Can I use wordpress.com instead of the McDaniel WordPress site?
You can use whichever service you prefer. In fact, you can have blogs on both! By using the McDaniel site, however, your site’s url will include mcdaniel.edu.
What can I use a McDaniel site for?
There are lots of good reasons for creating a McDaniel site. Here a just a few ideas.
- Create a McDaniel site for class projects.
- Blog about your college experience and share it with friends and family back home.
- Create a portfolio site to display your academic and creative achievements.
- Set up a podcast directory.
- Create a department website for posting information and updates about programs and special events.
- Create a faculty website to highlight current research and publications.
- Promote a Jan Term program.
- Share event highlights and news about your student organization.
- Blog about your experiences studying abroad.
What file types can I upload?
You can upload the following file types to your site: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, mp3, mov, avi, wmv, midi, mid, pdf. Be aware, however, that video files and some audio file types may exceed the maximum file size limit for uploads. Uploading large files will quickly fill up the available space allocated to your site. It is recommended that you embed video from other sites such as YouTube or your McDaniel Ensemble media library rather than upload video files directly to your site.
What about copyright?
Always respect copyright guidelines. If you aren’t sure whether content is protected by copyright, leave it out or link to it instead. Visit the Hoover Library site for more information on copyright in higher education.
What will my site look like?
You have creative control of your site and can choose from a wide variety of templates when you set up your blog or website. All templates have customization features built in (some more than others). A little pre-planning will help you get going. For example, if you know you want to use one or more of your own images in the header, look for a template with a customizable header. Want multiple columns on your pages? Add that feature to your search criteria when you look for a template.
Are there restrictions on what content I can add to my site?
You are solely responsible for the content and links on your site with the expectation that you will abide by the guidelines established in the McDaniel College Acceptable Use Policy (requires portal login).
Will my McDaniel WordPress site meet accessibility standards?
While WordPress has strict guidelines for theme development, they state, “WordPress works right out of the box to help you keep your site accessible. Unfortunately, not all WordPress Theme authors take the time and patience to maintain those accessibility standards.”
What can you do to ensure accessibility of your site?
Follow the basic guidelines for using ALT text, link descriptions, etc., found in the McDaniel College Personal Web Pages Policy document (requires portal login). Some theme authors specifically state in the theme description whether their code is accessible. If this is not the case, and you anticipate problems with any of the design elements, you may wish to switch to a different theme.
Further, you can test your site by using a service such as AChecker. The site will generate a report based on areas it flags as a possible problem (font sizes, color contrast, navigation, etc.). Visit the WebAim website for more information about Accessibility Evaluation Tools. Browse the site’s comprehensive list of articles with techniques for creating accessible websites.
How do I start a blog?
From the main McDaniel College Community site, click on login and enter your McDaniel username and password. Go to My Sites and click the Create a New Site link.
Can I create a website without the blog?
Yes! Just use static pages instead of the blog page.
Can I have more than one site/blog?
Can my student organization create a website here?
Absolutely! Use your organization’s email username and password to log on and create the site. If the log on doesn’t work, or if your organization does not have a username and password, contact the HelpDesk for assistance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How long will my sites(s) be available?
Students—Active sites will remain available as long as you are a student at McDaniel. Once you graduate, transfer, or withdraw from the college, however, your site will no longer be maintained on the campus server. If you want to keep the content of your site when you leave the college, you have the option of exporting your site as an XML file which can then be imported to another site elsewhere (ex: by creating an account at wordpress.com).
See the article Tools Export Screen in the WordPress Codex for more information about exporting your site.
To import your site to an account on wordpress.com, see the article Importing Content From Another Platform or WordPress Blog.
Faculty/Staff—Active sites will remain available as long as you are a member of the McDaniel community. Please see the links in the student section above if you should need to export your site for transfer to another platform. Sites for faculty or staff who are no longer with the college will not be maintained on the campus server. Please note: If there is content on the site that should be maintained (as determined by the user’s department head) then another user can be designated as the new admin. To create a new admin, go to the Users Menu and choose Add New. Follow the on-screen prompts.
Group or Department sites—Sites created for campus groups or departments can be retained upon request when the person currently administering the site leaves the college. A new admin user can be added to take over maintenance of the site. To create a new admin, go to the Users Menu and choose Add New. Follow the on-screen prompts.
Inactive sites—From time to time emails may be sent out to campus users who have sites that have been inactive for more than a year. You will have the option to delete the site at that time or to keep it on the server if you plan to continue using or referring to the site while a member of the campus community.