Free Range Edtech

Category: Tips ‘n Tricks ‘n Stuff

A Block For Traditional Land Search

As we all aim to better recognize and honor the lands we live on, we have added here a new plugin that offers OpenETC users the ability to add to their sites an Editor block that providers their readers an ability to do a search at https://native-land.ca/

Read more about the idea behind this plugin from Pipe Wrench Magazine.

This is what you get with the plugin

To add this to your site, in your Dashboard, click Plugins. Scroll down the list until you see the entry for Native Lands Search, and click Activate.

Ah, if it were that easy! To use this plugin you need to obtain a Google Maps Geocoding API Key — what is that? “The API key is a unique identifier that authenticates requests associated with your project for usage and billing purposes. You must have at least one API key associated with your project.” It is a service that can match the name of a place or an address to its map location.

Note that Google requires a credit card even to provide this service at a free level (they say that you will not be charged and must approval if your use exceeds the basic level, it is highly doubtful that will happen). If you are willing to go this far:

  1. Go to the Google Maps Platform – Credentials page.
  2. Create a new “project” something like “My Blog Native Lands”
  3. click Create credentials -> API key. The API key created dialog displays your newly created API key. Copy that.
  4. Now in WordPress, look under Settings -> Native Lands. Paste in the API key you copied.

Finally you are ready to use this! Create a new post or page, and whereever you wan to this to appear, open in your Block Editor, you should see a new option to insert this same block.

Click the + button to access the different kinds of blocks, and select/search for Native Lands Search. That will insert a block to hold the search.

Preview your post/page to try it out. If you get error messages about any location you enter not being found, it is most likely you have not entered the API key or it is not correct.

Sigh. We wish this plugin was not dependent on a Google service, and instead was built on Open StreetMap, which offers its own geocoding API.

Let us know in the Mattermost WordPress channel what you think of this plugin.


Featured Image: Land, Tress, Skies flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

Not Using That WordPress Site Anymore? Cleanup is now Self Serve

We are not suggesting your WordPress sites are garbage! But if you can clean your digital room of unused sites, the system administrators here may smile.

At the time of writing this, there are over 3100 separate WordPress sites created at the OpenETC! That’s fantastic! And we hope you create more as needed. In the back room of the server (there is no such place actually, we are in the CLOUD) we do come across many sites that were started but not used much beyond. Or, if you are like me, maybe you create one to test something out, but then it just sits there, taking up database space.

As one of the ways you can contribute to the OpenETC that offers you a free and easy way to create WordPress sites here.

How to Delete and Unused WordPress Site

Previously only those with the keys to the server back room (see note above) could delete a site. But now you can do it yourself! Do this only if you are 100% sure you no longer need the site.

When logged into your WordPress dashboard, look under the Tools menu for Delete Site.

WordPress "Tools} menu with arrow pointing to "Delete Site" item beneath it

It is not immediate as we want to make sure that you really want to delete a site. You have to confirm with a checkbox AND then respond to an email confirming this step. So there are two chances to reconsider.

Warning about site deletion! It’s here to save you from accidental clicks.

Again, this is something to do only if you have no plans to use a WordPress site and truly want to see it vanished.

What About Exports? Archives?

There’s more to this topic than we might cover here! And we strongly suggesting taking questions, comments to the WordPress channel in the OpenETC Mattermost community.

You may want to move your WordPress site maybe to another host, your own domain. Exports should be easy, right? As usual with technology, you run into nuances. Guides are out there. While you can generate the export of your site’s content (via ToolsExport), you would still need to install themes, plugins, etc to a new site. And unless you leave the old site in place until exported, you will not be able to import all your media.

But maybe you want to create just an archive. Tools are out there that can convert a WordPress site to a standalone HTML archive, if you never intend to use it as a WordPress powered site again. I have used an OSX one called Site Sucker. Yes, it’s icon is a vacuum cleaner.

Let’s say you are not ready to decide! The OpenETC does not currently have a policy about when/if old sites should be removed. One thing you can do is publish a post left at the top of the site that indicates that it is no longer active. Who cares? Someone out there does! See what Dr Blog just did to make this clear.

It’s a small thing to do, but definitely, if you created a WordPress site here and never used it, please consider taking it to the curb.


Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons photo of Unused Phonebooks by David Shankbone shared under a Creative Commons CC BY license.

