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New User Trying to Get Set Up

  1. I have a lot of questions. My main challenge is that I don’t have the language to ask for specific help. For example, I’m not totally sure what menus are and do. I’m not sure how I get pages to work or what the difference is between categories and tagging, thus, it's hard to ask the right questions.

    I’ve found a site whose look I really like: The Patterned Plate: http://thepatternedplate.wordpress.com/

    The author has requested that people do not contact her about her formatting. She does note that she uses CSS. I have purchased CSS, but I’m not sure what to use it for. For example, some of the changes I want to make might be part of my template, Imbalance 2, but I don’t know how to figure that out.

    Here are some of my questions:

    The PP site has four columns, my site has 5…how do I get my site to have 4 columns across? Or, am I misunderstanding what a column is? In PP, she has four postings going across the page. I consider these to be columns. Am I right about that?

    How does she get all the “extra stuff” (e.g., categories, blogs she follows, archives) to show up at the bottom of the homepage? On my page, some of this stuff is up at the top of the page and you have to scroll way down to start seeing blog posts. How can I “flip” this?

    The PP site has a main menu that goes across the page under the title. My menu is located in the upper right corner and is vertical, not horizontal. How do I make mine look like hers? Is this a CSS thing or can I easily fix this?

    The blog I need help with is thetendirections.wordpress.com.

  2. I’m not totally sure what menus are and do.

    Please read this section Using WordPress.com to Create a Website http://en.support.wordpress.com/using-wordpress-to-create-a-website/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/
    There are many common errors, misunderstanding and misconceptions when creating custom menus and you can read about them here > http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/custom-menus/

  3. I don't recommend the CSS upgrade for beginners, but it does come with free staff assistance, so I'll flag this to be moved to the CSS forum where they will answer your questions.

  4. Thanks, raincoaster!

  5. I have just graduated with a diploma in proofreading and editing from NZ Institute of Business Studies. I am trying to establish myself and would need a lot of help in everything, I guess!

  6. For example, I’m not totally sure what menus are and do. I’m not sure how I get pages to work or what the difference is between categories and tagging, thus, it's hard to ask the right questions.

    For those kinds of things, there are several really great help pages that I bet if you searched at http://support.wordpress.com/ you would find a lot of what you're looking for. Here are some relevant links for the things you've mentioned. Most have screenshots and some have videos which I think are really helpful.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/post-vs-page/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/#video

  7. The PP site has four columns, my site has 5…how do I get my site to have 4 columns across? Or, am I misunderstanding what a column is?

    I think you have the right idea about what a column is. Imbalance 2 can have a fixed or fluid layout. A fixed layout means the container is a fixed size (the 4 columns example) and a fluid layout makes the container change size depending on the browser width so it can have more than 4 columns. To change that particular thing, no CSS is needed. Just go to Appearance → Theme Options and change the "Enable fluid grid layout" setting to no.

  8. How does she get all the “extra stuff” (e.g., categories, blogs she follows, archives) to show up at the bottom of the homepage? On my page, some of this stuff is up at the top of the page and you have to scroll way down to start seeing blog posts. How can I “flip” this?

    The categories, archives and list of blogs on that blog are setup as footer widgets. You can go to Appearance → Widgets and drag the ones you want into the footer widget areas on the right. Here is a related help page about how widgets work:
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/

  9. The PP site has a main menu that goes across the page under the title. My menu is located in the upper right corner and is vertical, not horizontal. How do I make mine look like hers? Is this a CSS thing or can I easily fix this?

    That's a bit more advanced and it's the only thing so far you've asked about that needs CSS. Here's a few past forum links where someone has asked the same questions and the answers have been posted:

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