Getting Started with WordPress

If you can use a word processor, know what styles are and have put images and charts and tables and such in a document, you can probably set up a passable WordPress site.

Go here, sign up for a free site and create one.

There are thousands of themes and and widgets.  To start, pick a free theme, then create a page, then create a post.  Add some graphics to your pages and posts, and add some widgets to sidebars.  Don’t go crazy searching for a theme.  You can change your theme for a simple site without much trouble.  Look at the footer, get used to the Visual Editor and the Dashboard.  Fiddle with some settings and Bob’s your uncle.   Of course, that is for getting started.  It is the equivalent of creating a vinegar and baking soda rocket as the first step to NASA, but we all have to start somewhere.  You will have a WordPress site, you will know something about what it takes to create and maintain and add content to a site.  Go for it.

Some Beginner Tips:

Some things are not applicable to free WordPress Sites.  You can’t upload video or audio files to a free wordpress site or add small bits of Code to Add Features.  Read on to the “One thing you can’t do...” section below for how to link to a video or audio file.

WordPress is due for a major new release in 2018, WordPress 5.0.  The tentative release date is set for November 19. One of the big changes will be “Gutenberg”,  the new editor.  It is a major overhaul of the current visual editor.  For more see:

Before venturing into the world of publishing on the web, I would read this.  Multiple email accounts can be useful.

One thing you can’t do with a free WordPress site is create an embedded video.  You can use a picture as a link to a YouTube video, which in some cases works better and is free as well.  Example, click on the picture below (View a video …) to go to a Youtube video.

View a video about the BEST SMARTPHONE GIMBAL of 2017.

Watch the Video

It does not hurt to show another link to your content (see Watch the Video above).  As of September 28, 2018, to create a picture as link:

  1. Insert the picture onto the page.
  2. Click on the image, then click on the “create link” or “insert or edit” icon in the editor toolbar.
  3. Put the url you want to link in the popup.

Another issue with free WordPress sites is that you cannot install plugins. Plugins are extensions to WordPress. For simple sites this is not an issue, except for setting up contact forms. The alternative to setting up contact forms with anti spam features is to provide an email address on the site.  Be prepared to get hit with some spam. See

This example will defeat most harvesting software. It is a simple image, I write the text and format it in word. I used the snipping tool to then make an image of it.
contactmeAnother possibility, take a picture of your business card.


You can have a perfectly respectable website — and for free.    Unless your name / business is a digitally distinct name, picking a website url can be a tedious process.  I don’t mind saying my website is  When you sign up for a free plan, your user id is used as the first part of your default website, with as the second part.  If in the future, you want a custom domain name, it is not difficult to set up, but it does cost money.

Are you ready to get started?  Go here, sign up for a free site and create one today!

Gutenberg on


We are currently testing the implementation of Gutenberg on and working out how and when it will be enabled. Once we start rolling it out for use, there will be posts and support pages explaining how everything is going to work.

But for now I can tell you no one is going be stumbling into Gutenberg by accident, and there’s not going to be an instant switch the moment it launches in Core.

Initially Gutenberg on will be opt-in only, and the opt-in option will not be available for someone until we’ve added support for blocks to the theme they are using.

The classic editor should also still be available, and it should be possible to edit a Gutenberg post in the classic editor, just like it currently is in Core, and will be via the Classic Editor plugin once Gutenberg becomes the default there.

Eventually Gutenberg on will become opt-out rather than opt-in, but details around that are still being discussed internally.

If you’ve been keeping up with Gutenberg, as it sounds you have, you’ll know Automattic is heavily invested in it, and it’s also very important for us that it’s a success on, so we’re not rushing things and will make very sure the transition for users are as smooth as possible.

As for your questions above regarding how Gutenberg will work in WordPress 5.0, you can ask the Core team directly at

You can also see the detailed documentation, which includes a FAQ,  at

About the Gary GMGJ Johnson, the author of this post:

You’re reading this on my free WordPress site.  Here is a link that I use to demonstrate what I do when I develop a more advanced site:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F….


