The Hidden Power of Widgets

Widgets are one of the basic building blocks of a WordPress website. Traditionally they’ve been relegated to the sidebar and footer areas, but in recent years many themes are designating areas within the page content section and even in the header.

Widgets are for the most part underutilized on most WordPress websites. There seems to be a basic misunderstanding of how they can be utilized. I believe that through a better understanding of how to organize and customize the widget content blocks, we can tap into their hidden power.

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Pages initial setup – “empty buckets” – tutorial

This is the first screencast in the series of WordPress tutorials here on Teaching WordPress & wpstudent.net.

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Setting up our Primary Menu screencast

In this video tutorial I will show you haw to set up your first and primary page menu.
This video is the 2nd in the series of screencasts here on Teaching WordPress, to follow along with the exercise you should watch the first tutorial Pages initial setup – “empty buckets.”

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Pages – basic text editing -screen tutorial

This is the 3rd in the series of screen tutorials here on Teaching WordPress. We’ll cover adding and editing text content to your pages.

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Creating Posts

This is part 1 of a 3 part screencast on creating and using Posts in your WordPress website.

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Post Categories

This is part 2 of a 3 part screencast on creating and using Posts in your WordPress website.

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Posts – Odds and Ends

This is part 3 of a 3 part screencast on creating and using Posts in your WordPress website.

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Widgets Screencast

*NOTE: this video is an older version of the series and is using a different theme and may cover material already presented in the previous videos. Please bear with me as I update the screencasts.

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HTML login link in footer widget

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Frank’s Theme Test-Drive Checklist

Now that you have looked at themes from the WordPress.org directory and narrowed down the possibilities to a few ‘definite maybes’ it’s time to upload those themes to your site to see how they look with your content. I don’t cover themes in-depth until later in this class since you can’t really tell how a theme will work for you unless you have some of your own pages, posts and images to look at it with. It’s kind of a catch-22 since ideally you’d want to choose your perfect theme right from the get-go on a fresh installation of WordPress. The problem is that you can’t really tell what that theme has to offer and if it’s right for you until you see how it works with your content.

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CSS tip – Visibility & Display

In this introductory class on WordPress we won’t be getting deep into the CSS code, however I do think that a little bit of CSS knowledge can help you make essential adjustments to your theme. In a previous post, CSS in 10 Minutes, I explained the basics of CSS, in this post I want to quickly show you two very useful properties: Display and Visibility.

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CSS in 10 Minutes

The basics of CSS are very easy to grasp and, I believe, more easier to immediately grasp than HTML.

The first thing you need to know is that CSS and HTML work in tandem. If your website were a human HTML would be the body and CSS would be the clothes you put on it. CSS sets down the rules for how your website will appear where HTML lays out the structural elements. CSS also determines the placement of the structural elements ( to use the body analogy, css could attach the right arm at the hip rather at the shoulder., yikes!)  But that’s where it gets complicated and we will only be dealing with some of the basic cosmetic changes.

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