Creating a Blog
You can create a blog by navigating to http://blogs.cornellcollege.edu. Log in on the right hand side, and then select ‘My Sites’ from the left-hand or top navigation menu. Next, select ‘Create a New Site’ at the top of the page and fill out the form. The “Site Name” is the URL/address of you blog and cannot be changed; the title can be changed at any time. You can also choose whether or not search engines such as Google are allowed to index the site and add it to search results. You can navigate back to your site anytime by going to http://blogs.cornellcollege.edu/YOUR_SITE_NAME and can log into your site directly by going to http://blogs.cornellcollege.edu/YOUR_SITE_NAME/wp-admin. You can also log in from the ‘My Sites’ menu at http://blogs.cornellcollege.edu.
Navigating the Blog
There are two sides to the blog: the “front end”, which is what visitors see, and the “back end” which is where you can make changes and add content. The main page of the “back end” is referred to as the “Dashboard” and gives you a snapshot of your blog. On the left side, you’ll see options for adding and moderating content (Posts, Media, Links, Pages, and Comments) and for changing settings (Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools, and Settings). There’s also a quick menu bar at the top of the screen which will take you to an index of your sites, show you new comments and let you add new content. You can switch between front and back ends of your site by clicking on the site’s name in the quick navigation bar at the top of the screen.
By default comments are disabled on Cornell’s blogs. You can enable comments if your professor has requested it. From the Dashboard, find ‘Settings’ on the left-hand menu, once you’ve selected it, you’ll see a sub-menu. Comment settings are under ‘Discussion’. In the first section of this page (Default article settings), check the box beside ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’, then scroll to the bottom of the page and select ‘Save Changes’. Do this BEFORE making any posts.
There are two main types of content: Pages, which are static and do not change regularly, and Posts, which update and change a single page. For blogging, you’ll be using Posts, which allow for more interactivity in commenting, and allow for easy tagging and categorization.
To add a new post, you can go to ‘Posts’ from the Dashboard menu; this will take you to a list of all posts on your blog. Beside ‘Posts’ at the top of the page is a button to ‘Add New’. You can also select the ‘New->Post’ option from the navigation bar at the top of the page. Adding a new post is pretty easy. Give it a title, and then start typing; you can add more editing options by clicking the button on the far right-hand side of the tools above the large text box (called ‘show/hide the kitchen sink’). If you type your post in Word and want to copy/paste, look for the clipboard icon with a ‘W’ on it (it’s in the second row of buttons); this will help maintain formatting. If you’re typing your post directly on the blog, ‘Save Draft’ on the upper right hand side regularly.
You can categorize or tag your posts if you’d like, to make them easier to find and link together similar themes; the option to add your post to a tag or category is on the right side of the page, below ‘format’. You can add a new category from here or choose from those you’ve already used, and tags you can simply type in.
When you’re ready, hit the blue ‘Publish’ button on the right side of the page and your post will be live on the web.
Changing the Theme
If you don’t like the default look of your blog, you can select a different one by clicking on ‘Appearance’. There are a variety of themes to choose from, all of which will change the look and feel of your site. Most themes can be customized, so you aren’t stuck with the default colors on every one. You can make additional changes to the appearance under ‘Widgets’ and ‘Header’.
Questions or problems?
Contact Academic Technology (email@example.com) or stop by the Academic Technology Studio (Cole 125/6, x4422).