Some important things takeaways from the book are the:

  • Recognize the “Feedback Loop from Hell”
  • The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.
  • It’s okay for things to suck some of the time.
  • You are responsible for everything in your Life: you may not be at fault, but, you have to take control

If your interested in improving your life, go here:

Click on the Link for Rational Emotive Therapy.  If you don’t understand it , read the book.

Click on the Link for Definitions of Cognitive Distortions.  Read the book and under any circumstance.



Aspect Ratios

Common Monitor Resolutions

NTSC aspect ratio of a traditional television screen is 4:3, or 1.33:1.
ATSC aspect of 16:9, or about 1.78:1.

Aspect ratios of 2.39:1 or 1.85:1 are frequently used in cinematography, while the aspect ratio of a sync-sound 35 mm film frame is 1.37:1

(also known as “Academy Aperture” ratio).

4/3 = 1.33333…    0r 3 x 1.33333 = 4

Width Height Aspect Ratio PPI 1 EM in pixels Width in EMs
640 480 1.333333333333333 4/3
800  600 1.3333333333333333 4/3 72 12 800 / 12       66.67
96 16 800 / 16       50
1024  768 1.3333333333333333 4/3 96 16 1024 / 16     64
120 20 1024 / 20     51.2
150 25 1024 / 25     40.96
1152  882 1.3061224489795917 96 16 1152 / 16     72
120 20 1152 / 20     57.6
1280  1024 1.25 5/4 96 16 1280 / 16     80
120 20 1280 / 20     64
1440  900 1.6 5/3 96 16 1440 / 16     90
120 20 1440 / 20     72
150 25 1440 / 25     57.6
1600  1200 1.3333333333333333 4/3 96 16
120 20
16  9 1.7777777777777777 16/9
4 3 1.3333333333333333 4/3
3264  2448 1.3333333333333333
3200  2400 1.3333333333333333
2560  1920 1.3333333333333333
1600  1200 1.3333333333333333
1280  960 1.3333333333333333
1024  768 1.3333333333333333


-à Fitting and image into a target resolution / aspect ratio.   Do it in pixels!

resize smaller than target and then change the canvas size to get you exact size!


Portrait Mode Native


Native Width Target Height Target Width  
Aspect 1.5 3264 2448 3264 2176 Crop right and/or left 272 pixels or 11%
Aspect 1.25 3264 2448 3060 2448 Crop top and/or bottom 204 pixels or 6%
Aspect 1.5 3264 2448 3262 2174 Crop length 14px Crop width 274  (11%)
Aspect 1.25 3264 2448 3060 2448 Crop top and/or bottom 216 or 6 %



Landscape Mode Native Height Native


Target Height Target width  
Aspect 1.5 2448 3264 2176 3264 Crop top and/or bottom 272 pixels or 11%
Aspect 1.25 2448 3264 2448 3060 Crop right and/or left 204 pixels or 6%
Aspect 1.5 2448 3264 2069 3104 Crop width 160 (5%) Crop length 379  (15%)
Aspect 1.25 2448 3264 2448 3060 Crop right and/or left 216 or 6 %


For a 4×6 or a 12×8 in portrait mode plan on losing 5% of the length

in landscape mode plan on losing 5% of the width


Picasa  – enter inches it converts to pixels!



Picture size Ratio
4 / 3 1.33
5 / 3 1.66
6 /4 1.5
7 / 5 1.4
10 / 8 1.25
12 / 8 1.5
11 / 14 1.27  Do it as 8x 10 if you have to
15 / 10 1.5
24 / 16 1.5
30 / 20 1.5




Picture size Ratio
10 / 8 1.25
10 / 9 1.1111111111111112
10 / 7 1.4285714285714286
10 / 6.5 1.5384615384615385
10 / 8 1.25
12 / 8 1.5
15 / 10 1.5
24 / 16 1.5
30 / 20 1.5



s2Message Setup Notes


They have excellent instructions and examples.  I am setting up a free membership site.  I have not looked at the capabilities for paid subscriptions.

