Creating a Site or Blog

One of the easiest things you can do on the Commons is set up a site or blog. the Commons allows two different types of sites: group sites and personal sites. If you want to create a group site, read this guide.

Go to Sites in the main menu on the left of the homepage. 

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Click on Create a Site.

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Now you’re on the main page for setting up sites. It looks like this:

Screenshot of "Create a site" page showing titling and privacy options

First, choose a name for your site. This will go under Site Title. Then, you’ll enter the domain name in the Site Domain field. This is what appears in front of .hcommons.org in the site’s URL. So if you want your site to be at mysitename.hcommons.org, enter “mysitename” in this field. A few things to remember: this name can’t contain spaces or most punctuation marks. This name also has to be unique. If someone already has a site with the domain name you want, you’ll have to pick something different. Finally, this is the address that your site will always have, so choose it carefully!

Next, decide what your site’s privacy will be. What we mean by privacy here is whether your site is mentioned in the list of sites on the Commons and whether its content can be found by Google. If you’re creating a site for work that you only want to share with a small number of readers, you might choose to make it private. This is something that you can change later, so if you want to start your site privately before announcing it to the world, that’s an option. If you want your site to be public, choose Yes; otherwise, choose No.

Click Create Site, and you have a new site!

You can easily access your site by going to its URL (in this case, type https://mysitename.hcommons.org into the browser). You can also get to it through the black menu or toolbar that appears at the top every page on the Commons. On the left side of the toolbar, you’ll see a button marked My Sites:

If you move your mouse over that, you’ll see the sites you created as well as the sites associated with all other groups you belong to. You can access “My Site Name” by clicking on it. However, when you move your mouse over the name, you’ll notice that a menu expands, giving you a couple of options:

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If you click Visit Site, you’ll be taken directly to your site. New Post lets you add a new post to your site. Manage Comments lets you moderate comments. The most important option is Dashboard. The WordPress dashboard is where you go to control your site—it’s the landing page of the WordPress admin area. You can also access this area, known as the WordPress Admin Panel or WP-Admin, by typing your site’s URL followed by “/wp-admin” into the browser.  In this case we’d go to “https://mysitename.hcommons.org/wp-admin.”

Learn more about navigating the WordPress Admin Panel in our Managing Your Site Guide.