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WordPress for Digital Humanists

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Digital Scholarship Librarian

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Kate Thornhill

Head of Digital Scholarship Services

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Franny Gaede
Knight Library 143
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Definitions and How-to

What is Wordpress?

WordPress is a content management system that allows anyone with access make websites and blogs. It is one of the world's most popular tool for developing publicly available websites online. If you are a UO community member then you have access to WordPress through the university's UO Blogs.

What is UO Blogs?

UO Blogs is an easy-to-use academic blogging and web publishing service for the University of Oregon community. Students, faculty, and staff can use the service to quickly create blogs or websites for courses, groups, or individual use. Just go to and log in.

Why use Wordpress?

There are many reasons to use WordPress for your academic work. It has an easy to navigate interface for making a blog or web pages, different types of design layouts, and allows you to quickly add digital content to the web using your voice or others. It is a tool to leverage if you want your scholarly work to be freely and publicly available online and reach large audiences.

UO Blogs website image

Image of the UO Blogs homepage


How do I set up my first website?

If you are a member of the UO community, you can access the UO Blogs with your Duck ID.

  1. Go to
  2. On the welcome page, click on All Other Sites and then click on Agree and Continue to proceed
  3. On the next screen sign in with your Duck ID. You will be redirected to the UO Blogs sign up page.
  4. Name your website. The name of the website will be part of the link people will use to access your website ( The name of the website cannot be changed later!

  5. Give a title to your website. The title will be visible on the home page of your website (the first page people see when open your website). You can change the title later. 

  6. Choose the privacy settings for your website. You can change the privacy settings later. undefined
    Image of the privacy options on the UO Blogs

  7. Click on Create a website button. 

  8. Congratulations! You created your first website. To access your website, follow the link of your website ( and log in with your Duck ID. 

  9. The first screen you see after you log in is the WordPress Dashboard. You will use the Dashboard to control your website.  

Documentation logoSelected Documentation

Examples of Digital Projects on Wordpress

Image of the homepage of the Caribbean Women Healers Website 

The Caribbean Women Healers Project: Decolonizing Knowledge Within Afro-Indigenous Traditions, is a collaborative research project built as a result of our journeys within Caribbean communities throughout the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Pacific Northwest region. In 2016, after four years of meeting and spending time with Caribbean women that keep their Afro-Indigenous, Indigenous and Afro-descendant healing traditions alive. It's a digital humanities project supported at the University of Oregon.

Image of the homepage of The March website

The March is a digital exhibition about James Blue’s documentary film on the 1963 March on Washington. Users can explore the film’s history and meaning through archival documents, interviews, Oval Office recordings, and more. The March was led by Professor David A. Frank and co-sponsored by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and University of Oregon Libraries, with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Image of the homepage of the Coffee Zone website

Coffee Zone is a digital humanities project created by the University of Iowa that encompasses the oral histories of coffee pickers, farmers, hacendados, women and teens from the western area of Puerto Rico known as the coffee zone.

WordPress Dashboard

What is WordPress Dashboard?

Each WordPress website has two parts:

  • front-end - the part of the website which general public see and interact with. 
  • back-end or Dashboard - where you, as an administrator of the website, can write blog posts, make new pages, change the style of your website. Dashboard is a control panel for your website.

This is how the front-end of the website looks like:

Image of the homepage of the Caribbean Women Healers website

This is how the back-end/Dashboard of the same website looks like:

Image of the Dashboard of the Caribbean Women Healers website

How to access the Dashboard? 

1. Go to UO blogs website -

2. Click on the Login tab and use your Duck ID to log in.

3. The first thing you will see after you logged in is a WordPress Dashboard window. 

Dashboard Navigation Overview

screenshot of the Dashboard fragment

You will see the Dashboard Navigation menu on the left side of the Dashboard. 

Hovering your mouse over a Navigation menu item will display all the submenu options under that item.

Some of the most important menu items to start with include:

Posts - this is where you can create your posts.

Media - this is where all your uploaded images and documents stored.
You can browse through your Media Library, as well as edit and update your files.

Pages - this is where you create and maintain all website pages. 

Comments - this is where you manage the comments other people leave to your posts.
You can reply to the comments other people leave on your website or mark them as spam. 

Appearance - this is where you control how your website looks like. You can change the theme,
menu of your site, layout, fonts, background and much more. 

Users - this item lists all users for your website. As a website administrator, you can
add more users to the site and assign different roles to them, based on which types of tasks
you want other users to be able to perform. 

Settings - this is  where your site is configured. Here you can change your site name and url, 
the privacy options of the website, where your posts appear,  whether people can leave comments
on your website or not, etc. 


Image of the Dashboard Navigation

Difference between Posts and Pages

WordPress has two different ways to create content - posts and pages. 

In a nutshell, posts are entries which have a publish date and listed in reverse chronological order. Posts are good for writing blog, share news or updates.   
Pages do not have a publish date and are meant for static, timeless content.  For example page "About" or "Contact" have the information which is rarely changed.

