Category Archives: How To

Posts containing advice for members of the web team

How to create photos, videos and posters for use on the website

Good images and videos add untold value to any website

That’s a given – people’s engagement with a web page tends to be short and they probably won’t read every word so an image can help to get your message across.

Taking a photo for the website

It you feel inspired to take a photo for the website, then look for:

  • Good light. Have your camera on you at all times and you will be surprised how photogenic towers can look in random moments of strong sunlight, lovely cloudscapes, snow or frost, spring flowers….
  • Decent resolution, but it doesn’t have to be very high for use on a screen in order to look impressive. Too high and your photo may take ages to load when members read your post.
  • If you include children, you need WRITTEN permission from their parents. Please! This is a legal requirement. This form needs to be signed once and a scanned copy sent to We are advised not to use children’s names online except on Peal and Quarter Peal reports when consent has been given.
  • If you include adults please give them a chance to remove themselves from photos – make sure they understand that you may post photos and videos you are taking on the website, facebook etc. If you have already taken a photo of them when they ask this, let them watch you delete it.
  • Landscape photos work best as feature images.

Landscape or Portrait? Images Sizes?

Landscape. The banner at the top of the screen is short and wide not tall and thin!

Your image may be cropped savagely by the website and by Twitter and Facebook so it’s best to have the items of interest in the centre (eg faces).

To control the cropping of a feature image at the top of a news item (or page), go to the media library, (WPAdmin -> Media Library ->Edit Image) and set the second size parameter (the height) to 300 or less. (This can be undone later – the resolution of the base image is not affected).

Website-Friendly Posters

A selection of posters is above – which ones work and why? Landscape is better for the website but otherwise A good poster works well online AND on your tower notice board for pretty much the same set of reasons:

  • A limited amount of BIG TEXT to explain the event
  • Colour & simple images catch the eye
  • Any personal details comply with the consent form the organiser has filled in (ie no plain text email addresses, no phone number used without explicit consent)
  • Use the web address at the bottom – of your District, tower, or the event itself if you wish….
  • If you need a lot of extra information, then by all means make that small and in the tower, people will come closer to read it; online they will click through to the PDF which brings me on to……

Putting a poster or photo onto the website

To upload a picture to the website, click the media library icon Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 12.26.14 from the post editor and then select ADD NEW. There are more detailed instructions here:

When using wordpress instructions, bear in mind that there are several different media library management programs – generally there are 2 versions of every editor, the simple day to day one (that this course uses) and a more powerful version accessed from the WPAdmin menu,

Best Poster practice is:

  • Use a screen shot of the poster as the Feature Image for the event post or the District Logo if you have one.
  • Very text-heavy poster? Screen shot the main info only!
  • Copy the text of the poster into the main body of the post (otherwise it isn’t machine readable
  • Give access to a fair copy (probably a pdf) for people to print.

PDFs or screen shots only are not enough because the internal search facility doesn’t look at the media library, only at the text of posts.

Using Videos

You will need a Youtube login for this – it is technically possible to put videos in the media library but they gobble space so please don’t!!!!!

  1. Take the video – short is good….
  2. When in wifi range, upload to Youtube. This can take over an hour so be patient.
  3. When uploaded, view the video, copy the URL and just paste it into your post. It should magically turn into an embedded video. It won;t if you are inside a formatting section like this…… so make sure you are properly on a new line.

How to be a Website Editor – notes for training day 23rd April

Purpose of the website

Being a website editor is a a positive commitment and can be hard work, so first a reminder of why this relatively complex news-filled site exists….

  • To provide a clear and up to date picture of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, all its Districts and all its Towers, which is useful to our members, visiting ringers, and interested members of the public.
  • To encourage ALL Guild members to see themselves as taking part in not just their local band, but their District, their Guild, and the wider bellringing community.
  • (taken from )

Your Role as a Web Editor

There are lots of aspects to the role and it is up to you which is the best fit with your skills, what you enjoy, and the time you have available. They include these which are supported by full notes:

And these which you can work on today if you wish with some help!

  • Updating tower pages
  • Updating District Pages
  • Getting to grips with display-posts to create your own news feed

Date, Venue, Time, etc

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 15.18.29

Posting News items about your Committee or a Special Interest

Think about your audience

What’s the widest reach you want? District committee people? Ordinary members? You may need to explain background or technical stuff to get new people interested in your item.

Create a New Post

The Title

This should contain all the vital information – “Striking Committee News” will send people running in the opposite direction… but “My Vision for Striking Competitions by Greg Jordan” got 70 hits which isn’t at all bad. Be realistic – the word “committee” switches YOU off doesn’t it?

The Contents

Try to keep people reading. The key idea is probably best put at the  beginning, realistically people  have short attention spans online. Images and titles will break up the text and help people to stay on board.

The Categories and Tags

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.26.31Into the Search bar, start typing your committee’s name. As you type, WordPress should find the right category, and you need to tick its box.

Then tick GUILD (Assuming it’s a Guild Committee). That’s not a particularly strong news feed driver so in practice you will need HEADLINE to get this post in front of the members.


Then tick any other relevant categories (districts or towers this item relates to, for example). Each time you tick a category, you are probably increasing the audience for your news.

The Featured Image

A screen shot of the event poster, or the tower photo, or person’s mugshot can work well too.

Preview and Publish, Changing a Post And Archiving it

How to Post a News Item about your District

Create a New Post

The Title

This should contain all the vital information – “District Practice” is not enough! Go for “Losechester District Practice on Saturday May 17th at Furdingbridge – Plain Bib Ocatvius”

The Contents

The Categories and Tags

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.26.31Into the Search bar, start typing your district’s name. As you type, WordPress should find the right category, and you need to tick its box.

This is District News (it gets higher priority than Tower News in most feeds) so tick DISTRICT and NEWS  and probably INVITATION. These latter 2 are used in almost every news feed in the website so leaving them out will make your news pretty well invisible. Invitation relates to future events INCLUDING CANCELLATIONS, and news to more retrospective posts. It’s OK to tick both if you wish.

As a rule of thumb, whole-district invitations are considered to be sufficiently important to be a HEADLINE on the site – this means front page news, and also being on every page on the site…. and every weekly news sheet WOW!


It’s a good habit to tag your methods – it leads helps people to find other, similar, news.

