You have been asked and agreed to serve as a website Content Producer for your area of the university. Our hope and expectation is that you will keep this tool nearby and refer to it as needed whenever you are working in the Kentucky State University website.

The site was built using WordPress, a popular, easy-to-use content management system. WordPress was originally designed to allow average people with little technical knowledge to easily create and post to blogs. It has evolved over time and is now one of the most popular and function-rich website creation tools available. Although WordPress is easy to use, you’ll still need to know a few things about it before you can log in and edit content. That’s why we created this manual and why every KSU website Content Producer is required to participate in training before they will be given access to the site’s editing area.

Of course, we all need help from time to time. In the event you get stuck or the system just isn’t doing what you expected it to do, you can contact the IT Department at (502) 597-7000. You will play an instrumental role in the success of the new website, and we are here to help you!

Purpose & Key Audiences

Whenever undertaking any communication initiative, it is always helpful to define the purpose and key audiences for the project. At the outset of this redesign project, a group of KSU leaders determined that the website is both a tool for simply providing information, but also for marketing KSU as a viable higher-education option. So, rather than simply provide information, the new website is to be viewed as a promotional and marketing tool. For that reason, you will see various “calls to action” throughout the website.

For example, you might see buttons that say, “Apply Now,” “Visit KSU,” or “Join the Alumni Association.” These are intended to spur visitors to “take the next step.” We encourage each area of the university to define similar action statements that invite visitors to engage with the university.

As mentioned above, the website leadership team defined a number of key audiences for the website. The group determined that the most important audience is future students, because if we don’t attract new students, we will not have “current students.” So you’ll see that much of the new website’s focus is on new students. However, there are several other key audiences, including current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the community in which we live. As you work within the website, we ask you to keep these goals and audiences in mind.

Of course, we want to convey a high degree of professionalism, but also connect with our key audiences by providing them with the information they need to engage with Kentucky State University!

Governance & Workflow

The new KSU website was built with you in mind: In fact, one of our primary goals was to make it easy to edit and update your content on the site. The key word in that sentence is “your.” The governance model for the site allows you to control and manage your own content – after all, you and the people in your area know your content best, so you should be able to manage it! And editing your content shouldn’t be terribly time consuming or arduous.

Website Governance & Approval

The KSU Cabinet approved a governance model for the website that provides for each area of the university to manage its own content. In effect, the experts in each area take care of their own content. For this model to work, however, we need to have clear roles established. The following shows who has authority over what in the KSU website hierarchy:

  • KSU brand is approved by the President and Cabinet
  • Website design is approved by the President and Cabinet
  • KSU homepage is managed by the Communication Department
  • University-wide announcements are managed by the Communication Department
  • Stand-alone sites, which must follow current branding and design guidelines, are regulated to content publishers and managed by the department head.
  • Department pages content and editing are approved by the department head.
  • Live/real-time content, which requires pre-approval, is managed by the applicable department head.
  • Site applications are owned by the department head.
  • Front page event announcements are managed by the applicable department and Web Content Manager.
  • Publishing is coordinated by the Web Content Manager.

General content is created and managed by local departments. The IT department will assist with complex content and applications. As you can see, the President and Cabinet have responsibility for approving the overall look and feel of the website, while our communication department is responsible for what appears on the home page and other KSU-wide content. At the same time, each department is responsible for its own content, within the design parameters established by the President and Cabinet.

Roles & Responsibilities

This governance structure also requires that there be checks and balances within each department to ensure that the website’s content meets certain criteria and standards for accuracy , grammatical correctness, quality, timeliness and propriety. In effect, we need to be certain that what is posted is well written, accurate, timely and appropriate. Toward that end, the Cabinet established three distinct roles in the editing process, each of which has different responsibilities.


Each area of the university may have one or more authors. Under the direction of their supervisor or editor or publisher (see below), authors are responsible for creating new pages and editing existing pages. An author can:

  • Create, edit or delete web pages in their area of the Web site
  • “Submit” their changes, to the editor or publisher for approval
  • Add/modify media in the Media Library

After an author creates or edits a page, he or she submits it and notifies the editor that it is ready for review.


Each area also may have multiple editors, at the discretion of the department head. Editors are responsible for reviewing content prepared by authors to ensure that it meets the criteria and standards mentioned above. An editor can:

  • Do all of the same things as an author but reviews web pages for content accuracy and grammatical errors.
  • Create and edit menus.

After an editor reviews and approves a page, he or she submits it and notifies the publisher that it is ready for review.


