City Blogs

New guidance available


Our blogs guidance has moved to our new EdtechGuides site. Please update your links and bookmarks to our new guidance sites

City Blogs is a service for City staff and students to blog about learning, teaching and research activities at City. It runs on the CampusPress network which specialises in WordPress blogs for educational institutions. You can log in to your blogs at https://blogs.city.ac.uk/ 

Blogs that haven't been updated in current academic year and for the previous 6 years will be deleted.

Current accessibility regulations state that the structure of your blog and the design of your content must be accessible. From 16 October 2020, the City Flex theme will be applied by default to all new blogs. This is an accessible theme based on CampusPress flex and has been customised to the City Brand.


You can change your theme if required, remember to choose an Accessibility Ready theme.

You can add additional accessibility features to your blog by activating the Accessibility Plugin.   

  • Go to Dashboard>>Plugins and click Activate along the Accessibility Plugin.   
  • From the Dashboard select Settings >> WP Accessibility and select Add Accessibility toolbar with font size adjustment and contrast toggle and click Update Toolbar Setting

If you are uploading external content (e.g. word and PDFs to your blog, review guidance on creating accessible content: 

Remember to add alternative text to images that you use on City blogs. If you use images as teaching resources, you might find the Poet tool useful to learn how to describe your images effectively for students using a screen reader. 

You can use accessibility guidance from CampusPress and the WordPress handbook to help make your blog content accessible.

Why Use City Blogs?

Students are using City Blogs in a variety of ways including;

  • Recording Personal Development Planning (PDP) activities
  • Charting project progress
  • Managing group projects
  • Collaborating on the development of course resources
  • Commenting on lecturer-led blogs
  • Interacting with guest speakers

FAQs, in-depth guidance and tips

 Request a blog
Log your blog request with the IT Service Desk.  Students and staff can request blogs to support learning and teaching activities. Request public blogs to publicise the work of a department; to disseminate the results of a research project or to promote the work of a club or society. Once your blog has been created you can log in using your City username and password. If you have any problems using this service please refer to these guidance pages.
 How do I add City users to my blog?

As a blog administrator, you can use the Invite Users feature to register City users to your blog. Ensure that your invite link is set to the right role to ensure that they have the correct permissions on your blog. Send the invite link to the users' City email addresses. 

 How do I request accounts and individual blogs for my students?

Please complete the CampusPress blog request form on ServiceNow. Remember to add all the staff who require access to these blogs along with the role that they should have.

By default, all blogs are set with the privacy setting Only registered users of this blog are able to view it. The blog Administrator(s) can change this from the Dashboard. Click on the Settings menu and select Privacy. From this screen, the appropriate privacy setting can be selected and click Save changes.

For an individual student blog, which is not assessed, the student is typically the Administrator (can do everything including complete power over posts, pages, plugins, comments, choice of themes, imports, settings and assign user roles) and tutors are subscribers (can view posts and comments and add comments). For a full breakdown of the roles please see the Edublogs guidance on roles.

For an assessed blog it is recommended to make students Editors (are able to publish posts/pages, manage posts/pages, upload files, moderate comments as well as manage other people’s posts/pages, but are not able to assign and remove user roles)

 How do I set up a module blog that all students can contribute to?

Please complete the CampusPress blog request form on ServiceNow. For a module blog, a tutor or module leader is typically the Administrator and each student is either an Author (can write and publish own posts) or Contributor (can write own posts, but the Administrator needs to review and publish the posts). For a full breakdown of the roles please see the Edublogs guidance on roles.

By default, all blogs are set with the privacy setting Only registered users of this blog are able to view it. If you want to change these settings you can do this from the blog Dashboards. Click on the Settings menu and select Privacy. From this screen, the appropriate privacy setting can be selected and click Save changes.

 How do I select a student’s blog to view?
Go to: https://blogs.city.ac.uk Click Log In. Enter your City username and password Click Log In. From the My Sites tab select a student’s blog and click Visit Site to view it. If you have a large number of student blogs it can be difficult to navigate from the My Sites tab select See All. This opens a page with all of the blogs you are a member of and is much easier to navigate. Select Visit underneath the name of the blog you want to view.
 How do I add a comment/leave feedback on a student’s blog?
From the My Sites tab select your blog or a student’s blog and click Visit Site to view it. Click on the link to comments (this is displayed underneath or alongside the post). Write your comment and click Post comment.
 Why has the comment I posted not appeared?
This could be because the blog Administrator has selected to moderate and approve comments rather than allowing blog users to comment directly on a post.
 My name is appearing on my blog posts as my username how do I change this?

