Support » Fixing WordPress » Very disappointed, so far

  • Resolved KearaO

    (@kearao)


    Hello, I’ve just started using WordPress and I’m very disappointed and frustrated so far. I’m not a beginner – I’ve been blogging since 2000, so I have eight years of experience to draw from. All I want to do at the moment are very simple things such as add permalinks to my blog posts, and rearrange the categories and links in my sidebar. These should be incredibly simple things to do. Yet I’ve studied and studied the Dashboard, and still don’t know how to do either one. I’ve looked up Permalinks in the documentation, but all I’ve found is a long, highly technical page on the types of permalinks and how to do CSS (I guess that’s what it’s about.) All I want to do is have a permalink appear!! How can I just turn them on? Surely there is a way to do that?

    Same with the sidebar. I’ve found the place on the Dashboard where I can change the Blogroll, and I can add new categories. What I want to do, though, is move the Blogroll category to the top of the sidebar. I’d like to eliminate the “meta” category altogether. How can I do those? Why is this so hard?

    Please help, if you can.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
  • You edit the sidebar in your theme’s “sidebar.php”

    You find that in Appearance > Theme > Editor.

    It might help if you tell people what version of wordpress you have, what theme are you using, and possibly post the html/php codes for the page you want to edit.

    And hey, if you’re still disappointed…there’s always GREYMATTER.
    [/sarcasm]

    Cheers,
    Chanel

    Chanel, I’m grateful for your reply. I’m using 2.7 and the default theme.

    The greymatter comment is, nonetheless, probably unfair. I try hard to be self-reliant. A few years ago, for example, I built my own computer as an effort in that direction. So while the help is much appreciated, the snark is probably really not warranted.

    Can you give me an idea as to what I should do to make better use of WordPress? Should I buy one of the third-party books? I know html pretty well, but have no experience with css or php.

    The permalinks question is a good example of the unnecessary difficulties. There is surely a single sentence somewhere that would tell me how to turn them on. I don’t care if they are ugly or pretty or in between. But it should be extremely simple to turn them on. (Why aren’t they on by default?)

    To be honest with you, I’m not quite one of the “helpers” here. I know NOTHING about php, other than what’s guided to me by someone else and trial/error in moving codes around until it works. Most of my posts here in this forum are queries. I was just trying to assist you in actually getting the help that you need. You have to be a bit more elaborate for an efficient solution. Otherwise, your topic will go ignored.

    Yeah, the Greymatter comment was rude of me. I get a kick out of my rudeness at times. 🙂

    Good luck in getting the help that you need.

    Okay, I’ve gone to Appearance > Theme > Editor. Actually, I’ve been there before, but it uses a language that I don’t speak. I simply do not know how to modify that page so that my sidebar will look the way I want it to.

    So, taking sidebar.php as an example — are all the modifications I want to make going to look like this? If so, how do I learn to do them? Do I have to learn php? Does everyone who uses WordPress use php?

    Okay, I’ve gone to Appearance > Theme > Editor. Actually, I’ve been there before, but it uses a language that I don’t speak.

    …That’s because it’s php. You’re probably like me and is used to coding html by hand.

    So, taking sidebar.php as an example — are all the modifications I want to make going to look like this?

    …Yes. Most of wordpress tweeking is php modifications.

    If so, how do I learn to do them?

    …I have no clue because i have YET to “learn” php. I just know certain things because of routine, not because of the reason.

    Do I have to learn php? Does everyone who uses WordPress use php?

    …Yes

    What I want to do, though, is move the Blogroll category to the top of the sidebar. I’d like to eliminate the “meta” category altogether. How can I do those? Why is this so hard?

    Use widgets. Go to where you see your theme in admin and click on the widgets link. Add the widgets you want by dragging and dropping them. You can rearrange them the same way…they can be a little temperamental, so just press Save often when adding them and rearranging them.

    Chanel, thank you again for your help.

    I hope that you will become less rude in future. It isn’t kind, after all. You don’t know the person to whom you are doing it — maybe they are not as bright as you are, maybe they are stressed by financial or health problems. They are invited to post here for help, and they should be able to expect courtesy in receiving it.

    You were trying to help me, and you probably have. It wasn’t necessary to try to inflict pain at the same time.

    figaro! i was looking for you. after you’re done assisting this topic can you help me with mine? http://wordpress.org/support/topic/232126?replies=1

    Pweety pwease? 🙁

    Figaro, thanks very much for your reply. I must say that I am feeling very unhappy and lost as I go through this adjustment process. Is there a way that I can cut through some of that feeling, e.g., by learning some php? I’ve looked at the widgets, briefly, and my heart sinks at the thought of teaching myself by trial and error (mostly error). I just want to lessen the pain of the learning process.

    Chanel, thank you again for your help.

    I hope that you will become less rude in future. It isn’t kind, after all. You don’t know the person to whom you are doing it — maybe they are not as bright as you are, maybe they are stressed by financial or health problems. They are invited to post here for help, and they should be able to expect courtesy in receiving it.

