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Table of Contents

How to Setup a Site

Step 1:

Open up a web browser and go to the Expressions website.

Step 2:

Click the “Sign Up!” button.

Step 3:

The next screen will prompt you to type in your netid and password (note: this is the same netid and password that you use for myslice, blackboard, etc.).

After filling in the fields, click the “Sign In” button. 

Step 4:

Next you will be asked to fill out a site title and description. Keep in mind that these can always be changed once your blog has been created.

After filling in the fields, click the “Make My Site!” button.

Step 5:

Once the blog has finished being created you should click on the “Visit your site” button.

This will bring you to your new blog! Now you can customize it and start making posts and pages. There are a few tips that are important to know about using WordPress included in the next section of this manual, however more detailed and extensive support can be found at the WordPress support website:

The Site Admin Control Panel

This is where all of your customization, posting, etc. takes place. It is the control panel for your website. You can get to your control panel by clicking on the “Site Admin” link underneath the widget on the right side of your screen titled “Meta.”

The default CAS-plugin is automatically installed in WordPress so that Expressions users can use their SU Netid and password to login. Prior to authentication the Meta links are “Login” and “Non – SU Login.”

The default CAS-plugin is automatically installed in Wordpress so that Expressions users can use their SU netid and password to login. Prior to authentication the Meta links are “Login” and “Non – SU Login.”

Your Dashboard

Your Dashboard is the front page for your control panel.

Basic Management

In order to familiarize you with some of the terminology and functions of the most important aspects of WordPress blogs this manual addresses basic management procedures.

Selecting Your Theme

The theme of your blog is the first thing that anyone who visits it will see. It is the general appearance of your site and you can pick a theme that fits your personality, your likes, your professional identity, your hobbies, etc. A wide variety of themes is available to you and is accessible by clicking on the “Appearance” tab on the left hand side of your control panel.

Step 1: Click on the “Appearance” tab on the left side of the screen.

Step 2: Make sure that the “Install Themes” tab is being displayed.

Step 3: Either search for a theme using the search field and feature filter or click on the “Find Themes” button to scroll through many different available themes.

Important Note

It is recommended that you find your theme through the WordPress search engine (as opposed to through a Google search) because non-WordPress themes have shown to be problematic and can jeopardize your site. For more information on you can visit this site.

Managing Widgets

A widget is a mini application embedded on your website. Widgets are the little apps on the side of your website and different themes automatically come with different widgets. As of 2011 the initial theme that all expressions blogs have upon creation is called the “Twenty Eleven” theme.

You can add/delete widgets from your blog site by clicking on the “Appearance” tab in your site admin control panel.

Step 1: Click on the “Appearance” tab.

Step 2: Click on the “Widgets” tab on the drop-down list.

Step 3: Click and drag widgets that you want to add to your blog site into one of the various widget areas located on the right side of your screen. Remove a widget from the widget area by clicking and dragging it back over to the available widgets section in the center. Any widgets that are listed in the right widget areas will appear on your blog site.


Not all themes come with the same standard widgets, therefore it is important to go into the control panel whenever you change your theme and make sure that the “Meta” widget will appear on your blog site. The “Meta” widget allows you to easily login to your control panel directly from your site.
If you choose not to include the “Meta” widget on your blog’s main page, you will need to add the following to the end of your address, “/wp-admin/” for example, “”

Creating Posts

In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages.

When you're writing a regular blog entry, you write a post. Posts are the entries that display in reverse chronological order on your home page. In contrast to pages, posts usually have comments fields beneath them and are included in your site's RSS feed.

For more information about posts visit

There are two ways to post to your blog - either through a QuickPress post located on you Dashboard or more extensively through the “Post” tab on the left side of your Control Panel.

QuickPress - use this format to quickly and easily compose a post

Extensive Posts - use this format for posting when want to develop a more significant and customized blog post

Creating Pages

Pages, on the other hand, are for content such as "About Me," "Contact Me," etc. Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present information about yourself or your site that is somehow timeless - information that is always applicable. You can use Pages to organize and manage any amount of content. For more information about pages visit

Pages are essentially stable posts - they are available to viewers on the front screen of your blog through tabs at all times.