Your display name is automatically set to your username. You may prefer to change this to your full name. To do this:

  1. From the Dashboard click Update profile
  2. From the Display name publically as drop-down menu select your full name
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update profile.
 How can an external examiner view students’ blogs?
You need to complete the External Examiner Account Request Form (via the IT Service Desk. Include a list of blog URLs that the external examiner requires access to and indicate what level of access the External Examiner should have on the blogs. The Subscriber role is recommended as this enables the External Examiner to view the blog(s), read comments and write comments.
 How do I set up a personal blog?
Please complete the CampusPress blog request form on ServiceNow. By default, all blogs are set with the privacy setting Only registered users of this blog are able to view it. You can change the privacy settings at any stage. To change the Privacy settings click on the blog name from the top toolbar to open the menu and select Dashboard. Click on the Settings menu and select Reading. From the bottom of the screen select, the appropriate privacy setting can be selected and click Save changes.
 How do I change the theme of my blog?
  1. From your blog Dashboard go to the Appearance menu
  2. Select Themes and select Accessibility Ready to ensure that you select an accessible theme.
  3. Click on Live Preview to see how your blog will look in a new theme
  4. Once you have found one you like, click Save & Activate.

Themes have different functionality so if you change your blog theme you might lose access to widgets in a sidebar. These will move to inactive widgets and can be reused in your new theme. Not all blog themes will display your name or display multiple authors which may make them unsuitable for particular blogs.

 How do I write my first blog post?
  1. From your blog Dashboard or blog view, click on + New tab to open the drop-down menu
  2. Select Post
  3. Type a title for the post
  4. Type your post into the input field
  5. The edit toolbar enables you to spell check, format your text and insert images and files.
  6. You can enter keywords known as Tags to help others to search for posts that are relevant to them in the Post Tags input field on the right of the screen. Tags need to be separated by a comma. Click Add to add the tags to your post.
  7. Once you have completed writing your post you can preview it to ensure it is correctly formatted. Click on Preview.
  8. Close your preview window and from your Dashboard click on Publish. This will make the post visible on your blog and to all Users on your blog.

If you are not ready to post to your blog click Save Draft to save your post for further editing.

Further guidance and a video are available from the Edublogs support site.

 How do I edit a post?

You can edit from Dashboard screen and View screen:
From View:

  • Click on Edit alongside or underneath the post you want to change.
  • Click on Update to save.

From Dashboard:

  • From the Posts menu select All Posts
  • Click Edit underneath the post, you want to edit
  • Click Update to save.
 How do I add an image to my post?

From the post text editor, click on the add media icon which is located at the top of the editor. (Hover over an icon for information on its function).

  1. Drag and drop an image from your computer into the uploader or select and browse to the image. The maximum upload file size is 19MB.
  2. In the media options fields, you can add a title, description, caption, resize or change the placement of the image.
  3. Click Insert into Post.

Please note: You cannot re-use every image you find in a Google search in your blog. You need to ensure that you are not in breach of copyright when using images. City Library has produced a list of sites where you can re-use images in particular circumstances. Check the individual sites for terms of use as these vary.

 How do I embed a YouTube video into my blog post?

Find the YouTube video that you want to embed.


  1. Click on Share under the videoYouTube embed code
  2. Click on Embed
  3. Copy the code that appears (CTRL C)
  4. Go to your blog and click on + New tab to open the drop-down menu
  5. Select Post
  6. Type a title for the post
  7. Type your text into the input field
  8. Click on the HTML tab on the top right of the post
  9. Paste the YouTube embed code into the input field
  10. Click on the Visual tab on the top right of the post
  11. Click Publish
  12. Click View Post to view and play the video.

Please note : You need to ensure that you have permission to embed the video. If you are unsure of the permissions then you can simply create a link to the video.

 How do I add an external file to my post?

How do I add an external file to my post?

  1. From your blog Dashboard or blog view, click on + New tab to open the drop-down menu
  2. Select Post
  3. Type a title for the post
  4. Type your post into the input field
  5. Go to the section of the post where you want your external file to appear and click on Upload/Insert icon above the text editor.
    Select files to upload

    Select external files to upload


 How do I move between my blog and my blog dashboard?
When you are viewing your blog hover over the blog name in the tab on the top toolbar and menu will appear select Dashboard. When you are viewing your Dashboard click on the blog title in the tab on the top toolbar to view your blog. If you have multiple blogs hover over the blog you want to access from the My Sites tab and select Visit Site.
 How do I view comments that have been made on my posts?

You can set up email notification for comments on your blog.

  1. From the Settings menu select Discussion
  2. Click the checkbox alongside E-mail me whenever… Anyone posts a comment. (These notifications will be sent to your @city.ac.uk email address)
  3. Click Save changes.

