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Managing a Wordpress Blog

Once you have a Wordpress account, you will be able to add posts to your blog. Follow the steps below to update your blog. Visual aids are screenshots to help with the process.

Step 1:

If your blog is hosted on Wordpress' free hosting (your blog url looks like http://YOURBLOGNAME.wordpress.com), you can go to http://wordpress.com and login with the Wordpress account you have created. Visual Aid

If your blog is hosted on a washingtonandlee.net domain, you can login by accessing your dedicated login page (http://YOURBLOGNAME.washingtonandlee.net/wp-admin) or by going to your blog, scrolling down to the bottom of the page and finding the "Site Admin" link under the "Admin" or "Meta" header. Visual Aid

Step 2: Once successfully logged in, you will land on your blog's dashboard page. On the Dashboard, you can see all the stats for your blog including number of visits and recent comments. To create a new blog post, look at the left menu and click on "Posts," or if the menu is collapsed, you will click on the push-pin icon. You can also access the "Posts" page by clicking on the word "Posts" in the "Right Now" window on your Dashboard. Visual Aid

Step 3: To create a new post, click on the "New Post" button next to the Posts title. You may also click on "Add New," found under the "Posts" item in the left menu. Visual Aid

Instructions for a text only post: For a simple text post, give your blog a title and enter the body text in the text box below the title. You may insert hyperlinks to external sources in your text. Simply highlight the text you wish to serve as a link and click the unbroken chain link icon in the gray area above the area for entering body text. Once you are done entering your text, select a category your post falls under. If the category that you are posting under is a "Child" (a subcategory of a main category) of a "Parent" (a main category), you must select both the "Parent" and the "Child" category. If you wish to save your work and come back to it later, but do not wish to publish it, you can click the "Save Draft" button. If you want to preview what your post will look like in the full-blog environment, click the "Preview" button. Your spelling can be easily checked by clicking the spellcheck button to make sure you haven't been typing a bit too fast. If you are satisfied with your post and want it to go live, click "Publish." Visual Aid

Instructions for a text and images post: You may also add images to your posts. Simply upload the images from your hard drive to your Wordpress account. Follow the steps below. (NOTE: With certain blogs, such as the Campus Life blog, the featured image is the ONLY image that you will likely be adding to the post - see featured image instructions further down the page.)

  • First, place your cursor next to the beginning of the paragraph that you would like the image to be placed next to.
  • To add an image, click the icon next to "Upload/Insert." Visual Aid
  • A new window will pop up. Select the "Select Files" button. Visual Aid
  • Select the image you wish to upload from the folder on your hard drive.
  • In the next window, you will see a small scale preview of the image you are uploading. The image will automatically inherit the name of the image that was present on your hard drive. Give your image alternate text. This simple description of the image is optional but assists visitors to your site who are visually impaired. Give your image a caption. If you give your image a caption, it will also add some padding (so you won't have to do that later!) Identify the subject matter in the image. The Link URL is automatically populated but you can have your image link to an outside source. Simply replace the automatically generated URL with the URL you would like your image to link to. Set the alignment of your image within the body text of your post. Your image can be aligned right, left or center. Set the size of your image. Once you are satisfied with the editing of your photo, click the "Insert into Post" button. Visual Aid

Editing and adjusting the appearance of your image: You may find that you want to change the image's position from left to right, make it smaller, or add some space between the text and the image (padding). This can be achieved easily by following these steps. *This may not work in Internet Explorer 9!

  • Select your image by clicking once on top of the image. Depending on your browser, the image will either become blue, and/or an outline with small boxes on the corners will appear around the image. Two icons will also show up in the upper-left corner of the image. The first icon is the "Edit Image" button, and the second is the delete image button. Click on the "Edit Image" icon. Visual Aid
  • The "Edit Image" box will pop up. You can now change the image alignment and the display size. However, this box does not offer you the capability to add padding to your image. To access these options, you must click on the "Advanced Settings" tab at the top of the box. Visual Aid
  • The "Advanced Settings" tab offers you a lot of the same options the "Edit Image" tab did, with the exception of alignment. Here is where you can add a border to your image (we recommend 1 px), as well as vertical and horizontal space. The minimum for padding an image is 5 px and 5 px, but some may find a bit more horizontal padding is preferable and go with 10 px in that field. If the image is a hyperlink, you can edit that link, as well as check the box to have the link open in a new window. Visual Aid

Instructions for adding a link to a .pdf file: You may want to link a PDF to your blog post, and this can be done easily by following these steps:

  • Similar to embedding a photo into your post, place the cursor where you would like your hyperlinked PDF to show on your page. Next, go to the Upload/Insert icons directly above your main text field. Instead of choosing the small photo icon, you are going to choose the furthest right icon that looks like a small burst - this is the "Upload Media" icon. Visual Aid
  • Clicking on the icon will bring up a similar box, and you will select the file from your personal computer you wish to embed in the post. Visual Aid
  • The next window will let you change the title, as well as add a description (optional) of your PDF. The title will be the default hyperlink text when you finally insert the PDF. Click "Insert into Post" when you are ready. Visual Aid
  • Once the PDF is placed, you can change the hyperlink text to whatever you wish. Visual Aid

Featured Image Field: What is a featured image?? A featured image is different from an image embedded in your post because it is meant to be displayed elsewhere on the site, not necessarily on your post. A featured image may show up as the thumbnail on the blog feed being fed to your main website, or as a large teaser image that tempts the viewer to click through to your blog post. Using the Campus Life blog as an example, the featured image is both the thumbnail being sent out with RSS feeds, as well as the image being displayed to the left of each blog post. Each Wordpress site uses featured images differently, but we will do our best to give you an overview of how to place one, as well how to prepare images for this field.

If your blog is hosted on wordpress.com, you may have to look into how your particular theme uses featured images (it may not). If it does, there is likely a image size (such as 400px X 400px) that work best for their use. If you require help in figuring this out, please contact the web team via our web tracking form.

If your blog is hosted on washingtonandlee.net, you likely have a plugin that will automatically resize your photos for all their particular uses. You will not have to resize them, that will be done automatically.

How to upload a featured image:

  • The featured image field can be found at the bottom right of the "New Post" page, directly below the "Categories" and "Post Tags" fields. (Visual Aid) Click "Set featured image," and a familiar box will pop up. Visual Aid
  • The "Set featured image" box will allow you to either upload a new photo to serve as your featured image, or select an image from your existing image library.
    • If you select a file from your computer, the image will upload, and all that's left is to give the image alternate text (describe the photo) and select "Use as featured image" at the bottom of the post. You can then "Save all changes" and close. DO NOT CLICK "Insert into Post" or it will insert a copy into your post. Visual Aid
    • If you select the "Media Library" tab at the top, it will give you access to all other images in your blog. (Visual Aid) Click "Show" next to the image you wish to use, and the image will expand. Follow the same steps as before, clicking "Use as featured image" and "Save all changes" and you are done. Visual Aid
  • If you change your mind and wish to choose a different featured image, simply click the "Remove featured image" link below the featured image and start over. Visual Aid

What are "Post Tags" and why do I want to add them? Post Tags are short expressions that help describe what your post is about. If you are writing a post that is associated with Dining Services (which would be your category), but the topic was about food allergies, then you would benefit from adding a post tag titled "allergies." Post tags are meant to be the topical tags that help associate your post with other similar posts, and thus make it easier for a student to find all posts related to "allergies" or "marketplace," no matter what category the post first appeared under. (Remember, categories are what are used to mark and deliver your content to the correct page it is supposed to display on - a post tag will not achieve that!) Visual Aid