Module 3 Reflection
Ugh. This module was so hard in some areas. Major source of frustration for me. I easily started a free account with WordPress, created a title, tagline, and the 4 menu pages. Then I decided I didn’t like the theme I had set it up on, so I changed to a different one. Suddenly, I’m missing things that I’d already set up. My four menu items were gone and I didn’t notice before because I was focused on the next step of posting module 1 to reflections. When it went to the home page and I couldn’t find the reflections page I realized, oh crap, stuff disappeared. How do I get it back? So, I looked for the WordPress support and help area. Watched some of their videos and help FAQs and posts and still couldn’t get it to work. I posted in the Facebook group and got a nice person who commiserated with me about being behind and Jennifer responding to another post about how to post the reflection on module 1 from a word document. So, new thing, don’t copy and paste the file, open the file and copy the text and then paste into the post area. Okay, so one issue resolved.
The menu issue still wasn’t resolved. This took up days of searching before I even posted on Facebook. Then, nothing is instantaneous, because hey, we all have lives. But I have other things to do this last week before school starts for me, so feeling frustrated, but the search continued. I found a link to a live chat help area that I thought was through WordPress, but turned out it was through something else. I posted my soliloquy of issues and the person said they could help but I needed to register with their organization. They had a free account for 3 days, or I could pay $67 for the situation to be dealt with. So I registered for a free account but then my live chat person was gone. No other helpers could be found, due to it being after 11PM by this point. So then I copied and pasted the exchange into a request for email assistance. I’ve been emailing back and forth with a new person all day while trying to watch 2 webinars I’d signed up for. Jeez! Are teachers the biggest multi-taskers on the planet, or what?! Well, except maybe for Moms. Anyway, this new guy fixed the problem, but then I had another question for him.
No response for a while, so here I am typing up this “War and Peace” sized post. Okay, here’s another frustration … the terminology. I always thought that websites and blogs were two different things. Seems they are and they aren’t. The words are sometimes used interchangeably which is confusing for newbies like me. Then when you get into the actual creation of your blog (I’m using this and I’m sticking to it) there are menus, pages, categories, posts, widgets, oh my! Apparently menus and pages are the same, yet not the same. So I don’t even know how to appropriately refer to them. See the steam coming out of my “type A” ears. Thank God for kindhearted group members trying to help. After watching a wonderful video on terminology I think I get it now. Still trying to figure out why my posts are going to tech practice when I chose the reflections category. I just learned that you can only post to one page with my theme?? For some reason it’s set as the tech practice for me. Praying for some divine intervention of how to fix this. What worries me is that school starts up next week. I won’t have hours to sort out these issues. That is seriously going to slow things down. But, again, I’m determined to learn this stuff even if it kills me. Gah.
So, update. Sheri has been kind enough to post a couple of how to videos on using WordPress that are so greatly appreciated. At first I was disappointed that I wasn’t getting any assistance from Jennifer on this, I mean she is guiding us in this journey, right? I felt like maybe as a rank beginner at the blog stuff I was just annoying to her. Okay, paranoid much? Then I realized she was purposely not helping so that I would have to figure it out myself or through the kindness of others in the group. Understandable, since the purpose is for us to learn. Reality – Not so fun when you waste days and days of precious time finding nothing and getting frustrated. That online chat help? Yeah, not so helpful. No one got back to me until Day 4 of the 3 free days of help when I tried to resolve the posts going to the wrong page. Since I can’t afford to fork over $67 to answer one question, that was left a problem. So I kind of felt like I was left swinging in the wind. Then I went back to the FB group and Sheri posted that she was creating another video on the theme I’m using. So awesome of her! I watched it and learned a lot about what I did right, and didn’t realize it, and what I did not do right. Definitely broadened my understanding of WordPress and the theme I chose. Unfortunately, it didn’t help my issue.
So, back to Google searches. But now I had better terminology to use and a little more understanding of how to compose my question. I found a video on YouTube that I thought would resolve the issue. I watched it and, no. He said the pages you want to post to should be set up as categories, not pages and to make sure you do that ahead of posting or it would be a long and involved problem to fix. Well, that’s where I went wrong. Great! At least it was validation that I’m not an idiot, this really is a tough nut to fix. So, again, his video broadened my understanding of what was going and gave me more signposts. I went in and realized I needed to remove the pages that I wanted to post to and go back and add them in as categories. This made the posts appear on the home page again. I left them there and then added the two new categories. Then I went to the first post and clicked edit and did something where I put a check mark next to reflections and voila, my posts are finally in the right place. It only took a week to figure it out. Gah!!! My learning take-away form this annoying experience? Do not change your theme before you understand how to use WordPress. Very, very bad idea.
So now I’m going to attempt to post this rant and then deal with adding widgets. God help me….