Set Up Tables in WordPress

In a web building galaxy long ago (the 1990s), HTML tables were the way to control the layout of your web sites. Right now, we have much more elegant tools, and ones that work better on different sized devices,

But there are times in a blog page or post when you may need to present data or information in a columnar format. There is a place for those <table>...</tables> after all.

This just came up in the WordPress Mattermost channel (why are you not in there?) via a question from Emily at Camosun College.

Hi all! My question (via a faculty member at Camosun). Tables in the OpenETC WP – possible? And it’s ok if the answer is no.

And this is how a co-op should work, right? Tannis was unsure but Troy quickly pointed out there is a Table block in the visual editor. I was double checking as I had not used it, but when you click the + sign to add a new paragraph, enter “Table” in the search for a block type, and you will find it is waiting for you.

The block editor with "Table" in the search field and the pne matching block appears below.

It’s not all that different from creating a Table in Google docs, you first pick the number of rows and columns (you can add/delete later). I made a simple one summarizing our exchange in Mattermost:

NameWhenNotes
Emily2:15pmasked about tables in WP
Tannis2:19pmsaid probably not easy?
Troy2:20pmyes, use the Table Block
Alan2:20pmdoing a demo now!
Can we have longer rows?
Creating a table in WordPress using the block editor

The options are not very sophisticated and any one wanting to precisely format tables might be frustrated. Primarily, the tables are meant to be flexible, so the expand/contract to fit the available space. The options on the block let you make fixed width tables (making them equal width proportional to the space available, and to add column labels for the header and optionally footer.

For more, I found table making tips from WPBeginner and also from MotoPress.

Editing in the WordPress block editor interface is far from everyone’s favorite mode and despite using it since it came out I shake my head often at it.

But as I was curious to see how it would do copy/pasting from Google Docs, as much content does do well in the transfer (I imagine that Word would do okay too). I thought I could find an existing document with tables in my Drive, but after 20 minutes of rummaging, I just made a quick silly demo document with a table inside of it. Copying the entire table, and pasting into a blank block here brings it over fairly well:

Dinner IdeaMainNeed
TacosShrimpJalapenos, tortillas
BBQSteakPropane, potatoes
ItalianSpaghettiNoodles, garlic
a table copy/pasted from a Google Doc

So this might be an easier way for designing your tables.

I’ve only dabbled here, but if you know more or have examples, share with us! But better, join our OpenETC Mattermost Community and then find your way to the WordPress channel. If you have a question, like Emily knows, I bet you will get an answer.


Image Credit: lined up for lunch 01 flickr photo by byronv2 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

“You Can’t Always Math What You Want…” LaTeX at the OpenETC

As an example of how a cooperative works, suggestions in the OpenETC Mattermost channels is leading to adding support (soon) for LaTeX Math Display in WordPress and (now) in Mattermost itself.

Excuse the not so subtle reference to really old British rockers but we hope this gets to both what you want and what you need.

I might be among the few that has fond memories of learning math in school. I loved it (thank you Mr Fike, Ms Swanson, Mr Witz) and at one time put my calculus to use in grad school.

If you think complex mathematical expressions are head spinning, being able to display them in digital format is a deep rabbit hole that leads one to The LaTeX Project or see the references to it from WikiPedia.

LaTeX is a markup language but quite a few tags above and beyond HTML– and using it on web sites and other applications requires some addition bit of code under the hood. But, it allows you to publish equations like:

i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>

Getting this in WordPress means putting something like this into a code block- look at the LaTeX, lovely?

Latex code- $latex i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>$
LaTeX entered in format for the JetPack plugin to display, wrapped in ‘$latex….$` tags

I will admit I have no idea what this equation means (yes, I googled for an example). And this display is not quite the optimal size. .

Update: Thanks to a tip from Grant Potter in Mattermost, he showed me some Jetpack options for controlling the size of the rendered LaTeX image – than can help make the images render much bit bigger than origina; this meant appending the above code with ?s=x where x= a number from -4 to 4 for sizes from Tiny to Huge.

Latex code updated, with the addition indicated of $s=4 to the example aboce
We added &s=4 to make this equation much bigger.

But let’s backtrack to where this started. And what this Mattermost thing matters for figuring out things at the OpenETC.

It Started in Mattermost

You do know we offer Mattermost communities here at the OpenETC, not only for our community, but is also available as a hosted service for BC educators? It’s an open source alternative to commercial Slack, MS Teams, et al.

