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What I Wish Hillary Clinton Would Say Tonight

I’ve been asked repeatedly to make my views on the US 2016 Election public, even though it goes against all this site stands for, an unbiased educational site to support WordPress users and bloggers. In light of current events, and the impact the web has had on those events, the time has come for my own voice to be heard on the subject.

Like millions of others, I’ve given much thought to tonight’s Presidential Debate in Nevada, and what I want to hear from the candidates. Correction, what I want to hear from only one candidate. I think we’ve heard more than enough from one of them.

I want to hear Hillary Clinton say something like this:

Mr. Trump, you are no American. You are no farm worker. You are no construction worker. You are no nurse. You are no computer programmer. You are no taxi driver. You are no teacher. You are no cafeteria worker. You are no janitor. You are no scientist. You are no home schooling parent. You are no truck driver. You are no gas station attendant. You are no orchard picker. You are no flight attendant. You are no grocery clerk. You are no – the list of things you are not is long. Let’s just sum it up and say you do not represent America nor Americans. Saying otherwise is an insult to the fine and decent people of this country.

America is a land of immigrants. Each wave resisted and resented, but persisted, believers in the American Dream, determined to be better and do better than what they left behind. Your grandparents were among them. Hated for being “foreign” and German, but determined to change their names, adapt, and find their way in the New World. And they did. Be proud of them and their courage. Stand up for your immigrant grandparents and the America that helped them create you.

The American you are is one who walks through a once natural and vital land to see what you can consume and destroy with the same enthusiasm and greed you started with in your business: The determination to be biggest. Who cares how many heads you stepped on and crushed on your way to the top, or how you abandoned the building industry for fantasy television and brand building – you are a success. You are the American Dream, but you do not speak for the Americans I know, the ones who didn’t grow up in an upper class family, had Daddy spend millions to rescue you, or con your way to and from the top.

The Americans I know have slid their fingers into the soil to carefully tend their garden, adding food to their tables. They’ve repaired the lawn mower by themselves because they could, and baked cookies for the bake sales to raise funds for schools, churches, and non-profit groups within their communities. They’ve saved up for an oil change on their old battered rigs. They are the people who tithe to their churches and give generously and regularly to charities that help others in their communities and internationally. They’ve scrubbed floors and toilets not only in their homes but in their workplace, holding down two or three, sometimes four, jobs to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. They spent sleepless nights wondering how to pay the next electric bill, find twenty dollars for their kid’s field trip, and how to scale back on birthday and Christmas presents because the mortgage is due. They’ve clawed their way out of gangs and drug and alcohol abuse, often violent living situations, then fret and cry over their children falling into those same destructive holes in the fabric of our society.

Mr. Trump, I’m here to talk to these people, not you. I’m done with the false accusations, exaggerations, the fact-checking, the reality-show tricks, foot-stomping, tantrums, scare tactics, and the lies. I’m done with your view that America is a place of violence, unrest, and evil, with secret plots more fiction than reality. Yes, there is collusion, greed, corruption, and backbench deals in the world, and Mr. Trump, you should recognize them well. There are laws in place for those, and legal agencies to handle them, which you are very familiar with, so please report your accusations and witnessed testimonies to the proper authorities.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

I’m here to talk to the majority of women in this country who’ve suffered the indignity of being treated like an object, denied equal rights and opportunities. I was in college when Title IX passed, outlawing discrimination based on sex, and I saw the before and after that decision, a struggle women face against discrimination even today. As wife of the Governor of Arkansas, I was judged for being a working woman and mother. Today, we have a man running for president who says things like “putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing,” offers advice to women wanting to raise money to start a small business to find a rich husband instead, and states pregnancy as “an inconvenience for a business.” Women, we’ve heard those lines before, haven’t we, and the law states clearly that such statements violate the US Constitution. They represent the out-dated views of my opponent, and they have no place in this country today.

I want to talk to the men who’ve never participated in such demeaning and degrading “locker room talk.” Thank you. I also want to talk to the men who have. You need to change. We all do. I want to live in a land where we treat each other with the respect we deserve, in the home, in the schools, in the workplace, and, yes, Mr. Trump, in the locker rooms.

I’m here to address the legitimate concerns of everyone in this country opening the mailbox to find stacks of incomprehensible invoices and charges for what should be a routine checkup. I want to talk to the people facing the alphabet decision over their health care options, and living scared or delaying health care actions for months waiting for the next sign up date because their employer let them down, laid them off, or they retired. or because of the costs. I want to talk to the people so confused, frustrated, and betrayed by the medical system in this country, they delay even going for that checkup. These people are becoming some of the most vulnerable in our society, lost amid the bureaucracy and high cost of what should be basic health services like the price of the EpiPen. I want people to trust their health care providers again, and not live under the fear and weight of health insurance decisions.

I’m here to talk to the people impacted by changes in the workforce, be it technology, economic demand, or the export of the business to a state or country with a better deal. You may shout about NAFTA and TPP, but let’s also talk to states about the wheels and deals they do to entice businesses to move across state borders, abandoning long-standing workers and communities. I want to celebrate companies that stay in the United States as well as those who choose to diversify their workforce across state borders, keeping jobs in their home state while expanding their companies and projects around the country.

I want to talk to the people whose jobs are changing or being lost. I want to talk to them about educational opportunities to help them redirect their energies, use their expertise and experiences to help train and retrain themselves and others into new jobs. How many remember the telephone operators who helped us place calls? What about secretaries, receptionists, maids, housekeepers, what about those support jobs, now replaced? It is part of the economy of the world that jobs will come and go as technology and demand changes, so we adapt. We learn. We change. And we can. Instead of forcing companies to hire intellectual foreign workers because they can’t find them here in our country, we need a WPA-like project that focuses on education, making the United States the source for employees as the first choice for an American company as well as global companies. Let our American ingenuity and brilliance shine again around the world.

