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Niki Jacob - Advertising Art & Design Instructor

Digital Citizenship & WordPress

Every year you hear another child being a multi-millionaire by being an influencer. You-Tube, Tik-Tok. Now it is very hard and takes a lot of dedication day and day out to actually become one of these influencers. In the unit, I’m not asking you to be an influencer. I am asking you to ….


Eyes closed, and the first words that you think are the real answer. So do not change it when you say it.  I want to ask you if you had no weights, no pressures, and no expectations that needed to be met. Your and the artist, think Utopia, is just the most perfect place. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today we are going to embark on the world of influencers. Mainly you…and to get you close to that we need to make sure you…

  1. Stay Up-to-Date w Technology
  2. Learn You Craft
  3. Learn & Research Your Career and Keep Learning
  4. Talk… and don’t stop

You will create an online portfolio on where you will post your work and any articles you write relating to your field of study.

  1. Your site MUST remain active
  2. I MUST be an admin user on your account
    (Users > Invite. Type in my email and click Administrator, Send Invitation.)
  3. You can have your site set to PRIVATE and not PUBLIC, but the entire class MUST be invited to view it.

Please keep this site and add to it throughout your time here so that when you graduate you will enter your job search with a portfolio of your best work.

Privacy Laws

Blog privacy controls who can and can’t view your blog.

There is a wide range of opinions on whether blogs should be public or private.  On average, 55 % of student blogs are public and can be viewed by anyone, while 45 % of student blogs are private and restricted to specific readers.

The pros of posting on public blogs

  • Students are writing for a real audience – not just the teacher.
  • With no passwords to keep up with, parents and relatives can simply access the work.
  • When students know anyone can see their work, they will try harder.
  • Students can easily share with their peers using social media and other means.
  • Visitors from down the hall or around the world can comment and collaborate.

You lose out on connections, extended dialogues, and the motivating factor of working for an authentic purpose when blogs are made private.

Concerns about posting on public blogs

Some students or parents can feel uncomfortable with you publishing content on a public blog and there are some family situations where a student needs to use a private blog.  

Changing blog privacy

Blog privacy can be set in Settings > Reading > Site Visibility.

The three most common privacy options used on Class blogs are:

    • Note: Neither of these options blocks accesses to your site — it is up to search engines to honor your request.

Creating a blog for the first time can be a bit scary because you are putting yourself out onto the web. But if you want to get into this line of work you need to let people know you know what they are talking about.

Plus, everyone, at every age, needs a portfolio to showcase to potential clients and companies you wish to work for so they can see just what you can do before hiring you.

STEPS To Sign Up For FREE WordPress Site

  1. Goto
  2. Click on Get Started
  3. Click on Continue with Google, and use your school email so I can track you easier.
  4. Then the Choose a Domain page appears. This is a very important page. This is basically how companies and clients will find. So let’s make ours something close: Your first name and INITIAL of last name only. Closer or after graduation you can change this.
  5. Type in the search field “firstnamelastname” – no spaces. A large number of suggested domain names will appear. Look below the top ones and look for the first FREE.
  6. Mine is
  7. Choose the SELECT button to the right.
  8. Next, the Choose Your Hosting Plan page.
  9. You are a student, always choose FREE. Click on the Start with Free button (the one not blue)
  10. The Where Will You Start page appears.
  11. Click on Build – Begin creating your website. Start Building button.
  12. After, the Themes page will appear. What is a Theme? I’ll get to that in a second. Let’s finish this.
  13. At the top right corner you’ll see “Skip for now”

In a couple of seconds, you will see your new blog appear.

Kinda bland. We need to fix this first.

What is a Theme?

A WordPress theme is a tool to change the layout and design of your website. Themes customize the appearance of your site, including the layout, typography, color, and other design elements.

A WordPress theme is a folder of files that work together to create the design of your site. A theme includes template files, stylesheets, images, and possibly JavaScript files. All those files change how your blog posts and pages are displayed.

Changing your WordPress theme won’t necessarily change your blog content, pages, users, or other information stored. Your theme only changes how all that information is displayed to your website visitors.

Great themes make good impressions on readers so that visitors are more likely to check out your blog.  Overwhelming themes detract from your blog content and make visitors less likely to read your content.


Every newly created blog normally has the same default theme.  The last thing you want is to look like all the other blogs.

Customizing your blog theme is normally one of the first things most people want to do when they first log into their blog.

