WordPress Users Group meeting at NLA 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Posted by

NLA LogoAll participating libraries, libraries interested in participating, and anyone else interested in or currently using WordPress are welcome to join us at the WordPress Users Group meeting to be held at 3:30pm on Thursday, October 9th. This meeting is very important for anyone participating in Nebraska Libraries on the Web as I’ll be discussing the changes in WordPress 4.0 which will be installed for participants shortly after the conference. Diane and I will also be available to answer any questions you may have about WordPress and the future of this program. We look forward to seeing you in South Sioux City!

WordPress 4.0 Status Update

Friday, September 12, 2014 Posted by

Please Update NowAs you may have noticed, your dashboard is encouraging you to “Please update now.” Yes, this means that WordPress 4.0 is out but the update is something that can only be done from this end. I’ve been testing and will be creating all of the new training videos between now and NLA Conference in early October. I’ll then fill in folks on the changes and other project updates at the WordPress users group meeting at conference and then update everyone and post the videos the week after conference. So, as we hoped, so far everything is right on schedule. Thanks for your patience.

Welcome Atkinson Public Library

Thursday, September 11, 2014 Posted by

Please take a moment and head on over to our latest site to go live: Atkinson Public Library

Atkinson Banner

The History of WordPress

Friday, September 5, 2014 Posted by

For those interested in the background of WordPress and how it all works…

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbWordPress is the most popular content management system on the planet. With over 22% of websites run on this platform, we thought we would look at the history of it, how it transformed from a simple blogging system into its current form, how its community was born, and the ecosystem around WordPress.

The platform is changing how websites from all around the world work, with more power and performance than traditional websites or most other CMS systems. Because of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) ability to change parts of your site, more and more people are becoming bloggers, webmasters, and internet marketers than ever before.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system, or CMS for short, that helps bloggers and webmasters edit content on a regular basis without the need to use a traditional HTML editor software for example Dreamweaver of Frontpage. If you don’t even know what are those, consider yourself lucky :).

WordPress itself is an open source software licensed under GPLv2 which means it’s free to use and free to modify. This package can be found on WordPress.org. Be careful with those domain extensions as Automattic, a company founded by the creator of WP, Matt Mullenweg runs WordPress.com which is a free, hosted version of the platform that lives on Automattic’s servers and they offer a couple of paid extras, for example you can use your own domain name, but you have to fork out a couple of bucks for this option. There are a few other options to get a free, hosted WordPress site other than Automattic’s WordPress.com service, however that is the most popular choice.

WordPress.org is the self-hosted version, that you can run on your own servers (if you have any) or purchase a hosting package from one of the numerous web hosting companies for example Kinsta, WPEngine, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost and a litany of other third party hosts. There are monthly costs to consider plus you’ll have to pay for your own domain name which can range from $3 to around $60 based on what domain extension you’ll choose: .com’s are the cheapest, while exotic TLDs like “.io” are usually more expensive.

The benefit of a self-hosted blog is that webmasters have access to the code behind their site, as well as the roughly 32,000 free plugins and 2,500 themes that are listed on the official repository (WordPress.org) – and even more from commercial sources.

These are all GPL licensed, just like WP itself, which means site owners can use them on their sites free of charge. We will discuss this more in-depth in the community section as well as the premium plugins available for WordPress users.

Understanding This Guide

We understand that the history of WordPress is evolving at a rapid pace. That is why Kinsta is dedicated to updating this guide as changes happen in the world of WordPress.

Furthermore, this is not only a guide of statistics. This is a guide to understanding what WordPress is, and how the history of this dynamic community can affect your business. This guide will provide you with information about the major building blocks and players, so you can understand how every aspect of WordPress works

Read the full guide @ Kinsta.com.

Embedding external content

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Posted by

WordPress logoYou may already know that you can easily embed external content from sites like YouTube and Flickr just by pasting the item’s URL on its own line. But did you know that you can also do this with sites like Instagram, Twitter, SlideShare and TED? No? Well now you do. And, if you’re interested in a complete list you can find it on the Embeds page in the WordPress Codex.

Welcome Emerson Public Library

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Posted by

This morning we welcome the Emerson Public Library to the project.

Emerson Banner

Linking to OverDrive Kids

Thursday, August 14, 2014 Posted by

Now that we’re offering a kids-only OverDrive collection you might want to have a link in your sidebar with the relevant graphic. You can do this by adding a new text widget to your sidebar and pasting in the following code:

<a href="http://nebraska.lib.overdrive.com/youth/">
<img src="http://libraries.ne.gov/projectblog/files/2014/08/Overdrive-Kids-Teens-eReading-Graphic-200x200.jpg" alt="Check out OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks!" />

This will get you the following graphic which when clicked will send patrons over to the OverDrive Kids site where they can check out eBooks and audio books from participating libraries.

Check out OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks!

Book Hangover

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Posted by

Here’s a great video to share with your patrons.

Welcome Farnam Public Library

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Posted by

Please take a moment and welcome Farnam Public Library to the program.

Farnam banner

Status of updated training videos and forthcoming WordPress updates

Friday, July 11, 2014 Posted by

WordPress logoI while back I promised a new set of training videos which will reflect changed in the WordPress interface since the originals I recorded back in 2011. While I’ve done of few of them so far, I’d not yet posted them and have actually scrapped them. This is because yesterday the folks at WordPress announced the release of WordPress 4.0 beta 1 with plans for a final release of version 4.0 in “a month.” (Click the link if you’re interested in reading about the exciting changes on the way.)

As a results of this announcement I’ve put the creation of new training videos on hold since some, if not many of them, will just need to be redone with this next major release. So, what’s the new plan?

With this upgrade the plan is for the Commission to install both the beta versions as they’re released on a test server that we’ll be able to use to identify and test the changes as they happen. Then, when 4.0 is released I’ll immediately start creating the new training videos using our install on the test server. Once those videos are complete (I’m thinking just a few weeks to get them all done,) we’ll upgrade all of sites on our system and make the new training videos available immediately. This way, I’ll be ready to answer your questions and the training will be available at the same time as the upgrade.

Thanks for your continued participation in this project and as always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.