Tips for Customizing Your Blog

Some of you aren’t doing much with the stock elements of the wordpress blogs. Some tips to get you started:

1. Choose a new theme. DePo Masthead is good at this point, because it has a three column view that allows you to see three projects at once if they are your most recent three posts. In the dashboard, go to Appearance>Themes to switch themes.

2. Dump the username title (e.g., “Phill123’s Blog”) and the stock description (“Just another wordpress blog”). Click on “settings” in the Dashboard and replace it with a title that’s more specific to the content of your blog. Remember, what you’re doing here is building a portfolio of multimedia work about the New Paltz campus community.

2. Don’t neglect the “About” section. You can edit this by going to “Pages” in the Dashboard. Tell us about yourself and your blog.

3. Speaking of Pages, you don’t just have to create a linear blog, post by post. You could create a new Page or a new Category for each assignment. Experiment.

4. Don’t neglect text compliments – meaning, the text that surrounds your project. It is part of what invites your audience to click on what you’ve done. It tells them what the project is about. Plus, it’s searchable in a way that multimedia projects aren’t.

5. Speaking of searches, tags and categories are good ways to make your blog posts more searchable.

6. Get rid of all the stock posts — such as “Hello World” — by going to “All Posts” and deleting the ones you don’t want.

7. Get rid of all stock widgets, such as “Blogroll.” Go to Appearance>Widgets to rename or replace your widgets.

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About Lisa Phillips

I am an assistant professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz and the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession (HarperCollins, 2015) and Public Radio: Behind the Voices.
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