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Contents

This article provides an overview of the help available at www.kennylucius.com and provides some links to Wikipedia for additional help.

Quick start

In a nutshell: Kenny controls the template (Logos, colors, and arrangement of elements like the navigation links and login link) while you define the articles and what goes on them. MediaWiki refers to the unique content of a page as an “article” because Wikipedia is a collection of articles, so I will refer to the text that you can edit as an “article” and the whole thing (text + template) as a “page”.

Please note that, though these help articles are about how you can edit your articles, they also describe how I will edit them for you at your request. See Hourly fees for pricing.

Get a permit to edit

After I set up your site using a basic template and perhaps create a number of articles for you (depending on our agreement), you will have the ability to create and edit articles. To start your account:

  • Click Log in/create account which is usually in the upper-right corner.
  • On the log in page, click Create an account.
  • Fill in a username and password. The username must be unique.
  • Email address is optional.
  • At any time, you can change any of these options except username.
  • Click Create account
  • Send me an email asking me to permit your username to edit your site.

This process can be repeated for your employees or other people who need access to your site, but the request must come from you. There is no charge for occasionally maintaining edit permissions on your site, but if you routinely ask for several changes per week I may ask for additional compensation.

Edit at will

When you are logged in, you may notice some extra stuff on the page. These are to help you edit your articles, and are not visible to anonymous visitors.

To edit an article, simply click on the edit tab and make changes to the wikitext as described in the following sections.

Past versions

Don't be shy about making changes because every version of your article is saved in the history tab. If you change your mind or accidently delete the whole thing, visit the history tab and click on the date of the last good version of your article. When you are looking at the version you want to restore, click edit and save it.

Create an article

There are two easy methods

  1. Type the name of the article into the search box and click Go. If the article doesn’t exist, you will be offered an option to create this page.
  2. Type the name of the article into your browser’s URL field after the slash (e.g., http://www.kennylucius.com/This is my article). You will be offered an option to edit this page

Your article name can be a full sentence or one word. Search engines like a descriptive article name with spaces (which change to underscores) between the words, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

Avoid using punctuation in an article. These characters are not allowed:

# < > [ ] | { }

MediaWiki’s default template begins each article with the title, but this has been deleted from Kenny’s templates so that you can choose a different first-order heading, or no heading at all. If you want the article name inserted automatically, simply ask that I modify your template to do so.

After you add some text, click Save page.

Editing wikitext

Your web site uses the same software as Wikipedia; consequently, Wikipedia Help will answer many of your questions, especially those regarding the following topics:

  • Editing a wiki on Wikipedia is virtually identical to editing an article on your site (see wikitext examples). Not all of the bells and whistles of Wikipedia are automatically available to you, but you can request any extension or custom capability be installed for your site. Notable differences from Wikipedia are outlined in these help articles.
  • Linking to another page is identical with the method described in Wikipedia.
  • An email form may be added to any article to allow a user to send a message to any email address you designate.
  • Wikipedia describes how to handle images and other uploaded files, but your site also includes a special KLIcon extension that allows you a little more flexibility to create icons and link them.

Mind your spacebars

One thing that often trips me up is a space at the beginning of a line. MediaWiki interprets this as as a <pre>. The following two paragraphs illustrate:

There is no spacebar before this sentence.

This sentence is proceeded by a spacebar.

Changing the template

You can change your navigation and footer by editing the proper article. Currently, these are the only elements of the template that you can edit.

To rearrange elements of the template or change the colors, backgrounds, and fonts requires editing the CSS file. These can be changed for a single article using <css>styles</css>. If you want to define your own, permanent CSS definitions, I recommend creating a CSS test article and using it to perfect your definitions. When you are happy with the results, let me know and I will quickly incorporate your definitions into the CSS file used by the entire site.

Editing HTML

Meta information that belongs in the HTML HEAD (e.g., description, keywords) can be included in any article. MediaWiki automatically generates keywords, but you can improve your search engine results by defining the keywords and description yourself.

CSS can be included in the HTML HEAD as described in the previous section.

Most HTML tags are removed from wikitext during “sanitization”, though some tags are allowed. Most notable:

  • <div> is especially useful for boxing, floating, or styling a portion of the article.
  • <blockquote>, <sup>, <sub>, <center> and others are available to format the text.
  • <!-- comments --> to put comments in the wikitext that do not appear on the page.
 
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