Here are some handy links from CampusPress about academic blogging.
Here are my preliminary thoughts on how an ordinary person can get started with a CampusPress (EduBlog) site.
- Probably the first step would be to rename the site (if necessary) and to fill out the account profile.
- Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Site Identity
- Howdy, [User] > Edit My Profile
- Provide name, contact information
- If you got a temporary password, you can set a more memorable one. (But most people will log in with their PennKey.)
- It may be useful to create one or two sample blog posts (+ New > Post). These posts can be removed later, but they will be useful when you’re exploring the themes and customizations available. They don’t need to contain useful information at this point in the site’s development.
- It may also be a good idea to start an “About” page (a page not a post). Notice the difference between pages (which are fairly static) and (blog) posts (which are usually listed with the most recent post at the top). You’ll probably want to focus your site’s organization on pages or posts.
- I think the next step would be to choose an initial theme. Various features of a CampusPress site (layout, color scheme, widget areas, and customizations) are dependent on the theme chosen. So, the owner should go to Themes (or Dashboard > Appearance > Themes) and take a look at the 280 or so themes.
- Each theme is listed with a small image of how it can look. The “Theme Details” link provides information, including category tags such as “responsive-layout” and “magazine”. The “Live Preview” link shows you quickly how your existing site would look in a standard configuration of the theme. (Customization can change many features of the standard configuration, and you can play with some of these.)
- It’s useful to know that there are different kinds of themes. There are themes with a responsive layout. There are themes in which the front page shows the most recent blog posts. There are other themes that show only teasers or only the titles of recent posts. There are themes that offer a magazine-style layout. Some emphasize text; others focus on images. It’s usually possible to create a static front page.
- When you’ve found a likely theme, click the “Activate” button to adopt it.
- Try it out. If it doesn’t meet your needs and preferences, find another. If you can’t find a theme that does what you need, try the Divi theme (or use the Divi plug-in with a theme that you like); it is both more complex and more adaptable than most.
- Once you’ve settled on a theme (at least temporarily), the next step is probably to choose some widgets (for example, “Recent Posts”) and customize.
- It’s worth checking the Plugins and Tools. The JetPack plugin may be particularly useful.
- Check the settings.
- Now, it’s time to return to the content: the pages and posts. Make sure that there’s an informative “About” page. By default, the front page will list posts in chronological order (most recent at the top). You can change that to display a static front page (to do this, go in the Dashboard to Appearance > Customize > Static Front Page).
- Click around and make sure the site is ready for public viewing. (You can make the site private if you need to hide it from the public.)
- When you’re ready for the public to visit, arrange for your department to make a link to your site. A link will also allow Google and other search engines find your site.
I’m using the Twenty Eleven theme. I like it because it’s clean and responsive.
Edublogs offers a lot of themes — 262 at my count today. Other responsive themes I considered were Twenty Ten, Twenty Thirteen, Graphy, Griffin, Responsive, Simone, UU 2014, Universal, and Omega.
I’ve started a brand new blog at SAS Sites. This is in addition to my regular WordPress blog at https://jayctreat.wordpress.com/.
I think I’ll keep some of the following links for a little while…
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