Welcome to Web Publishing! This is an introduction that should answer or link to any questions you have.
What is Web Publishing?
Simply put: Web Publishing, powered by WordPress, helps you create a website or a blog for your unique use case in an easy and secure environment.
WordPress is an Open Source Content Management System for the web. That means it’s a set of tools for creating and managing websites. With WordPress you’ll be able to create your own website for almost anything you need, whether it’s for a course you’re teaching, an event you’re planning, a personal site to showcase your achievements, or just a blog to share your thoughts.
Web Publishing is a platform built on WordPress that provides all the benefits of WordPress in a secure and streamlined environment. It’s got all the best parts of WordPress while tailored to the unique needs of the NYU community and integrated with other NYU services. And best of all, it’s completely free!
What can I do with Web Publishing?
Web Publishing is a great tool for doing many different things on the web. It can be used as a shared space for you to communicate with your students, as a platform to collaborate with other researchers, as a website to promote your club or event and many other uses. And of course, you can always use it as a blog to share your thoughts. Here are some examples of what you can do!
Do you want to…
…use it for a course?
Online hub to a course: The instructor used her site to store course information like the syllabus and due dates. But she didn’t stop there. She linked the site to Twitter and Tumblr and had student work show up on the front page of the site, making it a hub for everything going on the class. Essays were shared amongst the rest of the class, allowing a vibrant discussion to take place in the comments, and links were shared for an expanded learning experience.
Anonymous Q&A for a course: Sometimes students have questions that aren’t answered in lectures, but are afraid to ask them because they’re afraid it’s a dumb question. Or sometimes they’ll come up on a question while doing homework, but will completely forget to ask at the end of class. This instructor allowed students to post anonymously to his site and had his TAs respond, thus extending the learning experience out of the classroom.
Publishing and critiquing short stories: Web Publishing is perhaps best known as a blogging service, and it does blogging fantastically. In this multimedia writing class students posted their short stories to the site, taking advantage of Web Publishing by embedding photos, videos, audio and maps into their stories. They then read and critiqued the stories of their classmates.
…or for something else?
Promoting an event: The NYU Cinema Studies holds an annual symposium on neglected moving images, or orphan films. For the 9th symposium, they made a site to promote and help coordinate the event. On their site they put up a day-by-day program to the symposium and the films that would be shown and discussed, and after the event was finished they used the site to put up a gallery of images from the day.
What do you want your site to look like?
Web Publishing makes it easy for your site to look good and be easy to use. You can change looks easily by changing the “Theme” of your site, and you can quickly choose between Themes until you find the one you want. All our themes are responsive, which means they work just as well on a desktop as a smartphone. You’ll probably want a theme that fits what you’re looking for in your site. We’ve put themes into a few categories to help you find the right theme.
Do you want…
…a more visual theme? Visual themes look great and are good for showing off visuals like photos and videos..
…a more text-heavy theme? Magazine themes are designed to present a lot of information in an easy-to-read way.
…a theme to showcase your project or event? Onepage themes have all their content on the front page, making it easy for you to show your visitors what they need to see.
…an online resume for yourself? Bio themes help you present yourself and your work to the rest of the world.
…a gallery of photos or videos? Gallery themes are specifically designed to show off your photos or videos.
…just a blog? Our Blog themes are the kind of no-nonsense, top-down styles the Internet has been using since the dot-com boom. Although we think ours look a little better! Keep in mind that you can have a blog on any of these themes.
What are you putting on your site?
Web Publishing can be used to host a large variety of content. The fundamentals of Web Publishing are Posts and Pages. Pages are basically webpages, and are used to build the structure of your site. Posts are more mobile and let you fill in the content of your site. This content can be anything from an essay on Kate Winslet’s role in Titanic, to a schedule of which conference rooms are open, to photos and videos. Even more features can be enabled at any time.
Some of the more common things our users put up are:
Course Resources Web Publishing makes it very easy for you to make your course resources available to your students. You can upload anything from your syllabus, assignments, readings, photos, to sample MATLAB files and study guides, to embedding video lectures.
Administrative Resources Regardless of whether you’re making a site for the Sociology department or for your weekend barbeques, Web Publishing makes it easy for you to coordinate your information with calendars, embedded documents, subscribable newsletters, social networks and other nice features.
User content One of Web Publishing’ greatest strengths is in allowing users to interact with the site and each other. You can allow any of your students to write and comment on posts or pages, create a forum for a dedicated discussion space, or even create a subsite just for them.
Multimedia Web Publishing supports a long list of file formats, letting you upload images or documents like PPTs and PDFs. It also lets you embed feeds from social networks like Tumblr or Instagram, video from NYU Stream or a 3rd party site, to create customizable maps, and a lot more.
Who will be using your site?
Make sure you share your site with only the right people. Whether it’s a fellow researcher, the students in your course or the entire Internet, Web Publishing’s robust privacy settings give you fine-tuned control over who can access your site.
Students For a course site, you may want to restrict access to the students in the course. Even then, you can choose between only letting them see the site, to being able to leave comments, to edit the site freely, to anything in between.
Faculty If you’re collaborating with someone else, maybe you’ll want to keep the site private to just your collaborators. If you’re building a site for your department, you can keep the site private to your department or to the NYU network.
Public Maybe you want the entire Internet to see your site! First of all, you’ll be happy to know our servers can handle that load; and secondly, you can do that quite easily. Even if you open your site to comments, our comprehensive moderation and anti-spam options will keep trolls at bay.
Where do I get more help?
We have a ton of documentation to make using Web Publishing as easy as possible. Here are some great sources if you’re trying to figure something out.
We’ve documented literally everything you can do on our system. If you’re ever in doubt of what to do, try checking here to see if it answers your question. Check out our documentation here, and the Knowledge Base here.
We view a series of video tutorials that go over all the basics of WordPress, simply log into your Dashboard, click the Help tab in the upper right, and choose the “Video Tutorials” tab.
Use NYU’s subscription to Lynda.com to access thousands of videos that go over all the details of WordPress.
For an interactive, step-by-step walkthrough of WordPress, log into your Dashboard and click on the bright orange “Help Me” tab in the lower left corner.
For a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the inner workings of WordPress, go to the official documentation at http://codex.wordpress.org/.
If you want a consultation for a unique use-case, or have a request for a plugin or theme, or found a bug, or just want to talk about your day, get in touch with us at askITS@nyu.edu!