Each area must have at least one publisher, but may have more at the discretion of the department head. Publishers review pages from a higher perspective – namely for accuracy and alignment with KSU policies and procedures, and, in many ways, from a public relations perspective. When reviewing content, publishers might ask questions like, “Is this content appropriate and does it line up with stated university policy? Will it enhance or detract from the University’s standing among any of its audiences?” A publisher can:

  • Do all the same things as an author and editor.
  • Has the ability to “Approve” or “Decline” pages, which enables the changes to take effect on the live website immediately.
  • Maintains the standards, messaging and consistency of the university on the website.

The following flowchart shows the KSU website workflow hierarchy: workflow-final Whichever role you play, KSU is depending on you to keep your content up to date. You have an important role in communicating about KSU, but also in helping to market the university as a viable option for future students as well as those who are currently enrolled.


As a public institution of higher education, KSU has made a commitment to providing full access to people with disabilities to all of its facilities and programs, including this website. Toward that end, we are committed to doing everything we can or are required to do to make the site accessible. Much of this is controlled “behind the scenes,” but much of it is controlled by you, the author, editor or publisher. Which means that when you create pages – for example a page that includes an image – you must consider how someone who cannot see that image will interpret or benefit from it. Similarly, if you include an audio or video file (with sound) in the page, you need to consider how someone who is hearing impaired can use and benefit from that content. For images, you should consider using an “Alt tag,” or caption that essentially explains what the image conveys. A possible “Alt tag” or caption (visible adjacent to the image) for the flowchart above might be, “Flow chart of KSU website roles and workflow.” For audio or video files, you might include a link or text adjacent to the file that provides or offers to provide a transcript of the audio. For example, “A transcript of this video is available upon request. Contact <name or email> for information.”

WordPress Overview

As mentioned above, the new website was built using WordPress, an easy and intuitive content management system that allows for the addition of rich content and functionality to a website. When you complete this training, you will be able to easily create web pages that contain text, logos, photos, tables, charts, video and downloadable files (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). You will also be able to assign the page to your section of the website. WordPress also allows you to easily add staff members to the KSU directory, and to add your events to the website’s calendar.

Logging In

Of course, you’ll need to login to the KSU website before you can edit anything. Enter your username and password in the appropriate spaces and click “Login.” Wordpress Login Once you’ve logged in, you will see the WordPress Dashboard, which provides access to the various areas you can control in the website. Upon initial login, the Dashboard looks something like this: Wordpress Dashboard Regardless of your role (author, editor or publisher), you will be most interested in the left-hand menu items called Pages, Directory and Events. These menu items allow you to edit various things. Those you are most likely to use are:

  • Events: Allows you to post calendar items by category.
  • Media: This is where PDF files, Word documents, photos and videos can be uploaded, and where you can access those that have been uploaded previously.
  • Pages: Allows you to create and edit pages within your area of the website.
  • Directory: Allows you to create and edit faculty and staff directory entries, including text, photos, bios and resumes/curriculum vitae.
  • Video Tutorials: When you need help, you can start here. This library of tutorials will help you through many of the basic tasks.

Besides allowing you to add (create) a page, the WordPress editing window allows you to see a list of all your pages, so you can choose the page you want to work on. Once in the editing window for your page, you’ll be able to add and format text, and add files, images, video and more.

Creating & Editing Pages

It is always best to decide what you want to achieve with your page, and then to plan the page, before actually creating it.

For example, is your page simply informational? Or will you be asking visitors to take certain actions or review certain documents while on the page? Will your new page contain images? If so, which image(s) will you use, and how will they relate to – and enhance – the content on the page? Once you’ve determined those kinds of details, you also need to have the content ready for the page. All content must be approved before publishing, so you may want to consider the workflow in your own office: Who needs to review and approve the content, and what is the most efficient way for them to do so? WordPress allows you to type directly content into the content block, but you can also copy and paste as text from another document (Word, Notepad, etc.) and then adjust any formatting as you see fit.

Remember that our WordPress templates will determine fonts, colors, and styles for you. You will be able to edit some styles, such as bold, italics, placement of images, and so forth.

Page Editing Window

Once you are logged in and start creating a page or select a page to edit, you will see the page editing screen. This screen and the options available in it will change depending on the page template that is being used for the page. The following annotated screenshot shows the screen associated with the default page template, with explanations for each of its content areas.