I want to talk to the citizens afraid there will be no country, nor planet, worth inhabiting in the future. We need to invest in the ingenuity of this country to create smarter and healthier ways to live and work, whatever that looks like. Solar power, cold fusion, wind, ocean currents, we need to focus on renewable energy sources and stop relying upon fossil fuels because we are running out of them and time. Sure, we can invest more money to dredge out drips and drops to keep the oil companies running, but maybe they need to do a better job diversifying their own energy portfolios. Right now, we only have one planet. We must encourage the science, and benefits that come from that science, of space exploration, more now than ever, but we must also learn how to treat our planet better because there is no escape route. We need to literally clean up our act, and get smarter about how we treat the air over our heads and the ground under our feet, and the precious water that makes up 65% of our bodies and 70% of our planet.

I’m here to talk to the parent who chooses a charter or home school path for their children rather than public education. Yes, the American public school system has problems. There is no denying it. Let’s work together to fix it, and fix it right. This isn’t about a “no child left behind” game. This is about not leaving America behind in the educational systems of the world. It is about rising up, not lashing out, and working together to make education fair and equal to everyone, but also encourage greatness in thinking, celebrating their brilliance. Even if you are a ditch digger, we need you to be the best ditch digger, to understand the geology of the ground you dig, to understand the structural and stress lines of the trench, the mechanics of the machines you use, and how to dig the best ditches in the world with pride.

I’m here to talk to those who dream of starting their own business. The startups, kickstarters, risk takers who need everyone’s help to make their dream a reality. Not every business succeeds, but every risk teaches us how to risk better the next time. I want to team up with organizations like SCORE, Small Business Association, Chambers of Commerce, and other national and local business mentoring programs to encourage more local Startup Weekends and kick starter style programs to train and support people to make that dream come true. America is the land of opportunity and ingenuity. My colleague is an example of that. Let’s kick start that again and make the United States an exciting place of opportunities.

I’m here to talk to the people facing the decision to have a child. We need more education when it comes to parenthood and preparing Americans for the risks and responsibilities that come with making new Americans. We need to build stronger support around families, community day care programs, health programs, block watches, and make our communities safer places to raise our children. We need to expand the concept of Pro-choice to include the pro-women and pro-family choices women must make with their bodies and with their children. Mothers face hard decisions before and after pregnancy, throughout the lifetime of their motherhood. How to feed and care for the child, what vaccines to get when and where, child care, physical and mental health, school, how to pay for it all…We need to support community health care and social service programs that do so much to help women, and their families, make those decisions, and care for them throughout the entire process.

I’m here to talk to the parents who go to work only a few days after a child is born or adopted into their family, spending eight to twelve hours a day away from their new addition. The government needs to work with companies to ensure a healthy start to the family by encouraging longer recovery times and maternity leave for both parents.

I’m here to talk to the people who’ve come into this country legally and illegally. In spite of the rhetoric of my opponent, we want to help you. Yes, we do not want nor encourage illegal entry into this country. We need to ensure the safety of our society as well as our borders. But that doesn’t mean we are haters or isolationists. We are so much more than that. For centuries, the United States has held welcoming arms wide open. Mr. Trump, did your grandparents go through an intensive and rigorous vetting process to get into this country? In the past 75 years or more, we’ve restricted that embrace, as most countries have. The reasons for this are many, but today, I pledge to Americans that we will continue our hard work to ensure our borders are protected and immigrants are processed through tough security checks. Immigrants already on our soil for decades live in terror under the radar, imposing those fears on their family members who are now legitimate citizens. We must have compassion for you, and I need to talk to you, too. You are as much a part of America as those here legally. You are not forgotten.

I’m here to talk to big business and big banks, the ones my colleague has been on intimate terms with for the past 40 years. The ones he’s negotiated with to move their offices inside his buildings. The ones he’s bargained with for loans, and then renegotiated the loans when bankruptcy loomed. I bet there are some citizens here who wished they had your savvy experience with getting away with bankruptcy and financial ruin to save their homes and businesses. The financial industry is critical to the survival of this country. It can be said that the backbone of America is Wall Street. I am both glad and sad about that statement, because your industry must change. Failures and inappropriate actions in your industry almost brought down the global economy only a few years ago. How soon we forget about the millions of Americans who lost their homes and jobs due to your careless regard and greed. Cons and inappropriate incentive and quota programs designed to scam the consumer must stop. I want to work with financial agencies to bring back the trust and respect for handling America’s money, and if that means imposing sanctions and increased regulation – or worse – see, we have much talk about to ensure people have confidence in the financial industry again.

I’m here to talk to those determined to destroy America from within. Yes, you are as much a part of America as the rest of us. I want to talk to those who feel America has gone to hell in a hand basket, and those who feel public acts of resistance, protest, and violence are a choice to protect what you believe is the true definition of America. You are a part of us, a part of the whole. You remind us of how scary this can be for each one of us, not knowing, not trusting, terrified of change. You want to protect yourselves. You want to protect us. I understand that, and I’m not just here to talk to you, I’m here to listen. You have something to say. I hear your words through my opponent, but talk to me. I’m the only one listening with the power to make change happen.

As your president, it will be my job to talk to you, to tell you how things will change, to incite change, and to restrict it when I feel it isn’t in the best interest of all Americans. It is my job to report to you throughout my tenure on the state of the union. It is my job to protect you, individually and nationally. It is my job to represent our country to the rest of the world, through war, peace, and trade, but also stand for American rights and values on the international stage as an example of how we are getting things right, and sometimes wrong, as one of the most powerful countries in the world.

