Frequently Asked Questions

General

Users and Permissions

Appearance

Plugins

Other


General Questions

How do I request a new personal blog?

If you wish to create a personal blog, log in, look on the right side of the screen, under “Using This Service,” and click “Site Admin.” On the left-hand side of the next screen, you will see a menu. In that menu, find the word “Profile.” Make sure the Profile menu is expanded (click the down arrow to the right of the word “Profile” if it isn’t), then click “Get a Personal Blog.” On the next screen, click “Get My Personal Blog Now.”

Your personal blog will be created and you will be given two web addresses: one to view the blog (http://blog.uta.edu/~NetID) and the other to manage the blog (http://blog.uta.edu/~NetID/wp-admin/).

Note:
If you do not see the menu option for “Profile” after logging in and clicking on “Site Admin,” you already have a blog and will be directed to the administration page for your blog instead. The blog title will be in large letters on the upper left-hand side of the screen, and you may view your blog by clicking “Visit site” next to the blog title.

If you wish to create a blog for a department, course, organization, or other group, see here.

How do I request a new blog for a department, course, organization, or other group?

If you wish to create a blog for a department, course, organization, or other group, please first log in to the Maverick Blogs one time (to ensure your blog account is active).

Then follow the instructions here for creating a new service request through the help desk:

IT Help

Be sure to include the requested name for your blog, and the purpose of your blog.

What is a “blog”?

“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles or other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.

Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as web design, politics, sports, or mobile technology. Some are more eclectic, presenting links to all manner of other sites. And others are more like personal journals, presenting the author’s daily life and thoughts.

Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:

  • A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.
  • An archive of older articles.
  • A way for people to leave comments about the articles.
  • A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”.
  • One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files.

Some blogs may have additional features beyond these.

How long will my blog remain available?

Your blog will remain active as long as you are affiliated with the university and update your site. Blogs which have not been updated will be removed after 1 year of inactivity.

Are there any space restrictions?

It’s conceivable that your blog may hold thousands of posts. The actual number of posts, comments, and pages that your blog may contain is highly dependent on their content — specifically the use of attachments / uploaded media files. There is no hard limit on the number of posts or comments that you may have.

Your blog may use up to 10MiB of space for attachments / uploaded media files, with an individual file size limit of 3MiB. We encourage the use of links to external sites for media files (including images and video). Your MavSpace account is ideally suited for this purpose.

Acceptable uploaded file types include: jpg jpeg png gif mp3 mov avi wmv midi mid pdf doc xml

As with other services offered by the university, blogs which disproportionately use resources may be limited, deactivated or removed.

Can I request more more space for my blog?

Your blog may only use 10MiB for attachments / uploaded media files, with an individual file size limit of 3MiB. This is a global limit and cannot be modified on a per-user basis. You are free to link your attachments (including images and videos) from other web sites. Your MavSpace account is ideally suited for this purpose.

How do I manage content on my blog using a mobile app/blogging tool?

There are many alternative ways to managing your blog, including mobile apps for platforms such as Android, iOS, BlackBerry and blogging tools such as Zoundry Raven, ScribeFire, and Qumana.

If you’re having trouble managing your blog using one of the above methods, try the following:

  1. First, make sure you can log in to the blogs from a browser and make sure you have a blog.
  2. Next, in a browser, go to the dashboard for your blog –> Settings –> Writing, and make sure XML-RPC is checked. If it isn’t, check it, and click Save Changes.
  3. Make sure you’re putting in the right blog URL, in the following format:

    https://blog.uta.edu/blogname

    Make sure you type “https” and not “http”. If that URL doesn’t work, try this instead:

    https://blog.uta.edu/blogname/xmlrpc.php

  4. The blogging tool you’re using must support one of the following APIs:
    • Blogger
    • MetaWeblog
    • Movable Type
    • WordPress

How do I import content from another blog into my blog?

If you wish to import the content of another blog into your blog, first export the content from the first blog (if it’s a blog at Maverick Blogs, see here for instructions on exporting your blog content). Then, log into your blog and go to the dashboard. Go to Tools –> Import. Select the type of blog that the content of the first blog was from. If the blog that has the content you’re importing is a Mavericks Blog, select WordPress. Then, follow the instructions given.

