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The Help Files

This blog is to assist our customers with general information about web sites and also detailed step-by-step instructions on using their websites.

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Recent blog posts

Overview of Your New WordPress Site

Posted by on in Word Press
After we’ve finished setting up your website, we personally meet with you and your staff to help you get comfortable using it. But, we know that brain-freeze can sometimes set in when you’re introduced to something for the first time. So here’s a simple overview on the basic tasks most often completed when working with your site. Please remember, that we are always available to assist you if this doesn’t answer your questions. Just give us a call. This post will go over the following areas:

Logging Into Your Site

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Get it, read it! It's fan-freaking-tastic!

Posted by on in Authors

I confess, I abandoned this genre years ago finding it too formulaic to waste any more of my precious time. So, when I finished reading Centaur by HE Fairbanks, I simply had to write a review. This book is the best contemporary book I've read in years! Fairbanks has renewed my faith in the craft of storytelling with this brilliant, unexpected, novel. Admit it, haven't you grown tired of the formula followed by the best selling suspense authors?

Here's the gist:

  1. some event that introduces a mystery;
  2. some enemy says it can't or shouldn't be solved;
  3. some villan enters;
  4. some lengthy investigation;
  5. some meeting of the villain;
  6. some conflict and climax.

They all go exactly like that. Until the Centaur, that is. As a reader, you'll find yourself so entranced by the well-developed character, Number 23, that you will barely notice that you've breezed through the first ten chapters, startled to find yourself muttering, "No spoons!" Fairbanks introduces us to a seemingly unbelievable character in the horrific underworld of a sex slave ring and, with nothing but shear talent, makes it completely believable. Centaur takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster. It has it all--humor, suspense, action, cops, crime, FBI, betrayal, love, desire-- wrapped up by Fairbanks' wonderful ability to bring the characters to life. I'm thrilled to hear that we'll be seeing much more from the characters as this is only part one in a series of thrillers. The second book is called Willow's Baby and was just released this week. I guarantee that I'll be reading it! I'll be recommending this book to all my friends. Get it, read it! It's fan-freaking-tastic!


Note: Fairbanks had us do some minor reformatting to an existing eBook that she has having trouble submitting to a reseller. After paying a large sum to an eBook company, she ended up with an unusable document that the book retailers would not accept. So we fixed the errors and resubmitted it for her.

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Compelling Story of Survival - Courage Born of Faith

Posted by on in Authors

One of the reasons we love doing what we do--converting manuscripts and publishing eBooks--is that we get to read some of the best books by new authors. This is one of those times. Courage Born of Faith by Edward Boersma is a radically comprehensive story of a Dutch family which survived the NAZI yoke during the occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Hiding and feeding Jews was the right thing to do, but HARD, since survival was never guaranteed for the one offering aid or the Jew. The author, Edward Boersma, did a compelling job of telling about his family which lived through it all, survived, and like Job in the Old Testament, gained rich blessings.

The book is available as a paperback on Amazon and as an eBook on Smashwords.

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Setting up FB integration

Posted by on in Joomla
To setup your blog so that posts go directly onto your Facebook page, you will need to login to facebook first and then with your blog open in another tab, click on blog settings.
1) Then scroll down and quick on the Login with Facebook button
2) a new window/tab will open asking you to give permission to use the app.
3) click allow.

you're done.
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Gallery Quick Start: Phoca Gallery Users Only

Posted by on in Joomla

Phoca Gallery is an image gallery for Joomla! CMS. It includes the component, modules and plugins and allows users to display images or Youtube videos in many different styles.

To get started quickly, the first thing you should do is create at least one category to hold your photographs. You can do this from the front end or back end of your site. We've created one gallery, creatively called "Sample Gallery." (Feel free to delete it, or unpublish it if you want to use it as a reference.)

Create a Gallery:

From the backend:

You go to Components » Phoca Gallery » Categories » [New] or [Edit]

To create a category you only need to fill in the title and press [Save]. Phoca Gallery creates the alias. All other fields are optional.

