Break Out of the Blog Box

Break Out of the Blog Box

Break Out of the Blog Box!

Page Builders changed blogging.

Writing content into a blog post takes on new meaning. Long posts with complex images don’t get read. The story unfolds in bite sized content.

Visible. Accessible. Interesting.

July 20, 2019

WordPress

One of the best softwares to use for a website, especially if you don’t know how to code. WordPress started out as an open source blogging software and was developed by Matt Mullenweg and David Little in 2003. It grew into the most used software for websites worldwide.

Having a WordPress website meant you needed to use a WordPress Theme. The Theme had a one year license. This meant you could renew the license but if the developer no longer updated that theme you had to get a new one.

 

Frustrated Blogger

The web is an ideal place to communicate. Blogging was something I wanted to do regularly. I would come to the WordPress classic editor to enter the content and start writing. When I wanted to add an image and get the text to look right the text wouldn’t align with the image. I had to insert a page break in the HTML area. First I had to figure out what a page break was, and where to put it. 

To someone who is not a developer this was confusing. I lost interest in creating content and my blog ‘died.’

 

The Page Builder Solution

The Page Builder was a plugin developed specifically for WordPress Themes. There are quite a few Page Builders. One isn’t better than another. It’s more a matter of personal preference. I use the Divi Theme.

The Divi Builder

The Divi Builder is built into the Divi Theme but it is also available as a standalone WordPress Plugin. You are able to design the content the way you want, without having to add a short code.

Divi Visual Builder

The Visual Builder created a whole new level of creating content. You see the content created, in real time. This is a great time saver.

Edit the conent

Change the column layout

Add style and an image

Pull in other relevant blog posts

The image on the right is a screenshot of the Visual Builder using the Image Module Settings.

 

Blogging is Enjoyable Again

Blogging isn’t a list of topics buried in a word document that don’t get posted into the blog. You can prewrite the content and copy and paste it into the blog post. I find it easier to write as I go along. The process helps me to think and I edit as I write.

After you’re done entering the text you might not like the way the text looks in the particular column width you’re using. To change a column wisth you adjust the columns in the row settings.

Checking for Mobile View

The Divi Theme is responsive so it will change the view on mobile and tablet view. But as you put content onto the page you can check the mobile and the tablet view. You have to be using the Visual Builder to do this. All this is possible and this is how I broke out of the blog box. Now I look forward to writing a blog post.

Just because you can…

The only rule to follow is; just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You don’t want to decorate every section. Always think about the person reading the post. You want to make the experience pleasant. Too much design takes the reader away from the content and puts their focus on the design.

Your website is a powerful communication tool and with the Divi Theme you’ll break out of the blog box!

 

Author | Joan

Bloggs with the Divi Visual Builder in real time!

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The Divi Theme provided the solution. It can be irritating to have to learn an entirely new system when you’re used to the previous one.

The Divi Visual Builder Experience

With this update the Divi Theme changes the way we create content. Now you can enter content directly onto the page. As you type, your edits are in real time. At last you can concentrate on the content you’re writing and not the technology to arrange the content on the page. You now have no obstruction for the flow of the information.

Within the post you can add sections, columns and images to make the post interesting and pleasant to read. Did you know, people skim read the content you worked so hard to produce. The web is full of information and distractions. All competing for the reader’s attention.

You want to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. You can when you get into the flow of writing directly onto the page. Then you can see the length of the paragraph, and edit the content.

Selecting the Content Layout

You can stay with a single column width for a blog post. and put pictures into the single column, or you can put the next section in a two column layout. What you’re doing is making the content easy to read and pleasant to view.

 

Choose a Module

Staying within the confines of a blog post you don’t want to divert the attention away from the subject. In this layout only the text and image modules are used in a two-column width. The two images in this layout reduce the need for an explanation.

Don’t make the reader work to read your content.

 

The Purpose of the Blog Post

The Internet is a place to share and exchange information and connect with people you wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to meet in person. The blog post is a powerful tool. It is the voice of communication of your business, or hobby. This is where you give out information that relates to what you do.

When you write a blog post regularly you create fresh content. Think about the times you want to find out information and you go to the search engine of choice and type in what you’re looking for. The search engine results show more questions going deeper into the original question. Eventually you find a link that takes you directly to a blog post. This is the way we find information.

The blog post doesn’t have to be lengthy but it must be substantive in that it gives information and enough pictures and not too much text.

Always write for a person, not the search engine.

When you write regularly the content of the blog post will flow better. Writing blog posts directly into the post is a better way to blog.