Use 2 Browsers to set up.  Stayed logged on as administrator to make changes to s2Message on 1.  Use clear cache after making changes.  Use another browser where you are not logged on as administrator to test.  Goto and click membership to see a live example of how to sign up.

You can manage users from the dashboard using the native WordPress user tab. s2Message takes advantage of the builtin in roles and capabilities capabilities of WordPress and extends them!

Powercfg shows an active remote client

Why won’t my computer go to sleep?

Check Power plans

Especially the Multimedia setting
Allow computer to sleep

I usually flip a couple of the timer settings, like minutes to sleep (example change from 30 to 25) and save the new updated profile.  Once that was all I did to fix it.

Run the Troubleshooter
Control Panel.

  • Type “Troubleshooting” in the search bar and press “Enter”.
  • In the “Troubleshooting” window, click on “View All” on the left pane.
  • Click on “Power”.
  • Click on “Advanced” and then click on “Run as Administrator”.
  • Click “Next” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.

Follow the steps to check the network adapter powers settings:

Press Windows + X keys and click on Device Manager
Search for Network Adapter.

  • Right click on the Network Adapter that you use and click Properties.
  • Click on the Power Management tab.
  • Check the option “Allow the device to wake the computer”.
  • Click Apply and Ok to save the changes.

Got to Realtek site and see if they have a troubleshooter

Check Sling settings

Run as administrator

powercfg /requestsoverride driver srvnet system
alternate syntax

POWERCFG -requestsoverride DRIVER \FileSystem\srvnet SYSTEM

rem Windows 7 version
my runpoerconfig.bat file

rem powercfg ?

rem HID-compliant mouse
rem eHome Infrared Receiver (USBCIR)
rem HID Keyboard Device

rem run as administrator

Rem 1) Click the Start button .
rem 2 In the search box, type command prompt.
rem 3 right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
rem Powercfg -devicequery all_devices_verbose
Powercfg -LASTWAKE
rem check Power.html FileSystem\srvnet
Powercfg -devicequery wake_programmable
Powercfg -devicequery wake_armed
rem pause
rem Powercfg -DEVICEDISABLEWAKE “HID-compliant mouse”
POWERCFG -requestsoverride DRIVER \FileSystem\srvnet SYSTEM
rem [DRIVER] \FileSystem\srvnet

rem Powercfg -devicedisablewake “Microsoft USB IntelliMouse Optical (IntelliPoint)”
Powercfg -devicedisablewake “HID-compliant mouse”
Powercfg -devicedisablewake “HID-compliant mouse (001)”
POWERCFG -requestsoverride
Powercfg -devicequery wake_armed


By default, Windows 7 will attempt to prevent system standby when connected to a remote share or file. Presumably, this is to prevent any ongoing file transfers over the network from failing due to the system unexpectedly entering standby. But there are many cases where the system is connected to a remote share and it is okay to enter standby. Windows 7 includes a setting to allow the computer to enter standby, but it may be missing from the advanced power options dialog box. you can unhide the “Allow sleep with remote opens” option AND set it to Yes for three default power profiles (Balanced, High Performance, and Power Saver) in Windows 7.  Go to this link for details on how:

echo off

time /t
powercfg -requests | find ” ”
: Delay 30 seconds
ping -n 1 -w 30000 > nul
goto fooey

Gary on Privacy

I am going to write up some of my experiences with privacy and other practices for the modern world here. Here is a basic list of topics that you should have some sort of knowledge off.  Some of this is specific to MIT students, like Sophos for protective software. I use the free software for virus and malware protection by Microsoft, Windows Defender for Windows 10 and Security Essentials for Windows 7

I will be updating this:

A smart thing to do with your email and passwords

I signed up for in April of 2018. It is the European Union’s free app to help you manage your privacy. I am going to see how this works with the Ghostery extension that I use.