From the frontend:

Make sure you are signed in, then go to User Menu » Add Photos » Main Category or SubCategories

Fill in the title and press [Create]

Uploading images:

From the Backend:
For Adding One Photo:

Go to Components » Phoca Gallery » Images  » [New] and press the [image] button besides filename.

For Adding More than One Photo:

Go to Components » Phoca Gallery » Images  » [Multiple Add]
You'll get a screen with 3 boxes. In the first box you see a screen with the files and folders present on you server in images/phocagallery. If you want to upload the image to an existing folder, click on that folder. If you want to upload the image to a new folder, go to the 'folder' box and type the folder name and press [create folder].
Next go to upload files, press [browse], select the files you want to upload and press [start upload].

From the Front End:

Go to User Menu >> Add Photos >> Images. Click [Browse] to navigate your computer and locate a photo. Type in a Title and Description. Click [Start Upload] (Note to upload multiple photos all at once, go through your site's backend).

Adding Your Gallery to the Menu

Once you start creating galleries, you'll need to create a menu item so your visitor's can see them. We have already created a sample gallery, we'll just change it to your new gallery.

From your administrative backend:

Go to Menus >> Main Menu >> Gallery

On the right hand side, under Required Settings, select the name of your new gallery from the drop down list. Then click [Save and Close]

image gallery

That should get you started with your photo gallery. There are a number of other cool features available with this component, including integration with Facebook and Google Picasa and much more. For detailed instructions on using this application, you can view the developer's website at phoca.cz/documentation/

We are also available if you need any assistance.

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Administering Your Blog

Posted by on in Joomla

Creating Categories

Having different categories for your blog makes it easier for your visitors to find articles that interest them. It also helps increase your rankings in search engines. Above any blog post is the blog's dashboard menu, pictured below:

dashboard

At the very right of that menu is a link titled "Dashboard." Hovering over the word "Dashboard" brings up several options including adding categories.

To Add a Category go to Dashboard >> Categories. Click "+Add New Category"
Type in a name and select whether its a main parent category or a subcategory. Privacy defaults at viewable by everyone. If you want an image to show in the category then click "choose file" and upload an image. Click Save and you're done.

Update Your Bio

When a visitor reads your blog, he may want to know a little more about you so its also a good idea to keep your profile up to date. To edit your profile or add a profile photograph go to your "My Blog" menu and click on User settings. Here you can give your blog a title and description as well as upload an avatar. There are other options here including changing the look of your blog entirely, linking to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or Feedburner accounts, and other options. Once you are happy with your changes, click the [Save Settings] button at the top of the page.

Comment Preferences

There are several ways to configure the way your blog handles comments. There are off-site comment engines such as Disqus or IntenseDebate. These are comment systems that give you moderation, social networking integration, and instant access to thousands of communities and millions of conversations.

However, it is not necessary to go with one of these options as EasyBlog is capable of handling comments by itself. You can even set it up to require approval before publishing. We have set up your site with the EasyBlog comment system as default and administrative approval for comments is required. However, changing it is completely up to you.

You will need to setup an account with either Disqus or IntenseDebate.com before setting up your comment system. The accounts are free. I prefer the Disqus program, but either will work.

If you do want to use Disqus or IntenseDebate for your blog, go to the administrative backend of your site and change the settings:

To use Disqus:

Go to Components >> EasyBlog >> Settings >> Comments >> Integrations. Enable Disqus.

Get your Disqus' short name by logging into your Disqus.com account. On Settings page, scroll down to "Basic Settings" tab. Your short name is the one that in highlighted in yellow.

Copy paste (or insert) your short name inside Disqus short name field and Save or Apply.

To use IntenseDebate:

Login to IntenseDebate.com. From the Toolbar, go to Sites >> Add Blog or Site. Add the URL to your website. Click Next Step. Select Generic Install. You will be directed to the 3rd page which prompt you with a snippet of code that contains your account keys and go to the Administration area of your website.

Code Snippet

Inside your Backend, go to EasyBlog administration page > Settings > Comments > Integrations tab. Enable IntenseDebate comment by setting to "Yes". Paste the code inside Intense Debate Code area. Click save.

