Plymouth Create offers a useful glossary of terms to know.
One term it’s missing that is important for us: blog. Here’s what Merriam Webster says:
The key idea with a blog is that it’s updated frequently, as opposed to a regular website where the content doesn’t change much. Blogs have blog posts, which are where the content goes. (Originally, “blog” meant “web log” and the posts were like journal entries. Now, posts can be just about anything.) Your assignments for this course will be made as blog posts on your site.
Recommended First Steps
These recommended steps are for students using WordPress on Plymouth Create. They are meant to be a starting place. Once you get more familiar with WordPress, we encourage you to customize and change your site to reflect your own personal goals and choices. Before you begin these steps, make sure you’ve first Set up Plymouth Create and Installed WordPress.
(If you aren’t using WordPress, you’ll need to figure out how to do these things with whatever tool you’ve chosen. If you can’t do exactly the same thing with your tool, just get as close as possible. )
Step 1. Create an “About” Page
Somewhere on your site, you need a static page that explains who you are and what this site is. How much you want to share about yourself is up to you. (You can use a pseudonym if you want.) The key is to think like a person just happening upon the site and wondering what it is that they’ve found.
Add a picture to your About page. (It doesn’t need to be a picture of you. But the internet is increasingly visual, and the more you can take advantage of that, the better.)
Step 2: Create a blog section for your site (or make your site into a blog)
Most of the work you do for this course and for IDS Senior Seminar will be shared via blog posts on your site. (Why? Because blog posts are designed to be easily updated and shared.) You will need to decide where your blog lives on your site.
- Create a Page titled “Blog.”
- Under Settings -> Reading, set this as your blog page for the site. Set your About page as your front page.
Step 3: Create your first ePort post
You already have the text for your first ePort post: Your Explore a Major assignment. Copy and paste the content of your assignment into a new post and give it a title.
Step 4: Make sure to allow comments on posts
Comments are usually enabled by default. (Different services allow different settings for who can comment and how. Most default to public comments.) We will be commenting on each other’s posts, so please enable comments on your site. You may, however, want to leave on moderation so that you can approve comments before they are published.
You can find all your comment settings under Settings -> Discussion.
Also, be sure to enable Akismet to reduce comment spam, or you will soon find yourself receiving a lot of weird comments from bots.
Step 7: Hyperlink Tricks
You’re writing on the web, so you should add links in your posts. Here’s the best way:
- Highlight some text that you want to turn into a hyperlink
- Then, with the text highlighted, click the link button in the formatting menu (looks like a chain link).
- Type/paste the link you want to add.
- Click the blue arrow button to save the link.
Step 8: Adjust Your Settings and Layout
Once you have at least an About page and your first ePort post (blog post) published, you now have the basic outline of your ePort and can begin adjusting how it looks and works. Nothing is permanent on the internet — you’re not writing in stone! — so don’t be afraid to play around until you’ve gotten your site looking the way you want it to look.
Step 9: Explore our Other Resources
- ePort checklist
- WordPress Exploration Activity
- Skills Guide
- Video Playlist on “Website Design” (LinkedIn Learning — PSU login required)
Stop by the IDS office in Lamson 003. Any of us can help you with your ePort needs.