Pages vs. Posts

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If you’re new to WordPress you may be wondering what’s the big deal behind Pages and Posts. At first glance they appear to be one and the same: if you were to create either a new page or a new post you’d be presented with nearly identical interfaces and in many cases the public appearance of pages and posts will look the same.

Don’t let this fool you. There’s a very fundamental difference between the two and that difference is what makes CMSs, like WordPress, great platforms for integrating blogs with traditional websites.

Pages

Think about the kind of pages that make up a typical website. Most often you’ll see pages like “Home”, “About Us”, “Services”, “Contact Us”, etc. Within WordPress these are often treated as Pages; documents that have no particular regard for the time they were posted.

For example, when you visit the “About Us” page of your favorite company’s website you don’t expect the content to be very different from what was available there a week ago.

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Categories and Tags

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If you write about a variety of subjects, categories can help your readers find the posts that are most relevant to them. For instance, if you run a consulting business, you may want some of your posts to reflect work you’ve done with previous clients, while having other posts act as informational resources. In this particular case, you can set up 2 categories: one labeled Projects and another labeled Resources. You’d then place your posts in their respective categories.

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Plan Your Content

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If you’re considering adding a blog to your site, you’ll want to have a plan beforehand. Planning your blog will help your subject matter remain consistent over time. It’ll also help you determine whether or not there’s enough material to maintain a steady stream of posts.

One pitfall many new bloggers run into is starting a blog that isn’t posted to frequently enough. A shortage of recent posts can give your visitors a bad impression of your business. One may think “I wonder if they’re still in business” or “they may want to hire a writer.”

A blog, like any other customer facing aspect of your business, communicates your brand. If it isn’t maintained and given proper attention, people will notice. Post regularly and keep your content fresh. Give your audience a reason to visit often.

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So you have reached a university-level of English and undoubtedly you’ve spent the better part of 2 decades studying grammar and spelling to get here.  Well, I have some good news and bad news for you. The good is that there really isn’t that much more grammar you need to learn in order to grasp 98% of what is being said or written in English.  The bad is that there is an enormous amount of vocabulary which you have barely scraped the surface of.  Contrary to the belief of some, English, or any language in my opinion, cannot be mastered in 1000 words.  So how can you improve?

 

Follow these simple guidelines to maintain a positive learning curve:

 

  1. Read non-fiction.

 

Although there is certainly a lot of amazing literature in English, the vast majority of what is sold to the English language learners’ market is watered-down “beach” novels.  While these are great for the beach or disconnecting a bit, I am not convinced they are the best to push the envelope and force you to improve.  They often regurgitate vocabulary and remove the more colourful parts of a novel (which often includes the new vocabulary you are looking for).

 

However, non-fiction is factual and can also be written with flair and colour.  I am not suggesting the newspaper rather biographies, historical accounts, psychology, philosophy, sociology, sports, engineering, politics, the story of inventions or industries (automotive, aerial, space, naval, fabrics, plastics, architecture, or pyrotechnics).  There really is a virtually unlimited array of topics to be explored.  Starting at the beginning you get introduced the jargon of the topic and little by little you can increase the difficulty by digging deeper and deeper into the topic.

 

  1. Watch documentaries.

I think that my reasoning for non-fiction reading over fiction applies as well to movies and TV series.  The latter are great for tuning out and consuming easy to digest material but they don’t really go beyond that.  In order to get new vocabulary and jargon, I find that documentaries are an excellent resource.  They don’t tend to use slang which very often goes over the learner’s head but they do use jargon and academic vocabulary to dive into some very interesting and complex issues.

 

  1. Get a hobby you only do in English.

Everyone needs a hobby.  I am a firm believer in this and not only for people who want to learn another language. Challenging yourself and learning about the world and life is essential to a healthy and strong mind.  Learning English can be an extremely useful vehicle to a lot of information on almost any topic in the world.

