What can I use the University of Lincoln WordPress Service for?
This service can be used by both members of staff and students to create personal blogs or websites, portfolios, research blogs, project sites, as well as sites for professional service teams, Schools and Colleges. If your site is for a School, Department or College please contact the Digital Education and Student Life team for support.
If you are a student and have been tasked with creating a blog, site or portfolio as part of an assessment please visit coursework.lincoln.ac.uk, unless you have been told otherwise by your tutor.
How do I create a site?
You can easily create a site by logging into blogs.lincoln.ac.uk using your University of Lincoln credentials and by clicking ‘Create a site’ in the top left-hand corner of the Dashboard.
This will take you to the Create a site page, in which you will need to choose your site name and URL. You will also be able to choose the privacy settings for your new site.
How long will my site be hosted for?
All sites on blogs.lincoln.ac.uk will be hosted for as long as the main administrators are part of the University of Lincoln. If the administrator of a site leaves the University and another administrator isn’t assigned, the site will be archived after one year.
In order to be able to edit your site after your University email address is deactivated following your graduation, you will need to add your personal email as an Administrator.
Research sites can be retained for legacy purposes as long as there is a valid Admin with a University email address.
What happens when I leave the University? Can I take my site with me?
Your site will remain active for a year after you have left the University (unless otherwise agreed).
During this time, you can continue to access your site content, although please note that your site will be archived a year after you have left the University, so please export or take a copy of your site before then.
Who will be able to see my site? Is there a way to keep a site private to myself or a select group?
You will be able to select the level of privacy when first creating your site, or within the Dashboard by navigating to Settings> Reading> Privacy and selecting your desired option.
Can I provide access to other users?
As an Administrator of your own site, you can give other users access to view, edit or add content to your site via the Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor or Subscriber roles.
How do I add additional users to my site?
Users can be added and managed by clicking on Users in the left-hand menu on the dashboard.
To add a user with a registered University of Lincoln staff or student email address, click on Blog & User creator in the left-hand menu, and under the Add Existing User tab, add the email address and role of the user you want to add. Then click the Submit button.
If you get the message that “The requested user does not exist”, try adding the user as a new user in the Add New User tab. You will need to enter their username, email and role separately and then click submit.
What themes are available?
When creating a site, the default theme will be Daniela.
If you want to change the theme go to Dashboard> Appearance> Theme via the left-hand menu in the dashboard to see which other options are available.
What plugins are available?
The following plugins are available by default on all sites and should give a solid initial choice for users.
- Add this social bookmarking plugin
- Disable comments completely plugin
- Customizer export import plugin
- Duplicate post plugin
- Embed any document plugin
- Live short codes plugin
- Meta slider plugin
For more information on plugins and a list of all available plugins please use the following link to plugins supported on this platform.
(Please note that if you require a plugin from the extended list it will need to be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
How do I ensure that my site is accessible to all users?
All administrators of publicly available sites on this network must ensure that their site is checked for accessibility and includes an accessible statement. Please refer to the accessibility guidance page for help and advice on how to do this.
Can I have a custom domain name or URL like coolsitename.lincoln.ac.uk for my site?
All blogs and sites with have the default yoursitename.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk domain name. However, you can request the removal of .blogs from the domain by contacting the PR team in Marketing explaining the reason why this is needed.
Can I use my own unique domain name or URL like coolsitename.com for my site?
If you would like your own unique domain name, you, or a member of your team, will need to take responsibility for setting this up and maintaining it, ensuring that this responsibility is passed on if you leave the University. Once you have registered your domain name, you will then need to contact the ICT helpdesk to set up a redirect from your site on blogs.lincoln.ac.uk explaining why the external domain name is needed.
How do I delete my site?
You will have to request that your site is either Archived or Deleted by contacting email@example.com.
Can I use forms on my site to collect information from visitors to my site?
The Formidable Forms plugin is available upon request to allow you to do this, but you must follow the University’s Data Protection guidelines and provide an appropriate Privacy Notice explaining how you will be using and storing the data that you collect.
Will my site be secure?
The University of Lincoln Blogs WordPress Network has been updated so that all pages will only load securely using the HTTPS protocol which means that your browser can ensure the page is really coming from the University and that all the traffic between the user and the web server is encrypted.
This change improves security across our WordPress network and will mean that browsers no longer display a message that a site is not secure. However, if a user types in https://www. before a site URL, they will get a Certificate Error message. Anyone who gets this error message simply needs to enter the URL again without the ‘www’. Links should not use ‘www’ any existing links that do use ‘www’ will need to be updated.
What is Alt-text & How do I use it?
Alternative text (ALT-text) is a label given to an image on a website that, when read by a Screen reader (a piece of software that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen) will be read in place of the image. Therefore every image on a website will need alternative text in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Writing ALT text is simple and easily added through the Media Library of your WordPress site. Select the image you wish to add ALT-text to and write your ALT-text in the information box.
Here is a useful guide for writing high quality ALT-text.