NOTE: I wrote this page for my WRTG 3020 students, who have the option to customize a blog as part of one of their projects.
The layout of the study guide bog includes elements that impact how readers move around the site as well as what kinds of content they find in each section.
Some of the layout decisions you’ll need to make include: what to include in navigation menus and where to place them; which categories to use for blog posts; what kind of content to include in pages instead of posts; what options to enable in the sidebar(s); what kind of links and link categories to include on the site; and so on.
PAGES AND POSTS
You’ll want to post most of your study guide content in blog posts, as these can be put into categories, tagged, and sorted a variety of ways by readers. But some content is better suited to pages, like an overview of the purpose of the site or a list of editor bios.
Pages fall outside of the regular “stream” of blog posts, and they’re typically available from a page menu, which might be a vertical menu along the top (as in the case of my class blogs) or from a sidebar menu. Where the page menu appears is a function of the theme you’ve chosen. If the theme doesn’t include a vertical menu along the top, you might want to put the Pages widget on your sidebar.
Pages can also have sub-pages, and in many themes, these sub-pages will appear when a viewer puts the mouse over the page name in the vertical menu at the top (as on this site). But a few older themes don’t show drop-down menus, so if you do use sub-pages, you’ll need to provide viewers links to them another way.
Your study guide should have, at a minimum, these top-level pages: About, Editor Bios, and Site Feedback.
On the “About” page include information that will help viewers understand the nature and purpose of the study guide blog. On the “Editor Bios” page, list each editor by name (perhaps in bold or h2 heading format) and include a short bio beneath the name. The “Site Feedback” page should have comments enabled so that visitors can leave general feedback on the study guide. (If you’ve chosen a theme that doesn’t allow pages to have comments, contact me for alternatives.)
You may also create other pages and sub-pages as needed. For example, you might want to create a bibliography page that all site editors, current and future, can add to over time.
To create a new page, go to the Dashboard, click on the Pages tab on the left, and then click Add New. The page editing page looks very similar to the post editing page, but without the option to choose a category or tags. To change the order in which the pages appear, change the number in the Order box. (You can also change page order using the QuickEdit option on the Pages main page, the one that lists all your site’s pages.)