To start with some apologies, I’ve been writing this blog post for about 3 months. This is not how I’d recommend you blog!
So, I was thinking about our service wearing my old School hat. That is, the perspective I would have had in my previous job as the School IT Manager in History, Classics and Archaeology.
Previous me would have been a big fan of this service. Why? Well, for a number of reasons!
- I was spending too much of my time monitoring, maintaining, backing up and generally managing a plethora of WordPress sites, spread over a number of different hosts all with a different combination of themes and plugins which needed to be kept up-to-date.
- I was spending too much time resetting WordPress usernames and passwords when they were forgotten, (sometimes even my own – ahem).
- I was spending too much time trying to make each of the WordPress sites look a bit like it really belonged at the University – ensuring I wasn’t breaking branding rules but with no time to build a theme that I could re-use, that really fitted what we wanted.
- I was spending too much time worrying about privacy notices and cookies and whether we were GDPR compliant or not.
The advantage of using our (relatively) new blogs.ed platform is :
- We keep the platform up-to-date and secure, meaning you don’t need to worry!
- To use it, you need to log in to EASE, so hopefully that makes it harder to forget your username and password.
- It has a University theme, an EdGEL one, and the theme totally meets all the branding requirements and rules, and looks nice!
- The platform has a standard footer which has lots of useful links in it but also has a standard cookie banner which also provides a standard privacy statement, so that’s all covered, without me (as a School IT Manager) having to worry.
We have a team of people working on the platform, with a variety of different skills, meaning you don’t have to be expert in a variety of areas in order to get a blog set up that looks like a University blog and is secure. We have technical experts who write plugins which don’t set nasty cookies, who have set up the service to use EASE and with a theme that follows EdGEL and are constantly developing new functionality which works in-line with University best practice. Currently they are working on archival and deletion processes to ensure our service always fits in with GDPR. We have people who are hugely experienced bloggers and who can give you lots of advice on how to blog, sharing best practice about techniques, how to be an accessible blogger, how to ensure you don’t break copyright law and lots of other areas like that.
To find out more, see our Academic Blogging pages and specifically, if you want to use the blogs.ed.ac.uk platform, we have loads of help and guidance available.
Featured image: CC0 – Jess Waters, Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/photos/l3N9Q27zULw