The EmbedPress plugin claims to be able to embed content from over 100 sources, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and a host of others. It will embed PPTsm PDFs, Docx, and many other types of files.

Once you’ve activated the plugin, you will see “EmbedPress” option on your dashboard. Here you can simply paste in the URL of your content and hit generate. If you are able to embed it, you will see the shortcode is automatically created. just paste it into your post or block.

 

EmbedPress also integrates nicely with the Block Editor. Select the EmbedPress block, paste in the url, and hit embed:If EmbedPress

If EmbedPress doesn’t work for your content, check out Embedding Content From Other Sites for alternatives.

There are almost 8,000 sites on the Commons and the Sites Directory lets members filter the list by Keyword, Campus, Purpose, and Tags.

Filters narrow search results – they have an implicit “and” condition. However, both the Campus and Purpose filters allow you to pick more than one option. So within these filters there is an “or” condition.  So if you check “BMCC” and “Baruch” in the Campus filter and “Class Project” and “Committee” in the Purpose filter you will display all sites from BMCC OR Baruch AND with a class project OR committee purpose.

If no filters are entered, you will see four “Featured” sites, followed by the last active sites on the Commons. Once a filter is applied, the “Featured sites” section will not display.

The filtered list can then be sorted by Last Active, Newest, or Alphabetical.

To remove all filters, simply click on the “Reset” button.

If you are logged into the Commons, you can also:

  • filter search results by “My Sites” or the sites you follow
  • filter search results by the sites you are following (“My Sites“)
  • use the convenient “Create a Site” hyperlink to create a site
  • Follow” a Site. Once you follow a site, it will appear in the “Following” list and on My Commons.

Site metadata can be set up at site creation, or edited from the WordPress Dashboard at Settings>>General.

Site avatars can be added at Appearance>>Customize>>Site Identity. Here you can add an avatar which will replace the default. If you are an admin of a site and the site is in your search results and it is using a default avatar, you can click the paint brush icon on the bottom right corner of the card to add a new avatar.

Please note that sites have several layers of visibility. If the site is visible only to its administrators, it will only appear in the list if you are an admin of the site. If the site is only visible to logged-in members, it will only appear in the list if you are logged into the Commons. If the site is totally public, it will always appear.

 

 

 

The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to be called the blog roll), in which posts are listed in reverse data order. But the query loop is a post page on steroids – it can be added to a post, page, template, or reusable block. You can control which fields you want to show and how many items you want to display, both per page and in total.

Courtsey of WordPress.org

As you can see, the block can be added like any other block. In the example above, the short cut “/q” is used to quickly access add the block.

Next, you decide how you want to display the results of your query. This can be done with the forward and backward arrows, with the screen icon, or with the grid icon. In any case, you choose which template you want to use, such as Standard, Image at Right, Small image and title, Grid, Offset, and Large Title.

You can also just start out blank. If you choose blank you will be given four basic variations, seen in the video below:

Courtesy of WordPress.org

No matter which way you start, you can always click List View later to change things around.

The Query Loop block has many settings to use to control what is displayed:

Additional settings can be found in the block’s toolbar.

Here are found setting to control how many post you want to show, how many should appear on a page (for pagination), and offset. Offset is the number of posts to skip before beginning the loop.

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block.

Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block and got the format exactly like you want, save it as a reusable block:

Making a Block Reusable:

But be careful. Unlike Block Patterns, if you change anything within a Resusable Block, all the blocks will reflect this change.

Using a Reusable Block on another post

The block below is Reusable Block, built with a Query Loop block. It displays title and excerpt from pages tagged “block editing.”

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list

On the Commons, we now have two plugins – Atomic Blocks and Kadence Blocks – that provide libraries of custom blocks. When you activate the plugins and click to add a block, scroll down to see a separate section for each of these plugins that lists available blocks. (The Atomic Blocks theme also is available and works well with both libraries. Let us know if you want to make it available on your site.)