Jason Diemer asked in the OpenETC Mattermost channel

Hi folks. Is there a LaTeX plugin for WordPress?

I know little of LaTeX to be sure, but as I have access I could see no plugins we have available. The only option we have available (and used for my example above) is “support” for LaTeX via the JetPack plugin. You can activate this plugin in your OpenETC WordPress site, but it does require authenticating via a WordPress.com account (this does not seem to be a requirement for using the LaTeX option).

Plus, as Jason pointed out, this renders the LaTeX as an image that lacks good accessibility features (the raw LaTeX code is shoved in the image’s alt tag, I would guess that is of little use).

We are at present researching other plugins that provide better support, these are ones that use a library called MathJax that appear to require a server to run it from. This is currently being researched, but we expect to have support for better Math display soon. We always have to also explore the impact of more plugins on a shared service that powers some 3000+ sites.

Stay posted.

What About LaTeX in Mattermost?

Jason stepped up again to the mic in Mattermost, with a related question

Hi all. I’m new here. Recently I asked in the WordPress channel about getting a MathJax/LaTeX (preferably MathJax) plugin for WordPress. I did a little snooping around and it appears that Mattermost has LaTeX capability, but it needs to be “activated in the system console.” (As per https://github.com/kosgrz/mattermost-plugin-latex/issues/3#issuecomment-619567195)

If MathJax or LaTeX is something that can be used in Mattermost, then I can see this becoming a very effective tool for course discussions in STEM courses. I’d been contemplating using CampusWire for its LaTeX-ability, but if Mattermost can handle it, then there’s no need to look elsewhere.

Actually we were able to do this, and LaTeX is now available in Mattermost!

Screenshot of Mattermost chat where a formatted LaTex formula is displayed along with the reference link on how to format.
Proof of LaTeX is in the Open ETC Mattermost channel!

Using LaTeX here means putting math markup inside a code block (see the documentation for more details)

Entering LaTeX in a Mattermost message- use the Option/Alt Return key to use multiple lines

Writing LaTeX is not quite most people’s cups of tea! But to experiment with it, I discovered MathLex (nicely shared service under Creative Commons license) that as a visual interface for piecing together math expressions, and it reveals the LaTeX needed below.

That was how I made the utterly meaningless:

\sum_{service = 1}^{mattermost} \frac{f \left( ETC + troy^{2} \right)}{\exp{\left( service + \ln{\left( day \right)} \right)}}

Jason did inform us that the Matterost mobile client does not yet render LaTeX.

You can pipe in to these discussions in the OpenETC Mattermost Channel about Mattermost.

Ahem, Co-Op

This little exchange should demonstrate how the co-op works. We cannot meet everyone’s needs like an IT department, but we will try to provide support to technologies like LaTeX that have potential for broad use (and send some love to Troy Welch, our tireless admin who actually does the work to make this stuff happens.

We are still looking at getting a WordPress plugin available that can handle LaTeX better than JetPack. And we also are looking at recent requests for plugins to handle multilingual content.

As the old boys never quite sang:

No, you can't always get the plugin you want
You can't always get the plugin you want
You can't always get the plugin you want
But if you ask in Matternost you might find
You get what you need

Image Credit: Lorraine Turnbull Foster, first woman to earn Ph.D. in math at Caltech, 1964.jpg Wikimedia Commons image licensed CC BY-SA, modified by Alan Levine to add a bit more scribble on the board and the OpenETC logo.

Putting WordPress Posts to Work with Display Posts Plugin

Posts. Posts. Posts. That’s what you write and publish in WordPress. They show up on your front page, newest first. Maybe you organize them into categories, which you can display… newest first.

But there’s a lot more you can do to use them in other ways with the Display Posts plugin, available to everyone’s sites hosted at the OpenETC. You can embed a listing of posts in page, a widget, even… inside another post! And you can use extra options to change which posts are selected, in what order they are listed (including my favorite, random) and how they are displayed (to show an excerpt, date published).

This is one plugin I use over and over.

I saw a possibility when Emily Schudel shared in our Mattermost Community (what, you are not in there? Join now) a fantastic project she has done for over a year for the Camosun College eLearning site. First, check out the Camosun Faculty Stories. They are a wonderful testimonial to the care and effort Camosun faculty put into adjusting their teaching to pandemic conditions.

Here you can find inspirational stories from faculty across Camosun College who bravely moved their courses from face to face to completely online, sometimes in a matter of a few weeks.

