Getting Started: Student Portfolio
This guide will show you how to customize your student site.
Customize Your Site
This page provides instructions for customizing your Student Portfolio. Following these steps is an orientation to general WordPress features for making changes to pages, posts, categories and menus.
After you create your WordPress site URL, the default display for the Student Portfolio will look like the screenshot below in your browser:
For the Student Portfolio, the Northeastern University header, site banner and footer are included on every page. While the Northeastern header and footer are fixed and not customizable, the banner offers these customization options from the WordPress dashboard:
You have the option of selecting a solid background color, gradient or image.
Accessing the WordPress Dashboard
You are an administrator of the site you created and have access to its WordPress dashboard where you can customize your site banner as well as create and edit portfolio posts and pages.
To access your dashboard:
In your browser, append /wp-admin to the URL you created. For example, if your site is called sites.northeastern.edu/johnqsmith, access your WordPress dashboard at: sites.northeastern.edu/johnqsmith/wp-admin
Customizing Your Name and Title
To update your name and title, on the WordPress dashboard go to Settings > General:
To update your banner name, change the Site Title value. To change your title on the banner, change the value for Tagline:
Adding Your Picture and Customizing the Banner Background
To alter your student picture and site banner background, on your WordPress dashboard select Options:
From this Options screen you can change or remove your student picture, and add a custom banner background.
To replace the default student picture with your own, hover over the picture and click the X to remove the current picture.
Then click the Add Image button. From here, you can click Upload Files to add your picture to the media library. Click Select to change your picture.
The image dimensions for your picture should be the same for width and height, a minimum of 150 X 150 and a maximum of 1024 X 1024.
The student picture is not required, so if you don’t want a picture to show in your banner, hover over the picture and click the X. Then click the Update button to save your changes.
Under “Banner Selection” you can select which type of banner background you prefer. If you choose “Background Color” or “Background Gradient”, a dropdown will appear offering you a list of choices of colors. Once you’ve made a choice, click Update to save your changes.
Based on the background color or gradient you’ve selected, the theme will automatically change the font color to black or white to provide optimal contrast.
If you select “Image” you will be able to either select an image already in your Media Library or upload a new image.
Please use an image that uses 16 X 9 dimensions, and a minimum of 1280 X 720.
Congratulations, you’re all done customizing your banner!
Orientation to WordPress Features
Blog or ‘portfolio’ posts are typically shorter, topical entries. You can assign categories to posts and add featured images. Posts are often featured on the homepage of your site, and can be written regularly.
To add a new post: Posts > Add New. This will take you to a page to create a post. Here you enter your post title and also have the option to enter categories and attach a featured image for your post. When you first enter the post editor, on the right sidebar you’ll see blocks for adding categories and the post’s featured image. The featured image is what will appear at the top of your post. You can create content in the post field using the Divi builder. You’ll use the Divi ‘Text Module’ to enter and style your content, but you can add other Divi modules to customize your content as well. When you’re finished editing your post and ready to publish to your site, click the Publish button.
Once you have published your post, it is easy to both view and edit the content of the entry.
Pages are typically static content that gives visitors more information on the site, such as an ‘About’ page. Pages are different than posts in a few ways. Each page created gets a unique place on your site with a unique URL, whereas posts populate the same area of the site. And, unlike posts, you can’t assign categories to pages.
To add a new page: Pages > Add New. Fill in the title and use the Divi builder to create and style the body content.
Examples of pages have been set up in the Student Portfolio including the ‘About’ page. You can use this page as a guide on how to edit your content using Divi, but you can style the content any way you wish.
One of the features of your portfolio/blog is the ability to categorize your posts. We feel strongly that posts should be placed in a Category for help in organizing and finding content over the long term.
Categories are broad groupings of post types. For example, if you wrote a food blog, your categories might include “breakfast” and “dessert.” Categories are useful on your blog when readers visit and want to view several posts that are similar.
When you add pages and posts to your site, it’s a good idea for your visitors to have a way to find them. One of the best ways to do this is by adding them to the WordPress menu.
Editing the menu: Appearance > Menus. You’ll see two columns with the headings ‘Add Menu Item’ and ‘Menu Structure’. Menu Structure shows you the list of pages and posts that are in your current menu. Each menu item can be dragged and dropped with the mouse in any order you choose. To add a new page or post or category to the menu, select the checkbox for that element under the respective dropdown item under ‘Add Menu’. If you don’t see your page or post, make sure you click ‘View All.’ Then click the Add to Menu button. When you want to save your changes, click Save Menu.
Divi is a drag-and-drop visual builder that allows you to build and style a wide range of content elements. This is used to build out content for your pages and posts. By far, the most common Divi module is the Text Module, which functions much like the standard WordPress content editor, though it allows for more options on laying out and styling your content.
For additional WordPress training, check out these LinkedIn Learning videos: