WordPress review day

Thanks to the inclement weather and many absences, I’m making today a workshop day that will give you time to refine your WordPress skills. For most of you, this is a review from Intro to Writing Arts. If you were absent today, you’ll need to get your WordPress sites started for homework. I’ll introduce Unit 2 on Thursday.

Questions on Unit 1 Reflection (due Thursday)

Any questions on the Unit 1 Reflection assignment? How’s it going?


As most of you remember from Intro to Writing Arts, WordPress is a popular blogging platform, also known as a content management system (CMS); depending on who you ask, it is the software that is responsible for supporting 20-30% of all websites. In WRT you will compose several fact-checks using WordPress.  Here are some examples from previous semesters: [Actual Facts] [amandaswrt17] [domenicawrt]

To begin:

  1. Go to WordPress.com. (Note: if you already use WordPress, you can log in and add a site.)
  2. If you’re making a new site, don’t worry about any of the screens until you get to one that asks you to create a URL (coolname.wordpress.com). ***STOP***  Before you decide on one and cause irreversible harm, hear my rant about this.
  3. Copy and paste it next to your name in this spreadsheet. Note: your URL does NOT start with wordpress.com; it starts with your blog name (i.e. coolname.wordpress.com). Adding your URL to the spreadsheet allows me, and others in the class, to find your blog easily.
  4. Decide on a theme and customizations, which control most of the options for the overall design of your site.
  5. Design content — site pages v blog posts.
    • Creating a custom banner
    • Add a new site page and create an About Me page
    • Format text
    • Add links
    • Add images, gifs, and video
    • Add tags and a featured image.
  6. Composing and writing with blocks.

*I’ll begin to show you how to build your own site in class today. However, one of the consistently great resources you can use this semester is Lynda.com, a high-quality, video-based tutorial site that Rowan pays a hefty fee to subscribe to. The fact that you can have a free account to Lynda is a real perk of being a college student here. To use it make an account at Lynda.com using your Rowan credentials. Once you’re in, you can search for different videos, courses, and other content. If you are new to WordPress, or want a refresher, I suggest using the “WordPress.com Essential Training” course.

Homework for Thursday, 2/14

  • Finish your Unit 1 Reflection. Be sure it is saved in your WRT folder.
  • Read “How DigiPo Defines a Fact” from Mike Caulfield’s Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.
  • Launch your WordPress page.