What is WordPress and how can it help my faculty or portfolio?
WordPress is a market-leading, open-source blogging platform. WordPress runs on nearly 1 in 5 websites across the globe and is the most widely-used blogging tool.
A WordPress blog can enable your faculty or portfolio achieve a number of business goals, including:
- Disseminating information within a team or workgroup
- Encouraging innovation and the adoption of new digital technologies
- Building a community of practice, either internally and/or externally to the University
- Running promotional campaigns that are short-lived
Corporate content, such as key information about the University, its service and course offerings etc. should be made available using the enterprise content management system, Squiz Matrix, or enterprise applications.
What services are offered?
The WordPress blogging service is offered as a low-touch service. This means that Digital Services will provide the underlying infrastructure, but can provide only basic support in its operation. This service is neither highly available nor redundant; the blog should not contain business-critical information (which includes assessable student content). You will need to keep this in mind when considering whether a WordPress blog is the right solution for your business problem.
These are the services we can provide for you:
- Initial establishment and configuration of a WordPress blog
- Some options for restriction of the blog for viewing and editing purposes (see Choosing the access settings for your blog for the options provided)
- Review of plugins for technical robustness and WordPress Multisite compatibility, and installation of plugins
- Direction on where to find out more about WordPress
We do not currently offer these activities:
- Custom theme design (or installation of additional, purchased themes)
- Custom plugin development
- WordPress training
- Customisation or bespoke development of WordPress
We may choose to offer these services on a fee for service or referral to an external provider arrangement.
There is a wealth of introductory training on the WordPress Codex which you may wish to review in evaluating whether WordPress is the right choice for your business area. Deakin University’s lynda.com subscription also provides many tutorials on WordPress.
What are the business rules around having a blog?
These are the business rules we work with when determining who can have a blog:
- There should be a clear reason for having the blog. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, we can create a blog in a sandbox environment for you to evaluate. You may also find it useful to review the Digital content publishing options, which describe the content publishing options available at Deakin, and may help you decide which platform is most appropriate for your purpose.
- Blogs are not for the use of content that needs to be provided for a legislative or corporate requirement; this content needs to be housed in the official content management system, Squiz Matrix, or in the Staff Intranet.
- Blogs in this environment are not for use for teaching and learning activities that contain assessable content; this content needs to be housed in official teaching and learning systems via CloudDeakin.
- Blogs will by default have the Deakin Worldly Theme applied.
- Blogs which are internally facing (i.e. restricted to staff and students) will be able to choose from a small selection of pre-determined Themes which Digital Services will make available. A justification for a different theme will need to be supplied, and the Visual Identity Guidelines of the University will be consulted when determining whether to apply a different theme. Please do not purchase a theme until you have contacted Digital Services to discuss your requirements.
- Blogs which are externally facing (i.e. available to the world) will be restricted to the Deakin Worldly Theme to ensure the Deakin brand is protected.
- The names of two Administrators will need to be supplied for a blog to be created. The Administrators will be responsible for ensuring the content on the blog adheres to all University policies, such as the Code of Conduct. Administrators will be responsible for moderating comments and filtering spam. Be aware that there is an overhead in this activity; Digital Services cannot perform this function for you.
- You should be comfortable using WordPress, or willing to use available materials to learn to use WordPress; training is not provided.
- Digital Services will periodically review blogs to ensure they are active and current, and may choose to archive inactive blogs after consultation with the relevant parties.
WordPress is for me! What do I do?
Great. Now that you’ve considered the above information, you need to complete the Request a WordPress blog form (you will be required to sign in) and provide the following information:
- Your details (these should auto populate).
- The title of your blog (making sure it is clear and meaningful to users, and relatively short)
- The preferred blog address (URL), which should align with the title
- The full names and usernames of two (2) administrators (administrators must be Deakin staff)
- A statement identifying what the blog will be used for (and noting whether you want a ‘sandpit’/testing site, or a live site)
- Which groups should be able to view the blog and which groups or users should be able to contribute to the blog (please check Choosing the access settings for your blog for the options available). Note that while you are initially building your blog site, access will be restricted just to the people developing the blog.
- Indicate whether you would like your blog listed on the blogs listing page.
- A statement identifying you’re comfortable with the business rules above.
Who do I contact for more information?
Contact the IT Service Desk for all faults, service requests or enquiries related to this service.