WordPress Portfolios

Some examples  of educators’ digital portfolios, built as part of building their digital identities:

Katy Pearce   Katy maintains a blog where she writes updates of her scholarly work, and then also builds static pages (accessible through the menu at the top) around her scholarship, teaching, and consulting.

Katie Headrick Taylor This one built on Tumblr, rather than WordPress, but the same design:  Updates of current work and static pages for more information about her work.

Remi Kalir  Built on WordPress, somewhat integrates blog and pages.  In addition to the menus, uses “tags” and “categories” widgets to provide navigation to topics on the site. Also uses widgets to embed social media like his Twitter feed.

Tressie McMillam Cottom  Foregrounds scholarship and public speaking.  Blog is there, but less prominently.


Some basics for creating a portfolio on a WordPress site.

You can always delete anything.

You can always change anything.

You can’t break anything.

  1. We’re going to start with WordPress.com.  These sites will be hosted on WordPress servers.   There is also the option of WordPress.org, hosted on a server of your choice and offering more options for configuring a site, but WordPress.com is a very good option.
  2. Posts and Pages:  WordPress is essentially a blogging platform.  Blog posts are updated in reverse chronological order, as when you may write short posts on something you’re thinking of or an upcoming event.  Pages are more static — lists of accomplishments,  courses, links to publications.
  3. You can customize:
    1. Themes ( the overall organization/ layout)
      1. Search themes by features, free/paid, layout
        1. For portfolios, custom menus are important.
        2. Responsive themes will work across devices
        3. WordPress sites often have the name of the theme at the very bottom of the home page).
    2. Images
    3. Colors
    4. “Widgets”:  Placed either along the side or the bottom of your site, you can add images (as in cover of your book), links to things important to you, features like “latest posts”,  your Twitter feed or Flickr images.
    5. Menus.   You can move items around, create sub menus, have a menu item link to something outside your site (such as a Google Doc, Social media page, etc.)

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 5.28.48 AM

Some additional settings can be found under the WP Admin link at the bottom of your editing panel.  If you don’t have that link (some sites don’t) you can add   /wp-admin/  to your URL.

For example, on this site, I’d go to https://uwbopenweb.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

Design considerations:

  1. On posts and pages, you can add:
    1. Images
    2. Links to other media like PDFs or Docs.
    3. Embed videos that are hosted elsewhere ( but you can only upload video directly with a paid upgrade).
    4. Formatting
  2. Accessibility:
    1. Use the headings (rather than Bold/ etc) to provide navigation through your work to screen readers.
    2. When adding images, add a brief description to the “alt text” box to be read by screen readers.
  3. Hyperlinks
    1. Place beneath descriptive text  by highlighting the text, clicking on the “link” icon in the tool bar, adding the URL there, clicking to open in a new window. Ugly URLs in pages and posts are for rookies!


Advanced design considerations:

Tom Woodward has been doing a series of posts on his blog about redesigning his portfolio.   This is one of the early posts in the series he’s been doing over a few weeks.

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