But that is just me talking. That is the smallest part of my job.

The most important part of my job is to listen. I promise to listen to your representatives in Congress, so make sure you vote to ensure they speak well for you. I promise to listen to you, the people, too. Let me know how you are doing, and tell me what you want and need. I’m not going to promise you “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” I am going to promise you open heart and ears. I’m not going to get everything right, but I’m going to work harder than everyone else in the room for you.

You are heard, my friends. Today, we live in a world where you have more forms of communication and sharing than ever in the history of the planet. Let your voice be heard. Share your opinions. Share your thoughts. We are listening. That is our job. We are your government. We are your elected representatives. We can’t fix everything immediately, and certainly not in a hundred days, maybe not even in eight years. The inner workings of the government move slowly. It is time to give this country an oil and lube job to get those gears moving faster, working for you.

Before or on November 8, vote for leaders who will break the deadlock in Congress. Vote for leaders who will get the job done. The job you want done, for you and the country. Vote for leaders who represent you. Don’t just vote for a name. Look beyond the political ads and the voter’s pamphlet. Who are these people? What have they done? What skills and experiences made them choose to run for office? Who supports them? Who doesn’t? Meet them. Ask them questions. Make them listen to you. Do you feel heard? Do you feel like they are the right people for the job? Then vote for them to help make change in our country. Put change leaders into place who speak for you, and will vote for you in Congress.

In the recent Vice Presidential Debate, the men were asked to talk about when their personal beliefs conflicted with their political beliefs and decisions. Both spoke of the inner conflicts that face everyone in every job, making the right decision even when you don’t personally agree with it. Throughout my political and legal career I’ve had to face difficult decisions and struggled with my conscience, going alone with decisions that went against the grain. That’s the job. As President Obama said yesterday, “If you start whining before the game’s even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job, because there are times when things don’t go our way — or my way.”

The job of President of the United States is not about me. It is about you, the people. It takes someone who will listen. It takes someone on your side. It takes someone who will tell you truth, whether or not you want to hear it. It takes someone with the calm, patience, strength, and confidence as your representative to make the decisions to protect and support you.

In 1970 as college student, I could have interned anywhere. I chose to spend a summer interviewing families in migrant worker camps, asking them about their working conditions and education and health of their children, and seeing it with my own eyes and heart. It changed my life. In 1972, I did another intern project gathering data on school segregation, uncovering the insidious discrimination that still exists today. With the Children’s Defense Fund, I went door-to-door in Massachusetts on behalf of children denied the right to attend school because of disabilities. Think back to life before the early 1970s. Children with mental or physical challenges were kept at home, rarely able to enter a classroom, or able to participate in society as an active member. Buildings did not have wheelchair access. Why? Because the school refused to build a ramp. Really? Something so simple yet a wall all the same. It broke my heart. Teachers weren’t trained to identify students with dyslexia or learning challenges. Parents either kept their children at home or found the money to pay for private schools and special training. Today, it may seem unbelievable, but I was there. It not only changed me and my life, it made me want to change the world. I realized that to drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws. Our work convinced Congress to require equal opportunity access to education for everyone. Today, teachers are getting the education they need to handle their diverse population of students. Today, everyone can get an education. It took an army of people coming together to make this happen, and many years, and there is still work to be done to make our communities more accessible. Today, we don’t hide these children away, we rejoice in them and celebrate them as part of our community, as we do all children, encouraging them to grow up to be proud Americans.

This is the passion I bring to the office of President. This is the passion I feel in many of our Congress men and women across both sides of the aisle. They want to change the world. They want to make the world better. They believe that the United States is one of the most stable and powerful countries in the world, and that together we can make not only our country great, but the world better, a place for everyone to be respected, accepted, and part of the thread that makes the fabric of our nation strong.

Just look at Canada. They are voting for us to succeed.

This is a time to talk and listen, to be heard, and heard with your vote, too. Come January, it will be a time to roll up the sleeves and get to work, and we will, America, for you, and because of you.

Vote well. Vote to be heard. Vote to be proud. Vote to be represented. Just vote.

Comments are closed on this post. This is my opinion and does not reflect the opinion of the candidates nor their campaigns. If you agree, help spread the world. If you don’t, spread whatever you are spreading wherever you spread. Thanks.

Blame WordPress For the World’s Problems

Let’s call this person “wise” using air quotes to give you a description of where they come from in life. This “wise” person confronted to me at a public event to announce that WordPress was evil and must be destroyed.

“After all,” he informed me soundly. “While WordPress says it supports freedom of speech, it clearly endorses, supports, and commits acts of censorship. How can you be associated with something so evil?”

Let me be clear, there is no “talking” to people like this. The opinion comes well-formed from whatever source and references this person chooses to follow, and nothing I say can change their mind, so I bent in that moment to one of the great minds that follow hate, fear, and conspiracy, something we have a little too much of in the world today.

To those with open hearts and ears, let me give you my answer.

Know the Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com Sites

You cannot blame a web host for what their users publish.

That’s the truth and the law. There are laws and rules in place that require a web host to respond to legal actions, but these apply to all web hosts.

WordPress.org, the free, self-hosted version of WordPress, is not a web host. WordPress.com, owned by Automattic, is a web host.

Let’s define this better.