So let’s finish off getting your class blog started by showing you how to customize your theme!



  1. Go to the left side and look for the W icon
  2. Click on this and choose your Dashboard
  3. Go down to Appearance > Themes
  4. And in the search bar in the middle of the page type “Illustratr
  5. Choose “Illustratr” and then, Activate this Design button
  6. A new box will appear, choose Customize Site.
  7. On the Customize page, you will see the theme you chose earlier to the right, and the left-hand side has the Customizer


Below is a quick summary of Some of the Customizer Settings

Site Identity Panel​

Site Title or also called your Blog Title

Your site title is one of the first things a reader sees when visiting your site.  Choose a name that reflects the purpose of your site.

But don’t stress too much!  You can always change your site title at any time via Appearance > Customize in your dashboard.

85% of all freelancers or creative artists, which we all are have a website with their name on it. You are a brand. We need to marker you.

  • Your blog title needs to be First name Last Name

Your logo


Your tagline is a slogan. It’s mostly used by companies. For now, leave it blank.

Site Icon

The Site Icon is going to be your logo. It is the little picture that shows to the left of a tabbed browser. It is also called the favicon.

Fonts, Header Image, Colors & Backgrounds Panel

This panel is self-explanatory. choose a ready-made palette under Choose a Palette or create your own. Or simply leave it empty.

Widgets Panel

Everything around your site has smaller areas called widgets.  Let’s try adding a search bar, social icons, or other types of blocks here and see how they’ll look on your site.


  1. Click on the Got it Button
  2. Look inside the long black-bordered rectangle and you’ll see a “+” symbol
  3. Click on the “+” symbol
  4. Click on Browse All
  5. Another Sub Menu will pull over to the right. Scroll down all the icons to the WIDGETS header.
  6. There are tons to choose from. For more info go here.

Home Page Settings Panel

  1. You can choose what’s displayed on the homepage of your site. It can be anything from just automatic posts that show up as magically on the front page when you write an article (classic blog), or a fixed/static page.

To set a static homepage, you first need to create two pages. One will become the homepage, and the other will be where your posts are displayed.

You should see a “homepage displays”

  1. Click on ” Your Latest Posts”
  2. Click Save Changes


If you choose “A static page

  1. Under the Homepage dropdown and choose the Home page.
  2. Under the Posts page click “Add New Page”
  3. Give the page a title of “Blog”
  4. Click Add
  5. You should see both Homepage with Home, and Posts with Blog set.
  6. Click Save Changes

Menus Panel

You should currently have two identical menus. 

  • Main – is automatically created when you created your website.
  • Primary – follows what Main has unless you change it.


You are going to need a couple of menu items eventually so let’s learn how to create some now. 


  1. Under the Sub Menu Pages, click the dropdown.
  2. In the Add New Page box type “Resume”
  3. Click the Add button with the “+” symbol.
  4. You’ll see the menu name resume was added to the Main Menu and if you look to the right at the preview you can see “RESUME” next to HOME.

I recommend you leave the static front page set to ‘Latest Posts’ for now. Once you have more of a gallery and are familiar with WordPress you can set a page called ‘Home’ which allows you to control the look of the homepage.

As you work through the control panels on the left of the Customizer dashboard, any changes you make to the theme will show up in real-time in the preview panel to the right. This allows you to get the right look you require before updating your live site.

Once you’re happy with the changes you just click ‘Save & Publish’. Let’s walk through each setting together.

Your Profile

Your Profile page is where you can control the global settings for your username including where you set up your display name and change your password and email address.

It’s worth spending time to quickly learn how to update your profile so you’ll be able to explain the steps to your students.

Your Profile is most commonly used to update your display name, password, and email address.  You’ll notice there are lots of personal settings to choose from in Your Profile and you can read more about each personal setting here.

Here’s how to update your Profile:

  1. Log into your blog dashboard.
  2. Go to Users > Your Profile in your blog dashboard.
  3. Scroll to near the bottom of the page to the Name area.
  4. Add your first name and last name.
  5. Students should only ever use their first name and the initial of their last name online or a pseudo-name.
  6. Click on the drop-down arrow and select your preferred publicly displayed name.
  7. Now scroll to the bottom of the page to the new password field.
  8. Change your password by clicking on Generate Password.

You can either use this automatically generated password or replace it with your own password.

There is no need to update your password (unless you want to).  We just wanted to show you how it is done.

Now just click on Update Profile to apply the changes.