Wordpress: Museum Voices Blog Basics

Museum Voices sites run on a content managment system/blogging platform called Wordpress. The videos on this page will show you how to do most basic editing functions on Wordpress, including customizing your site's apperance, creating pages/posts and managing images or other media.

Videos on this page:

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Dashboard Overview

Take a short tour of the Dashboard, the “behind-the-scenes” administration area you will use to manage everything about your Wordpress site.

Topics covered:
0:00 – intro
0:20 – log in with your Gatorlink account (be sure click login link on your blog site)
0:43 – Dashboard opening screen
0:55 – log in/out menu in the upper right corner
1:00 – “My Sites” menu lets you jump between blogs if you have more than one
1:12 – current site menu – use “Visit Site” to leave Dashboard but stay logged in
1:40 – customizing the Dashboard main screen options
2:05 - Posts menu (posts, categories and tags)
2:55 – Events menu (manage calendar)
3:16 - Media menu (Library holds all of your site assets, WP-Cycle used to manage banners)
4:00 – Pages menu
4:46 – Comments (enabled at site level, approving comments is required)
5:33 – Galleries (organize images into galleries)
5:55 – Appearance menu (managing themes, customizations, widgets, menus)
6:38 – Profile menu (change admin color scheme)
7:28 – Tools menu (Press This bookmarklet)

Download a Dashboard cheat sheet (PDF)

Customizing your Museum Voices site colors and banners

Learn how to change the background/menu colors and upload new banners for your blog.

Topics covered:
0:00 - intro
0:35 - begin at the Dashboard
0:44 - finding the Customize Appearance menu
0:50 - begin: how to change the blog’s background (theme) color
1:45 - site menu colors will change to complement background color choice
2:10 - changing the title of a site
2:50 - the site URL never changes so links/media will not break
3:15 - saving customization settings and returning to the Dashboard
3:28 - visit site to verify colors have updated
3:36 - begin: how to add new banners
3:50 - where to find the banner manger in the Dashboard menu (Media > WP-Cycle)
4:15 - banner images MUST be cropped and optimized prior to uploading (size: 880px X 200 px @72 dpi)
5:15 - uploading new banner images
5:45 - keep file sizes under 100k, the smaller the better for best site performance
6:25 - limit the total number of banners to 8-10
7:12 - deleting a banner
7:25 - visit site to verify banners have updated

Download step-by-step instructions (PDF)

Posts vs. Pages

Posts and pages may look similar, but they serve different functions in WordPress. Posts are best for news updates or subjects that change frequently, while pages are best for static content that doesn’t change often.

Topics covered:
0:00 – intro
0:50 – visit the site Dashboard
0:58 – separate menu items for Posts and Pages
1:10 – creating a new sample post
2:25 – new posts are added to a special page that lists posts in chronological order
3:00 – posts are best choice for news, updates or anything that changes frequently
3:05 – if you have comments enabled, visitors can comment on posts but not pages
3:23 – sidebar widgets include posts, exclude pages
3:40 – creating a new sample page
3:50 – pages are best choice for static content, such as contact or “about us” info
4:50 – pages are not added to blog loop, but they are added to the main site menu

Download a chart comparing Posts and Pages (PDF)

Editor Toolbar Options

Learn about the different options available in the WordPress editing toolbar.

Topics covered:
0:00 – intro
0:16 – will use post as an example, but the page editor has the same toolbar
0:42 – bold, italics, strikethrough
0:55 – bulleted and numbered lists
1:20 – block/pull quotes
1:43 – horizontal line
1:50 – alignment (text and images)
2:00 – link and unlink (adding/removing internal and external links)
3:30 – insert “read more” tag
4:27 – most keyboard shortcuts (Ctl+Z/X/C/V, etc.) work the same way
4:39 – toolbar toggle (shows another row of options)
5:15 – formatting drop down box (make text a headline, paragraph, etc.)
6:29 – underline (do not use underline! Web users expect underlined words to be links!)
7:10 – justify text (use with caution, spacing may look odd on very large screens)
7:37 – change text color
7:47 – paste as text (drops formatting and pastes as plain text)
9:09 – clear formatting
9:22 – insert special characters
9:45 – text indenting
9:55 – undo and redo
10:07 – keyboard shortcut guide
10:20 – formats dropdown (custom styles)
10:58 – distraction-free writing mode

Categories and Tags

Categories and tags organize your posts and help visitors find information. Categories generally cover broad topics (think book chapter titles) and tags are much more specific (think book index words). If you do not set up your own categories, all of your posts will be filed under the “Uncategorized” category. Using tags is completely optional.

Topics covered:
0:00 – intro
0:15 – what are categories?
0:52 – where to find the Categories and Tags menus under the Posts section
1:04 – pages do not use categories or tags (only posts use them)
1:09 – difference between categories and tags
1:30 – add a new category example
2:00 – category name
2:10 – category slug (URL)
2:30 – categories can be nested in a hierarchy
2:40 – category description not necessary and not shown by the Museum theme
3:05 – more category entry examples
4:10 – assigning categories when editing a post
4:44 – assigning categories using the post Quick Edit menu
5:30 – categories widget will show updated list on site
5:35 – clicking on a category name in the widget menu will show all posts in that category
5:55 – what are tags?
6:05 – adding tags to a post
6:15 – separate tags with commas
6:50 – using tags is optional, using categories is recommended
7:20 – tag cloud widget is not active by default, tags will be listed at bottom of post
7:40 – adding the tag cloud widget to the sidebar

Download step-by-step instructions (PDF)

Working with Widgets

Widgets add content and features to your WordPress posts. Examples are post categories, recent comments, tag clouds, search, and more. They are easy to add, remove and configure, and can be placed in the right sidebar or at the bottom of the page above the footer.

Topics covered:
0:00 – intro
0:12 – what are widgets?
0:22 – widgets only appear on posts, not pages
0:48 – where to find the Widgets menu
1:15 – widgets can be added to the right sidebar and above the site footer
1:35 – widgets in use on your site are listed on the right, organized by location
1:45 – click the down arrow to set/change widget options
2:22 – add new widgets by dragging from left column to right column
2:45 – difference between Calendar and Events List widgets
3:08 – adding widget to sidebar
3:32 – drag and drop to rearrange order of widgets
3:40 – adding widget to footer bar
4:20 – refresh browser to see changes reflected on site
4:58 – remove widgets by clicking delete or dragging back to left column
5:17 – widgets can be added to both locations 

Download step-by-step instructions (PDF)