WordPress, as a publishing platform, is a publishing platform. It is a bunch of code that allows people to publish their words, images, video, etc., and have their say on the web. WordPress, the free, self-hosted version from WordPress.org, is not, nor has it ever been, responsible for what people do with the WordPress publishing platform. Their Policies and Practices state:

WordPress developers, representatives, members, founders, hosts, and volunteers (known as WordPress members) have no control over and cannot take responsibility for content published on any blog powered by WordPress. WordPress accepts no responsibility towards content or usage of WordPress software and shall be held harmless from any and all litigation, liability, and responsibilities.

WordPress members cannot disable WordPress powered websites at any time. The term “Powered by WordPress” is a marketing slogan set by default in the basic installation of WordPress and is subject to editing or removal by the user and is not a statement of responsibility.

If you find a site with “evil,” be it propaganda, in support of terrorism and violence, hate speech, defamation, libel, porn, or simply a site that has ripped off your content in a copyright violation, it is the responsibility and liability of the site owners and administrators, not WordPress. File a DMCA claim, get lawyers, or the FBI, or the equivalent in your country, and get after them. WordPress as a company, a non-profit by the way, has nothing to do with the actions of those who use the free publishing platform.
Read More »

Blogging Tools: DownThemAll Browser Add-on

Blog Resources by Lorelle on WordPressDownThemAll! Firefox Extension is another tool for your blogging toolbox.

As a reminder, most power bloggers use Firefox or Chrome web browsers. Not just because they are “better” in the terms of meeting web standards, but also because of their powerful extendable features. Browser extensions, add-ons, or plugins allow you to extend the features and capabilities of a web browser just as WordPress Plugins extend the same for a website.

DownThemAll adds advanced download capabilities to your browser allowing you to download links or images on a web page.

<lecture>Before you start screaming copyright infringement and violations, let me be clear that this tool is much like what many believe about weapons. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Anything may be used for evil, but let’s not yet throw out a fantastic tool because it might do harm. </lecture>

I use DownThemAll! Firefox Extension for two good reasons, both of them reasons why this tool should be among yours.

  1. Web Development
  2. Research

Let’s see if this is a tool you will need in your blogging toolbox.

DownThemAll for Web Development

The DownThemAll! Firefox Add-on is excellent when you are working with clients who need to have their old or original web pages downloaded and saved. Think of this as a manual style backup.

Install DownThemAll! to Firefox or Chrome.

  1. Right click on the front page of the site or on a site map page.
  2. Select the DownThemAll! option.
  3. Select the web pages, links, images, etc. for downloading.
  4. Designate the destination folder on your hard drive.
  5. Start the process.

DownThemAll! offers a variety of filters and customization to expand or restrict the downloaded files. Read More »

Blogging Tools: Jing Screen Capture and Video

Blog Resources by Lorelle on WordPressOne of my favorite blogging tools – okay, tool I use for teaching, writing, and research – is Jing by Techsmith. It’s a must-have tool for bloggers and blogging.

Jing is free. It allows capturing still images (screenshots), basic video, and animation, and allows you to share them on the web or save them to your computer for further work or posterity.

Jing features the ability to capture screenshots of WordPress, example websites, and all the browser and software tasks associated with teaching, presentations, research, artwork, and so much more.

This is the tool to show people how you do what you do with the web and blogging. It is essential for teachers teaching software and web technology. Don’t just tell them how to do it, show them. It is fabulous for screen tutorials or capturing a short PowerPoint presentation to share.

Jing - Example of WP-Admin, Media Screenshot with Jing.

Example of a screenshot of the WP-Admin > Media screen using Jing.

Download and install Jing. Once installed and started, a small ball of yellow sunshine will sit along the edge of your computer monitor. You can move it anywhere you wish along the edges if it gets in your way. The yellow half circle might be annoying at first, but you will soon ignore it or lose it among your other colorful screens. Read More »

WordPress School: Copyright Policy

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.We’ve started our mini-series on adding policies to your WordPress site with some basic information and details on how to organize and structure policies on your site. It’s time to evaluate the five different policies featured on almost all websites regardless of topic or goals in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course. Remember, we add policies to our site for quality control and information, letting our visitors know what our terms and conditions are, and where the liability and responsibility starts and stops.

The four policies I’ll be covering are Copyright, Disclosure, Privacy, and Comments. Today, we’re tackling copyright.

By international law, if you create something and it is in a fixed state, such as a printed book, recorded album, or web page, you own the copyright and may dictate how it is to be used. You do not need to display a copyright notice or have a copyright policy, not even a © to indicate the material is copyrighted. If it is original and you published it, it is your intellectual property and you have the right to determine how it may be used, or not. You own it.

You don’t need to register it. You don’t need to do anything, however, copyright policies and notices serve to remind others that this is your work and you have the right to control how it is used, and these are the parameters for usage. A well-written copyright policy states exactly how your content is to be used to allow for Fair Use, the ability to quote, cite, and link to your content without explicit permission.

Before we dive deeper into how copyright works and what to consider when writing your copyright policy, let’s take a moment to talk about where to put your copyright notice in WordPress, if you choose to use one.

Where to Put a Copyright Notice in WordPress

A copyright notice is the © 2016 Your Name statement. You could use the symbol or the word written out as Copyright 2016 Your Name. I highly recommend that you include a link around the notice to your copyright policy created on a WordPress Page on your site, created per the instructions on how to integrate policies into your WordPress site.

If you would like to ensure your copyright notice and the link to your copyright policy is on every web page of your site, put it in a Text Widget in the sidebar or footer.

If you would like to add your copyright notice to every web page within the content area, allowing the notice to go out with your site’s feed, save the HTML link to a text file on your computer and paste it into the bottom of each post before you publish it, or, if your site is self-hosted, used a WordPress Plugin that does this automatically.