Styling The Blog Post

This blog post has a different layout. It isn’t the standard blog layout with a right sidebar. For this post I am using the Divi Blog Extended Plugin by Elicus Technologies. This plugin gives you six additional layouts to choose from for a blog post. No short code or coding needed. The layouts are fully responsive. You can even create a custom category archive page to store in the Divi Library.

The ability to style the blog post has to be in moderation. Always keep in mind the person reading the content. A blog post isn’t an advertisement. Nothing is more irritating than an interruption in the flow of content.

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The match between Divi and WordPress is a good from start to finish. No matter what you read about the “end of WordPress,” or the “end of Page Builders and Themes,” it isn’t for real.

Here are some facts:

  • WordPress is the most used website software worldwide
  • 30% of the websites on the web are powered by WordPress
  • WordPress is the most flexible software to build an online platform
  • The Divi Theme is used by Developers and Designers
  • The Divi Theme has been translated into thirty-two different languages
  • It is used all over the world
  • You don’t have to know how to use code to build a website with the Divi Theme

There will always be those who want to take down the person who is sucessful. It is a favorite passtime among some competitors to consistently bash the best. The Divi Theme is the developer and the designer’s best kept secret. This is the Theme they use because it compliments their knowledge.

WordPress is open source

Open source means developers from all over the world contribute to the core code. WordPress is the framework upon which a Theme is built. The fact that expertise is garnered from the best developers is a testament to the collaboration of WordPress. The end result is WordPress has created the space for everyone to benefit.

Developers, designers, business owners, entrepreneurs, corporations, governments, schools, individuals, use WordPress. With this philosophy, WordPress isn’t about to collapse or put anyone out of business because it makes changes and improvements to it’s existing framework.

Divi is a Premium WordPress Theme

The features inside the Divi Theme give you the opportunity to work within a framework that suits your technical knowledge. At first you might think you cannot build a website because Divi is too advanced. There are predesigned layouts in the Divi Library. A new layout is added each week.

With Divi, you never have to look at a blank page.

Conceptualizing the layout of content onto a web page is much easier if you have the elements of the page widths and measurements visible. As you work with the premade layouts with the modules you become familiar with how a webpage works. The page is divied up into dividers, this is how the Divi theme got its name.

Column Layout

This is what the layout of a page looks like using the built in Divi Builder. The blocks assigned are predefined and fit exactly to the width of the page.

You have a selection of columns. After choosing the layout you select a module to place into the layout.

Select a Module

This is the selection of modules available to use. For every function there is a module to match.

The design team that created Divi wanted to make the experience of building a website pleasureable. Not only for the developer and the designer, but for us, the user.

The design team at Elegant Themes were so successful, the Divi Theme is now the #1 used theme in the world. Since it came out in 2013, I have had no need for any other theme. Some have said when you use Divi you’re stuck with it. Not so. I’ve never been “stuck.”

Once you learn the basics there is no limit, you can take your website where you want, and concentrate on your business, and enjoy the experience of owning a website. To have more visibility and take advantage of doing business online you would need a marketing and promotion strategy.

Today’s web is a network of connections. Knowing how to connect isn’t obvious. To get help with this next step connect with Scott Winterroth. I had the good fortune to meet him at a WordPress Meetup four years ago. Ever since that meeting the conversation hasn’t stopped. He is an excellent resource for digital marketing strategy for your online business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how WordPress and the Divi Theme work to build a website, join me in an online bootcamp. I show you how it’s done step-by-step. No code or advanced knowledge needed.

 

Blogging

Blogging

The Blog is the humble web log that started some time ago and now we write posts and call it a Blog. The last ten years or so have given us a lot of telling. Long articles proving what we need to do. Endless lists of things to do right away to have instant success. We are told how to respond, who posted something on Facebook, who tweeted what. It’s a steady stream of content flowing onto the web. Whatever your interest you can find a blog post about that subject.

Have you noticed how everything saves you so much time? Really. With all the time we have saved how come no one has any time. The same is true for money, and websites. Everything happens in record time, smoothly, so you can have a great and awesome website. All of this does nothing for us. What we need is someone to take the time to show us how it is done.

Don’t tell me, show me.

Now we can do it ourselves. The way we want to, but with one caveat, if you know how.

The purpose is to demonstrate one of the most remarkable innovations in technology, the modular system of building a website. Never has there been such a flexible theme. You can tell by the fact that everyone’s either talking about it or using it. In the near future you will also see emulations of the Divi Theme. This is because it is the leader in this field.

Gone are the days of having to build a website from the ground up.

