Lab Members: How to Post (WordPress)

Author(s): Brandy Perkl, Ph.D.

Originally posted: November 20, 2014 Updated: December 29, 2020
Tech Recommendations Disclaimer: I loved Wordpress but just wasn't using it enough to justify costs and maintenance required, so now I'm here on Google Sites instead which makes ALL of these instructions useless to my team now. Hah. - Dr. B


You must be added to this site by me before you can contribute. If you do not have the ability to log in at the bottom of the page and don't have a +New option to add a new post, that means you don't have the right permissions. Email me so I can fix that for you!


This site will help us to share the things that we do in our lab with others and to create a linkable digital record of your work that you can use to share your accomplishments with others.

The first time you log in

  • Log in to our WordPress Dashboard

  • Click the 'Users' tab (on the left)

  • Edit Your Profile to include anything you would like to have on your Author Page. You'll also get the chance to change your personal settings for how the blog writing pages and options will work just for you. Be sure to make your nickname your research name - so for me that's Brandy A. Brown.

The Author Page/Your Profile: I recommend adding links to places you'd like people to go (such as an page, check out this information on setting up your digital identity if you haven't done that before now) and a short blurb that explains that you're a lab member. As soon as you write a post this site will automatically create an author page for you from what you've added to your profile. Here's my author page as an example.

Now you're ready to post!

To write a post

  • Log in to our WordPress Dashboard

  • Click the 'Posts' tab (on the left)

  • Click the 'Add New' sub-tab

  • Start filling in the blanks: enter your post title in the upper field, and enter your post body content in the main post editing box below it

  • Be sure to use the dropdown (it will say Paragraph by default) to add Headings and Subheadings where needed and buttons to add media or links and formatting where appropriate.

  • Once you're ready you can either 'Save Draft' or 'Publish' your post. If you choose to Save because you'd like someone else to look it over before you post, be sure to email them and let them know it's there and ready!

That's the basics! If you're still not sure about this, check out these quick start videos.

Required: Categorize + Share the Post

The whole point of this is sharing! When you publish there will be some options on the right related to this:

  1. Visibility - This would allow you to restrict a post to members. So if you're sharing something that is 'lab members only' you could set that restriction here.

  2. Publishing schedule - here it shows immediately. You can use this spot to schedule your post for a later date - especially useful if you want to come back and edit or if you're writing a series of things at one time.

  3. Publicize - You can share to all options available there by checking the boxes. Feel free to share to all available options.

  4. Categories - You can use those already created or make your own, but be sure to check The Lab.

  5. Tags - You may want to use this to identify an audience if there's a specific one, or the content (i.e. case study, publication), etc.

Once you've run down the side, you should be ready to publish!

Required: Cite in APA Formatting

This site uses the footnotes plugin to provide Wikipedia style referencing, like this(( This will automatically generate our References list at the end (scroll down to see it).

To get the footnote to automatically generate you use shortcodes, which are little combinations of symbols and/or letters that tell the editor to do something behind the scenes. For footnotes the shortcode is double parentheses which you add before and after the stuff you want to go into your References section, so here's what you write in the editing screen to get it to add a footnote link and references section as shown here:

If you've cited something you need to use APA formatting of course. Remember, most reference managers (PaperPile, etc.) will generate all of this for you for all of your citations as long as you're using it already. Just copy+paste and you're all done.

Recommended: Adding a Featured Image

Images are a big part of the way this site is designed, so it's a good idea to add one. If it's a huge pain for you, please skip it. The content you're sharing is much more important - but I do think it's pretty easy. Here's what I recommend:

  1. Use your own image, an image already uploaded to the site (you can find those once you try to add one) or go to Getty Images/500px/Flickr Creative Commons and find an image you like that feels related - please be careful not to use anything copyrighted. If you're using an image from another site, then download it. Be sure to keep open the original webpage - you'll need it in a second.

    • For Getty Images: When you're writing your post there should be a Getty Images button next to the Add Media button which will help you add these.

  2. Using the Featured Image option on your edit post page (bottom right), choose to 'Set featured image'

  3. A window will open, you can either choose an image already in our Media Library, or choose to Upload Files.

  4. If you Upload you need to be sure to do the following: Change the title to something readable, enter the name of the site or person as the Image Source, and add the URL where appropriate.

  5. If you use your own image, be sure to still change the title, check the appropriate 'This is my image' box, and then decide if you want to add a license to allow others to use your image.

That's it! If you add images into the post itself it's very similar, but you can also add from a URL for those, add a full gallery, add videos, etc. Just focus on properly citing sources, even for images.

Optional: Using Other Fancy Things

For the most part it's really easy to do fancy things in Wordpress (which is why I use it). The golden strategy is to just try it and then Preview before you Publish. That's all, super simple! You'll see if something isn't working how you intended and then you can just remove it. (You can also look at the editing page for a post someone else has already added which you like to see how they used shortcodes and footnotes and other formatting elements to make their post work well for readers.)

Here's a few options you might find interesting:

  • Adding quotes using the little quote formatting button = attractive special quote formatting.

  • Within posts you can add alerts, buttons, columns, dividers, drop caps, tabs, toggles, icons, maps - all using the little Insert Shortcode button (on the left of the edit screen there's also links to help with using <> Shortcodes). There are some other ones that don't do much though. I recommend using the Intro option, using the dashed divider, and using Heading 6 for footers and postscript type text.

  • You can also use Genericons to add icons, like this one [genericon icon=digg], in different colors, sizes, etc. in your posts. To get the shortcodes (and you want to use those, not CSS or HTML) head to 'Appearance' and 'Genericon'd' in the options on the left while editing your post (you can open that in a new tab/window too so they're easier to reference while writing).

Images sourced from the author and from Life Of Pix from Pexels.