Getting to know the dashboard
When you first log in you will be taken to the dashboard. This is like the control room where you can create and edit News & Events postings and view the User (Members are referred to as Users in WordPress) Database.
At first glance you will see the website’s activity and what’s happening in the Discussion Forums.
On the very top you have a dropdown ‘Screen Options‘ where you can edit what you see when you first log in to your dashboard. You can also change the appearance of the editing screen to one or two columns.
Please click on Screen Options and untick Sidebar, Tags, Layout and Display Options as you should never need these. They will be hidden every time you log in from then on.
From the left hand side you can manage all your News and Event postings, send emails to Members and manage the User Database.
You will also see s2Member (Pro) section. Please do not alter anything here.
On your first time logging in, when you click on Users from the dashboard, you will see a lot of user information on the right hand side (like a series of nonsense letters). This is because by defualt WordPress puts in all the information the Member signed up with (such as subjects taught etc.) on the User screeen. Go to Screen Options and untick the fields you do not need to see. Each time you log in thereafter you will only see these fields.
To create a Branch News posting
- Click on Posts > Add New.
- Enter a title.
- The Permalink (which appears below the Post Title) is the url address so you can leave this. It will automatically save the title as link. If however you change the title you will need to manually change the permalink to reflect the title name.
- Edit your post details.
- If you wish to put an image within your post details click on Add Media and upload your image and insert it into your post.
- You are encouraged to add a ‘Featured Image’. This is the image which will appear on your list of postings along with the summary.
- Click on Publish and your post will be published.
To create an Event
- Click on Events > Add New.
- Enter a title (It is not necessary to enter a date in here as this will appear automatically when you fill in the Event Details).
- Edit your event details.
- Enter your event date under Event Details. If you leave this blank today’s date will appear. Enter the time your event starts. If you do not enter a time, your event will show 12am start time. You can tick ‘All day’ to remove the time. You can add a venue which will automatically show a Google map. You can reposition the map pointer if it displays incorrectly.
- Set a ‘Featured Image’ if there is one appropriate to the event. This will appear along with your event summary.
- Tick Sticky Event if you want your event to appear at the top of the Upcoming Events sidebar. Otherwise leave blank as default.
- Categorise your event (this is very important). You need to categorise your event into either a specific Branch (members only) or General (viewable by all).
- Click on Publish and your event will be published.
- In the dashboard you can arrange your event postings by hovering over the title bar so you can arrange by title, start date, end date etc. This does not affect how the event is published, it’s just for your own convenience.
To send an email
Messages will by default be sent by firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to send a message from your own email you need to click on Settings and set your options here.
- Click on Email Users.
- Choose your Branch and/or Subject (you don’t have to do both).
- Click on Filter to filter your users to those you require.
- Edit your message.
- Press Send.
What if I made a mistake on my Event or News Post?
You can always edit your postings and if you prefer your previous version you can click on Revisions in Screen Options above and you can restore a previous version.
Can I reorder the layout of elements in my edit screen?
Yes. WordPress offers great flexibility here. If you go to Screen Options above you can click on 1 column or 2 column layout. Having one column can be good as it makes sure you don’t forget anything before you publish. You can drag elements around the page to your liking. For example if you choose 1 column layout you can drag your Publish section to the bottom of your screen as the ‘last’ item you do before you Publish. This does not influence how your post appears to the public.
Do I need to fill in an Excerpt?
No. WordPress automatically adds its own excerpt or summary on your postings. This is the first 55 words of your post. If however you’d like a specific excerpt different to the default, you can enter an excerpt in the Excerpt box. You can hide or view this box in Screen Options.