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WordPress School: Blockquotes

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.No matter what you do on the web, you will quote or cite someone, some place, or something. In today’s assignment and tutorial in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course, I’m going to teach you how to quote and cite in WordPress, and save yourself from a copyright violation.

By publishing content on your site, your content is technically copyrighted as it is “fixed” in accordance with international copyright laws. Theoretically, you do not have to do anything else, nor even put a copyright notice on your site. It’s already copyrighted.

However, we live in a world where ignorance is bliss. You grew up knowing if you plagiarized on your homework or copied someone’s test at school, you would be penalized, often kicked out of school. Why do people think that if it is on the web, it’s free to do whatever you want with it? The rules are the same, so we deal with the forgetful people and put copyright notices and policies on our sites to remind them.

Copyright is the ownership rights to content or art applied when it is “fixed.” Fixed means made permanent and tangible. An idea cannot be copyrighted, but a painting or drawing created on a canvas or paper from that idea may be copyrighted. Here is the definition according to the Knowledge Vault of Google:

The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

Copyright Basics

Lorelle WordPress School Tips and Techniques Badge.We will explore copyright more later when we get to legal policies on our sites, but to help answer your immediate questions about copyright and copyright law, please see Jonathan Bailey’s article, “Copyright Myths” from Plagiarism Today. He has over a decade of experience working with the online community and copyright laws, protections, and defense as a grassroots advocate and evangelist defending our rights to publish and protect what we publish.

I just created a citation link and blockquote to present that information. Visually, you saw the link and knew that was the source of the material highlighted in the text below. The look and feel of the quoted text was set with an HTML <blockquote>.

“Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to any expressed representation of a creative work,” states Wikipedia editors on the subject of Copyright. “It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work…to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them.”

The paragraph above quotes from Wikipedia as if it were a person, but this form of in line citation always works and is familiar to most people who read magazines and newspapers. The citation link and quoted material is incorporated into a paragraph.

Here’s another.

A copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to authors of “original works of authorship.” This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other creative works. Material not protected by copyright (or otherwise protected) is available for use by anyone without the author’s consent. A copyright holder can prevent others from copying, performing or otherwise using the work without his or her consent.

Definition of a Copyright – Legal Zoom

Copyright laws reach far beyond the United States, but this is the definition as it applies to that country. In fact, many countries have joined together to honor international copyright laws. Some defend that right for citizens, others do not.

The above quoted material includes the citation link within the blockquote, another example of how to site other people’s stuff. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 6

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

This week, the 6th in this year-long series, we continue with the Article Series on your test site.

We will cover: Read More »

WordPress School: All the HTML You Need to Know

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In my WordPress community class the other night, we had 15 minutes left when I told the class I was about to teach them how to speak HTML before class ended – well, enough HTML to publish in WordPress. They didn’t believe it.

Believe it. It took about 6 minutes.

I hope to do the same here in Lorelle’s WordPress School course. Believe me? Depending upon your reading speed, we might just accomplish the same thing here.

How Many Words and Phrases Do You Need to Know for a Foreign Language Vacation?

When we go on vacation to a foreign language, how many words and phrases are necessary to learn to get along for a few days or weeks as we relax on the beach or wonder the fascinating highways and byways of a location where we don’t speak the language?

Over the years, my students have come up with a fascinating list:

  1. airport
  2. basic directions (left, right, etc.)
  3. bathroom
  4. beer
  5. can you do
  6. do you speak english?
  7. doctor
  8. emergency
  9. greetings (good morning, afternoon, etc.)
  10. hello and goodbye
  11. help
  12. hospital
  13. hotel
  14. how much is
  15. sorry
  16. I do not understand
  17. I would like to order
  18. money
  19. numbers
  20. ny name is
  21. please
  22. please give me
  23. police
  24. taxi
  25. thank you
  26. this is bad
  27. this is good
  28. water
  29. what is this called
  30. what time is it
  31. where is
  32. wine
  33. yes and no

If you have traveled to foreign languages, right now I bet you are translating some of those words into those languages to test yourself, aren’t you? That’s a huge list. Did you realize you know that many words and phrases?

Consider learning HTML easier than traveling to a foreign country. Trust me, HTML is much easier.

Why do you need to learn HTML to use WordPress?

Ah, there are many reasons.

If you wish to dive deeper under the hood to tweak and modify WordPress Themes, it’s a requirement. But what if you don’t? Read More »

WordPress School: Sharing WordPress Links

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In Lorelle’s WordPress School many participants are active in our WordPress School Google+ Community and eager to share links to their work on their test site for others in the group to review their work and help them or support and encourage them. Or just to brag and show off, which we enjoy as well. So which link to choose?

Teaching WordPress for 11 years now, I’m always surprised when students and clients publish the wrong link to a post or Page on their site to share with others, social media, or for their homework assignments. It should be obvious and yet many send links to the backend of the site rather than the public, front end view. For my college courses, the failure to share the right published or preview post link could result in a lower grade, so it is important to know which link to share when with others.