Summary: You will probably tick the categories Districtname, DISTRICT, INVITATION, NEWS and possibly HEADLINE on almost all your District posts. 

The Featured Image

This is essential for Headlines and there are more notes on featured images in this “how to” post:

If you click Set Featured Image then you will be taken to the media library and asked to select a picture. You will probably need to use the search facility Search Iconbecause there are hundreds of pictures in the library now. Tower picture names include the name of the tower to help you find them.

You do not have to have a featured image but the system uses it in various different ways to encourage people to read your news so it is advisable. Some Districts now have a logo (see below)  and others may follow – this “brands” your post and promotes your District.

A screen shot of the event poster, or the tower photo, can work well too.

Preview and Publish, Changing a Post And Archiving it



How to post News Items about your tower

Create a New Post

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.20.59If you are correctly logged in to WordPress you will see a black band at the top of the screen when you visit the website. This gives you access to the editor functions you need.

Hover over the Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.22.52icon and the main menu will appear. Beside BLOG POSTS click ADD.

The Title

This should contain all the vital information – “Practice Cancelled” is hopeless! “Overton Practice Cancelled Thursday May 12th” is ideal! A checklist is the title usually should contain:

  • Venue
  • Date
  • Day of the week
  • Time
  • Summary of what the post is saying

The Contents

The first 55 words will become an except anywhere that is needed, or in FB the first 15 or so so best not to repeat the title, but to give other essential information first.

If it’s a long news item break it up with sub headings or images to make it easier to digest.

It makes a post more friendly and more informative if you include contact details – here’s how to do it…

Type the contact’s  name into the post, highlight it,and use the hotlinks iconScreen Shot 2016-04-15 at 12.07.23 link to http:// (this is only suitable for short-lifetime news – if Joan hands on to another contact the hard-coding will not reflect that.)

Please don’t include email addresses in the text, or in included pdf files or included word files because as a team we have undertaken not to publish them – it’s a spam-protection.

The Categories and Tags

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.26.31Into the Category Search bar, start typing your tower’s name. As you type, WordPress should find the right category, and you need to tick its box.

Now, assuming this is tower news, start typing the word Tower and tick that category as well.

Now find your District’s name and tick that as well – this will make your news visible to other people in the District as well… you do not HAVE to tick it but it is a great way of making your tower look as if it is a “happening” tower….

Now for the 2 most important categories: NEWS  and INVITATION. These are used in almost every news feed in the website so leaving them out will make your news pretty well invisible. Invitation relates to future events INCLUDING CANCELLATIONS, and news to more retrospecive posts. It’s OK to tick both if you wish.

The TOWER and INVITATION categories used together will add  your news to the “tower directory” page which is a very popular one, so your news is more likely to be seen.


You can use any tag you like and make up new ones. On this website they are mostly method names. It’s a good habit to tag your methods – it leads people to other, similar, news.

Summary: You will probably tick the categories Towername, Districtname, TOWER, INVITATION, NEWS on almost all your tower posts. 

The Featured Image

If you click Set Featured Image then you will be taken to the media library and asked to select a picture. You will probably need to use the search facility Search Iconbecause there are hundreds of pictures in the library now. Tower picture names include the name of the tower to help you find them.

You do not have to have a featured image but the website, facebook, Twitter and some email sysytems use featured images in various different ways to encourage people to read your news so it is advisable.

Preview and Publish

Preview is FANTASTICALLY USEFUL as it lets you check your post on all 3 screen sizes, beware the featured image may not work perfectly in this view though. Get into the habit of using it before you publish – to motivate you, remember the master gets an email every time a post is published so she will see all your typos!!! and USE IT TO CHECK YOUR CATEGORIES as well….

Publish when you are happy with your post. News arrives on the relevant news feeds between 2 and 40 minutes after it is published.

Changing a Post

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 12.11.56After you have published your post you can edit it in several ways – here’s an easy one! Click  EDIT (see pic above) just below the post’s title.  PUBLISH will have changed to UPDATE but otherwise the options are just the same before.

** Beware the editor can take a while to load and you need to be patient before the contents of the post will appear. You can change the title, contents, categories, tags and Featured image but….

Changes will appear:

  • Immediately when someone next loads your page
  • If you change categories, within 40 minutes
  • on Google, it can take days…
  • on Facebook, if you create a link to your post you will probably pick up the original image and contents. It takes days for this to change…
  • If the change is really significant in the real world (like an event cancellation) an extra post to make sure people realise….

And Archiving it

When posts are past their useful life, they are archived (by hand, as part of the duty webmaster’s task list, or by YOU the writer preferably!!). They will stay on the site to remind people how busy your tower is, prevent google users from getting broken links, and help build a pretty interesting historical record of our Guild.

Advanced Stuff you can ignore

SHARING is for social media experts – by default the sharing and like buttons are shown, and add these to the bottom of the post, to let social media users share your news without breaking a sweat at all…..
Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.45.36


POST FORMAT is not used by the website so you needn’t set it – it has no effect.

MORE OPTIONS SLUG allows you control of the page name of your news (occasionally useful, it defaults to the title. It allows you to control the URL of your post and keep is short and relevant).

EXCERPT allows you to control what excerpt is used – occasionally useful.



How to keep a record of your Quarter Peals and Peals

Overheard – a Tower Captain talking to a recent “First Quarter” Scorer:

I would advise you to keep a written record of all your Peals and Quarters – I wish I had done so, and it would be easy for you to start now!

The simplest way of keeping paper records of your performances is to print each one out from an online source. There are various websites which comprehensive record of performances – Pealbase  (Peals only) Campanophile, and Bellboard. To keep this simple I am only using Bellboard in this article.

Here’s How to Print Your Perfomances

  1. Go to the search page of Bellboard
  2. Type your name into the Ringer box
  3. Press Search and you will see a list of all the performances for your name.
  4. Click the blue name of the church to see the details of a performance
  5.  bellboard highlighting the pdf iconClick the small pdf icon (ringed in red in the graphic here) to see a nicely laid out printable version of the performance.