How do I export my blog content?

You may wish to export your blog content for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • You want a personal backup of your blog content
  • You wish to switch to another blog service, such as WordPress.com
  • You are leaving UTA and want to take your blog content with you

Whatever the reason may be, here’s how to export your blog content. First, log into your blog and go to the dashboard. Then, go to Tools –> Export. Where it says Restrict Author, select All Authors if you want all of the content of your blog, or select a specific user ID if you only want the content from a specific user. Then, click Download Export File, and that’s it!


Users and Permissions

Can blogs have multiple authors?

You can have an unlimited number of authors/users on your blog. Authors must be registered blog users, which means they must meet the requirements for obtaining a blog.

You may assign different roles to each user on your blog. For more information on roles, see: What do the different user roles mean?

What do the different user roles mean?

When adding users to your blog, you’re given a choice as to which role to assign to the users. Here is a summary of what the different roles mean:

  • Administrator – Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor – Somebody who can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
  • Author – Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish posts
  • Subscriber – Somebody who can read comments/comment/receive news letters, etc.

You can find more information about roles here:
http://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities

How do I add another user to my blog so that they can create posts/administer the blog?

Log in to your blog, click on “Site Admin” to go to the dashboard, and look for the “Users” menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Make sure the Users menu is expanded (click the down arrow to the right of the word “Users” if it isn’t), and click on the “Add User” link. Just type the user’s UT Arlington NetID in the “Username” box, choose a Role for that user, and click “Add User.”

For more information on roles, see: What do the different user roles mean?

How can I make my blog visible to only UT Arlington Faculty/Staff/Students?

Log in to your blog, click “Site Admin,” and make sure your blog title is in the upper left-hand side of the screen (if it isn’t, click on My Blogs in the “Dashboard” menu, find your blog, and click “Dashboard.”) Next, look on the left-hand side of the screen for the “Settings” menu and make sure it’s expanded (click the down arrow to the right of the word “Settings” if it isn’t), and click on the “Privacy” link. Choose the option, “I would like my blog to be visible only to registered users from blog community,” and click “Save Changes.”

How can I make my blog visible only to specific users / groups / classes?

Log in to your blog, click “Site Admin,” and make sure your blog title is in the upper left-hand side of the screen (if it isn’t, click on My Blogs in the “Dashboard” menu, find your blog, and click “Dashboard.”) Next, look on the left-hand side of the screen for the “Settings” menu and make sure it’s expanded (click the down arrow to the right of the word “Settings” if it isn’t), and click on the “Privacy” link. Choose the option, “I would like my blog to be visible only to registered members of this blog,” and click “Save Changes.”

You may add individual users to your blog from the “Add User” link in the Users menu. Just type the user’s UT Arlington NetID in the “Username” box, choose a Role for that user, and click “Add User.” For more information on roles, see: What do the different user roles mean?

You may add an LDAP directory group (i.e. a departmental group or a specific course offering) by clicking on the “LDAP Groups” link in the Users menu. In the “LDAP Group Name” box, type the name of the departmental group or course offering you would like to add to your blog. Next, choose a Role for everyone in that group, and then click “Add LDAP Group.” For more information on roles, see: What do the different user roles mean? If you typed in a valid name of a departmental group or course offering, after clicking “Add LDAP Group” you will get a message at the top of the page saying that the group was successfully added to the blog. Additionally, the group will now be visible in the table “Assigned Ldap Group Roles.”

Note:
If you wish to add a specific course offering, it must be in the following format:
year/term/session/course/course number/section
 
Ex:
2012/Fall/Regular/MUSI/3247/003
2013/Spring/Regular/NURS/1100/001
 
Valid values for term are:
Spring, Summer, Fall
 
Valid values for session are:
Regular, Eleven Wk, Five Wk 1, Five Wk 2, Dynamic, Inter S, Inter W, OEE


Appearance

How do I change the blog tagline from “Just another Maverick Blogs weblog” to something else?