For all of these items there are exceptions and over rides that people need to take. You will probably have to trust, that means over ride and exempt your financial and other institutions in the privacy software that you use.

There are many more knowledgeable people and organizations than me.  I will try and give a quick overview of what I take away from some of these more knowledgeable resources.

Number 1

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection Agency

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

For Computer Professionals
One of my goto resources for over 20 years

+Privacy Whitelisting

A1) Goto Dashboard

on adblocking tab click the “filter settings” button
a2) click on the +P icon

If it it says adss blocked by this site. click it to say

x Ads not blocked by this site.

Ghostery WhiteListing

Browse to the site you want to Whitelist, click the Ghostery Icon, click trust site

+Privacy My Settings

Goto Dashboard
Ad blocking and Anti Tracking

I turned off Block Ads, some sites need advertising money.
I turned off Protect against Tracking, that’s what I use Ghostery for

At this time, I am using +Privacy to help me manage my social media settings.

Facebook API opt out? Here are alternatives to Share?

A work in progress

My objective is to show folks (if you know what grep is, you can stop reading ) who have opted out of the Facebook API (but are still members of Facebook) a way to share things on Facebook (and elsewhere easily).  TSS (The Short Story) is grap the link of the page you want to share and paste into the make post on Facebook. Really, it is that simple.

If you have opted out of the Facebook API, you can no longer:

  • Login to sites using login with Facebook
  • Hit the Share on Facebook button on sites
  • I have to test to see if its the same for the Like Button
  • You can’t take quizzes and surverys
  • You can’t play games
  • You can’t share directly etc from connected Social Media sites like Instagram

You can still use Facebook.  If you opt out, you decrease Facebook’s ability to track you.

This link will tell you how to opt out of the Facebook API Opt out.

It is important to remind folks that they are being actively data mined (tracked).  See Gary on Privacy and on Smart Things to do with your email.

One  of the first option that came to mind was bookmarklets.  A search for this “bookmarklet for facebook share” showed a number of options.  A lot of things you will see are like the the one Facebook offers at:

When I tested it, I complained that I had opted out.  No help.

An awful lot of the time, what you want to share to Facebook is a link to a page that you have seen.   When you see a share button, often times it is just a link to a page.

In the following examples, I show what you see when you analyze the Facebook share buttons etc. When you see stuff like this  https%3A%2F%2F , it gets translated  to text as  https://.     %3a  is ascii code in hex for :  and %2F  is ascii code in hex for /.  

Go here:  This is a link to a AARP web pages offering free shredding events across the country.

This is the code for the Facebook share button om that AARP page.  It is a link that lets facebook API handle the posting:  +with+Events+in+Communities+Nationwide

Let us break the code into 3 sections.  The first part lets the facebook share { handle the posting of the link to your feed.

The the second part, is the link that you post.  with-events-in-communities-nationwide%2F ( same as what you see for Go here above, with the % stuff translated into real stuff)  

The third part is parameters that lets the ARRP know some info we don’t care about.

&t=AARP+Launches+%E2%80%9COperation%3A+Stop+Scams%E2%80%9D+  with+Events+in+Communities+Nationwide.

So the Simplest Option :

Just copy the link {it is usually visible in your browser search bar, found at the the top}from the page you want to share and paste that link into Facebook’s make post (What is on your mind).  Let me google that for you.

I will be researching other options that people want to share and coming up with ways to share that do not require Facebook Opt in.

Here is a really simple Bookmarklet that copies the url to a pop up box that you can copy the url from.

