Using WordPress with the CUSP Website

Very good video tutorials for beginners: https://ithemes.com/tutorials/. Good for non-beginners too for exploring different tools.


Word Press Editors

There’s an option to use either a plain text editor which shows HTML code or a “visual” editor which doesn’t show code and gives a fairly close representation of the resulting post or page. [See beginner tutorials cited at the start of these notes for the difference between posts and pages.]

Up until now (May 23/16) we have been using the text editor. Here are the main reasons why.
• It’s easier to troubleshoot.
• You can control the layout better. The “visual” aka “wysiwyg” editor often changes what was intended, e.g., it doesn’t like double line spaces and will remove them from any page loaded into it. Extensive searching has revealed many complaints but no foolproof fixes to the problem, other than avoiding the visual editor.

A disadvantage of the text editor:
• The presence of code may be annoying to some, but it’s not necessary to understand it all. A good explanation of this is at http://wpshout.com/learning-love-wordpress-text-editor/. The author contends that good HTML knowledge is needed for the text editor; this is not necessarily true, but it does help. There are useful buttons at the top of the editor for adding code without typing it. (Also there’s a “plugin” for adding new buttons, but you do need to know a bit more HTML to manage it.)

For multiple users, it would likely be best to all agree on one editor and stick to it.


Custom Menus

For creating a custom menu, a very good tutorial with plenty of screen shots is at https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/tips-tricks/how-to-create-custom-menu-structures-in-wordpress. (If this leads to a pop-up, bypass it by using the browser’s Reader View icon – in Firefox at least. Also ignore the last part of the article on “Elegant Themes” – not relevant to our site.)

Create Menu Item that doesn’t link to a page
At first it seemed simplest to use the default menu, but its down side was that it required all menu titles to have page content to go with them. Often, it’s preferable to have an overall title with no page link, but simply a sub-menu under it.

Like this:
  Dogs
    – Collies
    – Spaniels
    – Terriers
– where there is no “Dogs” page, but “Collies”, “Spaniels” and “Terriers” link to pages with content.

Found it very difficult to find a clear answer via web searches. In the end I came up with the following:

1. Go to the menu page. (Appearance > Menus)
2. Click the down arrow next to “Custom Links” at the bottom left.
3. In the “URL” box remove the text that’s there and type #  - nothing else.
4. In the “Link Text” box, type the menu item title you want to show on the website.
5. Click “Add to Menu” – this will add the item to the bottom of menu list on the right.
6. Go to this item and click its down arrow. Delete the # sign and click the up arrow. That’s it for the entry. (This step is necessary to prevent any mouse action on the menu item.)
7. Drag and drop the item to the desired position on the list, adjusting, by indentation, whatever items you want in its submenu.   The drag and drop feature can be uncooperative – just need to persist and perhaps look at options in the drop-down for each item.
8. And remember to remove any former page links from the menu that are no longer wanted – go to the drop down box with the item and click Remove. (This doesn’t delete the pages – just takes them out of the menu.)
9. Make sure to Save Menu when you’re done.

Another benefit of Custom Menus is that they allow pages to be published without including them in any menu. This helps for pages that don’t need to be conspicuous, such as this one. The page’s link can be be inserted into another page, or simply not shown on the site. Yet, unlike unpublished “Private” pages, they can be viewed without logging into WordPress.


Adding New Categories for Blog Posts

1. Open the post to which you want to assign a new category.
2. Scroll down and click the item “Add New Category” – it’s below the category list.
3. Type the new category name.
4. From the Parent Category drop-down menu, choose either Writers or Topics.
5. Click the 2nd “Add New Category” label on the right.

If an error is made in the assignment of sub-categories, it’s possible to edit them by going to Posts > Categories.

It’s also possible, though not as convenient, to add new categories via Posts > Categories. Overall management of categories is also done here.


Sub Categories Widget for the Blog

[this section needs editing]

“Sub Categories Widget” is the name of a WordPress plugin that creates the the blog menu’s structure in the right column.

Description from source:

Sometimes when you divide up your WordPress content into categories it all ends up in sub-categories of one or two main categories that don’t have any content themselves.

With the widget you can add a list of sub-categories even if the parent doesn’t have posts.

You can display and filter sub-categories in various ways:
• Use the parent category as the widget title
• Show post counts in bracket next to the name
• Hide empty sub-categories
• Add a link to the parent category to the widget title
• Show the full sub-category tree so it include sub-sub categories and so on as well
• Display the list as dropdown rather than as links
• Use the first category of the current post as the parent
• Exclude one or more sub-categories from the list
• List the categories in reverse order
——–
After Installation
1. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress.
2. On the ‘Widgets’ sub-menu of ‘Appearance’ you will find a new widget type called ‘Sub Category’.
3. Add one or more of these to your themes widget display areas.
4. For each widget you add, decide what and how you’d like it to display.
5. Save your settings.