UBC Blogs Instructor Guide

UBC Blogs is an interactive website-building platform where you and your students can create websites for sharing content individually or collaboratively. These websites can become course websites, group blogs, peer review spaces, or personal portfolios—all built on a flexible WordPress foundation, which helps you implement different themes and add-on tools without having to learn code.
Access Immediate
Cost Yes Free.
Bandwidth Yes Low demand on internet connections.
Canvas Integration Yes Works in coordination with Canvas.
Privacy Yes Verified by UBC’s Privacy Impact Assessment process.
Similar UBC-Supported Tools N UBC Blogs is the only centrally-supported tool that enables website-building for you and your students. However, depending on your goals, other centrally-supported tools can help you share course content in different ways.

What can I use it for?

You can use UBC Blogs to create websites for a variety of purposes:

  • Building a course website to share course materials
  • Enabling group work by inviting students to author a website together
  • Collecting open-pedagogy assignments, where students post assignments publicly
  • Encouraging students to set up their own websites to display portfolios or reflections
  • Sharing your own Open Educational Resources

This tool guide was last reviewed in July 2023.

How are other faculty using UBC Blogs?

David Vogt

David Vogt uses UBC Blogs to collectively build and curate knowledge in Education

Current knowledge in my courses evolves very quickly. I want my students to witness this evolution as well as understand their scholarly ability and responsibility to contribute to it. Read more »

Christina Hendricks uses UBC Blogs to have students share their work publicly in Philosophy

The work students do in my courses can also be very valuable to others who want to learn about philosophical topics. Thus I have asked students to create blog posts and post other assignments on our public course websites to share their thoughts and their knowledge with others. Read more »

What do I need to use UBC Blogs?

A supported web browser

UBC Blogs runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.


  • UBC Blogs is a great platform for open-pedagogy assignments, but keep student privacy in mind. Avoid posting (or having students post) confidential information. Provide an alternative submission method (e.g., using a pseudonym) for any students who are uncomfortable sharing work openly.

How do I use UBC Blogs?

You will first create a UBC Blogs website, then be able to customize it for your course purposes.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using UBC Blogs.

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Log in to UBC Blogs and create an account

  1. If you don't have a UBC CWL (Campus-Wide Login), first follow the steps from UBC IT to create a UBC CWL account.
  2. Go to blogs.ubc.ca/wp-admin and log in with your UBC CWL.
  3. If this is your first time logging in, follow the prompts to complete signing up for your UBC Blogs account.

Create a new website with UBC Blogs

You can create your website with or without using Canvas. Using Canvas, you will not be able to select your site name (which forms part of the web address), as it will be set based on your Canvas course. But using Canvas will let you add a UBC Blogs link to your Canvas course. Students who click this link will be added to your website as "Authors", meaning that they can automatically contribute content to your website.

  1. Go to the UBC Blogs sign-up page.
    • If you get an error in going to this page, follow the steps above to log in to UBC Blogs and create an account.
  2. Fill in the form:
    • Site Name - The site name will form part of the web address of your new website. All UBC Blogs have an address that starts with "blogs.ubc.ca" and then incorporates your site name. Note that the site name cannot be changed after you create it, so make sure you pick something that fits your website's purpose.
    • Site Title - The site title visibly adds a title to your website, but it does not affect the web address. You can change your site title at any time.
    • Site Language - Choose to display your website in English or French.
    • Privacy - You can allow search engines to index this website. Indexing means the website can be searched for and found by anyone on the internet. You can change this setting at any time; however, your website will not be removed from the search results immediately.
  3. Click Create Site.
  1. From your Canvas Dashboard, go to your Canvas course.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Course Navigation and click Settings.
  3. Click the Navigation tab.
  4. Find the UBC Blogs menu item, click the options menu (the 3 vertical dots), and choose Enable.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click UBC Blogs from the Course Navigation to launch your new website.
  7. If you want to change the default "Author" WordPress role given to students who join your website so that they become a "Subscriber" instead, you can optionally email LT.hub@ubc.ca with the following:
    • the web address of your UBC Blogs website
    • the web address of your Canvas course
    • a new name for how your UBC Blogs link will appear in the Canvas Course Navigation (it cannot be "UBC Blogs" after this change)


