WordPress is a powerful and intuitive way to create web content. It can be used for creating websites and spaces for writing, self-expression, professional, academic, or creative e-portfolios, as well as course and dynamic project sites. WordPress is open source software and currently powers more than 30% of the websites on the Internet.
- Open Source – WordPress the software is free and anyone can download a copy for free. It’s also free in that any user can alter and use the structure to build new things. Even if you have no intention of doing this, it matters because it allows a community of programmers to keep making WordPress better. This software can’t be discontinued by a company.
- Portable Data – You should be able to keep your work and put it where you want. WordPress allows you to import your content into any other WordPress site with the click of a few buttons. Many other content creation tools allow you to import WordPress content. This portability is important as you graduate or change jobs.
- Transferable Skills – The skills and knowledge you gain working with WordPress are widely applicable outside of academia and will enable you to seamlessly transition to working in the software that dominates today’s web.
Middlebury faculty, staff, and students have two main options for creating WordPress sites.
- Sites DOT (College / Schools | Institute)
- Sites DOT sites are connected to Middlebury’s single-sign-on (SSO) system.
- Sites DOT sites have a limited selection of plugins and themes.
- Sites DOT sites can be provisioned with users from a course via Course Hub.
- MiddCreate allows you to choose and install any theme or plugin you want.
- MiddCreate has greater flexibility but comes with additional complexity and choices.
- MiddCreate does not have SSO or Course Hub integration.
Using Wordpress on Sites DOT
Create a WordPress site
- Navigate to WordPress based on your program affiliation:
- Click Login in the upper right corner.
- Enter your Middlebury network credentials (your @middlebury.edu email and password).
- From the top menu, select + New > Site, or you can hover over My Sites in the upper left to view the dashboard of any site you have access to.
Instructions for managing a site
- Create a new site
- Adjusting access and roles
- Adding users
- Adding group members as users
- Organizing content with posts, pages, categories, tags
- Customizing site appearance with themes, widgets & plugins
What to do with your site BEFORE you graduate
Middlebury students lose access to network accounts six months after graduation. During those six months, it is recommended that content be managed or migrated to a another hosting service. If site content is not managed or migrated within six months of graduation, site access cannot be guaranteed and sites may be deleted.
Exporting a WordPress site
- Log into the dashboard of your site and click Tools > Export.
- Choose All Content, Download Export File.
- This will produce a file with the extension .xml.
Importing a WordPress site to another web host provider
- Create a new WordPress site elsewhere, for example at wordpress.com.
- In the dashboard of your new site go to Tools > Import.
- Choose Wordpress from the list.
- Click the Choose File button and choose the .xml file you previously exported.
- Click Upload File and Import.
- If you are given the option, Download Attachments, and choose how to attribute authors.
- Your web pages should be in your new site, ready to edit. Note: You will have to re-select a theme and re-build any customizations for your theme, header, and settings, because those may not transfer over in the export and import process.
Creating a Wordpress site from Course Hub
Faculty can create a collaborative multi-author WordPress site from Course Hub that automatically adds all students on the course roster.
Using Wordpress on Middcreate
MiddCreate is Middlebury’s open web design project, based on the Domain of One’s Own initiative. Domain of One’s Own, named after Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” is an initiative aimed at giving students, faculty, and staff a space on the web free from the restrictions of institutionally-controlled web spaces.
Visit the Getting Started with Middcreate documentation for instructions on installing and managing WordPress on your custom domain.