- What is WordPress?
- How do I get a blog?
- Once I have a blog, where and how do I log in?
- Where is my blog?
- How do I change my password?
- How do I change my blog title?
- How do I deal with issues of privacy?
- What’s the difference between writing a post and writing a page?
- What are comments and how do I manage them?
- What’s a feed?
- What is this RSS stuff?
- How do I upload a document and place it in a post or page?
- How do I upload an image and place it in a post or page?
- How much upload space do I have on SHS blogs?
- How do I deal with spam?
- How do I embed YouTube videos?
- There’s an error message on my blog? What do I do?
- How do I get more help for issues not listed here?
What is WordPress
WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Often associated with a blog, WordPress is much more than a blog- it is a simple and easy-to-use web publishing platform that can allow you to build a web presence with little or no fuss!
SHS Blogs is running a WordPress Multi-user installation which allows the Mary Washington community to quickly sign up for and customize their own web publishing space. By extension, each member of the community can create as many distinct spaces as they like and begin experimenting with this space for teaching and learning. See the “Ten ideas for using SHS Blogs” page for examples of how others have used WordPress at UMW.
How do I get a blog?
All employees of Sobriety High School have a blog already. You should have received your log-in information via your SHS email account. If you didn’t get one or can’t find it contact Robbie or Matt.
Once I have a blog, where and how do I log in?
Where is my blog?
How do I change my password?
When you sign up for a blog, you will be given an automatically-generated password. It’s a good idea to change your password first thing. To do this, login to your blog, go to the Users tab on the left side in the administrative back-end, and click on the Your Profile subtab. From here you can enter your personal information and change your password at the bottom of this page.
How do I change my blog title?
To change the title of your blog go to the Settings tab on the left side in the administrative back-end and you will see a field for blog title as well as a field for the site tagline, which is a space for a brief description of your site. Just type in a new title or tagline and save the changes.
Note: Your tagline is automatically displayed in the header of some, but not all, of the available blog themes in UMW Blogs. If you want your tagline to be visible, be sure to choose a theme with this option.
How do I deal with issues of privacy?
Privacy at SHS Blogs is a major concern, and it is important to realize from the start that the spaces you create here are, by default, open and accessible to the general public. You can password protect individual pages and posts, as well as select more granular privacy settings for your entire blog or website.
To make your blog or site private, go to the Settings tab on the left side in the administrative back-end and click on the Privacy subtab. From here, click on one of the the five options for controlling external access to your space, each of which is detailed in the image below. It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you restrict your privacy settings to members of the UMW Blogs community, registered users, or administrators only, the RSS feed will be disabled.
What’s the difference between writing a post and writing a page?
This is an important terminological/conceptual distinction to grasp, as posts and pages serve radically different functions. A post is an article that shows up in the chronology of your blog. In other words, posts appear in your blog, most recent at the top of the page.
A page is what most folks may be more familiar with. This is a static space that is not part of the chronological logic (try saying that five times fast) of the blog. A page sits outside of this inverted time line, and often features more static content like information about the site, the author, a syllabus, readings, etc.
What are comments and how do I manage them?
Part of the logic of a blog is allowing people to comment on your work. Comments are often associated with posts (as opposed to pages- see an explanation of this distinction above) and offer a way to have a discussion about a particular post.
Often times, initial comments are placed in a moderation queue until you approve them. Once you approve a comment from a user, he or she should be able to comment freely thereafter. You can view the comments on your blog as well as those awaiting moderation in the Comments tab on the left side in the back-end of your blog. If you want to change the permissions for your comments- say allow anyone to comment without moderating- see the Settings tab and look for the Discussion subtab. This is where you can control the comment settings.
Additionally, when writing a post, you can turn off the comments on a post-by-post basis by scrolling down to the Discussion section below the text entry field when creating a post and un-checking the comments field.
Keep in mind that comments are extremely vulnerable to spammers, so be sure to activate the Spam Karma plug-in to control those nasty vermin!
What’s a feed?
A feed is a way to subscribe to blog posts, comments, etc. You can subscribe to a feed use an RSS reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines. To find out more about this RSS thing click here.
What is this RSS stuff?
Why listen to me? Watch the movie that explains RSS in plain English…
How do I upload a document and place it in a post or page?
You can easily upload documents, such as a course calendar or syllabus, into a post or page. Doing this is relatively straightforward. Go to Posts → Add New and look for the “Add media” button that looks like a gray asterisk, as pictured below.
When you click on that button, a dialog box will appear offering you the option to upload a file from your hard drive. Once you have located your file (whether on your hard drive or online) click on the “Upload” button.
Or if you want to link directly to a file that is already online just click on the From URL tab and insert the URL and click “Insert into Post” button.
If uploading a file from your hard drive, you will get a dialog box asking you to title the document, as well as to provide a caption and description (both of which are optional). Once you are done, click on the “Insert into Post” button and you are done.
How do I upload an image and place it in a post or page?
As with documents, you can easily upload and insert an image from your hard drive into a post or page. Go to Posts → Add New and look for the “Add Image” button that looks like a picture canvas.
When you click on that button, a dialog box will appear offering you the option to upload an image from your hard drive. Or if you want to link directly to an image that is already online you can click on the “From URL” tab. Once you have located your file (whether on your hard drive or online) click on the “Upload” button and for images on the “From URL” tab you will click “Insert into Post” button.
If uploading an image from your hard drive, you will get a dialog box asking you to title the image, as well as to provide a caption and description (both of which are optional). Once you are done, click on the “Insert into Post” button and you are done.
What are widgets?
“Widgets” is just a silly buzzword for the functionality built into WordPress that allows you to customize the sidebar of your WordPress site without knowing HTML. You can use widgets to add a list of recent photos, comments, flickr photos, del.icio.us links, and much more. You can find your widgets in the Appearance → Widgets subtab. You may also get access to more widgets as you activate new plugins, for many of the plugins available have an associated widget, such as flickrRSS. To find out how you can choose from over 5,000 additional widgets, read the tutorial here.