  • There is no limit to the number of UBC Blogs websites that you can have, but please create responsibly. Each website takes up UBC resources.
  • Even if you make your whole website public, you can fine-tune the privacy of specific content to make it visible only to certain groups of people. This fine-tuning can be done by adding password protection to individual pages or posts, and then sharing the password only with those should have access.
  • You can change the look and feel of your website by changing the theme. From the Dashboard of your UBC Blogs website, hover over "Appearance" in the sidebar and select "Themes". Hover over any theme and click "Activate" to use it.
  • You can link a pre-existing UBC Blogs website to your Canvas course. Please email LT.hub@ubc.ca with your UBC Blogs web address, Canvas course web address, and desired name for the new link in Canvas.

Add pages and posts to your UBC Blogs website

Pages are useful for displaying content on your website that is best organized in a hierarchical structure, as pages can have sub-pages underneath them.

Posts are useful for displaying date-based content on your website, as posts are organized in chronological order. Posts can also be grouped by categories or tags to make them easier to find at a later time.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your UBC CWL and navigate to your website.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over Pages or Posts (whichever you want to add) in the sidebar, and select Add New.
  3. Use the text editor to add content to the page or post. You can preview and save a draft of your work as you go.
    • In adding content to your pages and posts, be careful if you copy text from a file with formatting, such as a Word or OneDrive document. The file formatting is not always pasted consistently in UBC Blogs. It is best to paste in plain text alone, and add the formatting using the UBC Blogs text editor after.
  4. Explore different parts of the editing interface to find other customizable options for your page or post. For example, you can choose where it sits in the website hierarchy (for pages) or the category to display it in (for posts).
  5. When you are ready to put the content on your website, click Publish. Your page or post will be added for others to see.


  • Pages are good for sharing your main course content. For example, you could have pages labeled as weekly modules and build sub-pages underneath each that feature the different topics or themes covered.
  • Posts are good for sharing supplementary, time-based course content. For example, you could use posts to share announcements or invite discussion on timely topics using the post comments.
  • Posts can be scheduled instead of immediately published. To schedule a post when you are creating it, click "Edit" next to the calendar icon under "Publish", select a date, and click "OK". You will see the button to publish change to say "Schedule".
  • For extra editing features in UBC Blogs, you can enable the Gutenberg editor. This editor adds time-savers like reusable blocks of content. From the Dashboard of your UBC Blogs website, hover over "Settings" in the sidebar, and select "Writing". Check the boxes for enabling Gutenberg features on pages, posts, blocks, and menus, then save your changes.

Share a file on your UBC Blogs website

You can share files such as images, PowerPoints, or PDFs on your website. Make sure that you own the copyright for the file or have the copyright holder's permission to use the material first.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your UBC CWL and navigate to your website.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over "Media" in the sidebar, and select Add New.
  3. Select the file to upload.
  4. Tick the copyright permission that applies:
    • With the permission of the copyright holder(s) - Applies if you have created the image, have the permission of the copyright holder, or are using a Creative Commons license
    • Public Domain - Applies when the work is in the public domain (e.g., expired copyright or copyright has been waived)
    • Other - Applies for cases outside the above that require additional explanation
  5. Input any additional information regarding the copyright permissions in the textbox, e.g., "the image has CC by 4.0 license on it" or "permission to upload from the copyright holder via email".
  6. Click Upload. Once the upload completes, you will be able to link to or embed this file in your pages and posts.
  7. To add a link to the uploaded file:
    • Edit your page or post.
    • Click Add Media above the text editor.
    • Click the file you want to use to open its "Attachment details" in the sidebar.
    • Under "File URL", click Copy URL to clipboard, then close the "Add Media" window.
    • Within the text editor, select the wording that you want to use for the link, then click the link icon from the toolbar.
    • Paste the copied URL and click the arrow icon to apply the link to the text.
    • Click Update for the page or post to save your changes.
  8. To embed the uploaded file in your page or post:
    • Edit your page or post.
    • Click where you want to embed the file, then click Add Media above the text editor.
    • Select the file you want to embed, and click Insert into page or Insert into post.
    • Click Update for the page or post to save your changes.


