Free Easy WordPress Tutorials: Vote For a WordPress Tutorial Topic

Free WordPress Tutorials: Business Blogging 101 is getting more visitors than ever. WordPress 3.0 is out and flourishing (because it ROCKS). The new default WordPress theme, Twenty Ten, is more WordPressy AWESOMENESS. There has even been a recent resolution to an ongoing disagreement about the General Public License and Thesis WordPress theme.

With all this going on, I feel a need to create some more easy WordPress Tutorials that will add to the growing list and help more people discover and learn to use WordPress.

Use the Poll above to vote or nominate your own WordPress tutorial topic. I haven’t tried this kind of WordPress/Polldaddy poll  before, but I’ll add your suggestions if several people list the same one or something similar.

Feel free to include your own ideas for WordPress tutorials in more detail using the comment form.

UPDATE: Votes for the next easy WordPress Tutorial topic are already coming in. Thanks, everyone!
I need more votes, so tell a friend!

I’m using a PollDaddy poll, which is really easy to do on WordPress.com. There’s also a PollDaddy plugin you can use to create polls and surveys on a self-hosted WordPress site. My poll has an option for “Other” so you can write in your own topic if none of my suggestions sounds good. Here’s how the poll results look when you view them in the WordPress Dashboard. Pretty darn cool!

Dashboard view of WordPress PollDaddy Poll on McBuzz.WordPress.com

Dashboard view of WordPress PollDaddy Poll on McBuzz.WordPress.com

Seattle WordPress Event: Business Websites, WordPress 3.0 and SEO for WordPress

On Tuesday, May 11 in Bellevue (Seattle), Washington, you can hear me (Mark McLaren) and two other WordPress experts talk about 1) WordPress for Business Websites, 2) the latest version of WordPress (3.0), and 3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for WordPress. It’s an evening event at Bellevue College, with plenty of time for Q & A and networking.

Anyone who wants to learn WordPress, or learn more about WordPress – definitely check it out!

I will be doing the WordPress Search Engine Optimization presentation. You’ll get all you need to take your WordPress website from the basic default level of search optimization to a truly optimized level using the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin for WordPress. The SEO techniques I’ll talk about work on any website. I’ll just be showing you how to apply them quickly and easily to your WordPress site.

To sign up now, visit the Seattle WordPress seminar website.

The event is called “Explode the WordPress Learning Curve: An Evening with the Experts”. Here are the highlights of this awesome WordPress seminar:

After An Evening with WordPress Experts, you’ll understand:

  • why so may businesses are choosing WordPress for their websites and blogs
  • how to leverage the power and flexibility of a WordPress website to increase sales
  • how easy it is to make the move to WordPress
  • 5 techniques for optimizing your WordPress pages for better search engine rankings
  • the key features of 3.0, the newest version of WordPress

What’s Included in this Event:

  • 3 “mini-seminars” from WordPress experts
  • 15-minute break with time for networking as well as time before and after the event
  • Extended Q & A panel discussion with the experts: Get your questions answered
  • Opportunity to meet the experts at the conclusion of the event
  • Time to visit the presenters’ tables and exchange information
  • Copies of all presentations
  • Additional information on useful tips, plugin’s, themes and resources for WordPress users

Feel free to contact me with questions about the event. For tickets and more information, visit the Seattle WordPress seminar website.

Business Blogging 101 — Free WordPress Tutorials — New to This Site? Start Here:

Welcome to Free WordPress Tutorials – Business Blogging 101! This video is an introduction to the Business Blogging 101 website, a site dedicated to free tutorials and support for WordPress created by Mark McLaren of McBuzz Communications.

Free, Easy WordPress Tutorials

These are all easy WordPress tutorials and they are all free! Whether you have a WordPress blog or a WordPress website, most of the tutorials are for beginners, but there are intermediate-level tutorials and discussion about advanced techniques for WordPress including how to customize a WordPress theme, recommendations about the best WordPress plugins and themes, hacks and workarounds for WordPress using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), PHP and HTML – and much, much more! 😉

There are a few advanced tutorials. The tutorials’ degree of difficulty is determined by the amount of skill and experience you need with HTML, CSS and in some cases PHP code. If you don’t have experience with these, don’t worry! That’s the beauty of WordPress.

On this site, you will learn about WordPress, Blogging and Online Marketing, including Search Engine Optimization. Ask questions, comment and connect with other WordPress users.

