Become an Invincible Socialist Blogmonster
Firstly, you’ll need a user account- if you don’t have one, contact your committee chairperson and/or the Tech committee. Once you have your account set up and have account credentials, log in here, and you’ll be taken to the dashboard section of the admin panel:
The DSA504 site has two basic content types- posts and pages. Posts are shown in reverse chronological order (newest first) as a feed on the homepage:
Posts also appear on any committee pages that they’re assigned to (more on that later). Generally, you’ll want to use posts for articles, blog posts, announcements, etc. that will be public-facing and/or time-specific. A list of all posts can be seen (imaginatively enough) in the posts section of the admin panel:
From here you can also create a new post (via Add New), or edit or delete existing posts.
Pages, conversely, are for less time-specific content, and/or content that shouldn’t be entered into the main feed on the homepage- think committee bylaws, meeting guidelines, the page you’re currently reading, etc. Because pages don’t appear in feeds, they’re generally only accessible by link. HOWEVER pages are not secret or secure: they’re still public, and will show up in search engine results, so do not use them for any sensitive information, or anything you wouldn’t put in a public post on the homepage.
Pages, as (I’d hope?) you’ve guessed, can be accessed and edited from the Pages section in the admin panel in the same manner as Posts:
Each DSA Committee has a separate section of the site, accessible to the general public through the site’s main menu on the top-right of the homepage. These committee pages can be edited from the admin panel via the Committees section:
These pages contain two built-in sections, Introductory Text and Resources, which can be edited like normal posts/pages in the admin panel; they also contain a feed of all posts which are assigned to that committee:
Using The Admin Panel
Getting Around the Editor
First let’s look at the Publish Box- here you can see (and change) the current Status of the post:
- ‘Draft’ means that the post/page has been saved in the admin system (so it can been seen and edited by other DSA504 account holders), but isn’t yet visible to normal users- new posts/pages are set to ‘Draft’ by default.
- ‘Published’ post or pages are live on the site and visible to any user.
- Depending on your account level, you may not have permission to directly publish to the live site. In that case, you can change the status to ‘Pending Review’, which will indicate to users with publish permission the post/page is ready to be reviewed prior to publication.
You can save your work in the editor without publishing by clicking the Save Draft button. Additionally, WordPress will periodically automatically save drafts you’re working on in the editor- these manually and automatic saved versions can be seen (or reverted to) under Revisions->Browse.
The editor doesn’t exactly represent how your post/page will appear visually once published- you can see what the final post will look like prior to publishing by clicking the Preview button in the top right. When you’re ready to publish you page or post to the live site, press Publish– and remember, you can always change to Status back to ‘Draft’ if you need to.
Title is -uh – the title of the post or page; it will also be used to set the default permalink, which is the actual URL of the post or page. Usually using the default is fine, but it can be changed with the “Edit” button (Note that it’s generally best to avoid changing this after the post is published, as doing so can break links distributed via social media, emails or bookmarks).
The Toolbar contains a ton of word processor-type options for formatting text. You can add links (via the Insert/Edit Link button), and set heading styles (via the dropdown box to the left):
This is a “Heading 1”
This is a “Heading 2”
This is a “Heading 3”
- You can
insert block quotes,
The toolbar toggle button at the right will open a sub-menu with even more options.
Lastly, there’s the Add Media button- you can use this to upload images from your computer to add to your posts, by clicking Add Media, and then Upload Files (outlined in red):
But it’s not just images! You can also upload PDFs, Word files, ZIP files, etc, which will appear as normal text links in the post. And by clicking Insert from Url (in the bottom left of the above screenshot), you can insert tweets by copy+pasting their URL:
people's writing advice is like "log off twitter" but if you're a good enough writer you never have to log off
— shanley (@shanley) August 3, 2017
It also works for Youtube videos:
Assigning Posts to Committees
At the bottom of the Edit Post screen in the editor, there’s this “Committee” box:
If you’d like your post to appear on an individual committee page, select a committee on the left; the post will now appear on the feed section of that committee page, in addition to the main homepage feed.
Creating Pages with Tables of Contents
Some types of page content work better with a table of contents and a “question and answer” style structure. To create these types of pages, create a page as normal, but under the “Template” dropdown in the “Page Attributes” sidebar, select “FAQs.”
This will change the editor window, allowing you to input separate “Question” and “Answer” fields. To add a new question-and-answer pair, click the “Add Question” button at the bottom. Now, when you publish, all the questions will be listed as section links in a “Contents” sidebar, automatically!
- Normally in the editor, pressing “Enter” will create a new paragraph, which adds some extra spacing- if you strictly need a single-line linebreak, try “Shift+Enter.”
- Copy+pasting text from word processors (like Word) can attach a lot of hidden styles and formatting, which can cause problems with the editor- it’s usually best to copy+paste into a generic text editor (like Notepad) first, then copy+paste into the editor and add formatting.
- In the Publish Box, there’s a listing for “Publish immediately”- by clicking edit, you can schedule posts to publish ahead of time.
- Remember: it’s actually pretty hard to break something via the editor, so dive in and experiment!