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WordPress School – Lists

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Today in Lorelle’s WordPress School online course learning WordPress from the inside out, we are going to learn how to create lists in WordPress.

A list is just that, a list of items. The list may contain a wide variety of information and be presented in many different ways. Let’s start with simple lists and move into more sophisticated list making as we go through the course.

We begin with exploring the HTML tags that make up a list and the two basic types of lists found on a web page.

The HTML List Tags

While it is not important to know HTML to blog or use WordPress, learning WordPress from the inside out means learning how web publishing works from the inside out as well. Don’t worry. I’ll go easy on you. NOT.

There are two basic types of lists found on a web page: numbered and unnumbered (bullet).

  • Item one
  • Item two
  • Item three

The above is an Unordered List known as a bullet or bulleted list, and its HTML tag name are the initials for Unnumbered List: <ul>.

<li>Item one</li>
<li>Item two</li>
<li>Item three</li>

The unordered list is used for lists without sequence, like a shopping list. Unordered lists are good for recipe ingredients, general lists, and any list that doesn’t require order.

The next list is a numbered list, called an Ordered List in HTML featuring the <ol> tag.

  1. Item one
  2. Item two
  3. Item three

Viewed in the HTML as:

<li>Item one</li>
<li>Item two</li>
<li>Item three</li>

The ordered list features a list of items in a sequential order, one, two, three, and so on. Ordered lists are used for anything that requires a count or step-by-step sequence such as driving directions, cooking instructions, or the technical instructions highlighted below demonstrating how to create lists in WordPress. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 3

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course last week, we covered:

This week, the third in this year-long series, we continue with publishing the first posts in your Article Series on your test site.

We will cover:

  1. How to create lists in WordPress
  2. How to manage an article series in WordPress
  3. Creating headings in your post and Page content
  4. Learn the names of the Administration Screen parts and pieces
  5. Create a Contact Page and contact form
  6. Learn about preparing images for uploading to the WordPress Media Library

As you noticed, there is a bonus assignment this week. On Friday, you will learn about how to prep images for WordPress and create another Page for your test site.

The next week will feature the majority of the time spent exploring images and multimedia in WordPress and exploring the WordPress Visual Editor.

Be sure and participate in our WordPress School Google+ Community by responding to the assignment posts rather than starting your own thread on the assignment discussion. This keeps the discussions together so we can learn from each other as we work on each assignment.

Ready to rock?

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 School: Publish a Post

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course, it is time to start digging into the post content of your test site. In other words, it is time to start loosening the reigns of your imagination.

We are going to start with an article series, a series of posts linked together once completed. It begins with your first post.

Before you begin this assignment you should have:

  1. Your test site setup or installed and ready to go
  2. Categories from your site plan and category brainstorm assignments
  3. Your profile set to identify yourself and your About You bio set in My Profile
  4. The WordPress Publishing Checklist printed and by your side through the process

How to Publish a Post in WordPress

To create a post in WordPress:

  1. Go to Posts > Add New or any of the other access points in the interface to add a new post.
  2. Following the instructions in the WordPress Publishing Checklist, add the title, post content, categories, and tags.
  3. To modify the content, use the toolbar buttons. To see more toolbar options, click the last button on the bar called the Toolbar Toggle button. Please note that in these WordPress School Lessons you are to:
    • Not change fonts by size, style, or color
    • Use the drop down box on the second row of the Toolbar to set the headings and other common styles.
  4. Save draft and preview the post.
  5. Make changes as needed, save draft, and preview again.
  6. When the post is ready for publishing, click publish.

Please honor the request to not force styles and fonts onto your posts and Pages during this WordPress School project. When we get to the lessons on WordPress Themes, these forced styles persist, thus not displaying how your site’s content would really look in the new Theme. It also adds work, additional work you don’t need to do or remember every time you publish. We will cover how to use such forced styles later in the course.


Lorelle's WordPress School Assignment Badge.Your assignment begins today with writing the first of a five part article series in WordPress. There is much to learn, so we’re going to take this slowly, step-by-step.

The article series will consist of a minimum of five posts by the time we complete the exercise. To help you prepare, the articles are:

  1. Introduction: Why should we learn about this
  2. Tutorial: How to do this
  3. Gallery: Photographs of doing this
  4. Citations: What others have to say about doing this
  5. Resources: More information on how to do this

Do not do all of these now. There are lessons to be learned in each article that we will cover. Do these one at a time.

