Working on the WordPress Widgets

Podz has asked me to work on some FAQs and help files covering the WordPress Widgets. Since I had planned on doing this anyway for the my own WordPress MU website, I thought I would send them over there as well.

Let’s see what WordPress.com has as theirs:

    Archives
    Blog Stats
    Calendar
    Categories
    del.icio.us
    Flickr
    Links
    Meta
    Pages
    Recent Comments
    Recent Posts
    RSS
    Search
    Text

And Daria.be has:

    Archives
    Calendar
    Categories
    del.icio.us
    Google Adsense
    Google Search
    del.icio.us
    Links
    Meta
    Pages
    Recent Comments
    Recent Posts
    RSS
    Search
    Text

Which means we have to install a Blog Stat widget and the Flickr widget to make them even.

Now to write the FAQs on them.

Google PRs

William Parry wants a higher Google PR than the PR6 that he currently has. He thinks a PR6 is too low.

*chuckle* I only have a PR5 here at this site.

I got bored and did a lookup of some of the comics that I read.

http://www.applegeeks.com/ – PR6
http://www.dorktower.com/ – PR6
http://www.machall.com/ – PR6
http://www.phdcomics.com/ – PR7
http://www.vgcats.com/ – PR6
http://www.pvponline.com/ – PR7
http://www.drinkatwork.com/mediumlarge.html – PR6
http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com/ – PR6
http://www.chugworth.com/ – PR6
http://www.alpha-shade.com/ – PR5
http://www.megatokyo.com – PR7

The old WordPress.com FAQ

I wrote this a few months back. I’m working on updating it today and wanted to post it here for reference.

Ok, I’m totally new to blogging. How do I get started and what do I do.

You can find a pretty good introduction to blogging here. I politely suggest the What is Blogging?, the First Steps with WordPress, and the Jargon pages. It may seem like greek to you but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Where can I go for help if I need it?

The easiest place is right here in this forum. Just make a post in the Support Forum, describe your problem as best as you can, and hopefully someone will get back to you. You may also want to search for your issue as well as someone else has probably had the same question that you had in the past.

How do I search within this support forum?

You can find a search form here.

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com or WP.com for short is a service that provides free hosting for people’s blogs. After creating an account there, your blog is automatically created for you.
WordPress.org or WP.org for short is the support site for the WordPress blogging software. You can download a copy of the software to use within your own webspace. You will also find FAQs, a support forum, lists of addons such as themes and plugins, and other information that you may need.

Can I include Adsense or other company adverts on my blog.

Short answer: no. AdSense, and other JAVA Script based scripts, are currently seen as a security issue. Also WP.com blogs are provided as a free service. This policy may change in the future.

How do I upload and include a picture within my post?

You can find a highly detailed list of instructions covering this here.

My RSS tags include a ‘feed:’ bit and my browser says that this is an “unregistered protocol” or another such error.

The “feed” tag is used by RSS readers and is usually not recognized by browsers that do not have a RSS reader installed. You can see the RSS feed if you manually type in your blog’s feed URL into the URL bar of your browser. (ie: http://username.wordpress.com/feed/)

How do I add my favorite WordPress plug in or theme?

Currently no additions can be made to your blog as FTP access is not allowed. Suggestions can be made though via the Feedback form within your own Dashboard. (They make that suggestion here) New themes are usally added on Fridays.

Can I edit my template?

Currently no but this is planned to change in the future. Right now, the templates are shared between users on the server where your blog exists. If you require greater control over your template, the staff suggests using a paid host.

I’ve never received my activation mail.

Sometimes activation emails can be seen as spam by some hosts. Please double check your spam folder for this email. Also there is now a form on the home page to request your activation email to be resent.

Can a single blog have multiple authors and editors.

Yes. The method to do this is have each author create their own account here at WP.com and have the owner of the main blog add them onto his or her blog. They can do this here: Their own Dashboard -> Users -> Authors & Users.

I’ve found a WP.com blog that has questionable content. (ie: spam, child porn, links to warez, etc.) What do I do?

The easiest way to report such a blog is via the Feedback button within your own Dashboard. Include a link to the blog as well as the reason why you’re reporting it. Please note that political content and comments are not considered to be questionable here.

How do I add a sitemeter to my blog?

The easiest method is by adding it as a link with a graphic. You can find instructions here for use with SiteMeter.

How much space do we have for pictures?

The limit is currently at 25 megs.

How long can my user name and password be?

Your password can have a max of twenty characters. It appears that your username has the same limit.

How can I do a backup of my blog?

The easiest method is by using your RSS feed. You can read a description of this method here.

How do I add Technorati tags to my WP.com blog?

Lorelle gives us an excellent method of doing this.

How do I use the object and embed tags with my posts?

These are stripped out of your html due to security issues. You can add Google and YouTube videos to your blogs though.

