Spaces to WordPress – Modules to Widgets

When the “upgrade” offer in Windows Live Spaces is accepted the move to WordPress is smooth and fast. Much, however, is left behind and new terms and tools must be learned.

In this post the topic is Modules in Spaces and how to get similar functions with the Widgets in WordPress. In the move all of the Modules, except the contents of the Blog module, were lost. Some of the modules were of a non-personal nature, like weather and stock market status, the loss of these is more of an annoyance than a hardship. In WordPress the similar tools are “Widgets”. Most Widgets are oriented to blogging needs. For a good overview on installing Widgets please visit technogran’s tittle tattle, her post on Widgets is:

Very popular and useful were the various lists and the photo Modules. I will take up photos in my next post, here the emphasis is on lists. WordPress has no similar Widgets.

Windows Live Spaces list Modules were very easy to use; for music, books, the user imageneeded only provide some of the information and the Spaces module would search for the needed information,  including thumbnail images. It is not possible to recreate the complete functionality of the Spaces lists Modules, however, the contents and links can be constructed using the WordPress Text Widget.

Spaces-booklist2Moving the contents of your lists requires that you have set up a WordPress blog and have not yet moved your Spaces blog over to it, so that your Spaces page is still accessible. (If you have already moved, all is not lost, I will explain further on.)

I will use my “Book list” module to illustrate the process. The illustration shows how it appeared on the Spaces page. As already mentioned, the information can be brought over, the layout and appearance will not be moved.

Here is a step-by-step procedure for recreating a Spaces list in a WordPress blog.

  • Open you Spaces page in a browser window.
  • Open Windows Live Writer 2011. (If you don’t have that get is from Windows Live Writer 2011) – Don’t enter a blog title, this will be just a temporary use.
  • Select all the content of the list on your Spaces page. I like to start at the bottom end and select upwards – it seems to be easier to define the exact area.image
  • Paste the selection into Live Writer (Ctrl+V). It will look a bit like the illustration on the right. The thumbnail images are there, and also the titles and authors of the books together with the hyperlinks. You can do some editing if you like as I have done in my list.
  • Click on the Source tab (lower left). This shows the HTML code.
  • In a browser window sign in to you WordPress account.
  • Go to your Dashboard. In the nav pane on the left under Appearance click Widgets. (You may need to click the down-arrow next to Appearance to see the sub-menu items.)
  • Drag a Text Widget from the Available Widgets area to a Widget area (on the right).

image

image

  • In the Title: box enter the title you wish to display for the Widget.
  • Back in Live Writer select and copy everything in the Source window. (Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C).image
  • Over in the browser, showing your Text Widget box, paste the code (Ctrl+V). It will now look something like the picture on the right.
  • Click the Save button.
  • You can close Live Writer and discard the draft. I decided to save mine (with the text box title prefixed with “widget”) so I can find it and change or add to it later on.

So how does it look? You can see my book list in the sidebar of my blog. (you may have to scroll a bit). 

Just in case you are wondering, the thumbnail images that the Spaces books module used are images from Amazon.com (residing on one of their servers). In the steps I presented you did not save those images to your computer or to your Media Library in WordPress.

If you have moved your Spaces blog over to WordPress already, you cannot follow the procedure above since your Spaces page is gone. Fortunately, the information contained in your lists is preserved (at least for now, October 2010). You can retrieve the information but is not as easy a process as described above. here is how you can get to your old Spaces lists information:

  • Sign in to your Windows Live account. This takes you to your home page.
  • Click Profile (near your name on the upper right).
  • Click twice in the address bar so you can edit the address.
  • Append “lists” (without the quotes) after the ending slash (“/”) to the address and press enter.

You will see your old Spaces lists page, somewhat like the illustration here.

imageimage

  • Click on any of the list titles to go to the list.

You can retrieve the information from there. Again, just select the material and paste it into a Live Writer window. You will need to do a bit more editing to get rid of the extraneous Edit, Delete and other unwanted items. From there proceed as described above.

Please also visit my blog on “things photographic”: Café Ludwig

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About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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