WordPress Blogs and E-Newsletters
UND provides WordPress for blogs and MailPoet for e-newsletters.
Start a Blog or E-Newsletters
Each blog needs to have a primary blog administrator who will set up and manage access for the blog. Primary blog administrators should use their UND email address to set up the account.
E-newsletters are made in MailPoet through WordPress blogs. You must have a 'blogs.UND.edu' blog to access MailPoet.
Before starting a blog or e-newsletter, please train yourself on how to use WordPress using these resources. UND does not provide WordPress training or technical end user support.
- Ability to operate the Dashboard.
- Knowledge of WordPress Administration screens.
- WordPress Discussion Settings.
- Ability to differentiate posts and pages.
- Knowledge of how to work with categories and tags.
- Understanding of classic widgets.
- Understanding of the classic content editor.
- Managing classic menus.
- Managing user profiles.
UND WordPress Theme
UND created a custom WordPress theme that mirrors the design of the UND website to provide a consistent user experience between the two platforms. A user guide was developed to help blog managers use the custom features in the theme.
UND archives all blogs and e-newsletters after two years of inactivity.
A blog is one way for your department to deliver timely news and updates. Although blogs are created with the best intentions, about 50% of UND blogs fail in the first year or never come to fruition. Consider the following before starting a blog:
- Blogging takes a lot of effort. You need to put in time and energy into writing, researching, sourcing images, etc.
- Setting up a blog takes a level of technical savvy. You don’t need to be a computer programmer, but you do need to have the ability to do the work yourself.
- Plan a 12-month editorial calendar. You should have something you need to communicate about every month.
If a blog isn’t the right fit for you, explore other available communication channels.
Writing for Blogs
Each blog should have a specific purpose, point of view and personality. Many blogs have an informal, personable tone, whereas others are more formal. Develop a voice and persona for your blog to carry through each post that is consistent with the strategy, audience needs and communications style of the organization you represent.
Frequency of Posts
Fresh content is very important. A good benchmark is one post per week, but it will depend on the type of blog. Ideally, two posts a week will keep your readers up-to-date and coming back.
UND archives all blogs after two years of inactivity.
Since UND is providing this platform, make sure that you preserve the University's integrity and your own.
Your visitors can subscribe to your blog using RSS. You can also use your blog to automatically “feed” posts to your website.
Allowing comments is encouraged on blogs because they allow you to engage with your audience. By default, all comments will require the administrator's approval before posting. If you change this setting to allow comments without approval, please understand that spam may become an issue.
Creating a blog moderation policy is also encouraged. Have a consistent and clearly-stated approach for all comments to help promote trust with your blog's audience. There are a number of online resources you can turn to for information on blog moderation policies.
To make your blog as inclusive as possible, be sure you meet accessibility standards. Review this WordPress support guide on how to comply with ADA regulations.
The MailPoet plugin allows you to build a custom e-newsletters that integrate with WordPress. Email your branded newsletter to your subscribers with the ability to track analytics. E-newsletter services are only available for emails that go to lists managed outside of Blackboard. You must maintain your own subscriber list(s).
If you want a public archive of your e-newsletters, it is recommended to create them as posts or a series of posts in a blog. These posts can be dragged and dropped into your e-newsletter. The blog will serve as your public archive.
Create a Newsetter
- Go to MailPoet in the black left nav bar
- Click the blue '+ New Email' button in the top of the page next to the MailPoet logo
- In the Newsletter box, click Create
- There is a custom UND branded template saved under templates
- Click 'Select'
- Make the newsletter
Header & Footer Images
Add header and footer images using UND brand elements and your official department name.
Header image spec: 660px x 150 px, RGB
Footer image spec: 600px x 64px, RGB
Format your text and newsletter components under the Styles tab.
|Color HEX #
- Text line height: 1.6
- Heading line height: 1.6
|Color Hex #
|Links (must be underlined)
|"View in Browser"