City Blog FAQs

New guidance available

Our City Blog guidance has moved to our new site. Please update your links and bookmarks to our new guidance site https://www.city.ac.uk/edtechguides/student  

City Blogs is a service for 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.

Login to City Blogs (City username and password required). From My Sites select the blog you want to work on.

A blog is a website where the content typically displays in reverse chronological order - i.e. newest entry on top. Most blogs encourage interactivity by enabling readers to leave comments and engage in a conversation with the author. Different themes will provide blogs with a different look and feel, but they tend to have a similar layout.

You can use blogs in a number of ways. You can request a blog to chart your own development or you might be required to use blogs to support your development or to contribute to a project as part of a module that you are studying.

Contributing to class blogs

Your module leader will decide what type of role you should have on class blogs. Your role on the blog will either restrict or provide access to different elements of the blog. Your module leader will provide you with information about how you are to interact with these blogs.

Examples of class blogs include:

Type of blog

Student Role

Permissions

Type of blog

Student Role

Permissions

Personal Reflective blog shared with tutor.

These blogs will be kept for two academic years. After this time, student blogs will be archived.

Administrator

Administrators can post to the blog, edit posts, change the theme of the blog, comment on posts and reply to comments made on the blog

Class blog managed by module leader where students read posts and engage in discussion

Subscriber

Subscribers can view posts, make comments and reply to comments previously made.

Collaborative blog where a group of students have equal rights to post to and comment on a blog

Author

Authors can post to the blog, edit only their own posts, comment on other students posts and reply to comments

Common blog FAQs are addressed below and there is a wealth of guidance from the CampusPress/Edublogs help and support pages.

 

How do I set up a personal blog?

Please log your request using the CampusPress blog request form on the IT Self Service Portal. Provide your username, email, the site URL and the site title. By default all blogs are set with the privacy setting: Only registered users of this site can have access - anyone found under Users > All Users can have access. If you want to change these settings, go to your blog Dashboard and select Privacy which is under the This site tile. From this screen select the appropriate privacy setting and click Save changes. 

How do I make my blog posts accessible?

If you are contributing to a public City blog, accessibility regulations state that the structure of your blog and the design of your content must be accessible. If you are uploading external content (e.g. word and PDFs to your blog, review the guidance on creating accessible content: 

Remember to add alternative text to images that you use on City blogs.

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

How do I change the theme of my blog?

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.

  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

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

Please note that 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. Please note: Not all blog themes will display your name or display multiple authors. 

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. You can use the WordPress handbook to help make your blog content accessible

  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

Guidance on writing your first blog post. 

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 50MB

  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 just any 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. http://www.city.ac.uk/library/copyright/copyright-and-images 

How do I embed a YouTube video in my post?

Find the YouTube video that you want to embed.

  1. Select the YouTube embed code

  2. Click on Share under the video

  3. Click on Embed

  4. Copy the code that appears (CTRL C)

  5. Go to your blog and click on + New tab to open the drop-down menu

  6. Select Post

  7. Type a title for the post

  8. Type your text into the input field

  9. Click on the HTML tab on the top right of the post

  10. Paste the YouTube embed code into the input field

  11. Click on the Visual tab on the top right of the post

  12. Click Publish

  13. 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 ensure of the permissions then you can simply create a link to the video.

How do I embed a vimeo video in my post?

Go to Vimeo and click on the video you want to embed in your post.

Copying the embed code from Vimeo.

  1. Right click on the video and select Copy embed code

     

  2. Go to your blog (Dashboard or view) and click on + New tab to open the drop-down menu

  3. Select Post

  4. Type a title for the post

  5. Type your text into the input field

  6. Click on the HTML tab on the top right of the post

  7. Paste the Vimeo embed code into the input field

  8. Click on the Visual tab on the top right of the post

  9. Click Publish

  10. 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 ensure of the permissions then you can simply create a link to the video.

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

  6. You can now browse for a file you have saved on your computer or drag and drop a file. To browse for a file click on Select Files on the Add Media window that opens

  7. Browse to the drive on your computer where the file(s) are saved

  8. Select the file(s)

  9. Click Open

  10. Click Insert into Post

  11. Click Save Changes

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 a 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 add a comment to a blog?

  1. From the My Sites tab select the blog you want to comment and click Visit Site to view it

  2. Click on the link to comments (this is displayed underneath or alongside the post)

  3. Write your comment and click Post comment

How do I view comments that have been made on my posts?

  1. From the Settings menu select Discussion

  2. Click the checkbox alongside E-mail me whenever… Anyone posts a comment

  3. Click Save changes.

(These notifications will be sent to your @city.ac.uk email address)

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 be used for static content that does not need to be regularly updated. Guidance on difference between pages and posts.

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 does not need to be updated regularly.

  1. From the Blog 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 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.

  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.

To add external users, see our advice on the City Blogs guidance page.