October 16 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here.

Helpful guides to the Forums and to WordPress

SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
edited March 2016 in Off Topic Chat
Hello, and welcome to the forums (for those of you who are new/haven't been here in a LONG while). I'm going to be breaking this up into three posts so that the first post will be all about the forums, and the second post will be all about WordPress basics, and the third all about WordPress customization. To go straight to the WordPress post, click here! Need more guides, like downloading CC for the sims 3/4? Click here!

First, some side notes:
  1. Anything on this site that is blue is a link/button, and clicking on it will take you somewhere else within the forums or pull up a drop-down menu. Sometimes, there are black links/buttons, and sometimes there are white links/buttons.
  2. These are the forum rules (http://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/801207/updated-forum-rules#latest), and very useful to new forum users. I suggest you read them to make sure that your posts are within the rules.
  3. New members can not do the following: send private messages (but can receive and respond to them), post links or images, quote like members can (it just turns out like arrows), add signatures, or add a profile picture. To become a member, you need the following: 50 points, 30 posts, and an account that is older than 24 hours. This may be a bug, but old members who have been inactive for extended periods of time will also be considered new members, despite having the required points and posts.

Now, let's get a little more in depth with this, shall we? Below is a picture labeled by numbers, which correspond with the numbers below.


wcdptWm.jpg?1
  1. Let's start with the icons that are always at the top right of the screen, as shown in number 1. First, you have your profile username, next to an image. If you're a new member, then that image will just be of a green plumbob. Clicking on your username/profile picture will take you to your profile, which is what the big part of my picture shows. Directly to the right of your username are four little icons: a globe, an envelope, a star, and a gear. Each one of these pulls up a drop-down menu when clicked on. The globe shows your five most recent notifications. The envelope shows your five most recent private messages (Note: If you're a new member, then you cannot send messages. You can only receive and reply to messages). The star shows you your bookmarked threads (more on that in bullet 9). And finally, the gear allows you to change your preferences by clicking on preferences, which you can then use to modify notification preferences, to upload/remove a profile picture (members only), to edit the thumbnail (members only), to view your ignore list, to edit your quote settings, and to add/edit a signature (members only).
  2. Up at the top left are little buttons titled "Categories," "Discussions," "Activity" and "Best Of..." Clicking on the categories button will take you to the general sections for hosting threads (such as this one), which you can then go into in order to narrow the field of threads you see. The discussions button will take you to the most recent discussions, many of which are made by the Sim Gurus (AKA, moderators you go to when you need special help on the forums, like when you get caught in the spam filter for no legitimate reason...). The activity button will show you all the latest profile posts from the fellow simmers on the site. The "best of" button shows you what other simmers seem to really like.
  3. On your profile page, there are these four icons. In the simplest form, they are what other simmers think of your posts, both on threads and on your profile. More often than not, the likes will be used, hence why there are more likes than insightful or awesome.
  4. On your profile, below your profile picture, there are these six black buttons. Activity is what your profile will naturally go to, which shows all the activity posted onto your profile. The notifications button shows the same thing as the globe, but instead of five, it shows all of the notifications up to a certain number (in which you simply show more by hitting the "Next►" button. The discussions button shows all the threads that you have created, and which ones have new posts. The comments button will show you all of your comments up until a certain number, in which you can continue the same way as the notifications button. Your inbox shows the same thing as the envelope button does. Moderation, however, is the only one which I am not entirely sure what it does. Most likely, there won't be anything there.
  5. This is your text box, which shows up everywhere you can post a comment. There are a dozen (literally, I counted them) icons to format your text. Here is a brief overview of them, as some will most likely look very familiar. B = Bold. I = Italics. S = Strikethrough. 123*lines* = number list (like in this list). •*lines* = Bullet list. P| = paragraph styling, which you can quote somebody, code (which I've never used...), or make a spoiler (Warning, don't quote somebody's comment if it has a spoiler on it, unless you've already read it. Otherwise, it'll show the entire spoiler). ☺ = emojis. *chain* = link (which you can also do by typing [*url=][/url*] without the stars). *picture* = include image (Again, also can be done by typing [*img][/img*] without the stars). *lines* = paragraph styling (left, center, right). Then, at the bottom, you have the "share" button (posts it on your profile), the "preview" button (shows you what it will actually look like before posting it), the "save draft" button (saves whatever's in the box), and the "post comment" button (same as share, but posts it on the thread).
  6. This is just showing you what all badges you've earned so far on this site.
  7. This is a box on your profile showing you and all other simmers visiting your profile the information shown. Through this, you can see how many points, posts, badges, and visits you've made to the site. However, if you don't ever log out of the site, then the visits aren't exactly accurate...
  8. The numbers on top of threads show you how many pages are in that thread. To skip to any page, simply click on one of the numbers.
  9. Now, to bookmark a thread, simply click on the star here next to the numbers. Normally, it will be white if the thread is not bookmarked. Once it turns yellow, the thread is bookmarked, and the five most recently-posted on will show up in your star icon in number 1.
  10. Finally, below everybody's comments, there are these five icons. Flagging a comment is the same as reporting a comment. Quoting a comment copies everything in the comment and pastes it into your own comments box in BBCode format. Then, you have the three icons that basically tell the author of the comment that you enjoyed their post.

