Monday, June 18, 2012

Techie Tips For The New Blogger!

At 9 a.m. this morning, I was literally pleading to my computer.

“No, no, no! Please don’t do that!” Then it did it. On purpose. I wailed, “Noooooo!” as I shook my fist at the screen. I almost did the sobbing-against-the-wall-as-I-slide-downwards move. Yes, it was THAT dramatic. Even my 3-year-old boy started to shake his fist in the air and yell “nooooo!" Drama, drama, just like his mama.

What caused this uproar and wailing, you ask?
4 mean, little letters to the untrained eye: “HTML.”

Using a basic Blogger template, I tried HTML coding for the first time (just by watching a 3-minute YouTube video that didn’t have anyone speaking or enumerating instructions, go figure!) and it made my blog all funky. The margins were off and the text box became white and off-centered. It was bad.

Basically, what I did was this: I looked through every single html line and tried to type a “yes” for a “no” in the middle of thousands of random numbers, letters, and symbols that I thought it would fit. Smart. Then, trying to undo it, I couldn’t remember where I plugged the random “yes” in. New bloggers you know what I’m talking about!

Desperate, I went to a few teacher blogs and guess what? Others have already figured out the most common HTML codes for teacher blogs! In language and instructions I can actually understand!

BIGGEST TIP: When you do find yourself in the huge HTML page, hit “CTRL+F” and type in a snippet or paste whatever you are trying to find in the search box. This will help you find whatever you need in that crazy language. Then plug in given HTML code as directed. I wish I knew that this morning.

Here are a few of my favorite (and easiest) HTML coding tricks so far:

1. Feedjit: We are all curious to see who visits our page! This tracks who visits your page and where they are from. Every blog has this.

Click here.

2. Common Core Widget App:
Because we need to know if the TPT file we’re making aligns with the common core.

Click here.

3. Take off the annoying “verify you’re a human” typing box for readers:
It’s one less step to do before a reader posts a comment on your blog. It’s so dang hard to read what those made-up verification words are anyway so you get them wrong anyway. You probably have this default setup on your blog too. Maria at Kinder-Craze shares this tutorial!
Click here.

4. Scroll to top:
After reading a really long blog post, readers want to just get back to the top of the page. Here’s how to do that. Andrea at Cheers to School shares this tutorial!
Click here.

5. Create a link within your text:
I used to just copy and paste the actual web address onto my blog and told readers to “click here!” So you saw this insanely long address within my blog entry. Here’s how to take it out so readers would just have “click here” when trying to get to the link you’re providing. It makes your blog post look less messy. Cindy at In The Teachers' Lounge shares this tutorial. Click on example below.

Click here.

6. Erase shadows on pictures:
The best tip ever!! I tried to erase the “shadows” or white borders around pictures and clip art using picture editors, etc. It was time-consuming, ridiculous, and I gave up. Then I saw this tutorial on how to take the white borders off pictures! My mouth dropped. So easy! Cara at Teaching My Calling shares this tutorial. Check it out!

Click here.

I hope these beginner blogging tips help you with your own blogging adventures. I will try and add more of my favorite (and easiest) tips since I’m still learning too!

Hours and hours later, my brand new blog looks like a pro’s…oh how I wish! :) But I think that if I can do it, you can too!! Let me know how it works for you!

Thanks for visiting,

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