Getting Started

This is an overview of WordPress, the different sections, where you go to add pages, etc. There are often multiple ways to perform one task (for instance, adding media to a page), but don’t be overwhelmed! Just choose the method that makes the most sense to you and go from there. Also, St. Olaf has a webpage dedicated to WordPress help. The WordPress Guide & Best Practices page has information on configuring the homepage, creating the navigation, inserting media, and learning SlideDeck. There will be overlap between these sites and it is catered more towards department usage, but it’s another great resource as you’re learning or troubleshooting.

Remember the portfolio is a tool to display your major and project, so although it’s important to put time and energy into the visuals of the site, make sure your content is the focus.

Logging in
Required Basic Site Set-Up

Examples from Recent Grads
Creating Pages
Required Content
Adding Media
Choosing a Theme
Options in the Dashboard


For a visual walkthrough of getting started, check out our Prezi

Logging In:

  1. Go to and login with your St. Olaf user name and password.
  2. Once logged in, go to the top left corner, hover over “My Sites” and click on ” CIS Portfolio | (Your Name)”.
  3. Welcome to your site!

Basic Site Set-Up:

  1. Keep your title as “CIS Portfolio | Your Name”. This is a requirement.
  2. Disable comments.
    1. On the left hand side while logged into your site (known as the Dashboard), go to “Plugins”.
    2. Activate “Disable Comments”
    3. Go to the settings under “Disable Comments” one activated, select “Everywhere” and save the changes.
  3. Set up your home page.
    1. Once again in the Dashboard, go to Appearance then to Customize.
    2. Under “Static Front Page” on the left, select “A static front page” (not your latest blog posts).
      1. From there you choose a page. If just starting, you will likely only have one page to choose (“Sample Page”, and remember you can always edit this to be your home page). If you have options, choose the page you want to be your home or welcome page.

Creating Pages:

Pages are the platform in which you will display your content and exhibit your work. Pages often follow required content in addition to organizational and basic website set up. Typical examples of pages would be Home, Coursework, Major Proposal, Capstone Project, Annotated Bibliography, etc.

  1. Go to your dashboard (while editing your site, left side options).
  2. Click “Pages”
  3. Select “Add New”
    1. Title it, insert content.
    2. Click the “Publish” at the top left for the page to show on your site. You may save as draft but that will not show up on your site until published. Remember when editing published pages to selected “Update”.
      1. When making many changes on a page, like a word document, remember to save frequently to avoid any technological mishap.
  4. As for the page automatically there, “Sample Page”, you may edit this (hover over the name, options will appear beneath) or delete it altogether and just create other pages.
  5. NOTE: Once you start adding and editing pages, you can always go back and change your static front page as outlined in Required Basic Set Up to be whatever Home or Welcome page you’ve decided upon.

For more on formatting, quirks, and how to navigate WordPress limitations, go to our more detailed explanations on pages.

Options in the Dashboard:


Under this tab you will find crucial areas to edit and personalize your site: themes, widgets, menus, header, and background. (These options can change depending on the theme you have activated.) Throughout this site I will have more specific information on each of these. Click the links inserted above to learn more, or go the Appearance section of our site.


The St. Olaf WordPress site gives us many plugin options that can help further your site in various ways. The Plugins we suggest activating are TinyMCE Advanced for more page visual writing/editing buttons (enable the anchor button to line3 under settings and any other option you would like) and SlideDeck 2-Personal for photos slides on pages (great for adding interest to your home page). TinyMCE Advanced’s anchor button is great for easy linking and anchoring within a page. SlideDeck2 is perfect for displays or quick and engaging information.

Settings in the Dashboard

General settings: a place to change the site’s title, the tagline, and the display of time/date.

Writing settings: for those of you interested in blogging. It allows you to set a default post category and other little options. Most of you won’t worry about this at all.

Reading settings: where you can set your homepage from your latest posts to a static front page. I highly suggest you do this. You can then chose from your made pages which you’d like as the home page.

Media settings: helpful for those of you frustrated with the size of images in the posts or visually wanting more well fit photos. You can alter the width and height settings for thumbnails, medium and large sized images.