Today and over the weekend, you are to work on the first two posts and publish the first one when you are ready on your test site. As you work on these two posts, you may collect and prepare material for the others in the series.

Instructions on Choosing a Post Topic: In line with the goal of creating a test site that ties into your passion and interests, choose a topic you could teach, one you could talk about for months without pause, a topic you could demonstrate and show someone how to do it, and do it better.

Number 1Write the Introduction Post: The introduction post answers the question of why we should learn this thing, the subject of your article series. Introduce us to the subject and tell us why this matters to you, and why you are the one to teach us.

The introduction post should include the following:

  • Properly formed HTML links to external sites that serve as references or resources to back what you are talking about if necessary.
  • A minimum of two sections titled with HTML headings.

If you would like to include images, that is fine. Experiment. Images are required in the second post.

When ready, publish the post. If you would like to share the first post with other participants, you may do so in our WordPress School Google+ Community in a reply under this assignment post.

Number 2.The second post in the article series is a tutorial on the subject. Teach us how to use it, do it, or make it.

This does not need to be published. We will be working on this in the next assignment, but you may start the article.

The tutorial article must include:

  1. A minimum of 3 images teaching us how to
  2. A minimum of one HTML list (bullet or number)
  3. Headings
  4. Links to references or resources in properly formed HTML

Ready to publish?

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 School: WordPress Resources

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.We’ve just started Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course and you are welcome to join at any time. It is a slow-moving, at-you-own-pace course to learn WordPress from the inside out. As you go through the course, you will need to find more help and resources on WordPress, and this is your starting list.

Below is a table of contents list of links for the various sections in this article.

The list of WordPress resources below serve two key purposes for a WordPress use and participant in this online course. First, to find the help you need, and second, to track and network with WordPress news, techniques, and community.

A WordPress resource, in my mind, is a site focused specifically on WordPress, published by an experienced WordPress user, adhere to WordPress practices, standards, and professionalism, and one that has stood the test of time to consistently provide valuable information and solutions. There are many sites, some young, some old, that declare themselves WordPress experts, but fail to meet the above criteria. There are also many sites available today with WordPress information, so I’ve honed down my list to the ones I feel are the most important and pertinent to the course.

To use this list, you may bookmark this web page, print or save it to your computer files, or add these sites to your feed reader. I will be talking more about feeds and feed readers in this course, but you can start with “Blog Exercises: Feed Readers” to learn more about how they work and how to use them. Read More »

WordPress School: Two Tab Preview Method

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.You will be doing too much tab switching and opening during this year-long Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course, so let’s talk about what that is.

Tabs are mini-windows inside of your WordPress browser for holding web pages. Browser tabs were one of the greatest addition to the web browser, allowing the user to open several web pages at once and easily switch back and forth between them instead of various windows.

As you work on various WordPress assignments and tasks, you will make changes in one tab, the Administration Screens, save your work, then preview the results in another browser tab, typically on the front end view of the website.

Why would you want to use two tabs?

Working with the two tab preview method makes it easier for you to preview the post or Page before publishing, but it is faster. You don’t have to wait for the Edit Page screen to reload, the information is already in the database. Just switch to the second tab and refresh the web pages to see the changes – fast. No waiting for page loads, no clicking between front and back end views and waiting through more page loads. Fast and simple. Read More »

WordPress School: Gravatar

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In the last lesson in this WordPress School course, you were to fill in the blanks of your WordPress site profile on your test site. In this lesson, you are to create your Gravatar.

Gravatar logo and default image.Gravatar is a “Globally Recognized Avatar.”

Aside from the popular movie, most are familiar with avatars, the images used to represent you online. Every website, forum, and social media service encourages their usage. We have to have one for each online activity we enroll in. The development of the Gravatar is an attempt to create a universal avatar with the ability to be incorporated into multiple services – one stop picture and branding.

While this isn’t true for the majority of social media and interactive sites, it is true for the WordPress Community. In October of 2007, Automattic purchased Gravatar and integrated it into two months later for testing, and soon afterward Gravatar was integrated into the core of WordPress.

Screenshot example of Gravatars in WordPress Comments.

