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Tour of WordPress

Basic topics

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system used to manage web sites. It is open source and free to use on your own web server or through hosted servers like blogs.uoregon.edu.

It currently is running behind many CAS department and program websites.

  • WordPress.org – Home of WordPress. Best place for documentation and forums for WordPress.
    • WordPress is installed on a web server and managed entirely through the web browser.
  • Logging into WordPress: To login add wp-admin to end of your site’s URL.
    • e.g. https://cas.uoregon.edu/wp-admin
  • Dashboard is the tool that you will be using to manage your site’s content. It is only available after you have logged in.

WordPress on campus

  • UO Blogs: UO Blogs is an easy-to-use academic blogging and web publishing service for the University of Oregon community.
    • Faculty, staff, and students with an active DuckID can use the service to quickly create blogs or websites for courses, groups, or individual use.
    • Special rules apply for course sites, and for personal sites versus sites of official UO departments or programs. Read the UO Blogs page for more information.
  • CASIT Web Services: CASIT Web Services provides web site design and development and web application development for departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Content Terminology and Definitions

  • Posts vs. Pages: In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages.
    • When you’re writing a regular blog entry, you write a post.
      • Posts automatically appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page.
    • Pages are for content such as “About,” “Contact,” etc.
      • Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present timeless information about yourself or your site — information that is always applicable.
  • Editor: WordPress is bundled with the open source HTML What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor TinyMCE.
  • Categories allow the classification of your posts into groups and subgroups, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation and use of your site.
    • Every post in WordPress is filed under one or more categories.
  • Tags are the keywords you might assign to each Post. Not to be confused with Categories, Tags have no hierarchy, meaning there’s no relationship from one tag to another. But like Categories, Tags provide another means to aid your readers in accessing information on your blog.
  • Revisions: The Revisions module shows any backup copies of your post. Each time you click Save Draft or Update, a revision is saved. Revisions allow you to look back at the recent changes you’ve made and revert to an earlier version if necessary.
  • Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
  • Private and password protected pages: Private content is published only for your eyes, or the eyes of only those with authorization permission levels to see private content. Normal users and visitors will not be aware of private content.
    • It will not appear in the article lists. If a visitor were to guess the URL for your private post, they would still not be able to see your content. You will only see the private content when you are logged into your WordPress blog.
    • Password Protected content is not immediately visible to the outside world. A visitor to your site must enter the password in the box in order to see the content of the post or Page.

Media

  • Adding Media: Add New screen–in the Media menu of Dashboard–allows you to upload new media to later use with posts and pages.
  • Inserting images into posts and pages: WordPress makes it easy to add images to your content. Images can be used in your pages or your posts directly.
  • Filling in Alternate text: In the simplest of examples, web users who have a visual impairment may use software that “speaks” page content to them. In this situation, they rely upon your help to “hear” your content – including any informative images.
    • Therefore, when you include a graphic or photograph, it may be appropriate to provide an alternative description in the alternate text field below the caption.
  • Featured images give you the option to display unique custom header images for specific posts and pages. This feature only works with themes that allow custom header images and have featured header images enabled

Links / Blogroll

  • Links: WordPress allows you to store a set of external links, also known as your blogroll. These links can be put into categories, imported, exported, added, deleted, and edited.

Themes

  • Themes: Fundamentally, the WordPress Theme system is a way to “skin” your weblog. Yet, it is more than just a “skin.” Skinning your site implies that only the design is changed. WordPress Themes can provide much more control over the look and presentation of the material on your website.
  • Widgets are WordPress Plugins that add visitor visual and interactivity options and features, such as sidebar widgets for post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc.
  • Menus: Within the Dashboard for your site, go to the Appearance menu then click on Menus.
    • This enables a user to create custom navigation menu in place of or in conjunction with a theme’s default menu.

Plugins

  • Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
    • e.g., Formidable Pro is a plugin for building and recording data from forms that can be activated through your site’s Dashboard. Click here for more information.

Advanced topics

  • Custom post types: WordPress can hold and display many different types of content.
  • Theme development: WordPress Themes are files that work together to create the design and functionality of a WordPress site. Each Theme may be different, offering many choices for site owners to instantly change their website look.
  • Advanced Image Settings (for WordPress v4.1+): Image settings changed with the January 1, 2015 update. The link is utilizing a plugin as a workaround for similar functionality found in previous versions.

Examples

  • College of Arts and Sciences: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Site that has three custom menus and widget areas for the news page.
    • Plugins: CASIT drop down navigation, Google Analytics for WordPress. Uses CASIT Department theme.
  • English: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Custom front page that displays news, events and books.
    • Plugins: CASIT drop-down navigation, CASIT Events, Books, Custom Post Type Archives in Nav Menus. CAS Profiles plugin for people that pulls data from CAS profile site. Uses CASIT base theme. Custom menu.
  • Ethnic Studies: Hosted and built by CASIT.
    • Plugins: Google Analytics for WordPress, Post Attachment Manager, Slideshow Gallery. Custom post type for people. Custom menu.
  • Latin American Studies: Hosted and built by CASIT. Custom front page that has two widget areas.
  • Tasty Firestorm: Hosted by UO Blogs; uses the Twenty Eleven theme.

References

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