My Sites

FAQ 2

What is this thing?

sites.tufts.edu allows anyone with an active Tufts account to create and manage one or more websites for any Tufts related activity (e.g. personal portfolio, class activity, lab site, project site etc.)

The service is based on the open source WordPress platform.

Using WordPress you can create simple, easy to use, and attractive web sites containing multiple pages of content with custom menus.

This service comes with many different themes (different ways to present your content) and plugins (ways to enhance the functionality of your site).

The most common way people get up and running with this service is to:

  1. Create their site.
  2. Choose a theme.
  3. Make some content.
  4. Create a custom navigation menu to get to that content.
  5. Add other people and/or make the site public.
  6. Maintain their site until it’s usefulness has expired.

How do I get help with sites.tufts.edu?

If you’ve read the FAQs below and still need help with your site please email edtech@tufts.edu. In your email please reference the address of your site and details of any error messages you are receiving.

What should I know about this service before using it?

Please review our Terms of Use before creating a new site to make sure this service meets your requirements and to understand your responsibilities as a site owner.

How do I create a new site?

The Quick Start Guide shows you how you can create a new site in a couple of easy steps!

NOTE: By default, all new sites are created to be private and only accessible by the site creator until the site creator decides to add other people to it OR make it public. See below for more on that.

I’ve created a site, now what?!

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the “dashboard” of your site. This is where you will do things like change your site’s appearance, add content, create custom menus and sidebars. WordPress.org provides this “first steps” guide to help you with that.

How do I change the appearance of my site?

Themes! Under the “Appearance” menu of your site’s dashboard you will see the “Themes” option. This will provide you with a gallery of all the themes we have installed on this service. You can preview as many themes as you want before choosing to “activate” the theme you’d like your site to have.

NOTE: One theme can be very different from another in terms of the functionality it provides. e.g. Some themes are highly customizable, providing you with many ways to fine tune the appearance of your site. Other themes, not so much. It’s highly recommended that you play around with the themes provided before investing too much time in developing your site content.

How do I add/change content on my site?

A WordPress site is made up of pages and posts. Both page and post content is editing using the WordPress Editor.

I’ve got the theme I want and I’ve got some content. How do I customize my site’s menu?

Under “Appearance” on your site’s dashboard is the “Menus” option. Learn how to create and maintain custom menus.

How do I give others access to my site to view/edit/contribute?

Under “Users” in your site’s dashboard you can see who else has access to your new site. By default the only person listed there will be you.

You can add other people to your site by clicking on “Add New”.

To add another Tufts person to your site enter their Tufts email address into the “Add Existing User” form and then select a role for that user.

Roles you want to pay attention to are:

  • Subscriber: they can only view your site (and add comments to posts and pages if you’ve turned that feature one)
  • Contributor: they can create new posts and pages but that content has to be approved by a site Editor or Admin to be published.
  • Author: they can create and publish new posts and pages as well as edit their own posts and pages.
  • Editor: they can edit and publish all posts and pages within your site as well as create their own posts and pages.
  • Admin: this person can do EVERYTHING on your site including changing it’s appearance as well as deleting the entire site.

My site is ready for the world! How do I make it public?

Under “Settings” in your site’s dashboard is the “Reading/Privacy” menu option.

There you can set your site’s visibility. Your new site is set to “I would like my site to be visible only to users that I give permission to.”

You can reset that to “I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers.”. That will allow everyone to read your site content without logging in. It will also allow search engines to index your site and appear in search results of popular search engines.

Or “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors.” This will block search engines. HOWEVER, this is not foolproof and there’s no guarantee that your site will not be indexed for searching across ALL search services.

Or “I would like my site to be visible only to the Tufts Community.” This setting allows ANYONE with a Tufts account to access and read your site content.