Blog Tool: WordPress
Learn to Use WordPress
Everything you encounter in WordPress, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project; there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. As a result, there are several ways to find help and support for WordPress.
You can also learn how to use WordPress through Atomic Learning.
What is a blog?
A blog is an online forum where individuals or groups can maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.
Miami University recommends using WordPress for blogging. WordPress is an open source, web-based system that can be accessed from anywhere.
Guidelines and Processes for Using WordPress at Miami
University Communications and Marketing (UCM) in partnership with eLearning Miami (ELM) administer the use of WordPress at Miami University.
- UCM is responsible for creating new blogs, deleting unused ones, and administering the system.
- ELM assists with determining if a WordPress blog should be created when new requests come in, addressing course/pedagogical uses.
IT Services (UIT) hosts Miami’s WordPress blogs at blogs.miamioh.edu and maintains the dev, test, and production servers used for this service. This includes:
- Assisting to upgrade WordPress up to two times per year, in the Winter and Summer terms, based on an evaluation of the new features.
- Assisting to upload new widgets and themes and update existing ones up to two times per year, in the winter and summer, based on needs.
- IT Services will also assist with any URL Aliases or redirects needed for the blog sites.
WordPress should be used at Miami:
- If a blogging tool is needed for an academic, course, marketing, or business purposes related to Miami University.
- If a Miami student club or organization wants to have a website or blog to help promote their club or organization and the HUB does not meet their needs.
WordPress should NOT be used at Miami:
- If a department, office, or non-student organization requests a WP instance for their website. These sites will be migrated into Miami’s web content management system based on the migration timeline and priorities of the Miami Senior Administration.
- To host a personal blog or website. Requests for personal sites will be directed to WordPress.com where anyone can set up a basic site for free or pay for more advanced options.
Requesting a New WordPress Blog Site
Request a new WordPress blog by filling out and submitting an online form. Once the form is submitted UCM and ELM will determine if the blog should be created (based on the criteria above). If approved, UCM will create the new blog and notify the owner when complete within 5 business days. If denied UCM will respond to the requestor with reasons for the denial and some suggestions on how to proceed.
Reporting a Problem with WordPress
Miamians are responsible for using existing tutorials (e.g., from blogs.miamioh.edu or Atomic Learning) to develop sufficient expertise to maintain a Wordpress blog. When a Miamian has an issue with their blog that cannot be readily resolved, they should contact the Support Desk (call 9-7900 or email email@example.com) or report the issue to UCM. UCM or ELM will respond to issues within 3 business days.
Deleting WordPress Blogs
UCM and ELM will review, annually during Summer or Winter, blogs that have not been used for the past 12 months. We will then contact the blog owner to determine if each blog is still needed. If the owner says no or if we are unable to contact the owner within 60 days time, UCM will then remove the unused blogs.
There are a set number of plug-ins in WordPress that anyone with a WP blog can use without needing any additional approval or review. These can be accessed and turned on through the Plug-in tool.
Requesting a New Plug-in
UCM and ELM will review requests for new plug-ins two times per year: during Summer and Winter terms. Requestors will be required to fill out and submit this form to request a new plug-in. UCM, ELM, and UIT will review and test the new plug-ins (during the two designated time periods) for the following criteria:
- Functions according to the specs of the plug-in
- Provides new functionality that is not already available
- Does not pose a security risk
- Meets WCAG 2.0 AA standards
- Benefits more than one blog
Plug-ins are evaluated two times per year, during Summer and Winter terms, to see if:
- They are not being used
- They are no longer supported or compatible with WordPress
- There is a new plug-in that can replace an older one
Users will be notified when old plug-ins are scheduled for removal.
There are a set number of themes in WordPress that anyone with a WP blog can use without needing any additional approval or review. We do not take requests for new themes as this time.
Blogs for official Miami University offices, departments, divisions, courses, etc. should use the official Miami University WordPress themes to remain in brand.
Blogs for student organizations can use any currently installed theme.