Search Tips / Navigating This Site
The tips below may make it easier to find just what you’re looking for. Please feel free to contact me.
What’s on the site
There are nearly 500 posts and pages on this site. And while the root URL, “marilynch.com/blog,” refers to the site as a blog, most posts and pages are not typical blog length (short). This site’s material often leans more toward long-form journalism.
Throughout this page, you’ll find the following topics, and others, addressed:
- Categorizing of posts
- What’s with all the “bold” type?
- Using search engines
- Using this site’s search window
- Using the archive
- Using the category finder (using the widget in right-hand panel, or the display above the banner)
- Using your browser’s “find” window
- About posts, pages, and categories–above the banner, below, the banner, and on sidebar at right
- About dates on pages and posts
- About URLs on pages and posts
- Sharing via Facebook, or Twitter
- Site banner
- Improving navigation
The material is carefully researched and can be counted on for accuracy. However, because this is a volunteer gig for Mari, time does not allow doing the writing, editing, formatting, and more at professional level. Were even more time to be devoted to the Bicycling Monterey website, its projects (click here for examples) would not also be possible.
Categorizing of posts (in progress)
Learn more about this site’s categories below.
With the WordPress 3.7 update, this site’s theme balked, and category display above the banner went askew. Drop-downs (subcategories) are not always easy to navigate above the banner. An easier way to access categories and subcategories is to use the “Category” widget in the right-hand panel of the site.
The 3.7 update was impetus to reorganize this site’s huge volume of content. However, most posts are not yet assigned to the new categories, since being this site’s webmaster is just one of my many volunteer roles for bike advocacy. To help website maintenance tasks happen sooner, additional volunteers are welcome. Thank you.
What’s with all the bold type?
Occasionally someone is surprised to learn that most of the words on this site that appear to be bold black type are not bold. They are links!
- To make links easier to notice, some custom coding was done. Rather than all links looking like bold black type, new links (and some of the old ones) now appear in light blue. Rest your cursor on either–the “bold” black type or the light blue. Ah, it’s a link!
- The majority of the links take you to more of Bicycling Monterey’s own content. Sometimes, the links take you to selected other resources.
- There are no paid links of any sort on this site.
As mentioned above, this site’s material leans toward long-form journalism. For that reason, you will also find a lot of use of various colors of type and other unconventional formatting, to help break up the material for readers. (As a longtime book industry professional, I cringe at most such practices. Yet the web is a beast bearing much content, including on this site. That beast requires multiple, sometimes fumbling, approaches to tame it!)
Using a search engine
Whether I’m searching the Bicycling Monterey website, the Monterey County Weekly site, or another website, I often find that using a search engine works better than using the website’s own search window.
If using a search engine, you can limit your search to a particular site. To limit your search to the Bicycling Monterey website, type the following in your browser’s search window (which is the original URL for this site)–along with word/s of what you’re looking for here:
For example, type:
With a phrase, such as “where to bike in Monterey County” or “HER Helmet Thursdays,” putting the phrase in quotation marks often gets better search results.
For example, type:
site:marilynch.com/blog “where to bike in Monterey County”
If you’d like some coaching about doing advanced searches, feel free to phone me, 831.375.6278.
An aside: Which search engine to use?
Read DuckDuckGo.com’s dontbubble.us page to learn about the Filter Bubble and why your choice of search engine makes a difference in your search results. To learn more, read Eli Pariser’s book The Filter Bubble (available at the Monterey Public Library) or check out #filterbubble online: thefilterbubble.com
Using this site’s search window
The WordPress 3.7 update, October25, 2013, has improved search function. Here’s what WP says: “Search results are now ordered by how well the search query matches a post, instead of ordered only by date. For example, when your search terms match a post title, that result will be pushed to the top.” My first tests of that have shown the WordPress claim to be true. Hooray!
For example, type this phrase, enclosed in quotation marks, in Bicycling Monterey’s search window:
“Constables of the Peace”
Using your browser’s “Find” window:
Once you are on a page where you hope to find particular information, you can usually find that info most easily by using the “find” window of your browser. For example, say you want to know if there are any references to “hostel” on the Bicycling Monterey website.
- Type “hostel” in this site’s search window.
- Some post titles will pop up. Click on the first (or any) title.
- Then, type “hostel” in your browser’s find window.
- Voila! You land precisely on the hostel references. If there are more, using your browser’s “next” will locate those too.
What’s a browser?
Don’t worry, I won’t laugh. I’m a Lead Pencil Girl Gone Techno myself!
A browser’s “find” window allows you to search (up and down/next and previous) for all references on a website’s page.
About posts, pages, and categories
First, what’s the difference between posts and pages? You might think of pages as more “permanent” info. However, on this site, while some posts announce an event or other time-limited information, the majority of the posts are not time-sensitive.
Both posts and pages of this site can include very substantial and often lengthy information.
Above the Bicycling Monterey banner…
are category names (and some also have subcategories). Click on any of those for posts from that category.
Below the banner…
are page names (and subpages). Click on any of those for pages for that topic.
- Here’s a tip about accessing pages: Drop-down menus on websites, used to locate subpages (or subcategories), are often awkward to use. On the Bicycling Monterey website, you have another option: Click any tab under the banner (any page name), and you’ll see a page displaying the contents of all its subpages.
- For example, check out the Resources/Los Recursos page. There you’ll find Bicycling Monterey’s main resources page AKA bike community page–Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources, along with other resources, such as Calendar, Advocacy, en español and Other Languages, and “gates” leading to other resources–namely, Bike-and-Ride and Posters, etc.
