One benefit of choosing WordPress for a portfolio is the way it interacts with other web tools, media sites, and mobile devices. After you’ve mastered the basics, here are a few hints for adding features or simplifying updates to your blog.
#1 Adding Other Types of Content
The real power of WordPress is the variety of content that can be added to posts and pages. Assignments can contain images, links to documents or media files, or content from external sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
First, you can upload content of your own to posts or pages from the Text Editor window. Look for the Add Media icon just above the editing window to add image, audio, or video files.
The fastest, easiest way to embed video from YouTube and many other sites on ACU Blogs is by pasting the URL into the editing window of any post or page.
Finally, some projects may benefit from embedding basic polls and ratings. You’ll find PollDaddy ratings and polls available directly in the Dashboard. For more information about embedding video or PollDaddy polls, see the videos in the Mid-Semester Updates post.
#2 Post by Email
Perhaps the easiest way to post new content to your portfolio is using post by email using the Postie plugin. New portfolio blogs at ACU are automatically set up to accept new posts sent by the blog owner to a portfolio blog email address. This capability can also be granted to other users you add to your blog based on their WP Roles.
Ways to use Post by Email:
- quickly post an assignment as an email attachment
- upload images from your computer or mobile device
- send a URL or YouTube link (automatically embedded as a YouTube player)
IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to use Post by Email, you will need to activate Postie in the Plugins menu of the Dashboard. If Postie is deactivated, you will be unable to post by email.
When sending attachments from your laptop, remember that any file types compatible with the iPhone should be accessible from the blog. This includes most document file types (pdf, doc, ppt, or xls, txt, rtf) as well as QuickTime media formats (mp3, mp4, mov, m4v, m4a).
For iPhone or iPod touch users, this also means content created on the device can be sent to the blog as well since photos, weblinks, YouTube links, and now audio and video recordings can be shared via email.
*One caveat: There is a 25mb limit to Gmail attachments and a 250mb total for each class blog, so if you’re working with large files talk to someone in the Learning Studio.
#3 Posting Content Quickly
In addition to post by email, several faculty bloggers have recommended the Press This applet as a quick way to share weblinks back to the blog. In the Tools section of the Dashboard, you’ll find instructions for adding the applet to your browser’s bookmarks bar, then whenever you run across a useful research site while on the web you’re just one click away from posting it to your portfolio.
One other option for posting a short note is the Quick Press box on the front page of the Dashboard. Think of it as a stripped down version of the full text editor; from Quick Press you can add content, tags, categories, and images or media immediately after logging into the Dashboard.
#4 Changing Privacy Settings
Portfolios, by definition, are collections of quality work for public display. Your new portfolio blog is publicly visible to the web (though not searchable by Google), but there are a few things you can do to keep work private until you’re ready to publish.
- Once you are finished editing a post or page, you can use the Save Draft button to save content not ready for public view.
- You can also edit the Visibility to publish a Private or Password-Protected post.
When you are ready to make private posts public where faculty, students, or future employers can see your work, it’s as simple as hitting the big Publish button.
If you are looking for a way to change your site-wide privacy settings, here are the privacy levels you can select under the Settings tab in the Dashboard:
- Visible to everyone OR Allow normal visitors (available widely across the Web)
- Visible only to registered users from blog community (everyone behind MyACU login)
- Visible only to registered members of this blog (only your students)
- Visible only to administrators (basically just you)
If you as the blog administrator choose to allow external users to post comments, you may also want to set comments to be approved before posting to the blog.
#5 Managing Users on Your Portfolio
There may be occasions when you need to collaborate on content for your portfolio blog. In the Users section of the Dashboard, you can use the Add User link to add contributors to your portfolio (they must have a MyACU login to be added). Each has a certain level of access or what WordPress calls a Role.
- Administrator – has access to all admin features (the blog owner)
- Editor – can publish and manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts
- Author – can publish and manage their own posts
- Contributor – can write and manage but not publish their own posts
- Subscriber – can read content and add comments
Finally, if you choose, you can also change post by email settings in Postie to allow students to post drafts or publish posts to the class blog using the same class email described in #2.