Advanced WordPress

Discover: Widgets

After customizing your blog by choosing an appropriate theme, you may wish to further customize it’s appearance and functionality.  WordPress makes this easy through the use of widgets.  Depending on your theme you might have 1 or 2, or even more sidebar areas in which to add widgets.  Some themes will also allow you to add widgets to the header or footer areas.  Here’s a brief overview of widgets, as well as a longer video tutorial that provides an itemized overview of the default widgets featured in most WordPress themes.  Take some time to try out different widgets on your blog, it’s impossible to “break” your page so have fun with them!

Engage: Synchronization

Rather than one specific “to do” task for this module, here is a collection of resources to help you synchronize your blog across multiple social websites and services.  You may have asked yourself “How do I publish my Facebook status on my blog?” or “How can I publish my blog to Twitter?”  Synchronization is a useful concept as it helps to integrate your social media interaction across a variety of platforms, making each one more powerful and reaching a wider audience.  In other words, it gives your viewer a number of different starting points by which to access your information.

Blog – General
How do I offer email subscriptions to my blog?

Blog + Delicious
How do I put my delicious bookmarks on my blog?

Blog + Facebook
How do I publish my blog to Facebook?

Blog + Flickr
How do I put my Flickr photos on my blog?

Blog + Mobile
How do I blog from my mobile device?

Blog + Twitter
How do I publish my blog to Twitter?

Another powerful tool to embed video, audio or other images into your WordPress blog is through the use of shortcodes.  As the name suggests, these are small bits of code that are used to create objects that will give your posts a professional look with a minimum of effort.  Take some time to explore this list of available shortcodes that will help you embed content from YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, and much more.

Additional Resources

This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Jeffrey Castel De Oro for Explore and Inspire: Scholarly Visionaries. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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