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

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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

WordPress Tutorial – How to Install WordPress on BlueHost Web Hosting

Here’s how to get started building your own self-hosted WordPress website or blog with BlueHost web hosting. Installing WordPress on BlueHost hosting is quick and easy. Watch this tutorial, and you can do it in under four minutes!

WordPress Tutorial – How to Change Your Theme or Install & Activate a New WordPress Theme

This WordPress Tutorial shows how to change your WordPress theme, and how to install & activate a new theme. It uses WordPress version 2.8.4 (the latest version) hosted on a third-party web host. You change a theme in the same way on a WordPress.com site.

Third-party-hosted (also called “self-hosted”) WordPress sites allow you to upload and install more themes through the WordPress Dashboard. You can find free themes by browsing with the Dashboard Theme Installer. Or you can find themes on the Web using a Google search for “free wordpress themes” or just “wordpress themes”. If you find a theme you like on the Web, you can download it to your computer and then upload it using the Theme Installer.

In addition to the thousands of free themes available, you can also buy “premium” themes, which have extra features like additional page templates and search engine optimization. There is a list of WordPress premium theme providers on the Business Blogging 101 Resources page.

As happens in this tutorial, some premium themes do not install well using the Dashboard Theme Installer. You may need to upload these themes to the /wp-content/themes/ directory using FTP software.

This tutorial shows how to delete a theme using Appearance > Manage Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. It shows how to find new free themes using Appearance > Install Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. And shows how to upload a theme  from your computer. It shows how to activate a new theme once you install it.

WordPress themes come in the form of a .zip file.

What are your favorite WordPress themes? Let me know and I will add them to my Resources page.

Note that if you have a fast Internet connection, you can play the video in HD by clicking the HD button on the player, and you can also click the button next to that to play in full-screen mode.

How to Change, Install & Activate a New WordPress Theme

Add a Photo Slideshow to WordPress with Slide.com

It is truly amazing how many resources and tools are available online these days – absolutely free. Here’s one more example. You can create a slideshow on Slide.com and easily embed it into a WordPress page or post. I made the slideshow below by importing images from my Flickr account directly into Slide.com. You can do the same, or upload images from your computer, or get them from any number of other sources.

Choose from prefab themes and custom colors, add captions and a title, give Slide your email address, choose a username/account URL (mine is mcbuzz.slide.com) and password, click Save. Then click on the WordPress option to embed the slideshow. Copy the code for WordPress. Paste that into the HTML editing window of your WordPress editor. Preview or Publish, and BOOM, you’re done.

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

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