That's all for now on the quick guide to the forums. If you think I missed something important, let me know by leaving a comment below!
Post edited by SilentWolf101 on
~Open your mind before your mouth~
Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges

Comments

  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    edited March 2016
    Now you're a master at the forums. So, you've decided you wanted to write a simlit story, and you've decided to use one of the more common methods of WordPress. But the entire site is confusing! Well, I'm here to help! First, let's start off by creating a site and learning more of the basics.

    When you open up Wordpress.com, you are greeted with the following picture:
    AeMh1Kk.jpg?1

    First step is to click "Create Website" in the middle of the page. That will take you to a page full of themes. You can pick one right off the bat, or scroll all the way down and hit "skip for now." I chose skip for now, but if you choose a theme now, it will not change how this goes very much, if at all. The next step is to create the domain name, then to choose your plan. You can choose the free plan or pay for a plan, either way works. The final step is to enter your email address (or create one specifically for WordPress, your choice...), create a username, and set a password. Everything will load, and then up will come your page. You'll need to do that activation thing from the email it sent you (hence why it needed an email address), but it doesn't really send much more than that.... Or at least, it doesn't for me.

    Now, the fun begins...

    This is what my test site currently looks like without a theme. However, if you chose a theme, then it will not make a difference in this next step.
    SIMs0I2.jpg?2

    Up in the top left corner are the words "My Site." Click on that. That will bring up a sidebar with 11 different options below a small info-box of your site.

    "Stats" will show you what's going on audience-wise with your site. Since you just created it, nothing will be happening.
    "Plan" is the plan you chose (free, premium, or business) and gives you and option to change that plan. There are some things that you can't do on the free plan, but it doesn't make too much of a difference.
    "Blog Posts" Are what you could actually write your story on, with one chapter being one post or whatever you want to do. They're similar to pages, with only a few small differences. To add another post, simply click the "add" button next to the words "Blog Posts." To delete a post, simply click on "blog posts" ang find the "delete post" option under the post. Now, here's how posts work:
    1. The first thing you'll notice on the sidebar is the "preview," publish," and "save" options. Hitting preview will show you what your post will look like when you actually post it. Hitting save will simply save the post as a draft. Hitting publish will make it visible to everybody on your site.
    2. The second option is "categories & tags," which allows you to signify what the post will be labeled as when it's posted. For example, if you have multiple stories on your site like me, you could categorize each post by story. You can do the same thing with tags.
    3. The "featured image" is the image people will see if you allow for the front page to show all of your posts. More on how to change that and other things coming soon.
    4. "Sharing" allows you to provide your viewers with buttons to share the post on places like facebook and twitter, as well as to let your viewers like your post. Your posting format allows you to change how your post looks to other people, whether it be a standard post (which most are), an aside, an image, a link, a quote, or a status.
    5. The final option is "more options," which allows you to change the slug to make a URL-friendly title. Normally, the URL will simply show with the name of the chapter, but changing the slug will change the URL for that post. The excerpt is where you can put a short summary of your post. You can let it put where you uploaded the post with the location option (Why you'd do that, I don't know...). And finally, you can change the discussion options, where you can allow or disallow comments on that post, or allow pingbacks (the post has been linked somewhere else on WordPress) and Trackbacks (I honestly don't know, as I've never dealt with it...).

