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Creating a Blog Site

  1. Navigate to https://blogs.iu.edu
  2. Log in by clicking the "Log in" link in the top left corner of the page.


  3. In the top left hand corner a new button will appear that says "Create Site". Click it.


  4. This is the page where you fill out your information to get the page set up.

    1. Note: The page may say "Get another IU Blogs site in seconds" even if this is your first blog. Don't worry about that. It will generate your new blog just fine.
    2. Site Name: This is an important item because it will end up being at the end of the web address for your blog. Make it something you can give to someone else and they would know what it is by the address. For example it would be "I490-username" or "Michael-Makerspace-Designs"
    3. Site Title:  This will be the topic of what your entire blog is about. For example it could be your first and last names (separated by a hyphen) or IU username.
      1. Note that spaces cannot be used and letters must be lowercase. 
    4. Site Language: This is your choice
    5. Privacy: Here you set the access level of people trying to view your site. If you are wanting to share this with your professors, classmates, or the outside world make sure that "Public" or "Search Engine Blocked" is selected.
      1. Note: If you select to restrict access to your blog it will not show up on shared sites, won't have a feed that other people can pull into their sites (including class group websites), and can only be viewed by actively logging in. 
    6.  Click "Create Site"
  5. You did it! Now navigate to your new blog site to get it customized to you. 
    1. The address will be https://blogs.iu.edu/YOUR-SITE-NAME 
    2. Important Note: YOUR-SITE-NAME in the example above is whatever you named your site in set 4.b above


How to customize your site.

This section is just a few basic items to get your site set up but there are too many options to list here in order to make it just how you personally want. There are a lot of plugins and widgets that you can add or modify to make your site fit your unique needs. The following are just a few suggestions.

  1. Navigate to your site (https://blogs.iu.edu/YOUR-SITE-NAME/
  2. In the top left hand corner you will see a dropdown menu labeled "My Sites"


  3. Hover over it and then select the site you wish to edit (You could have created multiple IU blog sites). This will take you to the dashboard of that site. This dashboard is how you administer your blog site.
  4. Create Categories for your posts
    1. Categories is how you can post multiple things to your blogs about different subjects but people can read them based on a thread, topic, or idea. Start by setting up at least one category. Good examples could be I490 - Makerspace Designs", "My L450 Internship", or "My summer trip to Europe"
    2. Hover over the "post" option on the left hand side of the screen.
    3. Select "Categories" on the menu that pops up.


    4. Name: Add a name for your topic. Like "ILS Internship Report" or "Markerspace Design Blog".


    5. Slug: This is what it will show up in the url when you give this blog address to someone else that you want to see just the entries you have in this category. It's a nice, short, url friendly name for your category.
    6. Then click "Add New Category" at the bottom.
  5. Change your navigation menu to show categories
    1. With IU Blogs you don't really have a lot of control over your menu or navigation bars. You can add some options to the left side of your page and the top but it's very limited. We suggest adding in your categories here so people can hop right to the blog entries that pertain to what they want to read.
    2. Hover over "Appearance" on the left hand side of the screen and select "Menus" from the drop down.
    3. While at first this screen looks like you can add multiple menus, IU only lets you use one at a time AND anything you put in sub categories doesn't show up. On the left you should see a section titled "Add menu items. Select "Categories" to open up the selection dropdown.
    4. Now select the categories you created and want to add to your navigation menu at the top.
    5. Click "Add Menu"
    6. Click "Save Menu" on the bottom right of the screen.
  6. Modify the right side options


Add a Post

Now you want to do the meat of the site... adding a post to your blog.

  1. On the dashboard of your website, hover of "posts" on the menu on the left side of the screen and click "Add New"


  2. Here you can add anything you want and format it the way you would like. You can even add images and media!
  3. Select the appropriate category for your post to belong too by checking the appropriate box on the right hand side of the screen in the "Categories" section.
  4. If you "Save as Draft" you can come back to this post later for editing before ever sending it our to the website.
  5. If you wish to go straight to publishing your post, simply click "Publish" found on the right hand side of the screen,

Find your RSS Feed

Many times class professors or other interested people may want to add your blog posts to their website. They can do this by including a "RSS FEED" (or just feed) to their website. 

  1. To find your feed simply navigate to your website and add the word "/feed/" to the end of the web address (URL).
    1. For example, if the site is https://blogs.iu.edu/mySite, the feed address would be https://blogs.iu.edu/feed/ 
  2. To add a feed that shows only posts for a specific category, simply navigate to the category you created by clicking it on your site navigation (See "How to Customize your Blog" above)
  3. The web address will now change to your category. Simply add "/feed/" to the end of the address.
    1. Example, if the site is https://blogs.iu.edu/mySite/category/i590/, the feed address would be https://blogs.iu.edu/category/i590/feed/
    2. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using this blog to give your professor an rss feed to your class blog information, this feed address or the one for you main site is what they will want so they can add it straight to their class website. 


Make your sidebar better

While not required, users of your site can navigate around and find what they want easier by making the sidebar options just a little bit better. The instructions that follow are just a suggestion but not required. Customize the navigation to your tastes. 

  1. The blog page sidebar is actually a WordPress "widget" so we'll need to navigate there to change it around. On your sites dashboard, on the left hand side, hover over the item "Appearance" and select the "Widgets" option.


  2. This screen has a lot of available widgets that you can add to your site. Simply drag what you would like from the left hand side of the page to the sidebar box on the right side of the page.
    1. The ones that are recommended for your blogs are Search, Categories, Recent Posts, Calendar, and Archives


  3. Click on the Categories drop down in your sidebar box to show some options for this widget.
  4. Change the title to "Categories"


  5.  Click "save"
  6. Go to your Blog homepage and see the new set up!