To Create a Page


Log in to your user account. The link is available at the bottom of every page and is titled “Login.” In the Dashboard, place your cursor over “Pages” in the left-hand column. Add New to create a new page.

In the Page Attributes module in the right hand column:

  • Select the parent page.
  • Note: The parent page is the page that typically would lead to this page. For example:
    Foreign Languages (parent)
    Spanish (child)
    French (child)
    German (child)
    Mandarin (child)
  • Select a template. Template Options include:
    • Default Template: Use this template for most pages. It allows you to add content, images, sidebar navigation, and more).
    • Full Width, No Sidebar Template: Use this template for pages that contain content but do not require navigation within the section.
    • Landing Page Template: This is the primary page for a section of the website. Typically, the landing page is the page that is reached by clicking on a main menu item atop any page of the site (e.g., About KSU, Admissions, Future Students, Current Students, etc.)
  • Ignore the “Order” field, as we are not using it.

In the Default Template, you will see several fields. Use these fields to enter your main content. From top to bottom, they are:

  • addnewpageEnter Title Here (required, at the top of the page): The text you enter here will appear as the page heading, below the optional Featured Image and above any text or content on the page. It also will become part of the page URL.
  • Main Page Content Area (required): Any text, images, etc. you’d like to include in the page. If you paste text from another program, we strongly recommend that you paste as plain text, which will remove the formatting of your original document. Once your text is in the page, you can reformat it as necessary.

To see what your page will look like when published – but without saving your work – click on “Preview” at the top of the right-hand menu. This will open another tab in your browser so you can see the page. Each time you want to preview your changes, click “Preview” then open the new tab in your browser. You can also save the page as a draft then come back to it later by clicking on that option in the same area.

  • sidebarSidebar (optional): An optional feature when creating pages is to create and place a menu along the left margin. Such a menu should be specific to your section of the website to help visitors navigate within that section. The following image shows what such a menu would like on a page.
    • Note: The sidebar menu must be created by an editor before you can add it to a page. To add a sidebar menu to a page, scroll to the “Sidebar” module at the bottom of the page editing view, and use the dropdown menu to select the sidebar you’d like to display on the page.


Click on the Submit Page button when you are done editing the page.

  • You must notify your editor that you have a page ready for their review. You may do this personally or via e-mail. Be sure to give them the entire and correct page title.

Creating Sidebars

For editors, a step by step guide on how to create a sidebar:

  • Create the Menu
    • Go to Appearance > Menus in the left-hand navigation menu of the Dashboard.
    • At the top of the page, check the dropdown list of menus to confirm that one has not already been created for your area. (NOTE: There is a clear distinction between “Mega Menus” and “Sidebar Menus. You want to focus on sidebar menus for this task, although both appear in the dropdown menu!)
    • If your menu does not appear, click “create a new menu” to the right of the dropdown list.
    • Give your menu a descriptive name (e.g., “Arts & Sciences Sidebar Menu”).
    • Click “Create Menu”
    • In the column titled “Pages,” click on the check boxes to select the pages you want to include in your menu.
    • Click “Add to Menu” and the list of selected pages will appear under the Menu Structure heading.
    • Drag these menu items around to change their order and create hierarchy (indented menu items will be displayed below main items on the sidebar menu)
    • Don’t change the “Menu Settings” (Add Auto Menu) below your menu.
    • Click Save Menu
  • Creating a Sidebar/Widget Area
    • Go to Appearance > Sidebars
    • Click “add new sidebar” and give it a descriptive name (we suggest using the same name yo used above, minus the word “menu” e.g., “Arts & Sciences Sidebar”).
    • Click OK
  • Adding Menus and Widgets to a Widget Area
    • Go to Appearance > Widgets
    • In the right hand column, find the name of the sidebar you just created (e.g., “Arts & Sciences Sidebar”) and click on the triangle to the right of the name to expand the box.
    • In the Available Widgets box in the center of the page, drag the “Custom Menu” widget into the Widget Area in the box you just expanded.
    • Type the name of the menu you just created into the blank text field.
    • Select the menu you just created from the drop-down menu.
  • Apply the sidebar menu to a Page. At the bottom of the page, in the Sidebar box, use the dropdown menu to select the sidebar you’d like to display.


tablepressTo create a new table:

  • In the left-hand menu of the Dashboard, mouseover “TablePress,” then select “Add New Table”
  • In the Add New Table section, name and, optionally, describe your table.
  • Define the number of rows and columns in your table.
  • Click “Add Table”
  • Follow the prompts on the page to enter the content for each cell, relocate rows and columns, add images, etc.
  • Save Changes.
  • Using the left-hand menu in the Dashboard, go to Pages and All Pages, then find the page into which you want to insert the table.
  • Click to edit the page.
  • Place the cursor in the location on the page where you want the table to appear.
  • In the editor toolbar, select the “Insert a Table from Tablepress” button.
  • You will be prompted to select from a list the table you want to place on the page. Click “Insert Shortcode” for the desired table. The screen will revert to the editing window with the shortcode (something like, “[table “3” not found /]
    ” appearing on the page.
  • Click the “Save” or “Submit” or “Update” button.

