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Blogging at UD

Blogs User Guide

Use this guide to create and publish blog posts to the UD Blogs website

Note: You must have a Cascade account to publish blog posts. See the Accounts section on the homepage for more information.

Note: New blog sites should be requested by unit web managers using the Blog Request Form.

Note: If your blog site is brand new, please read the Appendix at the end of this guide for set-up instructions.

Blog Post Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create and publish a blog post.

  1. Visit cascade.udayton.edu
  2. Login with your University of Dayton username and password. 
  3. Select Blogs from the sites menu in the upper left corner. Then right click on your blog in the left panel folders and select "View". The folder organization of each blog site varies, so take notice of how your site’s folders are set up.
  4. Make sure you right-click and select "View" on the correct year and month (if appropriate) for your new post before proceeding.
  5. Go to "Add Content" >> "[Your Blogsite] Post" to start a new post.
  6. Follow the steps, below, to fill in the blog post template.

Page Name (can’t be changed after saved)

  1. Enter a name for the post using this format: yy-mm-dd-blog-post-title
  2. The page name becomes the URL of your blog entry, so it can’t have spaces. Example: If the blog post entry is “Today I Went to Class” you would use: "18-01-31-today-i-went-to-class"

Placement Folder:

  1. This should already be set to your blog, but you might need to choose a subfolder to store the post in a year or month folder. If so, click in the placement folder field to open the folder chooser.
  2. In the chooser, click on the current year’s folder and then click the radio button for the correct month that the post belongs in.
  3. Click “Choose”.

Other Settings:

  1. Title: Change the placeholder text to the headline of your post. Use standard capitalization. This will display.
  2. Author: Your name here (optional – If the field is completed it will display like it does here - https://www.udayton.edu/blogs/engineering/16-4-18-it-flies-usa-sp16.php.  If the field is left blank then nothing displays.)
  3. Start Date: The date you’re posting the blog. By default, it is set to the current time/date.  If you’re posting a blog from a prior time – you can change it here.
  4. Include in email newsletters: Only check this box if the post is written for an external audience, such as UD alumni. If the post is internal in nature, i.e. for current students or employees, do not check the box. If checked, the post will be included in the Cerkl newsletter subscriptions according to subscriber’s preferences.
  5. Blog Name: Don’t change this!
  6. Tags: Select a tag for your entry – especially if you want it included in e-mail newsletters. To apply multiple tags, CNTRL+Click to select.
  7. Primary tag: One of these must be selected if you want the post included in the email newsletter. Only select one primary tag.

Blog Single

  1. Thumbnail and Feature Images: Ignore the thumbnail section – it has been discontinued. The Feature image shows at the top of your blog post entry and also gets used as a thumbnail in article listings and, if designated, the email newsletter. It should be sized to at least 725px in width with a width:height ratio of 3:2.  NOTE ABOUT CASCADE WEBSITES: Try to ALWAYS include a feature image so that the post can be utilized by other locations in Cascade websites such as featured articles sections.  For full info about using images, see “Uploading Photos and Documents”, below. NOTE: If there is a default image in the feature section, it is recommended that you provide a different image.
  2. Teaser: This is the “intro” to your post that appears wherever a list of articles is displayed, such as your blog homepage, the full UD Blogs homepage, and email newsletters.  One to three sentences is plenty. A teaser is not required, but strongly recommended.  If you don’t provide teaser text, then listings will just pull the first hundred or so characters from your post content in the next section, which is fine.
  • NOTE: Don’t enter your full blog post as a teaser.
  • NOTE: The teaser is only used for the listing of blog posts. If you want the teaser text to also display on the post itself, copy and paste the teaser content into the Post Content section.
  1. Post Content: This is where you type your actual post!
  2. Add any options -- Photos, Related Links or a Video (see “Blog Post Options” section of this guide).
  3. Click "Save & Preview", then "Submit".
  4. The first screen you may see is the spell checker (if there are spelling errors). Make changes as necessary.
  5. The second screen you may see is the link checker (if there are broken links). This will be rare – if it does happen, look at the link it says doesn’t work.  If it does work, just ignore it.  Sometimes the link checker has false positives.  If the link is broken, fix it.
  6. Finally, you’ll see the page come back to your entry and the pop-up box at the bottom of the screen says that your edits were successful. Check over your post in this preview.
  7. Click the Publish button, then click "Publish". (You don’t have to change any of the pre-selected settings.)
  • NOTE: You don’t have to publish right away. You can come back it later, make more changes if you want, setup some of the optional features, etc., that’s fine.  Publish it when you are ready.
  • Also NOTE: If you only want to publish a preview, uncheck the box in the Destination sections for [yourblog] Production and Database – [yourblog] Production. Then, publish. You can preview it at: "http://www-staging.udayton.edu/blogs/yourblog/[yy-mm-dd-your-blog-post].php"
  1. Your blog will appear at: udayton.edu/blogs/yourblog/yourblog-subfolder/blog-post.php

Uploading Photos and Documents

If you want to include any images or links to documents (like PDFs), you need to import them to Cascade. There are two ways to import them. Many people find that it helps to do this before you start the new blog post. Also, images taken on phones might not display in the correct rotation (might appear sideways). See the note at the end of this section for correcting the rotation.