Social Media Integration

A blog isn't of much use unless somebody reads it. EasyBlog allows you to notify your Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts whenever you post a new blog, with auto postings.

The developers of EasyBlog have written comprehensive instructions on setting up the social media sites with your blog. Rather than retyping them here, we recommend you visit their site: http://help.stackideas.com/tags/integration.

 

If you're concerned about setting it up yourself, we'd be happy to assist you.

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Getting Started With Your Blog

Posted by on in Joomla

Whether you want to jump right in and start writing, or want to just try it out, here's how to get you up and running quickly.

Sign in to your new site. Once you are signed in a new menu will appear titled "My Blog".

blog menuWriting to your blog:

Go to My Blog >> Write New Post

Select the category you want the new post to appear in. We've created a starting category for you. Enter the blog title, and write to your heart's content. You can format your text using the text editor toolbar which looks similar to any word processing software toolbar. If you're not sure what an icon does, hover your mouse over it and a popup will tell you what it does.
Note of caution: If you are taking a long time to write, you might want to go up to the top every so often and click save as draft.

save draftAdd Photo

To add a photo to your blog, locate the image icon in the text editor toolbar and click browse to locate the photograph you want to add. If you want the image to wrap around your text, click align left or right. You can also add a caption now if you like. Save and your photo is now included in your post.

Below the text box there are other options, but none are required to get started. Once you are finished writing, scroll to the top of the page and click on the [Publish Now] button.

 

That's really all that's required to start blogging, however there are some more tips to help you administrate your blog.

Administering your blog

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Another Wonderful Book By Ron Hughart

Posted by on in Authors

Beyond the Dust Bowl With a Pocket Full of Peanuts is Ron Hughart's next chapter in his continuing saga of growing up in the 1950's and 1960's in the great San Joaquin Valley.

The child of migrant parents, Ron has previously written about his life in The Place Beyond the Dust Bowl, published in 2002. Now Ron answers many of the questions asked by readers of his first book. From his early fear of minorities to the warm and nurturing parents of his school acquaintances, Ron describes the sometimes harrowing experiences of growing up as a migrant child. Here is a child who never had anything of his own, and was uprooted throughout his childhood, moving from place to place.

Beyond the Dust Bowl With a Pocket Full of Peanuts is a must-read for all who remember the tough times after the Depression, and those who are interested in the life of a migrant child. The reader will remember the stereotypes and realities of the era. Ron Hughart and his wife Ann live in Exeter California. He enjoys talking about his experiences and teaching others of life with humility. Ron lectures on the subject to organizations, schools, colleges, and universities. He has also acted in movies, including: The Visitation (2005) and The Moment After II-The Awakening. 

Our Work for Ron Hughart: We converted this book to an eBook making it available in 7 different formats to accommodate all of his fans. You can purchase his book at his website at RonHughart.com.

Biography

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ron_Hughart_Solo.pngFinding himself caught between hearing the adults around him talk about their places they lost in Oklahoma, and the despairing rumble of an empty stomach, Ron learned that taking action, tempered with hope and humility, was the only path to literally surviving the day.

 Underlying this solid, steer-wrestling man’s man, graying Van Dyke-bearded and steady gazed exterior, you might not recognize little Ronnie, the half-starved, yet hopeful, action-inclined, son of “Okies” and heir to the “Grapes of Wrath.”

 In a sense, the rats his dad was shooting in the kitchen of their temporary shack-like shelter, told the story of a life laced with injustice. Through this fire the gold was refined in a way, which led Ronnie to be trusting, but cautious without being fearful, and generous with the gleanings from his compassion as he teaches.

 Ron enjoys family, friends, fishing and reading. He and his family live in Exeter, California, a small city in the San Joaquin Valley. 

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The Place Beyond The Dust Bowl

Posted by on in Authors

The Place Beyond the Dust Bowl by Ron Hughart is a gripping account of life after the "Grapes of Wrath." It is the story of the plight of Hughart’s migrant family from the Dust Bowl of America, who fled to California and the West to start life anew. The book comes alive in this story of a boy’s struggle through life to manhood.