Copy the line below


and 1) create a new bookmark 2, paste the code into the link or url field, give it any name you want

Child Theme and Plugin Development Cycle

I hope someone who has a better process than this shares some of their secrets.  I am a software engineer who has been developing for WordPress for a few years. I mostly have done projects that were outside of normal WordPress Development. For example, ported a Custom CMS into WordPress. I did custom landing pages with a WordPress backend.  For I while I have been editing my plugin code in place, under wp-content.  I make some changes.  I reload the page. Where the F*(&*^ are my changes?  Oh, I forgot to clear the browser cache.  I test my changes on another site.  I clear the browser cache.  Where are my changes? Oh, I forgot to clear the WordPress cache in use.  Still after clearing both caches, I had some issues with see my updates once in a while.  If I only changed a css file or a js file, it sometimes, did not update.  Mostly on odd days of the week, even when you change what day of the week it starts on.  You really have to watch this stuff.  Sometimes its date related.  Phase of the moon. Rain and inclement weather play a part, sometimes the bit bucket needs emptying.  It is always something.  See  for more suggestions.

So the first thing I do is move the source, to source control. Git is the flavor of the year (previously popular flavors are Mercurial, SVN, CVS, Source Safe ..). Then I document what I think should work. Here is the cycle I use:

– code
I make changes in the hope that one of my mistakes will prove useful, and to move towards my desired effect.  gmgj is the name of my plugin (also its folder etc)

– touch gmgj.php in plugin , functions.php in child theme
Just to be clear, in this case “Touch” is a programming term, where you use a utility to update the modified time of a file, even if you have not updated. The #MeTo has a very different use for the term.

– deactivate plugin, sometimes I have had to change the theme, but not so much
– move in new code

I use a bat file, sort of like this:
@echo off

cd "C:\path to source"
rem this is the touch
copy /b gmgj.php +,,
rem this is the move
xcopy "C:\path to source\*.*" "C:\path to WorPress \wp-content\plugins\gmgj\*.*" /s /r /y /q /d /EXCLUDE:excludeus.dat

rem delete the old zip and recreate the new zip, the zip file is what you upload to new WordPress Installations to install your plugin
del /Q C:\path to source\
cd "C:\up a level\"
rem this includes some file extensions, excludes others, there are better ways rem to do this.
rem Why? I keep the project html file and other utility files in the same rem directory as the project
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a "" -x!gmgj\*.html -x!gmgj\*.dat -i!gmgj\*.php -i!gmgj\*.css -i!gmgj\*.js -i!gmgj\*.JPG

excludeus.dat is:

– hit wordpress plugin “Clear Cache for Me” on the admin dashboard
– I use the FANTASTIC utility Web Developer clear cache to clear the browser cache

– activate the plugin and cross all fingers and toes.  If that does not help:

– check php error log and start Browser developer tools and check for other errors
– use php error_log() and javascript console.log()
– if problems like not updating code
– admin logout , close browser

– delete plugin and upload via zip file
– start and stop apache and mysql, restart computer, get a coffee …
– roll version numbers
– ?
swing a rubber chicken

I would be remiss if I did not point out that when I calling things like wp_enqueue_style and wp_enqueue_script, I use the version parameter like this.  Please note, I did not originally come up with this idea.  When I looked at the source for a number of projects, the following appears to be standard practice.

$gmgj_js_url = plugins_url( 'gmgj_test.js', __FILE__ ); 
$gmgj_js_path = plugin_dir_path( 'gmgj_test.js');

 array( 'jquery', 'jquery-effects-core' , 'jquery-effects-explode'),

This the magic that makes the version stuff work

function gmgjversion_id($pluginpath) {
 return filemtime($pluginpath);
 //return '012';

Updating the child theme is similar.


Mojo MarketPlace

I do not trust them — and think you shouldn’t either.  And when I see these kinds of anti-consumer practices, I like to let other people know about them.  Maybe this post will save you some money, or at least make you a smarter consumer.  My goal is to prevent more people from getting scammed by companies that definitely do not put the consumer first.

Please do not use Mojo Marketplace.   They use deceptive links that try to get people installing WordPress, to pay for an “expert install”. 

HostGator, the web hosting provider I currently use, is promoting this.  In the past, they had a button you could push that would ask you five questions to install WordPress.

WordPress prides itself on a very simple 5 minute install, that is one of the easiest installs I have ever seen in my over 30 years in the software business.    