If you are new to the course or unfamiliar with WordPress addresses and links, read the tutorials on links and addresses and URLS first.

Share Your Site With the World

When you wish to share your site with the world through social media, emails, email signatures, on business cards, etc., you use the main domain address for your site.

  1. Go to the front page of the site
  2. In the browser address bar, that should be the address to the front of your site
  3. Copy and paste it where you need it

In general, the front page address of your site is similar to the front page of this site: Read More »

WordPress School: Gallery

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.It is time to work on the third post in your article series on your test site. This post is your gallery post.

We’ve been working through some basic content features in WordPress including links, lists, headings, preparing images to upload to WordPress, embedding video, and exploring the visual and text editors on WordPress posts and Pages. Today we turn those images into beautiful galleries in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course.

What is a Gallery in WordPress?

In WordPress, a gallery is a display of images on a post or Page. The images may be presented in a variety of formats and most typically are embedded as attachments, images that when clicked display the image in a post type called an attachment page featuring your header, sidebar, footer, and comment box for the WordPress Theme you are using.

Galleries maybe also be displayed in a slideshow format, allowing the reader to click through the images in sequence. Read More »

WordPress School: Links

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.I’ve dreamed of teaching a class or workshop on nothing but links. Web links fascinate me. They are the connective tissue of the web, the glue that binds us all together in the virtual space, an economy in and of themselves, and links can save lives, they are that powerful.

In Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course I’m going to talk about links and all the ways to link within WordPress over the next few months. I have so much to say about links, I don’t want to overwhelm you, so let’s take this slowly.

In WordPress School: Addresses and URLs I talked about some of the various ways that WordPress generates links. In this assignment, we’re going to learn the very basics of how to make links in WordPress content. Read More »

WordPress School: Video

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Images and video are the most common content published in WordPress and the web in general. In today’s tutorial from Lorelle’s WordPress School you are going to learn how to embed a video into a WordPress post as part of the ongoing work on the article series.

In the first article in the five-part article series you were to write an introduction article to your series. In the second post in the series you were to write a tutorial featuring headings, lists, and images. Today we are going to add video.

Your tutorial may not need a video but find something related to the subject to add to the post on YouTube, or make and upload one yourself to YouTube. Why not? It’s time to get a little more creative.

This tutorial requires you to learn two new words in WordPress: embed and shortcodes. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 5

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course last week, we started to cover a little more technical information focusing on code within the content areas and the way WordPress generates links:

In addition to the above assignments, I announced a special project assignment in our WordPress School Google+ Community, extra credit if you will. You are to choose a topic from a long list and write a short tutorial on your test site. Published tutorials have the opportunity to be republished here on this site as part of these WordPress School lessons.

Up for the challenge? Read More »

WordPress School: Forgetting the Post or Page Title

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In the last tutorial in Lorelle’s WordPress School I talked about WordPress addresses and URLs. In this tutorial, I want to cover what happens when a post or Page title is forgotten and left blank, and how that impacts the web page address. This discussion includes your first glance at the WordPress database.

We all do it. A slip of the memory, rushing to publish, the post title is forgotten, left blank. We hit publish, satisfied that everything is fine, our article flying out to the world of subscribers and social media, have a cup of tea to rejoice, then look at the front of our site and discover that the title is missing. Panic ensues.

Like the book said, don’t panic. This is all fixable, and survivable.

URLs - Forgetting the Post or Page Title - Lorelle WordPress School.

WordPress uses the MySQL database to contain and manage all the site’s options and data. When a post or Page is added to your site, the content and related data is stored in the database table and given an ID number, usually in sequential order. As covered in the previous assignment, the ID number becomes the underlying URL for that post. Read More »

WordPress School: Addresses and URLs

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Someday someone will write a book about the complexities of website addresses, permalinks, pretty permalinks, nonces, preview links, conditional links, and all of the other linky link links that WordPress uses. Until that authoritative text book is written, you are stuck with my weak explanations.

As you move through the various assignments in In Lorelle’s WordPress School free course, you will often encounter some odd addresses, pageviews, and posts and Pages that don’t change no matter how much you edit them.

This tutorial is about the structure of WordPress addresses and URLs, those seen on the front end of the site by readers, and those generated by WordPress on the backend and part of the editing process. Understanding how the various linking systems work in WordPress helps you navigate faster and more efficiently in WordPress.

Keeping this very simple, here are some of the things you need to know about how addresses or URLs work in WordPress.

First, some terminology. Read More »

WordPress School: Paragraphs and Line Breaks

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.The previous assignment in Lorelle’s WordPress School covered the visual and text editors in WordPress. In this assignment, I’d like to focus on making paragraphs within both editors.

A paragraph in HTML is a container holding contextual content, the written word. The HTML of a paragraph opens and closes with the paragraph tag.

<p>This is a sample paragraph.</p>

If we were writing exclusively in HTML, every paragraph would have to have that tag wrapped around it.

