2012 in review

Not a question for a change …

Happy New Year to my readers! All the best for the coming year!

You did not ask, but here are some statistics:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 58,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

How do I go about blogging?

Blogging is a fine way of sharing your ideas, experience, and passions. Millions do it. It is easy and fun. One tool stands out that makes blogging easy for everyone: Windows Live Writer.

Technogran at Technogran’s Tittle Tattle has published a fine tutorial series. A post listing the tutorial posts is at Live Writer BasicsLive Writer Tutorial Series. The blog Live Writer Basics offers additional information and links to other resources.

Visit these blogs to help you get started.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

LiveWriter-credit-360

How do I add images to my WordPress Links Widget?

Showing links to other blogs and sites is a common way to help your readers connect with more of what they are interested in. Making those links interesting and easier to use with graphics adds a nice touch. Most blogs have sidebars for displaying information, details and links. In a WordPress blog, the Links Widget is a versatile and useful tool and can display images. This post tells you how to do it.

First you need images. These need to be stored on the Internet so they can be accessed and displayed. Lastly they need to be an acceptable size.

Let’s start with that last item, the size. Sidebars come in various sizes. You want images that fit the sidebar of you blog. Don’t know how wide your sidebar is?image In your WordPress Dashboard, click Themes (under Appearance in the navigation pane on the left). Your current theme is shown on the top. There is a link, “Read more about …”, click it and scroll down to find the “Quick Specs” panel about your theme.

It will list the column width, the sidebar width and the header image size. Note the sidebar width. I suggest you make your images about 10 pixels narrower than the sidebar so that they will fit nicely. For this blog, the sidebar width is 212 pixels, I make my images 200 pixels wide. The height is not so important, but the Links list looks best with strip images so it does not get to be too long.

Now what images should you use? If you link to other blogs or sites, the headers of those pages make excellent images. They show a visual of the target page even before your visitor gets there.

Making the logo images

Open your browser to your target page. Do a screen capture. I use the tools built into Windows 7, so Alt-PrintScreen captures the open window. Next open Paint and click Paste. The image of the browser will now be shown in Paint.

image Logo-capture

Click Select and drag a frame around the header image or header area of the page. Click Crop. The header image is now the only thing in Paint.

image

Click Resize. In this dialog click Pixels. Then enter the size for the width of the image. In my case that is 200. Leave the checkmark on Maintain aspect ratio so the image will not get distorted. imageClick OK.

 

The image will now be shown in the small size that you have selected. Save it into your Pictures folder (or another location) giving it a name that tells you what it is later on.

Do this with your other target pages that you will want to link to on your blog.

Windows 7 Paint saves the images as PNG format – that is fine for this intended use.

 

Upload the images to your WordPress Media Library

Once you have made your link logo images, upload them to the Media Library. In your WordPress Dashboard expand the Media section image(click on Media) then click Add New. The Upload New Media page opens.

Click Browse. In the File Upload dialog locate the folder with your link logo images. Click on one of them. Click Open. Then click Upload in the Upload New Media page.

Repeat for your other images.

Now the images are in your Media Library.

Add images to Linksimage

Open your Media Library – click MediaLibrary in the navigation bar. All your images are listed. Click on the one you want. The Edit Media page for that image opens. Under File URL you can see the full web address of the image. Select it (hold down the left mouse button and drag over the address). Press Ctrl+C to copy the address.

Now click LinksAll Links, then the one of interest. Scroll down until you see AdvancedImage Address. Click in the address text space then press Ctrl+V to paste the address. Click Update Link. That’s it. Do this for the others.

Be sure to check your Links Widget to make sure that the the Show Link Image box is checked. If it is not, click it so it’s checked and click Save.

Now your Links Widget displays your links with the logo images you prepared. Hurray!

Also see:

How do I show links to other blogs in the sidebar of my WordPress blog?

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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How do I show links to other blogs in the sidebar of my WordPress blog?

WordPress offers an array of “Widgets’” hat can be placed in sidebars to show a wide variety of material. The “Links” widget is one of those and shows links to other blogs and sites. This is one widget that is not too easy to use as a number of steps are required to set it up the way you like.

Your blog already has a number of links in a category called “Blogroll” that were set up along with your blog. You can modify this group, but it is easier to add a new “Link Category”. You need to add the links you want, and finally you need to place the Links Widget into the sidebar. Lets take these up in order.

