If you’re enrolled in the class you should have an Author account on our blog (these will be activated on the first day of classes).

1. You will have received an email from WordPress with the subject line [SmithiesDesign]. If you can’t find it in your school email inbox, check your spam folder.

2. Follow the links in the Password Reset email to change your password. Keep it confidential. Make it secure.

3. Once you have an account you can log into the blog by going to www.smithiesdesign.com/login
Don’t forget the /login when you are trying to create a post or edit it.

As an Author you can create, edit and delete your own posts. You can upload pictures and files. I recommend typing and saving your content in a Word file first so that you have a backup you can copy and paste from.

4. At the dashboard you can create a new post as shown in the screen shot below.

At the top left: + New > Post opens up a new post. Enter a title, enter text. Upload pictures using the “Add Media” button on the middle left. Switch modes using the Visual/Text/Cornerstone tabs on the middle right. (Editing with Cornerstone is cool!) The stuff on the right is for saving, previewing, assigning the Category, setting a main picture/thumbnail, and finally publishing.

Be sure to upload an image by clicking “Set featured image.” When a post has a featured image, it will display your post on the banner at the top of every page (this banner is called the “carousel” and will display the 5 most recent posts). 

5. You can type and edit in three modes: “Visual” [almost like typing in Word, the formatting of paragraphs will appear as is], “Text” [html, using things like /<h1>/ to format] and “Cornerstone” [buttons and pre-made formatting that you drag and drop]. They all have their own benefits but I recommended “Cornerstone” mode for the cleanest and easiest posts. Be warned that if you try to switch between modes you might lose data in the translation (hence the need for a Word document with all your content as backup.

6. Remember to categorize your posts before publishing them, e.g. “Reading Response” for each reading response.

If you need help with any of this try looking up the question on the WordPress.org support forums. Note that this a WordPress.org site not WordPress.com (there are some minor differences). Simply google a question “how to upload pictures in wordpress” and follow the best search results on https://codex.wordpress.org/.
Or email me. If you get started with the basics before the deadline you’ll be giving yourself enough time for a response.

When you’re editing a post in Cornerstone mode, you can easily add images, video, and audio. Cornerstone also has a stock of assets called “Elements” that allow you to add buttons, toggle text sections (like the one you’re reading, called Accordion), photo galleries, embedded files etc.

In Cornestone, you should see two panels: the thinner left panel is a dashboard (with 4 functions at the top row and 6 at the bottom row), and the right panel shows a preview of your post layout. It should update in real time but the full effect of some elements may not be visible until you’re looking at the actual post.

Top row functions: Layout, Elements, Inspector.
Left margin functions: CSS, JS, Preview, Mobile View etc.

To get started:
1. Go to Layout > Add a section, name it
2. Go to Elements > Drag an element you like, eg “Text”, into the preview panel on the right, it’ll drop into the section you just created and move you to the Inspector function so that you can edit the element. You can move it around between sections or within the same section.
3. Click on the element you just dropped to open Inspector > You can now copy paste your text working in either “Text” or “Visual” mode. Toggling between the two modes here is pretty safe so feel free to do so.

4. Click the Insert Media button (camera and music note) to add a picture. This will open a dialog box where you can upload a file or pick from the existing file library.

5. To embed a video, upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo first. Then use the element called “Raw Content” to copy-paste the embed code YouTube generates for you. You can use Raw Content for forms or any other media that isn’t working directly in the other elements.

Play around and have fun with the features.

6. When you’re done, remember to Save (Bottom row, last function).

7. Return to the WordPress dashbord by clicking on Home. Make sure your post is published and categorized.