Personal Inquiry: Learning to use WordPress.com

This blog was my first blog that was not in the Blogger domain and it has been a huge learning curve.  Blogger is simple, Blogger is point and click, and Blogger links to my Gmail account and syncs instantly to my YouTube and Picasa accounts. So the question 6 months later is why change and the answer is the same – WordPress offers things that intrigue me and look challenging. There is so much I do not know about WordPress and I have thoroughly enjoyed the problem solving that I have had to do in order to make my blog do things that previously were simple.

James Nottingham
James Nottingham’s Pit of Learning

Seeing Widgets and realising that there was some simple code involved has pushed me out of my comfort zone and put me in James Nottingham’s Pit of Learning.

This code along with a few images found on CC Search becomes the Widget below.
This code along with a few images found on CC Search becomes the Widget opposite.

I have wanted to jump back to blogger, but enjoyed the distance that this blog has given me from my previous one – my Blogger is class/student centered and shared with parents/community, WordPress is not secret from parents/community, but is focused on my professional learning and really only slightly interesting to other educators.

So I have scrambled in the Pit, discovered the difference between WordPress and WordPress.com, felt frustration at .com not offering the same opportunities as  Wordpress, but then learned that many others before me have followed this same journey. I have read forums as need has arisen and even learned some simple HTML coding through the Code Academy, which has given me an insight into how code is formed and the little rules that must be followed in order for it to work. To me it is like a recipe and once you have the base ingredients you are able to create much more interesting dishes.

Todays learning was just a piece of icing on the top of the cake – taking the simple Twitter ‘Follow Me” button that is there for you and changing itScreen Shot 2013-08-01 at 11.54.22 AM to my new “Follow Me on Social Media”. The code was more complex in details and length, but really was quite simple once the recipe was found on a WordPress.com Forum.

Now that I have begun to unlock the secrets of WordPress.com I am pretty sure that I need to take the next step into a straight WordPress site, but that is a piece of learning that will need to wait until another set of holidays. Before then I have a new job to begin, China to explore and there is an Aurasma Studio account in the midst of being processed as I type. I guess that the key to this post really is that I have really enjoyed the process of learning that I have had to go through with this blog with regards to the technical aspects as it has challenged and frustrated, but I have problem solved and reached the outcome that I was trying to achieve.

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4 thoughts on “Personal Inquiry: Learning to use WordPress.com

  1. Isn’t it such a relief when you realize you aren’t the only one that feels a certain way? I started using wordpress and did NOT realize what I was getting myself into. I’m getting better at the whole thing, but there are parts that are a little tricky still!!

    1. Hey there Elizabeth.
      I agree! Most definitely still many tricky parts & still jealous of some of the features not available on WordPress.com, but loving the challenge of trying to master the platform.

  2. I’m trying to figure out the best way to select a WP Theme. It seems challenging to know if something will work for me from the samples that are typically shown. How have you selected your theme?

    1. Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. WordPress is not easy to get onto in China. I must admit that I chose my theme based on looks and functionality after trying several of the free options. Then it took a bit of Googling and trial and error to change the header photo and layout.
      Wordpress Support is one of my best friends 😉
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/
      🙂
      Luke

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