In the dashboard for your blog, click on “General” in the Settings menu. You’ll see an option for “Tagline.” Simply change it, and then click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

How do I add a link to the RSS feeds for my blog to the sidebar?

Click on “Widgets” in the Appearance menu. If you have more than one sidebar, make sure you select the sidebar where you wish the RSS feed to appear in the dropdown box under “Current Widgets.” Then find the “Text” widget in the list under “Available Widgets,” and click “Add.” It will appear on the right-hand side under “Current Widgets,” and you may drag it up or down to change its location on the sidebar. Next, click the “Edit” link for the text widget itself. Optionally, enter a title in the top text box. For an RSS feed for all posts, in the bottom text box, enter:
<a href=”http://blog.uta.edu/MyBlogName/feed/”><img src=”http://blog.uta.edu/wp-includes/images/rss.png” />Text to Display Describing Your Feed</a>

For example:
<a href=”http://blog.uta.edu/sustainability/feed/”><img src=”http://blog.uta.edu/wp-includes/images/rss.png” />RSS Feed</a>

For an RSS feed for all comments, enter:
<a href=”http://blog.uta.edu/MyBlogName/comments/feed/”><img src=”http://blog.uta.edu/wp-includes/images/rss.png” />Text to Display Describing Your Feed</a>

You may also create a link to an RSS feed for posts from only a specific category by entering:
<a href=”http://blog.uta.edu/MyBlogName/category/categoryname/feed/”><img src=”http://blog.uta.edu/wp-includes/images/rss.png” />Text to Display Describing Your Feed</a>

You may put links to multiple RSS feeds in one text widget, or you may use separate text widgets if you desire.

Note:
Don’t forget the trailing slash in the URL for the blog RSS feeds! They will not work without it.

Gravatars

What are Gravatars?

A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. An avatar is a representation of you, in this case a picture. So a Gravatar is an avatar that you can use anywhere on the internet (where Gravatars are supported, of course).

How do I get a Gravatar?

This one’s easy: just go to gravatar.com and follow the instructions.

How can I have Gravatars show up on my blog?

Gravatars will show up on your blog for users who comment when you’re using one of the themes that supports Gravatars. These are the themes that support Gravatars:

  • Aeros
  • Arclite
  • Cutline 3-Column Split
  • Freshy
  • Illacrimo
  • Journalist
  • K2
  • Mandigo
  • Maverick
  • Monochrome
  • P2
  • White as Milk
  • WordPress Default

Themes

Can I change the header image on my theme ?

You must use one of the following themes if you wish to add a custom header image:

  • Arclite
  • K2
  • Mandigo
  • P2

To have a custom header image with the K2 or P2 themes, make sure the theme is activated and then go to Dashboard –> Appearance –> Custom Header.

To have a custom header with the Arclite theme, go to Dashboard –> Appearance –> Arclite settings. Then scroll to Header –> Header background, choose User defined image from the drop down menu, and upload your image. Don’t forget to click Save changes at the bottom of the page.

To have a custom header image with the Mandigo theme, rename the image to mandigo_header (for example: mandigo_header.jpg, mandigo_header.png), and upload it to your media (Dashboard –> Media –> Add New). Then go to Dashboard –> Appearance –> Theme Options, and scroll down to Header. Make sure “Use random images from the user uploaded files or the images/headers/subfolder” is checked, scroll down, and click Update Options. For more custom header options for the Mandigo theme, go to Dashboard –> Appearance –> README.

Can I have custom CSS on my site?

To have custom CSS on your blog, you must first be using a theme that supports custom CSS. These are the themes that support custom CSS:

  • Arclite
  • K2
  • Mandigo

To use custom CSS with the Arclite theme, simply activate the theme and go to Appearance –> Arclite settings –> User CSS code. CSS examples are provided on the right. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and click “Save changes” when you’re done.

To use custom CSS with the Mandigo theme, simply activate the time and go to Appearance –> HTML Inserts. The best place for your custom CSS is in the first box, “right before “. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and click “Update Inserts” when you’re done.

To use custom CSS with the K2 theme, first activate the K2 theme, and then activate the MyCSS plugin. Next, click on the “MyCSS” link in the Appearance menu, and there you can input custom CSS for your blog.

