1. Introduction to Blogging

The following is a “quick-start” guide that should walk you through the basics of using WordPress to build your own electronic portfolio.  If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below!

Logging into your site

  1. Everyone should have been given a sheet of paper that contains information on your blog location, username and password.  If you don’t have this information please drop me a line and I’ll get you a copy ASAP.
  2. Once you have this information you should visit the URL listed at the top of the sheet in your favorite web browser – it should look something like this:


  3. This is the “public” view of your blog and is what people from around the world can see when they view your site.  You can make changes to your site by clicking on the “Log In” link on the right side of the screen and supplying your username and password information.
  4. Once you successfully log in you will be redirected to your “dashboard” – this is your “mission control center” that lets you control all aspects of your blog.
  5. You can switch between Dashboard mode and Public View mode by using the link at the top of the screen that contains your blog title.  Here’s a screen shot that points this out for you:
    Switch to public view mode from dashboard mode

    Switch to public view mode from dashboard mode

  6. Likewise, when you are in Public View mode you can switch back to Dashboard mode by clicking on the “Dashboard” link at the top of the screen.
    Switch to dashboard mode from public view mode

    Switch to dashboard mode from public view mode

  7. Some people find it easier to keep two “tabs” of their web browser open so that both Dashboard and Public View modes are visible at the same time.  You can do this by right-clicking on the Dashboard link from Public View mode and selecting “open in new tab”.  On a Mac you can hold down the Control key and click on link to do this as well.  Note that if you do this you will need to “refresh” your browser every time you make a change in Dashboard mode.  You can refresh your browser by clicking on the “refresh” or “reload” key at the top of your browser window, near the web address bar.
  8. In Dashboard mode you can use the tools along the left side of the screen to change the look and feel of your blog.  Here’s how:
    1. Click on the Appearance link
    2. Click on the Header link
    3. Here you can upload a new header image or select a header image from the gallery of pictures
    4. You can also click on the Background link to change the background color of your blog.
    5. You can click on the Theme Options link to change general options for your blog, including text color and graphical layout (i.e. column on the right side of the screen vs. the left side)
  9. You will notice that there is a black bar along the top of your blog.  This black bar showcases any “Pages” that you have created.  For example, our course blog has Pages for Assignments, Syllabus and Slide Presentations.  You can create a new page or edit exiting pages by clicking on the Pages link along the left side of your dashboard.  From here click on the “Add New” link to add a new page, or click the “Edit” link under a page to make changes to it.
  10. Once you are in page edit mode you can add or change text elements using the large text box in the middle of the screen.  When you are done you can click the “Publish” button on the right side of your screen to make your page “live”.  Note that when you edit your page in the future this button will change from “Publish” to “Update.”
  11. You can also set privacy options when editing a page.  On the right side of your blog you can click on the “Edit” link next to the word “Visibility”.  From here you can select three privacy modes – Public, Password Protected, or Private.  Public mode is completely public – anyone can visit your page and see your page contents.  Password Protected mode will prompt the user to log in before they can see your page.  Private mode restricts the page so that on you can see it from within Dashboard mode.