It is a "must have" for those who are interested in life in California after the great Dust Bowl migration. Schools should take note, as it is a wonderful tool for teaching the lifestyle of the migrant families from the Midwest. The first edition of The Place Beyond the Dust Bowl sold out in nine months. This book has become required reading in California schools. 

Our work with Ron: Initially we were asked to update an existing website for Ron Hughart. Then, we were asked to create an online store, and after its success we were asked to make the book available as an eBook for those who prefer to use an eReader. The book is available in all formats on his website at RonHughart.com.

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Adding Files and Documents

Posted by on in Joomla

 In this tutorial we discuss how to add files to your website. Documents can be in just about any format including Microsoft Word, Excel, zip files, PowerPoint presentations, Flash files, etc.

Click on the arrow to start the video.

Steps:

Step 1: Log in to your website.

Step 2: Locate the User Menu in one of the columns on your site and locate the Add Files link.

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the page that appears and click on the Submit link.

Step 4: Click on the Browse button, which will bring up a window to navigate to the file located on your computer. (If the file is already on the internet, paste the link in the text box below that.)

Step 5: Fill in the form text boxes with the title, category, description, etc.

Step 6: Click on the file format icon that corresponds with the type of file you are uploading. For instance a Acrobat PDF icon will show users that they are downloading a pdf.

Step 7: Click on the save button. Your file is uploaded and you will see a note that the file has been added.

    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

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    Adding and Managing Website Users

    Posted by on in Joomla

     

    One of the major pluses to having a CMS-based website is the ability to give your staff the ability to easily add and edit the content of the site. In the old days of web design you'd have to contact your IT or web designer to make changes. This is not true with the website we have installed for you. All you have to do is add the staff member or employee to your user list, decide what authority you want them to have, and they can start posting immediately. This is a quick tutorial on how to add a new user to your site.

    Click on the small arrow to start the video.

    Steps:

    Step 1: Log in to the administration area, or back-end of your website.

    Step 2: Locate the User Menu icon on the left hand side. You will be taken to the User Manager which shows a list of the current users.

    Step 3: Click on the icon on the right that looks like a +.

    Step 4: Type in the new user's name, email address, and desired username.

    Step 5: You have two options in the password area. You can put in a password or you can leave it blank and one will be created for the person. If you leave it blank an email will be sent notifying the new user that they now have access and will tell them how to log in.

    Step 6: Decide what authority you want to give them. The access levels available are:

    • Front End Only:
      • Registered: Can log in, but cannot do much else.
      • Author: Can write articles, add events, and photos but they won't be published.
      • Pubisher: Can write, add photos, and publish. (I usually set up assistants with this option.
    • Back End: There is more control in the back end and usually only website owners and IT employees need access to this area. However these areas are:
      • Manager: Can publish, unpublish and delete
      • Administrator: Can do all of the above and add users, software, etc.
      • Super Administrator: Can do all the above and edit tools used on the site.

    Step 7: Once you have filled in those settings go back to the top of the page where you will see the "Save" button. Clicking on it will save your new member, return you to the User Manager, and send out an email notification as described in Step 5.

    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

     

    Tagged in: video
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    Adding an Event

    Posted by on in Joomla

     

    In this tutorial, we give you a step-by-step guide to adding a calendar event to your new website.

    Click on the small arrow to start the video.

    Steps:

    Step 1: Make sure that you are logged into your site.

    Step 2: Locate your user menu. It will only be available if you are logged in.

    Step 3: Click on the Add Event link to bring up the event editor.

    Step 4: Fill in the title, and check the box that the event is published.

    Step 5: Write a description of the event or paste it in from a previously written article.

    Step 6: Click on the second tab called "Sessions" and input the location, date and time of the event. Note that time is in 24 hour format. If you need help with that format, you can use our 24-hour Cheat Sheet.

    Step 7. Click Save.

    You should see a note that the event was saved. That's it.


    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

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    Adding a New Article to Your Website

    Posted by on in Joomla

     

    One of the best features of a Joomla/CMS based website is its ability to quickly add articles and edit in "real-time" any existing articles. This is a quick guide that will have you adding articles in no time.

    Click on the small arrow to start the video.