  • UBC Blogs limits the size and amount of files that you can upload. Individual files can be up to a maximum of 20MB each. Each UBC Blogs website has an overall limit of 500MB, although you may request an increase from the LT Hub in special circumstances.

Set the navigation of your UBC Blogs website

Menus in UBC Blogs are how you build navigation for people to move through the pages or posts on your website.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your UBC CWL and navigate to your website.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over "Appearance" in the sidebar, and select Menus.
  3. Fill in the "Menu Name", and click Create Menu to build your first menu.
  4. Under the "Add menu items" on the left-hand side, select what you want to include links to:
    • Pages - Link to pages that you have created.
    • Posts - Link to posts that you have created.
    • Custom Links - Link to web addresses, e.g., ubc.ca or media that you have uploaded.
    • Categories - Link to categories that you've used for posts. UBC Blogs will generate a page of all the posts under that category.
  5. After you have selected the links you want, click Add to Menu. You can sort the menu items by dragging and dropping them, once they are added.
  6. Under "Menu Settings", select a display location, that is, where you want the menu to display on the website. Different website themes may have different options for display locations.
  7. Click Save Menu to make your changes visible to everyone.


  • Try to use fewer than ten items for the main navigation. More options than this can make your website confusing and overwhelming to navigate. Remember that you can use sub-pages to help with organization and trimming, e.g., link to one page called "Weekly Modules" that has sub-pages of each week's module.
  • Clearly differentiate and label your navigation items, so students know what to expect when they click each link. Think about what they may be coming to the website to find or do and use your navigation to guide them in the right direction.
  • UBC Blogs websites assign different roles to people who join them, and these roles affect who can manage the website's menus. Only people with the role of "Administrator" can create and edit menus. If you have questions or need help with this, please contact us at the LT Hub.

Add people to your UBC Blogs website

If you set up your website using Canvas, students from your Canvas course will join the website as "Authors" by default once they click the UBC Blogs link in Canvas. If you did not set up your website using Canvas or want to invite people another way, you can use the email or self-signup options below. For these options to work, the individuals you invite must already have UBC Blogs accounts.

This method is useful for adding specific UBC staff or faculty to the website.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your UBC CWL and navigate to your website.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over "Users" in the sidebar, and select Invite User.
  3. Enter the person's email.
  4. Select a role for the person on your website:
    • Administrator - can do anything on the website, including adding and removing users
    • Editor - can publish posts and pages and edit others' content
    • Author - can publish posts and pages but only edit their own content
    • Contributor - can write posts and pages but cannot publish them without approval
    • Subscriber - cannot write content but can access it, even if the website is private
  5. Click Add User(s).

This method is useful if you don't want to manage adding people to the website yourself.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your UBC CWL and navigate to your website.
  2. Click Plugin in the sidebar of the Dashboard, find the "Add Users Sidebar Widget" plugin, and click Activate. This widget will let you add a signup form to your website.
  3. From the Dashboard, hover over "Appearance" in the sidebar, and select Widgets.
  4. Click where you would like the widget to appear on the website layout, then click the plus sign on the top left to open the widgets panel.
  5. Find and click the Add Users widget. Note that you can move the widget by selecting it and using the options presented to change the placement.
  6. When the "Add Users" widget has been added, enter a title and select the role you would like people who sign up to have:
    • Author - can publish posts and pages but only edit their own content
    • Contributor - can write posts and pages but cannot publish them without approval
    • Subscriber - cannot write content but can access it, even if the website is private
  7. To block unwanted people from signing up, check Add a password to stop unwanted users from signing up.
  8. Set the password and click Save. Remember to distribute the password when you invite people to sign up.
  9. Click Update in the top right corner of your screen to save your changes.


  • Anyone you invite by email or using the self-signup must have a UBC Blogs account first. Ask invitees to create a UBC Blogs account by logging in with their UBC CWL at blogs.ubc.ca/wp-admin.
  • Even if you did not create your UBC Blogs website using Canvas, you can add students to your website using a link from your Canvas course. Please contact us for assistance with setting this up.

Where can I get more support with UBC Blogs?

Technical support

If you have trouble with UBC Blogs:

Student support

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