If you have a strict copyright policy, or wish to add emphasis to your copyright policy, use a Text Widget placed in the sidebar or footer with a sentence or two that clearly specifies permitted use, with a link to your copyright policy Page for more specifics. Read More »

Blog Exercises: Life Happens While Making Other Plans

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.“Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans.”

In this ongoing series of Blog Exercises, I’ve covered much about the philosophy of blogging, and the challenges that come with blogging over time. One of the most common excuses to pause or stop blogging is “life happens.” Examples include:

I’ve also offered a variety of tips for using an editorial calendar to keep you on track with deadlines, and how to schedule your blogging time into your work and lifestyle to keep you blogging.

We’ve also talked about how to choose and maintain the focus of your blog topic. Sometimes when we lose track of what we are blogging about, and our purpose and goals, we lose interest, and life creeps in easily.

As with everything, we teach best what we most need to learn.

Over the past few years, my life has been consumed by teaching WordPress and web publishing at workshops, classes, and in college. I love teaching. It is my life, my passion to share the joy of self-publishing and having your say on the web. I adore it. I adore my students who challenge and test me constantly. Yet, it is exhausting. Not the teaching, the bureaucracy of it all. The forms, the meetings, the evaluations, the rules, the judgments, the decisions without cause nor explanation, the demands of time and patience pushed to the extreme, and the lack of communication and support that leaves so many teachers swinging in the wind of self-doubt and frustration. As a freelancer and contractor, I’ve controlled my life and work exclusively. The past five years or so has reminded me of how creativity is squashed by arbitrary decisions and decision-makers. Those who can find creativity and self-fulfillment through the rigors of bureaucracy, I applaud you.

As I’ve plowed into that new career path, I’ve learned much along the way, and I’ve shared much of it on this site, but it also has taken me away from this site more than I like as life does while you are making other plans.

Has this happened to you?

Is there something you’ve been passionate about, enjoyed zealously, and relished each moment you do it with a glow about you, a sweet smile on your face? Something that drives you to keep returning back to it, no matter how challenging it gets, no matter how many times people tell you that it isn’t worth it or a waste of your time, but you can’t help it? You just love doing it that much? Read More »

WordPress School: Integrating Policies

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In this mini-series on adding policies to your WordPress site for Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course, we’re going to look at the technical decisions you need to make on how to integrate these policies. The next follow-up articles will discuss how to write and format each of the four policies we’ll cover in this course: Copyright, Disclosure, Privacy, and Comments.

There are two methods for integrating policies into WordPress, both using the WordPress Page content type.

  1. Single Page: If you do not have much to say or few policies, you may publish them on a single Page titled “Policies” or “Legal,” both web standard titles.
  2. Multiple Pages: If you have much to say or many policies, you may publish them on multiple Pages with a main Page titled “Policies” or “Legal” and each policy is a sub-Page.

Each of these techniques involve creating Pages in WordPress and linking information together for navigation within the Policies, excellent techniques for improving your intrasite linking and WordPress site structure and organization.

As your site grows, managing the content organization and structure becomes even more critical. It’s important to know the difference between posts and Pages, and how to choose which content type for publishing your content.

As Pages are only featured through the primary and other menu navigation areas, selecting the right length title, the order, and placement of Page content can get complicated with layers of drop down menus and limited real estate property on the menu bars in the WordPress Theme. Pages begin to compete with each other for space and the attention of the user, so take your time exploring how to add Pages to WordPress in these exercises to help you add other Page content as your site expands. Read More »

WordPress School: Adding Policies

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.It’s time to talk about policies in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course. While every website, personal or professional, requires some policies, learning how to publish policies on a WordPress site involves learning about WordPress Pages as a content type, customizing the navigation menu, using jump links, creating lists, customizing links in Widgets, and a good lesson in content structure and organization.

In general, working with policies teaches you about where to put what when in WordPress.

Policies are the guidelines, rules, regulations, terms of service, and self-protection for your site. Policies may involve legal terms and references and be supported by the laws of your community or country, or respected by international laws, or may just be the rules for your virtual sandbox, instructing your readers how to play in it.

Noted blogger Paul Boag said:

Polices and procedures are not about control and limitations, but about ensuring that nothing is missed and quality is maintained.

Typical website policies include:

  • Copyright
  • Privacy
  • Disclosure
  • Liability
  • Comments
  • Contributors
  • Accessibility
  • Terms of Service
  • Reprint and Permissions
  • Links
  • Social Media
  • Content
  • Disclaimers
  • Event/News Posting
  • Content Quality and Limitations
  • Advertisements and Endorsements

Website policies differ based upon the purpose, content, and demographic needs of the audience. Policies define rights, access, security, liability, responses, moderation, control, and protection of the site.

Sites representing a specific business or industry have policies related to their business such as a medical office, which would require publishing their HIPAA, insurance, and other medical-specific policies. Businesses working with a government are required to comply with policies as set by their government agencies and laws.

In our WordPress School course, we are going to focus on the four most commonly used policies. You will publish each of these on your experimental site to learn how to structure and organize the content within the site.

Read More »

WordPress School: The Links in WordPress

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course today we will explore the most important thing on the web: links. Specifically how WordPress automatically generates links on your site and how you can add these same links within the content and elsewhere on your WordPress site.

So far in this course we’ve covered the topic of links through the following tutorials:

As a reminder, the different types of general links are:

  • External Links: Links to content off your site.
  • Internal or Intrasite links: Links to content on your site.
  • Jump Links: Links that “jump” to specific places on a single web page from that page or from another web page on the site.

Typically, the user creates links in the content and throughout the site’s layout and design. WordPress also automatically generates links through core functionality as well as Theme and Plugin features. By understanding the links generated within a WordPress site, you can take advantage of these links throughout your site.