In the WordPress Theme, specifically the stylesheet, the paragraph is styled to feature whitespace between the words and the paragraph above and below as well as within the paragraph itself, adding spacing between the paragraph and what is in it such as images. Read More »

WordPress School: Visual and Text Editors

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In this assignment in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course we are going to explore the Text and Visual Editors in WordPress. WordPress features the two editors on all posts and Pages.

The Visual Editor is the WYSIWYMG editor for writing content. This means it is the What You See Is What You Might Get editor. WordPress developers have worked hard to make the visual editor be as user friendly as possible and offer a streamline experience for the user to see how a post or Page will look on the front pageview of the site. The work continues, but until then, always preview the post before publishing to ensure it really looks like what you want it to look like, not what it shows you in the Visual Editor.

The Text Editor is literally a blank canvas onto which you may write, paste content from word processors, and spice up with a little HTML. Next week we will work on the HTML you need to know to publish with WordPress, only a few words.

Is there a right or wrong editor to use? No. These are choices. Hopefully after you work with WordPress content for a while, you will determine which editor works best for your needs, but be ready to switch if the need calls for it.

Editors WordPress Content - Screenshots of the Text and Visual Editors.

Today’s assignment is to learn about the differences between the two and how to use them. Read More »

WordPress School: Images

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.In the previous Lorelle’s WordPress School tutorial we covered preparing images for uploading to WordPress. Today’s lesson is on how to upload and embed the images in posts and Pages.

As a reminder, the sequence and data required for uploading an image to WordPress is:

  1. Using the Media Uploader in a post or Page, the image is copied and transferred into a folder (directory) on your web host server typically named for the year and the month (wp-content/upload/2015/02/).
  2. The following information is collected and stored in the WordPress MySQL database. WordPress stores the file name as the title (database unique key) and sets the image size options based on the full-size of the image (the largest the image maybe displayed):
    • Location of image file
    • Date and time of upload
    • File name
    • File size
    • File type
    • Dimensions

I’ve spelled out most of the information you need to know about uploading and managing images in WordPress in “How to Add Images in Your Post Content.” In this tutorial and assignment, I will go into greater depth about the things you need to know about the process.

Also note that images on the web come under international laws for web accessibility. While these laws are not strictly enforced yet in the United States, they are elsewhere in the world. The laws apply to commercial websites owned and produced by public agencies and companies, non-profits, and companies either representing or affiliated with government agencies and offices. Personal and private websites are not impacted by the laws in general. Still, like speeding, while everyone speeds, ignorance of the law is no excuse. We learn it like everything else. Read More »

WordPress School: Week 4

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

This week, the 4th in this year-long series, we continue with the Article Series on your test site.

We will cover:

  1. Uploading images to WordPress
  2. Aligning and embedding images in WordPress
  3. Embedding Videos in WordPress
  4. The Visual and Text WordPress Editors
  5. Add a Gallery of images in WordPress
  6. Continue on with the article series on your test site where you will add images and video to the second post in the series, and a gallery in the third post in the series.

Want to Join Us?

Lorelle WordPress School Tips and Techniques Badge.While this course started the first of February, it is a year-long course designed to go at your own speed. Just because a few people started from the beginning, you are welcome to join at any time.

You do not have to rush to catch up. As one of the participants explained, “you will be ahead of us because you will learn from our mistakes.”

When you complete an assignment, you may share the link from test site in the WordPress School Google+ Community post for that assignment. No matter how far along the others are, and everyone is moving at a different pace, they will be there to cheer you on and help you through the process, as will I.

Come join us by introducing yourself to the other participants and tell us why you are here. We love meeting new folks!

It is going to be a busy week.

In addition to the above assignments, you will be signing up to do a presentation in our WordPress School Google+ Community about a WordPress and feature. I’ve announced the structure and process of the special assignment on Google+, and the list from which you will choose your topic will be available by the end of the week. You will have two weeks from acceptance to submit your presentation on Google+. It’s going to be so much fun to see the creative ways participants will teach us all how to use WordPress.

The next week we will continue to work on the article series, learning even more about how to publish with WordPress, dive more into WordPress multimedia, and start to look at WordPress Theme customization.

Our WordPress School Google+ Community has become very active. Join us by 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.

Web Writing HTML Entities Cheat Sheet

Blog writing tips and articlesOver the years I’ve copied and saved HTML Character Entities that I use on a regular basis, and I thought I’d share my cheat sheet.

These are important to me as a technical web publisher specializing in writing blogging and WordPress tutorials, so I’ve explained why and how I use them in the table below. They might not work for your needs, and they do not represent all of the HTML entities available, but they might inspire you to create your own cheat sheet. I’ve included a list of HTML Entities references at the bottom of the post to help you.

I keep this list in a text file in my constantly open text editor, NoteTab Pro. You may copy and paste these into a file in your favorite text editor, too. Do not put these in Word as it will probably mess them up.

Also note that these characters and symbols will look different on your site depending upon the font you are using. Read More »