Available Blocks

  • Section & Layout Block – demo
  • Advanced Columns Block – demo
  • Newsletter Block – Demo
  • Pricing Block – Demo
  • Post Grid Block – Demo
  • Container Block – Demo
  • Testimonial Block – Demo
  • Inline Notice Block – Demo
  • Accordion Block – Demo
  • Share Icons Block – Demo
  • Call-To-Action Block – Demo
  • Customizable Button Block – Demo
  • Spacer & Divider Block – Demo
  • Author Profile Block – Demo
  • Drop Cap Block – Demo

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

What is a Block Pattern?

A Block Pattern is a collection of blocks that make up a design that can be re-used. Instead of starting from a blank page and building from scratch, users can look for a pattern that closely resembles how their page might be laid out, and copy and paste it into the editor.

Then the work begins. Users will need to customize the block, perhaps replace text and images, delete sections which they don’t want. This all is made easier via the Block List View.

Where Can I Find Block Patterns?

There are at least three places to look for Block Patterns.

1. The WordPress Pattern Page (https://wordpress.org/patterns/)

Here you will find a growing list of curated patterns collected by wordpress.org designers. There are useful filters (highlighted below) to facilitate your search.

Screenshot of the Patterns Page

2. GutenbergHub (https://builder.gutenberghub.com/)

Go to this site and build your page via the official patterns curated by WordPress. You will not be able to change the pattern on this site. You just click on the “Copy Code” button and then paste it into your page. Then customize it as you like.

3. Your Block Theme

If you are using a block theme, click on the plus sign at the top of your edit screen. This will reveal a panel that displays all the blocks that are available to you in the “Blocks” tab. If your theme has any patterns, they will display in the “Patterns” tab. If you have any reusable blocks, they will be displayed in the “Reusable Blocks” tab.

Screenshot of a Block Theme's Pattern Tab


You can also click on the “Explore” button to get a full width display of the available patterns.

How Do I Use A Block Pattern?

Once you’ve found a pattern you like, how do you move forward?

With a Page or Post

Once you’ve found a pattern you like, simply copy and paste it into a block on your post or page.You’ll probably need to change text and images and maybe tweak the colors, but a block pattern provides a good foundation for your content.

Some patterns are designed to be used for special purposes, such as a header or footer. You can use a pattern any way you want, but the result may not be what you want. The pattern page has tabs at the top that separate patterns into categories. The default is “All.”

With A Site Template (if using a Full Site Editing theme)

If you the think the pattern could be used globally on your site, add it to one of your WordPress templates. Copy/paste it into wherever you choose. For more information on this, see Full Site Editing.

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

It is easy to get confused when using the block editor on complex designs. Often a block will have multiple blocks inside it, and each of these blocks may have any number of blocks inside it. This is particularly true if you are using a block pattern designed by someone else.

List View Icon

“List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar.

In the example below, a block pattern from the Twenty Twenty-Two theme is used.

The complex block outline is displayed in “List View” on the left side of the content:

How Do Interpret My List View Mean?

In the example above, List View shows that the page is contained in a Group block. Within the group block there is a Columns block that displays three columns. The first column block has only one column within it, the second columns block has three columns inside it, and the third has three columns. Without the list view, it would be hard to figure all this out.

Using List View to Access Block Stettings

List view also makes it easy to navigate to a specific block and change its content and settings. As you click down the outline the corresponding block will be highlighted on your page or post. You can directly edit the block or you can hover over the item in the list view and click on the three vertical buttons to access its options.

The example above shows what happens when the three buttons are clicked on a selected (i.e. highlighted) block. As you can see, a number of options become available, including the option to remove the block. Remember if you remove a block, all the blocks contained within within it will be also be removed.

In List View, you can also drag and drop blocks to other places on your page, or into a container block.

To get out of the list view, simply click the X at the top right hand corner.

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

What Is Full Site Editing?

Full Site Editing (“FSE“) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works and how templates are used in WordPress. FSE lets user interact with the theme’s underlying templates.

First released in WordPress 5.9, FSE lets users display complex content without the use of child themes or page builders. It lets a non-developer jump out of the confines of a rigid theme, with its identical header, logo, navigation, and footer.

Users can actually edit the templates WordPress uses to display content. But “edit” does not mean changing the underlying code. Users can now edit templates using the same block editor they use to create pages and posts. And if they want, they can create totally new templates to suit their needs.