The list of link types generated automatically through WordPress functionality includes: Read More »

Words and Pictures Course at Newspace Center for Photography

I will be teaching Words and Pictures: Photoblogging and Web Publishing for Photographers at Newspace Center for Photography for 4 Wednesdays, May 11 – June 1 from 6:30-9:30PM in Portland Oregon. This is an intimate teaching location and limited seating, so register now for your spot.

Screenshot of blog post with photo of man standing in middle of labyrinth - Lorelle VanFossen.Teaching WordPress at the client, college, and workshop level for 13 years, I’ve found that once people get a handle on how WordPress works, they don’t know how to make it work for them. After the novelty has worn off, it’s down to the business of web publishing and blogging, and they’re lost.

My class “Words and Pictures” puts the magic back into the publishing process, teaching you to enjoy the experience of sharing your words and images with the world. While this course is specifically designed for photographers, it is open to all wishing to take their site to the next level.

The course explores your online persona and various ways words are incorporated into a website, and how to choose reader and SEO friendly words, in the site title, tagline, purpose, mission statement, categories, tags, and header, sidebar, footer, and content areas. In depth information is covered on preparing images for upload and incorporating images and video into your content and site.

We discuss various storytelling techniques including standard article formats, editorial, tutorial, commentary, interview, general storytelling, galleries, slideshows, and audio and podcasts. Legal policies are also covered, critical to every professional site.

The course also explores writing for social media basics including calls-to-action and links, and offers tips, tools, and techniques for research, planning, scheduling, and publishing your work.

This is an ideal class for artists, crafters, writers, authors, photographers, and anyone wishing to rekindle their creative spirit on the web. It is about you and what you wish to share with the world. Each course is customized to the needs of the students to help them learn how to publish easily and with courage.

Please join us for this unique and creative course at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon.

While you are at it, check out their amazing list of classes in photography, both analog and digital. Newspace is one of the last places in the world with a real darkroom, so if you are into black and white photography, or photography in general, this should be top on your resource list.

Subscribe to Lorelle on WordPress. Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Follow on Twitter. Give and Donate to Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress.


Blog Exercises: Define Your Community

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.In this Blog Exercise, it is time to start building a community around your blog. If you have one, it’s time to re-evaluate it to ensure you keep it.

We will start with defining your community.

Your blog topic should give you a clear indication about demographics of your online community, but it might not yet be clear enough.

Have you defined the community into which your site fits? If you are a knitter blogging about knitting, it is obvious that knitters would be your community. Let’s skip the obvious assumptions and dig deeper.

What is it about knitting that inspires you and motivates you to keep knitting? Is it the people? The lessons learned and skills developed? Is it the patterns? Building things from patterns or designing your own? Is it making things for yourself? For others? Is it about the need to keep your hands busy? Is it the texture, the feeling of the yarn slipping through your fingers? Is it really just the yarn itself that fascinates you? Is it the process of yarn creation from animal to sweater that fascinates you? Maybe the spinning, weaving, and dying process?

Whatever the purpose of your site, ask yourself the deeper questions about what interests you. Just as it isn’t knitting but some deeper part of the process that motivates you, what is it about the cars, travel, quilting, business, hobby, whatever that keeps your fascination alive?

By clearly defining your purpose and motivators, you can take the next step and find like minds interested in the same things.

It isn’t your job to cover everything about a topic. It is your job to hone your topic down to what thrills you, what gives you the kick in the passion seat, and makes life and blogging worth living. By understanding what it is that you enjoy, you will attract others who enjoy the same thing. Read More »

WordPress School: Excerpts

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.If you are following along with Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course you’ve been writing posts as part of the article series assignments and other assignments. Go to the front page of your site in the Twenty-Eleven WordPress Theme and take a look.

Do you see long posts, one after another, and have to scroll, scroll, and scroll more to get through them?

Let’s fix that.

  1. Edit the first post in the queue.
  2. Place your cursor at the end of the second or third paragraph.
  3. The WordPress Visual Editor More Excerpt ButtonClick the MORE button in the toolbar. It uses the word “more” in the Text Editor. In the Visual, it is a button with two solid lines with a dashed line between them.
  4. Update the post.

Example of a post excerpt on a multiple post pageview in WordPress with the continue reading link.This inserts a shortcode or comment into the post at that point.

Update the post and view it. Do you see changes?

You shouldn’t.

Go to the front page of your site. Do you see changes there?

That is where the changes happen. What do you see?

You should see a link that says Continue Reading or Read More or something similar. Each Theme has the option to customize this, and some WordPress Themes allow the user to customize the words that encourage a reader to click the link to continue reading the post.

Click the link.

It takes you to the single post pageview and jumps you down in the browser to the point where the “More” feature truncated the content on the front page of the site.

WordPress Excerpts - Visual Editor More button and More excerpt screenshot - Lorelle VanFossen WordPress School.

Content - More Excerpt in Text Editor - WordPress School

This is called an excerpt.

What is an Excerpt?

An excerpt is a small section set manually or written explicitly as the introduction or summary of your post.

By default most WordPress Themes display full length posts on the front page of the site. To avoid the long scrolls down the front page, the author has the choice and ability to set excerpt lengths to improve scanning of long web pages – most of the time. Some WordPress Themes feature a customized front page that only permits excerpts, created by the Theme not the user, though sometimes this may be overwritten by the user with the More feature.

A well-written post title and opening paragraph as an excerpt compels the reader to click through to complete the post. There is an art form to writing a good opening paragraph, so pay close attention to what you put into it.