More Tips about Bellboard

  1. If your name has been spelled wrongly, then it is up to the conductor (or the person who keyed it in for them) to correct it.
  2. If you find several people share your name,  you may want to always give your initial as well. So Fred Bloggs would be listed as Fred T. Bloggs. Don’t forget to tell each conductor you ring with!
  3. Peals are more formally recorded so Fred Bloggs will appear as Frederick T. Bloggs. To pick up all his performances you will need to use the search name Fred* Bloggs.
  4. You can save a search and ask for an email notification each time a new performance is seen by that search – to do that you will need to be logged in to Bellboard.

Invitation for more hints and tips

I am not a Bellboard expert and there is a Reply box at the bottom of this item – please use it to share your expertise if you wish. Bellboard is a powerful system and most of which are not mentioned here. I am also happy to publish articles on Pealbase and Campanophile should anyone be keen to write them.


How to put multiple pictures onto a website post

WordPress offers several very nice options for picture galleries. Including a bunch of pictures individually can give some wierd results and is not recommended. It is assumed you are working on a full sized screen.

  1. You will need to be logged into WordPress.
  2. If you want to have a go, you will need several pictures to use, so upload some first if you need to.
  3. Create a new post using the blog editor  (That’s important – there are several different editors in WordPress and they handle galleries in slightly different ways)
  4. Start the post with some text if you want to.
  5. Click the “add media” button (top left of the editor bar)
  6. Click 2 more more pictures in the order you want them to appear. Then click the bottom right hand button “CONTINUE”
  7. You will see this screen: creating a picture galleryand you can choose which type of gallery you want. The default is Tiled Mosaic and it’s a really good one so let’s try that. Click “INSERT”.
  8. In the Visual Editor screen you will see the mosaic. Click on the HTML view…gallery in HTML view…and you will see that the gallery is a very simple list of photographs with a type. The “IDs” here are the internal identities of the photos, not something you usually see. Click PREVIEW to…
  9. View your post, and click on one of the images. You will see it in full screen, slideshow, mode. This should be something that most users are familiar with. You can see what it will look like on different screen sizes in Preview mode.
  10. Click the small cross, top left of the screen, to close the slide show and return to the post. Close the Preview as well to…
  11. Top Tip – you can copy the URL of a slide show page if you like, and link it from other posts. 
  12. Return to the post editor and call up the VISUAL window so that you can work further on your gallery.
  13. Now, if you click on an image, you will see a pencil and a cross. The cross will delete the whole gallery. The pencil will let you edit it.
  14. At the top of the gallery editor box is an “EDIT” tab. Click that and give each picture a caption. *This caption is added to the photo in the media library as well, as the “default caption” for that image.* Therefore, if a picture already had a caption that is unsuitable, best to upload a fresh one for your own use, rather than change the previous webmaster’s caption.
  15. Now, you can PREVIEW your post. If you HOVER over an image, your caption will appear at the bottom. If you CLICK one, the slide show will appear, together with the caption. Neat, eh?
  16. Top Tip – Hovering also displays the file name of the image. So it’s helpful if people give images informative names, including the name of the photographer if possible.
  17. Now finish off your post (sensible title, correct categories, Feature Image if it’s a headline) and Publish
  18. Why not experiment with different gallery types? The SLIDESHOW type will scroll automatically through your photos… so that’s a nice one to use as well. The slideshow is smaller though.

If you got stuck or if you found any of these instructions confusing, please say so using the reply box below. RM


The Website Contacts System – How it works


Objectives of the system:

  1. To facilitate easy contact with post holders in the Guild (primarily committee members and tower correspondents)
  2. To minimise unwanted (spam) communications
  3. the data design to be clean and easily understood
  4. To require minimal administration when changes occur in the real world.
  5. To comply with the Data Protection Act
  6. To allow each District Secretary to be “correspondent” for all towers that do not have one of their own.

Basic Principles

  • Contact information is used only with the person’s understanding and permission. Best if they fill in this form
  • Each person’s contact information will be held in one post only, and of it is required to display it elsewhere, then it will embedded not copied.
  • The short name of their contact post is consistent with this design:
  • A person’s email address will not be published on the website, even inside posters, without their express consent. Instead the short name of the contact form is used. (Spam protection)
  • A person’s telephone number may be used on a poster.
  • Jpg and png forms of email addresses are less vulnerable so this is an acceptable way to show a poster.
  • One person has normally got one contact post. In certain circumstances an individual may have 2 contact posts (there is only currently ONE of these exceptions). This arises when they have a strong need to keep emails separate on 2 different subjects. Mostly though if a person has 2 or 3 roles, they still have one form.
  • Each district has a “contact … district secretary” post as well – this will be categorised as tower correspondent for all towers which don’t have one of their own. Thus the secretary PERSONALLY does not look after these towers, the person with that ROLE does. The clever bit is the secrerary post doesn’t have any contact information of its own – it just includes the personal post as its content. see winchester as an example – here is the contact secretary post and here is the actual person’s post. If you are altering information in one or other of these please make sure you change the correct one!
  • The roles held are denoted by the categories of the contact post ONLY – they need not be hard coded into any list of people.
  • If a person hands over their role suddenly, then every reference to them would change within an hour of the contact posts themselves being amended.
  • These standards are being applied so far in these district/tower pages

How to change a person’s contact details.

  • Suppose Fred Bloggs has changed telephone number.
  • Using the search button, locate the post contact Fred Bloggs.
    Click “edit” (you will need to be logged in to do this and to have at least EDITOR status)
  • Alter the information and save.
  • Email addresses are present in the post embedded in the contact form code. They can be safely changed within that code. they are not displayed on the website.

How to move a role to a new person.

  • Suppose Fred Bloggs handed over as tower correspondent of Hambletown to Joe Smith.
  • First check if Joe already has a contact post. If he does, then add Hambletown and Tower Correspondant to his categories.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 09.27.26
  • If Joe does not yet have a post, then (once you have his consent) create a new post with title Contact Joe Smith but use the Copy Post feature of the wordpress editor. This brings across all Fred’s categories – but make sure you change the post title and the slug to be Contact Joe Smith. (changing the slug is within “More Options” in the editor (see image) If Fred has other roles, those need to be knocked off Joe’s post. Leave Contacts, Hambletown, Tower Correspondant and and the District’s name. Delete the rest.
  • If Fred has no other roles, then don’t forget to delete his (now unneccesary) contact post when you have published Joe’s. (DP Act – data should only held for as long as it is needed)
  • Then in about an hour check the tower and district pages. Fred’s name should have been replaced by Joe’s by then.
  • Joe will also appear on the alphabetical contact directory.
  • Lastly use the website search and look again for Fred Bloggs. If he had wrongly been hard coded elsewhere please contact me and I will sort it! Rosalind

Using Joe’s contact details in a post.