Your blog Dashboard also displays recent comments. If you are viewing your blog you can see a count of the number of comments for each post and clicking on the number of comments opens these for you to read.

 What is the difference between posts and pages?
Posts appear in reverse chronological order with the newest post on top. Pages tend to used for static content that does not need to be regularly updated. See the Edublogs guidance for more information on this topic.
 How do I add a page to my blog?

Pages are not part of the chronological blog stream and are more suited to static content that doesn’t need to be updated regularly.

  1. From your blog dashboard or view click on + New
  2. Select Page
  3. Give your page a Title
  4. You can add content (e.g. text, images, links) into the input field
  5. Once you have finished click Publish.

Note : You can nest pages under other pages by making one the parent of the other. You can do this from the Page Attributes section of the Add Page/Edit screen by selecting the appropriate Parent page from the drop-down menu.

 How do I add a widget to my blog?

Please note you need to be the blog Administrator to add a widget. A widget is a tool or piece of content that you can add to the sidebar of your blog.

  1. From the Appearance menu in your blog Dashboard select Widgets
  2. Click on the desired sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)
  3. Drag and drop the individual widgets from the Available Widgets or Inactive Widgets menus to the appropriate sidebar
  4. The widget automatically opens for you to configure. Configure as required.
  5. Click Save and then Close.

Additional instructions and a video on widgets are available from: Edublogs help: Changing your sidebar widgets.

 How do I add a skip Twitter link?

You can add a skip Twitter link to the CityFlex theme to help users navigating the blog skip the Twitter feed if they don't want the screenreader to read it. Add the code below at the start of the custom HTML block used to display your Twitter feed.

<a id="beforeTwitterTimeline" tabindex="0" title="Start of twitter feed" aria-label="Start of twitter timeline"></a>

<a class="skip-link sr-only sr-only-focusable" href="#afterTwitterTimeline">Skip twitter timeline</a>


Add the code below after your Twitter embed code


<a class="skip-link sr-only sr-only-focusable" href="#beforeTwitterTimeline">Skip to the start of the twitter timeline</a>

<a id="afterTwitterTimeline" tabindex="0" title="End of twitter feed" aria-label="End of twitter timeline"></a>

 How do I add a sub-page to my blog?
  1. From your blog dashboard or view click on +New and select Page
  2. Give your page a Title
  3. You can add content (e.g. text, images, links) into the input field.
  4. From the Page Attributes menu select the page that you want to be as the Parent page from the Parent drop-down menu and your new page will nest underneath the page you have selected as your Parent page.
  5. Once you have finished click Publish.


 How do I change the order in which my pages display?
  1. From the Pages menu on the blog Dashboard select All Pages
  2. Click edit on the page you want to set as your first page
  3. From the Page Attributes section input the Order number for the page. 1 is the first page, 2 is the second and so on.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 for each page in your blog.
 How do I add users to my blog/class blog?

Adding users with existing City Blogs accounts If the person already has a City Blogs account, you can add them to your blog. From the Users menu on the Dashboard select Add user. Input the user's City username (e.g. sbbg123 or abxy123), select the appropriate role from the Role drop-down menu and click Add user. For a full breakdown of the roles please see the Edublogs guidance on roles.

Adding users without a City Blogs account. If the people you want to add don't already have a City Blogs account, you can generate an invitation and e-mail it to them. When they accept the invitation, their City Blogs account will be created and they will be added to your blog. NB. They must have a City IT account. To add external users, see below.

  1. Go to your blog Dashboard and Users > Invite Users
  2. Choose an invite code. This will be added to the URL you send to users.
  3. Select the role you want them to have. Please note - as the URL can be forwarded to other City users, select a role you will be happy with them enrolling themselves onto. For a full breakdown of the roles please see the Edublogs guidance on roles.
  4. Copy the URL that is generated and e-mail to the users you want to add.
  5. The site they access will ask them to log in using their City IT username and password, and then will direct them to your blog.

If you need to add a batch of users complete the batch create spreadsheet and log a request with the IT Service Desk.

 Can external users contribute to City Blogs?

City recognises that external contributors, including Alumni and service users, contribute to students' learning. If you require external users to contribute to a City Blog the external users will need to agree to the terms and conditions of the External User Agreement CampusPress and the Conditions of Use Policy (the PDF needs to be downloaded and provided to externals as it is available on the Staff Hub). Local accounts can then be set up for external users. You can request local accounts for the external users via ServiceNow. Provide the external user's name, email, the blog role required and the blog URL and the local accounts will be created and assigned to your blog.

Please note that there is a separate process for external examiner access. The External Examiner Account Request Form needs to be completed to provide External Examiners access to City Blogs