The excerpt is visible when set on the front page of the site as well as in the other multiple post pageviews found in WordPress. A multiple post pageview is a generated web page with more than one post displayed. This includes the search, categories, tags, author, and archive pageviews that feature many posts.

In WordPress, there are two manual ways to create an excerpt, and one automatic way set by the WordPress Theme.

  1. MORE: The More feature in WordPress sets the excerpt length in the post from the first words to the cut off point in the post.
  2. Custom or Explicit Excerpt: This is a manually written excerpt set on the Post Edit screen before publishing. If the WordPress Theme supports it, the explicit excerpt will be displayed instead of the post content on the front page of the site.
  3. Theme Generated Excerpts: Many WordPress Themes feature only excerpts on multiple post pageviews by design.

Posts have excerpts, Pages don’t. In general, WordPress Pages are not featured on multiple post pageviews, only posts, though WordPress searches do display Pages, and they are excerpted per the WordPress Theme features for multiple post pageviews. There are other types of post content WordPress that may be featured on multiple post pageviews, and those would be subject to excerpt functionality as well.

Let’s explore these excerpt types in WordPress one by one.

The More

Located on the post editing toolbar on both the Text and Visual Editors is a button called More. As you’ve discovered, once used, it creates a stopping point in the post when viewed on multiple post pageviews such as the front page of the site. A link is added that says “Continue Reading” or “Read More” that encourages the reader to click and complete the post.

The link is a jump link. It opens the post in the window and jumps the reader down to the spot where they left off reading.

Excerpts - Example of an image with an excerpt that is too short - Lorelle WordPress School.The placement of the More feature is up to you. In general, after the second or third paragraph is normal, though if there is a heading in that area, make the excerpt above or one paragraph or mid-paragraph below the heading.

There are some general guidelines to using the More feature.

  • How Much Excerpt is Too Much or Too Little? The key to a well-placed excerpt is to offer enough to tease the reader and motivate them to click through to read the rest. This isn’t so much a job of placing the excerpt in the right place as it is having the content that appears on the front page for that post create an incentive to keep reading. How much text is needed to motivate the click is up to you, and it comes with careful study, testing, and experience.
  • More Placement: Some bloggers place the MORE at the end of a paragraph. Others place it in the middle of the text. Again, it depends upon how well the writing motivates people to want to read more, and the placement maybe timed accordingly, making them eager to finish the sentence.
  • Headings: To place the MORE immediate after a heading often confuses the reader. The heading may look like a cut off post title or like the ending of the content. Depending upon the style of the heading, it might overwhelm the Read More link and people will not see it to click. Place the MORE before a heading.
  • Images: Images floating over the right or left of the text need the text to wrap around it for the look and feel of the content to “feel right.” If you place the MORE only a few words down the side of a image, it often looks odd, sometimes broken. Ensure that the MORE is placed down far enough in the content so the image has words flowing around it naturally, or place it above the image to exclude it.

For more information on using the More feature in WordPress, see the Excerpts — Support — WordPress.com instructions that apply to all versions of WordPress.

The Custom or Explicit Excerpt

Called the Excerpt in WordPress, the manually set excerpt is often referred to as the Custom or Explicit Excerpt. This is an excerpt written by the author describing the post.

The most common usage of this excerpt is for white paper or academic sites, spelling out the details of the post in a summary before the reader clicks through to read it.

NOTE: Not all WordPress Themes honor this excerpt. The 2011 WordPress Theme is one. You may add the excerpt but it is not visible on the front page or other multiple post pageviews on the site.

WordPress Screen Options set to display excerpt box on post edit panel.

To set the excerpt in WordPress:

  1. Go to Screen Options on the post and ensure that the Excerpt option is checked to view the Excerpt modular section.The Excerpt section generally appears at the bottom of the post content area.
  2. Go to the Excerpt modular section and enter in the custom excerpt content. Basic HTML tags may be used.
  3. When published, if the Theme permits it, the excerpt will be displayed on multiple post pageviews on the site.

WordPress Custom Excerpt shown on post panel.

Again, like the usage of the MORE feature, the explicit excerpt must be written in a way that compels the reader to click through to read the rest of the post.

The Theme Generated Excerpt

Excerpts  Example of WordPress Theme using excerpts in the Theme Design - Lorelle WordPress School.A WordPress Theme generated excerpt is found on Themes that support excerpts on multiple post pageviews. The user does not need to use the More feature or a custom Excerpt. The Theme does the work for them, and it designed to only feature excerpts on multiple post pageviews.

While this is set by the Theme author and developer, a rare few WordPress Themes offer the option to change the settings to permit either summary or full post views on multiple post pageviews.

The Theme author sets the excerpt with the use of the the_excerpt() function and template tag in WordPress instead of the more commonly used the_content() template tag.

Themes that force excerpts within multiple post pageviews do so typically for the benefit of the front page design. We will cover more on front page designs in our module on Site Models in WordPress.

By default, the WordPress excerpt template tag cuts off at about 55 words. This maybe modified in the WordPress Theme’s functions template file.

For more information on setting the excerpt in the WordPress Theme, see:

More Information on WordPress Excerpts

The following articles offer you more information about using and creating excerpts in WordPress.

Assignment

Lorelle's WordPress School Assignment Badge.Your assignment with this tutorial is to ensure all the posts have excerpts set manually.

Edit each one and set the expert placement appropriately and click the MORE button to set the excerpt length.

Experiment with placement. How much is too much, how much is too little? On posts with images, experiment with placing the MORE too close to the embed code of the image. How does it look on the site’s front page? Move it around to find a better placement.

Join us in our discussions on this assignment in our WordPress School Google+ Community to talk about how, where, and why we use the MORE feature.

