Category Archives: Uncategorized

Four New Articles on Dressing Up Your Posts and Pages!

Let’s face it: The internet reader’s attention is hard to grab. They scan the page and if they don’t see something interesting they are gone, all in 10 to 15 seconds. How do you get the reader to look at your post or page and read past the first couple of sentences?

One key way is to make your article attractive to the eye — it pulls the reader in and keeps her reading.

Today I have put up 4 new posts on different aspects of dressing up your posts and pages. All are located under the “Tips” category “Posts & Pages:”

Dressing Up Your Posts and Pages” is the main article in the group and shows you how to really make your article pop on the page. It has sections on the following subjects essential to an attractive-looking post or page:

  • Drop caps
  • Images
  • Screenshot and code illustrations in your posts and pages
  • Adding section titles
  • Adding pullquotes
  • Using callout or highlight boxes
  • Software helpers

Make Your Pullquotes More Attractive” shows you in detail how, why and when to use pullquotes. It includes code to enhance the way your pullquotes look, how to put pullquotes into your text, and 7 tips on how to use pullquotes.

Many times you might want to use code in your post or page, or you might have a text snippet that you want users to copy. “Using the code and pre Tags for Code and to Highlight Text” gives you what you need to do this quickly and easily. It has code to put into your custom.css to make your use of the “code” and “pre” tags more legible and attractive, and shows you how to use these tags in the WordPress editor.

Finally, “Finding Legal Images for Your Posts” gives you a great deal of information on how to find free and legal images for your posts and pages. There is a list of great sites on the internet where you can find images, and it provides guidelines for understanding copyright, conditional use, Creative Commons, and fair use.

Armed with these 4 articles, you can your posts and pages more visually appealing, enhance your readers’ experience, and keep your readers coming back for more!

New Articles for Newbies: Basic Syntax for custom.css and custom_functions.php!

People who are just getting their feet wet with customizations are often daunted by the strange words and punctuation they find in the code for custom.css and custom_functions.php. Even the basic format of the CSS and PHP languages are foreign.

Two new articles just published in the Newbies “Getting Started” section, “Basic CSS Syntax for custom.css” and “Basic PHP Syntax for custom_functions.php” provide just the kind of information newbies need to get a grip on their first adventures with CSS and PHP in Thesis.

Both articles are filled with illustrations of what is being discussed, and are written in clear and concise language. They cover just the what’s needed to work with Thesis and leave the long tutorials to someone else.

The PHP article, in particular, is full of advice for preventing syntax mistakes and troubleshooting errors in the custom_functions.php file. This is because even the smallest syntax error in the PHP code will bring your blog crashing down, preventing access to your blog site, and delivering only a cryptic error message. In a large number of cases — perhaps the majority — the problem is not bad code, but some tiny syntax error.

I have many more articles on tap for Newbies, and am receiving some good suggestions for more. If you would like to see an article on a subject that is puzzling you, please leave a comment or email me directly by clicking the “Contact” button.

New Article in Tips! How to Build Two-Column Sidebar Boxes

We often don’t think of the possibilities of two-column sidebar boxes because the multimedia box is so predominant. However, Thesis makes it easy to build and use sidebar boxes that span both columns of the sidebars. They can be placed above or below the multimedia box or at other locations along the sidebar — even at the bottom.

These boxes might be used for an opt-in box form, advertisements, pictures of Spot, a flash movie, or almost anything you might dream up to put in them. In fact, many people use them instead of the multimedia box because of their flexibility.

A new article, “How to Build Two-Column Sidebar Boxes,” shows you how simple it is to build these sidebar boxes, and provides illustrations of where they can be located on the sidebar. It is an easy-to-follow tutorial that will leave you itching to try it!

Later today I will publish two more articles for newbies (and oldies, too!) about basic CSS and PHP syntax and how they are used in the custom.css and custom_functions.php file.

New Article! Create an Element and Place It on the Screen

One of the most frequent tasks in customization is creating a screen element and placing it. It could be an ad, or an image, or an opt-in box. Despite all these different uses, screen elements share a basic setup — and this article shows you how to do it!

Create an Element and Place It on the Screen” first shows you how to set up a basic box with an id in custom.css and a simple function in custom_functions.php. Then it provides you with a real-life example of putting a “Subscribe by RSS” phrase and icon on a Multilevel Dropdown menu bar. The example includes all the code required, plus illustrations showing the various stages of getting the subscribe box into place.

I have lots of interesting and useful articles on tap, some big, some small. For example, a couple of little articles on finding hex color codes and controlling spam with the .htaccess file. Then a larger article on how to build and place two-column sidebar boxes.

On another matter, my Resources tab is empty right now, and may remain so. The DIYthemes Forums have started a new section, “Resources and Tutorials” that does much of what I intended my Resources section to do. Grouped under headings are listed external internet resources for many Thesis subjects, which is exactly what my Resources section is intended to do.

As a basic principle of this site, I have said that I will not duplicate material found elsewhere, so I’m thinking about doing away with the section and finding something else to fill its place.

What do you think?