The UNSW Blogs platform has been setup to provide a space for collaboration and communication. To this end, we have installed a number of special tools and features, including custom UNSW Themes and a wide selection of widgets and plugins which add additional functionality to your blog!
UNSW Blogs Themes
WordPress Themes allow users to customise and personalise the design of their blog. The UNSW platform currently has 4 Theme sets installed, allowing blog administrators to choose the style that suits them best.
Check out the details of each set below. You can trial and apply these templates by visiting the Appearance > Themes section on your Blog Dashboard.
UNSW Blogs – Course Homepage Layout
This template is designed to allow users to create and customise a course blog, and includes tools for custom homepage layouts and upload of the blog owners own homepage and feature images.
It is available in 4 colours: Blue, Grey, Green and Red.
UNSW Blogs Simple Layout
This template is provides a traditional blog layout, and is simple and clean. It includes dynamic rotating images in the header (title) and is widget-ready, allowing users to fully customise their blog sidebar.
It is available in 4 colours: Blue, Grey, Green and Red. Each includes a different selection of images taken on campus at UNSW.
Plugins allow for additional functionality and features within WordPress blogs. They can be very useful for customising the platform to enable specific activities and collaborations between community members, or just to streamline the blogging process.
Check out the default plugins installed on the UNSW Platform below:
- Additional Privacy Options – adds additional privacy options to the platform, allowing users to setup private blogs which can be viewed by registered users only
- Blog and User Avatars – Allows users to upload both user and blog avatars which are displayed in comments and sidebars
- Google Analytics – Allows blog administrators to view traffic reports using Google’s Analytics tools
- incsub Support – A Support tool for WPMU which allows for user tickets and custom help pages in your blog dashboard
- pageMash – Manage your multitude of pages with pageMash’s slick drag-and-drop style, ajax interface. Allows quick sorting, hiding and organising of parenting
- SI Captcha – A Captcha tool to protect comment posts on your blog
There are also a number of user-managed plugins installed which you may like to experiment with. To activate these simply visit the Plugins Page on your blog’s dashboard to explore the options.
The following optional plugins have been installed:
- Blubrry PowerPress – Enables easy podcasting and vodcasting on the UNSW Blogs platform
- Contact Form 7 – Allows blog owners to create simple web-based forms
- Flickr Manager – Handles uploading, modifying images on Flickr, and insertion into post
- Forums – Adds a simple forum to blog pages for threaded discussions
- Google Gadgets – Allows blog owners to add dynamic content using Google’s Gadget tools
- Google Maps Anywhere – Add Google Maps or Google Streetview to blog posts and pages
- LifeStream – Allows blog owners to create a lifestream from various social sites and services
- Tylr Slidr – Allows for simple insertion of Flickr slideshows in posts and pages
- Viper’s Video Quicktags – Easily embed videos from various video websites such as YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo in blog posts
- Widgetbox – Allows blog owners to add dynamic content blog sidebars using Widgetbox Widget panels
- Wordbook – Allows blog administrators to cross-post blog updates to your Facebook account
- WordPress Wiki – Adds Wiki functionality to your blog pages
UNSW Blogs Widgets
Widgets allow users to customise what appears in their blog’s sidebars. They are a simple way of pulling in tag clouds, multimedia, social bookmarking, links and other dynamic content; and help to keep you blog vibrant and up to date.
There are a wide range of Widgets installed on the UNSW Blogs platform. To use them, simple visit the Appearance > Widgets page on your blog’s dashboard to activate and customise.
The following widgets have been installed:
- Countdown Timer – Add a sidebar widget to count down or up to the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and/or seconds to a particular event.
- delicious-plus Widget – Add a sidebar widget to display delicious links
- Plurk for WordPress – Display your public Plurk messages in your blog sidebar
- Quick Flickr Widget – Display up to ten of your latest Flickr submissions in your sidebar
- Twitter for WordPress – Display your public Twitter messages in your blog sidebar
- WP-Cumulus – A Flash based Tag Cloud for WordPress
A number of administration tools have been installed to add functionality to the UNSW platform from the Site Adminsitration perspective, including:
- Admin Message – A simple plugin that makes it easier to place a message in the admin panels that all users on the platform will see
- Blog Activity – Provides information on blog updates in the past “hour”, “day”, and “month”. Also displays how many posts and comments were made over the last “hour”, “day”, and “month”
- User Activity – Collects user activity data and makes it available via a tab under Site Admin
- Google Analytics – Provides Google Analytics information for on both a sitewide and blog by blog basis
- Post Indexer – a backend plugin that indexes all posts on your site into a global table that can be queried for lists of recent posts, tagged posts etc – allowing for dynamic content creation eg Posts by Tag lists in custom themes
- Plugin Commander – Provides site admins with full control over plugin activation and deactivation
- Rebranding WordPress MU – allows for rebranding of login/admin pages to include UNSW branding
- Sitewide Tags – creates a central blog where all the most recent posts on a WordPress MU site can be found. The number of posts is configurable and defaults to 5,000 posts