You’ll also need to tell the K2 theme to use your custom CSS file. To do this, click “K2 Options” in the Appearance menu. Then, scroll down to the Styles section and look for the Styles Directory option. Choose “my blog” from the dropdown menu, and in the text box to the right of the dropdown menu delete anything that may be there. Then click Save Changes at the bottom of the page. Scroll back down to the Styles section, and in the table below the Styles Directory option, you should see “my.css.” Place a checkmark in the box beside “my.css,” and click Save Changes. Your custom stylesheet will now be applied to your blog.

I really like a theme that’s not listed. Can I add a theme?

Contact the OIT Computing Helpdesk with a link for the theme you would like installed. Note that we may may need to modify your theme for it to comply with our web publishing guidelines. Additionally, some theme features may not work in Wordpress-MU. An administrator of the Maverick Blogs service will need to complete this request.

Widgets

What is a widget?

Widgets are shown on the sidebar(s) of your blog and can be a variety of things. You can have a widget that shows links to other sites, one that shows the categories of your blog, RSS feeds, recent comments, and a variety of other things. They’re designed so you can easily arrange the content of your sidebars without having to know or change any code.

How do I add a widget to my blog?

To add a widget to your blog, go to the dashboard of your blog, then go to Appearance –> Widgets. If you have more than one sidebar, first select the sidebar you wish to add your widget to from the dropdown list under Current Widgets. Find the widget you want in the list of Available Widgets, and click the Add link next to it. It will then appear on the right, under the list of Current Widgets. From there, you may click and drag on the widget to move it up or down to change its position in the sidebar. You can click on the Edit link next to your widget to customize it. Don’t forget to click Save Changes when you’re done.

If you have HTML code for a widget you got from another website, simply add a Text widget to your blog using the above instructions. Click the Edit link, paste the code in the bottom text box (the larger one), type a title in the upper text box if you wish, and click Done. Don’t forget to click Save Changes.


Plugins

How do I activate a particular plugin for my blog?

Log into your blog, and go to the dashboard. In the menu on the left, go to Plugins. You’ll see the list of available plugins, and from there you can find the plugin you want, and click the Activate link to activate the plugin or Deactivate link to deactivate it for your blog.

How can I add a calendar to my blog?

First, activate the Calendar plugin (see here for instructions on activating the plugin). Then, you will have a new Calendar menu option near the bottom of the menu on the left. If you put your mouse over it, it will show a down arrow to the right of the word Calendar, and you can click on that to expand the menu, revealing the menu entries.

If you click on Manage Calendar, you can add and manage events. Once you’ve added events, you can display them two ways:

1. You can show events on your sidebar using widgets. There is a widget available to show Today’s Events and one to show Upcoming Events. Please note that the Today’s Events widget will only show up if you have an event scheduled on your calendar for today. The Upcoming Events widget will only show events coming up within a specified period of time; this is configurable from Calendar –> Calendar Options. If an event is not within the specified time (the default is 14 days in the future), that event will not show up. If no events are within that specified time, the widget will not show up.

For information on adding a widget, see: How do I add a widget to my blog?.

2. You may also create a page with a large calendar by adding this text to the page content:

« Prev August 2014 Next »
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
          1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
           

You can go to the Calendar menu –> Calendar Options to set some options for the calendar.

How can I get information on who is visiting my blog?

You can do this using Google Analytics. First, you must get a Google Analytics account by going here: Google Analytics. Then, log into your blog, and activate the Google Analytics for Wordpress plugin (see here for instructions on activating the plugin). In the menu on the left side of your dashboard, go to Settings –> Google Analytics. Follow the instructions there for setting up the Google Analytics for Wordpress plugin.

How can I add a poll to my blog?

First, activate the WP-Polls plugin (see here for instructions on activating the plugin). Then, you will have a new Polls menu option near the bottom of the menu on the left. If you put your mouse over it, it will show a down arrow to the right of the word Polls, and you can click on that to expand the menu, revealing the menu entries.

You can go to Add Poll to create a new poll, or Manage Polls to manage existing polls. Poll Options has many options to change the look and functionality of the polls, and Poll Templates will let you customize the layout of the polls.