You can watch the video to learn more about the difference between posts and pages. 

WordPress Post vs Page video by James Stafford on YouTube


How to change privacy settings?

You website's privacy settings control who has access to your website. The change the privacy settings, go to the Dashboard. 

In the Dashboard Navigation, go to the Settings → Reading → Site Visibility. 

Select preferred site visibility settings.  

screenshot of privacy settings

Image of the site visibility options

How to delete my website?

To permanently delete your website, go to the Dashboard Navigation and select Tools → Delete Site. 


Image of the highlighted part of  the Dashboard Navigation 

After you click Delete My Site Permanently you will be sent an email with a link in it. Click on this link toy delete your site. 

Remember, once deleted your website cannot be restored. 

Building basic structure of the website

Basic layout of a website
Before starting to build your first website on WordPress, it is useful to be familiar with a basic layout of a website. Every website (built on WordPress or not) can be divided into different sections to organize different types of content. Typically, a website has the following elements:

Header, which contains website logo and name and search bar.

Navigation menu contains links to different parts of the website (usually pages). 

Main content area usually contains text and images.

Sidebars are used for putting links for other posts and pages as well as advertisements.

Footer usually contains contact information, address, links, etc. 

website layout scheme

Scheme of a typical website layout

The following video has more information on the website layout. 

What is blog by Edublogs on YouTube

How to create a new page?


Image of the highlighted part of  the Dashboard Navigation 

To create a page, go to your WordPress Dashboard. 

In the Navigation menu of the Dashboard, select Pages → Add New to begin writing your page. 

Alternatively, you can hover your cursor over the Add New button at the
top of the Dashboard screen and select Page. You will be redirected to Add New Page window. 


Type the name of your page in the Add Title field. 

How to change the URL of the page?

After you typed the title of your page in the Add Title field, a Permalink (URL) to your page will be created underneath the title. By default, the URL is created from the title of your page. If you want to change the URL of the page, click the edit button next to the URL. 


Image of the Add New Page window in the Dashboard 

After you made all necessary edits, click the Publish button on the right part of the screen. 


Image of the Add New Page window with highlighted Publish sidebar

What is a Homepage?

Homepage is the first page visitors see when they access your website. By default, WordPress shows your recent posts on the homepage. At the same time you can use any other page as your Homepage.

How to create a Homepage?
1. In the Dashboard, go to Pages → Add New to create a new page. 
Name this page Home and publish it. 
2. If you want to have a blog or a page with news and updates, then you need to create a separate Blog page to show your posts. Once again, go to Pages → Add New 
to create a new page. Name this page Blog and publish it. 
3. Go to Settings → Reading. In your Homepage Displays select A static page. 
4. In the Homepage field select Home page you created. 
5. In the Post page field select Blog page you created. 
6. Click Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen. 


Image of the Reading Settings window in the Dashboard

How to create a website menu? 

Site Menu is a list of links pointing to important areas of the website (usually to other pages of your website).  The menu helps to create navigation and helps visitors to find the information they are looking for. The menu is usually displayed in the main navigation area of the website. But the menu location can also vary depending on the theme you are using. Some themes also offer additional menu options, such as social links option. 

1. Create a menu

1.1 In the Dashboard, hover your cursor over the Appearance and click on Menus
1.2 In the field Menu Name give your menu a name. This name is only visible to you. 

1.3 Click on Create a Menu button. 

1.4 In the 
Display Location select where you want the menu to appear (your options will depend on your theme). 

1.5 Click the Save button. 

2. Add pages to the menu

2.1 Click View All tab on the left side of the screen to see all your site's pages. 
2.2 Click the box next to the pages you want to add to the menu and click Add to Menu button. 


Image of the Menu Creation Window in the Dashboard by wpbeginner

2.3 Drag and drop pages to arrange their order in the menu. 


Image of the Menu structure window in the Dashboard by wpbeginner

2.4 You can create a nested (drop-down) menu by dragging the page below the parent page and then slightly dragging it to the right. 


Image of the Menu structure window in the Dashboard by wpbeginner


Adding Title Attributes in the Navigation Menu

The title attribute helps to provide extra information about a link. It often appears as a hint text when the mouse moves over the link. Adding Title Attributes is an important accessibility consideration, which helps some screen readers to read links properly. 

To add the title attributes to the links in your menu:

1. In the Dashboard go to Appearance → Menu
2. Click on the Screen Options in the top right corner of the screen. The additional window with advanced menu properties will appear on the top of the screen.
3. Check the box next to the Title Attributes


Image of the Menu window in the Dashboard by wpbeginner

4. In the Menu Structure window below click on the menu item in your existing menu to expand it. 
5. In the Title Attribute field add the text you want to see as a title (usually it is the same text as Navigation Label)
6. Repeat adding text in the Title Attribute field for other Menu items in your Navigation menu.
7. Click on the Save button after you made changes.