Happy Anniversary, Timethief

One of my spies pointed out to me that Timethief, one of the wonderful folks who help out on the wordpress.com support forums is celebrating her first year anniversary as a blogger today. She’s also writen a series of guides on blogging basics for beginners, the use of widgets, and moving around a blog within the wordpress.com domain.

I just wanted to take a second and thank her for all of her hard work over there. She’s been a big help.

Feel free to take a second and visit one of her blogs today. (I think I got them all.)

Example of a trackback

IDreamInRed asked me for an example of how WordPress handles a trackback. I’ve copied it below:
trackback.png
Let’s explain this first. I first made a post back here
on April 29th, 2005 where I ran my characters through a scene from Star
Trek 2, the Wrath of Khan. Yesterday, I came up with another scene
of the same general idea. To give my visitors something else to read I
placed a link at the bottom of the second story. WordPress will take
this as a trackback. Some blog softwares will not.

To play it doubly safe, I also placed a trackback in the box under
Trackbacks on my Write Post page. That’s why you see two pages on the
screenshot, not just one like you would normally see.

Hope this helps,
-drmike

FAQ for Uploading a Picture to Your WP.com Space and Adding it to a Post

FAQ for Uploading a Picture to Your WP.com Space and Adding it to a Post.

Please note that the picture must be uploaded to your blog space for it to be seen. They can not remain on your local computer nor should you be using pictures hosted offsite as this just wastes other people’s bandwidth.

Please also respect copyright and give the source of where you found this picture if it’s someone elses. I found the kittie picture at randomdialogue.net via a Google image search for “random picture.”

The thumbnails below lead to full sized pictures.

    1 – Get a picture and save it to your local computer. WP.com appears to be able to use most graphic formats. These include *.jpg, *.gif, *.png, etc.

random.jpg

    2 – The next step is to begin creating your post. Sign into your blog and click on the link to “Write a Post.” This will bring you to your “Write Post” screen. Please note that for this FAQ, I am using the simple text editor, not the advanced one, as I want complete control over what goes into the post and I want to see my html.
    3 – Write your post like you normally would. Make sure you fill in all sections of the form like you normally do, such as Title, Post, Categories (if you use them), Trackbacks, etc.
    4 – Let’s now work on uploading the picture to your webspace. Before we do that though, you need to decide where in your post you want the picture. Within the “Post” space of the form, click your mouse where you would like the picture to go. DO NOT touch this text area again until the uploading of the picture is complete or you will move the picture.
    – Under the “Post” text area, you will see another form with the labels “Upload”, “Browse”, and “Browse All.” This is what we’re going to use for uploading your picture to your webspace.
    – Click on the “Upload” tab.
    – To the right of the File text box, you’ll see a button labeled “Browse…” Click on this button. This will open a standard search box within your OS. Locate your picture on your hard drive and select it. Once you have it selected, the search box will close and you will see that the File textbox is now filled in with the location of the picture on your hard drive.
    – Fill in the “Title” and “Description” text areas with any text information that you require. Note that this space is for text only, no links.

faqimage2.png

    – Once everything is filled in, click on the upload button. This will upload your picture to your webspace. The “Browse” tab should now be highlighted and a small thumbnail of your picture should now be presented.

faqimage3.png

    – Congrats! Your picture is now within your WP.com space.
    5 – The next step is moving your picture over to your post. This only takes a few steps.
    – Click on the thumbnail of your picture. You’ll now get a small menu of five options. I’m going to list what you need to do with them to more your picture over and then explain them towards the end of this FAQ.

faqimage4.png

    – Leave the “Using Thumbnail” as is.
    – Change the “Not Linked” selection to `Linked to Image.” You can do this by clicking on the “Not Linked” line and the selection will change.
    – Click on “Send to Editor.” This will fill in the necessary HTML code within the “Post” text area.
    – Click on the “Close Options” selection just to get rid of it.

faqimage5.png

    – Congrats! Your picture has now been added to your post.
    6 – Finish up with your post if there is anyting else you need to add to it and click on “Publish” button once you are ready.

View the blog. You should see your picture included within your post. If you click on the thumbnail, it will load the full size picture within your broswer.

Comments are now locked on this post. This is not the WordPress.com Forums. If you need assistance, you need to ask for it over there. But looking at the 5 or 6 comments that are left here every day, I have got to say that 99% of you are not reading the instructions above. Please do so before asking for assistance.

WordPress.com – Even More Languages

drmike-128.jpg

Matt posts that WordPress.com has expanded the number of languages supprted here at the site to 119. While that’s great and I give my thanks to the WordPress staff for doing such a thing, I would love to see the language choices that we make show up in the Dashboard we see when we log in. It’s kind of a small pain to see posts made here that I can’t read, especially since they do by so fast when only the last 15 get listed.

What language?

Matt posts about a change the staff has made to the WordPress software where the blogger gets to determine the primary language of the blog. Matt mentions that in the future, the staff will be looking at modifing the back end for the different languages.

I just wish that the latest 30 posts part of the Dashboard would be of your language. 🙂

-drmike