Add Content Boxes to Individual Posts – No Coding, No Changing Stylesheets, No Changing Themes

 

 

Content boxes give you the flexibility to make each post different in design.  With content boxes added on a post-by-post basis, you can have a variety of  styles without complex themes or plugins.  You can simply add some “copy-and-paste” lines of code to the text editor of the WordPress and use the resulting template in the visual editor.

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All of the content boxes here are responsive and should adapt to any size post column in your blog.  That said, it is best to read this article and apply the resources on a desktop or laptop computer.  Even though the content boxes can be used easily and effectively on most mobile devices, you will best understand them and this article by first seeing them in full size and resolution.

 

  As I mentioned in an earlier update to this blog, I like to vary the formatting of my posts.  I don’t have lots of time to code.  So, I’ve tried a number of plugins meant to help with the kind of formatting I want.  Many were supposed to help replace the formats for asides, image presentation, quotes, links and status updates that WordPress used to make available in its core.  And WP still makes gallery formatting available through the “add media” button in the editor.  But, I’m not satisfied with the plugins or the gallery function provided by WP.  Also, plugins take time to learn how to use.  (Did I mention I don’t have lots of extra time?) And then there’s the expense — the ones you prefer may turn out to be the pricey ones, rather than the free ones.

So, I’ve gone back to coding my own.  It’s actually faster.  Just a few lines of html styled with css can do a lot.  Furthermore, as I mentioned in the content box above, the code I’m going to share with you is designed to work in responsive themes. The css is inline rather than relying on stylesheets, so it should work fine in any theme and won’t change with updates to themes or WP. This article is a demo and how-to for you.  It’s a bit long.  Yet, all you will have to do is copy a bit of text, select the “text” tab in your WP editor, paste it in, hit the “visual” tab and you’re good to go. 

However, there is one change you may have to make.  The editor that comes with WordPress is called “TinyMCE.”  It’s a very good basic editor.  But its visual editor strips some html that it considers superfluous from the modifications (like content boxes) that you make in the “text” editor.  So, in order to make the content boxes look and work correctly, you’ll have to get “TinyMCE Advanced,” if you don’t already have it.  And you will have to use the settings tool to prevent that stripping.

Here’s how to get TinyMCE Advanced.  First, go to https://wordpress.org/plugins/tinymce-advanced/ , install it by whatever method you usually use with your WP and activate it.  If you do not know how to install plugins or themes, you need to learn that before you try adding content boxes to your posts.  You can do that at http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/step-by-step-guide-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-for-beginners/.  I’m assuming that anyone interested in making their posts look more stylish has the basic skills of using WP.

As I illustrate in the image below, select “settings” from your sidebar and choose “TinyMCE Advanced.”  Your screen should look much like the image.  Find “Advanced Options” and check the box “Keep paragraph tags.”  Be sure to hit the “Save Changes” button before you exit the page.  I leave it to you to find out all the other lovely things you can do with TinyMCE Advanced, but I will say you’ll be pleased with how much more powerful your editor has become.  Of course, if you already do have TinyMCE Advanced, all you need to do is make sure the “Keep paragraph tags” box is checked.

 

 

The article is long because it gives you a whole bunch of content box designs. There’s not a lot of stuff to read — it’s primarily samples of the content boxes themselves and code snippets to copy and paste. Let me start a quick demo with content box examples and code first.  In the next section, after the boxes and code, you’ll find illustrated instructions for putting them in your posts.

 

Below are some very simple centered 50% sized content boxes with white or subtly colored backgrounds. The code for each box appears directly below that box.

 

 

White centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text.  Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; border: thin solid #dddddd; background-color: white; padding: 10px;”>
<p>White centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text.  Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p>
</div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

Very light gray centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f5f5f5; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px;”>
<p>Very light gray centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p>
</div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light blue centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f0f8ff; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px;”><p>Very light blue centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light pink centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: mistyrose; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px;”><p>Very light pink centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light green centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f0fff0; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px;”><p>Very light green centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Here are the same content boxes as immediately above, but with an attention-getting thickly-stroked left border.

