Sunday, August 17, 2008

How To Make An Online Dream Board

online dream board A few months back I wrote a new post called Do You Have a Dream Board? It turned out to be one of the most popular articles on the entire blog.

Quite a few people have used that post as inspiration for building their own online dream board. However, since I wrote that blog post, I've learned a bit more about wordpress, and about dream boards. My thinking on the best way to do this has evolved slightly.

I also wanted to make it easier for people who are part of my candle business to have a dream board of their own. So, I bought the domain name OnlineDreamBoard.net
(front page still under developement) and set up a new site from scratch. For anybody who is a member of my team, I will set up, and host a dream board for you on that domain. For everybody else, here are ...

Step by step instructions for setting up your own online Dream Board



First, I'm going to make a few basic assumptions:

  • You have your own web hosting account.

  • You have the ability to install WordPress either through Fantastico, or via FTP.

  • You know how to upload and active plugins

  • You can navigate the wordpress dashboard, and write new posts


If any of the above sounds scary, feel free to shoot me a note. Or, you can head over to iThemes to read their free wordpress tutorials.

Ok, now that we've got that out of the way, Let's Build a Dream Board ...

Step Number One is to log into your cPanel and install WordPress through Fantastico.
fantastico

Step Two will be setting up our WordPress blog. Since, in most cases, this blog will be primarily for your own consumption (ie, we don't expect visitors), I think the default theme will work very nicely for an Online Dream Board.

We're going to start with two things unders Settings, which is located all the way to the right on your dashboard.



Under the Privacy tab, we're going to click on the radial button that blocks search engines. Normal visitors will still be allowed, but strangers from search engines will not find your posts. If you want total privacy, you can even password protect the whole directory (but we'll save that for another post).
wordpress

For pretty much the same reasons that we blocked search engines, under the Discussion tab, we're also going to turn off comments. Just unclick all the boxes at the top of the page. This step is optional. If you expect to invite others to read your dream board, you may want to leave comments on. (but if you do, I would make sure to activate the akismet plugin).
wordpress


Next we'll head for the Manage tab to take care of a little quick housekeeping.



Under Posts we're going to delete the "Hello World" that came with the install.
wordpress

Then we're going to set up our blog's Categories.
wordpress
For our dream board, we want to set up 4 categories:

  • Daily

  • Inpiration

  • Pictures

  • Videos



The next stop will be to take care of a few things under the Design tab.



First we are going to click on Widgets, and add Categories and Recent Posts to Sidebar1.
wordpress

Then we're going to pretty up our header a little under Header Image and Color
wordpress
Choose a from the pallet for Upper Color, and a different one for Lower Color, then click Update Header.


Finally, we are going to install a few Plugins.


wordpress
For your dream board, I recommend that you upload and install these 3 plugins:


The first two plugins are pretty much self explanatory, and have good instructions on the plugin home page. I do have a few more screenshots to share with you about setting up and using the Post Template plugin.

Setting up a new template for our daily posts is fairly straightforward. Just go to the Write tab, and click on Post Template.
wordpress
Name the template "Daily", under categories click "daily", then in the content area make 3 bolded sections:

  • Today I am Thankful for …

  • Things I like about myself today …

  • My Goals and Intentions …


I plan to do more posts later about exactly what/how to write in these sections. But for now, this is my suggestion.

Posting to the videos, pictures, and inspirational entries is done just like writing any normal blog post. However, using our Daily Posts Template is just a tad bit trickier ... but in the long run will save you time and a bit of typing.

Instead of using the Write tab, instead go to the Manage tab. Find and click on Templates. Once the new screen comes up, locate "daily" and click on the button labled "New Post from template".
wordpress post from template
Write your daily entry, and post as normal. I would suggestion naming these posts by date. ie, "Thursday 22 July 2008".

One Final Suggestion ...



Writing down your goals is vitally important ... which is the purpose of this online dream board. However, it's even better if you also read your goals daily, and sometimes even look back and re-read your previous goals.

You can read these straight from your blog. But you might also want to subscribe to your own feed. Just type in http://yourwebhostname.com/feed choose your favorite reader. Even better than that, if you want to get your post sent to your email (will usually show up a couple of hours to a day after you post them) you can go over to Feedblitz, sign up for a free account, and enter that same feed.

Well, that's about all I have to say for today. But, I do plan to write more on this subject in the future. Hope to see you back then. If you have any immediate questions, feel free to drop me a line directly.

Keep havin FuN!
Todd

2 comments:

  1. I'm setting myself one online now. I used to have a large board hanging in my kitchen, but our new house is much smaller and there's not as much room to hang it up. Having an online one, especially since I'm online so much, is a great alternative!

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  2. Hi Summer,
    Very cool ... yes, I like having it online too. I'm especially glad today ... we're getting ready to move in a couple of months, and my wife has gone on a tear the last few days ... everything is off the walls, the curtains are down; I'm surprised we still have beds ... and our movers aren't even coming until mid Feb ;-)

    If you need any helping getting the online dreamboard set-up, feel free to drop me a line.

    Catch up with you again soon,
    Todd

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