This page is used for sample content in WordPress training. You will find errors! On this page you will find certain details about WordPress and a basic introduction to page authoring, including examples of common errors and tips for search engine optimization and accessibility.
About WordPress at NMSU
WordPress is an open source content management system and blogging platform. At NMSU, we use WordPress as our officially supported content management system. The NMSU Enterprise WordPress environment that we are using today is maintained by ICT and is intended for use by university departments and university initiatives supported by these departments or initiatives that receive support from external agencies. Sites on NMSU Enterprise WordPress carry the NMSU brand and the NMSU WordPress theme is the default and required theme for all NMSU departments and internally supported programs. Use of NMSU Enterprise WordPress is free for NMSU departments!
Other WordPress Hosting Options at NMSU
If you are developing a personal site for your curriculum vitae or resume, you can use the wordpress.nmsu.edu service. This service is very similar to NMSU Enterprise WordPress, however it is intended for individuals rather than departments. While NMSU branding themes are available on wordpress.nmsu.edu, you may use any of the themes available to you in order to best reflect the individuality of your site, after all, it’s all about you!
Around campus there are College and VP level organizations that have their own Multisite WordPress networks, similar to NMSU Enterprise WordPress. These independent networks are administered by IT or technical staff within their respective college or division and may be configured differently than NMSU Enterprise WordPress. In particular, the set of add-on features called plugins, that function to extend the basic capabilities of WordPress, will be different on different Multisite networks.
If you are interested in more basics about WordPress, please see the complete WordPress introduction.
Basic Authoring in WordPress
WordPress makes it easy to add and edit text, format text, insert links, insert and modify images, and add videos into your pages. As we get started it’s important to recognize that your page content, starting at the text level, is read by people and computers alike (search engines, in particular). While a majority of Web site visitors read the text on the screen as they see it, other visitors use technologies that read aloud the information on your page. In this next section you will learn more about the basics of authoring text content that better addresses the ways in which your content will be consumed.
Using Proper Semantic Markup
Semantic markup, as the name suggests, provides meaning to the different portions of your Web page content. The primary way in which semantic markup is used is when assigning heading levels to your pages. When we look at a page, the heading levels contribute to a better understanding of the structure of the site because they are often larger and bolder section of text that provides a brief summary of the information that will be found underneath the heading. If you come to a page and you are looking for certain types of information, you may scan the headings to look for what is most relevant, so that you don’t have to read the entire page from beginning to end. In order to do this properly on the Web for all audiences, you must select the heading level that is appropriate for that line of text.
When you select headings it’s important to recognize that order or sequencing of the headings should be from most general (starting at heading 1) to more specific (following with heading 2, heading 3, heading 4, etc.). This page will serve as an example of using proper semantic markup and you will learn a little more about this in class.
Semantic markup is used in other ways as well. Lists, such as bulleted (unordered) or numbered (ordered) lists, also use semantic markup. Similar to headings, one can easily recognize when such lists are being used an skip directly to that content. While semantic markup is not the only way to provide meaningful content to all audiences, it is an important step toward understanding how the structure of content should be considered when authoring Web pages.
Using an Accessibility Checker
Automated accessibility checkers help to find other potential accessibility issues with pages (including semantic markup) and should be used to evaluate how well your page meets certain accessibility standards. In class today we will look at a built-in accessibility checker and also get additional information about a service called Siteimprove that you can use if you are the administrator of a Web site here at NMSU.