So what, exactly, is an interface?  In plain terms, where computers and people are concerned, an interface is where a person comes in contact with a screen to either enter or retrieve information.  WordPress has a couple of different interfaces.  There’s the Site View, which is the side of your blog that your readers will come in contact with.  There’s also the Dashboard View, which is the side of your blog that you, as a blog writer, work on.

The Site View

When you first go to, you will be greeted with a Site View of the system home page.  If you are not already logged into ONID, click on the Log in link in the navigation menu to log in to the ONID system.

The Dashboard View

After logging into ONID, click the Site Admin link.  You will be redirected to your Dashboard.  This interface looks quite a bit different from the Site View.  This area is where all of the administration and writing for your site is done.

The Dashboard is the business end of your WordPress blog site.  Within here is where blogsite content is managed, where the appearance of the Site View is set, and where other users can be added to your site.

Header Region

Within the header, at the top of your screen, are a few different features located on the left and right sides of your screen.

To the left is the title of the current blog you are working on.  Directly next to the title is the Visit Site button.  Clicking on either the title or button will take you to the Site View of your current blog.

The right region of the header contains a drop down menu which allows you quick access to the following common WordPress tasks:

  • New Post: Create a new Post by selecting this menu item
  • Drafts: Displays a list of all draft (unpublished) content in your blogsite
  • New Page: Create a new Page by selecting this menu item
  • Upload: Upload media files from your computer to your blogsite
  • Comments: Manage the Comments added to your site

The right side of the header also includes the following links:

  • User Name: When clicked, will display your profile
  • Turbo: When clicked, will open up a Tools panel
  • Log Out: When clicked, will log you out of your blog site

Screen Options Tab

Clicking on the Screen Options tab, which is to the right of your screen beneath the topmost links, will open up a panel that will allow you to reorder, hide, or show the different components that you see in main body of your Dashboard.

Help Tab

The Help tab will provide links to different sources of WordPress help.

Left Sidebar Region

Most features and tools for WordPress are located within the Left Sidebar region of your screen in three separate menu blocks.  The menu blocks are loosely categorized as follows:

  • Views: Located at the top of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains items related to the different views available for the blog.
  • Content: Located at the center of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains items related to content created and/or used on the blog site.
  • Configuration: Located at the bottom of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains configuration options for things such as blog site appearance, functionality, and user management.

The menus can be hidden into their icon representations by clicking on the small arrows between the blocks.  To reveal the text menus, just click on one of the arrows again.

Views Menu Block

The Dashboard menu item is where a user can toggle between viewing the blog administrative panel and the Site View.

Within the Dashboard menu group, there are two different items:

  • Dashboard: Displays the Dashboard view.
  • My Blogs: Displays a list of all of your blogs.

Content Menu Block

You have the ability to create a few different types of content on your blogsite, as well as to upload various forms of media to embed and attach to your blog posts and pages. 


Posts are the entries that make up a blog, as we know it.  Conceptually, a blog is like a journal.  All of the entries display in reverse chronological order – today’s entry will appear over yesterday’s entry, yesterday’s entry will appear over the day before, etc.

Within the Posts menu group, there are four different items:

  • Edit
  • Add New
  • Post Tags
  • Categories


The Media menu group is where media files can be uploaded and managed.

Within the Media menu group, there are two different items:

  • Library
  • Add New


The Links menu group is where link-related items are created and managed.

Within the Link menu group, there are three different items:

  • Edit
  • Add New
  • Link Categories


Pages are intended for content that does not change very often.  An example would be a page that describes the main topic of a blogsite or perhaps one that provides more detailed information about the group or individual issuing the blog – such as contact information, etc.  

Within the Pages menu group there are two different items:

  • Edit
  • Add New


The Comments menu item is where users can manage any comments that are left on a site.  This includes moderation, spam assignment, and deletion of inappropriate commentary.

Site Configuration Menu Block

WordPress not only enables you with the ability to post content, it also allows you to configure, or set-up, your site to suit your own tastes and needs.

Many different things can be configured on your site: the way it looks, different tools that promote interaction with your audience, what contributors on your site may and may not do, as well as general ways that you want your site to behave given a certain set of conditions.


The Appearance menu group is where users can change settings that affect how the site looks.  Additionally, add-on features known as Widgets are managed here.

Within the Appearance menu group there are three different features:

  • Themes: Determine the ‘look and feel’ of your site
  • Widgets: Small add-on features that can help make your site more enjoyable or efficient. 
  • Custom Header: Change the header image on your theme.  Note – this feature relies on the active theme used by the site and may not be available if the theme does not allow it.


