teaching machines

CS 318: WordPress for February

February 13, 2018 by . Filed under cs318, specifications, spring 2018.

A lot of the world saves time and energy by using a content management system (CMS). These systems allow users that don’t know much about HTML and CSS to still produce beautiful websites. The most frequently used CMS is WordPress, which is responsible for 30% of the web. It accounts for 60% of the CMS market.

WordPress has other advantages besides hiding the HTML and CSS from content creators. It supports comments, multiple authors, search, categories and tags, and many other features. Your instructor’s blog is built using it! But it doesn’t have to look like a blog. There are many organizations that use it as a general website authoring tool by disabling comments, dates, and other bloggish features.

Customizing a WordPress blog is part of your learning this semester. Each of February, March, and April you will make a few posts on this blog and add style.

Adding a Post

Your instructor has set up a WordPress installation for you. Follow these steps to find it and make a post:

  1. Visit one of your WordPress installations. My installation—if I had one—would be at https://twodee.org/cs318/johnch. Replace johnch with your own username. You should see a very messy example post. Your instructor has installed for you the BlankSlate theme, which applies few if any CSS rules to the content. Do not ever change the theme. You will eventually be customizing this one with your own CSS.
  2. Log in to edit your WordPress installation by clicking on the Log in link. Enter your UWEC username and the password given to you by your instructor. You should arrive at the WordPress Dashboard.
  3. From the Dashboard, click on the Customize Your Site button. Customize the blog’s metadata by entering the Site Identity menu. Change your blog’s title and tagline.
  4. Hit the left arrow button to return to the main menu.
  5. Click on Posts / Add a new Post. Write your post and publish it. How does it look? It should look terrible. We’ll fix that in March.


Your task for February is to complete this initial setup and write four posts about topics of your choosing. They don’t need to be long. Feel free to share poetry, a photo diary, vignettes of your life or someone else’s, baseball commentary, etc.

Across your four posts, include at least one image, some headings, and a blockquote environment. Each post should have some words.

You will not add any style this month, so your blog will be very ugly.