Finishing Up the Sidebar: Media, Links, Comments and Ratings
I’m assuming, you are logged into your WordPress.com account right now. At the top of your page, drift your mouse over the link titled My Dashboards. When you do, a drop down window will show all the blogs you currently have set up at WordPress.com. Click on one.
This article will cover, the rest of the left sidebar, not covered in previous posts. Pages will be the most complicated issue I’ll cover in this article; and I plan to cover it last.
If you click the link labeled Media in your side bar, you’ll be taken to your media library. Here you’ll see a list of all the different media types, you have uploaded to WordPress. You can sort or delete these files, either individually or as a group. If you click on the Add New link, which opened on your sidebar when you clicked Media, you be taken to a page, from which you can upload more media. For information on uploading media please refer to the previous post, Posting Articles in WordPress.
The Link hyper-link, if clicked will take you to a page that will list all the links you think are important. They are placed in a link category titled Blogroll. A Blogroll, is just a list of links. On the page titled Edit Links, which should be on your screen, you can delete and order those links currently in your blogroll.
If you click on the link labeled Add New, under the Links sidebar link, you are ready to add new important links. You can enter the following information on each link you add to your blogroll:
If you click on Link Categories, on your left sidebar, you can now sort your links into different categories. Enter a Link Category Name, that would be descriptive of the links it will contain. Add a Description for the link Category. Now click Add Category. If you want you can go back to the Edit page under Links, in your left side bar, and move your links into your newly created link categories.
By clicking the Comments link, in your left sidebar, you’ll be able to Approve, mark as spam, or trash any comments, all in one place. There are Bulk Actions, you can use to handle many comments with just a few clicks.
By clicking on the Ratings link, in your left sidebar, you can give commenters the ability to rate their favorite Posts, Pages, and Comments. You can enable these rating systems, by clicking on the tabs across the top of the screen. If you enabled ratings, by clicking on reports, you’ll see the ratings your posts, pages, and comments have received.
There is an option to add polls to your posts. You do this by setting up either a free or pay account with a company called PollDaddy. You can find out more information on that here, polldaddy.com, or check back for a later post.
Making Traditional Website Static Pages
You can create pages, on your site, that do not change. These are called static pages. You create these pages by clicking on Pages, in your left toolbar. You are now looking at the familiar text editing tool you saw when you created posts in the past. Give the page a title. Refer to the previous post, to learn how to use the text editing tools if needed. Decide if you want others to be able to comment on your static page.
Now on to the Attributes part of the page. Each of the pages you create will be listed in a menu that goes across the top of your website, down the left, or down the right side depending on the template you choose for your site. Each of these static pages can be all alone or they can be associated with other static or blog pages.
If you want this page to be at the top of your page hierarchy, leave the select box, under parent set at Main Page (no parent). If however you want it associated under another page, in the select box, select the page you want it associated with. Under Template, you can choose what template you want associated with this static page as well. Finally, click on the order of your hierarchy of pages if you don’t want them to follow the alphabetical default.
Now, click on Save Draft, Preview or Publish after you decide if this page should be available for public consumption.
If you want your new static page set as your home page, being the first page people see when they go to your site. Click on Settings, in your left sidebar. Then click reading. Now, under Front Page Displays click in the circle, next to a static page (select below). Select the Front page, or home page you want displayed and then click Save Changes, at the bottom of that page.
The next article will be about styling the appearance, or theme of your website. Then will move on to adding users, and finishing up with a review of all the final settings available in WordPress. You’ll be an expert then.
I hope this article was helpful.