Emerson IT Help Desk

Getting Started with a WordPress Blog

Word.emerson.edu is a network of WordPress sites maintained by the Instructional Technology Group (ITG) and available to members of the Emerson community upon request.

Request a Blog
Log into WordPress
Creating Posts
Within the Post
Categories
Creating Pages
Adding Media
Changing and Customizing Themes
Creating Menus
Blog Use in the Classroom


Request a blog! Set up a training!

Need a blog for curricular use? 

  • Go to support.emerson.edu
  • In the top right hand corner, click "Submit a Request" and fill out the form. (You can request a training at the same time, just mention it in the description!)
  • Under "What is this request about?" - Choose Course Support > New Blog Request

Log into WordPress

  • Go to word.emerson.edu and log in with your Emerson username and password.
  • On the top navigation bar, click on My Sites (1) to see the sites you currently belong to and to select the site you would like to go to from the dropdown list.
  • The name of the site that you are currently editing appears next to the My Sites link in the black bar above (2).

 My Sites on the dashboard admin bar.

Creating Posts

A WordPress blog is made up of a series of posts. Begin posting to your site by creating and publishing posts:

  • Select the site you would like to post to from the My Sites drop-down menu.
  • If you are already on your site, you can easily get to the Dashboard by clicking the name of your site in the top navigation bar (1) and selecting it from the drop-down menu (2):

 Access the dashboard from the admin bar.

  • Create a new post by clicking on the Posts tab (1) and choosing Add New (2) from the left hand menu bar:

 Create a new post from the lefthand dashboard menu.

  • Alternatively, you can create a new post by clicking on + New (1) from the top navigation bar, and selecting Post (2) from the dropdown menu:

 You can also create a new post from the admin bar. 

 

Within the Post

  • Click on the Visual Editor to use a rich text editor tool (1). If you are familiar with HTML code, you can utlize the Text editor. (2).
  • Enter a title for your post (3), add text (4), and/or also add media (5) to your post:

 Anatomy of a post, including title, body, editor tabs, and media button.

  • When you are ready to publish your post, click Publish:

 The publish button is located to the right of the body editor.

 

Categories

You can add categories to your posts to keep similar topics easily viewable to users. You can also create parent and children categories.

  • Here's how to use categories to group posts by their author. For example, you can create a category called "Student Journals," and you can give it a child category for each of your students' names:

WP-categories1.jpeg

  • When you're building a navigation menu, you can create a placeholder item such as "Student Journals" and add each category—each student's name—as a dropdown item:

wp-categories2.jpeg

  • When your students write posts, ask them to check the box next to their name in the Categories panel on the editor's righthand side. This assigns their post to their category:

wp-categories3.jpeg

  • When the user clicks on a students' category in the menu, they'll be taken to a category page listing all posts in that student's category:

wp-categories4.jpeg

Here's a Wordpress guide to using categories.

Here's a Wordpress guide to creating menus (and see later in this guide for more info).

 

Creating Pages

Pages are used to present static information about yourself or your site. Creating individual pages in WordPress is similar to writing a post:

  • Click Add New in the Pages menu.
  • Enter in a title for your page, text, and any media.
  • When your page is ready, click Publish.

 Image of editing a WordPress page.

 

Adding Media

You can upload and insert images and audio files of less than 2 GB in WordPress pages and posts. For embedding video you own, we recommend using Panopto. Here's how to add non-video media:

  • Find the post or page on which you'd like to add media, and click Edit (or add a new post or page). You can also access the Media Library from the dashboard menu under Media.

The Add Media button is located above the body editor.

  • A new window will appear. Drag-and-drop your media into the uploader, or use the file browser to select it from your local files. You can also view and select items you've already uploaded by clicking the Media Library tab, then clicking the item of your choice. When it's selected, click the blue Insert button at bottom right.

The Media Uploader and Library.

  • The media will appear in the Visual tab of your editor. Optionally, you can add text and/or other media around it. When you're finished editing your post or page, click Publish (or Update).

Media added to the editor.

  • Here's what your media looks like on the published post:

Media added to the published post.

See this WordPress guide to adding media for a more detailed description of your media-related options. 

 

Changing and Customizing Themes

Themes are visual and organizational wrappers for your blog. The theme you choose will not only determine what your blog looks like, but also how many widget areas it has, where the main menu appears, and more. To change your theme:

  • In the lefthand menu of your blog's dashboard, hover over Appearance and click Themes.
  • Hover over the theme you're interested in, then click Activate (if you're sure) or Live Preview. Changing themes preserves all your content, but may alter your active widgets and their locations.

Activate the theme of your choice by navigating to Themes under Appearance on the lefthand dashboard menu.

  • To fine-tune your theme, use the customizer, also under Appearance. Read this Wordpress guide to the customizer for more info.
  • The guide above also contains information about using widgets, small additional functions that can be placed at various locations on your blog. Examples include a text box, a Twitter feed, or a search bar.

  

Creating Menus

A menu is a list of links—usually horizontal, but sometimes vertical—that users will use to navigate your blog. See this Wordpress guide to creating menus for detailed instructions.

See also this video guide to creating different types of dropdown menus.

  

Blog Use in the Classroom

The following are resources on how to effectively teach with blogs, including real-life examples:

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