OSU Authentic is the preferred theme for administrative departments, programs and academic units and will be available only for the Faculty, Staff and Department blogs. This theme contains features that allow it to function as a small website, a blog or an online newsletter.

Accessing the administrative features

As with any WordPress blog, reach the administrative page by typing “/wp-admin” at the end of your blog’s URL. For blogs.oregonstate.edu users, that would be: blogs.oregonstate.edu/YOURBLOGNAME/wp-admin.

Widgets and regions

The Authentic theme contains a number of custom widgets and layout regions that can be accessed through the administrative panel. These widgets allow for customization of your blog. To access widgets, go to your blog’s administrative page and select Appearance > Widgets from the right-hand menu.

Through using widgets and regions, you’ll be able to customize your layout to create a distinct front page for your blog and to give it a newsletter feel.


The feature region can be used to create a front-page image or to highlight a feature blog post. You can add a feature region by dragging the Home Page Feature widget to the feature region in the widgets control panel.

You will be asked to input a link to an online image. This image should be exactly 620 pixels in width and roughly 250 pixels in height. The height can be variable, but the width is fixed.

You will also be able to input a link to a blog post or other page or site. Finally, you can input a caption to appear below the photo.


This area is for highlighting three separate pages of your site or within your program or department. You create this space by dragging the Home Page Sub Level Features widget into the sub-features region on the Widget panel.

You must choose 3 photos of exactly 200 pixels in width and 72 pixels in height. These photos can exist online in your blog’s media library or elsewhere on the web. You will also be required to input a link for each photo, and a caption. It provides a great opportunity to highlight different posts or pages within your blog on the home page of your site.

Sub-features can be used with the feature or separately.

Middle and right sidebars

You can customize the content of middle and right sidebars to suit your needs using all of the default widgets that WordPress provides.

Middle sidebars only appear on the blog’s home page and on blog post pages. It does not appear on blog pages.

Contact information

This widget allows you to customize the contact information appearing in the blog’s lower-left-hand corner.

Authentic layout with regions highlighted

This information comes from the OSU Brand Guidelines.  You can read more about this theme and see a video tutorial on the Brand Guidelines WordPress Themes page.

Before you can use Google Analytics for your blogsite, you must have (or be a part of) a Google Analytics account.  There are a couple of different ways that you can do this – either through the primary OSU profile or through your own profile.

By default, all blogs are added to the primary OSU profile.  If you would like access to this profile, you can contact Web Communications and they will be happy to help you get the ball rolling.

If you would like to start up your own profile, just do the following:

  1. Go to: http://www.google.com/analytics/sign_up.html
  2. If you do not yet have a Google account, you must sign up for one to use Google Analytics.  Create an account, if necessary, and then log in to the account.
  3. You will be redirected to the Google Analytics starting page – click Sign Up.
  4. You will be redirected to the Analytics: New Account Signup page, enter the following information:
    1. Website’s URL field
    2. Account Name field
    3. Time Zone Country or Territory field
    4. Time Zone field
  5. Click Continue
  6. You will then be redirected to a page where you will have to fill out the following information:
    1. Last Name field
    2. First Name field
    3. Country or Territory field
  7. Click Continue
  8. You will be redirected to the User Agreement page – read the terms and click the Yes check box to continue
  9. Click Create New Account
  10. Your Google Analytics code will be presented to you.  Look for the UA-xxxxxx-x number within the code – this is what you’ll need for the Google Analytics setting on your blog

Configuring your blogsite for Google Analytics

Once you have your Google Analytics tracking code, login to your blogsite and do the following:

  1. Go to Dashboard > Settings > Google Analytics
  2. Paste your Google tracking number into the Tracking Code field on the page
  3. Click Save Changes

To check your stats, just log in to Google Analytics and your report will immediately show.  Google Analytics operates on a 24 hour delay, so you must wait at least one day after configuring your settings to start tracking results.

The Global Site Tags widget is available as soon as a blogsite is created.  This widget will display more popular global blogsite tags with a larger font and less popular tags with a smaller font.  Tags that are between the the two sizes will be appropriately sized within the sizing range that you determine for the largest and smallest tags.

To Use the Global Site Tags Widget

  1. From within your Dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets
  2. Locate the Global Site Tags widget in the Available Widgets group at the top of the page. Click on the widget and drag it into an available region such as Sidebar 1, Sidebar 2, etc.
  3. Once the widget has been positioned, click on its arrow to open up the widget control panel
    1. Title: this is optional. If you don’t enter a title it will show the default widget title.
    2. Tag Cloud Order: This will determine what order your tags show, choose either Tag Count or Most Recent
    3. Number of Tags: Select a value here.  Numbers are available in one digit increments from 1 to 100.
    4. Largest Font Size: This will show the most popular tags as the largest font in the cloud. Sizes, in pixels, are available in one digit increments from 1 to 100.  It’s recommended that this font be larger than the Smallest Font Size you select (see next step).
    5. Smallest Font Size: This will show the newer or least popular tags as the smallest font in the cloud. Sizes, in pixels, are available in one digit increments from 1 to 100.  It’s recommended that this font be smaller than the Largest Font Size you select.
    6. Click the Save button when completed
  4. Click on the Visit Site link to see your new widget in action.

The Dixi theme sports an optional, customizable “home page” that can be set up to display up to four different, tabbed feed displays on the front page.  Additionally, Dixi has a special video embed feature that allows you to embed your favorite video and display it in a preset block on your custom home page.

Here’s a list of some of the other really interesting things you can do with Dixi:

  • Body Features
    • Change background colors
    • Change content background color
    • Change body line color (such as for grids)
    • Add background images
  • Text Features
    • Change body font globally
    • Change headline font globally
    • Change font size
    • Change all text based colors (body text, links, etc)
  • Custom Image Header Features
    • Upload custom image header – to your own height requirements

To explore all of the different features available with the Dixi theme, first you’ll have to activate it by going to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.

After the theme is activated, just go to Dashboard > Appearance > Theme Options to change your theme’s settings.