Getting Started on the Saint James’ Website

Introduction

Many parish groups at Saint James’ church have pages of their own on the Saint James website.  These pages form the backbone of the site, and have the potential to make it interesting, attractive, and informative, one to which viewers will return again and again.  At the same time each group has the opportunity to get its message out to other parishioners and to the public.  The directions which follow are aimed at the ‘page-keeper’, one or more persons who keep their page brimming with current news, comments, and photos.  In terms of skill, all that’s needed is the ability to browse the web with a program such as Chrome, Firefox, or Explorer, as well as some familiarity with a word processor such as Word.

Logging In

To begin, enter the Saint James’ WordPress site https://www.stjames-manotick.org/. Be sure that JavaScript is enabled on your browser before proceeding further.  Once this has been done, go to the bottom left of the home page to find the Login heading, under which is the subheading Log in; clicking on it takes you to the WordPress Login page.  Enter your user name and password.

After logging in you are on the main Administration Screen called the Dashboard. This is where the organization of your site begins. At the top of the screen in the area called the “toolbar.” Before going to your page, click on the Saint James Manotick link to view the church site.

Home Page

At the top of the site is a header containing an image, usually relating to the liturgical season (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, etc.).  The black bar at the bottom of the image shows main headings such as Home, What’s New, About, etc.  When you hold the cursor over some of these headings, you’ll see subheadings.  For example, Home contains Rector’s Welcome, New Members, About this site.  Some subheadings have sub-subheadings (e.g., Worship – Schedule – Service Bulletin). Others, e.g., What’s New, contain no subheadings.

Your Page(s)

Now place the cursor over Saint James Manotick and press Dashboard.  In the left column, press Pages to go to your page.  Place the cursor on a page title to see the options Edit – Trash – View.  Do not press Trash unless you wish to discard your page permanently; the system in this case does not ask if you want to delete the page – it just does it.  Pressing View simply shows you your page as it appears on the site.  The interesting choice is to press Edit. In the Edit view you can add, modify, or delete text and graphics, as well as create hyperlinks.

Editing Your Page

In the edit mode of your page, you’ll see above the text an edit bar, looking either like this:

or like this:

First, ensure that Visual in the upper right corner shows, and that HTML is ‘greyed out’. If in doubt, click on Visual.

If the bar is the second one above, you’re ready to proceed.

If not, then place the cursor over the symbol on the right hand side of the bar.

The words Show/Hide Kitchen Sink appear. Click on this symbol to see an expanded edit bar looking more or less like the second one above.

Once you have the full bar, with two rows, begin checking the features by placing the cursor over the various images.  You’ll see that you have most of the functions of a normal word processor: bold, italic, text alignment, underline, text colour, etc. Text size can be adjusted with the first box in the second row.  The only significant feature not available is font type.

Try typing in some text on your page, and trying out the various features, but don’t press Update at the right unless you want these changes to appear on the website itself. Once you’ve become familiar with the process, try making a real change which you’d like to see on your page in the site  –  perhaps add a paragraph, or make changes in one of the sentences.  Now press Update, and wait for the update process to complete.  Then click on View Page near the edit bar, and the page will appear as it is now on the church website.  You have completed your first edit. If you are not satisfied with the result, simply press Edit Page in the black bar above the page, and try again.  Remember, though, that any change you update will appear immediately on the public website.

Creating Posts

A Post is usually one of a series of items relating to one or more pages.  For example, follow the sequence Parish Life – Newsletters. Each of the newsletters, reached through a link on this page, is a post.  While there are various technical differences between pages and posts, the key idea for our site is that pages form a fixed structure while posts, which can be added or deleted, form groups associated with pages.  All pages show in the bottom line of the header, and pages are seldom added or deleted (though their content may be modified from time to time).  Other post groups include, for example, Holy Days and Memorable Christians.