Through WordPress or directly through Gravatar, register and set your Gravatar image. Your image will then be linked to your email address. Sign into any WordPress site with that address, or leave a comment with that address, and your avatar image will be automatically displayed in the comments or other areas on the site. This includes all WordPress sites around the world including Read More »

WordPress School: Your Profile

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Last Friday and over the weekend, you should have setup your WordPress test site that you will be using throughout this year-long course. Remember, I want you to treat this like it is a real site with a real purpose and mission to get the most out of this process. Have fun with it and who knows where this site might lead in the future.

You also edited or created your first WordPress Page: About. You added information to the Page about who you are and why you are publishing on this site, possibly using the Online Persona Plan and Worksheet (PDF).

Our next step is along the same direction. We’re going to continue to populate your WordPress test site with your identity.

NOTE: If you are already registered with another site on, please note that the service only permits one identity and profile per registered email address. Your profile information is the same across every site you create and publish upon.

To modify this, change your email address to a different one. If you are using Gmail or another email address that handles + email modifications, you may change your email to and all email will go to your base email address as Gmail ignores everything after the +, and WordPress thinks it is a different email address, or just use a different email address from the one you originally used with

I’ve long requested permit different bio profiles for sites as many of us require a different bio depending upon the site we are contributing to on, but so far, one profile per registered email.

WordPress Online Profile

A WordPress site requires only a few bits of personal information to perform its tasks. Other information about the owner and contributors are optional. You may wish to specify this information on your Online Persona Plan and Worksheet (PDF) or Site Master Plan Worksheet (PDF) before you begin your assignment. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 2

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.We’ve just completed the first week of Lorelle’s WordPress School. Whew!

In the first week, you did a lot of homework with a variety of forms and assignments to get you thinking before doing, part of the secret recipe for learning WordPress from the inside out.

The discussions are rocking in the WordPress School Google+ Community, and I look forward to having you join us there. Be sure and introduce yourself to everyone.

Last week we covered:

At the end of the week you should have setup your WordPress test site, preferably on, and created your test site’s About Page to begin the process of learning to publish content on a WordPress site. I didn’t provide much in the way of step-by-step instructions on editing and writing the About Page, showing you how easy WordPress is to use. Next week I will dive deeper into content with several weeks of “What Can You Put Into WordPress.”

This week will be about your online identity as it relates to WordPress and social media, since it is hard to separate them.

While we are developing your online identity for your test site, it’s up to you as to what name you wish to use, email, and other personal information. One of the worksheets I’ve provided for this course is the Online Persona Plan and Worksheet (PDF), which may help you to identify your persona for the test site and other sites.

This week we will working on:

  • Your WordPress Profile
  • Gravatar Profile and Image
  • Web Browser Tips for WordPress
  • WordPress helpful resources and references
  • Start your first article series of posts

We have a busy week!

The next week we will start “What Can You Put Into WordPress” to help you learn about all the ways people stuff things into WordPress and how to make the process easier and how to make the stuffed content look good.

Be sure and check the WordPress School description and instructions for the specifications for multimedia. You will need to start getting images ready to include in your site. We will talk about pre-publishing process, so get your pictures and videos sorted and ready now.

Let’s get started.

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 School: About Page

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Now that we’ve covered the basics of posts and Pages, it’s time to cull from the information in your Site Master Plan to create your first page: About.

By default, WordPress automatically generates an About Page called “About.” Some web hosting services have chosen to rename this “Sample Page” or “Example Page” for their one-click installations. For our purposes, this needs to be titled About. If you have a WordPress installation without an About, we will add it.

To edit your site’s Page called “About:”

  1. On the Administration Screens (interface), go to Pages > All Pages
  2. Find the Page titled About and hover your mouse over it
  3. Click the EDIT link
  4. You are now at the Edit Page screen where you will make changes

If your site does not have an About Page:

  1. Go to Pages > Add New
  2. In the title of the Page, type About
  3. You are ready to edit your site’s About

Why is it called About?

The Changing WordPress Interface

Lorelle WordPress School Tips and Techniques Badge.Beep, Beep, Poop Interface. This is what several of my students called the new interface currently in development and testing on Two classes of students have not been impressed, and my clients can’t stand it, switching to what is called the “Classic Interface.”

If you get lost and confused between the two interfaces, calm down. Deep breathe. Remember that WordPress is in a constant state of change and evolution, especially It is cutting edge WordPress.

  • Go to the black Admin bar at the top of the web page and look for My Sites
  • Hover over it and choose WP-ADMIN to get back to the Administration Screens

The purpose of the About Page is to answer the question, “What gives you the right to tell me?” There are many ways to say this, and answer this question, so let’s make it a gentle request to create trust. “I have the right to tell you these things because I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and have the callouses and scars to prove it.”