The Divi Theme is a Premium Theme and overlays the WordPress core. Actually the two work seamlessly together. That’s the turning point. When designers and developers work together you have harmony. It blends technology which by the way is constantly on the move. Thank goodness it is, updates and bug fixes are essential. No code functions perfectly all the time.

Who is using this theme?

The Divi Theme gives the developer, the designer, and the user the opportunity to build a website. That’s right, the user. The one on the receiving end of the developer and the designer’s thoughtful work. Some feel the user is clueless and doesn’t know the first thing about websites. Well, I take exception to that view.

I’m the user. That’s me you’re talking about. Then there is the ‘obedient client’ the one who has to obey the developer/designer and the site is locked so the client cannot “mess with it.” Now that is a turnoff as far as I am concerned. After all I am the one who paid the developer or the designer for the site, and I have restricted access to my website.

The Designers and Developers of the Divi Theme don’t have that attitude. They built the Divi Theme to serve everyone who wants to use it. You don’t have to know code to use the Divi Theme. If you want a specific feature, you can copy and paste the CSS code into the module in the Advanced section, but you don’t have to.

Everything you need is already built into the module. Are you the adventurous type that wants to know how the software works so you can work it?  If you answered yes, then we’re on the same page. The mystery of website building isn’t all that complex, providing you operate within a given framework.

The designer of the Divi Theme created the theme with the end user in mind. There are hundreds of details to take care of when building a website, but if those details are already in the module, you’re in the position of just using the design settings. I can change a pixel size, or add a width to a column by filling in the percentage. There is something refreshing about being in control of the publishing platform for your business or service.

Learning the Foundation with Divi

When you know how the foundation of the website works within the Divi framework, you’ll understand the elements of all the components that go into the growth of your website. It doesn’t matter if you are a large corporation or a small startup, the principle is the same. Today it is essential to know how the web works.

Even if you’re the President of a large company. Technology moves fast. If you want to keep pace you need to know and not be solely dependent on someone who knows IT.

Obviously, you can’t do everything yourself, but when you understand the components of a website and how it works, you won’t be talked into unnecessary and often expensive Plugins, that cause the site to collapse the next time WordPress core updates, or the Divi Theme updates.

Blog Post Plugin

Blog Post Plugin

A different blog post style

The layout used for this blog post is with a Plugin developed specifically for the Divi Theme. This makes producing content that much smoother. No one wants to admit it, but the reality is, creating content for a blog post is a lot more difficult than it’s made out. To ‘save time’ some write in a Word Processor in Word or Google Docs and copy and paste the content into the blog post. This isn’t as effective as creating content directly into the Post using the built in Divi Theme Visual Builder and seeing your edits as you make them in real time. You don’t have to preview the page which has to open a tab for you to view the changes.

The process of creating content in a website or in a blog post has to have a new attitude if you want the post to be effective and convey information. There is no quick and easy way to do the work. We have the tools available with WordPress Themes and Plugins. The smooth interface of how a website works with a given theme often makes us demand more without appreciating the software’s flexibility and security.

Slow Down to Catch up and Learn

If you slow down to catch up with technology, this is when you figure it out. What we’re used to looking at is the finished product that took months, even years, to complete on the front end. You’re being lied to when advertising yells; you can “quickly and easily” do something.

Fast, quick tip learning doesn’t teach you anything.

Slow Down

This isn’t something we want to do. Everyone is multitasking, doing so many things, email, scheduling twitter feeds (that don’t get read by the way), trying to look as though they have a handle on it all. No one does. When you slow down, this is when you realize you don’t know and what you thought was easy isn’t.

Catch up

Technology is only going to race ahead and you have to accept that today something will be predicted as ending, and tomorrow what was supposed to end is still there. All this is attention getting tactics to get your attention. When you catch up, you slow down you get the picture as it is. You start to recognize sales hype. You trust your own knowledge because you take time to research and find out the facts for yourself.

Learn

This is tricky.

Choose who you learn from. Not everyone is the expert they claim to be. The strange thing about the Internet is this; anyone can say anything about any subject and you have no way of knowing if it is true. All this online activity and interaction has made us smarter not dumb. Anyone who thinks the consumer doesn’t have a clue is living in a bubble.

No one is not intelligent.

We access sophisticated technology all the time. Sales hype will push your buttons, especially if you are in a hurry, or vulnerable because you don’t really know. The only way to solve this is to realize:

  • There is no shortcut
  • There will always be another sale or fantastic bargain
  • Learn to say, “No,” because you know
  • Find someone who knows, they’re the ones doing what you want to do