- For subpages accessed from other tabs, check out About, Tips for Tourists/Locals, H-E-R Helmet Thurs INFO, Resources/Los Recursos, and Using This Site. Note that H-E-R Helmet Thurs INFO’s subpages are woven into the text of that page, rather than listed in the same top-to-bottom manner as About, Tips for Tourists/Locals, and Resources/Los Resources.
- Two tabs under the banner, Home and Contact, do not have subpages.
On the sidebar (at right)…
are miscellaneous tools, as well as a sampling of popular posts and pages. Here’s some of what you’ll find in the sidebar:
- Tools: PayPal button, to make a contribution.
- Tools: Search window (also see on this web page “Using this site’s search window”)
- Tools: Archive window, to view all posts in any given month (also see “About dates on posts and pages”).
- Tools: Category window, to view all categories and subcategories (also see “Categorizing of posts”)
- Tools: Subscribe window, to receive notice of new posts (or to subscribe to the RSS feed).
- Comments on recent posts
- Comments about the Bicycling Monterey website
- Copyright notice, with link for details on requesting permission to reuse photos, text, or other material
- Popular page: Typically most sought-after info, such as “CA bike laws and safety tips.”
- Popular pages: The 20-section Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide is visible on the sidebar.(You can also access the guide by clicking on the Tips for Tourists/Locals tab below the banner.)
- Popular pages: Two HER Helmet Thursdays logos, “Listings” (where to get discounts ) and “Participant” (for businesses and organizations who wish to sign up), make it easier for folks to spot this info. (You can also access those pages, and more, by clicking on the H-E-R Helmet Thurs INFO tab below the banner.)
- Highlighted posts, perhaps “Bike to the Beach” or “Bike for Sustainable Seafood.”
Widgets and popular posts displayed on the sidebar, and the order in which they are displayed, are changed from time to time.
Also, you may find that when you’re on the site’s home page, the sidebar may be different than when you’re viewing it from any individual post or page. (That’s not intentional, just a theme glitch.)
About dates on pages and posts
The majority of info provided on this site is not time-sensitive. It will often serve readers well year-round and for many years.
With regard to the dates indicating “posted” and “last revised,” here are three things to note:
- The dates are auto-generated and are often inaccurate, or misleading.
- The “last revised” date only means that at least some of the material in that post was updated on that date. Or, unfortunately, sometimes the “revised” date is generated only because that post was a “sticky” post moved on the home page. The entire post may not have been reviewed again and updated.
- The “posted” date is not necessarily the first date that material was published on this site. Often there were earlier versions published on this site, or elsewhere, by Mari Lynch.
About URLs of pages and posts
- The root URL of the 20-section Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide includes http://marilynch.com/blog/tips-for-tourists. To avoid broken links, that is not changed, even though the guide quickly became content for both tourists/visitors and locals/residents of Monterey County.
- Bicycling Monterey’s original URL (marilynch.com/blog) remains the URL of all posts and pages of the site.
- That’s true even though there are other domain names that will take you to the home page of Bicycling Monterey–e.g., bicyclingmonterey.com, bikemonterey.org, herhelmetthursdays.com, herhelmetthursdays.org, tipsfortourists.com.
- To reach this site, it’s fine to use those other domain names, and to pass them along to others. BikeMonterey.org in particular is helpful to people since it is easiest to type. (An aside: BikeMonterey.com was not available, as within six weeks of this site being launched, someone from Tennessee purchased that domain name. BikeMonterey.com still does not, as of 10/26/13, take you to a site about biking in Monterey; it’s simply being held by a cybersquatter, holding the domain name for sale.)
- To reach specific posts or pages of this site, it does not work to substitute any of those other domain names as the root of the URL for any post or page. For example, here’s the URL for this page: http://marilynch.com/blog/using-this-site/tip-to-quickly-find-info-on-this-blog You would get nowhere if you tried typing instead http://bicyclingmonterey.com/blog/using-this-site/tip-to-quickly-find-info-on-this-blog.
Questions or comments? Please contact me.
Sharing via Facebook or Twitter
When people post a link on their Facebook wall, Facebook unfortunately displays (as of 10/26/13) only “marilynch.com” and not “marilynch.com/blog.” (Sharing via Twitter? No problem. Twitter retains the full “marilynch.com/blog.”)
Fortunately, on Facebook, the link that the person posts does come directly to this site.
And just fyi, if a person chooses to manually go to “marilynch.com” instead, they’ll find a link to the Bicycling Monterey website in the About section. (Formerly, Bicycling Monterey was linked prominently on every page of marilynch.com. That was changed, because some people mistakenly think Bicycling Monterey is my business. The Bicycling Monterey site and projects, founded in 2009, are a volunteer gig! Fine Wordworking AKA MariLynch.com, established in 1981, is my business.)
Want to share more than a link? Please first refer to the copyright page.
About the site banner
The banner was graciously created in January 2010 by a much appreciated WordPress coach. My current WP knowledge and other limitations have not allowed making changes to the banner–yet. It’s long been on my list of tech things to do. I’d like to put new photos in the banner, reduce size and move “Mari Lynch,” etc. If your tech skills and interest mean you may be able to help, please contact me.
Volunteer to improve navigation and more
So many tech chores, so little time—for biking, that is, if I were to tend to everything on this site that I’d like to.
Any WordPress savvy people (or wannabes) out there with time on their hands are encouraged to join the volunteers on the Acknowledgements page by contacting me, 831.375.6278.