Please go through Lynda.com’s WordPress Essential Training before building your EdSpace site. Lynda tutorials are available to anyone with an AU ID and password.
How To: Quick Start
View Quick Start Guide to WordPress (PDF)
Or Browse Quick Start Guide Topics Below:
Go to edspace.american.edu and click on “Log In/Dashboard”
Log in to edspace.american.edu with the access ID and temporary password you received via email to begin.
Email containing username and password from firstname.lastname@example.org via email.wpengine.com
Change your password when you first log in.
Dashboard > Users > Your Profile. Enter your new password, repeat the password, and select “Update Profile.”
Choose a password or phrase that you will remember including numbers, letters, and symbols. American University requires Medium or Strong passwords, as indicated by the strength tester.
Create/Update Your Profile
Dashboard > Profile >Edit your Personal Options.
Add your name and a brief description about yourself. This information may be publicly visible. Edit your security settings and avatar based on your personal preferences.
Orientation to Dashboard,Toolbar, and Your Site
Orientation to Your Dashboard
The Dashboard allows you to customize your site’s appearance, add content, manage comments, add users, and more. We’ll take a quick look at some key features, and then get into specific actions on the Dashboard.
Orientation to Your Toolbar and Site
Once you are logged into your site, you’ll see an admin toolbar across the top of any edspace.american.edu site. This toolbar lets you navigate from your site to other areas, such as a different site of yours (My Sites), to view site (Visit Site), to view comments (comment icon), and to quickly add new content (+New). From here, we will explore the Dashboard in order to learn more about the backend of your blog.
There are three sets of items on the left-hand menu. The first set is for blog admin (My Sites – Stats), the second set (Posts – Comments) helps you manage your blog content, and the third set (Appearance – Settings) allows you to manage the design and structure of your blog.
Start Editing Your Site
Click the “My Sites” button on the sidebar to get started. From here you can visit your site, or your “Dashboard.” Click on “Dashboard” to begin managing your site.
Alternative 1: Top Navigation Bar: My Sites > Your Site Name > Dashboard
Alternative 2: Append “/wp-admin to the end of your site URL.
A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying
unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed,
without modifying the underlying software.
Choose a Theme
Within the wp-admin dashboard, select Appearance > Themes, then browse layouts available, and select Activate
for desired theme.
Pages vs. Posts
Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one in Settings → Reading. If you have created any sticky posts, those will appear before the other posts. Posts can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings. The URL for a post includes the date the post was published like this: http://blogname.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/post-title/
See Posts for more detailed information.
Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages do not use tags or categories. An About page is the classic example. Pages can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog. If you have 50 pages and you use the Pages widget, then all pages will be listed all the time. The URL for a page looks like: http://blogname.wordpress.com/page-title/
See Pages for more detailed information.
Within the wp-admin dashboard, select Pages > Add New (previously-made pages are available to edit under
Pages > All Pages)
- Fill out page title, text (body) and insert media as desired
- Select any page attributes – some themes offer page templates and the potential to have a parent/child page hierarchy (particularly helpful for large site organization)
- Select “Publish” when ready
- From within your top toolbar, select + New > Post
Alternative: Within Dashboard, select Posts > Add New
- Fill out post title, text (body) and insert media as desired
- Add tags as specified in prompt. This is extremely important, as these tags will filter and organize your posts.
- Select “Publish” when ready
Editing Site Visibility
- Log into wp-admin Dashboard > Settings > Reading.
- Select desired level of site visibility
- Select “Save Changes” to update site
**If you would like your entire site to be password-protected (last option), please contact email@example.com until further notice. This plugin needs an extra later of security that can only be made by super-administrators.
Adding Users To Your Site
Log into the dashboard of your EdSpace site (usually by appending /wp-admin to the end of your public URL)
Navigate to Users > Add New
Add an existing EdSpace user by using the form on the top of the page.
Add a new user by using the form on the bottom of the page
Change the User Role as desired.
- Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site
- Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
- Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
- Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
- Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile and access the site if it is locked down to registered users only.
Adding or Editing Widgets
WordPress Widgets add content and features to your Sidebars. Examples are the default widgets that come with WordPress; for post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc. Plugins and Themes will often add their own widgets.
- Log into your WP-Admin Dashboard page (append /wp-admin to the end of your site’s URL)
- Within the WP-Admin Navigation, go to Appearance > Widgets
- Expand Widgets Areas (e.g. Sidebar, Footer) by selecting Down Arrow next to widget title
- Select and Drag Widgets (left-side) into desired areas and edit as needed.
- To remove Widgets, select and drag Widgets away from Widget area.
Add A Page to the Navigational Menu
Log into wp-admin Dashboard > Appearance > Menus.
- Select pages (to the left of the new Navigation menu section) that you’d like to be featured in the menu by (1) checking their corresponding boxes and (2) clicking “Add to Menu.”
- By Selecting/Clicking and Dragging, (3) arrange the order of navigational items. For items that should be “under” parent pages, drag them below and to an indent of their parent page.
- Select (4) “Save Menu” when you’re done.
Add All Posts With a Specific Tag/Category to the Navigational Menu
Log into wp-admin Dashboard > Appearance > Menus.
- Select desired posts, links, categories, or (1) tags to make a navigational link directly to that content. For example, (2) selecting the “featured” tag checkbox and (3) selecting “Add to Menu” button will make a link to all the posts tagged “featured.”
- (4) To change the name of the Navigational link, select the down arrow to expand item, and rename its “Navigation Label.”
- By Selecting/Clicking and Dragging, arrange the order of pages. For pages that should be “under” parent pages, drag them below and to an indent of their parent page.
- Select (5) “Save Menu” when you’re done.
“Setting Featured Images
Create your post title, text, categories (remember for later), tags, and select other options as desired (e.g. allow comments)
- Select “Set Featured Image”
- Upload your image
- Set an “Alt Tag” – this text explains your image to non-sighted visitors. More on Alt Tags. Select “Set featured image”
- Publish your post
Creating Excerpt Text
For specific text to show on search results, category/tag pages, and sliders:
- Fill out “Excerpt” area with desired text.
- Select “Publish” or “Update” (if post was previously published)
Use the form below to contact the EdSpace team.