    "Pages" are similar to posts, in the fact that you can write your story on there and everything, with a few minor differences. You add and delete pages the same way as posts. The only thing noticeably missing from pages is the "categories and tags" option. There is another way to "categorize" your pages, but that will be explained later.

    I'm sure you also noticed the bar across the top of your text box. This is how you format the post. There's the usual Bold, Italics, Underline, Strikethrough, paragraph formatting, bullets, numbers, pictures on the far left side of the bar, (chain) link... However, there are some icons that may not be as familiar to you, such as the border with a dotted line in the middle (a "read more" tag, used for when you want to cut off a post at a certain point if the post is shown on your home page), or the T in a brief case (Paste as plain text rather than a link or whatever you copied), the eraser (Clear all formatting that you have), the funny character thing (special characters like fractions and symbols), lines with arrows (adjust indentation), and the curved arrows (undo/redo). For some of these, you need to click the triple-dotted like to toggle the more advanced keys. Now, there's also an HTML tab, which is useful if you want to create a table of contents (More on that under the customization tab).

    "Themes" allows you to pick/change your theme. While there are many options, some require the premium plan, while other require you to pay to use them. To narrow your field down to only free themes, go over to the "all" option and change that to "free." Once you pick a theme, the only option is "Try & Customize," which will take you straight to customization. Again, more coming on that later.

    The next option is "Menus," which allows you to categorize your pages. Not all themes support menus, so this may not be relevant to you. Either way, this one can be confusing. Menus will show up as a bar across the top of your home page, where if you mouse over one then a drop down menu appears with whatver you set under it. To configure this, click on the menus option. You'll have your default page, which will most likely be "About" unless you changed the title under "Pages." On the far right side of that, there is a pencil and a plus sign. Click the plus sign. Three new boxes will appear -- add an item above, add an item below, and add a child item. Above means that you're adding another menu, and it will appear before the one you have already. Below is the opposite - you'll add another menu, and it will appear after the one you have already. The child menu is where you can select a premade page to show up in the drop-down menu mentioned before, or link to something else either on your site or outside of your site, or add a category, or add a tag, or add a premade post. Whatever you wish to do to organize your page.

    The next option on the main list is "Sharing." This allows you to connect your site to the social media site you use, like facebook, and to customize the buttons your readers see when sharing the site themselves.

    Using the "People" option, you can add people who are allowed to edit your site.

    "Domains" allows you to change the domain of your site.

    "Settings" lets you change the name, tagline, address, language, or visibility. It allows you to start over and erase everything on your site, or to delete your site. It allows you to change the settings for your posts/pages, and the major discussion settings. However, the analytics part is unavailable unless you decide you want to upgrade to business status on your site.

    My theme does not allow for menus, so that part cannot be shown on my example site. But, here is my example site with some of the above customizations!
    ZXf8w9u.jpg?1


    Now, you know more of the "basics" of WordPress. The next post will be all about customization.
    Post edited by SilentWolf101 on
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    edited March 2016
    So, now you have a site up and running, you have all the posts and pages set up, the menus ready, but you still want more from the site. You want to customize it, but not entirely sure how to? Well, here I come to the rescue with a shorter guide!

    So, remember that first picture with a glimpse of your site? Well, once you get to the home page of your site, there in the bottom right corner (without scrolling down -- in fact, scroll up!) there is a little icon thing. It says customize. Click on it. That's step 1. ^-^ You could also get there through the main screen by opening the drop down of "My Site" and hitting "Customize" next to Themes.