How Do I Get Started?

The Commons currently has only one theme which supports FSE, but as its use becomes more wide-spread, there will be more. Already theme authors are developing free FSE themes. To get started, activate WordPress’s newest default theme – Twenty Twenty Two – which offers FSE.

Site Editor

In the toolbar at the top of the page, you will see a new option called “Edit Site.” When you click on this option, by default you will be taken to your “Home” template, but you can access your other templates.

The “Home” template displays your posts in reverse chronological order (when you are not using a static page in the Appearance>>Reading setting).

As you can see, the Editor is still in beta mode – it is being actively worked on by a team of developers, and the UI will continue to improve

Templates

WordPress displays content based on templates and template parts. Usually (but not always), a template “includes”  template parts, such as a common header and footer.

Here are the templates available for the Twenty Twenty-Two theme:

All these templates can be customized and if needed, be reverted back to their original state.

A user can create a new “Front Page” template by clicking the “Add New” hyperlink, highlighted above, but it will not show up in the page template drop down. It will simply replace the default template used when a visitor first visits your site.

If you want to create a new template that will show up in the template drop down, go to the page settings in the right edit panel and click on the “New” hyperlink. You will taken to the template editor where you can design your new template, using template parts, block patterns, or reusable blocks.

Template Parts

Template parts are global elements that can be added to each template. Here is a screenshot of the themes template parts:

As you can see, a user can add a new template part. These can be used with the “Template Part” block.

The Blank Template

You might want to unleash your creativity and use the Blank Template. Select this template from the page template drop-down. With this template, you can start with a blank page. This might be used to direct your viewer to a “Call to Action” page with no distractions like a header, navigation, or footer. You take total control over what is displayed.

Block Editing Resources On The Commons

  • Query Loop Block

    The Query Loop block lets you choose a post type (page, post, or a custom post type), a filter (category, tag, author, keyword) and fetch that data in a loop. This closely resembles the familiar “Post” page (what used to… Read More

  • Reusable Blocks

    If you have content that you expect to repeat in other parts your site, consider creating a reusable block. Start out by creating the block. Perhaps you might have an image and a paragraph. Once you’ve created this composited block… Read More

  • Block Libraries

    Plugin authors are creating elegant, easy to use blocks that will make your site look amazing. When you activate a plugin, you may see one or more new blocks added to your list On the Commons, we now have two… Read More

  • Block Patterns

    Get a head start on your page design. Copy a pattern and paste it into your content wherever you want it to appear. Then customize it – change the text, images, colors, etc. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editor’s “List View”

    “List View” displays how the blocks work together on a page, and provides access to each block’s settings. “List View” can be accessed by clicking the icon pictured above, which is always available in the Block Editor toolbar. Continue reading Read More

  • Full Site Editing

    Full Site Editing (“FSE”) lets users design every part of a WordPress post or page, with modular blocks.  No coding is needed, but users do need to understand how FSE works. A good understanding how templates are used in WordPress. Continue reading Read More

  • Block Editing

    The Block Editor is now the default editor on the Commons and we hope you use it. It is the future for WordPress. Continue reading Read More

FYI – This is a Reusable Bock built with a Query Loop.

There is a big change in the way widgets are handled with the release of WordPress 5.8.

Previously, Commons members added widgets to “widget areas” (sidebars, footers, etc.) by going to Appearance>>Widgets or to Customize>>Widgets. There they found an array of widgets, some provided by WordPress, some provided by the theme, and some provided by plugins. Members could simply assign these widgets to each widget area or edit the way those widgets are displayed.

That functionality is now gone with WordPress 5.8, but it can be restored by activating the “Classic Widgets” plugin. This plugin will restore the old-school way of using widgets. Simply activate the plugin and you are good to go.

In efforts to make all content display as blocks, WordPress introduced Block Widgets, which are still controlled by going to Appearance>>Widgets or to Customize>>Widgets. You cannot create Block Widgets if you have activated the Classic Widget plugin. The interface is quite different – instead of picking widgets from a list and deciding where they display, members will need to use blocks. Click the plus sign in the desired widget area:

 

You are not limited in using just blocks that are categorized as “Widgets.” You can use any block that you want. There is also a block called “Legacy Block” – you can choose from a drop down which widget you want to display. Legacy widgets have optional heading fields. For all other blocks that you add, you will need to add a heading block if you want a heading above your block widget.