You will find a list of 22 Faculty stories Emily has collected and published as posts, and organized them as well into a Faculty Stories category. It is published as a WordPress Page, and I would guess that each time Emily publishes a new story, she has to update this page.

This is one place where Display Posts can make the list of stories dynamic, the page of Faculty Stories could be updated by itself when she published the next story in this category.

The first step is heading into your WordPress plugins, look for the one called Display Posts, and click the Activate link.

Nothing happens.

Yet.

This plugin is used in content via WordPress Shortcodes, they are things in brackets [.....] that are a placeholder for inserting content when published.

The basic use of the plugin is

[display-posts]

which would merely display a list of the 10 most recent posts. But it offers a wide range of extra options you can add to make it do something different.

To automate what is done in Emily’s manually edited lists of posts, I would use something like this shortcode – I know the options well but they are well documented:

[display-posts category="faculty-stories" order="ASC" posts_per_page="-1"]

This says to select posts only from the Faculty Stories category (using the part of URL used in displaying the category) https://camosunelearning.opened.ca/category/faculty-stories/ The ASC option for order flips the default action to list newest posts first, we want to list them in the order they were published. The posts_per_page value of –1 is a trick to have to display all posts (otherwise you only get only 10 posts).

If Emily wanted to include an excerpt from the post and a link to continue reading, this should work:

[display-posts category="faculty-stories" order="ASC" posts_per_page="-1" include_excerpt="true" excerpt_more="Read more..." excerpt_more_link="true"]

There are other ways Emily could put her posts to work. She could create a sidebar or footer text widget (or use in any page/post) with a Display Posts shortcode that displays 5 random stories.

[display-posts category="faculty-stories" orderby="rand" posts_per_page="5"]

Each time the page is viewed, it should list five random stories from the collection.

I find this plugin useful too on sites where I change the option on my site to use a WordPress for the home rather than just the newest posts — see Take Control of the Front of Your WordPress Site. I used this for the Stories of OpenETC in Action site to have a welcome message on the landing page. In the middle of this page, I use the Display Posts plugin to list 5 random stories:

[display-posts posts_per_page="5" orderby="rand"]

that generates a different set of 5 on every view:

Screenshot that shows a list of 5 different linked stories, on the right is the text of the shortcode listed above
See the randomness at https://openetc.opened.ca/

You can just have posts come up as WordPress gives them to you, or you can take over control and display them in many more different ways with the Display Posts plugin.

And if that’s not enough, wait until you see what is possible for Pages with the Page-List plugin.


Image Credit: Image by Daniel Hannah from Pixabay 

Take Control of the Front of Your WordPress Site

The default display of most WordPress themes is the standard reverse chronological listing of published posts (newest stuff first). This works fine as a blog or reflective journal.

But with one small trick, you can take over the front page of any site with the information you want to provide there- an introduction or overview, and invitation to take part, maybe a current assignment. And you can provide that chronological listing to a secondary page.

I have mocked up a demo for this concept for the home of fictitious academic, Dr Blog. It is pure gibberish with filler text from a cosmic generator, random images from pravatar.cc, but also making use of some layouts only possible in the WordPress block editor, which is an open choice for you. But note the front entrance is not a stream of posts.

Okay, I could not resist slipping in a few more tricks like random header images, category descriptions, a wee bit of custom CSS to make the subtitle more readable. These are teasers, but if you want to learn more,just ask in a comment or the OpenETC Mattermost channel for WordPress fans.

Page It In

One of the longer points of clarification in WordPress is the difference between Posts, the things we do the most with, and Pages. They are very similar at the editing level.

Posts are organized by date and also category. But pages exist on their own, and are displayed only via links, adding to menus, etc. A typical use of a Page is the About page that usually comes by default in a new site (and many people ignore) which explains what the site is about. But they can also be used for offering a CV, contact information, a course description, an artist’s statement. A site might exist solely of Pages, maybe if it is more like a book, because Pages can be organized in an outline format.

But for now, the front page trick.

  1. Create a new Page with all the content you want to show up on the front. This can be almost anything. You can change it at any time. Or you could have a series of ones that maybe you swap in and out at different times of the year.
  2. If you want to have an interior page that has the default blog format, create a second Page with a title like “All Posts”, “Reflections”, or even “Blog”. It needs no content.

In your WordPress dashboard, look under Settings and select Reading. The top setting controls the front page layout with the default for Your homepage displays set to latest posts.

