Add Students to a WordPress Site

Because blogs.wm.edu is not tied to your W&M User ID (meaning you have a different username and password than you use elsewhere on campus), getting your students registered on your class blog takes a little more effort than using a BlackBoard site.  However, you can streamline this process by adding the “Add Users” widget.

1.) Set up your site on blogs.wm.edu.

2.) Log in to your site.

3.) On the left navigation menu, click on “Appearance”.  Then, click on “Widgets” on the submenu that appears underneath “Appearance.”

3.) Left Navigation: Appearance>>Widgets

4.) On the Widgets Screen, drag the “Add Users” widget to your sidebar.  (If your theme has more than one sidebar, you only need to put it in one of them, preferably one that displays on your homepage.)

4 - 6.) Setting up your widget

5.) Once you drag and drop the widget into a sidebar, it will expand.  Here you should set the role you would like your students to have.  We recommend that you have your students register as “Authors.”  If you set their access higher than that (such as “Editor”), they will have access to other students’ posts.  If you set their access lower (such as “Contributor”) you will have to moderate their posts before they appear on your course blog.

6.) Choose a password (Optional).  Without a password, anyone who has an account on blogs.wm.edu will be able to register for your site.  It is unlikely that students outside of your class will register for your blog, and only people with a W&M email address can register for blogs.wm.edu, so no one outside of the College could sign up for your blog.  That said, if you like the extra control a password provides you over your users, feel free to set one.  All your students will need this single password and will type it in when they add themselves to your blog.

7.) Click “Save”

8.) View your site to make sure the Add Users Widget now appears on your site.

Now you are ready to have your students sign up for a blogs.wm.edu account (or use an existing account) and add themselves to your site.  If your students have trouble doing this, you can also add them manually.

[Editor’s Note: These instructions apply to WordPress v. 3.2.1]

About Evan Cordulack

Evan Cordulack is a Web Applications Specialist for Academic Technology. He helps faculty members with Web-based projects related to their research and teaching. He earned his PhD in American Studies at William & Mary in 2013. Find him at http://cordulack.net/