from showing in the Pages sidebar widget by putting the page (post) ID number into the “Exclude” box in the Pages sidebar widget dialog box.

If you like this tutorial, you may also like: WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a Static Page Your Home Page & Hide a Double Home Page Link

Making “child” pages (subpages) is useful because you may not want all your pages to show in the main page navigation of your WordPress theme. In most themes, only “main” pages (pages that don’t have a “parent”) show up in the main page navigation. In some newer WordPress themes, child pages show up in a popup menu that appears when you roll over the main page link. And in some themes, sub-subpages show up in popup menus as well. These are sometimes called “cascading” navigation menus: sub-subpages show up in a popup menu when you roll over a subpage link.

The second part of this tutorial shows how to hide (or “exclude”) a link to a page that would otherwise appear in the links of the Pages sidebar widget. The tricky part of excluding a link is finding the page / post ID number. I show you how to do this.

Excluding a link is useful for a number of reasons. One is that when you make a static page your Home page in WordPress (by telling WordPress to diplay a Page as your Home page instead of displaying your blog posts), some themes will show the link to this static page as a second home page link in your main navigation. By making the Home page a subpage and excluding that link from the Pages sidebar navigation, you can eliminate the double Home page link.

In WordPress 2.7, you select a static page to use as your Home page using the Settings > Reading panel in the Dashboard. When you do this, be sure to create a new page to use as your Blog page. If you do not designate a page to use as your Blog page, your blog posts will no longer be visible.

How to Make a “Child” Page (Subpage) & Hide a Pages Sidebar Widget Link

WordPress Tutorial – Basic Introduction to the New WordPress 2.7 Dashboard

This video tutorial for WordPress is a basic introduction to the new WordPress version 2.7 Dashboard. It’s a beginner-level tutorial that shows you how to use new features of the Dashboard: How to customize the way different parts of the Dashboard are arranged on the page using drag and drop admin modules (boxes of content). How to open and close module windows and menu options – a very cool feature! How to collapse and expand sidebar menus. And how to hide or show individual modules in the Dashboard.

WordPress 2.7 Dashboard – Basic Introduction

Does WordPress Version 2.5 Use Different Code to Wrap Text Around an Image?

A reader of the popular WordPress tutorial post “How to Position an Image and Wrap Text Around an Image Using WordPress” suggests that the code to wrap text around an image is different in WordPress version 2.5.

HERE’S AN UPDATE: Wrapping text around an image in WordPress version 2.5 or later is much easier than in earlier versions. You may not need to use any HTML code to make adjustments to alignment. Padding around the image is added automatically. See the tutorial “How to Position an Image and Wrap Text Around an Image Using WordPress 2.5 or Later” for more.

Still, the idea that WordPress uses different code to wrap text around an image doesn’t make sense to me. It’s possible that the improvements to text wrap are in version 2.6, not version 2.5.

I do notice that WordPress inserts some new CSS class information with the image, like “alignnone size-full”, but this does not effect the inline CSS I am using to position the image and wrap text around it. The text above wraps as it should around the right side of the image. I don’t see any difference. So hopefully our reader will tell me more about what he means by the “‘edit image’ extra space issue” in WordPress 2.5.


Just for the heck of it, here’s the text wrapping around the left side of the image.

What does everyone think of the new WordPress 2.5 admin panel organization and look-and-feel?

WordPress Tutorial – Make a Static Page Your Home Page – Part 3

This Beginner-level WordPress Tutorial is a follow-up to “Make a Static Page Your Home/Front Page” and “Make a Static Page Your Home Page – Part 2”.

Part 2 shows a way to hide the link to a page that you use as your home page so that people aren’t confused by the fact that there are two links to the same page in your navigation. That method works when you have navigation in the sidebar that shows subpages AND subpages are part of your site. If your site doesn’t have subpages, there is no way to hide the link to your home page. It will show as a subpage link. That sentence is no longer true! As an intrepid reader points out, the WordPress Pages navigation widget now allows you to exclude any page from its links.

The video tutorial below shows you how to a make a custom sidebar using WordPress Widgets so that you can remove page navigation from the sidebar and make the home page a subpage whose link does not appear in the navigation.

But the best way to go (I haven’t made a video tutorial for this yet) is to exclude the Home page from your Pages navigation in the sidebar using the Pages widget. As noted by a reader commenting on Part 2 of this Static Page / Home Page WordPress tutorial, you can keep Pages navigation in your sidebar without having to show a link to your Home page there.

The Pages navigation widget allows you to exclude any page using the page ID number.

Here’s how to find the ID number for a Page or Post.

You can insert the Page ID of any page you want to exclude into the “Exclude:” box when you Edit the Pages widget. Find the ID number of your Home page, put that in the “Exclude:” box of the Pages widget, and the link to the Home page will not show in the sidebar.

Mark McLaren
McBuzz Communications

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