Quick way:

Type his name into the post, highlight it,and use the hotlinks icon (chain link) and link to http:// (this is only suitable for short-lifetime news – if Joe hands on to another contact the hard-coding will not reflect that.

Clever way

(which displays Joe’s phone number in the post, or his successor if he hands over) is to insert this code:  zzz

clever way short


Even Cleverer way

(which displays Joe’s phone number AND AN EMAIL FORM in the post) is to insert this code:

clever way


Using Joe’s contacts details on a poster

Posters are printed on paper and displayed on notice boards – so people cheerfully hard code email addresses on them. (Telephone numbers are not a problem this section is only about email addresses)

Unfortunately, when they are copied onto the website then the email addresses can be harvested by spammers. This applies as soon as the posted is loaded into the media library in .docx or .doc or .pdf form.

Simple Solution


  • Quick and easy to do
  • Poster looks the same as the creator intended


  • ALL Information on poster is invisible to search engines
  • ALL information on poster is also invisible within the website search…
  • All information also invisible to speech recognition software so this is unsiutable for blind/partially sighted ringers.


  • Upload a screen shot of the poster and embed only that in your post. That is believed to be much harder for spammers to see.

Best Solution


  • Poster can be used in pdf form on website – easier for users to download and print
  • Text from poster can be added to the post, verbatim (nice and quick!) and is then visible to search engines
  • Text is accessible to users of speech recognition software


  • Poor understanding (currently) of this solution – needs more education!
  • Takes 2 minutes extra if you have been given a poster which needs amending


Alter the original poster and change:

email Joe Bloggs at


email Joe Bloggs using

Then upload the poster into the media library and “insert” it into the post.

Then copy all the content of the poster into the post as well, to make it visible to the search facility within the website.

Using TOUCHLINE to learn bob calling


Download Touchline

play store imageVisit the PLAY STORE on your Android phone and search APPS for the words TOUCHLINE BELL. Install and Open. (Not done this before? See help here)


Who is this App for?

  • Anyone who is interested in calling. If you have read Steve Coleman’s very accessible introduction “The Bob Caller’s Companion” then you should be able to understand Touchline.
  • If you have even RUNG a variety of touches, then you should be able to use Touchline at a basic level
  • If you are a very humble bob caller but need special touches to support your learners, it can really boost your understanding of “who is doing what” in a touch.

The Welcome Screen

You are invited to Compose, Contemplate and Conduct…. these notes cover the smartphone aspects of Composition and Contemplation but not the conducting itself! Press START for the main screen.

The Home Screen

screenshot_2016-03-11-09-27-28.jpgYou are looking at the whole composition collection for 6 bells. Clicking ALL METHODS will allow you to narrow it down to a specific method; clicking “6” allows a change to other numbers of bells.

screenshot_2016-03-11-09-33-38.jpgTouchline comes pre-loaded with some basic compositions.  If you click one, you can then  either COPY it (2 squares icon, bottom of screen, or VIEW it (eye icon).  Once Copied, it can be EDITED/DLETED as well.

For this exercise, please select the first composition, “72 Plain Bob PPBPPB”, Copy it, then Edit the copy…


  • screenshot_2016-03-11-09-37-16.jpg
    The BBPBBP touch

    123456 is the order of bells at the start of the first lead.

  • The first “call” is plain (ie no call) and the bells are 135264.  Plain Bob continues
  • Then another Plain…
  • Then a bob and the bells are 156423. Try changing that to a Single,…
  • After the 6th lead, you will notice that now the bells are 123465 so the method has not come round.
  • Change the 3rd call back to a Bob and the 6th lead will be 123456
  • Try changing EVERY call to a Bob. The method is now FALSE because you have brought it round in 3 calls to 123456, but then tried to carry on. Press the MINUS icon 3 times to get rid of the superfluous leads, and it will show TRUE again. This is a Bob Course.


A Bob Course

Top Right of the composition screen are 2 small icons – a coloured diagram and a save icon.  Press the diagram and you can explore what each bell does during this particular touch.

Note for teachers: 

This is very useful if you want to compose short touches which give learners plenty of practice with one particular “move” in a method. The 2 and the 3 keep practicing running in/out in this touch. Other touches would repeatedly force a bell to “make the bob” and so on. 

When you return to the home screen Tocuhline will check whether you want to save your new composition – Of Course You Do!

Using the Method Library

screenshot_2016-03-11-09-57-07.jpgReturn to the main composition screen and click the PLUS icon at the top to create a brand new composition.  If you stick with 6 bells and click select method, you will get a black screen because you have not done this before.  Ditto “most Refererenced”… but LIBRARY  will give you what you want. Alphabetical order does mean you’ll some odd methods – touch METHOD NAME and start typing St Clements College Bob, select it, then CREATE.

If you click PLUS you can add new leads. 5 leads of plain course will bring it round.

Now experiment – can you compose a TRUE touch? Have a look at the lines – who is unaffected?

Note for Teachers:

Because you can check who is unaffected, you can put weaker ringers on those bells and people who are “up for touches” on the affected bells. Telling learners what to expect is considered by some to be cheating, and by others to be helpful in boosting confidence. Adult learners in particular may really value some prior warning!

An Example – Teaching “Thirds and Out” in Plain Bob Minor


Back to the Compositions Screen, click the PLUS icon (top right) and select PLAIN BOB from the method library.

Compose a touch which is PSx4

Have a look at the bells and you will see that the 3rd makes seconds, then thirds and out, 4 times in 96 rows. We used this touch repeatedly at t a practice recently:

What Happened when we did this

  • screenshot_2016-03-11-10-13-23.jpg
    PSx4 showing 3rd bell

    I set the touch up in ABEL and printed out a few copies

  • The ringers studied the printouts during the practice and went back to them between touches if they had made a mistake
  • Each learner rang the 3rd several times over the evening
  • By the end of the evening, both the people who had set out to learn this move were confident and happy, having made 3rds at least 12 times!!!
  • The learners could have downloaded Touchline and studied the touch on their phones – ABEL was not needed

How To Get The Best From The METHODOLOGY App



  • The audience for this document is approximately 15 members of the Association of Ringing Teachers, at the Annual Conference in March 2016.
  • Also, an independent learner starting from scratch.