Method A: Import an Image or File (PDF, .doc, .xls, etc.) to Cascade

  1. Go to Add Content >> Image (or File), depending on what you are uploading.
  2. File Name: Don’t enter anything. Once you have chosen an image or doc, Cascade will apply the filename of your image or document file including the extension (so, class_picture.jpg or something like that – whatever it is saved on your computer as).
  3. Placement Folder: Set the placement folder to yourblog/_resources/images or yourblog/_resources/docs, as appropriate.
  4. Title: Give the image or doc a short title
  5. Skip Start Date
  6. Review date – this should be set already. You can select a different review date, if desired.
  7. If it is an image, you’ll now see some basic editing tools in the Edit File Contents section (crop, resize, etc.) It’s recommend that you edit your images before you import them, however. The editing tools don’t work very well.
  8. Click "Save & Preview", then "Submit". You’ll see your image or document or be prompted to download your file (which you can cancel).  Then, click the Publish button and click "Publish". 

Method B: Import an Image to Cascade While Editing a Blog Post

If you want, you can upload an image WHILE you are editing a blog post. But you must follow the steps in the correct order to save yourself headaches later.

In any of the fields where images can be used (feature image, Post Content area), follow these steps:

  1. For the feature image, click in the chooser box to open the “Choose a File” pane. From the Post Content area, click the insert image tool and then “Choose File.”
  2. In the window that opens, click "Upload".
  3. Drag a photo from your desktop into the chooser box or click on “choose” to browse to your photo.
  4. Check the placement folder where the image will be stored. In the dropdown, set it to Blogs. In the breadcrumb beneath the dropdown, make sure it reads “Blogs / [yourblog]”. If it doesn’t, click on the word “Blogs” and then CLICK ON THE FOLDER ICON for your blog in the list. (Don’t click the radio button next to your blog.)
  5. CLICK ON the _resources folder (not the radio button).
  6. Click the radio button for the images (img) folder.
  7. Click “Choose” in the upper right to complete the upload process. The image will now be inserted in your blog as well.

NOTE: Photos taken on phones:

The rotation of an image has to do with the device it was taken with and viewed on.  When taking a photo with an iPhone, for example, the orientation of the phone is recorded and stored as extra data in the image.  When the image is viewed on an iPhone compatible device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.) it reads the extra data to determine what the orientation of the image should be.  An Android phone may not read the extra data so the image displays as intended.  iPhone is trying to be helpful but really it isn't.  There are two ways to fix it:  a) make sure the phone or camera is rotated the correct way when taking the photo; or b) use a tool to remove the extra data.  Caveat - we have no idea how to tell if the camera or device is rotated the correct way. Here's some more information on option b:

Images contain metadata; information such as location the picture was taken, what type of camera it was taken with, and when it was taken. Another piece of information that can be included is the orientation of the camera when the picture was taken. You can remove this metadata, called EXIF data, in a couple of ways.

  • On a Mac, the best way we found was to use a tool called ImageOptim (https://imageoptim.com/howto.html)
  • On Windows, you can right click the image, select properties, and go to the details tab. At the bottom you should see a link to "Remove Properties and Personal Information"

Blog Post Options

Carousel Slide

You can add photos here. They will display in a click-through carousel at the bottom of the post. You can include as many images as you want. General rule of thumb for images sizes is 600px by 400 px, but any similar size will work. Try to make carousel images about the same size. See an example here: https://udayton.edu/blogs/honors/2018/8_december.php

  1. Image: Choose a previously uploaded image or follow the Method B steps for uploading an image. Previously uploaded images should show up in the chooser, otherwise type the name to search or click browse to find the image directly.
  2. Image Alt Text: Enter a short description of the image – this is not a caption; it is in the background for screen readers for accessibility.  The Alt Text does not display.
  3. Slide Title: Keep this very short. It will display next to the image. Optional.
  4. Slide Sub Headline: Optional.
  5. Slide Teaser: Enter a caption for the photo. Optional.
  6. Click the green plus sign (Add New Group) in Carousel Slide section bar to add another photo. Click the minus sign if to remove the section.  You can also use the arrows that come up when you have more than one if you want to change the order.

