Submitted by Willa W. Jarnagin


See also: "Beyond Getting Started: More Help and Tips for Using the Amherst Website."

What is different about the Amherst website?

The college uses a content management system (CMS) to publish and manage information on its website. As a result, you don't need to know "HTML code" or specialized web-pubishing software in order to create and edit content. Instead, you can use your web browser to log into the Amherst College Website and publish content on the web

How do I log in so I can publish content?

On every page on the Amherst College website, you'll see a "Log in" link in the upper right. Once you've logged in, you'll be able to add and edit content on those pages where you have permissions to do so. If you have permission to edit a page, a yellow toolbar will appear on the page, with tabs for "content" and "settings."

What's what on a page? (Show me what all these things are!)

What's What

What's the difference between “my homepage” and “my portal”?

Your homepage is a page you create for other people to see, to read about you. You might post pictures of yourself, and post articles about your interests and what you've been up to lately.

Your portal is your personal news page that only you will see, with a news reader containing Amherst announcements and information. You may also add to your reader any RSS feeds you like. Learn more in "Your Amherst Portal and News Reader."

How do I create an article?

  1. After logging in and navigating to the page where you wish to add an article, click the "add" link under the "contents" tab. (NOTE: If the page where you want to publish an article is blank, you'll see an "add content" link in the body of the page. This does the same think as the "add" link in the toolbar.)
  2. You will be asked to choose the type of content you wish to create. Click on "article."
  3. Enter a title for your article. This will be the headline at the top of your article.
    CMS text editor
  4. Type or paste your text into the "Contents" area. Use the icons to bold or italicize text, make lists, align your text to the left, center, or right, and to add links. For more details of the formatting options available, consult our guide to the website editor.
  5. Add some "Tags" to help people find your page (what are tags?).
  6. At the bottom of the page, click the "Submit" button. This publishes your article on the page where you clicked "add." 

How do I create a page?

A page is simply a place where you publish content. Pages let you group related pieces of content. It provides the "web address" of your content.

  1. After logging in and navigating to the page the site where you wish to add another page, click the "settings" tab and "add sub-page."
  2. Under "General settings," enter a name for your page. Note that your page title will also appear in the left-hand navigation menu, so don't make it too long!
  3. Enter a URL name. This is an "internet-friendly" version of your page name that is used in web browsers to navigate to the page.
  4. Click the "Create sub-page" button. Your page will now be listed in alphabetical order in the left-hand navigation menu. You can now add articles and other content to your page.

What are tags?

Tags are keywords or categories that someone might use to find your page when searching. For instance, if your page is about Ulysses, you might enter the tags: Ulysses, James Joyce, Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, modernism, Dublin, June 16. The tags you create will appear under your article or other content. Clicking on a tag will take you to a list of items on the Amherst Website that have the same tag.

You'll notice that after you've logged in, each tag has an orange dot after it. Click this dot to subscribe to the tag in your portal's RSS feed reader. Learn more in Using Amherst's RSS Feed Reader.

Subscribe to a tag

What is a blog?

A blog (short for "web log") is an online where you post entries and other people post comments about your entry. In a blog, the entries (articles) are listed in reverse chronological order on the page, with the newest entry listed at the top of the page. As the blog author, your entries will appear as the main text, while comments will appear in boxes underneath each entry. You can choose in your settings who can read your blog and who can post comments.

How do I create a blog?

You can create a blog simply by creating articles on any page where you have permissions to do so. When creating an article for a blog, scroll down to "Comments settings." Choose "Read/Write: Everyone can add comments."

Can I make my contents private?

By default, content you publish on the Amherst website is visible to everyone. You can set the permissions pages so that the contents can be seen only by those you wish, such as:

  • only the Amherst campus and alumni
  • only students, faculty and staff
  • only students in your class
  • only a few friends (as long as they have Amherst accounts!)
  • no one other than you
  • any other configuration of your choosing

To view and change the permissions on a page, go to the page and click the "settings" tab, then click "Permissions." You will see a range of options, including "Who can read this page." Under "Who can read this page" you can add groups, individuals, or you can simply check "Everyone."

By default, "Everyone" is checked. So if you don't want your content to be public, uncheck "Everyone" and then add those groups individuals whom you want to have access to the page.

How do I keep people from commenting on my articles?

Go to the article where you want to disable comments and click the "edit" link, which will appear under article if you have more than one article on your page. Scroll down and click on "Comments." Check the disable option, then click "Submit."

How do I find people's homepages and contact information?

After logging in, either search the person's name in the "Search content" field in the right column, or click "Find People" You may also search the Campus Directory to find basic contact information for students, faculty and staff.

How can I add a picture to an article?

First, you'll want to upload the picture. For this example, we assume you're uploading a picture you the Uploaded Files page on your personal website.

Go to the Uploaded Files page in your personal website (everyone has one) and click "add" on the "contents" tab, then choose "file upload." Enter a brief title for your picture. The title of your picture won't show, but is important because it will describe the picture for people with visual impairments. Enter a caption if you wish. Then, next to the "File to upload" box, click the "Browse" button to find the picture file on your computer. Once you've selected the picture you with to upload, click "Submit."

Screenshot showing how to insert a picture.

Next, you need to insert the photograph in your article. Go to your article and click "edit." In the editor toolbar, click the icon that looks like a tree.

Click on the thumnail of your picture in the Upload Files area, then choose the image size from the drop-down list. Click Insert, then click Save to publish the article.


How can I wrap text around my picture?

After inserting your image, you can align it to the left or right to make the text wrap around it by first clicking on the image, then clicking the left- or right-align buttons in the editor.


When you're done inserting and aligning your photograph, click "Submit."

What are RSS feeds and how do they work on Amherst's site?

RSS stands for "really simple syndication" or "rich site summary" and is a method by which you can subscribe to a Website's news stories, blog entries, or other content.

You may add any RSS feed to your Amherst portal—learn more in "Your Amherst Portal and News Reader." Adding Amherst pages to your portal is especially easy: Log in and go to the page you want to subscribe to, and click the "Add this page to my portal" button that appears in the banner. Note that not all Amherst pages have a feed (see next question).

Add this page to my portal

How can I create my own RSS feed so that people can subscribe to my page?

You can provide an RSS feed for your Web page by checking an option under the Settings tab: Under Appearance, check "Show the Add this page to my portal button and enable the RSS feed." This option will make the RSS icon RSS appear in the browser's address bar (in Firefox and IE7) when someone visits your page, and will also cause the "Add this page to my portal" button to appear on your page.

How can I make my article appear on more than one page?

After logging in, go to your article and click "edit." Under the "contents" tab, scroll down and click "Pages." Click the "Add" button to add the pages on which you wish your article to appear.

Are there any restrictions on what I can post?

Restrictions and guidelines are outlined in the college's Terms & Conditions of Use and Security & Privacy Statement.

Learn more in "Beyond Getting Started: More Help and Tips for Using the Amherst Website."