Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
Navigating around Writing.Com can be intimidating at first, based on the sheer number of items, activities, users, and features all available at your fingertips. This handy reference guide will help break down the site into some key areas of navigation.
Top Header Bar
The header bar at the top of every page provides you with links to some key Writing.Com features:
Get Started: Link to the Writing.Com start page with relevant links and instructions about how to quickly customize your account.
Writing.Com 101: Link to the comprehensive Writing.Com help guide (which you're reading right now!)
F.A.Q.: Link to Writing.Com's most Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers).
News: Link to Writing.Com's official News & Announcements blog.
Need Help?: Direct link to the site's Technical Support Forum.
Logout: Logs you out of your Writing.Com account.
Search: A form for quickly searching Writing.Com items using keywords, genres and item types.
Skin & Themes: Behind these links along the header, you will see a graphic image called a "Skin". These are dynamic images that you can change at any point during your visit to Writing.Com. Simply move your mouse to the very left of this graphic in the header and you will see a small "SKINS" button pop out. Click this to open a menu which allows you to page through available Skins & Themes for your WdC pages. This is a fun way to decorate your atmosphere while you're on Writing.Com!
The left column with the Writing.Com logo includes the following features:
Your Personal Links: Just underneath the Writing.Com logo, you'll find your primary account information. The silhouette icon and your username link to your My Account area; followed by your Portfolio, Email, Reviews, and Gift Points. Clicking these will take you to the pertinent areas of your account that highlight these topics.
Icons: The icons underneath the main links allow you to click on (from left to right) Instant Message, My Favorites, Site News, My Notepad, and Random Read.
Reading, Writing, Authors, Reviews: These links will take you to the primary pages to read something, write something, view information and statistics about WdC authors, and visit the Public Reviews page.
Menus: These menus will take you anywhere you need to go on Writing.Com:
Things To Do & Read: Links to all the available items and recommended activities on WdC, including the Hub, Activities, Contests, Merit Badges, Newsletter Archives, Public Reviews, Random Read, Read A Newbie, Request Reviews, Review Forums, The Plug Page, etc.
Browse By Type: Browse through Writing.Com items by their type: Static Items, Books, Blogs, Forums, Groups, Interactive Stories, etc.
Browse By Genre: Browse through Writing.Com items (of any type) by their genre. With 96 distinct genres on the site, you're sure to find something that suits your interests, from Self Help to Sci-Fi, from Educational to Erotica, and everything in between.
Writing Resources: The top half of this menu has general resources for writers (information about Copyrights, Editing, Literary Agents, Marketing, etc.), while the bottom half has Writing.Com-specific resources for writers (About Us, Contact Us, F.A.Q., Getting Started, etc.).
My Account: This menu contains links to all of the various features your account offers on Writing.Com. Here you can click on links to take you to: My AutoRewards, My Blog, My cNotes, My Favorites, My Feedback, My Gift Points, My Groups, My PassKey Ring, My Submissions, etc.)
Shop: The Shop menu has links that will take you to anything Writing.Com related that you may wish to buy. You can spend Gift Points on things like Awardicons and Merit Badges, or purchase things online from The WdC Shop or Member Shops. Many purchases can be bought with either Gift Points or online with a credit card or PayPal account.
Writing.Com Tools: Here you'll find links to all site-specific information like a list of member Account Birthdays, Author Listings, Chat, Costumicons, the Ideanary, Virtual Dice, etc.
Gift Point Tools: This menu is all about what you can spend your hard-earned Gift Points on: AutoRewards, BidClick Advertising, Awardicons, Merit Badges, etc. You can even purchase Gift Points or search Contest Listings that offer ways to earn more Gift Points.
Custom Links: Allows you to create personalized links to the pages you visit most.
Premium Plus Tools: Allows you to manage your domain names, additional emails, websites and more.
Sponsored Items: The Sponsored Items area highlights items that members have paid to have featured in this and other areas on Writing.Com. The items are refreshed every time a page loads.
Read A Newbie: Featured selections of work by new Writing.Com members. The items are refreshed every time a page loads.
Badges: Featured Merit Badges awarded to Writing.Com members. Badges are refreshed every time a page is loaded.
Testimonials: Featured testimonials from Writing.Com members about their experiences on the site. The testimonials are refreshed every time a page is loaded.
Tell A Friend: Allows you to enter a friend's email address and send them a message about the page that you are currently viewing. This is a really quick and easy way to get an email out about something on Writing.Com. Plus, since these emails include your referrer ID, if someone signs up for his or her own account from one of your "Tell a Friend" emails, you will receive community recognition for their new membership (see: Community Recognition).
Who's Online: A tally of the total number of users currently online, broken down by Members and Guests. This tally is refreshed every time a page is loaded.
Writing.Com Time: The current time according to Writing.Com's official clock (U.S. Eastern Time Zone). This time is refreshed every time a page is loaded.
The center space on each page is where the content of the viewed page appears. This is where you'll read the text of a story, the content of a message forum, the instructions for a contest, or your email inbox. The sidebars and header bar remain constant on each page; this center space is what changes with every page you visit.
The right column includes the following features, all of which can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on their colored header and title:
My Favorites: A constantly-updated list of your most recently modified favorite items. Click the small refresh button at the left of the My Favorites title bar to refresh your favorites without interrupting your current page. Click the >> to collapse the entire right column and open up your center column workspace!
Recent Items: A short list of the most recent items you've visited.
Port Search: A quick form to search items in your Portfolio. This is a wonderful tool to use when you need to make a quick edit on an item and do not want to leave the page you are currently viewing.
Quick Note: A quick form to add a page to your Notepad.
Writing: Convenient links to create a new Item (arranged by type).
Quick Account: Convenient settings for your Session Privacy, IM Availability, Handle, and other account options that you may wish to toggle or change frequently.
Custom Links: A list of your custom links.
Send GPs: A short form for sending other Writing.com members Gift Points from your account.
By Online Authors: Available items to read from Writing.Com members who are currently logged onto the site.
Writing.Com offers an incredible variety of activities, tools and ways to read and write. The site also offers an easy-to-use interface that may seem overwhelming at first, but becomes incredibly convenient and functional, once you know where to look.1