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The New Blog Templates tool allows Super Admins to set up blog templates that can be used for creating other blogs that are almost an exact copy of the template blog.

This tool is perfect for CampusPress networks that want to provide a standard site template for class blogs, student blogs, portfolios or course blogs.  Using blog templates, you can ensure all newly created sites have the same appearance, header image, categories, widgets, plugins and your own customized content in posts, pages and comments.

Set up template blog 

The first step is to create a new blog that sole purpose will be to use as the template blog.  For example, give it a URL like classtemplate, studenttemplate or portfoliotemplate.

Now log into the dashboard of the new template blog and set up the theme, header image, posts, pages, widgets and any content you want to added to all newly created blog.

Here are examples of template blogs:

  1. Mulgrave efolio template
  2. MS Digital Portfolio template
  3. Primary Classes template
  4. Honors & Scholars e-Porffolio
  5. College of Medicine Showcase Portfolio

Important tips:

  1. Template blogs must be set to “Allow search engines” or “Discourage search engines” in Settings > Reading otherwise images and media files won’t be copied to the new blogs.
  2. Changes to a template blog are only applied to new blogs created after the change is made.
  3. You can set up as many template blogs as you want and easily switch between the templates based on the type of blogs you are creating.  For example, you could have separate templates for class blogs and student blogs; or set up a series of templates for different courses.

Create template blog

You activate your template blog as follows:

1.  Go to Blog Templates >  Blog templates in the network admin dashboard.

Blog Template

2.  Add your template name, add the blog ID by searching using the blog path, and add the template description.

  • When you type in the blog path into the ‘search by blog path’ field it automatically searches for the blog URL.
  • Once it has found the blog URL click on URL to add the blog ID.
  • For example if the blog you are searching for has a URL like http://mydomain.com/studenttemplate you would type studenttemplate.

Blog template information

You should see a number added to the blog ID when you click on the blog URL.  Each blog has its own unique blog ID.

Blog ID

4.  Select your template privacy.

  • This is the privacy that will be set on the newly created blog when it is created using the template blog.
  • If your template blog is set to “Block search engines” and you select “Keep default option’ the privacy on the new blog will be set to “Block Search engine”.

Privacy

5.  Click Create Blog template

6.  On the next screen you choose what elements of the template blog are included in all newly created blogs.  

In most situations you would select all options except for users as shown below.

Blog template options

7.  If you want to update the dates of posts and pages to the date when the new blog is created make sure you select “Update Dates”.

Update Dates

8.  You can also upload your own screenshot that users will see when choosing to a blog template on your sign up page.

9.   Click Save Template.

10.  Create a test blog by selecting the template in Sites > Add New to confirm the template blog is being applied as you wanted.  

Create a test blog

Set default template

To use a blog template as the template for all newly created blogs you need to make it the default template as follows:

1.  Go to Blog Templates >  Blog templates in the network admin dashboard.

Blog Template

2.  Hover your mouse over the title of the template that you want to use for all new blogs.

3.  Click in Make Default.

Default template

4.  You will now see Default listed next to the template name and can remove it by clicking on Remove Default.

Important tips

1.  How the template is applied to the new blog

The template blog isn’t applied to the new blog until the user logs into their new blog the first time or a logged in super admin visits the new blog.  i.e. if you view the new blog as a logged out user, before the template blog has been triggered by the login process, it won’t look like your template blog and will have the default theme (the theme listed in Settings > Network Settings in the network admin).

When user logs into their new blog for the first time, or a logged in super admin visits the new blog, they will see screen that says ‘We’re setting up your new blog’ and will see information as the template blog is copied.   The user will be redirected to their dashboard once it has finished copying the template blog.

Triggering the template

2.  Switching between the templates

The default template is automatically applied to all newly created blogs.

Super admins can choose which template is used to create a new site when using Sites > Add New by selecting the desired template or when creating sites using Batch Create.

Create a test blog

You can let users select which template is applied to their blog when it is created using the sign up page by setting up the “Show template selection on registration” in Blog Templates >  Settings as follows:

1.  Go to Blog Templates > Settings

Blog template Settings

2.  Select the check box next to “Show template selection on registration”.

Sign up page

3.  Select type of selection you want users to see on your sign up page.

Selection option

4.  Click Save Settings.