Custom Blogs on WordPress

Let me start by saying that as of September 7th, 2018, I had never blogged before.  I do have a little experience with HTML and have gotten by until I started latenyte.com.  Blogging was a completely new experience for me and something that didn’t follow most of the rules I knew.  I wanted to blog my way and not have to follow someone else’s idea of a template.  I also don’t have but $97 a month to cover everything I do that isn’t food, so going for the next upgrade from personal at WordPress was way out of my budget.  Heck, upgrading to personal account was out of my budget.

WordPress Menu 01

Here are some of the things I didn’t want on my site:

  • I didn’t want the first page everyone visits to be a long string of my blog posts in someone else’s order.
  • I didn’t want a theme deciding how my site is laid out.
  • I didn’t want my site to be blog heavy, but balanced with other valuable content.
  • I didn’t want to be limited to the functions built into a theme.

After poking at these problems for the last two months, every light bulb just exploded.  Not only did I just figure things out, the reason that I couldn’t find the solution is because it was so easy.  Okay, it is easy for me to understand because I am now understanding blog terminology and a new applications functions.

WordPress Menu 01

Before I go and get crazy with this information, above is what my menu settings are for my primary menu.  This is how I set it up so far:

  • Home – I went to customize -> Homepage Settings -> Clicked on static -> Chose a page I created for my home page (blank page with site address as text, blank title and in the slug box I typed home).  For posts page I selected new page and called it Blog This.  To add a menu link to get back to your homepage if it is not already in the list is +add new -> Page -> and click on the page without a name that says (no title) and publish homepage settings.
  • WordPress Menu 02Blog This – After creating the Blog This page in home page settings I did nothing to it.  I haven’t even opened it to see if it can be edited or how WordPress created it.  I figured that if it worked, don’t break it.  It however was a chronological view of latenyte’s blog.  So I created a new menu item and called it Blog This and pointed it to the page of the same.
  • Gallery – To have a gallery section for now I winged it.  I created a new page called Gallery with the Title “Gallery”.  I added a little text and created links to two more pages I created, for the two different galleries I have listed.  On the specific gallery page I added all the images for the gallery at the same time.  This tiled them and gave me an option to what they are linked to.
  • The links and about pages were also created from adding new pages through WordPress.  Simply drag the menu items around until they are in the order you want them.

Now for the customizing of your blog section.  This is going to require some work on your part if you haven’t already been doing it.  For everyone of your blog posts, in the settings, to can classify it for the kind of post it is, and then add tags.  The tags being the key words discussed in your blog entry, are used in searching and organizing the mass of information that can be collected on a site.

One of the things I am featuring on latenyte.com is reviews related to photography.  To be able to find any blog I have written that is a review, I created a category called “Review”.  Another page I wanted to have available for viewing is one with blog entries I felt needed to be highlighted.  To do this, I added the tag “featured” to these posts.  Now that I have my blogs organized into categories and tagged with key words, I can create those specific pages.

Back to customizing your theme.  Go to menu -> primary -> +add new.  The image on the left shows all of the available options you have available for menu links.  The middle image shows the drop down selection under categories where I selected “Review”.  The image on the right shows the drop down section under tags where I selected “featured”.  I then nested these two menu links under “Blog This”.

At latenyte.com, on the menu, when you click “Blog This” it takes you to a page that shows our 10 most recent blog posts.  I can change the number in theme customization.  If you click on “Review” it takes you to a page with our 10 most recent reviews.  If you click of “Featured” it takes you to a page with our 10 most recent featured blog posts.

There is a lot more customization that can be done, so fiddle around with your settings, establish your categories and tags.  The sooner you get these established and used, the less work you will have down the road when there will be more blog posts needing the tags and categories added.  I was lucky that I only had about 20 posts to edit when I found the importance of them.

I hope this is able to help some of the folks out that are new to WordPress, blogging and site customization.

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