 

 

White centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Gray left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px; border-left: 10px solid #dddddd;”>
<p>White centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Gray left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p>
</div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light gray centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Gray left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f5f5f5; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px; border-left: 10px solid #dddddd;”><p>Very light gray centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Gray left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light blue centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Blue left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f0f8ff; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px; border-left: 10px solid blue;”><p>Very light blue centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Blue left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Light pink centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Red left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: mistyrose; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px; border-left: 10px solid red;”><p>Light pink centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Red left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Very light green centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Green left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.

 

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style=”margin: auto; width: 50%; background-color: #f0fff0; border: thin solid #dddddd; padding: 10px; border-left: 10px solid green;”><p>Very light green centered 50% content box. Very light gray border. Green left stroke. Select and erase the text in this box and and replace it with your image and/or text. Click your cursor immediately above or below this box to type or place other content outside this box.</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

 

 

Now, here’s how to get the code into your WP post editor.

 

 

  Select and copy the code for any one of the content boxes you see above.  Like this:

Open your WP post editor and select the “text tab.”  Click inside the editor window and paste the text.

 

 

Select the “visual” tab to return to your usual visual editor, and voila! — there is the box waiting for you to edit the text.  The further instructions for using the content box are actually written as content in the box itself. 

 

   

Next, let’s look at some content boxes that take the entire width of your post area.

 

 

Continue Reading This Post! There’s Lots More…

Work Quotes and Misquotes: Thomas Edison

Well, Thomas Edison would know about hard work!

 

Thomas Edison has been misquoted as saying he tried 5,000 times to create the light bulb before succeeding. Sometimes the number has been reported as 10,000. But there is no evidence of him ever saying such a thing.

According to a publication from Rutgers University, The Edisonian – Volume 9 Fall 2012, the misquote may be based on the following statement he made in an  1890 interview in Harper’s Monthly Magazine

“‘I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed three thousand different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently to be true. Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory. My chief difficulty, as perhaps you know, was in constructing the carbon filament, the incandescence of which is the source of the light. Every quarter of the globe was ransacked by my agents, and all sorts of the queerest materials were used, until finally the shred of bamboo now utilized was settled upon. Even now,’ Mr. Edison continued, ‘I am still at work nearly every day on the lamp, and quite lately I have devised a method of supplying sufficient current to fifteen lamps with one horse-power. Formerly ten lamps per horse-power was the extreme limit.'”

Another candidate for the misquote of the thousands of hours of work on the light bulb (again according to The Edisonian, and from Edison: His Life and Inventions) is:

“This [the research] had been going on more than five months, seven days a week, when I was called down to the laboratory to see him [Edison].  I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters.  I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question.  In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’  Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results!  Why, man, I have gotten lots of results!  I know several thousand things that won’t work!'”

Regardless of exactly how many experiments his lab did, it’s evident there were quite a lot.

So, my favorite quotation attributed to Edison is the simple one in the poster above. Unfortunately, I can’t find any evidence he said that either!

But I can find plenty of evidence that work is essential to success.  How about you?

A few words on formatting posts.

Quick Update

I’ve spent some time in developing some blogging resources for you mini- and micro-entrepreneurs out there who do your own WordPress blogs.

Many of us have discovered how difficult it can be to find and adapt themes to our own styles of presentation.  Themes and theme-builders can get expensive.  Plug-ins for making the themes do what we want add up the $$ too.  And most folks don’t have time to learn how to use complex themes or plug-ins, not to mention learning how to modify WP manually.

Like many others, I’ve found it difficult to get WP Post Formats (like aside posts, status posts, gallery posts, etc.) to work with my favorite themes.  And I really want some variety in the way my posts look.  So, what I’m doing now — again, as I used to do — is simply adding html to my new posts to create the looks I want.

You’ll notice that this post is styled a bit differently than the ones below. It’s an example of a subtle change that can create more visual interest and attention.

In the next few days, I’ll be showing you examples of ways to present your content differently and add variety to your post styles with a quick and simple code.

You’ll get both the demo of the style and the code for it from the article.

(Also, in other posts, I’m still going to be expanding the elements of performance and productivity that I promised in yesterday’s post.)