Author Archives: Scott Dellinger

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About Scott Dellinger

Senior system administrator at The University of Vermont. I run webmail, blogs, and other web apps.

New Site Themes

We have rolled out five new themes today, a combination of magazine-style and general blogging layouts. All are responsive for attractive display on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Book Lite is a full-width blogging theme with simple, beautiful typography and a large font size.

Sight is a magazine layout supporting a prominent slideshow of your sticky posts that have a featured image.

Oxygen can showcase your posts in a beautiful magazine layout.

Chalkboard definitely gives an educational feel to things.

Yoko is a simple but beautiful and customizable theme for blog-type content.

WordPress Upgrade

UVM Blogs (blog.uvm.edu) has been upgraded to the latest version of WordPress.  Some highlights:

  • The media manager has been overhauled and is much, much better and easier to use.  Want to add a bunch of images to a post?  Just drag them all at once from your hard drive into the media manager and tell it to include them.  Want to include multiple photo galleries in a post? Just choose which images you want, and sort them however you want by dragging and dropping.
  • You can now embed content from SoundCloud, SlideShare, and Instagram, just like you already could with a number of video and photo sharing sites in the past.  Simply copy the URL for the page with your content onto a line by itself, and WordPress will figure out how to embed it for you.
  • New sites no longer have a Links section, since few people keep a blogroll anymore.
  • A couple preferences have moved to different screens than before. However, I think they’ve moved to more intuitive places anyway, so with luck you won’t even notice. :-)

If you encounter problems or have questions, just let SAA know and we’ll see what we can do.

Site Updates

I have updated the theme of the top-level UVM Blogs site.  It now displays much better on different screen sizes–including phones–and brings site activity front and center so you can more quickly see what people have been up to with their sites.

WordPress and several plugins have also been updated to their latest versions.

Please let me know if you encounter issues.

Site Upgrade

WordPress has been upgraded to the latest version, 3.3.1.  Along with several necessary security fixes, this version improves the layout of the toolbar at the top of the screen (note that the Login link is on the right now), simplifies media uploading–including drag-and-drop into your browser window!–and should have improved performance for people reading your site.

Full details can be found in the WordPress codex for releases 3.3 and 3.3.1.

WordPress 3.2

UVM Blogs has been updated to WordPress 3.2.1.  The most noticeable changes are an update to the look of your admin dashboard, a nice “distraction-free” writing mode that simplifies writing new posts, and the introduction of the new, highly customizable “Twenty Eleven” theme.

For a good overview, check this out:

WordPress 3.1

With the upgrade of UVM Blogs to WordPress 3.1, you’ll notice several changes that are aimed at making blogging even easier than before.

New Admin Bar

WordPress sports an attractive new admin bar at the top of the screen with direct links to frequently-used actions.

Note that several options may be in slightly different places from the old admin bar.

Links Between Posts

With a long overdue addition, it is now much easier to create links between posts and pages on your site.  When editing a post, select the text that you would like to turn into a link, click the chain link icon, and expand the bottom of the “Insert/edit link” window to see a list of pages and posts to choose from.

Theme Selection

When you are choosing a theme for your site, it is now possible to filter the available themes by their features.  Simply click the “Feature Filter” option on the Manage Themes page.

If you can’t find a theme that meets your needs, talk with the CTL or SAA groups and we’ll see what we can do.

Less Clutter

Many lesser-used post options are now hidden by default, making for a less confusing blogging experience.  If you need these options back, you can turn them on from the Screen Options control in the upper right corner of the edit screen.

Admin bar update

The admin bar at the top of pages on blog.uvm.edu is very useful, and the “My Blogs” menu that shows up when you’re logged in is probably the easiest way to choose between your blogs and post new content to them.  Until now, the only blogs listed there were the ones to which you had at least “contributor” access, leaving subscribers without an easy way to choose among their blogs. I have just rolled out site updates that will make this menu work for subscribers as well (yay!).  When you are a subscriber to a blog, you will now see that blog listed under “My Blogs”, for handy access.

Comment spam protection

After some vendor delay, we have licensed and enabled the Akismet comment spam filter for all blogs. Comments posted in response to articles on your blog will automatically be checked for spammy content so that you will be pestered less often for comment moderation. If a spam comment does get through, simply mark it as such and Akismet will learn from its mistakes.

For an overview of comment spam protection, take a look at the Comment Moderation article in the WordPress Codex.  The many settings in WordPress that can help limit this problem can be found in your admin dashboard under Settings → Discussion.

Flurry of new themes

We have just added 14 new themes to the UVM blogs theme gallery, representing many different styles and layout options.  To check them out (and maybe use one for your blog), log in to your admin dashboard and click Appearances in the left-hand menu.

Andreas04

Black-LetterHead

Bueno

ChaoticSoul

Freshy

Garland

Greyzed

INove

Koi

MistyLook

Modularity Lite

multi-color

Quentin

Spring Loaded