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:
- Welcome / Demo Video (Tuesday, 1pm EST) a live streamed walk through of this week’s activities.
- Drop in Camp Headquarters (Wednesday, 3pm EST) Use Zoom to visit the camp office, ask questions, register complaints etc.
- Bring Your Camping Gear in For a Checkup Do you want to have our camp mechanics go over your site with you? Make an appointment, this week only!
- Communicate in the Community (ongoing)
Welcome / Demo Video
Again this week Domain Camp will live stream a welcome video via Google Hangout and a screen share demo of the things we are doing this week at Tuesday, 1:00 PM EST (check for your local time).
You do not have to watch it live, the live video above will become the archive later.
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.
Drop In Hours at Camp Headquarters
We’ll have the office door open on Wednesdays at 3:00PM EST for anyone who wants to get some help of ask question or just want to bother the counselors. For this session join us in our Zoom office:
Bring Your Camping Gear in For a Checkup
We’ve introduced you over the last few weeks to using WordPress. If you are interested, we will have our camping gear experts available to take a look at your gear (your site). Schedule a 30 minute appointment via our contact desk.
- 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