WordPress interface for Reading Settings with default setting of "Your homepage displays" set you "Your Latest Posts"

Switch that setting to A static page and use the menus to chose the ones you representing the front page (or Homepage), and optionally, one to show all your Posts (moving the blog post listing to an interior page). For Dr Blog, these settings look like:

The WordPress interface for Reading Settings with "Your homepagedisplays" set to "A static page". Below the menu for Home page has "Meet Dr Blog" selected and "Posts page" has "All Writings" selected

Save these settings, and zip over to your site. The front page of posts has been pushed aside! For Dr Blog, you can still access this via their interior page.

Big Deal or Not?

To me this is a key way to make a site more your own, as you can design anything you want in the front. But it makes sense for many sites to offer a welcome, or explanation, something other than post, post, post.

I would want this in a portfolio site to introduce visitors with information about me

I was nudged to write this from a question emailed from an OpenETC member who wanted to exclude a certain category of posts from their home page. To me, replacing with an information page, and then using categories, menus to direct visitors to specific groups of posts, is effective. In a future post I can share how a plugin like Display Posts (available here) can be used on a front Page to list posts from a certain category, rather than all posts.

I’ve used this for a previous course site that used the TRU Collector SPLOT theme for have students share responses, but I changed out the front page to reflect the current assignment. I also used this for a current course home page, using the stock Twenty-Twenty theme, but those pesky blocks to provide a custom layout.

I bet that others here are using this “trick”, I would love to see more examples to provide. And for future WordPress tips, let me know something you want use to cover.

This is one small way you can assert a bit more control over a WordPress site. I have many more in my bag, but I am sure others do too.


Featured Image: Take Control flickr photo by Rasta Taxi shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license modified by Alan Levine to be better cropped for a blog header.

Blocks or Not? You Decide

Few things divide WordPress folks as much the [relatively] new Block Editor, aka “Gutenberg” vs the venerable Classic one.

You are either one side or the other.

A frame by frame Photoshop edit by Alan Levine of the numerous Rabbit Season / Duck Season GIFs found on giphy and very much in murky copyright waters. It’s parody!

The 2500+ WordPress sites here at the OpenETC all run from a shared install of the software, so we constantly try to balance everyone’s desires. We allow all users to choose Rabbit or Duck via the Classic Editor.

Recently we changed things for new sites to be set by default for the Block Editor- this may have triggered notices for all WordPress users, but no one is taking away your Classic Editor. You still get to choose. You can check and manage your WordPress Editing environment under SettingsWriting in the Dashboard / admin area of your site. These are your options and you can change them anytime.

I’m Fully Into the Block Editor (Daffy Duck)

Copy these options under SettingsWriting

Even if the user is just you, set Default editor for all users to Block editor and set Allow users to switch editors to No. You will not lose any content, and your previous posts will all show up in the “Classic Block” which is close to the old one. All new posts will be done in the Block Editor.

I have gotten rather accustomed to the Block Editor. It means each paragraph is its own thing. Yes, I still stumble over things, but as the features have expanded in the last year, I am liking the structural things I can do in pages that previously called for plugins and theme specific interfaces. I have accepted the Block Way (but am free to cuss at it any time).

I’m Not Giving Up My Classic Editor (Bugs Bunny)

Copy these options under SettingsWriting

Even if the user is just you, set Default editor for all users to Classic editor and set Allow users to switch editors to No. You will keep on using the editor you love and cherish. We will try to make this available to you as long as we can.

But the future direction of WordPress is aimed at the Block Editor, and officially support for the Classic Editor plugin stops December 31, 2021. That does not mean Classic goes away, but it might have implications in the future as the WordPress Core evolves.

I am on the Fence and Prefer to bounce Back and Forth (Bugs Duck? Daffy Bunny?)

Copy these options under SettingsWriting

Set Default editor for all users to whichever one you prefer set Allow users to switch editors to Yes. This means that any author on your site can use whichever editor they want on a post by post basis. With this setting, when you look at the lists of posts in your site, it indicates which one it will use by default. If you hover your cursor over any title, the quick links provide the tools you can use to edit in either one! You choose.

To me, this makes it a bit more complex, but might be preferable as you are learning to adjust to the new editor, but or important work, yo might want to use Classic if it is more productive for you.

To someone reading your site, it makes no difference which editor you use; both editors generate good old HTML. It’s more of an issue on finding a way to continue writing and publishing while learning to ride a new editor.

