WP Essentials: Structuring your course blogs
When you add content to your blog you have two choices: to add a new post, or a new page. This post is designed to help you choose the right balance between posts and pages for your blog, so that your course research and unit submissions are beautifully organised.
The difference between a page and a post: oh yes, the clues are in the titles…
When you create a new page, WordPress adds an additional page to your website which you can then choose to add to the website’s main menu. Pages are designed for:
- Permanent content that you want to be easily accessible by every reader, such as your contact details and personal bio
- Separating blog content into categories to makes reading and navigating a large or well-populated website easier. For instance, if you blog about design and travel, you may want to create a new page for each of these topics, and then use the ‘categories’ tool each time you create a new blog post to stream posts related to a single topic onto a specified page.
- Secret content and ‘Easter eggs’. You may want to create pages hidden within your website that contain more details about a project that is otherwise just briefly mentioned elsewhere. While work is in progress you may also want to create a page that is not linked to by any posts or menu, but live on the web, for you to read or work on wherever you are.
When you add a new post, it will display in order of the date it was published as part of your blog timeline. Your newest posts will display first, unless you have made them ‘sticky’ by selecting this option via the ‘quick edit’ link below your post. Sticky posts display at the top of the page regardless of the date they were published on. Blog posts should be seen as diary or sketchbook entries. In the context of creating your coursework they are best used for:
- Notetaking. You’ve been to a gallery and taken a load of snaps on your iPhone. Create a blog post about the visit and then link back to it whenever you write up another post that relates to this exhibition. Example two: you’ve had a cracking day in the workshop and mastered a new method. Take process shots of this work, and add them to a new blog post containing links to any external websites or YouTube tutorials that you found useful.
- Sharing ideas or techniques and discussing them with your peers. You’re at the brainstorming stage of your project and you want some feedback, or you’re stuck using a new material or technique. Upload research, sketches and notes on your blog. The process of reviewing what you have collected so far can make ideas or next steps seem clearer. Once the work is online, you also have the option to invite your college friends and tutors to comment on it, or not!
- Research and review. You could share thoughts about a lecture, film, book or exhibition that doesn’t immediately relate to what you’re working on now, but may do in the future. You might post about something you feel very strongly about, or post something you have found that others in the group are likely to find useful.
The nuts and bolts.
You must create a new page for each of your course units. These pages will contain a summary of your coursework that will be used for assessment by your tutors. These pages should be titled by unit, and contain an edited collection of images and comments relevant to that unit, along with links to any blog posts you have created that are related to the ideas or processes explored.
- To create a new page go to PAGES > ADD NEW
- To add that page to your site menu go to APPEARANCE > MENUS
Tick the checkbox next to the page you wish to add and click the ADD TO MENU button. You should see the page appear to the left, under MENU STRUCTURE.
- You can then click and drag the pages up and down to change the order in which they appear, or make one appear as a drop-down below another page in your site navigation menu.
- To make a page your site homepage, go to APPEARANCE > CUSTOMISE > STATIC FRONT PAGE. You can then choose to select your blog as the homepage (‘YOUR LATEST POSTS’), or select ‘A STATIC PAGE’ to select one of your pages as your site landing page.
- To add a new page simply go to POSTS > ADD NEW.
- To edit a post or page that has been published already, simply select the relevant post by visiting POSTS > ALL POSTS or PAGES > ALL PAGES
Use the information on this page to create a basic site structure featuring a homepage blog stream, an About page, and pages for Unit 1.1 and Unit 1.2, all accessible through your site navigation.