Search Google Appliance

Information Technology

Blogs F.A.Q.

Frequently asked questions about Blogs at UMass Amherst are answered below.

What is a blog?

Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is an online journal that can be updated regularly and is intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally reflect the personality of the author or the Web site.

How do I get a blog on the Blogs at UMass Amherst server?

IT’s blogging service is open to all students, faculty, and staff at UMass Amherst. To log in to your blog, just go to blogs.umass.edu and log in using your IT Account NetID and password. Your blog is waiting for you!

What is my blog’s URL?

Your blog’s URL is http://blogs.umass.edu/NetID/ Where NetID is your IT Account NetID. Note: We cannot change the URL for your blog.

What is the storage quota for my Blogs at UMass Amherst account?

UMass bloggers are each allotted 1 GB of space. In addition, there is an upload limit of 20 MB per upload. If you require more space, we recommend using Google Apps at UMass Amherst or Box (Secure Online Storage at UMass Amherst), where you have unlimited storage. You can link from your blog to a file stored on Google Drive or Box, so long as you set the sharing privileges for the file to "anyone with the link" or "public."

How do I create a blog for a course?

Instructors who already have a Course IT Account can log in with their account name and password. Don’t have a Course IT Account? Use SPIRE to create one for any course that you are teaching. More...

How do I create a blog for a department?

Many departments already have an IT email account they use for departmental functions (e.g., as a contact email address on a department Web site). We recommend that staff members use this account to log in to Blogs at UMass Amherst and to create a blog for their department.

If, for some reason, this account is not appropriate for blogging purposes, please come to the IT Help Center, A109 LGRC (Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). For security reasons, you must come in person. Don’t forget your UCard!

What software does Blogs at UMass Amherst use?

Blogs at UMass Amherst use WordPress, an open-source blogging platform used by many other colleges and Universities. For more information, see http://wordpress.org.

Where can I get help with my blog?

To get help, contact the IT Help Center at (413) 545-9400 or fill out an online Help Request. You can also click the Help link at the top-right corner of every page in your blog's admin interface or visit the WordPress web site.

How can I remove my blog from the blog directory?

If you do not want your blog to be included in the Blogs at UMass Amherst directory, on your blog Dashboard, go to Settings > Reading and select Discourage search engines from indexing this site.

By changing this setting, your blog will be removed from the directory and will be prevented from being found by Google and other search engines. For more information, see: Restrict Access to your Blog.

I’m having a lot of problems setting up a theme. What can I do?

WordPress is open-source, so a majority of the themes were created by volunteer developers. While most themes are bug-free, some may have errors we didn’t catch. For more information, see: A Guide to Blog Themes.

If you’re having a lot of trouble with a particular theme, we recommend that you choose another, simpler theme from the list. The native WordPress themes, Twenty Twelve, through Twenty Seventeen, are an easy choice.

Can I upload my own theme or modify an existing theme?

We are not allowing people to create and upload their own themes WordPress themes. Instead, we suggest that you use the customization options included in almost all of the provided themes. If you know how, any theme is customizable using CSS.

Find a theme you really like? Because WordPress is open-source, volunteer developers from all over the world have developed WordPress themes and offer them for use through an open-source license. If you find one you really want us to install, please contact the IT Help Center. We will review your request and respond to it via email.

How do I update my readers on new content in my blog?

Your followers can subscribe to your blogs's RSS feed using a Feed aggregator, or by pulling post content onto a Website. See Syndication Feed on our Configure Blog Settings help page.

I found a great WordPress theme/widget/plugin I’d like to use. Can you install it on your server?

Please contact the IT Help Center and let us know. We will then review your request to ensure it meets our technical requirements and respond via email.

How private is my UMass Amherst blog?

Your UMass Amherst blog is not private. Blogs are public Web sites that can be viewed by anyone with Internet access.

Use caution when posting personal or sensitive information on your UMass blog, as this information can be viewed and shared by the public. Please refer to IT’s Acceptable Use Policy for more information.

What will happen to my blog when I graduate?

You will be able to update your blog for 6 months after your graduate. When these 6 months have passed, you will no longer be able to write posts, nor will your blog be accessible as a public Web site. We recommend that you export your blog and save it to your computer before these 6 months have passed, otherwise your blog will be deleted permanently.

How do I back up my blog?

To back up your blog, log in to your blog and go to Tools > Export > Download Export File. WordPress will create an XML file for you to save to your computer, which will contain all your posts, comments, categories, media files such as images, and custom settings.

How do I delete one of my blog posts?

In order to delete a blog post, log in to your blog, and on the Dashboard main menu, click Posts. The Posts screen will open with a list of your posts. Move your mouse over the name of the post you wish to delete, and from the links that appear below the post name, click Trash. Note: A deleted post can be retrieved from the Trash until the Trash is emptied.

How do I delete my UMass Amherst blog in its entirety?

In order to delete your entire blog account, log in to your blog, go to Tools > Delete Site. On the Delete Site page, select I’m sure I want to permanently disable my site, and I am aware I can never get it back or use blogs.umass.edu again. Then click Delete My Site Permanently. An email containing a link will be sent to your University email. Clicking on this link will permanently delete your blog account. Please keep in mind that your UMass Amherst Blog can never be retrieved once you've deleted it permanently.

You may prefer instead to restrict access to your blog to Administrators (i.e., you when you are logged in): Log into your blog's Dashboard and go to Reading, then for Site Visibility, select Visible only to administrators of this site.