Using MoJo for a WordPress install is like buying a $100 pizza with white glove delivery.  You have to be really naive and out of touch to do this — but vendors know they can prey upon uninformed consumers by getting them to buy things they do not need.

IMHO, the best advice you can give to someone getting started with WordPress is to setup a free account at and push a few buttons.  You are reading this post on a free WordPress site!

Here is the screen I see when trying to install from Control Panel or QuickInstall on HostGator:

At the top, you see where you put in the domain and directory for the install.  Whatever you do, the next button do not become active.  Hostgator took the one click install off the options they easily offer their customers!  I started a chat with support and they were nice enough to do the one click install, from their end.  It took less than 2 minutes to finish.

I could do a manual install, documented here :

Here is an example of an install script written in php:

Search for something like “is there a php script to install wordpress” and you will see lots of examples.

The install of WordPress has been automated by a lot of folks. Here is a script that uses bash from the Linus command line:

It is not in Hostgator’s interest to force users to do there own install of WordPress.  They could install old versions with known security holes etc.  But, they want to sell you the “Expert Install” by the Mojo Marketplace people.  They want to charge $99 dollars for typing in Site Title, First Name, Last Name,  and admin email, and pushing a button.  Shame on HostGator, shame on the Mojo Marketplace.

For $399 they offer:

  • WordPress Theme Credit($49)
  • We Install WordPress
  • We Install Your Theme
  • Demo Setup
  • WordPress Site Backup
  • WordPress SEO / SEO Sitemap
  • WordPress Site Security

Are they serious?  There are hundreds of free themes that you can install with one click. When you install your theme, you get a working site, Site Backup is as simple as Tools – Export. There are free WordPress Site security plugins like the ones listed here:

It is really disingenuous of HostGator and the MoJo people to do this. Managing a WordPress site is not difficult; however, its not without some work.  Creating content and designing an appealing site takes time.  The add-ons you can (and should include), such as SEO and Site Security are not trivial, but installing them is. A lot of WordPress add-ons have free versions. Having these trivial tasks done for you, really does not get you very far.

When you buy shared hosting, the most popular setup is a LAMP stack. Linux, Apache, Mysql and Php. Setting up your own LAMP stack use to be a little tedious. Ubuntu has a one click install for it now.  Installing WordPress on LAMP has been automated.  Bitnami offers an automated WAMP (inset Windows for Linux) with one click and you can add on WordPress for another click.

There are real heroes in the open source movement.  They are the software engineers who create these one click installable products like the LAMP Stack and WordPress. They are the volunteers that offer support and help in so many ways.

Maybe you can think of a few choice words for someone who tries to sell you what other hard working people give away for free — and pricing it at a not insignificant amount of money.

What MoJo says:

Those deceptive links you are referring to are for our installation packages that not only include the free WordPress installation, they include a theme, a theme install, a full demo set up of the theme the customer chooses, a backup plugin that saves content on a daily back up, full site security to protect a WordPress site from Adware, malware, and spyware, SEO services, as well as 30 days help from our WordPress experts to help customers become more proficient using their dashboard. The installation itself is free, and we offer installation of WordPress instructions over the phone. They are not required and are completely optional.

Let us see how truthful they are:

Free; but they say, install for $99.
They don’t say you get support.
They say it’s optional, but, on HostGator, you have to go through hoops.

This is not the kind of thing that would make me trust them.  It raises warning flags.

My Bottom Line Advice

If you need a lot of help doing computer related things, hire your own consultant, someone who can steer you clear of these predatory practices. I  charge a sliding scale.  My rate for commercial entities is $35 per hour.  If you give me $399, you will get real value.

I set up these WordPress based sites:

I helped my wife with these:

I am working on this:

My background

I did and do things like static html front pages with WordPress backends, hosting, configuring and redirecting email etc.  I have been coding in native HTML, CSS and JavaScript, since day one.  I took up PHP a number of years later.  My first passion was doing web browser based apps.  I had written native Windows applications and DLLs.  (Using a web browser for apps was like cheating.  The browser does all the hard work.)