 

 

Often, site admins want to show social buttons on their sites so that readers can easily share content. There are a number of options available on the Commons to do this.

  • Check if your theme has this functionality built in.
    Since social buttons are so widely used, many themes have this functionality built-in. Before you start looking for plugins, check out your theme. You may or may not like the way the buttons are displayed, but there may be options to change their look. There are two places to look:

    • Widgets – your theme might come with a widget that can be configured to show the buttons you want. These would typically be displayed in a sidebar or a footer.
    • Menus – your theme might have a social menu built in. Our default theme, Twenty-Twenty has an optional “social” menu designed to display social buttons in the footer. You can display it in any menu location.
  • DYI – create a social menu and use the navigation widget to display it in a sidebar or footer. This requires a little more work. You will probably want to use icons rather than text.
  • Use a plugin
    • Atomic Blocks – this library of useful blocks has a block called “Sharing Icons“.
    • WP Social Sharing – This is an older plugin, but it is still effective. Best for those who use the classic editor. Buttons appear either on top or bottom of the post.
    • JetPack – Among its multiple uses, this plugin allows you to add social sharing buttons to pages and/or posts. Find this functionality under the “Sharing” tab.
      Learn More About JetPack

      The Jetpack plugin is actually a bundle of plugins that have been developed for WordPress.com.

      Please don’t be fooled! All the plugins are free to use. Many times along the installation process, you will be encouraged to pick a premium plan and pay money to WordPress.com for features that will not be available on the Commons. Make sure to choose the free version of this tool when activating Jetpack.

      Please note that you will need to create a WordPress.com account to use JetPack. You do not need to have a WordPress.com site. Just register here, get your id/password, and you are ready to activate Jetpack.

      After installing the Jetpack plugin on your site in the Plugins area, Jetpack will be added to the Dashboard menu (screenshot, right). Visit this Jetpack area in the Dashboard and go through the process to activate Jetpack.

       

       

      When activating JetPack, you will see the various paid options but you do not need to pay for this tool. Scroll down all the way and click on “Start for Free” (image below).

       

       

      If you have a WordPress.com account and are logged in, once you click “Start for Free” you will activate Jetpack and re-routed back to your Commons Site.

      If you need to create an account, click on the option highlighted above.

      Once you click “Approve,” you should see the following:

       

      Then you will see the following section added to your Dashboard. Click on Settings to get started with JetPack.

       

      Highlighted below are the Settings for the various plugins in the JetPack bundle. Click on each tab to explore the possibilities.

      JetPack provides a nice stats plugin that you can use to track your readers.  It also provides Latex support for mathematical notation, and a bunch of other plugins, many of which are similar to other plugins on the Commons. Many members use JetPack’s “Subscription” plugin to allow people to subscribe to their sites and receive email notifications when a post is published. See more about Subscriptions.

       

      In Jetpack’s “Sharing” menu, you can  add new widgets to your site  to pull in Twitter an other social media feeds.

    • Share This Image – if you want to only share an image and not the text of your post or page, this plugin is for you.
    • Social Stickers – this is a “Follow Us” widget that is configured to take viewers to your social networks. Buttons appear if you provide the link to your site on Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, etc. 
      Learn More About Social Stickers

      Interested in showcasing your social media networks on your site? We recommend using “Social Stickers,” a simple plugin that allows you to show which social networks you use. There are over 50 social networks to choose from, including: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube. You can also select from one of five themes, which change the visual style of the social network icons.

      Follow these steps to display social networks on your CUNY Academic Commons WordPress site:

      1. Click on the “Plugins” menu in your WordPress dashboard, search for “Social Stickers” in the directory, then click “Activate” under the Social Stickers plugin.social stickers2. Customize the settings in Settings>Social Stickers (*Please note – you will need to enter your username(s) before you can pick your theme).sticer1
      2. Add the widget to one of your sidebars or footers in Appearance>Widgetswi

      Your social networks should now display on your site and look something like this:

      this