The Basics of HTML Code

9 October 2008

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s not really a programming language like Java, Perl, C, or BASIC– it’s much simpler. It’s a way of describing how a set of text and images should be displayed to the viewer, similar in concept to a newspaper editor’s markup symbols.

Though you never need to use HTML code, there are opportunities for you to choose to employ the code rather than stick to WordPress’s settings. Think of it like driving manual instead of automatic.

You only need to know a few codes to be able to fix/ format those annoying little things like line spacing and the photo positioning. You never have to deal with tables— WordPress does all that formatting for you (and won’t actually allow tables).

IMPORTANT: You must remember to “close” most tags (i.e. use end tags). For example, if you want a word(s) in italics, you need to place the code for italics before the word(s), and the same code again preceded by a slash at the end of the word:


If most of your page suddenly appears entirely in bold or italic, then you’ve probably forgotten an end code (with the slash) somewhere.

Below is a list of the simplest HTML code. Leave me a comment if you want to know more, or Google “basic html”.

<i>italics</i> or <em>italics</em>
<b>bold</b> or <strong>bold</strong>

Create lists as either ordered (i.e. number):

<li>1st item</li>
<li>2nd item</li>
<li>3rd item</li>

Or unordered (bulletpoints):

<li>1st bulletpoint</li>
<li>2nd bulletpoint</li>
<li>3rd bulletpoint</li>

Create links to other websites (or posts on your blog):
<a href=”http://website URL”>The Text People Will See As the Link</a>

Create text to appear when the mouse passes over a link
<a href=”http://website URL” title=”This website is good”>The Text People Will See As the Link</a>

Some code does not require an end code. Some examples:

<br> Creates a line break
<p> Creates a paragragh break (a space between paragraphs)
<hr> Creates a horizontal rule (line)
<hr size=”5″> Creates a thicker horizontal rule (line)

Link to another part of the page— use if you want refer to info elsewhere on a long page, or take readers Back to Top:

This link…
<a href=”#top”>Any text you want</a>

…takes you anywhere on this page where you have placed:
<a name=”top”></a>


Blogger vs. Wordpress

6 October 2008

I found an interesting comparision between the two main blog hosts– Blogger ( and WordPress.

One thing that stands out– WordPress allows you to import your blog from another site (such as Blogger), but Blogger does not. So, it seems that if your are going to start with one with the option to switch, start with Blogger.

It also sounds like Blogger is generally easier because you don’t have as many options are you do with WordPress.

Still working on finding out which is easier for people to find when searching the web. . .

Have a look at:

Hosted Blog Comparison: WordPress vs. Blogger
Good if you’re brand new to blogging and want just the basics

Blogger vs. Comparison Chart – 2008
A table itemising what each host will and won’t do

Which Blog Service is the best? WordPress vs Blogger vs LiveJournal
This guy tried both and ended up totally loving WordPress.

New Look for Wordpress

21 May 2008

Wordpress is so confusing now . . .Leave it to WordPress– right after we’ve created this site chock full of resources– to totally change the layout of their admin pages.

Sorry, but as you may have noticed, WordPress editing is not quite the same as it used to be. Once you get used to it its fine, but you’ll find things in completely different places than they used to be. All those step-by-step tutorials on this site? They’re old news

The good news is that, if you’re vaguely familiar with WordPress, you’ll soon find your way around.

Feel sorry for the author of the WordPress for Dummies book!

Wordpress for Dummies

30 March 2008

Read the review . . .Yes, now there is “the book”.
Read the review here . . . >

There is heaps of free “how to” stuff on the internet, and on WordPress itself, but for those who still like to thumb through pages, this book could be for you.

(I must admit to owning “the Idiots Guide to Creating a Web Page”– it looks lovely over there on the shelf . . .)

Summary of the Online Workshop

27 February 2008

Thanks to all those who participated in the online workshop in Term 4 last year.

If you’re anything like me, I’m still trying to catch up with some things from Term 4!

Fortunately, Merryn has put together this handy, easy-to-follow SUMMARY OF THE BLOGGING WORKSHOP. So, if you want the quick, quick version, check out Merryn’s update

Happy blogging! I’m still happy for people to contact me with questions.

Adding a slideshow

4 December 2007

If you have a running series of photos you want to display, there are a couple ways to do it.

The easiest, I’ve found, is to use Visit WordPress’s FAQ page to learn more . . . or

This is what you will do:

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in or get a FREE account
  3. Upload photos— you can upload a whole bunch at a time
  4. Customise your slide show— styles, skins, themes . . .
  5. When you’re happy, SAVE and get code— the code with be in square brackets. You can go back and edit your slideshow at any time.
  6. COPY the code onto your post or page
  7. Then is appears, like this one I did (with a bit of a sepia/ 8mm theme):

    I’ve also found it useful for concert posters:

    They are different sizes because I changed the width and height settings in the code. the first one is “w=426&h=320” and the poster is “w=280&h-240”

Enabling students to administer the blogsite

28 November 2007

Giving students some admin rights gives them ownership of the blog tool AND gives you a break from constantly updating!

When you add USERS to the blogsite, you can choose the degree of control they will have over the blog:

  1. Administrator— total control, including the ability to remove other Administrators
  2. Editor— slightly limited, but still powerful
  3. Author— can write and edit posts
  4. Contributor— can edit

For more detailed info, see FAQs: Different users’ Roles which includes this helpful advice:

Be careful what roles you give people, especially if you want them to be an Editor or joint Administrator – Editors can delete content, and Administrators can remove users, including you. Promoting someone is easy – removing a role is much harder.

I would love to hear what others think about this. It is all a bit experiment at this point. I am working with student USERS on the following blogs:

Waimea Senior Music — students are full administrators and can add other users. Means I need to keep an eye on content, but haven’t had any trouble yet. I add quite a few posts to this site to pass on notices to the kids.

Camerata Choir— students are full adminstrators, and they also conduct this choir. The condition is that I remain an administrator. Again, no probs. I try not to add anything to this and just watch over it