To import an existing table:

  • In the left-hand menu of the Dashboard, mouseover “TablePress,” then select “Import a Table”
  • In the Import Tables section, choose the Import Source you wish to use.
    • Your choice will change the next line of the form to accommodate your selection
  • Select to Add a new table or Replace or Append to an existing table.
    • The dropdown menu will change according to your selection.
  • Click “Import”
  • Follow the prompts on the page and make any modifications to the table or its content as appropriate.
  • Click Save Changes.
  • Using the left-hand menu in the Dashboard, go to Pages and All Pages, then find the page into which you want to insert the table.
  • Click to edit the page.
  • Place the cursor in the location on the page where you want the table to appear.
  • In the editor toolbar, select the “Insert a Table from Tablepress” button.
  • You will be prompted to select from a list the table you want to place on the page. Click “Insert Shortcode” for the desired table. The screen will revert to the editing window with the shortcode (something like, “[table “3” not found /]
    ” appearing on the page.
  • Click the “Save” or “Submit” or “Update” button.


  • In the left-hand menu of the Dashboard, place your cursor over “Forms” then click on “New Form.”
  • Name the form descriptively so you can easily identify it later. Add a description if you would like.
  • Click “Create Form”
  • Using the form editor, click – in the right-hand column – on the fields you want to include in the form. They will be populated into the main section of the page, where you can click on “Edit” to manage that field’s settings (name, required or not required, number of characters accepted, etc.).
  • When you have finished adding and editing the fields, you may drag them into the order you desire.
  • Click the “Update Form” button.

To edit your form confirmations and notifications, click on “Forms” in the left-hand menu, then mouseover the form you want to edit. You’ll see several options. Select “Settings,” then click on the appropriate option and enter your preferred settings. This is also where you can select the confirmation message people see when they submit your form, determine whether they (or you) will get a notification email message, and you can define the content of those notifications and confirmations.

Embedding the form into your page:

  • While in edit mode for your page, place your cursor in the location of the main content area where you want the form to appear.
  • Click on the “Add Form” button directly atop the main content area.
  • Select the desired form from the dropdown list.
  • Click “Insert Form.” You’ll be taken back to the page editor and see that the form shortcode (something like “

    Oops! We could not locate your form.

    ” will be inserted into your page.
  • Click Update in the bottom right-hand corner of your page.

Photos, Video and Files

addmediaAt the top of every page is a link called, “Add Media.” Click on this link, and you’ll see to upload files to the website, or to select files that have been uploaded previously. After clicking the link, you will see several options, including:

  • Insert Media: the two options, Upload Files and Media Library, are fairly self-explanatory. Upload Files allows you to do just that – but we are still working on the process for providing approved photos.
  • Media Library allows you to select photos from those that have been approved and uploaded for your use. To insert a photo from the Library into your page, simply click on the photo (it will then be highlighted and a menu will appear to the right). Enter a photo caption, alt tag, description etc. in the block to the right (if it is empty and if, for example, an alt tag is required). Then choose your alignment and other settings, and click “Insert into Page.” Note that this area allows you to choose from four different size options. Be sure to select the size that best fits your purpose and page.
  • Create Gallery: Allows you to create a photo gallery within your page using photos you upload or that are available in the Media Library.
  • Set Featured Image: Allows you embed a large image atop the page. You can do this in the gallery by clicking on Add Media atop the page, or you can do it in the right-hand column, by clicking on “Set Featured Image, ” which will also take you to the Media Library.
  • Insert from URL: We recommend against doing this.
  • Video: To post a video on your page, we strongly recommend uploading it to Youtube or Vimeo. Once the video is posted there, you can copy the link to the video and simply paste it into the content area on your page.
  • Other files: You may upload files to the Media Library as well as other media. To do so, you simply select the file you want to upload, and do so just as with any other file.