    Now, you've opened up the customization screen. You have a sidebar off to the left that has 8 options: Custom Design, Site Title/Tagline/Logo, Colors & Backgrounds, Fonts, Header Image, Menus, Widgets, and Static Front Page. Here's how each of these options works:
    • Custom Design: Custom Design is part of the premium plan. If you chose the premium plan, then you can customize the color of everything on your site, rather than just using the color palettes given to you, as well as a background pattern and a color palette (of course). If you didn't get the premium plan, that's alright - neither did I.
    • Site Title, Tagline, and Logo: This is where you can change the title of your site and add a tagline, such as "By SilentWolf101" or "Hosting all my sims short stories" or whatever you want. You can also add a logo to display across the screen wherever your theme sees fit.
    • Colors & Backgrounds: This allows you to change the main colors of your theme. Some themes provide only two color options per palette, some four or more. Each one has a customization for the background and for the text.
    • Fonts: Allows you to change the font and, on some fonts, the size and type (bold, italics, etc) of the font.
    • Header Image: The header image is the one image that will be seen all throughout the site at the very top of the site. In fact, it may replace the logo image, so be careful.
    • Menus: This is NOT the same menu as in the "My Sites" drop-down menu.
    • Widgets: These are my favorite part WordPress... Sort of. Some themes will allow widgets, and some will not. Some only have one bar where you can put widgets, some have around four. The most commonly used widgets are the search bar and the "Follow Blog" button. However, you can play around and add as many widgets as you want.
    • Static Front Page: The last part of this guide: The static front page. Here, you can decide if you want the front page to show all of your posts, or if you want the front page to say something introductory to the site. To make it show all your posts, leave it on "Your latest posts." However, if you'd rather have it be an introductory front page, go ahead and select "A static page." It will then prompt you to pick one of the pages you already have to use as a front page. You can then choose any page you want to use as your front page, then you can go into pages and edit that page so that it looks exactly how you want it to look and says exactly what you want it to say.

    Now, if after going through these options, you realize that this theme doesn't work for you, don't fret! Simply hit the X in the top left corner, go to themes in the sidebar, and change your theme. :)
    Post edited by SilentWolf101 on
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    edited March 2016
    How to navigate other people's sites (As mentioned by a friend of mine in another thread...):
    Alright, so you've figured out exactly how to navigate your own site, but now, you want to know how to navigate somebody else's site? Have no fear, Wolfy is here! ^-^

    How To Follow A Site: When you go onto somebody else's site (We'll use my main story site for now, located here: https://sims3storiessilentwolfy101.wordpress.com/), there is a box in the bottom right-hand corner (where your customization/edit bar is on your personal page). In it will be the word "Follow," and clicking follow will send every update from that site to your reader bar.

    The Reader Pannel: Your reader bar is in the top left-hand corner, next to the block that says "My Sites." Clicking on this will lead you to all the updates posted from the sites you follow. You can then manage the sites you follow through the "manage" button on the left-hand side, next to "Followed Sites." If you click on the manage button, you can also manually add a site to your following section through the big blue button that says "Follow Site" on the right side of the bar at the top.

    Site Organization: Not all sites are laid out the same way. Some have static front pages explaining how to use the site, some have just posts filling the front page. For static front pages, there is normally a bar at the top to navigate the site, or a little icon to the side (either right or left) that will open up a menu when clicked. For pages with posts filling up the front page, you can just access the latest update from the front page. Sometimes, there is a sidebar with "Recent posts" "Categories," and/or "Archives," with which you can access the posts, if there isn't a bar at the top.
    Post edited by SilentWolf101 on
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    You are now a master of both the forums and WordPress. If you need any help, feel free to comment here or (if you're a member), PM me. I'm almost always available and pretty quick to respond. :)
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,422 Member
    @SilentWolf101 here I am reading again .. still trying to figure it all out :)
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    XD thank you for reading. :) Yes, these can get confusing. I'm working on a wordpress site that would be full of guides. I really should add a guide for forum membership... Like uploading profile pictures, adding signatures...
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,422 Member
    LOL @SilentWolf101 .. I have read it multiple times and I probably will keep doing that til i get it
    SebEwnF.jpg
    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
    #EAgamechanger
  • SilentWolf101SilentWolf101 Posts: 3,898 Member
    edited March 2016
    That's what this is here for. :)

    EDIT: I have now included a link to the WordPress site full of guides under my signature. :) There's more than just forum and WordPress guides there.
    Post edited by SilentWolf101 on
    ~Open your mind before your mouth~
    Yes, I'm still working on my stories. But I am restarting them (again). Links will come when they're up. :)
    Come Join The Mafia! | Monthly Simlit Story Challenges
Sign In or Register to comment.
Return to top