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When you set-up your first blog there are some choices to make and some considerations that you’ll want to understand. Let’s take a look at some vocabulary that can simplify the process for you.
The navigation panel has the following quick links to:
- W – all of your blogs. You can look at the stats for any blog you author, and you can quickly look at any recent posts from any blog you follow
- Clicking on the title of the blog gives you access to the Dashboard and also shows you the name of the current “theme” of your blog
- The graph shows you at a glance your daily visitor count
- New post allows you to quickly create a simple blog post
- The orange graph gives you your site’s notifications, recent comments to blog posts
- Under your name you can quickly sign out of your blog or click on a different blog that you author
The Dashboard is similar to the Control Panel in Blackboard. It is where you, the blog’s administrator, get to customize and moderate your blog. From the dashboard you can add pages, look at your statistics, add or edit a post, review comments, change the appearance of your blog, and add tools or widgets to the site. You can modify your blog’s settings. All these function, and more, are accessible from the Dashboard.
Settings should be considered when you first create your blog. You will want to click through each section of Settings, paying attention to the General, Writing, Reading, Discussion areas. In this area you will name your blog, choose the time zone that you would like displayed, the category where default posts will be placed, whether or not you want to moderate the comments made on your blog, and when you would like to receive email notification.
You get to choose a Blog Theme. Your theme determines how your blog looks and functions. Each theme is different and offers different functionality. You can switch your theme and preview how the change will affect your blog from your Dashboard.
What’s the difference between Plugins and Widgets in WordPress? Plugins are applications (usually called apps) that enhance or extend the functionality of your site. Usually these plugins operate behind the scenes and are invisible to your users. Widgets, on the other hand, are visible to the user. Your users will click on something or see something on your site as a result of enabling a widget. For example, if you want your tags to show as a word cloud, you might enable that widget, or, if you want users to see a list of most recent posts, there’s an app (or widget) for that!
Determining the Role or ‘permissions’ of your users is up to you. You can set the role designation by clicking on Users in your Dashboard. Here are the different roles that you can bestow on your users:
- Administrator– owner and manager of the site (that’s you)
- Editor—can edit all pages and posts but cannot modify the site settings plugins or widgets
- Author – can publish and manage their own posts, adding multimedia
- Contributor—can create a post but cannot publish it
- Subscriber—can only manage their own profile
Regardless of the role listed above, all can comment if you permit commenting in the Discussion area of ‘Settings’ in the Dashboard.