You can use the video player control bar buttons to watch in HD and to watch in full screen mode.

You can become a fan of Business Blogging 101 on Facebook. And follow Mark McLaren and McBuzz on Twitter.

WordCamp Seattle 2010

The organizers of WordCamp Seattle 2009 will meet some time this month to discuss the 2010 event. Look for updates on the WordCamp Seattle website. You can also follow WordCamp Seattle on Twitter.

My company, McBuzz Communications, helps business and individuals with WordPress websites in Seattle and around North Amercia. I had the honor of being one of the speakers at WordCamp Seattle 2009.

Thanks in part to votes from Business Blogging 101 fans, I also got to do a 5-minute Ignite-style presentation on WordPress and the Social Web. It was a blast. Really looking forward to 2010.

Video Tutorials vs. Text Tutorials

Do you prefer video tutorials or text tutorials? There’s a discussion on the blog of Jaap Haitsma with participants expressing an overwhelming preference for text tutorials. Business Blogging 101 is mostly video tutorials. Although, when I started making tutorials for WordPress in 2007, I used text instructions and screen captures.

When I found inexpensive video-making software, I quickly switched to tutorials using that format. It seemed to me that – especially for beginners – using WordPress is a process that involves moving from one part of the Dashboard to another. It was much more helpful to be able to show where a button is located in the Dashboard and what happens when you click on it without having to make individual screen images of every step. Continue reading

More General Questions About WordPress? Ask Them Here

[Click here to ask a general question about WordPress]

(you will be taken to the mcbuzz.com website)

Or add your question to the comments on a specific post.

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The first installment of Business Blogging 101’s Answers to General Questions About WordPress has gotten rather long – 65+ entries and counting, including questions and replies – so here’s another post for Questions About WordPress. Keep ’em coming!

WordPress HTML Editing Window – Can I Have More Control Over My Pages and Posts?

A reader offered the following comment/question today about the WordPress HTML Editing Window.

I’m frustrated with the WP editor. I’m used to Dreamweaver and having lots of html coding available to me, along with design view. I find that the html view of WP jumps around, doesn’t take me to where I was in the design view, is limiting on features, increases or decreases spacing between lines on me once posted, and is generally frustrating. It won’t even underline properly.

Do you have any suggestions about an outside editor for WP??

Here’s my answer:

@energeticnutrition
Thanks for your question. It’s something that I’m hearing more often these days. In general, it’s the idea that people want more control over their pages and posts.

Bloggers in the traditional sense are not the ones calling for this. It’s usually businesses, independent consultants and professionals that are using WordPress for full-blown websites.

What most people seem to want is a WYSIWYG editor that will allow them to do more with layout and styling using the Visual editing window. For that, there are several solutions. The most popular is TinyMCE Advanced WordPress Plugin.

But what you are asking for is more control over the HTML. This is tricky.

On the one hand, you have just about as much control as your HTML and CSS skills allow, but practically speaking it’s a pain. You can paste all kinds of code into the HTML window. For this, I usually use an external HTML editor. Dreamweaver works fine. There’s a free editor on the Business Blogging 101 Resources page. You can’t preview your work in Dreamweaver, however, unless you go through some other technical setup. Not worth it, imo. You can paste the HTML into the WP editor and save the changes, then view the page. The more complicated your HTML, the more tedious it gets!

The other thing you have to contend with is that your WordPress theme may conflict with the CSS you use in your hand-coded HTML. My guess is that the problem you cite with underlining is due to such a conflict. If the conflicts are very disruptive or they don’t allow you to do what you want at all, you may need to edit your style.css or other CSS files.

If you want to simplify the editing process and see how things work when you edit your page using HTML without having to constantly paste your changes into WordPress to preview them, you might try this:

In a web browser, View the Source Code for the page or post you are working on. Select All. Copy and Paste the code into the Code/HTML window of Dreamweaver. Now save that page somewhere, and you should be able to open it in a browser – or maybe view it in Dreamweaver’s visual window – that is, you should be able to view it from your desktop, so that you don’t have to keep saving changes into the WordPress editor to see how they look.

You’ll need to identify the section of the HTML page that is the chuck of code you will paste into the WordPress HTML editing window when you get things looking the way you want. (Try demarcating it with <!– HTML comments –>.) This doesn’t always work, but if you want more control over your pages, this is the easiest way to do it.

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