UMW Blogs WordPress Guide

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Using UMW Blogs

Creating a blog at UMW Blogs

To create your own blog on UMW Blogs, go to the sign up page and enter a username and e-mail address (you must use your UMW email). Once you have done this, you should receive an e-mail that will confirm your account and soon after provide you with a password.

Creating more than one blog at UMW Blogs


You can create as many blogs as you desire on UMW Blogs. However, you can only do so once you are logged on to UMW Blogs with your original login name and password (keep in mind your UMW Blogs username and password is different from your UMW systems username and password). You do not need to create a new username and password each time you want a new blog.

Where is my blog? And how do I login?

First things first, where is your blog? Your individual blogs should be located at the address you specified when signing up for a UMW Blog. Your initial blog address is determined by the domain you chose when you created your blog, which, by default, is the same as your username unless you specified something else. For example, if the domain you specified is "myblog" your blog address will be the following:

If you didn't specify a domain, and your username was janedoe, then your blog address is probably as follows: 

To access the administrative back-end of your blog you should see a log in link on the main page. If you do not see this link, for whatever reason, enter the following at the end of your url address "/wp-admin" (no quotes)- the address should look something like this:

Once you've done this, you will see two fields asking for your login and password, as pictured below.


Login and you should be taken directly to your administrative back-end.

Changing your password

If you need to change your password, you can do this from the UsersYour Profile subtab.


Or, you can choose "Edit My Profile" from your name in the Admin Bar


Then change your password by typing it twice into the New Password fields


Then click the "Update Profile" button at the bottom of the screen.

An overview of the back-end tabs

The Dashboard


Once you log in, you will be brought to the Dashboard. This is the default starting page of the administrative back-end. From here, you can click on several different options that will bring you to various sections of your backend wherein you can post new articles, edit your own posts or comments, update your user profile, and return to the front page of your blog, etc.

The Dashboard gives you an overview of your blog activity including recent postings, comment activity, incoming links, a section to write a quick post (titled "QuickPress"), as well as providing several links to recent news from the WordPress community (often containing useful info about updates, features, and more general information about this open source community).

Keep in mind you can customize your own dashboard to your liking by simply dragging and dropping each of the sections around and/or clicking the "Screen Options" tab in the upper right-hand corner of the Dashboard to decide what you would like to be visible or hidden.

Post Section


This section is where you can write new blog posts and edit existing posts. Writing a post (as opposed to a page which is distinct from blog posts because pages remain outside of the blog's reverse chronology) is probably the lion's share of how you will use your blog. When writing a new post you can control the status, i.e., make the posts a draft, password protected, etc. You can also change the time stamp to control when the post shows up in the blogs chronology of posts.

Additionally, you can add categories and tags to posts to create a personalized taxonomy of terms and sections in your site. You can add tags and categories while writing a new post or editing and existing post. And the sub-sections "Tags" and "Categories" allow you to manage tags and categories across all your posts.

Media Section


Allows you to search media you have uploaded, such as images, music, videos, etc. Keep in mind, however, that your storage space on this system is quite limited (200 MB), so you may want to use external services for media such as Flickr, YouTube, or Google Docs.

Links Section


The Links section is where you can add new links and manage existing links. To add a new link click on the Add Link sub-section and enter the appropriate information in the following three fields: link name, link address and link description.

Also, you can categorize your links into link categories by simply adding a new category in the categories section, or choosing an existing category. You can also manage these categories in the "Link Categories" sub-section.

Once you have added links and categorized them they can then be added to your sidebar using the Links Widget in the Appearance-->Widgets section.

Pages Section


For larger version on Flickr click here.

This section is where you can write new page and edit existing pages. Writing a page is designed for static information that stands outside of the time specific flow of information that is the logic of posts. When writing a new page you can control the status, i.e., make the page a draft, password protected, etc. You can also control the order of pages so that the are aligned in the sidebar or in the header in a specific order.

You can add pages to your sidebar by going to Appearance--->Widgets and adding the pages widget if it isn't there already. Keep in mind that the widget allows you to control the display through three different means: name (alphabetically), order (which you control when creating a page), or page ID (which is usually aligned with when you created the post).

Comments Tab


The Comments tab is relatively straightforward. This is where you can manage, moderate, or delete any comments you receive on your blog. To establish the settings for comments or to turn off comments, you need to go to the Settings → Discussion subtab (this is where all of the settings for commenting are controlled). Also, the My Comments subtab allows you to track all the comments you have made throughout UMW Blogs, which could be useful for keeping up with distributed discussions.

Appearance Section


The Appearance section is where you control the overall look and feel of your blog/website. If you go to the Appearance section you will see a number of images that highlight different themes you can use for your blog. Double click on any of the over 100+ themes available for a preview of what your site will look like with this theme. If you like it, click "activate" in the upper right-hand corner, or close the preview by clicking the "X" in the left-hand corner and preview another. Once you've selected the new theme, click on "Visit site" next to your blog title at the top of the admin screen to see how you like the new digs.

For more information about the Appearance screen go here.


The Appearance tab is also where you can enable widgets for your blog. WordPress widgets are content elements that can be added to the sidebar of your blog or website. For example there are widgets that include recent comments, pages, links, etc.


For more information about widgets go here.

Custom Menus


Depending on the theme, you can also further customize the look and feel of your blog/website by using Custom Menus. Custom menus allow you to overwrite an existing menu structure in the header navigation or sidebar with a more custom, dynamic system. To see how to use this option visit the Custom Menus Tutorial.

For more informations about Menus go here.

Custom CSS

Custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is an option for WordPress Multisite that helps site managers change their theme styles securely. Keep in mind a basic understanding of CSS is required for this option to be at all useful.


Plugins Section


Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress. There will be a number of plugins made available to all UMW Blog users. Depending on the added functionality you need, you may very well find a plugin that handles the task for you. For example, including a photo album, adding a contact form, podcasting, etc. Once you activate the appropriate plugin in this tab, chances are one of two things will happen: it will either have additional options to configure in the Settings tab, or it will show up as a widget in the Appearance → Widgets subtab.

Users Section


You can use this section to add other users to your blog and control the level of permissions you wish to grant them. Once you add a user by putting their email in the appropriate feild, an email will be automatically sent to them asking if they want to accept the invitation. Keep in mind that a user must be a member of UMW Blogs already for them to be added to your blog. Once an invited user accepts the invitation, they will show up as a user within your blog with the permissions you specified.

The Users → Your Profile sub-section is where you edit your personal profile, such as changing your nickname, changing your password, adding your IM address, and various other personalized options.

Tools Section


The Tools section allows for a few important options. There is the Import tool that allows you to import your work from a wide-array of other services like, Bloggers, LiveJournal, Drupal, etc., pretty much anything with an RSS feed. For more information on how to do this go here.

The Export tool allows each and every users to download the contents of their blog to an RSS file that can then be imported to several other services like, Blogger, or one's own hosted site/blog using an applications like Drupal or WordPress. To find out more about this process go here.

And, finally, mapping your own domain to your UMW Blog, get more information about this option here.

Settings Tab


The Settings section allows you to change many of the overall options for your blog. For example, you can use the General Settings section to change the blog title, change the time zone, or add a brief description. The various sub-sections allow you to control the comments, reading, and writing options for your blog. This is also where you control the privacy settings or even delete your blog entirely.

Additionally, if you are adding plugin functionality, often times you control the settings for plugins within this tab (the plugin will frequently have an associated sub-section in the Settings section). There are many, many options housed within this tab, and it may be useful to read more here if you're interested.