Blog.SMU migration brings new features and plugins

Blog.smu.edu HomepageThis fall, the on-campus WordPress blog, Blog.SMU, was migrated to CampusPress cloud services. With this move, users have access to many new plugins and features. And, just like it was when hosted on campus, any department or group on campus can still host their own blog for official, departmental, or academic use with CampusPress. In this post, we would like to highlight some of the new tools and plugins available in the cloud.

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack SettingsProbably one of the most useful plugins available, Jetpack is an “all-in-one WordPress plugin for design, marketing, and security.” The plugin provides site stats, an improved spelling and grammar checker, automated sharing to social networks, related posts section to the blog, automated sharing to social networks, sidebar customization, and many more features. Best of all, these features come with the free version. For more information on Jetpack, please visit jetpack.com.

Simple SEO

Simple SEO is a quick and easy tool for starting an SEO-friendly blog. SEO, or search engine optimization, allows for search engines to quickly index and categorize your blog. Simple SEO allows you to quickly add a title, a description, and keywords for your posts and pages. The title and description are what will appear in the search results. To see how simple it is to use Simple SEO, visit help.edublogs.org/simple-seo-plugin/

Public Post Preview

Enable Public PreviewIf you have multiple people editing your blog, Public Post Preview will help you to create a shareable URL for your blog post to be reviewed before it is published. Once you have saved your draft, click on the “Enable Public Preview” checkbox to reveal the URL to share with your editors. The best part is that the editor does not have to be logged into WordPress to review the post, but if they are and have editing abilities, they can easily edit the post.

Formidable Forms

Want to add a form to your blog, Formidable Forms allows you to easily create forms “of all shapes and sizes.” Formidable Forms is also the official replacement for the outdated Gravity Forms. Once enabled, users can create a contact form, add forms to a page or even a sidebar. To create a form, all you have to do is click the “Add New” in the Forms menu (Formidable > Forms), choose a template, name the form, drag in the fields you want, add the action you want at the end, and then save. For a full walkthrough of creating a form, visit help.edublogs.org/formidable-forms-plugin/

These are just a few of the almost 90 plugins available to users on Blog.SMU. To get started with your blog, just visit blog.smu.edu and click “Edit your blog.”

If you have any questions about Blog.SMU, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 214.768.HELP (4357) or help@smu.edu.

Published by

Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and, for much of his career at the University, had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at ianaberle.com.