Starting again with WordPress.com
Haven’t done any WordPress.com admin for years – so I’ll use this post to keep track of what I find out, while trying to reconfigure the site to fit what I’m looking for
Hiding all but one of my sites
I was able to get a list of all my sites (I set several different ones up in the past, to try out different kinds of content, and to be used specifically for collecting social media feedback in connection with specific (un)conference sessions.) in one of the admin windows (not yet sure how to refer to the different views/dashboards…)
Here I could visit each site, and in their settings panels switch all but this one to "private".
Setting a static front page
Followed these instructions from WordPress.com support, and it worked fine.
Working out how to add content using Markdown
This page from WordPress.com support describes how to do it.
I go to WP Admin dashboard (in some of the lefthand admin menus there’s a link to it)
I go to Settings->Writing and enable using Markdown.
Then it really seems to be as simple as typing using markdown, and it is displayed appropriately.
BUT NO – it wasn’t as easy as that – sometimes when I opened the page in the WordPress.com "Visual" editor, it showed it to me in Markdown, sometimes it was converted to the WYSIWYG formatting, and then I would have problems re-opening the page in my browser.
So I followed advice I read elsewhere, and now am writing the markdown locally, converting it to HTML using pandoc, and then copyting the resulting HTML into the HTML tab of the WordPress.com page editors. Seems to work fine – it’s how I did this page.
Differences between posts and pages
Difference is described here in the WordPress.com support site.
Setting up a top bar menu
In the WP Admin dashboard Appearance->Menus I created a menu, and it appeared at the top, which is what I wanted. There’s clearly plenty to learn about maybe using different themes for controlling appearance and location of menus, but I’ll leave it for now.