Building your Site: Posts, Pages, Widgets and Plugins

Building your Site: Posts, Pages, Widgets and Plugins

What is a Post?

When you want to write content for your site, you have the option of creating both posts and pages. Posts will appear on the “Home” page of your site in chronological order, with the newest post appearing at the top of the page. By default, your most recent posts are the first thing that a viewer will see when visiting your site. They are a good place to post new information or announcements about your course, project, or club. They are also a good place to publish new discussion questions, reading responses, blog entries—or any information that will be less relevant to your viewers as your course, project, or club progresses. Remember that posts are displayed chronologically, so any content posted will be pushed down the screen by new content. If you would like certain content to remain static so that your viewers will always see it when they visit your site, then you might want to create that content as a Page (e.g., a course syllabus, a project description, or a club mission statement).

Writing a Post

  1. From your site’s Dashboard, click on Posts > Add New in the left hand menu.
  1. Add a title and content to your post. You will notice that many of the formatting buttons such as bold or text alignment look similar to those in common word processing and email programs. You can type in the content box shown below, or paste text from another document.
  1. You can include images and documents in your post using the Add Media button just above the visual editor box. You can also find more detailed instructions for adding images and other media, and embedding video.
  1. To the right of the visual editor is the Publish box. When you’re ready for your post to be published on the site’s home page, click Publish. You’re done! You can now view your post on the site.
  1. If you would like to see how your post will appear on the site before you publish it, click the Preview button. You can also click Save Draft to save your post and continue working on it later without making it visible on the site.
  1. If you’d like, you can “stick” a post to the top of a site so it remains at the top even after you add new posts. In the Publish box, click the Edit link next to Visibility: Public (see below). Check the box, “Stick this post to the front page” and click OK to save.
  1. You can also change the privacy settings for a single post in the Visibility section. There are three options:
  • Public is the default. Anyone who can view the site can see your post.
  • Password Protected makes it available only to users who enter a password of your choosing.
  • Private makes it accessible only to site administrators.

Click OK to save when you are done. Students should check with their professors before making a post password protected or private.

What is a Page?

Pages can have the same content as posts, but they are not published chronologically and the content on a page remains static (i.e., it doesn’t change). Your posts will appear chronologically on your “Home” page and your pages will appear as links on your “Home” page. These links will usually appear in the header menu on your site and/or in the right-side menu on your site. To view a page, viewers will need to click the link for the respective page.

Creating Pages on your Site

  1. To create a page on your site, go to your site Dashboard and click Pages > Add New in the left-hand menu.
  1. On the following screen, you will see a title line, a text box, and a formatting toolbar. Here you can enter a title for your page and the content that you would like to appear on your page. To modify your text (e.g., to change the font style, add a link, etc.), highlight the text that you want to change and click the appropriate button from the formatting toolbar. You can also add images, audio, or video to your page by clicking the icon next to Upload/Insert.
  1. Once you have finished adding content to your page, click Publish in the “Publish” section of the right-hand menu. If you would like to see how your page will look before you publish it, click Preview in the right-hand menu. Additionally, if you would like to continue working on your page and publish it at a later time, click Save Draft in the right-hand menu.
  1. You can also change or edit your page’s privacy settings by clicking Edit in the Visibility settings in the same right-hand menu. You can choose to make your page public, password protected, or private.

What is a Widget?

A widget is a tool that adds different functions to your site  To view widgets currently available for your site, go to your site Dashboard and click Appearance > Widgets in the left-hand menu. To add a widget to your site, drag-and-drop the selected widget from the “Available Widget” area in the center of the screen to one of the “Widget Areas” in the right-hand menu.

Adding widgets to your Site

A widget is a tool that adds different functions to your site. Most sites come with certain widgets already installed, but you can add to and remove them by following the steps below.

  1. Go to your site Dashboard and click Appearance > Widgets in the left-hand menu.
  1. Choose a widget and either drag it to the sidebar where you wish it to appear, or click the widget, (select a destination sidebar if your theme has more than one) and click the Add Widget button.
  1. To customize a widgets settings, click the down arrow in the upper right corner to expand the widgets interface. Different widgets will have different settings or customization’s. To save any customization’s you made, click Save.
  1. To arrange the order of your widgets, click and drag them into the position you want.
  1. To remove a widget, click Delete.

Please note: If you change themes, the widgets will be reset. You may need to add them again and rearrangement depending upon the theme’s ability to preserve other themes’ widgets.


What is a Plugin?

A plugin is another tool that adds custom features and functions to your site (e.g., integrating Twitter feeds on your site). To view the available plugins for your site, go to your site Dashboard and click Plugins > Installed Plugins on the left-hand menu. To use an available plugin, click Activate from underneath your selected plugin. Activated plugins will usually appear at the bottom of the left-hand menu or as an item in the Settings section of the left-hand menu. To edit the settings of an activated plugin, click the appropriate plugin title. 

Adding plugins to your Site

Plugins add functionality to your course, project, or club site. A plugin may allow you to create, manage, or edit features of your site that you cannot normally create, manage, or edit without the addition of a plugin. You can view available plugins by going to your site Dashboard and clicking Plugins


Please note: Plugins are often edited and updated, so plugin availability can change. Additionally, some plugins add features to the OpenLab network as a whole and not just your specific site.


  1. You can add plugins to your site by going to your site Dashboard and clicking Plugins in the left-hand menu.
  1. Once you have selected the plugins that you would like to activate on your site, click Activate underneath the plugin description.
  1. Once activated, the plugin title will usually appear at the bottom of the left-hand menu or in the Settings menu (though sometimes they can be hard to find–contact the SUNY Oneonta OpenLab if you’re confused). You can edit the settings for the plugins activated on your site by clicking the plugin title and then Settings.
  1. For additional help with managing plugins, go to your site Dashboard and click Plugins > Installed Plugins, and then Help > Documentation on Managing Plugins at the top right corner of your screen.
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