If you have any questions concerns, leave a comment below. But better join us in the OpenETC Mattermost where we have a WordPress channel for getting answers, or just publicly displaying your love or loathing of the Block Editor. For an illustrated guide to editors, switching, and more resources, see Troy Welch’s post explaining this to users of the Thompson Rivers University TRUbox WordPress site (which works just like this one, and is also under Troy’s nurturing system administration care, please remember to thank Troy!)

Do you want more information, tips about using the Block Editor? We do have a few plugins available that extend its capabilities even more.


Featured Image: Pixabay photo by Matthias Böckel edited by Alan Levine to include WordPress and OpenETC logos.

Managing Privacy on Your OpenETC WordPress Site

One of the reasons you might be using the OpenETC WordPress service is so that you can share your work publicly on the open web. However, there may be times when you want to restrict who can see your work, and WordPress offers you quite a lot of control and choice when it comes to managing privacy.

  • You can make individual posts or pages private, perhaps to share them only with a select group, or to get feedback on drafts before making them public.
  • You can also make your entire site private, restricting it to all logged in users of Opened.ca, or right down to a select group of users that you choose.

Remember that you can change any of these options at any time. So you can start off fully locked down and work your way up to opening up your site, but perhaps still keeping the odd post here and there more private. It’s up to you to work out what you are most comfortable with.

Making an Individual Post or Page Private

The simplest way to make an individual post or page private on your site is to make it password protected. Only people who know the password you choose will be able to access it.

  1. Edit your post or page (or start a new post or page).
  2. In the Publish box on the right-hand side of the screen, click the Edit link next to Visibility: Public.
  3. Select Password protected and type in a Password.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Update (Save Draft or Publish if this is a new page) to save your changes.
  6. Share the password you set with anyone you want to see this post or page.
Screenshot of the Publish section when editing a WordPress page or post, used to make a post private.
The Publish section, visible when editing a post or page.

You can also restrict an individual post or page so that it is only visible to logged in users of your site. Using this option means you will also need to add each person that you want to have access as a named user of your site.

  1. Edit your post or page (or start a new post or page).
  2. In the Publish box on the right-hand side of the screen, click the Edit link next to Visibility: Public.
  3. Select Private.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Update (Save Draft or Publish if this is a new page) to save your changes.
  6. Use Dashboard > Users to add the people that you want to have access to Private posts or pages.

Remember that the only people you will be able to add as registered users of your site are people with a valid BC post-secondary email address. In practice that probably means your teacher, colleagues, or fellow students.

Making a Whole Site Private

You have a few choices about how private you want your site to be. You might find that the template your site was created from has a default setting of more or less privacy, so it’s worth being aware of your choices here.

  1. Go to your site Dashboard
  2. From the left-hand menu, choose Settings > Reading
  3. In the Site Visibility section, choose one of the following options:
  • Visible only to registered users of this network
    Choosing this option will mean only people who are logged into Opened.ca will be able to see your site. Remember that Opened.ca is used by members from across a number of Universities and education organisations, not just people from your University or College. This option can be a nice balance of privacy in that you are private to a community of other users probably quite like you.
  • Visible only to registered users of this site
    Choosing this option will mean only people who are set up by you as users on your site will be able to see anything. This is the option with the most privacy and allows you the most control. This might be the best way to start if you are writing about sensitive topics, or just finding your feet.Remember that the only people you will be able to add as registered users of your site are people with a valid BC post-secondary email address. In practice that probably means your teacher, colleagues, or fellow students.
  1. Click Save Changes.
  2. Your site will be updated immediately to your new privacy preference.
Screenshot of the Site Visibility settings in WordPress
Site Visibility settings in WordPress

Making a Whole Site Open

As well as carefully restricting access to your work, using the options above, you always have the option to open your site right up and share with the world.

  1. Go to your site Dashboard
  2. From the left-hand menu, choose Settings > Reading
  3. In the Site Visibility section, choose one of the following options:
  • Allow search engines to index this site
    Choosing this option will mean your site is open to the world and if someone searches for your site using Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo etc it’s quite likely that they will find it.
  • Discourage search engines from indexing this site
    Choosing this option will mean your site is open to the world, but search engines are discouraged from making it easy to find. This isn’t foolproof though. If you really want privacy then look at some of the other options above.
  1. Click Save Changes.
  2. Your site will be updated immediately to your new privacy preference.

Image Credit: Private Barrels flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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