Every Learner proceeds at their own speed

And in particular, people learning a hands-on IT-based skill will bring into the experience, markedly different levels of skill in IT and in the topics being learned using IT as a vehicle (in this case, method ringing and conducting). For this reason this seminar will not take the form of a lecture, it will be a hands-on experience of using Apps on your own phone to explore what they can do, and the opportunity to ask questions..  The instructions below can obviously be used by an independent learner as well, not in a group situation. If you need emergency help or something isn’t clear, please feel free to email the author! If you are in the position of helping someone lese to learn, the following golden rules may apply:

  • They will probably proceed more slowly than you expect. You are familiar with the screens, they are seeing them for the first time. For this reason, golden rule number one is Let the learner drive.  If you need to look at the screen to to decide what to do next, hand it back and let THEM click the next button!
  • Let them make notes. Anything they do from time to time will be difficult to remember. Notes can help.
  • Let them ask silly questions.  They have not yet got a conceptual grasp of the software they are just about to learn, so they will not sue the correct language!

When to use Methodology

  • Learning a plain course of your first method (including Plain Hunt, which Methodology calls “Original”)
  • Learning Bobs and Singles for a method
  • Learning to ring on Higher Numbers
  • Learning a more difficult method
  • Messing about with methods long before you can ring them.
  • Checking your start before you ring
  • “Sight reading” methods
  • When you have no internet and you are bored! The App works independently once it is downloaded.

If you have never downloaded an APP before…

You will need an Android phone, and a bank card. This is because Google Play (the “shop” where you can get the 2 ringing apps) needs your bank details the 1st time you use it. It will not cost you anything as both Apps are free to download.

play store imageYour phone already has a number of APPs loaded – a web brower, email and phone apps for example. Each one is represented by a small picture, you are looking for the PLAY STORE – you need to find and click this icon on your phone.

  • On your first visit, you will be asked for your bank details and asked to tick a number of “terms and conditions”

Step 1 – find the first App

screenshot_2016-03-09-09-51-58.jpgInside the Play Store the first screen will be a search screen, it looks like this image. You should click on APPS AND GAMES

Then in the top bar where it says “Google play”, type Methodology bell ringing.

Step 2 – Install Methodology and load Bob Doubles


methodology ready to downloadScreen 1 – Click methodology
screenshot_2016-03-09-09-59-39.jpgScreen 2 – Click INSTALL and ACCEPT the conditions. It will take a few seconds/minutes to download.
 screenshot_2016-03-09-10-05-40.jpgScreen 3 -Click OPEN and you will go to the initial HELP SCREEN with menu.
screenshot_2016-03-09-10-16-32.jpgScreen 4 – Help Screen With Menu

Touch the screen beside the menu to see the help screen as it really is helpful! After a preamble about the latest release, the next bit (scroll down).

The best advice is TRY TAPPING THE SCREEN – this always works and always calls up the menu at the top of the screen. Click the 3 stripes (“burger”) at the left hand end, and click SELECT METHOD.

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-25-25.jpgScreen 5 – My Methods

This is black because you have not yet loaded any methods from the  LIBRARY so that is what you need to click next…

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-27-08.jpgScreen 6 – the Library

This is showing all the 6 bell methods, so change it to 5 bells (top right of the screen) then start typing Plain Bob

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-32-35.jpgScreen 7 – found Plain Bob!

Click the HEART to put the method into your library. You don’t want to be faced with a black screen next time you select a 5 bell method! Then click the words Plain Bob and you will see the blue line!!! (Tah Dah)

At this point you probably need a coffee or some practice or both! Try loading some more 5 bell methods into your “MY METHODS” collection, and some 6 and 7 bell if you have time too. It is very useful to have all the methods you can “sort of ring” in your method collection to check starts on a practice night.
Occasionally you will see “Unfortunately Methodology Has Stopped”. It isn’t perfect! Just load it again and try again. 

Step 3 – The Blue Line for  Plain Bob Doubles

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-51-14.jpgIf you have taken a break your phone may have come out of Methodology. It may have been automatically installed as an icon on your home screen. Or you may have to look for it in your App Folder. They look different on different phones….

screenshot_2016-03-09-10-53-19.jpgNow when you go to SELECT METHOD and pick 5 bells, Plain Bob should be ready and waiting. Click the name to go to the Blue Line. Try:

  • Scrolling up and down
  • Pinching and swiping to zoom in and out
  • Turning the phone on its side to see the Landscape View of the method
  • screenshot_2016-03-09-10-58-26.jpgChanging the selected bell (tap the screen,  touch Line 2 and change to Line 3, etc.  Selecting 2 bells will put you in Handbell Mode.
  • Viewing the Bobs and Singles instead (tap the screen, hit the 3-lines burger menu, and ask for Bob/Single)
  • View extra changes on the Bobs and Singles (tap your phone’s menu button (mine is bottom right), and check Show Extra Changes
  • “Sight Reading” Methods in the tower – some musicians can use a blue line to ring a method before they have memorised it. This is very useful if you are needed to make up the final rope on a practice night. It is highly contentious if you ring with “traditional thinkers” who may react very critically – choose your moment! Most methods won’t fit on one screen so a proper A4 printout is better, but even on a phone the blue line is useful for the first couple of leads.

Step 4 – Choose how to “Ring” Plain Bob Doubles

You can “ring” in two ways, both are selected from the main top of the screen menu (Tap screen, tap 3-line icon on left hand end)

  • The Method Tutor is silent and so is ideal for using on buses, during practice night, or while you are supposed to be doing something else. It checks you are placing your bell in the right place in each row but is not concerned with timing.
  • The Method Player uses sound so is ideal for Auditory learners, and for checking your timing is good.

Both can be either plain courses, or have bobs and/or singles included. These are inserted by the software at random.

Step 5 – Learn Method Tutor (Silent Ringing)

screenshot_2016-03-09-11-04-30.jpgThe three control buttons at the bottom of the screen let you ring the next blow – if you choose the wrong one, nothing will happen but you will score a “mistake”. If you don;t want bobs and singles,tap the screen, choose the “3 dot” menu top right, and disable them.



screenshot_2016-03-09-11-05-04.jpgAfter a few down blows, and the odd bob and single, you have probably made some mistakes!  You can RESTART whenever you wish.

