Category Archives: Tips

Gutenberg – the new post editor for WordPress

WordPress was recently upgraded to version 5.0.3 on blog.ryerson.ca. With this upgrade came a new editor for posts and pages, known as ‘Gutenberg’.

Since August, blog administrators have been able to activate a Gutenberg plugin for their blog, to give them a preview of what was coming.

Gutenberg

In this post, we will cover some of the Gutenberg basics, and let you know how this change may impact your blog.


Continue reading Gutenberg – the new post editor for WordPress

Feature Update: Password Protect Your Blog

We are happy to announce that blog administrators can now password protect their blogs.

This allows you to assign a single password to control access to your blog, offering a level of privacy that we didn’t have previously.

This is great news for sites that contain private content that is meant to be shared with select visitors from outside the University.

The new option has been added to our Site Visibility and Privacy instruction page.

Twitterfy Your Blog

Did you know that your blog and your Twitter account can work together?

Adding some Twitter elements to your blog can pool together the audience for your blog with the audience for your Twitter account. Not only is it a way to promote on both platforms, but a way to generate interesting comments, and broaden your online community. For those of you who blog for class purposes, it’s a great way to reach outside of your classroom peers.

Automatically Tweet Links to Blog Posts

WordTwit is a plugin that generates a new Tweet every time you publish a new blog post. The embedded tweet below is an example of this plugin at work – it’s made up of the title of the blog post, a link to the post and any other text (including hashtags) you may want to add to all of your blog-based tweets.

Once activated, this plugin’s settings can be found under Settings > WordTwit. Just follow the on-screen instructions to authorize your Twitter account and get started!

Tip: Keep your blog post titles clear and concise! Remember that it needs to fit into a tweet, along with any added text and the link!

Display Tweets on your Blog

Tweet Blender is a sidebar widget that lists recent Tweets by a specified user, hashtag, or keyword!

Once activated, this plugin’s settings can be found under Settings > Tweet Blender. The most useful options are all in theĀ General, Widgets and Archives tabs. Try different combinations of settings until it looks and works the way you want.

Tip: Enable the Archive page in Tweet Blender. This saves the tweets that it pulls into its own page. This is a great way to keep a record of tweets that were relevant to your blog!

Embed Tweets on a Post or Page

Tweets can be embedded in any post or page, with all of the original links intact! Not only does this allow you to share the information from the tweet, but it adds some visual interest that you wouldn’t get from simply cutting & pasting the text. You can also embed an entire conversation!

  1. Locate the tweet you want to embed, on Twitter.com*, and hover your mouse over it.
  2. Click the More button, and select Expand. Click the grey Details link, found next to the date of the tweet. This will open the tweet on its own page.
  3. Go to the address bar of your browser, at the top of the screen. Highlight, then copy the entire URL (web address) of the tweet into your clipboard, by right-clicking and selecting Copy from the contextual menu.
  4. In any post or page on your blog, click the Text tab on the textbox editor.
  5. Paste the code on its own line (not on the same line as any other text or content), by right-clicking in the editor window and selecting Paste from the contextual menu.
  6. Click Preview to see that it works before you Publish.

*Steps 1 & 2 are specific to Twitter.com. If you use other apps to access tweets (like Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite, etc.), the steps to get to the tweet’s own webpage may be different.

Your embedded tweet will look something like this:

Embedding Videos – The Easy Way!

Do you ever use your blog to share videos you find on sites like Youtube or Vimeo?

There’s a really easy way to embed videos from some of the more popular video hosting sites – just paste the URL of the video.

Until recently, we had to copy and paste the embed code from a site. This can be pretty easy, but there is a much more efficient way of completing the task.

  1. Locate the video you want to embed on your blog post or page. Copy the URL from your browser’s address bar, at the top of the screen.
  2. Create a new post/page or edit an existing post/page.
  3. Click the Text tab in your textbox editor.
  4. Paste the URL for the video on it’s own line.
  5. Complete your post/page, making sure to not change the video’s URL or add any other text to the same line.
  6. Publish your post/page.

Related Article: Adding Images and Multimedia

What sites can I embed from?

Notice that this list is not limited to video hosting sites.

(list taken from this page on the WordPress codex on March 6, 2013.)

Dealing with Blog Spam

We recently updated our article on “Dealing with Spam“, offering some tips and tricks to limiting spam on your blog.

Blogging can be a time consuming process – and our time should be spent working on great content and a nice interface. Instead, we find ourselves taking time to check a never-ending list of what appear to be comments. At first, it’s nice to think that your site is getting some attention, and then you realize that most of it is spam.

There’s almost nothing more frustrating and discouraging than spam.

Spam is a part of blogging life. We install plugins to try to limit it, but there’s no surefire way to block spam while allowing useful comments.

Here are some tips for dealing with spam

Article: Dealing with Spam

DST Change & Your Blog

Unfortunately, our system can’t update each blog for Daylight Savings Time, so you will need to do the following to ensure your blog is set to the correct time. This is especially important for those of us who schedule the release of our blog posts.

  1. Log into the Dashboard for your blog.
  2. Click on the ‘Settings’ section in the dashboard, found at the very bottom.
  3. Click ‘General’.
  4. For the timezone, select UTC -5. (During Daylight Savings time, you will set it to UTC -4)
  5. Click ‘Save Changes’ to apply the change.