Related Links

See an example of related links here: https://udayton.edu/blogs/daytondocket/2014/20141113-twoyearvideo.php

  1. Link Title: What the link should be labeled
  2. External Link: Not used.
  3. External Link URL: Type or paste the full URL here.  Make sure to include the https://
  4. Related Document: Click Search and your already-uploaded file should pop up in the recent list, otherwise type the name to automatically search or click "Browse" to find the file directly.
  5. If you want to add more related links, click the tiny plus sign in the upper left of the block. Click the minus sign to remove one if you add too many. You can also use the arrows that come up when you have more than one if you want to change the order.

YouTube Video

The video will display at the bottom of the post. See an example of a youtube video in use here:  https://udayton.edu/blogs/daytondocket/2014/20141113-twoyearvideo.php

  1. Youtube Video URL: needs to be the correct form of the URL. Click the video’s share button and copy the URL. (Do not use the “embed” link.)
  2. Slide Title: Keep this very short. It will display next to the video. Optional.
  3. Slide Sub Headline: Optional.
  4. Slide Teaser: Enter a caption for the video. Optional.

APPENDIX

Index Page Set Up

The only thing you might want to change is the Lead Story. Otherwise, leave all other settings as is. If you think you want these changed, contact and discuss with UDit, itservicecenter@udayton.edu.

Lead Story: If desired, select one of your existing blog posts to appear full-width across the page. Publish the index page whenever you change the lead story.

Blog RSS Parameters: If these fields are blank, go ahead and fill an a contact email address in the "Managing Editor" field and a brief teaser or description of the blog. Both of these fields will help your blog get used by RSS feeders.

Page Navigation and Sidebar Set Up

Manual navigation and button links appear in the sidebar on all of your blog site pages. Any changes you make to the manual navigation will be applied to all the pages. You must republish all your pages/posts if you change the manual navigation.

By default, there are two manual navigation links provided with your site: UD Blogs Home and your blog’s homepage. Also, as part of the blog site set-up, there are two button links already in the sidebar: RSS Feed and Subscribe to Newsletter. It’s recommended these four items remain as is.  If there are other links relevant to your blogsite that you want to provide users, add them to the Blogs-Nav-Links component:

Adding Links to the Sidebar

To add other links to the sidebar:

  1. In _resources/components/, right click on “Blog Nav Links” and click "Edit".
  2. Scroll to the last “Main Link” section and click the green plus sign/add new group button.
  3. Enter the link text.
  4. For the link type, choose internal to link to another webpage in Cascade. Choose external to paste in a URL of a page not found in Cascade.
  5. Click "Save & Preview", then "Submit". This saves your changes.
  6. Republish your blogsite to update all posts and the index page with the new sidebar links.

NOTE: The option to “Include sublinks” does not work in the blog sites. Ignore the option.

Adding A Contact Information Block (Optional)

If you want contact information displayed on the index page and all posts, you’ll need to create a Contact-Information block and store it in a specific location, detailed below.

  1. Go to “Add Content" >> "Contact Information".
  2. For the name, type in “contact-info-yourblogsite".
  3. IMPORTANT: Set the placement folder to your blog site’s “_resources/components” folder.
  4. Fill in as much information as you want to display.
  5. If you have any social media sites, you will need to separately set up “symlinks” of the URLs to use in the Contact Information block. See the next section for details.
  6. Save and submit the Contact Information block.
  7. Republish the blog site to update the index page and all posts with the new contact information.

Creating Symlinks

  1. Make sure you have saved/submitted the Contact Information block. You’ll come back to it after you create symlinks for your social media URLs.
  2. From the “Add Content” menu, select “External Link”.
  3. For the Link Name, enter the name of the social media site and your blog site, e.g. twitter-dayton-docket.
  4. Set the placement folder to the blog site’s _resources/components folder.
  5. Skip the display name and title fields – they are not used anywhere.
  6. Copy and paste the URL of your social media site into the Link field.
  7. Leave the Tags field empty.
  8. Save and submit.
  9. Create a separate symlink for each of your social media sites.
  10. Go back to the Contact Information block and edit it.
  11. Scroll to the bottom to the “Social Media Info” section.
  12. Select a source from the Type dropdown.
  13. In the link field, select the corresponding symlink you just created.
  14. To add additional social media, click the green plus (Add new group) button.

How to Use the RSS Feed Button

Your blog sidebar is set up with a button to "Get RSS Feed." This button will open the browser's RSS feed reader so that the user can subscribe to and read the blog in their preferred RSS feed reader. Chrome does not have a built-in RSS reader. To get the RSS feed in Chrome, search for and enable the "Chrome RSS Feed Reader" extension. Once enabled, when the "Get RSS Feed" button is clicked, a prompt to subscribe to the blog will display.  

For any RSS feed reader, the URL of the blog's RSS feed can be acquired by hovering on the "Get RSS Feed" button and copying the button's link address. This link can be pasted into the RSS feed reader to subscribe.

CONTACT

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