    Overview:

    Step 1: Make sure that you are signed into your site.

    Step 2: Locate the User Menu. The user menu will only appear if you are logged in. It may be located on the left or right column, or at the bottom of the page.

    Step 3: Click on the "Add an article" link. A Text Editor will appear. The tools available look very similar to those found in word processing applications such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.

    Step 4: Type in the Title of the article.

    Step 5: In the text box, either type the article or paste in a previously written article.

    Step 6: Select your publishing options such as the section, category and date of publication.

    Step 7: (Optional but recommended) Type in Metadata information such as a short description and key words so that search engines will index the article.

    Step 8: Click save.

     

    Note: if you want to edit an article, click on the pencil-like icon near the article's header and you will open the Article Editor. Then you can use the same steps above.


    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

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    Introduction to Administering Your Website

    Posted by on in Joomla

     

    This is a short overview on the areas of your website's Administration area. It includes information on the front control panel, the tool bar, the Administrator menu, and where to get help.

    Click on the small arrow to start the video.

    Overview:

    In this video you are given a quick look at the back-end or administration area of your website.

    When you first login you will see the control panel. The Control Panel area includes the Quick Icons (article manager, user manager) to the areas that you use most. On the left side, you can see a list of currently logged in users and articles that have been recently added.

    The top menu gives you access to all of the areas of your website. The menu items include:

    Site: Areas which administer the overall settings for the website itself

    Menus: If you want to add, remove or edit menu items

    Content: This menu area brings up the article manager as well as the section and category areas.

    Components: This menu accesses add-ons that are specific to your website. For example, if you have an eCommerce site you can access the store software. Or, if you have a Gallery feature on your site you will be able to access the images and other features here.

    Extensions: Extensions are small modules that complement the components and appear as menu items or blocks. For instance if you have a weather module on your site you can adjust the settings in this area.

    Tools: This area has some administration tools such as clearing the cache of a website; and messages sent to the administrator.

    Help: Clicking on the help link will bring up information relevant to the area you are in at the time. For instance if you are in the Article Manager and click on help, you will see instructions about adding articles or editing them.

    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

    Tagged in: CMS video
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    Introduction to Your CMS Website

    Posted by on in Joomla

     

    This is a quick overview to familiarize you with the features of your new website. In this case, the website is a Joomla/CMS based website. We plan to offer tutorials on WordPress sites very shortly.

    Click on the small arrow to start the video.

    Overview:

    Having a website today is as important as having a business card.  But, getting visitors to visit your site and return to it is also  important. The most popular websites are interactive and have fresh content based upon the access-level of the visitor. Some of the most familiar interractive sites are iGoogle, Amazon, Flicker, Youtube, Facebook, and the ultimate in interactive sites, Twitter (cause it's only interactive).

    Static pages are pre-written documents loaded onto a server and do not change, or interact with the visitor.  The Dynamic Content Management System Site requires interaction. (i.e. log-in, add a photo, answer a question, add an item to your shopping cart.)

    Static pages are expensive because they require some level of technical knowledge. Visitors have little or no interaction.

    The Dynamic Content Management System we have probably installed is Joomla. It's one of the most complex, yet flexible CMS systems available. Because it's easy to manage it eliminated the level of technical experience usually required for web management.

    Content is King in a CMS site. It doesn't exist until a visitor interacts with it. The content is inside a database, small applications tell the database what to do when a specific user interacts with it. The only thing that is static is the design. (And, even that can be changed with the click of a mouse).

    The Possibile Uses for a CMS website are endless. Some types of sites are:

    • Calendar website for group events.
    • Repositories Access to Manuals, files, powerpoint, etc.
    • Galleries; Share your photos, allow others to add their photos.
    • Forums Community Interraction
    • Directories Membership lists/Classifieds
    • Blogs Personal websites
    • Ecommerce: Make it easy for your buyers!

     

    There are Two Areas of Your Website


    The Front End and The Back End. In the video I show you how to administer both areas.

    More tutorials are available for specific areas at Pastisenterprises.com. You can also contact us at any time for more assistance.

     

     

    Tagged in: CMS video
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