Welcome to the University Blog Service!

The University Blog Service provides blogs for faculty (for non-course related purposes) and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. The service uses WordPress, a popular blogging platform. Blogs can be created for individuals, groups, projects, or departments.

Have a question? Read about the University Blog Service and find help and the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The Events Calendar plugin

Events are fun – so are calendars! Publish your events with our new plugin – The Events Calendar. This is a carefully crafted, extensible plugin that lets you easily share your events.

You can activate it from your Plugins directory in your blog. Click Plugins from the left-hand side menu of your Dashboard. Once activated, view the Help link for  step-by-step instructions and videos.

From your Dashboard > left-hand side menu > Events > Help.

Or use this link – http://tri.be/support/documentation/events-calendar-pro-new-user-primer/

Enjoy….

We just made Blogs more accessible!

Per the University’s Web Accessibility Policy, all affiliated sites must comply with accessibility standards. For blogs using the UT Responsive Theme (both standard & small header design), we identified and fixed a number of elements to improve accessibility. You likely won’t notice any difference on your UT Responsive blog; you’ll simply have less to do to keep your site accessible.

What we improved

  • Font sizes are now set as “em” instead of “pixel” declarations
  • Text has a higher color contrast ratio
  • The footer is white by default, improving color contrast

Compare the changes

Footer Before:

Footer Before

 

Footer After:

Footer After

 

Header Text Before:

Header Before

Header Text After:

Header After

 

Does this mean you don’t have to think about accessibility anymore?

No. Many elements that you control contribute to making an accessible website, including ALT text for images, font sizes, table headers and captions, and keyboard navigation. We encourage reviewing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

New Plugin! WooSlider!

There’s a new plugin on the block: WooSlider. Activate the plugin and you’re on your way to making a slideshow in minutes.

What is it?
WooSlider is an easy to use, highly customizable slideshow plugin. You can create slideshows of images or of blog posts. WooSlider is fully responsive which means your content will look great, regardless of the device it is viewed on.

Demo Slideshow:

  • Football Stadium

  • Walking by buildings

  • Tower

  • Statue


How do I use it in my blog?Dashboard-Slideshows
1. After activating the plugin, you’ll see “Slideshows” listed on your administrative navigation:

2. Go to Slideshows > Add New Slide to create new slides just as you would blog posts. Slides can be any combination of images and text

3. Put slides into slideshow groups just as you would categorize blog posts.

4. To insert slideshows into a post, Go to Add Media> Slideshows > Slideshow Type. Here you have the option to create a slideshow from already attached images, from previous blog posts, or from the slideshow group you just created.

5. Customize the slider in the Advanced Settings button on the same screen.

6. Click the Insert Slideshowbutton and some code will be inserted into your post. You now have a slideshow.

Where can I find more info?

 

Our customers spoke – we listened.

We have a new theme based on the UT Responsive Theme. Our customers told us they would like to have an option to use the UT Responsive Theme – but with a smaller header image. The new UT Responsive Small Image theme serves this purpose.

new UT Responsive Small Image theme

UT Responsive Small Image theme

Your options for using the UT Responsive Theme are:

- UT Responsive Theme – image size: 960w x 320h
- UT Responsive Small Image has a header image of: 960w x 100h

To activate these themes on your blog, log in to your Dashboard and on the right-hand side, go to:

Appearance > Themes
In the “Search Installed Themes” box, type: Responsive

You will then see the two UT Responsive Themes provided by the University Blogs Team (provided one of these themes is not already your current theme).

To change the header image, go to:

Appearance > Header

Click the Choose File button and browse to the new graphic you created. Then click upload.

You also have the option to remove a header graphic completely. Click: Remove Header Image to do this. The title of your blog will show instead.


We hope you find these themes useful. Additional information about this theme can be found here. http://blogs.utexas.edu/utresponsive/

Theme Retirement

There comes a time in a WordPress Theme’s life when it hears the call of the sea.

Bering Sea Sunset by im me

Photo Credit: Bering Sea Sunset by im me



We are beginning our plans to review and retire old blog themes. This, in turn, will allow us to review and load newer and better themes.

We will keep you informed of our process and plans. Themes in production that are retired will continue to work but will no longer be available for selection in the Themes Appearance section.

We are excited about this process and bringing you newer themes with more features that are responsive to any device – smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc.

Stay tuned. Your University Blogs Team

UT Austin Responsive Theme

UT Austin Responsive Theme

The University Blog Team has created the UT Austin Responsive theme, a UT branded WordPress Theme for use on the University Blog Service. It is based off the theme called Responsive by ThemeID

You can check out this theme in action at the link below:
http://blogs.utexas.edu/utresponsive/

Features include:

  • UT colors
  • UT Wordmark
  • UT specific image
  • Static homepage or Blog posts homepage
  • 9 page templates, such as Blog, Blog Summary and Template based layout designs: sidebar/content, sidebar/content half, content/sidebar and content/sidebar half and full width page
  • 9 widget areas
  • Responsive design using fluid proportion-based grid system to adapt the design to the viewing environment (mobile, tablet)
  • Theme Options to control the content, webmaster tools, logo management, social icons and 4 navigation menus.

For more information on the theme and how to use it, visit the theme’s page on the Blog Service:
http://blogs.utexas.edu/utresponsive/

Upgrades are here!

ITS has upgraded the University Blog Service!

What’s new in this upgrade?
Here are some of the improvements this upgrade will deliver:

Activate FireStats Plug-in to View Traffic Statistics for Your Blog

Are you curious about what search terms lead people to your blog?  Want to know hits, page views and popular pages for your blog?  Just activate the FireStats plug-in.

How Do I Activate the FireStats plug-in for my Blog?

  1. From the Dashboard page, click the Plugin link.
  2. Then, click the Activate link for the FireStats plug-in.
  3. You then can view traffic statistics from the Dashboard page by clicking FireStats below the Dashboard icon in the upper left corner.

During the 12/16/2009 WPMU upgrade on blogs.utexas.edu, the FireStats plug-in may have been deactivated on some blogs. Please take the time to reactivate this plug-in if you are interested in these statistics.

University Blog Service launches today, June 1, 2009

ITS is pleased to announce the launch of the University Blog Service, located at blogs.utexas.edu. Faculty and staff will be able to create and edit blogs for individuals, departments, or other university groups at no cost to them.

The University Blog Service offers a number of features:

  • URLs that are under the utexas.edu domain
  • The ability to set blogs as publicly viewable, or privately viewable to a specified group of users
  • Customization with one of 40 available themes
  • The ability to track blog traffic through statistics
  • Faculty and staff can automatically create a blog from the University Blog Service page by logging in with their UT EID username and password. Departments, groups, teams, and workgroups can submit a request to have a blog created for them.

    Faculty should be aware that the service does not meet the FERPA requirements for hosting Category-I data, and therefore the University Blog Service should not be used for academic purposes. Faculty who want to use blogs in the classroom should consider Blackboard 9, which launched on May 26 and is FERPA compliant.

    The University Blog Service has been successful in a limited pilot program for the past six months, with over 200 new blogs created by a variety of university groups and individuals. The service uses WordPress MU, a multi-user version of the WordPress blogging platform.

    If you encounter any difficulties with the University Blog Service, please contact the ITS Help Desk at (512) 475-9400.