Bling Your Blog

Screenshot of the front page of WordPress Theme: Twenty Eleven

WordPress Theme: Twenty Eleven

Aesthetically speaking, I really like my site. I’m currently using the theme “Twenty Eleven,” which is clean and straightforward. The organization of pages is functional (though I need to be thinking forward to the portfolio). The header image I created on Canva, and use it to tie my academic web presence together.  But, I still have some technical kinks to work out. I had two main goals for this assignment: change my landing page and make connecting to my social media easier.

My “About” section was seriously lacking and, unfortunately, it was my landing page. I had a picture and hyperlinks to my teaching website, Twitter, and Diigo. Really it said nothing “About” me at all, which is not an exciting place to start exploring the site. But, I also had no immediate plans to expand my “About” page, so I figured the next best thing was to land on the blog. This process was relatively painless, though I would have liked the opportunity to name it something other than “Home.” I fought with the renaming issue for a while but eventually gave in. Regardless of the name, I feel much better about people starting their experience on the page with my posts.

Screenshot of social media options (RSS, Email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) provided by the plug-in Ultimate Social Media PLUS

Ultimate Social Media PLUS: Screenshot

The second task took me a little bit longer. I downloaded the “Ultimate Social Media PLUS” plugin, and chose which sites I wanted to link to. Previously, I had the hyperlinks on my “About” page and a Twitter feed widget, but I wanted it to be easier for visitors to find me elsewhere on the web.

I had a vision for where it would live on my site: up above the header by the search box. What I figured out is that my search box is actually built into my theme and I had no (simple) control over what lives up there. There’s a way to do it manually, but I found out pretty quickly that I’m not very CSS savvy. My next best option was to put it at the top of my main sidebar, and the colors make it eye-catching (which, for the moment, I like). To include Diigo and my teaching website, I created “custom” buttons and uploaded the icons. I rarely use my Google+ or LinkedIn accounts, so I chose not to list them.

Future Bling Goal: Learn how to change/add things manually in CSS.

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