Remember how to change bell? (Tap Screen, Select Line 2, change to another line)


When Might Method Tutor be Useful? (Notes for Ringing Teachers)

  • This mode of Methodology is ideal for use during practice nights with learners who might otherwise have nothing to occupy them. The tutor keeps a record of your mistakes. This is much appreciated by young learners in our tower – I give them a challenge – Can you ring 300 changes with less than 10 mistakes?
  • If I sit out with them, it’s a great opportunity to use the correct terminology for each move “Make Places, Dodge, Make the Bob, Make Seconds, Run In”. Better than saying “left, left, right”, that’s for sure! Using terms like “Up” or “out” in the safe environment of a phone, gets them used to their meanings gently…
  • Younger children enjoy being given a method with no explanation and working it all out for themselves – they will patiently work through the options when a bob is called, and this gives a sense of achievement.
  • Older children (and adults) may enjoy spending a prolonged period working on a difficult method – One of our teenagers pretty much “taught himself” Stedman Doubles, Triples and Caters while he was still only ringing Call Changes in the real world! This is not the same as learning it “properly” but I believe it is worthwhile.
  • Mixing in this kind of learning with pencil and paper learning (see dot to dot grids for blue line practice) creates variety and also gives them something to take home with them.
  • Going ahead of yourself can work – I “rang” Stedman Doubles for 18 months on my phone before trying it out in the tower. It provided a secure basis.
  • Seeing your error rate reducing as you become confident with a method is really encouraging – it’s one of the ways I know I have learned a method, and it’s nice and objective!
  • Changing Bell lets you practice different starts repeatedly. Repeated learning is harder to arrange in the tower.

Step 6 – Learn Method Player (Ringing with Sounds)

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-00-36.jpgTap Screen, Left hand 3-bar menu, Method Player will get you to this screen. If you tap the “Play” button (triangle) you will hear a plain course of Plain Bob Doubles.

“your” bell sounds slightly louder than the others. The Blue line appears as the bells sound.

Um… headphones please, if in company!


screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-04.jpgTap SETUP and choose INTERACTIVE MODE. You can also increase the number of plain courses if you want to at this stage, or activate Bobs and Singles.

This screen is also where you adjust the ringing speed and add cover bells and open handstrokes.

The option at the bottom takes you back to the method player.


screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-32.jpgIn interactive more your selected bell appears at the bottom of the screen. To ring the bell, tap the dark blue rectangle. The pale blue “2” doesn’t do anything until you start to ring – then you will see feedback on your timing, the little bars indicating how early/late you are on each stroke. Of course you will HEAR if your timing is out as well.

If you want HANDBELL MODE, tap the screen and click Line 2, choosing instead Lines 1+2. The easiest way to “play” them is probably with your two thumbs.

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-13-43.jpgPart way through a plain course of Bob Doubles, showing the little “striking score” lines.


When Might Method Player be Useful? (Notes for Ringing Teachers)

  • Method Player is very much about listening and striking
  • Worth using with a learner who is a bit confused about striking, and you need to discuss “early” and “late”.
  • Very valuable using when stepping up to higher numbers. It is possible to “ring” with the phone in your pocket and headphones in, interactively. Thus a walk to the shops becomes a touch of Grandsire Caters. At this stage “method tutor” is less useful for plain methods as there is too much plain hunting!!!
  • Useful for all sorts of listening issues such as can you hear the treble leading? This skills is incredibly useful in Plain Bob and Grandsire on any number, as it is the cue for the dodges. Impossible therefore to get lost! (Useful for musicians, especially). I believe I developed this skill partly as a side-effect of using Method Player a lot.
  • Useful when learning a new method especially if you don’t look at the blue line – you are forced to really ring it from memory and every error will be painfully obvious!
  • Again for musicians, repeated use of method player may lead to a familiarity with the tune of a method. Personally I find this useful for knowing when to ring and it can also help me to put others right. Some changes can be big cues too – the reverse rounds in a plain course of Cambridge Major will tell you exactly where you are in the method for example.
  • Great for handbell practice when you can’t find other handbell ringers!!

Step 7 – program method player to ring rounds and simple exercises

Normally it plays just 4 rows of rounds then starts the method which is not a lot of use for a learner who just wants to practice sounding their “bell” in the right place in rounds. This is a workaround but it works!

tap screen to get main menu, left hand 3 bar menu, Select Method
screenshot_2016-03-09-12-58-12.jpgClick the Dotty icon beside Plain Bob and Click EDIT
roundsChange the name to ROUNDS. Then change the place notation to 12345  which is a description of rounds.

Then click save, and press your phone’s back button to get back to the method library. Then press Rounds, and select Method Player from the main menu.

screenshot_2016-03-09-12-01-04.jpgBecause the “method” is only one row long, you will need to go into SETUP and ask for the number of plain courses to be the maximum of 20. Together with the 4 before the method and 6 afterwards, that gives you 30 rows to practice striking perfectly in rounds.
screenshot_2016-03-09-12-51-26.jpgIf you edit ROUNDS and change the name to ONE TWO DODGE and change the place notation to 345, then save,  you can do some dodging practice.

Your imagination is the only limit here – can you program other exercises?

Enjoyed this post? You might enjoy: Using TOUCHLINE to learn bob calling

Categories Overview

This is shamelessly cribbed from Ros’s Facebook post.  I’ve put it here so that I can find it.


Most posts are likely to appear in either one of these categories. NEWS is usually past event reports; INVITATION is about future events.


Every news-worthy item must have this category, apart from information about events (invitations/cancellations). This hooks the item in to the various news feeds and without it the post will be pretty much ignored by the system feeds.

INVITATION (Invitation and Cancellations)

This applies to both forthcoming events where you want ringers to attend, and any cancellations. It puts the item higher up in most news feeds than just general news category.  Full details can be found in this post by RM.



Any news items in this category will appear on the front page on the right and indeed on every page on the right. So it’s a powerful category! I use it for about 6 to 10 items a week. They go on win-port as the weekly news and also are incorporated in all the other weekly news email and FB posts. All guild event ads and almost all district events get this designation. So do interesting articles!

