The University of Southampton

Quick Start Guide To WordPress

Every student has the option to create a wordpress site using eFolio.

What is wordpress?

WordPress is open source software that is used to power approximately 1 in every 5 websites in the world. Therefore, knowing how to use it is a fantastic transferable skill.

Its very easy to use, and there are hundreds of help pages that already exist in using the software. Therefore, this guide will primarily deal with how to setup your site and get started.

For more information you can visit the pages below:

What can I do with my wordpress site?

This website can be used for a variety of things including:

  • A private journal
  • A public blog
  • An ePortfolio

An example student ePortfolio can be seen here:

How do I create your my wordpress ePortfolio/blog?

To create your wordpress site login to eFolio and click on the ‘My Sites’ link in the main menu. You will be taken to a page giving you quick overview of what wordpress is, and at the bottom will be a link ‘Click here to create your ePortfolio’

Click that and a site will be created. Next time you click on ‘My Sites’ you will be taken through to your personal wordpress site.

Using your wordpress site. First steps

When you’ve created your ePortfolio and clicked the ‘My Sites’ link you will be taken to your personal website. To start customising your website you will need to go to your wordpress dashboard. 

To view your dashboard, look for the top grey bar (you only get this when you’re logged in) and move the mouse over the name of your site. A drop down will appear with ‘Dashboard’ listed at the top. Click this link!

1. Change your sites theme

Can can completely change the look and feel of your ePortfolio by clicking on Appearance > Themes. You can now choose a new theme in a style you like. For a professional looking ‘badged’ site for an ePortfolio choose the ‘University Custom Theme’.

2. Add a new header image

Most themes allow you to change the header image that appears at the top of the website. You can pick any image you like and wordpress will then allow you to crop and publish it. To change your header image go to:
Appearance > Header

3. Modify the colour scheme

If you have picked the ‘University custom theme’ you will have an option:
Appearance > Theme Options
which will allow you to change the main menu colour. Some themes (but not all) allow you to change the background  (Appearance > Background).

4. Choose who can view your site

By default your website is viewable by anyone. You can change this and have the following options:

a) Viewable only by me
b) Viewable only by me and named individual I add
c) Viewable by anyone logged in with a University account
d) Viewable by the world

To change these settings go to:
Settings > Reading

The bottom option is ‘Site Visibility’. Choose an option suitable to your needs.

5. Choose whether to allow people to comment on your site

By default, people who can access your site are able to leave comments on your posts and pages. If you are creating a standard ePortfolio and not a blog, you may wish to disable this feature (recommended).  To modify these settings:

Settings > Discussion

To disable comments

UNTICK ‘Allow people to post comments new articles‘ : this is the 3rd option from the top.

To allow comments

If you have restricted your site to members of the University (or named individuals) re recommend the following settings.

1. UNTICK everything.
2. Then TICK the following:

– Allow people to post comments on new articles
– Users must be registered and logged in to comment

If you have made your website open to the entire world we suggest the following settings.

1. UNTICK everything.
2. Then TICK the following:

– Comment author must fill out name and e-mail
– Allow people to post comments on new articles
– An administrator must always approve the comment

This will minimise spam on your website, but you WILL be required to approve comments before they appear on site. (Comments > Approve)

6. Create new pages

New pages you create will automatically appear in your front page main menu. To create a page:

Pages > Add New

To Reorder Pages

Go to Pages’ in your dashboard. Simply click and drag the page to where you want it in the menu

To make a subpage

When editing a page, look for the ‘Page Attributes’ box (right had side) and find the ‘Parent’ drop down. Pick which page will be the ‘Parent’ of this page.

7. Start blogging / adding journal posts

Depending on your wordpress theme, you will either have ‘Posts’ or ‘News’ in your dashboard main menu. These are exactly the same thing, and are simply items of content identified with a date. Any ‘posts’ you make will automatically appear on the front page of your website. You can tag posts to create  ‘tag cloud’, or add posts to different categories so people can filter by what type of news or commentary it deals with.

Experiment with tags and categories to find out what you’re most comfortable with.

8. Swap your home page from Latest News to a static page

Finally, when you’re happy you’ve set your site up as you want it, you may wish to have NO news / posts, and simply have a standard website. In this case you won’t want a ‘blank’ homepage, but instead probably have a ‘welcome’ page.

To do this:

1.  Create your Front page (Pages > Add New)
2. Go to Settings > Reading
3. Change ‘Front page displays’ from ‘Your latest posts’ to ‘A static page’ and pick the front page you wish from the drop down list.