Full Screen Editor (Distraction-free writing)

The “Distraction-free writing” mode allows you to write and edit your posts free from widgets, menus, buttons and other elements that would normally be displayed. To use this mode, click the full screen mode button on the editor bar. To access the shortcuts you use the most, move your mouse to the top of the screen.

Quick Access Tool Bar

The quick access tool bar is located at the top of your blog screen and your admin screen. Use this for quick access to your common actions; for example, switching sites in multi-site, adding pages or posts, viewing comments, etc.

Updating Your Site

WordPress will occasionally come out with new versions which offer better services than previous versions. You can check for available updates to your site by clicking on the “DashBoard” dropdown and then the “Updates” button. Any available updates will be visible in this space.

You may also be notified of any updates by the quick access tool bar. The ‘Updates’ tab will indicate the number of updates that you need to install. Click the "Updates" tab and follow the instructions provided.

Adding New SU Users to Your Site

One feature that Expressions offers is the ability to add users to your blog. This is particularly useful if, for example, a professor wants to create a course blog and include all of his/her students as authors. Simply click on the “Users” dropdown on the left side of your control panel and click “Add New SU User.” After filling in their Netid, assign them a role from the provided dropdown list. See below for role descriptions.

Summary of Roles

*Administrator - Somebody who has access to all the administration features.

*Editor - Somebody who can publish and manage posts and pages as well as manage other users' posts, etc.

*Author - Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.

*Contributor - Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish them.

Press This

The "Press This" function is a bookmarklet that allows quick publishing. You can create a post by quoting text, images, and videos from any web page. To create a post by quoting text:

Step 1: Create the Press This bookmarklet from the Tools menu in the Administration Panel.

Step 2: While browsing, select the text you want to quote and click the bookmarklet in your browser's favorites (bookmark).

Step 3: In the pop-up window, edit your new post’s content.

Step 4: Save or publish the post.

Managing Comment (Comment Moderation)

With comment moderation, comments will only appear on your site with your permission. You can set certain criteria that screen all new comments before they are posted to your blog, and if a comment fails these criteria, you will have to approve it for it to be displayed. To establish this criteria:

Step 1: Click on the “Settings” tab.

Step 2: Click on the “Discussion” tab on the dropdown list.

Step 3: Specify a set of rules for determining which comments to post and which to moderate.

Comment moderation can be also very useful in handling Comment Spam. If you would like to learn more about comment spam, visit

Managing a Network of Multi-Sites

Expressions allows you to set up sub-sites. For example you may want your main site to present your professional résumé material while an additional one is used for your personal page, and another for a specific course you are taking. You are able to do this by enabling “Multi-Site” to your account.

Enabling Multi-Site

Click on the “Settings” tab on the left side of the screen. Click on the option “Multi-Site” in the dropdown menu. Fill out the information fields and click “Install.” You have now added the multi-site function to your WordPress account.

Site Admin versus Network Admin

The Network Admin Screen is the site from which you administer your Multisite (or Network) options. You can access the Network Admin space from the dashboard of any site, as long as you are logged in as the super admin user. Click the “Howdy, (your name)” at the right side of the access tool bar. Choose “Network Admin” from the dropdown menu.

Site Admin Space

Network Admin Space

If you are in the “Network Admin” space, you can go back to the “Site Admin” space by clicking the “Howdy, (your name)” and then the “Site Admin” option from the dropdown menu.

Also, the “My Sites” option in the access tool bar allows you to switch between sites easily.

Creating Sub-Sites

Step 1: Click on “Network Admin” to go to the Network Admin space.

Step 2: Once you are in the Network Admin space click on the “Sites” tab on the left side of the screen. Choose “Add New” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Fill out “Add New Site” info and click “Add Site”

You have now created a new sub-site. You can manage this site by clicking on the “Sites” tab and hovering over the site you wish you manage. Then click “Dashboard.” This brings you to the “Site Admin” for your site.


Please click on the pdf file below to open the Expressions Manual, which contains all the information above. Feel free to print this manual if you prefer to use a hard copy.

itsservapp011:Expressions Manual v3.2.pdf

Please note that the above manual is currently a working document and is still in the draft phase. All information included is correct, however additional information may be included in the final document.

Sources and Relevant Links

For more tutorials go to

WordPress 3.1.1 Update Summary

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