You may want to go to dashboard –> Polls –> Manage Polls and delete the default poll that is set up by the plugin (“How Is My Site?”).

You have several options for displaying your polls. First of all, there is a Polls widget. This will allow you to show a poll in the sidebar of your blog. For information on adding a widget, see: How do I add a widget to my blog?.

You may also add a poll to a post or a page by typing the following text in the body of the post or page:

[poll id="1"]

Where the number corresponds to the poll ID as listed in dashboard –> Polls –> Manage Polls –> Polls. You can also use the code type=”result” to show the results of a poll as the default view (instead of the option to vote), like this:

[poll id="1" type="result"]

You can also show a random poll like this:

[poll id="-1"]

Or the most recent poll like this:

[poll id="0"]

Lastly, you can make a Polls Archive page. To do this, add a new page to your blog (dashboard –> Pages –> Add New) and type “pollsarchive” as the page title (the top box) and type the following text in the body of the page (the large text box):

[page_polls]

Then click Publish. Once you’ve published the page you can go back and rename it to something else. The Polls Archive page will show all of the polls you’ve had on your site.

How do I use my blog for podcasting?

First, activate the Blubrry PowerPress plugin (see here for instructions on activating the plugin). Then, you will have a new PowerPress menu option near the bottom of the menu on the left. If you put your mouse over it, it will show a down arrow to the right of the word PowerPress, and you can click on that to expand the menu, revealing the menu entries.

To add a podcast episode to a post, edit the post (or create a new post), and near the bottom you’ll see a Podcast Episode section. Paste the URL (web address) for the episode in the Media URL box. Do not use URLs beginning with “https://”, as they will not work.

To change the appearance of the media player, in the menu on the left go to PowerPress –> Settings. Choose Normal mode if necessary. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and check Audio Player Options. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page, and then go to PowerPress –> Audio Player.

How can I block spam comments on my blog?

Most spam comments should already be blocked by the Akismet plugin, which is automatically installed on all blogs using the Maverick Blogs service. To see statistics on blocked spam, log into your dashboard, and in the Dashboard menu in the top left go to Akismet Stats. You can see comments marked as spam by going to Comments in the menu on the left, and then at the top under Edit Comments, click Spam. If there are any comments there that should not be marked as spam, click the Not Spam link underneath the comment.

If you wish to have more security, you can activate the WP-reCAPTCHA plugin (see here for instructions on activating the plugin). Once activated, users will have to type in two random words while posting a comment before their comment will be accepted.


Other

How do I enable threaded comments?

Threaded comments is a feature only supported by certain themes. You must first make sure you are using a theme that supports threaded comments. The following themes support threaded comments:

  • Aeros
  • Arclite
  • Cutline 3-Column Split
  • Freshy
  • K2
  • Mandigo
  • Maverick
  • Monochrome
  • P2
  • WordPress Default

You must then enable threaded comments. To do so, log in, go to Settings –> Discussion –> Other comment settings, and place a check by “Enable threaded (nested) comments”. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes”.

How do I embed a video in a blog post?

Simply paste the URL of the video in your post, and if the video is from one of the supported sites, it will show up automatically. The URL is the web address, for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f99w-tVGh3U

Here are some of the supported sites:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • DailyMotion
  • Hulu
  • Google Video
  • …and many more

See here for all of the video sites that are supported:

http://codex.wordpress.org/Embeds

Why don’t changes to my blog show up right away?

We are using a site-wide plugin called Wordpress Super Cache that improves performance of the blogs. If you make a change to your blog and do not see the change immediately, it is because you are seeing a cached version of your blog. Once the cache expires, you will see your changes.

I really like a plugin that’s not listed. Can I add a plugin?

The Maverick Blogs service uses Wordpress-MU. While most normal Wordpress plugins will work without any modification at all, some that modify core tables or create tables of their own in the database might have difficulties. Contact the OIT Computing Helpdesk with a link for the plugin that you would like installed. An administrator of the Maverick Blogs service will need to complete this request.

Other questions

If you have other questions related to this site that aren’t addressed here, please click here to contact the helpdesk.