If there’s a special event, party, meeting, etc., it can be recorded on the page itself, or on a separate post.  If your description is short –   one or two paragraphs, and if you intend to erase it from the page in a short while, putting it on the page is best.  Erasing time-dependent material from a page is important since the page should contain only current material.

On the other hand, if your description is longer, perhaps with photos, you could create a separate post for it.  Access to the post is handled by a simple link, to be described later.

To create a post, go to Dashboard – Posts – Add New; a page entitled Add New Post appears.  Just under that heading, type in a title for the post; for example, it could be Garage Sale or Picnic or Next Meeting.  Now type in the desired text and update when completed.

At this point you have created a new post, but it is accessible only from the What’s New link on the website.  You must now create a link from your page to the new post.

Creating a Hyperlink

In the Dashboard, find the new post and press View. Near the top of the page is the ‘address’ of the post, in the form https://www.stjames-manotick.org/date/title, for example https://www.stjames-manotick.org/2012/02/06/garage-sale. Highlight the last part of this with the cursor, beginning with the / (slash) after the letters org and copy this to the clipboard; to copy after highlighting, either press ctrl-c (hold down the Ctrl tab and press the letter c), or right click on the highlighted text and click on copy.  In this example, the text you will have highlighted and copied is /2012/02/06/garage-sale.

Now go to the edit version of your page to create a (hyper)link. You might simply put in the words Don’t miss our annual Garage Sale. Highlight the words Garage Sale, and then press on the symbol for Insert/edit link, looking like this

 

A pane appears, as below:

At this point, enter two periods (..) and paste the contents of the clipboard [/2012/02/06/garage-sale] into the URL by pressing ctrl-v.  The result should be as below:

 

Press Add Link, and you have created a hyperlink to your post. Incidentally, the two periods are important.

Inserting Graphics

Generally, every page or post should contain at least one picture; this illustrates the text and adds interest. Suppose that you have a photo called party1.jpg on your computer, and you’d like to add it to a page (same process also for a post).  In the edit version of your page, click the cursor at the point where you wish to locate the image.  Start again with the edit bar:

Click on the Add Media icon, found at the top left above; it looks like this:

 

and the following pane will appear:

Now open the folder on your computer which contains party1.jpg and drag it from the folder into the dotted area above marked Drop files here. WordPress will take a few seconds to process the image; the pane below will then appear:

In some cases, the image will appear in the Drop files here area, rather than as shown. Before inserting the image into your page, you should review your image editing options. You may wish to provide a caption or a description.  Alignment is important; often you may wish to place the image to the left of a part of your text (then choose left above).  How large do you want the image to be on the page (see Image Size below)?  Thumbnail is barely larger than a postage stamp. Medium is a good first choice (you can change it later, if you wish).  Optionally, you may put in a title and/or caption for the image.  Now press Insert into Page to see the result.

Media Library

Go to the Dashboard and click on Media – Library.  You will see a small copy of the image you have just loaded into the system.  If you need it again for any reason, get the image from the Library rather than from your computer; if you do the latter, the Library will contain two copies of the image, adding confusion and wasting storage space.

 

Editing Graphics

Back in the edit mode of your page, click on the image you have inserted, and symbols for edit and delete will appear:

If you click on the (right) delete symbol, the image will disappear from your page, but it will remain in the Media Library.  Clicking on the (left) edit symbol brings up and edit page; note that, at the left of the image on the edit page, you can change the size of the image.

 

Image Size

Unnecessarily large files waste storage space and bandwidth, and may be slow to load.  File sizes which are too small yield blurry images and poor resolution.  The optimum file size results in images which look sharp and load quickly.  The most suitable file size depends on your use of the image. If it’s a small insert to be fitted in the midst of, or alongside, the text, a file size of 15KB (kilobytes) to 50 KB is reasonable.  If you want a larger image, comparable, for example, to those found in the Scrapbook, a file size of 175 – 250KB is best.  Only rarely should you ever need a size greater than 300KB.

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