General WordPress Instructions

For general information on operating a WordPress site, see the WordPress codex. For detailed instructions on writing posts, see

Photos in Blog Posts

The Chattermarks blog features a photo-centric design that works well when attention is paid to how you include photos in posts. Authors have the option (and are encouraged) to place an image above the title. A few guidelines:

  1. Lead your post with a photo if at all possible. (see example in a new window)
  2. Do not use the WordPress native photo gallery feature. Instead, images should be inserted into the post using the WordPress image uploader, one after the other, stacked vertically. (see example in a new window)
  3. Do not use the WordPress native photo caption feature. Instead, photo captions should be added underneath the image, using the “Heading 6” format. See example below.
  4. Use descriptive titles and image descriptions wherever possible, to keep the media library organized. If you end up adding duplicate images, tidy up the media library by removing the duplicates once you’re done posting.

To lead your post with a photo, simply add a photo as the first piece of content in your post. For this to work, there must be no characters or spaces proceeding the photo, and the photo must not use WordPress captions. Once you’ve attached your image, preview the post to verify that it appears above the title of the post.
If you are having trouble getting this to work, it’s probably because the WordPress text editor occasionally makes strange assumptions in formatting post content. Click the ‘HTML’ tab above the editor to verify that your post starts with the image, which should look something like this: <img src=”…
The maximum width of any image in a post is 500px. There is no restriction on height. When adding an image to a post, please select either ‘medium’ or ‘large’ as the size, and add a descriptive title to the image. Do not add a caption here. If you want to add a smaller image that is within the text flow, it should be 240px wide or smaller before uploading, and you should select “full-size” in the attach image dialog. You may choose to float the image to the left or right in the attach image dialog.
Photographer credits should be placed either in italic at the bottom of your post or at the end of the photo caption. If posting at the bottom of the post, use the Format drop down menu (available after you click on the kitchen sink button at the right of the toolbar) and choose the “address” style.
Photograph captions should be included in the body of the post and set in “Heading 6,” under the Format drop down menu. Captions should look like this:
Mushrooms 1

This is a mushroom photo caption. Photo by Jenny Cloutier.

Text Formatting in Posts

The WordPress text editor allows you to format your text in many ways, most of which should be familiar if you’ve used a word processing application. Hit the far right button on the top row of buttons to expand the second row. The following are best practices to use when posting to Chattermarks:

  • Use the bulleted or numbered list buttons to create lists like this one.
  • Use the quote button for block quotes like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

  • The ‘Format’ drop-down select offers up six different header sizes. They all look the same (except for Header 6, the caption style):

    This is the Header Style

  • When copying in text from MS Word or other applications, use the ‘Copy from Word’ button (a clipboard with a ‘W’ on it) to remove proprietary formatting tags from the text. Otherwise, things will get funky. If you don’t see this button, click on the rainbow box “kitchen sink” icon at the right of the toolbar. Composing your posts as a new message in an application like Apple Mail avoids this step.


Categories and Tags

Categories appear as the site’s main navigation items. If you create a new category, it will appear as a main navigation item. The default category for blog posts is “Institute News”, so if you forget to categorize your post, that’s where it will end up.
Tags are a more free-form way of categorizing your posts, and you may feel free to create new tags as they relate to your content. Tags should be one to two words long, and in title case (begins with a capital letter).