There are two basic purposes to an About on your site. Read More »

WordPress School: The Test Site

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.To participate in Lorelle’s WordPress School, you will need a test site to experiment and play on. This is a site that is not accessible and viewable by the general public, your private playground to experiment and break your WordPress site, but accessible by anyone with a link to the site, which makes it great for getting feedback and support for your efforts in this program. Remember, part of learning how to use WordPress is to break it, so you are NOT to use a live site for these lessons.

You’ve been working all week on the brainstorming and planning of your test site. Now it is time to start putting that information into your test site. Remember, this is your chance to do something ordinary or extraordinary with your test site, a chance to play with a site for a year and do whatever you wish with the content. Give yourself permission to imagine and experiment, and blog your passion.

You have several choices for your test site.

  • free site: No cost to you, this is the perfect choice for the first few months of this year-long series. From a learning perspective, the way you publish content, structure and organize your site, and customize it is the exact same on as it is a self-hosted version of WordPress. Most importantly, it will be set up to allow your fellow participants to check out your assignments and work and cheer you on.
  • Hosted Server/Cloud Installation of WordPress: If you have access to a server or wish to install WordPress on Amazon’s hosting or another cloud-based server, you may. If the site is open to public access (but shut off from search engines), you may use this. Those with a link should be able to view the site and offer words of encouragement and help.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting: If you are using a web hosting service that offers managed WordPress hosting, that will work as well. Follow the instructions below for setting up your site to be closed to search engines but open to public viewing.

Which one you choose is up to you and your skills and abilities with WordPress at this stage. As we work our way through the core functionality of WordPress, you will eventually require a portable or cloud-based installation of WordPress for more intermediate and advanced work on WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins, and site development and customization, but don’t feel the need to go there sooner than you are ready. Read More »

WordPress School: Terms – WordPress

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Throughout Lorelle’s WordPress School this year, I will be teaching you the words, jargon, and names of things, including their nick names. We’ll start with the word “WordPress.”


WordPress is an Open Source web publishing, content management system platform.

That’s a mouthful. Let’s break it down.

Open Source

Open Source is software for which the original source code is designed to be freely available and may be shared, redistributed, and modified. This is important to understand because WordPress is Open Source, freely available, may be shared and redistributed, and modified.

WordPress is free. Not all open source projects are free, though most tend to be. The co-founders and developers of WordPress set up a trust to ensure WordPress will remain free. It’s called the WordPress Foundation.

WordPress was developed from another open source project called b2/cafelog. This process is called “fork” or forking a project off one to become another. Michel Valdrighi created b2/cafe log in 2001 and in 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked it to create WordPress. I’m not sure what is left inside WordPress from b2/cafelog, but it was the code that started this whole project. There have also been many forks from WordPress including WordPress Multisite, now incorporated into the WordPress core.

Web Publishing

From it’s first steps, WordPress has always been about web publishing, about making it easier to have your say online.

Sharing his first thoughts about what would eventually become WordPress, wanted it to be about publishing and making it easier to publish: Read More »

WordPress School: Categories and Tags

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.We’ve covered WordPress posts and Pages, the core content elements associated with a basic WordPress site. Today we are going to focus on posts, specifically how they are organized and structured within a WordPress site.

Categories are your site’s Table of Contents.

Tags are your site’s index words.

Honestly, it is that simple.

Think of your site as a book. Posts represent the pages of your book, categories are the chapters and sections, literally the table of contents, and post tags are the index words.

You open your refrigerator and find an eggplant. It’s use it or lose it time. You turn to your cookbooks to find a recipe. Where do you look?

It’s most likely that you open to the back of the book and the index pages, right? But what if the book you opened is dedicated solely to eggplant? You might open to the front of the book to find a section dedicated to the specific dish you wish to serve such as eggplants in salad, appetizers, main dishes, deserts, etc. Both serve their purpose to help you find a way to cook up that eggplant or aubergine.

Such as it with your WordPress Site. Categories and tags increase navigation opportunities on your site. They also organize and collect your content into specific groups.

Remember, posts are considered timely content, the news and article content of your site. Posts typically represent the majority of the content on a site, and are sorted by reverse chronological order, then grouped by categories and tags.

