Practicum: WordPress

Hi all! I’ll be demonstrating WordPress for part of this week’s practicum. You guys are all somewhat familiar with the basics of WordPress since that is the site we’re using. I don’t see WordPress being a tool to produce a digital project alone. I see it as more of a way to share and present digital information. My goal with this post is to give a brief introduction to the platform and then use Dr. Owens’ WordPress website to provide an example of how it can be used.

WordPress is a platform that allows users to create their own website without needing advanced technical skills, like coding. It is designed for a wide variety of users from individuals to businesses. The platform has extensive features available to users at varying price points, including a free version.

Because building a website from scratch can be overwhelming, WordPress offers a variety of pre-made themes to fit different website content. There are options for blogs, business centered websites, personal professional websites, and more. The WordPress interface is extremely user friendly and offers extensive options to embed content from other platforms. As a digital historian, WordPress could be a great networking tool to disseminate research and star building a professional identity online.

Some of the platforms WordPress allows users to embed
Dr. Owens uses WordPress to create a home base for all of his scholarly activity.

The above image comes from Dr. Owens’ own WordPress website. He uses the website both as a blog and an interactive CV. He links everything he discusses to create a seamless experience for people wishing to find out more about his work. All of the links are also a great way to continue making online content more accessible and open access.

Another feature of WordPress is the ability to leave a comment on posts, which we are required to do for this class already. The social aspect is representative of the open communication digital history values. The authors are more personable than they would be if they published in a scholarly journal.

I am sure we will all become even more familiar with WordPress as the semester continues. If anyone has discovered any interesting tools, please leave a comment! I would also love to hear if anyone has already considered how to use their own WordPress site for this class!

2 Replies to “Practicum: WordPress”

  1. I definitely agree with you that WordPress is probably best used to present information, rather than using it to produce an entire digital project! However, I wonder what type of subscription is the best for historians to have (cheapest and most efficient)? If a historian has the budget, I would definitely see them using or being recommended the Business plan. I think the added Google Analytics Interpretation and Advanced SEO option would be wonderful for historians to increase their reach/audience, as well as give them insight on how to do this. With these tools, their digital projects have a decreased chance of being buried within massive Google searches!

  2. Carol – I’ve been working with WordPress all semester for my project, and your post really does a great job overviewing. There have been several times that I have pulled up this post as a guide for some of the basic functions of WordPress. I’m curious to know if you’ve utilized this platform at all. Have you learned new information that makes WordPress easier to use? Sometimes it’s more difficult than not, but it has been invaluable.

    Thanks for the great post – it’s been super helpful all semester!

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