Woah, it’s the last week of summer. Here is our last installment of WordPress camp activities (for now), we have some things for you to pack in your duffel bag for when you might need them.
We’ve been running our Ontario Extend Domain Camp as a place to learn about what you can do in your own Internet Domain, using your cpanel, and going deeper in WordPress
To get started, see Getting Ready for Domain Camp and check out what happened in weeks one (learning about cpanel), two (where we learned how to install WordPress), three (where we got to try some new sites with calling card and SPLOT themes), four (exploring non WordPress apps), five (WordPress settings, tags, and categories), and six (permalinks, menus, plugins).
Themes are often the thing people focus on first, how their site will look. Appearance and features are of course important, but the power of WordPress as a Content Management System is that it stores its content (what you write there) separate from how it is presented. Picking a theme can be a challenge, but if the camp outfit does not fit, you can always change it later. And we give you all the gear (it’s in a big sack) for creating a syndication hub just like the one on the front of this site.
Looking at the Domain Camp activity board for this last week of summer, we see:
- Demo Video a walk through of this week’s activities.
- Communicate in the Community (ongoing)
Welcome / Demo Video
Here is the intro video from 2018 providing an overview of this week’s activities
Trying on Themes
Newly installed WordPress sites come with a theme or a template designed by the makers of the software. There’s nothing wrong with those themes. But because of the way WordPress works, you can try on a different design without losing a single bit of content.
The mechanics of changing themes are easy; the harder part os making the choice of them. WordPress provides thousands of free theme that are easily installed via your dashboard. Our you can purchase “premium” themes that can offer a wider range of designs and features. The most challenging part of theme shopping is that the demos or previews often do not give a full picture of how the theme will work.
The best course of action then, when starting out, is to start writing with the default theme (currently Twenty-Seventeen), and develop a range of posts, pages, menus, plugins etc. Then start trying on, like in a dressing room some new themes. If they do not produce what you want, or if you find they do not work, you can always switch back to the Twenty-Seventeen theme.
Before you go into the dressing room, you ought to develop some ideas of how you envision your site. How is it organized? Is it a busy page full of information? Does it feature predominantly your writing? Or is it a portfolio of media-rich content? One way to start is to identify other WordPress sites that have design elements that appeal to you.
Building a Syndication Hub
One way of teaching via a connected learning approach is that learners do their work in digital spaces outside of the course site and the institution owned servers but in personal hosted blogs (Domains of Ones Own), free hosted blogs, and social media sites.
A connected course type hub we can build is in a WordPress site that aggregates content automatically via RSS Feeds using the Feed WordPress plugin.
- Getting Ready for Domain Camp
- Week 1: Meeting Cpanel, Landing Pages, Files
- Week 2: Subdomains, Installing Blogs, Redirects
- Week 3: Better Landing Pages, SPLOTS, Email, and SSL Sites
- Catch Up Week
- Week 4: Exploring Other Apps To Add to Your Domain
- Week 5: WordPress Retreat with Settings, Categories vs Tags
- Week 6: Cooking Over the WordPress Campfire, Permalinks, Menus, Plugins
- Week 7: Theme Picking and Syndication Hubs