Detailed post covers making a “headline” post.


Reflects who organised an event.  Again this places the news into different feeds. It is rare for more than one of these to be used on a post. TOWER will place the news onto the tower directory page, DISTRICT will place it onto the District Directory page.

Some of the most important news feeds are the District ones – in C&S (and hopefully soon in other districts) these are copied into a weekly email/FB post. the category DISTRICT will push the news to the top of that email so is reserved for events organised for the District Committee.

Typically, a news item about some ringing will be tagged with the Tower’s name and the District’s name as a matter of course.

TOWER name Eg Eling or Basingstoke All Saints
Places the news into the feed either on or beside the tower page.

Eg Alton and Petersfield District
Most news is relevant to one of the Districts.

For guild events, this is for any events such as training events or inter districts striking competitions


  • A district practice at Fawley would be INVITATION, DISTRICT, CHRISTCHURCH AND SOUTHAMPTON DISTRICT, FAWLEY   (and for the first week HEADLINE as well)
  • A Guild Education event at Fawley would be INVITATION, FAWLEY, GUILD, WP GUILD EDUCATION (and for the first week HEADLINE as well)

All 3 would be in C&S’s news feed but would be presented in different places in that news feed. Note the Guild Education event isn’t listed as C&S because it is equally relevant to all the districts. All would be invited.


Once something is out of date it should be put into this category. It will no longer be displayed on the current news feeds (not the newer ones anyway. Some of the older news feeds are still to be upgraded to do this.) More details about how to archive here


These are used on tower pages and District and Guild Officer pages. 99% of these posts are an individual’s contact details. We are working towards having no personal information held on any pages other than these ones – the relevant information being included using display-posts.
They don’t appear on new style news feeds.


How To Update Your (District or Tower) Online Calendar

This set of tips assumes your email address is a “@gmail” one – but all email providers support calendars in similar ways.

Starting to update a calendar can be complicated – these notes are meant to support any personal help you may need, not replace it!

District and Tower Calendars are set to public so that they can be embedded on the website, but you will need to be invited to edit them – the website itself does not provide editorial tools.

If you already have some online calendars

  • You will need an invitation from the owner of the calendar to update it. This invitation should be sent to your @gmail address or other suitable address.
  • You need to be logged in to that account to update the calendar
  • When you receive the invitation, click the link provided to see the calendar.
  • Make changes bearing in mind the “Advice” below.

If this is your first experience of online calendars Careful with TIME ZONES!!!!

  • Click the settings wheel (top right, small cog wheel) and select SETTINGS
  • Check your settings – gmail defaults to American time and this will seriously upset a UK calendar!
  • If you don’t understand something then take a quick look at “learn more”, or leave the default as it is.
  • then click SAVE – this is essential or you will still be working in a US time zone!

Another Way of setting the time zone:

  •  I changed the time zone through the yellow highlighted box that appeared around the date & time boxes, rather than through settings. That said, when I looked at the settings option, I did find that I could change the date from the annoying American back to front format to our much more sensible one. So I’m happy about that.” Val Harris, AP District


  • Keep the website view of the calendar open in a tab of your browser. Each time you make a change to an event, save it, refresh the website view and check it worked properly.
  • Please bear in mind that the viewer may be sitting miles away… descriptions on the calendar should be as helpful as possible. AP District Practice at Alton is MUCH better than District Practice!
  • Start and end times may not be confirmed yet, but “evening” or “afternoon” in the description is better than nothing at all. New members won’t know that “The ADM is always in the afternoon” for example. Events with no time will show up as all day.
  • shows latitude and longitude from Dove
    click image to enlarge!

    Location – ringers habitually use the village or church name as a location for a ringing event. However Google Calendars use google map search and the village centre may or may not be within sight of the church. So start typing and see what google comes up with – these days most churches are “google places” but their naming is a bit haphazard! If the church is unknown to Google then the latitude and longitude work every time, and these will be on the tower’s Dove Page. Visit the page for the tower, click “Dove Tower  Page”  (see image above) and copy and paste the pair of numbers into the Location box on the calendar.

  • You can check Google’s interpretation of your location by clicking “Map“.
  • shows which calendar you are working onMake sure you are working on the right calendar! (see image)
  • When filling in the description please bear in mind these calendars can be embedded into any website and onto anyone’s phone. So the gold standard for descriptions would be a hot link to the news item for this event. Problem – when you plan the event there is no news item yet!!! Next best is a link to the page where the news will appear – the District Page or the Tower’s own page if it is a tower event.

Creating a Hot Link Description

  • Visit the page you want to link to, and copy the URL.
  • In the description box, type this: <a href=”  this means “start a hot link to the address”
  • Then Paste the page URL so now it should look like  <a href=”
  • Then type “> Click for more information</a>  this means “finish the address, display this text, that’s the end of the hot link”.
  • So the whole hot link will look like this:  <a href=””&gt; Click for more information</a>

Repeating Events

  • shows repeat buttonPractice nights are often weekly. The repeat button is very powerful – weekly on Thursdays, never end, is likely to be what you want.
  • Monthly events can be “monthly on 2nd Thursday” for example. Unfortunately 5th Thursdays are not supported. Create an event that runs “last Thursday” and delete all the ones you don’t want. Yes, a shame!

Changing the Day or time of an event

  • Select Month View and events can be pushed from the old day to the new day with the mouse. Easy!
  • Select Day view and the event can be pushed to a new time.

Cancelling an Event

  • Edit the event’s Title so it starts with CANCELLED. It is almost always better to do this than to just delete the item from the calendar – it is much clearer to your members.

Copying a similar event

  • duplicating an eventThis is usually faster than creating one from scratch. Select the event and under more actions, choose duplicate
  • Change the information required and Save.

How To Be A Website Editor

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 15.18.29

The website team is steadily growing in both numbers and expertise, using the Guild Website to promote events, share news, and start to collect together the sort of content which is attractive (and comprehensible) to non-ringers, as well as people who are looking for opportunities to develop their own skills.

Numbers on this course will be limited to ensure that everyone is successful in learning how to get started (or more advanced skills if you are ready) so please book early.

Contact to book your place and arrange your logins for the testing and live websites

Bring a laptop, smart-phone or tablet

Bring something you would like to post as news (a future event or a news report)

Have added at least one news item to the live website

Have seen how to add the item to appropriate news feeds by using categories

Know how to archive out of date news

Know how to change your contact information

Know how to encourage your members to read your news!

