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City Blogs staff guide

Explore how to set up and use City blogs for teaching and learning activities.

Themes

The City Flex theme is applied by default to all new blogs. This is an accessible theme based on CampusPress flex and has been customised to the City Brand. It has customisation, branding, and layout options, and it is great for performance. 

You can change your theme if required. Remember to choose an Accessibility Ready theme. You can do so by going to Dashboard > Appearance. Then select Themes, then Accessibility Ready

How to find accessible themes in Cityblogs dashboard

 

If you want to switch themes, you can choose from any of the available range of templates on the platform. When you switch themes, all your existing content carries over. Nothing is deleted, so it is safe to switch. If you change your mind, you can always switch back to your old theme. To switch your theme, go to Accessibility Ready and browse the themes. Select the one you like and then select Activate. Decide if you would like to add demo content or not and set up your theme according to its instructions.

How to activate Cityblogs theme

Accessibility plug-in

You can add additional accessibility features to your blog by activating the  Accessibility Plugin. Go to Dashboard > Plugins and select  Activate  alongside the  Accessibility Plugin. 

activate Cityblogs accessibility plugin

You can then adjust the accessibility of the blog through this plug-in. To access its features, from the Dashboard, select  Settings > WP Accessibility

You have options such as:

  • Enable Skiplinks. These are internal page links to help navigation around the page content, which can aid assistive technology users.
  • Enable the Accessibility toolbar. The toolbar will give you more options to check font size and colour contrast for accessibility.
  • Remove target attributes from links. This will stop links opening in new tabs and interrupting the user's browsing experience.

There are several other accessibility plugins you can enable to ensure your blog is as accessible as possible by everyone. Such plugins can, for example: 

  • Force the addition of alt text 
  • Remove target attributes from links 
  • Add site language and text direction 
  • Add post title to “more” links. 

Visit the Campus Press website for further information and step-by-step guidance on the tools available. 

Content

To ensure your blog content is accessible, there are a few top tips to consider: 

  • Add alternative (alt) text to images. 
  • Add corrected captions and transcripts to video and audio.
  • Use at least a 14-point font. Avoid using italics and blocks of upper-case text as they can be hard to read. 
  • Use meaningful links as a great way to redirect your audience to useful websites or other parts of your site. 
  • Use a heading structure in a useful and logical order (e.g., H1, H2, H3). This will help organise your content and improve navigability. 
  • If you are uploading external content to your blog, review and implement guidance on creating accessible documents (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, PDF files). 
  • You can also browse the Guide To WordPress Accessibility. For more on how WordPress is making its system more accessible there is a WordPress Accessibility Handbook

Testing

Accessibility testing is a useful step before publishing your blog. This will help ensure all features can be accessed by all users. You can try the following: 

  • Navigating the blog using just your keyboard 
  • Checking the contrast of your blog colours using a colour contrast checker 
  • Using a screen reader to browse the content, such as Narrator or VoiceOver 

You can also use an accessibility checker for more in-depth testing, such as: 

Further Guidance

CampusPress offers a Complete Guide to WordPress Accessibility which you can read through for more tips on making your blog more accessible. 

If you are unsure of how to structure and organise your blog, check out some example blogs in 11 Best Accessibility Blogs to Read in 2021  

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