Dear Santa, oops, I mean John.
What I would really like to see, (if it already exists, it needs a prominent link), is a “How To” area.
Personally I know “squat” about WordPress. My days of posting are limited to Yahoo groups and Facebook. (for example) How do you post a video? It was explained to me, yet when I posted it that way, no video showed up so I deleted the post. My first attempt was a link to a page on my own website because I could not get it to work. Do others have this problem? I would venture to say they do. I understand the bandwidth constraints and larger storage requirements for clips, ergo the link to let Youtube hosting. I have two clips in my file area or album on here that I would like to delete as there seems no way to incorporate them in a post. How do I delete them of easily get access to that area without making a post and attempting, (falsely), to embed something just to get to the file area to delete them?
Your recent post about “Read More” is a prime example of what information could be in this “How To” area. Maybe call it “Tips & Tricks”. As it is it will scroll into the archives and one will have to reiterate it all over again.
If someone found a new tweak then it could be posted here, reviewed by an admin, rephrased to fit a standard format and added to the area.
Bottom line; a “How To” area is requested that would have a summation of tasks and could be referenced easily or linked to readily.
There are FAQ.
Gerry, would you be willing to write a manual for new users? After you learn how to do the things. I am thinking of a PDF format and conversational.
Somehow your Wish List item got flagged as Spam by the software, Gerry. I restored it.
The “How To” area, such as it is, is the “Knowledge Base”:
which can be found from the “Categories” section in the sidebar. The Knowledge Base consists of individual articles on various aspects of using the site, both site-specific features and general WordPress and BuddyPress topics.
One big problem with WordPress (and BuddyPress) is that the developers seem to have overlooked ever writing a user manual for either one. There is massive internal documentation for developers, but the users, who outnumber developers by hundreds or thousands to one, are expected to figure everything out on their own. This leads to what Jerry Pournelle called “lore”—things that people “just know” because they’ve heard it from somebody else or stumbled upon. Those who don’t know the lore are in the dark until they come across it.
WordPress is full of things: adding media, embedding videos and references to external sites, editing in TinyMCE (and all of its opaque commands) and Quicktags (Text/HTML) mode, etc., etc. which are written down nowhere. BuddyPress is even worse. Quoting of metacharacters in group posts, comments, and direct messages is such a mess than often the only way to figure out what it will do is to try it.
Somebody ought to write a manual for WordPress and BuddyPress, but that body isn’t me. I already have sufficient full-time jobs.
I may, however, add a direct link to the Knowledge Base to the “Meta” section of the sidebar so it’s more obvious and easier to find than buried in the Categories list.
>> How do you post a video?
Most people post videos by uploading to a service such as YouTube or Vimeo, then simply inserting the raw URL in a post or comment as described in the Knowledge Base article on embedding:
WordPress only allows direct embedding from a built-in white list of trusted sites. It doesn’t allow embedding from an arbitrary site because due to the bonehead way they implement it, a malicious site would be able to do arbitrary damage by supplying malicious HTML.
But you can directly upload videos and include them in posts (but not comments, and not in BuddyPress groups or direct messages). To upload a video, prepare it in one of the video formats supported by HTML5 (.webm, .ogg, or .mp4)—I generally prefer .webm—and upload it as you would an image using the Add Media button. Select the “Embed Media Player” option under “Link or Embed” when adding. This will add a code which will, if the user’s browser understands the video format, display an embedded player.
We have a 32 Mb limit on media file uploads, so it’s best to reformat the video to, say, a 384 pixel wide format so as not to bust the limit. For an example of an embedded video, see the one I just added to the end of the Sand Box post.
(By the way, the Sand Box is intended to be used when you want to try some feature in a comment to see what happens without cluttering up a main post. Anybody is free to comment there, but it’s a private post so you have to know where it is to see it.)
I wasn’t aware until today that video inclusion only works in main posts, not comments. In my copious free time, I’ll see what’s involved in allowing it in comments.
John, a direct link in the sidebar would be great for novices, actually I’m probably the only “novice” in here. Still as a reference point a link to the “knowledge base” might help others and those with more experience won’t always have to be on the lookout for posts that ask for help.