    You were trying to help me, and you probably have. It wasn’t necessary to try to inflict pain at the same time.

    Wow. I inflicted pain by saying there’s always Greymatter? It’s called sarcasm, which I made you aware of in that same reply. And I was being sarcastic about calling myself rude as well.

    Nevertheless, you’re welcome.

    good luck. im no longer replying to this topic.

    Okay, but there was no good reason for rudeness. I hope you’ll become less rude in future.

    1. Permalinks is already in every theme on earth by default. It’s mostly located in the title of you post.
    2. Yes, WordPress is a PHP application and using XHTML for structure and CSS for design.

    If you want to learn more, there are always good resources at the Codex (WordPress.org) or http://www.wprecipes.com/ http://www.wpzoom.com/

    Can you give me an idea as to what I should do to make better use of WordPress? Should I buy one of the third-party books? I know html pretty well, but have no experience with css or php.

    I have copies of both the currently available WP books, and did not find them particularly useful. They are ok for straight-out newbies that rarely do anything with a computer, but tend not to be so useful for people who like to get under the hood and are generally comfortable with using software, etc. My opinion — others may differ. But if you are truly baffled by the basic WP admin, and you’ve already been through the introductory sections of the Codex, then pick up the “WP for Dummies” book — I found it better than the other one (“Quickstart”?? Can’t remember the other one…)

    Okay, I’ve gone to Appearance > Theme > Editor. Actually, I’ve been there before, but it uses a language that I don’t speak.

    So, taking sidebar.php as an example — are all the modifications I want to make going to look like this? If so, how do I learn to do them? Do I have to learn php? Does everyone who uses WordPress use php?

    1) If you are not designing your own theme, you don’t need to know PHP or CSS at all. You can choose from many themes (see EXTEND on this site) and use them “out of the box.” But not all themes are well-designed or thought-out, so bear that in mind.

    2) There are a lot of plugins that third-party users have developed for WP. They often provide some function that doesn’t come with WP “out of the box.” Some are so popular that WP eventually provides whatever function people are looking for in later versions.

    3) Although wordpress allows you to edit your theme through the admin panel, most experienced users would advise you NOT to. The files you can usually edit that way are PHP and CSS files. You are better off editing those in a third-party editor and testing them first. There are a lot of free HTML / CSS / PHP editors out there, or use a commercial one. In other words, edit the files on your regular computer and upload them via FTP when you are satisfied they are working correctly. And always back up all your files first.

    4) Not every WP users knows PHP or CSS, not by a long shot, and there are widely varying degrees in expertise among WP users. It is very helpful to know some HTML but not necessary. If you are designing your own theme, you will need to know something about CSS, but not necessarily PHP, although it will help. Also, you do not need to be a PHP guru to mess around with the templates etc. — you can learn as you go, and the Codex often tells you exactly how to accomplish a specific objective. (And just as often — it DOESN’T tell you, so you’ll have to Google or ask here.)

    5) Read through the Codex. When I first started putting up WP sites, and learning how to customize them, I personally found the Codex fairly confusing and overwhelming, so you are not alone if you feel that way. But it is still the most comprehensive and definitive source of learning about how WP works.

    But there are others, as well — if you Google for WordPress tutorials, you will find them, and many of them have simple, straightforward instructions or tips.

    I suggest setting up a test site, and messing around with it, the templates, the CSS, etc. to get a handle on things like template tags.

    6) Be aware that this forum consists entirely of WP users. Very few developers post here, although there are some. So mostly it is just users helping other users — no one is paid. Even the moderators are volunteers. So this is not the place for angry rants about how you don’t like WordPress. And be patient when you post questions — again, questions are answered by people just like you — just people who have learned something about WordPress and want to share what they’ve learned.

    Good luck. Personally, I really love WP, and as my knowledge has grown, I’ve been able to customize it more and more. But I have often been very frustrated, p****ed off, etc, etc. But it’s free, it’s being developed all the time, and it has a huge user base, so I’m committed.

    PS IF you don’t want to install your own WordPress site, you can also try out wordpress.com, which is basically just sign-up-and-go, although you don’t have much ability to customize.

    @keara0

    I didn’t take @chanel‘s comments as trying to be rude. Remember, it’s easy to miscommunicate meaning online–lack of nonverbals, gestures, etc. When in doubt, you should always give people the benefit of the doubt in the online environment.

    Is there a way that I can cut through some of that feeling, e.g., by learning some php?

    I don’t think you need to worry much about learning php. Spend your time exploring the WP interface…just click on things, try them, see what happens…trial-and-error is the best way to learn a new piece of software in my opinon. Think about learning WP like you would if you were moving from MS Word 2000 to Word 2007…lots of things are different…you don’t need to write code to use Word…you just need to get familiar with the new interface. Same thing applies with WP. Consider getting a good book…I haven’t used any, so can’t suggest one, but I’m sure there are a few out there.

    Just keep at it and it will get easier and less frustrating as you experiment and learn.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
  • The topic ‘Very disappointed, so far’ is closed to new replies.