WordPress for LMW: Intro to WordPress


  1. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS).
  2. LMW uses WordPress more as a website building tool than a traditional blog.
  3. The focus in LMW is on media production (the “content” in CMS). That's why we use a CMS.
  4. WordPress separates content from presentation.
  5. LMW content = photos, audio, video, posts, pages, links.
  6. WordPress allows you to see the shape of your own work, the scope of your project, the "taxonomy" (category structure).
  7. Posts are regularly updated short pieces of information, always and only on the home page. The most recent post is always on top.
  8. Pages are static, for things that need to be used often, usually in the header menu at the top of the page to make it easy to find. For example, pages in LMW: Session 1, “About Me” page; Session 2, “About This Project” page.
  9. Things at the top (title/header/menu, etc.) should clearly communicate the core concept of your project. What gets regularly referenced? What does your audience need to know to understand what the site is about?
  10. Categories: sidebar links (widgets) to help navigate your information.
  11. Widgets: posts and links, calendars, tag clouds, overflow of information.
  12. WordPress is a PHP CMS. PHP is a “general purpose scripting language especially suited for Web development” (http://www.php.net/). (There are other popular scripting languages).
  13. WordPress themes often use CSS for styling.
  14. Ex’pression College has a limited set of WordPress themes installed. Also, students do not have access to advanced CSS and PHP within the school's WordPress installation.


WordPress for LMW Session 1:

  • Account setup: http://students.expression.edu
  • First time login
  • Use the Blogs menu to create a blog (or blogs) for the class


  • Shows currently active site
  • Shows accounts, list of sites, notifications, "New" menu, NextGen Gallery
  • The WordPress dashboard is "command central"
  • Access it via toolbar or web address (wp-admin)
  • Appearance > Themes
    • Install the Twenty-eleven theme
    • Other themes might work too, free to explore- however, we know 2012 works for everything we do in the class
  • Users > Your Profile: "display name publicly as" First Last


  • Toolbar, Dashboard
  • Create a Post
  • Title
  • Formatting:
    • Bullet and paragraph
    • Block quote
    • Links: create/remove
    • Spellcheck
    • Paste as plain text or Word
    • Insert symbol
  • Upload and insert media (above formatting features)
  • Add image, select file (Note, can also use this method to upload audio and video, but there is an 8MB size limit for all media. That's why we use Soundcloud, Youtube and Vimeo)
  • Edit title, caption, alignment and size
  • Link: thumbnail, none or URL
  • Insert from URL: find image, right click, choose Copy Image Link, paste in Image URL
  • Inserting audio and video, PDF's
  • Soundcloud: use the Share menu to get WordPress shortcode
  • Youtube and Vimeo: simply paste the URL link into a post (or page)
  • Media Library
  • Crop, rotate, resize, etc.
  • Settings > Media
  • Manage Posts


  • Comments on or off
  • Parent/child order – change number for order
  • To use a sub menu: choose parent page


  • Link categories


  • Themes
    • Different Themes can have different Dashboards
    • Themes can vary in quality and stability, break on WordPress updates, etc.
  • Widgets
    • Widgets add additional functionality
    • Categories, text boxes, NextGen slideshows, calendars, tag clouds, plugins, etc.
    • Additional content to posts, pages, headers, footers and sidebars
  • Menus
    • Pages, categories, links
    • Menus appear on the main bar below the header
    • Pages, links or categories
    • Default setup shows pages in order of creation
    • Reordering by dragging, hierarchical by changing nesting
    • Shows only one at a time — must be assigned from pulldown
    • Must have Menu name
  • Header & Background
    • Find specs/pixel dimensions


  • Delete Site: permanent, must confirm via email


  • Settings > General: Site title and tagline
  • Settings > Discussion: Allow comments and spam filters
  • "

Gallery refers to the NextGen Gallery plugin


WordPress for LMW Session 2:

  1. WordPress as a CMS
  2. What is content management?
  3. Media translation: what’s the right media for the job?
  4. How to make links in posts and pages
  5. Research page vs links management vs links in posts/pages
  6. How to use the built-in link manager – dashboard (managed links)
  7. Categories and taxonomy
  8. On plagiarism: reposting material from Youtube without telling us why it’s there is PLAGIARISM. tell us why we are looking at it. Call it “curation”
  9. Add text to make linked content relevant to audience.
  10. Be the filter, the resident expert
  11. Include multiple perspectives to legitimize your position
  12. Be generous with audience by linking
  13. Tell us if the info is trustworthy
  14. How do you make decisions about what a good source is?
  15. Internet hyperlinking (history)


WordPress for LMW Session 3:

  1. NextGen gallery plugin to create phto essays/slideshows. Can access NextGen at top menu and in Dashboard
  2. Dashboard > Plugin setup
  3. Handout: Using NextGen shortcodes
  4. Core concept & WordPress content areas: where things go (main content, sidebar, footer, header, background)
  5. Review Post vs. Page


WordPress for LMW Session 4:

  1. Widgets and Menus
  2. Widgets add functionality to the sidebar or other content areas (calendars, sorted lists or custom categories, tag clouds, etc.)
  3. WordPress and BuddyPress – differences –
  4. WordPress site vs. Buddypress social networking
  5. Groups are Buddypress
  6. Buddypress handles messages, friends, and how all the sites work together
  7. WordPress handles the structure of the individual sites


WordPress for LMW Session 5:

  1. Header and Background
  2. Theme modification and selection
  3. check the theme for compatibility with custom header and background
  4. Feature Filter to select Custom Header
  5. check measurements before doing layout
  6. Photoshop demo for customizing header
  7. Textures for background
  8. Discussion on optimizing load times for images (background and header)
  9. Discussion on web design realities: people pay for server space, load times, data sizes, etc. When is free not free? Answer: when you are paying for the bandwidth


WordPress for LMW Session 6:

  1. Categories check in: organizing your site
  2. Midterm checklist
  3. “About this Project” proposal revision, “it’s not what you will be doing, it’s what you are doing.”
  4. Review of shortcodes