Here is a summary of the key differences between categories and tags: Read More »

WordPress School: Posts and Pages

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Let’s be Lorelle’s WordPress School with the two core content elements of WordPress: posts and Pages.

By default, WordPress displays content in posts and Pages. Each behaves differently and distinctively in WordPress, and can confuse people easily. Let’s make this simple.

Pages hold timeless content.

Posts hold timely content.

Please be patient with the videos. Youtube is taking longer than usual lately processing the videos. Thanks.

WordPress Pages

There are many ways WordPress manages and organizes content. We’re starting at the very beginning, the default content management features.

WordPress Pages, using a capital P, is content that is timeless, as in it exists outside of time, the reverse chronology of WordPress posts. The capital P was intended to differentiate WordPress Pages from WordPress web pages and pageviews, which we will get to in another tutorial. (I’ve long wished to be in charge of naming things and it started in 2004 with the Pages debate. This has frustrated so many over the years, I even came up with a WordPress Pages Rap Rant at a WordCamp…to be shared in another time and space with alcohol.) Read More »

WordPress School: Site Master Plan

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Tony Robbins

A website is an intangible, a virtual nothing in which we create something tangible to human perception. When it boils right down to it, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created nothing with WordPress. WordPress isn’t a physical object you can put in your hands and say, “Mom, look what I made!” It isn’t a book you can carry around inscribed with your byline as author. WordPress is a placeholder, a virtual database with a pretty interface for storing and presenting content.

They knew that what made WordPress special. It was what you put into it.

Not sure what you will put into your site? Just testing the waters?

As we begin the WordPress School lessons, you will create a master plan for your site, featuring all the goals, ideas, and things you will put into your site, turning the invisible into the visible online.

During the course, you will be working on a test site before you move your newly learned skills to your own live site. This is for your own protection. You will be breaking the site as you learn the lessons, so keep the breakage away from your live readers by working on your test site. However, this isn’t just a fake, pretend site. I want you to put some heart and soul into this site. I want you to use it as if it were real.

Your test site is a place where you will be writing, publishing, and designing in and around any subject you wish. As stated in the description of Lorelle’s WordPress School, this is your opportunity to create something new and special to you, a chance to blog about something you are passionate about, something you may rarely get a chance to talk about. If it is your business, that’s fine, but be creative and think outside of the obligations of work for once. Do you love biking, hiking, writing, walking, outdoors, nature, science, your children, family, traveling, reading – pick something you enjoy doing and develop your test site around that. See what happens.

Experiment with ideas on your test site first before you apply it to a live personal or professional site. The more focused the subject matter, the more likely you are to get the most of this process. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 1

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Welcome to the first of Lorelle’s WordPress School, a year-long project to teach you WordPress from the inside out.

This is the first week, and there is much to cover to help kick start this program and your learning in WordPress.

Remember, for those who are new to WordPress, this will all be fresh and possibly overwhelming. For those who are familiar with WordPress, this may be old news, but think of it as a chance to relearn what you should have learned the first time around. More importantly, use this to learn how to teach friends, family, and clients how to use WordPress better.

You will not need to have your WordPress test or experimental site set up right away, but you will by the end of the week. It’s more important that you start thinking about the plans for your site than making your WordPress site at the very beginning.

Lorelle’s WordPress School Week 1

Here is a summary of this week’s WordPress School.

  1. Monday:
  2. Tuesday: Explore the concepts behind WordPress posts and Pages.
  3. Wednesday: Learn about categories and tags in WordPress. To help you get started, there are worksheets, the Site Brainstorm for Content Structure and Organization Worksheet (PDF) and Site Structure and Organization Chart (PDF), for you to download and print to help you begin to build your site’s content structure, organization, and design.
  4. Thursday: Thursdays will feature posts teaching you WordPress naming conventions, jargon, and lingo, introducing you to the names WordPress calls its bits and pieces. Learning the names is critical to asking and searching for help.
  5. Friday: This is the day for action. We will be creating your WordPress test or experimental site if you don’t have one already. It is highly recommended that the site be a free one on to start. Don’t worry, there will be a guide to help you set up your or other site in a testing environment with things you can start on immediately to flesh out your new test site.
  6. Next Monday: Next week we begin to explore web publishing with WordPress and basic functionality, helping you to navigate in the ever-changing world of WordPress interfaces and get you starting to fill in your test site.

Are you ready? We’re taking this slow but slow and steady wins the race – or at least enjoys the process more.

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.


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