ECS installation instructions

set up your own site for collaboration

Widgets

Widgets are graphical elements that you can add to your site to enhance its navigation. In WordPress, you typically add widgets to the sidebar(s); some themes allow more flexibility. In the MIT ECS Theme, you can add widgets to the sidebar and under the page. This page has four Widgets: a search box, a Page Tree widget, and a Related File Groups widget on the sidebar, and a Related Discussions widget under the main page content. Except for the search box (a core WordPress widget), they were made possible by Plugins developed by the MIT ECS Team. This page will guide you how to add widgets on your site; when you are done, your site will look very similar to ECS Demo. You can then proceed to Advanced for tips on editing your site.

Adding widgets to all pages and posts

Follow these steps to add widgets to your new site. (Click on the maroon “STEP” headings to reveal and hide additional information, as needed.)

STEP 1 – Add the Search and Page Tree widgets to the sidebar

Image 1 in the Widgets Files (follow link under Related File Groups on the sidebar) illustrates the interface for adding widgets to the sidebar of your site.

(i) Open your site’s Dashboard. (You can do that by selecting “Dashboard” from the drop-down menu under your name in the grey admin bar on top of your site.)
(ii) Click on “Appearance” to see all options and select “Widgets” to open the Widgets interface.
(iii) In the “Widgets” interface, under “Available Widgets”, find “Search” and “Site Page Tree”.
(iv) Drag and drop “Search” to “Sidebar 1”. (If the “widget context” window pops up, close it.)
(v) Repeat step (iv) for the “Site Page Tree” widget.

Image 2 in the Widget Files shows how your site looks after you add the search box and Page Tree. The two widgets appear everywhere on the site, because nothing was specified in the “widget context” window. Now follow the steps below to add widgets only to some pages.

Adding widgets to some pages and/or posts

STEP 2 – Add and customize more widgets to the sidebar

The following widgets need to appear on the sidebar only on some pages and/or posts on the ECS site. (The ones in bold are available thanks to plugins created by the MIT ECS Team!)

Add Subpage
Upload Related File Group

New Tag Cloud
Recent Changes
Related File Groups Widget

We shall use the interface of the “Widget Context” plugin to define where these widgets will appear and where not. Follow the steps below to add them to the sidebar of your site:

(i) In the “Widgets” interface, drag and drop the “Add Subpage” widget to the sidebar.
(ii) In the “Widget Context” popup window, customize where the “Add Subpage” widget should appear. Image 3 in Widgets Files illustrates how to set the context of “Add Subpage”.
(iii) Repeat steps (i) and (ii) for “Upload Related File Group”, “New Tag Cloud”, and “Recent Changes”. Images 4, 5, and 6 in Widgets Files illustrate how to set the context of these widgets.
(iv) Repeat step (i) for the “Related File Groups Widget”. There is no need to set context. This widget will appear only on pages that already have associated file groups.

In order for the widgets to appear correctly on posts and pages, you need to also set the “permalinks” on your site. Permalinks are the URLs of pages and subpages on your site, relative to the main URL. Image 7 in Widgets Files illustrates how to set the permalinks; namely:

(v) In the Dashboard, click on the “Settings” tab to see all options.
(vi) Click on “Permalinks” to open the “Permalink Settings” interface.
(vii) Activate the “Custom Structure” radio button and enter “/archives/%postname%”.
(viii) Click on “Save Changes” to activate the new permalink settings on your website.

Now that the sidebar is set, follow STEP 3 below to add widgets under the main page area.

STEP 3 – Add and customize widgets under the main page

Follow these steps to add the “Related Discussions” widget under the main page area. (This widget is only possible in the MIT ECS Theme! If you install another theme, you will lose it.)

(i) In the Dashboard, click on “Appearance” then “Widgets” to open the “Widgets” interface.
(ii) In the “Widgets” interface, drag and drop the “Related Discussions” widget to “Sidebar 2”.
(iii) In the “Widget Context” popup window, customize where the “Related Discussions” widget should appear. Image 8 in Widgets Files illustrates how to set context for “Related Discussions”.

Image 9 in Widgets Files illustrates how your “Widgets” interface looks now with all the ECS widgets installed. Image 10 in Widgets Files shows how your site looks with the ECS widgets.

Now that the MIT ECS Theme and Plugins were installed, the MIT ECS Template was imported, and the Widgets were set and customized, your site should look very similar to ECS Demo. You are ready to create and edit content on your new site for collaborative teaching! The Advanced section offers advice for editors of ECS sites on how to create and edit content. Enjoy!

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  • Creative Commons License Widgets is licensed by ecs_admin under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.