UBC Blogs Student Guide

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UBC Blogs is an interactive website-building platform where you can create sites for sharing content yourself or with a group. These sites can result in outcomes like a group blog or a personal portfolio—all built on a flexible WordPress foundation, which helps you implement different themes and add-on tools without having to learn code.

UBC Blogs is FIPPA compliant (i.e., it follows provincial privacy policy) and all data is stored securely in Canada.

What will I use it for?

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

  • Authoring a group website with your peers for a course or a club
  • Posting individual assignments or projects
  • Displaying portfolios of or reflections on your academic or work experience

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.

A UBC Blogs account

Accounts for UBC Blogs are based on UBC CWLs (Campus-Wide Logins), so all students who have a CWL can create an account themselves. Account creation will happen automatically the first time you log in to UBC Blogs.

Tips

  • There is no limit to the number of UBC Blogs sites you can have, but please create responsibly.
  • Don’t know how to blog? Find tips for getting started with blogs from the Chapman Learning Commons, including five questions to ask yourself before your first post.

How do I use UBC Blogs?

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

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

Log in to UBC Blogs

  1. Go to blogs.ubc.ca/wp-admin and use your UBC CWL username and password to log in.
  2. If this is your first time logging in, follow the prompts to complete signing up for your UBC Blogs account.

Tips

Create your UBC Blogs website

  1. Go to the UBC Blogs sign-up page, and click Create a Website.
  2. Scroll down and fill in the form:
    • Site Name - This will form part of the web address or URL of your new site. All UBC Blogs have an address that starts with "blogs.ubc.ca" and then incorporates your site name.
    • Site Title - This is the title for your site and does not affect the web address. You can change your site title at any time.
    • Site Language - Choose to display your site in English or French.
    • Privacy - You can allow search engines to index this site, which means it can be searched for and found by anyone on the Internet. You can change this setting at any time; however, it will not be removed from search results immediately.
  3. Click Create Site.

Tips

  • The site name cannot be changed after you create it, so make sure you pick something that fits.
  • Even if you make your whole site public, you can fine-tune the privacy of specific content to make it accessible only to certain groups of people. This can be done by adding password protection to individual posts or pages and sharing the password with anyone who you want to have access.
  • You can change the look and feel of your site by changing the theme. From the Dashboard of your site, hover over the Appearance item in the sidebar, and select Theme. Hover over any theme and click Activate to use it.

Add pages and posts to your UBC Blogs website

Pages are useful for displaying static content on your site 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 site, 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 CWL.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over the Pages or Posts item 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 directly from a Word document, because the headings are not pasted consistently with the right format in UBC Blogs. Using the right headings in your content is important for accessibility.
  4. Explore different parts of the editing interface to find other customizable options for your page or post, like where it sits in the site hierarchy (for pages) and the date to display with it (for posts).
  5. When you are ready to put the content on your site, click Publish. Your page or post will be added to your site for others to see.

Tips

  • If your site is public, remember to avoid sharing confidential information, such as your student number, contact details, or other personally identifying information. The UBC Digital Tattoo site has more about how to protect your privacy and preserve your online integrity.
  • Pages can be used to share your main content. For example, you could have pages for information about the author (you) or your projects. Underneath each page, you can create sub-pages to further organize your content.
  • Posts can be used to share more time-based content. For example, you could use posts to publish announcements about upcoming events or showcase your projects chronologically.
  • Posts can be scheduled instead of immediately published, by setting the date associated with them in the future.
  • For extra editing features, you can enable the Gutenberg editor, which adds time-savers like reusable blocks of content. From the Dashboard of your site, hover over the Settings item in the sidebar, and select Writing. Check the boxes for enabling Gutenberg features on pages, posts, and blocks, then save your changes.

Upload a file to use on your UBC Blogs website

You can upload files such as images, PowerPoints, or PDFs to use on your site. Make sure the files are your own or that you have the owner's permission to use the material first.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your CWL.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over the Media item 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 (i.e., expired copyright or copyright has been waived)
    • Other - Applies for cases outside the above uses that require additional explanation
  5. Note any additional information regarding the copyright permissions in the textbox provided, 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 to upload the file to your UBC Blogs website. Once the upload completes, you will be able to link to or embed this file in your pages and posts.

Tips

  • UBC Blogs limits the size of the files you can upload. Individual files can be up to a maximum of 20MB each and each UBC Blogs website has a limit of 500MB overall.

Set the navigation of your UBC Blogs website

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

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your CWL.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over the Appearance item in the sidebar, and select Menus.
  3. Add a name for your menu, 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 external web addresses, e.g., ubc.ca
    • Categories - Link to categories you've used for posts. UBC Blogs will auto-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. Select the display location, that is, where you want the menu to display on the website. Different themes may have different options for menu display.
  7. Click Save Menu.

Tips

  • Try to use fewer than ten items for top navigation, as more options than this can make your site confusing and overwhelming to navigate. Remember that you can use sub-pages to help with organization and trimming, e.g., link to a "Research Projects" overview page with sub-pages for each project.
  • Clearly differentiate and label your navigation items, so visitors know what to expect when they click on each link. Think about what they may be coming to the site to find or do and use your navigation to guide them in the right direction.
  • UBC Blogs sites assign different roles to people who join them, which affect access to the menus feature. Only people with the role of "Administrator" can create and edit menus. If you have questions or need help with this, please contact us.

Add people to your UBC Blogs website

You can use the email or signup options below to invite people to your UBC Blogs website, so they can follow the content you share or even contribute to it.

This method is useful if you want to give access to other people like group members to your site.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your CWL.
  2. From the Dashboard, hover over the Users item in the sidebar, and select Invite User.
  3. Enter the person's email.
  4. Select a role for the person on your site:
    • Administrator - can do anything on the site, 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 site is private
  5. Click Send Invitation.

This method is useful if you want people to sign themselves up to join the site.

  1. Log in to UBC Blogs with your CWL.
  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 site.
  3. From the Dashboard, hover over the Appearance item in the sidebar, and select Widgets.
  4. Click the Add Users widget, select where you would like it to appear, and click Add Widget.
  5. When the Add Users widget opens, 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 site is private
  6. Check Add a password to stop unwanted users from signing up. This will block random people from signing up.
  7. Click Save, set a password, and click Save again. Remember to distribute the password when you invite people to sign up.

Tips

  • Anyone you invite by email or using the 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.

Where can I get more support with UBC Blogs?

Technical Support

If you have trouble with UBC Blogs:

For support with online learning:

Learn more


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