Plugins are add-on pieces of software which expand the functionality of WordPress.  Plugins differ from Widgets in the fact that the code used is typically more complicated.  Some Plugins actually create Widgets.  Other Plugins may simply perform tasks in the background of your blogsite and show no real visible effects on the screen.

Within the Plugins menu group there are two different items:

  • Installed: Displays a list of all available Plugins.
  • Akismet Configuration: Allows you to automatically discard spam comments that come in on posts older than a month.


More than one person can belong to your blogsite.  In fact, your blogsite can have multiple users who each possess different levels of permissions, if you so desire.  The Users menu group is where all user management occurs.

Within the Users menu group there are three different items:

  • Authors & Users
  • Add New
  • Your Profile


The Tools menu provides different tools used in the import, export, and subscription base management of your blogsite.

Within the Tools menu group there are four different items

  • Tools: Provides a short list of available tools.
  • Import: Provides a list of different blog systems that WordPress can import from.
  • Export: Allows for the export of your blogsite into an XML file which can be imported into other blogsites.
  • Subscriptions: Displays a list e-mail addresses that subscribe to your blog.


There are many different features available on your blogsite.  You may choose to use some features, you may choose not to use others.  Additionally, most features within your blogsite can be configured to display or behave in a particular manner.

Within the Settings menu group there are eleven different items:

  • General: Basic site information, including blog title and time zone.
  • Writing: Provides different settings regarding your writing workspace and ability to publish remotely.
  • Reading: Determine what your front page display should be, how many posts and feed items should show at a time, and how feed items should be displayed.
  • Discussion: Settings regarding comment handling, blog rating, and avatar usage.
  • Media: Define presets for maximum dimensions of images when inserted into a body post.
  • Privacy: Set blog visibility to search engines here.
  • Permalinks: Set up patterns for URL aliases.
  • Delete Blog: Delete your blog permanently.
  • Embedded Video: Determine how video links are displayed.
  • Blog Category: Change the categorization of your blog.
  • Subscribe to Comments: Set up custom messages for different types of users who visit your site regarding subscription status.

Getting Started

Starting a blog here at is really easy.  Before beginning, you’ll need to know the following things:

Network Identification

To initiate your blog at, a valid ONID is required.

An ONID is used by students, faculty, and staff at OSU to log into the university network.  If you can’t remember your ONID information, the folks at the OSU Computer Helpdesk can give you a hand.  You can call them at x73474, or visit the ONID home page at

Where to Go

To start a new blog, you’ll need to go to the home page of at  When you reach the home page, click on the Create a New Blog link.

Registration and Set-Up

To register and set-up for the first time, click the Create a New Blog link.  This link will take you to the WordPress Sign Up page where you will need to complete a short registration form with the following information:

Blog Name – this name actually ends up being part of your URL.  Only lowercase letters and numbers are allowed in this field.  If you enter spaces, punctuation, or capital letters, you will receive an error message requesting a name that contains only lower case letters and/or numbers.

Blog Title field – this is what’s displayed as a title on your blog. You can use mixed case and spaces here.

Privacy option – this determines whether you want your blog to be publicly visible.  Choosing “Yes” publicizes your blog.  Choosing “No” keeps it private.

Blog Category field – select the category your blog will fall under: Student, Student Group, Staff, Faculty, or Department.

After all of your information has been entered, just click the Create Blog button.  You will be redirected to a new screen, informing you that the blog is yours.  To log in to this blog, just click the Login link.

When you log in to your blog for the first time, a Terms of Use and Privacy Policy screen will appear.  Make sure you read these items as they contain important information regarding both the appropriate use of university resources as well as how Central Web Services handles private electronic information.  Click the I Agree button to continue logging into your blog.

Now you’re ready to start personalizing your blog and publishing your material!

Multiple Blogs

As a side note, you can create more than one blog: perhaps you may want one blog dedicated to research on a particular subject, while maintaining a separate, personal blog.

WordPress is a user friendly blogging application which consists of a clean administrative interface, robust standard features, and handy add-on widgets that serve to increase your writing and reading experience.  Additionally, a WordPress blog also provides its users with the capability to personalize their blogs with a variety of customizable themes.

There are a few WordPress features that you’ll become fairly familiar with as you work within  Read on through these Help files to discover the different options that are available to you and how to use them.