Making a Web Plan

For this post, I’ve attached my Web Plan in PDF format, please click on the link Bates Classroom Site Web Plan .  To create a linked PDF file, you must add media and upload the file just like an image.


Adding Pages and Sub-Pages

Okay so the planning of the site for this on-line course, actually comes at a later point, but I did read through the syllabus before starting the course.  However, I had missed the part about sub-pages.  A quick brainstorm brought me to add a few new pages to my site this afternoon under Yearbook for Sales, Baby Dedications, and Senior Photo information.  I actually didn’t have any of the information on my Word Press site yet.  It was all located on my local district site and still needed a bit of updating.  So, I removed it from there, adding some external link pages to my district site and some new sub-pages under my Yearbook page.

The best part about sub pages is it helps your user easily locate the exact information they are looking for more quickly.  The pages are shorter and hopefully more organized.

The most exciting part about the additional of my new sub pages, is people could be visiting my WordPress site any day now for this information.  Here is the link to my district teacher page so you can check out just how it looks and works to bring you to my WordPress site.

All in all, the addition of pages to the WordPress site makes it a web site.  I just feel when it is just posts it is still more of a blog and not an actual site.  For now, I only have one page with sub-pages but can see where I may find much more information for each of my courses that could be added at a later time.

Sticky Posts and Editing

I did find the visibility option of being able to make my post stick to the top of the page but for now, I didn’t keep that feature on.  I can see where it may be useful for a certain post you don’t want to get lost in the mix but want to stay current at the top.  It reminds me of when Facebookers bump a post back to the top so people continue to see it in their feed.  I bet they’d love to be able to figure out how to make it sticky on the News Feed.

In terms of editing posts, I guess I’m kind of surprised this lesson is just coming up now as I tend to have to edit just as soon as I hit publish on just about everything.  Although I probably need to remind myself, I’ve created a few more posts and pages at this point of the class than requests but I just can’t help myself.

One can’t really ever do enough editing/proofing in my book and even as you are reading through my posts and pages, you are probably still thinking more editing could be done.  One tip I do give to my students is not only should you have a proof reader but copying and pasting your information into a decent spelling and grammar checker isn’t a bad option either.   The on-line support options just aren’t as powerful in that feature as one might find with Microsoft Office.  I’m finding that to be true in WordPress as I have found in other comparable on-line editing tools I’ve used in the past.

Settings and Configurations

Updated the name of my site to the Power of Educating with Technology but it isn’t fitting in the circle all that nicely.  I do like that it doesn’t just say Mrs. Bates at CFHS so that was a nice idea.  I just need to play with the font size some how.  Hopefully I’ll figure it out.  For now, the words touch the edges of the circle which drives me a little bonkers.

I was less than impressed when updating my time zone that Mountain Time was not available so I did a quick search to find the UTC conversion option that I needed to select.  I still found it a bit strange the options they did have available and spent way more time scrolling through trying to find MST than I should have.

The other item I added was to upload my profile picture.  I’m not sure where else that will appear on my site but am curious to find out.  I already have the same picture on my About page, but since the item was there and I already had the picture available,  I did the quick upload.

For now those were the only configuration changes I made in settings.

Categories and Tags for Yearbook Too

I’m going to tackle this one with a bit of a different spin.  Up until now, I’ve only been thinking of this course in terms of my Web Design class, but a light bulb just went off.  My Yearbook class uploads hundreds, okay more like thousands of pictures to our on-line yearbook editing site.  When they upload the pictures they are given the option to “tag” the pictures.  This is critical.  If they don’t tag the pictures, they later pay for it searching through the masses of pictures that are only sorted by date.  They use keywords such as the event name football, basketball, volleyball, etc.  However, as this was my first year, we learned a lot.  The students decided it would make sense to also add the name of the other team we played, and the month to help them narrow the search down even more when searching for pictures.  These are just different ways of categorizing and tagging the pictures.  I’m excited to have made this connection and share something real that might make some sense to my web designers so that they too will create categories and tags that will help them as the site developer or their end users find what they are looking for.

**For the record, I have been adding my posts to the Category WordPress and tagging them with words such as WordPress, Images, Hyperlinks, Websites, Dashboard, etc.  New Category today is Yearbook.

Relative and Absolute Links

Navigation of a website is critical for users.  I have created relative links on my About page to all the class that I teach (Computer Essentials, Accounting, Web Design, Yearbook, Digital Learning Lab, Personal Finance – MTDA).  Relative Links are links within my site.  I have also created absolute links to Columbia Falls High School and Montana Digital Academy.  These links are located at the bottom of my About page so my users can easily find additional information about the organizations that I work for.  I made sure when creating my absolute links to have them open in a new tab so that the user is not completely taken away from my site.  This was not necessary with my relative links because my navigation bar will remain at the left hand side for my user.

Adding Images to WP

I started by gathering a variety of different types of images that I wanted to add to my site.  I was pleasantly surprised that the pictures I already had in my Word 2013 documents could by right clicked on and saved as in a picture format.  Although not something of value from WP, definitely a nice new feature of Word I’ve been waiting for all these years.  I saved a .GIF, .PNG, and .JPG.  All of them uploaded into my image gallery seamlessly and quickly.  Granted, my file sizes were all fairly small in size.

I inserted images on to all of the pages playing around with all of the features.  On my Personal Finance page, you will find my MTDA logo linked to the Montana Digital Academy web site.  I did alternative text to most pictures.  I varied whether I inserted the picture in large size or as a thumb nail but never got the option of medium size.  Has that disappeared?  Or was it not available because of my picture sizes?  I also added a border to the picture on my Accounting page.

On the About page, the picture of me at the bottom of the page was copied and pasted from another website.  I’m a bit baffled about where the file is being stored.  I did look in the images folder.  It isn’t there.  It doesn’t appear to have a link on it.  I could easily resize it and reposition it.  I was excited I could just copy and paste, but I don’t trust it staying there and fear it turning in to the red X.

All in all, the insertion of images was a piece of cake.  I didn’t add any to my posts but gather it is the same process as adding them to pages.