Newsies Team: Working with WordPress

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Newsies Team


Facilitator: FltAdml. Wolf

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Our website is built in WordPress, a blogging and "Content Management System" software. Simply put, WordPress makes it easy to update our website, and anyone can learn how to use WordPress in about 15 minutes.

This tutorial assumes that you are a new, or inexperienced, member of the Newsies team.

Logging in to the system

You will receive via email your login information. It should look something like this:

WordPress-logging in 1st time.png

Click the link as shown in the image above. You can now follow the instructions in this video which explains how to log in.

Your Display Name

When you log in to the system and look to the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you should see your user name listed. The user name displayed in that location is the same user name that will be displayed any time you post something on the news. As such, you'll want it to be descriptive enough so that people know who you are, when you post.

To change your display name, follow these directions:

  1. Access your User Profile. If you don't know how to log in, ask FltAdml. Wolf for the exact URL.
  2. Change the value next to Display name publicly as under Basic Details
    • It's best to use your primary character name here, i.e.- Tristan Wolf. Whether you use your rank is up to you.
  3. Click Update Profile

Your Gravatar

Gravatar is a WordPress system that allows you to have an icon that displays whenever you post or comment on WordPress blogs across the internet.

Note: Gravatar uses email addresses to match your login to each WordPress site, so if you want to keep your StarBase 118 image different than the image you would use when commenting on other blogs, you will need to change your email address in our WordPress system. You can check what email address you have on our WordPress site by going to your profile and looking at the "email" field. You can change that email address to something StarBase 118 specific.

Now, to set your Gravatar, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the Gravatar website
  2. DO NOT sign in. Instead, click on the button that says "Create your own gravatar"
  3. On this sign-up page, put the same email address from your StarBase 118 WordPress profile into the "email address" box, and then choose a username and password (you could set these to the same user/pass you use on our WordPress site, if you want).
    • Gravatar is not "connected" to our site and can not see the password you have set on our WordPress site. You can only "sign in" to the Gravatar site after you've completed this registration process for the first time.
  4. Click the sign up button.
  5. You'll receive an email confirmation. Click through the email. You'll go back to the Gravatar site and be signed in.
  6. You'll now be on a page called "Manage Gravatars". Click the link that says "Whoops, looks like you don't have any images yet! Add one by clicking here!"
  7. Follow the instructions to upload an image of you or your character (or your RL image, if you want -- it's totally your choice!) and crop it.

At that point, you should now have a working Gravatar. Return to our WordPress site and log in – you should see a tiny version of your Gravatar in the upper right-hand corner. You may need to wait up to 15 minutes, reload the page, and/or log out of our site to make it appear.

Your Author Bio

On our Community News, each post will information about the author underneath the published content. Your Gravatar and a small author bio will appear. You need to set that author bio before you can begin posting. You are free to use an In Character or Out Of Character bio, but we recommend that you match the bio to your Gravatar -- so if you choose an In Character Gravatar, you should write an In Character bio. If you use an Out Of Character image for your Gravatar, you should use an OOC bio.

To set your bio, go to your profile by logging in to WordPress and clicking on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Then edit your "Biographical Info" field on the profile page of our WordPress site (click that link to go there directly), and make sure you save your profile!

Here's an example of FltAdml. Wolf's bio:

Tristan Wolf is the founder of UFOP: StarBase 118. He served as the Commanding Officer for a number of the group's simming installations, notably the first ship -- the USS Phoenix-B -- and the first iteration of StarBase 118 Operations. His real name is Jordan, and his interests include science fiction (natch) and progressive politics. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his partner and their dog.

Creating and Editing Posts

Once you're ready to create a new post, you can view the video below to learn more about how to create a post:

Important note

Pay special attention in the video to previewing how your post will look, once it's published. You should see a button on the right-hand side of the "Posting" page that says "Preview," and you should use that before submitting your post to be reviewed.

After clicking "Preview," a new window will pop open to display your post. Review the content and formatting of your post, looking for these issues:

  1. Grammar and spelling
  2. Proper formatting of the image in your post
  3. Unusual fonts or font sizes
    • This is only important if you've copied and pasted content into the post window. WordPress will save the same formatting you had wherever the text came from, and you'll want to make sure to remove that extra formatting, so that our posts all appear uniform in nature.

Understanding the Queue

After you've written a post, it will not actually appear on the website immediately. Instead, it enters a queue where it will be reviewed by an Editor on the site. The editor will review your post, proof-read it, and then schedule it to be posted automatically on a convenient date. We try to post one piece of news a day, at least.

You should be aware that if you've written a "feature length" article that it may be held for over a week, or more, to be used when the site is particularly low on news content. This often happens at the end of the month, so we sometimes hold longer pieces for those "dry spells" when good content is needed.

On the other hand, if you've written a piece which is time sensitive (i.e.- it references current events OOC or IC), then you'll want to email the team email list and notify the team that there is a time sensitive piece waiting in the queue to be reviewed. That's the only way an editor will know to review your piece and schedule it in a timely fashion.