Set up a Link Category

On the WordPress Dashboard, in the navigation pane on the left, find Links. If it is not expanded click it so the tabs “All Links”, “Add New”, and “Link Categories” show. Click Link Categories to display the Link Categories page. image

In the Name field enter the title you wish to show above the link list in the sidebar. You can enter a description to explain the list in more detail. Then click the button below the fields, “Add New Link Catergory”.

This will add the category to the listing on the right.

image

Add new links

imageClick the Add New tab to bring up the Add New Link page. Fill in the spaces with the name of the blog or site, the full URL, that includes the “http://” part, and some description of the link.

In the Categories field click the category that you set up earlier.

Be sure to click the Add Link button.

You will see a message “Link added.”

Continue adding the other links that you wish to show in the same way until you have entered them all.

imageYou can go back to make correction and changes at any time. Click the All Links tab, then move the pointer to the link name. The Edit and Delete links will show up as you hover there.

Just click Edit to bring up the Edit Link page which looks just like the Add New Link page. You can make all the needed changes.

Of course you can go back at any time to add additional links or to remove some from your list.

With the list of links completed, the final step is to add the widget to the sidebar.

Add the Links Widget to the sidebar

Under Appearance in the navigation bar find the Widgets tab – you may have to expand the group. Click the Widgets tab.

In the main widget area find the Links bar and drag it to the sidebar. imageYou can position it up or down in the sidebar by just dragging it like any other widget.

Click the down arrowhead to show the options. The default category will be Blogroll, click the down arrow and click your category.

You can check the other options. You can also define how many links to show.

Thne click the Save button and the widget will be shown on your blog.

Note: If you had your blog open in another browser window, you may have to click the refresh link to see the latest changes.

You clicked Show Link Image and there is no image with the listing there?  That another good question and calls for its own answer. It is covered in another post:

How do I add images to my WordPress Links Widget?

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Why do I see “Just another WordPress.com site” at the top of my blog?

That little bit of advertising at the top of your blog is called the “Tagline” by WordPress. It is the default text on a new blog site so you can see where the tagline, imageor slogan, will be located and how it will appear.

Different themes show it in different places and different fonts. Some themes do not show the tagline at all.

Many bloggers have not replaced that line, although it is very easy to do.

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard. On the left, find the Settings tab. Click it if the submenu is not already expanded. Click General.

The General Settings page shows the blog title right at the top and just below it the “Tagline”.

image

The Site Title can be changed at any time, and so can the Tagline. The instructions say “In a few words, explain what this site is about.” The small text entry box might cause you to think that your slogan has to be very short and succinct. A pithy and precise tagline is certainly desirable, but not mandatory. Take a look at the tagline in the header of this blog – mine is actually quite long. Different themes will provide varied layouts and placements. Some show the tagline as one long line, others may split long slogans over several short lines of text.

Experiment with your site. See how the tagline is presented. Make it crisps and fitting to the theme and topics of your posts. Maybe a short paragraph is the best way to display your motto.

Click the Save Changes button – you may have to scroll down – to replace the default text. Remember, you can come back any time and change it to something else, even a short poem.

The gateway to my blogs and galleries is Café Ludwig

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Can WordPress categories be managed with Windows Live Writer?

WordPress categories can be managed best from the WordPress Dashboard. In Live Writer, categories can be added or removed from existing or new posts and new categories can be added. Here is how:

Open the post in Windows Live Writer – it can be a draft, a recent post, or even an older post. Live Writer always downloads a published post from your site even when you open it from your “My Weblog Posts” folder.

image

The assigned category or categories show in the bar right above the post text pane.

Click anywhere in that text box to open the category window.

Just set the the check marks for the categories – click the box in front of the listing to set or unset.

If you wish to add a new category, enter the category name in the box below “Add Category”. Then click the Add button. The category will be added to your post and when the post is published become part of your blogs categories.

Note that categories can be arranged in hierarchical form. That is, a category can be a sub-category of another. Just specify the “parent” category in the drop-down menu next to the Add button.

Click Publish to send the post and the changes to your site.

So, categories can be managed in Live Writer with the exception that a category cannot be removed. That you do have to do in your WordPress Dashboard.

 

 

 

The gateway to my blogs and galleries is Café Ludwig

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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