This is a tutorial from Lorelle’s WordPress School. For more information, and to join this free, year-long, online WordPress School, see:

Subscribe to Lorelle on WordPress. Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Follow on Twitter. Give and Donate to Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress.


WordPress and Web Writing Classes at Newspace Center for Photography

Newspace Photography Center in Portland Oregon sign and classroom.I’ve been teaching at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon, for a year and it is one of the most fun programs and educational institutions I’ve worked with in a long time.

Newspace Center for Photography is more than a gallery, though it is an outstanding gallery with powerful exhibits often based upon Pacific Northwest or related issues and topics. It is one of the last photography studios for both analog and digital photography offering a wide variety of workshops and classes every quarter. It also hosts one of the last film processing labs in the country if not the world for black and white. Their darkroom classes often fill fast if you are interested.

The caliber of instructors is humbling to know that I’m one of them. These are well-vetted and experienced teachers, and many are leaders in their industry as well. The offer classes on a wide range of photography aspects including lighting, equipment, darkroom, digital, and an extensive list of youth programs for both families and individual kids. They also offer a series of educational lectures with many free to the Center members and only USD $15 for the public, exploring a wide range of photography topics.

Currently, I’m teaching two classes with the occasional workshop, and we are exploring more for the fall. The next classes coming up are:

Introduction to WordPress: April 6-April 27, 2016, 6:30-9:30PM, on Wednesdays. Four weeks to learn the basics of WordPress focusing on photography. Set up a free site on WordPress.com and learn how to publish, add images, and make wise design decisions about your site and content. We also cover the basics of social media integration, writing for the web, legal considerations, and how to build content and community on your site. Requirements: Familiarity with web browsers and Internet sites in general. Familiarity with graphic programs like Photoshop highly recommended.

Words and Pictures: Photoblogging and Web Publishing for Photographers: May 11 – June 1, 2016, 6:30-9:30PM, Wednesdays. This unique program is specifically designed for photographers but applies to a wide range of bloggers with a focus on imagery and graphics. We cover the basics of writing for the web, developing an online persona, different web publishing formats and techniques, and how to incorporate images and imagery into your content through creative storytelling. Requires a website and familiarity with web browsers and Internet sites in general. Familiarity with graphic programs like Photoshop highly recommended.

The class size is limited for both of these courses, about 12-14 people. Newspace specializes in intimate educational experiences with hands-on help from the instructors.

You are welcome to use their computers (Mac) or bring your own laptop (recommended if not familiar with Mac).

Check out the Newspace Center for Photography Spring Class list for more information and to register, and find out what other great programs they offer.

WordPress.com Not Displaying Images

UPDATE: WordPress.com reports that they have fixed the issue but it will take time for the images to process as there have been millions of images uploaded during the past 12 hours. They recommend waiting patiently. Some sites may update immediately, some may take 24 hours, though it is likely to be less. Just keep doing what you are doing and the images will appear, as if by magic.😀

This is also a good time to check to see if you have been adding your ALT (alternative text) description. If you have, the image will appear as an empty box with the words that describe the image for the blind and visually impaired as required by most international countries for compliance with web accessibility laws.

Web Accessibility - Example of ALT descriptive text appearing when image does not load or appear.

Please be aware that WordPress.com is aware of the issue that images uploaded in the last 12 hours or so are not appearing on your WordPress.com sites.

You may check in on the many discussions in the WordPress.com Support Forums, or join us on this discussion specifically covering the topic and awaiting feedback.

DO NOT keep deleting and uploading images.

DO NOT blame the Theme, your browser, yourself, or anything else.

DO NOT call, email, or text me with your terror. It’s okay. Relax.

This is just a rare and temporary glitch in the system and they are on it and fixing it.

Go have a cup of tea or take a walk. It will be okay shortly.😀

Thanks!

The Most Common Tiny Mistakes Made When Setting Up a WordPress Site

Battling drags is easy. It is stepping in gum that brings me to my knees.I’ve just finished five years of teaching non-stop college and community education workshops and programs on WordPress for beginners, novices, experts, web designers, web developers, web programmers, and those who think they know everything but still realize they have a lot to learn. I love that last group as they are willing to learn and grasp everything with both hands and a foot.

Along the way I’ve learned a few things about WordPress, too. I’ve learned how people use it, abuse it, torture it, and get frustrated when they apply their preconceived notions to the publishing platform.

Many years ago I saw a sign that read something like:

Battling dragons is easy.
It’s stepping in chewing gum that brings me to my knees.

Over and over I find people grasping the big picture aspect of WordPress. They understand SEO (write like a human and use nouns not pronouns). They quickly understand that social media is just another term for networking and marketing. I’m delighted how quickly most of them get that choosing a WordPress Theme design is about studying the bones of the design and the features, not the paint job.

What surprises me most is how often the chewing gum breaks them.

Yes, over the past year, WordPress.com’s new interface has brought many users to their knees with frustration. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m taking about the little tiny things that people bang their heads against.

So let’s talk about them.

WordPress is a Giant Form for Data Entry

Whatever you think about WordPress, know this: It is a giant data entry form.

Everything you add to WordPress, each word in the content, the site title, tagline, the time zone, content and settings in Widgets, your profile, everything goes into a database to be stored. How that data is generated and displayed on each web page of your site is the true magic of WordPress.

With functionality in the core of WordPress, along with some special coding by the WordPress Theme and Plugin developers, requests are made to the database to extract that data and display it within the site’s design and structure.

Garbage in garbage out applies to any database, WordPress included. Learn how to publish well and ensure the data going in is clean and easy for a WordPress Theme or Plugin to work with. Read More »