 

Let’s make one thing very clear about hobbies.  Pastimes are not necessarily hobbies.  Going to the cinema isn’t a hobby.  Listening to music isn’t a hobby.  Going to the beach isn’t a hobby.  However, “the cinema” is indeed a hobby if you love the history, art, movements, and development of the motion picture industry.  “Music” is a hobby if you dive into and learn about artists, history, movements, implications, and immerse yourself in the culture of music.  A hobby of music is NOT sitting on your bed and simply listening to songs.  If you travel the world exploring beaches and loving beaches for their diversity and differences, then you have a hobby.  If you go to the beach in your hometown to get a tan on Saturdays, this is not a hobby.

 

Hobbies are an active activity in which the participant goes out of their way to explore and learn more.  Pastimes are passive and help us to switch our brains off and relax.  Reading a trashy novel, laying on the beach, enjoying a Vin Diesel movie are all great pastimes.  Improving your photography skills, learning to make wine, or immersing yourself in train culture and building model trains are all great hobbies.

 

Now, I know not everyone will agree with me but I think that if you follow these three small guidelines, you will certainly see your vocabulary and general knowledge increase.  Putting your English to use is why, after all, you learned the language in the first place.  So after you finish the latest Dan Brown novel, get your teeth into something a bit more meaty and challenge yourself with non-fiction

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Common mistakes…

Remember vs. Remind

Let’s start with REMEMBER.  REMEMBER has several meanings but we’ll concentrate on the two most common uses: 1) to have in your mind or be able to bring into your mind someone or something from the past and 2) to keep something important in mind (not forget it).

According to the first definition then: I remember her from the other night.  Do you remember me?  He remembers going to church when he was a boy.  All these sentences demonstrate that REMEMBER is bringing someone or something into the mind, whether it be a girl you met at the bar the night, a friend you haven’t seen in a long time or an even that happened when you were a child.  We are thinking about a memory that we have somewhere in our head.  Notice here that for this meaning if we use a verb after REMEMBER it must be the gerund form as we heard in the previous example: He remembers going to church when he was a boy.

According to the second definition then: Remember to pick up some milk before you come home.  I must remember his birthday this year.  She didn’t remember to go to the store after work.  These sentences demonstrate that REMEMBER is not forgetting.  Don’t forget to pick up the milk.  I mustn’t forget his birthday.  She forgot to go to the store.  Notice that for this meaning if we use a verb after REMEMBER it must be in the infinitive form as we hear in the previous example: She didn’t remember to go to the store.

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Now, let’s look at REMIND in two uses: 1) REMIND and 2) REMIND OF

1) REMIND is defined as helping someone to remember something.  Unlike with REMEMBER, REMIND must always be followed by an object in order to satisfy the first definition.  Someone has to receive the help to remember being offered. 

He reminded me to get money out of the bank.  I will remind you tomorrow about what you have to pack for the trip.  Can you remind him that we are leaving the party in 10 minutes?  These examples clearly demonstrate that the subject of the sentences is helping the object remember something or to do something.  I have to get money out of the bank and he helped me remember that.  Tomorrow I will help you remember what to pack.  I think he needs help to remember that we are leaving shortly.  Notice that after the object, if we want to use a verb it must be in the infinitive form as we saw in the example: He reminded me to get money.

2) REMIND OF is when something causes someone to think of something because of a resemblance or similarity.   Again the verb must be followed by the direct object and therefore goes between REMIND and OF. 

He reminds me of my brother.  The smell of fresh flowers reminded him of his holiday in Paris.  Did that song remind you of anything?  These sentences are claiming that something helps us remember something or someone we have memories of or have experienced because of their similarity or relation.  That man tells the same jokes as my brother.  The last time I smelled this flower I was in Paris.  This song was playing the first time we kissed.

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Now that I have explained the difference between REMEMBER and REMIND I am going to give you a little exercise.  Rewrite these sentences using either REMEMBER or REMIND.

Here are your 6 sentences:

Eating prawns makes me think of Christmas eve in Valencia.

The Valencia football club has forgotten how to defend.

If you don’t forget get a pizza before you come home.  I’ll call you later to help you not forget.

He looks really familiar to me but I don’t know why.

You will never forget the first apartment you lived in after moving away from home.

I’m sorry, I don’t remember. (in this sentences you must use remind).

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