Well, I’d like to say that the past 24 hours has been something of a learning curve, but in reality they’ve been more of an unlearning experience; I’m now grumpy, confused and frustrated because I can’t find ways of formatting this blog as I would like.
I’ve now got a side-bar with widgets – yey! I’m still not sure what widgets actually are, but they seem to be links to organise and collate information, so I’m calling this ‘progress’ of sorts.
This has been my biggest nightmare so far. What I would really like is a nice neat row of tabs along the top of my page, which will link to other topic pages – I’m trying to avoid the hideous ‘shopping list’ format I had yesterday, and really need to find ways of categorising and sorting information, partly for my own sake but also for ease of user-access. I can produce pages, but haven’t found a way of linking posts to individual pages; the ‘Help’ facility simply states that a ‘page’ is much the same as a ‘post’, so that’s no help whatsoever. So, after much cutting, pasting, trawling the Dashboard & colourful language, I’ve now deleted the pages I created yesterday – I simply don’t have the time to faff on with this because I have work to produce, & I’m disappointed with WordPress in that producing this kind of format, which I think most creators / users would want and expect as standard, is either impossible, or a rather complex process which I haven’t discovered yet. Again, back to the design issue – perhaps the ‘theme’ I selected doesn’t support this?
- CATEGORIES / CATEGORY CLOUD
Selected this from the widgets and have now managed to link my posts to ‘categories’ – thank you Caroline!:-) – the result of which is that I can now organise the posts into topic groups, and links to the various categories are listed on the sidebar widget. The downside is that, regarding user-friendliness and accessibility, they aren’t that visible – the font is small, the location is not where a user would expect to find navigation links, and because I have also changed my ‘front page’ to the ‘static’ option, the only access to the categorised information is via these links. I suspect that most users wouldn’t realise that access to other posts is via these links, but most importnantly for myself and the consideration of using a WordPress blog with students, this is a real clanger – my learners would really struggle to navigate and locate information on this blog, and therefore in its present form, I wouldn’t even consider using this in a classroom context. I need to find a way of having bold, clear, easy to locate tabs across the top of the page.
I have currently selected the Category Cloud, as opposed the the straight Category option – I’m hoping that the cloud will work a bit like Wordle, so will be an interesting visual. I suspect I may end up having both on there, because if the cloud develops as I am anticipating, once again, it might not be as user-friendly as it needs to be – these Category links MUST be a clear as possible, since they are, at present, the only route of access to the Reflections and Tasks posts.
I’m also considering adding a further category where I can store some interesting classroom writing task ideas which have appeared on the Reader page – it would be good to have a stash of useful ideas to try out. I’m not sure yet how to grab this stuff – I think perhaps the ‘reblog’ icon could work in the same way as a FB ‘share’ button?
EXCITING TECHIE MOMENT…
When this post is published, I’ll be able to see if the Categories Cloud works as I am hoping.
Ooooh, it works! 🙂 & it’s very pretty too 🙂 Have now added a Categories List format as well, because these links must be really clear & easy to locate.
Changes don’t take place immediately or by clicking ‘refresh’ – the cloud took about 10 mins to change. Also, I’ve just added another ‘category’ which isn’t showing yet – maybe I need to link a post to it first?