Web Tools: Profiles

There is a common need to present profiles on Bowdoin web sites. Student profiles, alumni profiles, faculty profiles all follow a general theme which is to provide a listing of a collection of profiles and the ability to view each profile separately. Typically a profile consists of:

  • title
  • description (content)
  • image (optional)
  • summary or tagline (optional)

In the past, profiles were built using CMS' activity streams which could be difficult to maintain. A newer option is to use a WordPress based solution to maintain profiles. If you wish to switch from an activity stream based profile system to the newer WP based system, contact Digital and Social Media about making the change.

Using the Word Press Profiles Tool

First, you will be set up as an author in WordPress with the ability to create new posts. Once you have been set up, you can simply go to the Profiling Tool and login. 

Adding a profile entry

  1. From the Dashboard, choose Posts->Add New from the lefthand menu.
  2. In the first field that appears under the "Add a New Post" text, enter the title of your post. This will frequently be the name of the person being profiled with perhaps their classyear, job title, or some brief descriptor.
  3. Directly below this is the area for putting in the profile "story." Text entry for this field is very much like how you would enter text in CMS.
  4. Below the story field you should see an additional smaller field titled "Excerpt." If you don't see this, look in the top-right corner of your page and find the text that says "Screen options." Click that text to reveal the "Show on Screen" menu. Make sure the excerpt checkbox is checked. Click the "screen options" text again to hide the menu.

    The Excerpt field is for putting in text that people will see along with the profile title in certain displays. It could be a quick summary, a key quote, or whatever might encourage a viewer to want to see more.
  5. On the right side of your post entry edit screen, you will see box for Category. Make sure you select the one (there may be only one) that relates to this profile you are building
  6. Below the Category box, is the Featured Image box. Click the "Set featured image" text to add a profile picture. You will initially be taken to a page that shows images already in the library, but you will probably need to upload a new one. Click the "Upload Files" tab.
  7. Use the "Select Files" button to locate the image on your computer that you wish to upload. Once the image has been added, click the "set featured image" button on the bottom right side of the page.
  8. Lastly, if you are ready to publish, click the "Publish" button on the right side of the page.
  9. Your profile entry has been created.

Getting a new entry on your website

Once you have created your profile entry, you need to let CMS republish the page that contains your profiles so it can appear. Locate the page that displays your profiles and simply republish it. If you have a widget on something like your homepage that displays these profiles, you will want to republish that page too. This same process works for displaying changes to past entries.