W and P Web Editor Training Event v2 (printable poster)

Book Your Place


How To….Make a Headline Piece of News

  • All Guild event invitations are headlines for a week, as are District Events as these are of relevance to all members.
  • Interesting news items are headlines for a week also

Featured Image

  • All headlines are best created with a Featured Image. This is used as a thumbnail in the headline news feeds and will help to make your news item clearly stand out. Without it, your headline may look a little monochrome!
  • Maximum height for a featured image is 300 pixels if you don’t want to risk WordPress slicing off the top and the bottom…. you can upload an image then shrink it very easily in the media library.
  • Adding a Featured Image is done in the post editor.
  • If you alter a featured image after the post goes live, wordpress will take a while to realise. Facebook and Google take even longer. So its worth giving it thought before you publish. If you SHRINK the image after the event though that’s fine….
  • minstead-churchyard-in-winter-sun

    The perfect dimensions for a featured image are different in WordPress and Facebook so it’s hard to get a REALLY good one. Images of churches work well with lots of extra padding round like this one  to the right

  • Posters etc can be used – landscape works better than portrait.

The Headline

This should contain all the vital information – “Training Day” is hopeless! “Andover District Training Day Bob Doubles August 32nd” is ideal!

The Contents

The first 55 words will become an except anywhere that is needed, or in FB the first 15 or so so best not to repeat the headline, but to give other essential information first.

If it’s a long news item break it up with sub headings or images to make it easier to digest.

If you want a contact person then you will need to type Contact Fred Bloggs and create a hot link to Fred’s Contact Page.

Don’t include email addresses in the text, or in included pdf files or included word files. This can be a pain but it is a Guild standard we adhere to….

The Categories

  • NEWS (required)
  • HEADLINE (required)
  • GUILD or DISTRICT or TOWER (one is required)
  • INVITATION if it is referring to a future event (even a cancellation as this is a sort of un-invitation) otherwise not.
  • then the usual, ie district name and tower name.
  • Possible extra from the ringing categories such as YOUNG RINGERS, SURPRISE MAJOR, etc etc

And after the week of glory….

The HEADLINE category will be removed. If the item is still of relevance locally then it remains on several pages. If it is now history it will go into ARCHIVE. It will remain NEWS permanently in 99% of cases.


How to add the sound of YOUR bells to your tower page

By now you should be hearing the sound of Grandsire Triples from Christchurch Priory!

It’s reasonably easy…and what a great addition to your web page for members of the public and other ringers. Making videos is harder, especially if your band isn’t used to being filmed. Audio files are MUCH less personal!! Here’s how…

Continue reading How to add the sound of YOUR bells to your tower page

To write a post on the Website

  • You will need to be given a login for the site – this can be requested from the webmaster.
  1. Log in to WordPress.
  2. Go to the Add New Post page
  3. Give the post a sensible title – for example “Surprise Practice at Hursley, 7pm Oct 1st” which tells the reader enough to let them decide whether to open the post and read it!
  4. Enter your post body content in the main post editing box below it. One screen full or less is ideal. A Picture REALLY helps – there is a big media library already, or you can add your own pictures [see this post for instructions]. To add an existing picture, click the little icon to the left of “Paragraph”, and click on the picture you want. If it’s not on the first screen, use the little “search” icon (top right of the box). There is a picture of most of the towers so try tying the name of the tower.
  5. Open up the “Categories and Tags” box on the left of the screen by clicking it.
  6. Start typing the name of the category you want and then tick it to select it.  The most likely categories for a post are listed below. A full list can be seen on this page on the left hand side, click the category name to see a definition plus which is the category’s Home Page (if any) plus the latest news in the category. (see below)
  7. You can check your news looks right by clicking the Preview button
  8. When you are ready, click Submit for Review.


Much more information about Categories

This website is completely dependent on categories in order for each news item to be displayed beside the correct page. There are 300 pages on this website, and most of them have their own Category, so you may find the following useful:



Almost all new posts are in the category News which ensures they are displayed beside the front page underneath the headlines. If in doubt, click the News category on your post.


Posts in this category are displayed at the top right on the front page and bottom right on EVERY page, and the aim is to have them current, and important, and to have 6-10 at any one time. The webmaster will “demote” old ones into News. Headlines are chosen by the webmaster, or one of the Guild Officers. If in doubt don’t tick “headlines”!


Many posts are invitations to an event. These appear beside the page

Tower Name

Most ringing takes place in a tower so you probably need to tick the category for your tower as well. Mostly this is obvious and you will find it easily… type the name of the town or village and it should be there.

District Name 

Tick this, plus the district news category if there is one (this exists to enable districts with a lot of news to quickly de-list old news without deleting it from the site, or removing the link to the District’s archive)

District, Tower or Guild

One of these 3 is relevant to most posts, as most will either come from a Tower or from a District Committee or from a Guild committee. News categorised District appears beside the, and news categorised Tower beside Category Guild posts are beside the page

A committee name 

If your news comes from a Guild Committee then you need to also select its name eg:


Mosts posts are in this category. This one is aimed at Google – we want Google to know this website is all about ringing!

Surprise Minor

This would be used for a special practice and posts appear beside the page Other categories like this are Plain Minor, Surprise Royal, Surprise Major and Surprise Maximus.

Firsts Fortnight

Puts posts beside that page….. etc etc.


Your Tower Page… how to choose a good photo.

Photos for the tower “featured image” at the top of your tower page should ideally be LANDSCAPE but portrait does work – it will just look a little small!

The website makes a reasonable job of cropping photos to use as feature images but the dimensions change when you copy links to Facebook or Twitter, so to be on the safe side, crucial information (words, people’s faces, the “gist” of the image) should be in the centre with a bit of spare space around the site.

The photo at the top is an example – it re-scales well as the window gets smaller (try it – WordPress will respond to a smaller screen by showing you the mobile phone version of the site, and a medium screen will be the Tablet version).

Large photos can be edited within the media library to height 300 pixels – this will stop them being cropped when they are used as Feature Images on large screens. This is important especially for portrait photos and for posters. This type of in-library editing will apply to all posts where the photo has previously been used. It can be reversed…

Contact the team to send in a new photo!