All posts by clafore

Spam Protection

Client called in stating that the blog that they manage received a large amount of spam comments.

BGSU Blogs does have spam protection available automatically. However, the blog must be using a modern theme that supports the reCaptcha plugin used to prevent spam.

The themes that we know to support the reCaptcha plugin are currently very limited:

  • BGSU Blogs Main Theme
  • Twenty Ten
  • Twenty Tweleve
  • Twenty Thirteen
  • Twenty Fourteen

Enabling one of these themes will help prevent spam.  To do this:

  1. login to the administrative area
  2. click Appearance
  3. browse for one of the themes listed
  4. click Activate.

The other way to prevent spam is to limit who can add comments to your blog.  To do this:

  1. go to the Discussion Settings which is under the Settings area on the administrative navigation.
  2. Once on the ‘Discussion Settings’ page click the checkbox next to ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’.  This will allow only BGSU users and external users added to your blog explicitly to add comments.

You may also disable commenting by default (this can be overrode on individual posts) by:

  1. unchecking the box next to ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’.  All old articles would still have commenting enabled until individually disabled.

Add Users

Hello again from BGSU ITS!  We have a fourth question for your consideration today:

How do I have multiple people login to add to the blog?

BGSU Blogs allows administrators of the blogging sites to add multiple users, both on and off campus.  Below are the two methods of adding users

1. Add Existing Users

If you know that a user already exists in the BGSU Blogs network, you may add them through the ‘Add Existing User’ page.

First, navigate to the main Users screen:

Users UsersRollover

 

Once on the Users screen, click the ‘Add Existing User’ button at the top:

AddExistingButton

 

Now you should have been presented the ‘Add Existing User’ screen.  From here there is only a couple steps.  First, enter the full email address of the user in the BGSU Blogs network.  Next, Select the role which you would like the user to have.  Finally, click the button below the form.

AddExistingUser

If the user is in the network, then you will be presented with a message of success:

AddExistingUserAccepted

If the user was not available within the network, then you will be given a message of denial:

AddExistingUserDenied

Once that user is added, they may login with the normal username and password already in the system.

2. Add User

Despite this generic name, this is an entirely different page that you may add users from, and most times this will be the easiest.  First you will want to navigate to the ‘Add User’ page.  The link for this page will be in the submenu of the Users Menu on your admin sidebar:

Users UsersRollover

Adding a user from here is quite like the first method, except this can be a two step process.  First, enter the username for the person you are adding to the blog.  If they are from BGSU, this will be the first part of their email address: username@bgsu.edu.

AddBGUser

 

Upon clicking add user, you will automatically have the new user added to the blog if they exist in the BGSU directory.

AddBGUserAccepted

If they are not from BGSU, you can add a username that will be specific to the external user.  You will want to go outside of the BGSU standards for usernames to be sure that there is no overlap.

AddUser

Once clicking the button ‘Add User’, the form will note that the user does not exist.  Now you have the opportunity to put in the full email address of the user who exists outside of BGSU and add them to your blog.

AddUserRejected

Click ‘Create Local User’ and the user will be added to your blog.

AddUserAccepted

Those are the two methods for adding users to your blog in BGSU Blogs.  The remaining question that we hear often is:

What is the difference between the roles?

At WordPress.com they have a great explanation of the roles in their software:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/user-roles/

We hope that this post has helped you.  As always, if you have any questions or issues, feel free to contact the Technology Support Center at 372-0999 or tsc@bgsu.edu.

Happy blogging!

 

Adding a new Blog

We are back again with our third question about the BGSU Blogs:

I am using my personal name for the blog but it would it great to have a department blog. 

Can you move this current blog to a new department name or do I need to start one from scratch?

The positive note first: Yes, you can create another blog.  BGSU Blogs currently does not limit the number of blogs that a single user can own or operate.  To do this, first go to ‘My Sites':

Dashboard DashboardRollover MemberBar

On the MySites page, click the link that says ‘Create a New Site':

MySites_CreateLink

 

From here, you only need to fill out the form and click the ‘Create Site’ button:

NewSite

 

Congratulations!  You now have a new blogging site.

Now for the second part of the question:

Can you move this current blog to a new department name or do I need to start one from scratch?

Unfortunately, we can not move content from one blog to another.  Although using the Export and Import pages under ‘Tools’ this should be possible on your own.  However, those are for another blog.

Happy Blogging!

Adding Media

We are back again with another question, this time in relation to media:

How do I add files, similar to this file that had a link on the University Library blog that you could open?

https://blogs.bgsu.edu/ulibrariescats/files/2011/05/E-Journals.pdf

For your first reference, we recommend looking over at WordPress.com, specifically at this page. This link covers adding documents to a post and simply to be uploaded into the blog’s media library:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/uploading-documents/

If you are looking for more information or about other media types, check out WordPress.com’s support topic on Media.  One this page you will find alot of links regarding the addition of images, audio, and even video:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/category/media/

BGSU Blogs accepts a variety of media types, but if you find one that isn’t accepted and you believe that it should be as a base feature of WordPress, let us know at tsc@bgsu.edu. There could be many reasons why the system isn’t recognizing your media, and we can help in directing you to the proper method, or have you request a new feature be added to the blogging system in the future.

Happy Blogging!

Using Categories

Recently, we received a series of questions in our support queue that are probably not only being asked by one individual on campus.  As a result, we have created this blog specifically to answer questions that arise in our campus community revolving around the BGSU Blogs.

The first of these questions is:

How do you setup posts with categories to pick?

For this question I am first going to refer to WordPress.com’s own website.  This website is full of great resources and since we upgraded the BGSU Blogs environment, the base features that are provided in WordPress are also provided in our environment.

For the categories, I would have you read this page to learn about setup and usage: http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories/

This covers the basics that are involved in categories.  For the most part, this is all you will need to do.  New blogs generally have the categories automatically set up to show on one of the sidebars.  This blog, in fact, is no different.

However, if you want to make sure, then you can look into how your blog is set up in the Appearance Menu on the Widgets page:

 

Appearance AppearanceRollover

On the widgets page you will see on the left hand side of the screen a list of available widgets.  On the right hand side, you will see the available areas for widgets to be added (these are delegated and can change by theme).

WidgetPage

If you do not see ‘Categories’ listed under one of the Widget Areas on the right, then you can drag and drop it from the Available Widgets into which ever one where you wish it to be added.

The Categories Widget also has a few additional configuration options, while not required, are available to be changed:

CategoryPanel

 

We hope this helped and will continue to bring you more questions that are asked in the future.