Tag Archives: writing for the web

WordPress Words: Posts

Posts are what make your blog a blog — they’re servings of content that are listed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s front page.
Posts – WordPress Support Documentation

Example: “Did you write enough posts for the WordPress Newspaper site? You need to write five more posts by midnight.”

According to WordPress.com’s Support article on posts, posts are the essential content which make WordPress a blog. A post can be anything: an announcement of a new content series, a photograph of a special moment, a quote once buried but now on display, or even just a solitary link followed by a description. Continue reading WordPress Words: Posts

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Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Understanding Your Audience With Personas

When you first studied the fundamentals of effective writing, you probably learned what an audience is. For example, “My audience is people who like cats,” or “I am writing for people interested in learning about the Spanish Inquisition.” Knowing who your audience is helps you to tailor your style and the information you provide in a way that your specific audience will understand best.

However, it may not be that simple. You can sum up your audience in one lump statement, but doing so prevents you from understanding the diverse needs and qualities of those who visit your site. Fortunately, creating personas for your site is a great way to understand your audience and be a more effective writer.

What is a Persona?

In the context of web design and usability, a persona is a hypothetical user of your site based on real information you have gathered about your audience. Step Two Designs says personas “act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design.”

Typically, you should have three to five personas that represent your site’s audience. According to Boxcar Marketing, ideally the personas you create should represent both your primary users and your secondary users. These personas should be similar in that they share a relationship with your site, but should be different enough to help you recognize variances between the groups actually viewing your site. Continue reading Understanding Your Audience With Personas

Why Not Center?

In order to write valid HTML, you need to avoid the elements that have been deprecated. Many HTML tags, including the <center> tag, are now obsolete. It turns out that HTML, like all technology, is constantly evolving, changing, and improving. While the HTML tag is still part of the HTML specification, it will not be included in the future. If it’s not included, browsers won’t support it. This will result in Web pages that may not work in future websites or applications.

Why is the <center> tag deprecated?

Many HTML elements are deprecated in favor of CSS style sheets, the design aspect of the HTML architecture. The <center> tag is one of those elements. While it once centered whatever it wrapped around, CSS styles now manage the centering process.

This article is about how the <center> tag came to be gone from HTML, no longer supported by the time HTML 4 (XHTML 1) was adopted, and why. Continue reading Why Not Center?

What is the Perfect Post Length

One of the most popular questions for a beginning blogger is, what is the minimum and maximum length that a blog post should be? When beginning to write or blog on the web, there are a lot of questions on what the do’s and don’ts are in blogging. Don’t allow the title of the article fool you, because there is no such thing as a perfect blog post length.

When you begin to blog, one thing to keep in the back of your mind is that most people who do read blogs typically do not have a lot of patience to read huge posts. A second tip to always remember when blogging is to always be passionate, be unique, and always make you content actionable. It will keep your reader entertain, no matter how many words you end up with in your blog post.

What Does Your Audience Have To Do With It?

Above all, it will totally depend on the type of audience. This is why blogging best practices for word count varies. It shouldn’t matter if it takes you 250 words to get your point across or 1400, as long as you keep your audience entertained and engaged. However, there are a few guidelines to consider when it comes to word count, and
finally publishing the blog to the desired audience.
Continue reading What is the Perfect Post Length

Rant like a Rock Star

Modern society downplays the importance and legitimacy of a good rant, and they forget that even Shakespeare was a fan of the rant. The first known use of the word rant was in 1601. Today rants are widely seen as annoying, self-indulgent complaining, and are not generally recognized as important or legitimate pieces of writing.

There are 3 types of rants found in web publishing.

Continue reading Rant like a Rock Star

How to Create the “Perfect” Post – Part 2

Welcome to part two of two in this series on “How to Construct the “Perfect” Post.” Did you have a nice intermission?

Here in the second act we will cover the last few tips I have for you to make your content sing out like the proverbial fat lady. Remember, you may have composed the grandest aria ever but if your presentation is scrawny and slim, nobody can hear it. So let’s continue to make your presentation gloriously obese!

fat lady singing
So it’s over then?

No, no. We’re just getting started! Continue reading How to Create the “Perfect” Post – Part 2

Tips for Using the WordPress Text Editor

I am going to attempt to make your life a little bit simpler with tips on editing your posts and pages on WordPress.com and the self-hosted version of WordPress using the Visual and Text Editors.

Log into your WordPress site and select a post or Page to edit. If you are unsure as to where to find the edit links, you may want to check out “How to Edit a Post or Page” by fellow Clark student Jesse Byars.

If you are a seasoned veteran of HTML, have no fear, you can use HTML to create your posts and pages with the WordPress text editing tab:
Continue reading Tips for Using the WordPress Text Editor