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How to Use Wordpress - for VLS Bloggers

Updated: August 19, 2009

First of all, you need a WordPress account.
If you'd like to be a blogger, email your name, VLS email address, and program (JD or MELP) to Kathy Hartman, Director of Admissions, and cc me (Lori Dubreuil). If you already have a WordPress account, let us know that too; you won't need to set up a new account.

I will add you to the appropriate blog, and then Wordpress will send you an "invitation" via email, from ldubreuil@vermontlaw.edu (that's me) that says: Your Name, Loridubreuil has invited you to use WordPress.

Open that email and click the link; this will bring you to the WordPress signup page, so you can set up your account. Type in a Username (this will appear above your blog posts), make up a password (you'll have to type this in two places) and double-check that your email address is correct. Please note: If your username or password are not unique, you'll be prompted to change them; just add a number or odd character or two, and you should be fine. Don't forget to write them down!

Click the "Legal Flotsam" box and the "Just a username, please" button. Click Next. A confirmation email will be sent to your email address, and a new screen will appear. Enter your first and last names, and a brief profile, then click Save Profile. For some unknown reason, this page does not go away after you save your profile, so just close the window, or...

Go to WordPress and Log In
Before you log in for the first time, go to your VLS email and look for the confirmation email, called "Activate YourUserName," from WordPress.com. Open the email and click the link contained therein. Your account will be activated, and you'll see your username and password. (Write them down somewhere super secret, please!) Now you can click the Login link, where you'll be asked to type in your new username and password.

Next time, you can just go to http://wordpress.com and log in. At the top of the screen, you'll see a gray bar - the login form is on the left side of this bar. Type in your new username and password, and click the Login button. Once logged in, you will see, in place of the login box, several options that display drop-down lists when you mouse over them:

My Account - Mouse over this button and select "Log Out" to leave Wordpress.

My Dashboards - This feature shows you all the options for changing your blog. You may not have permissions in this section, as this is mostly administrative stuff.

New Post - Here is where you'll find links to all the blogs you've signed up for. Click on a blog to add a post.

Blog Info - This appears to be under construction. Wordpress updates their software frequently.

Posting New Articles
Now, finally, you can start writing! Just mouse over the New Post button, click the name of the blog you want to post to, and you'll have a blank form in which to write your post. Or, start from your dashboard, and click the Posts button in the left column. From here you can choose Edit, to make changes to a previous post, or Add New to write a new post.

Type a title into the top box, then type the rest of your info into the big box, or copy & paste it from some other document. Then, click the checkbox next to your name in the "Categories" list. (This keeps all your posts organized under your name, so readers can see all your contributions, if they like your writing.) Now you just need to click the Publish button to make your new post live. (Or, you can click the "Save Draft" button if you want to make sure your work doesn't get lost due to power outages, or want to come back later and finish your post. (It won't go live until you click the Publish button.) Once you have finished, you can log out of WordPress by clicking the "Log Out" link in the top, right-hand corner of the screen, or by mousing over "My Account" and clicking Log Out there.

There is lots more information available at the Wordpress support site: http://support.wordpress.com/ and, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to email me: ldubreuil@vermontlaw.edu.

Thank you for blogging!