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Interscholastic Online News Network | How to establish an ISONN site

How to establish an ISONN site

If you are interested in establishing a website witnin the ISONN network, you can do this quickly and with relatively few steps. The first thing to do is to reserve a domain name.

You can use any of the suffixes available to you for your name: .com, .org, .info, .us, etc. If you do not have a preferred service for registration, we recommend using

When you have reserved your name, you should email Jim Stovall at jgstovall at

Next, you will need to change the DNS servers. This sound technical, but it’s really very simple. Go into the account where you have reserved the name and find the DNS servers that are listed. Change those to the following: and

If you are using GoDaddy, here are the specific steps:

1. Log in to your Account Manager. 2. In the My Products section, select Domain Manager. 3. Select the domain name(s) you want to modify. 4. From (Nameservers), select Set Nameservers. 5. Select the following option: I have specific nameservers for my

domains 6. Enter the following two nameservers: and

This change may take a few minutes or even several hours to go into effect. Meanwhile, if you let us know that you have done this, we can establish your site on our end. When that happens, we will send you an email “inviting” you to join the site as an administrator. The email will have a confirmation link and a password.

Once you confirm, and enter the backend of your site, you should click on your name in the upper right corner. That will take you to your account page. At the bottom of that page, you should change your password to something that you will remember.

That’s it.

Your site is up and running, and you can start with the other operations described in this handbook.

Once you have established your site . . .

Once you have established your site, you will want to do several things to individualize it.

Selecting a theme

A theme is the overall appearance that you site will have. On the left menu, go to Appearance >> Themes and see what is available to you. You can preview all of the themes. Even after you select to activate, you can always select another one. To see what the them really looks like, click on the link to your site at the top of the dashboard page. To get back to the dashboard, just hit the BACK button. (See How to select a theme)

Changing the top logo

When you have activated a theme, its name will appear at the end of the navigation list on the left of the dashboard. Click on that, and that will take you to the General settings for the theme. If you want to upload a logo, you can do that here. If you do, be sure to deselect the Text Title option. When you click on the Save All Changes button at the upper right, you can then click on the site link in the upper left and see what it looks like. Some people, at the beginning, to leave the Text Title option clicked until they can design a proper logo.

Establishing pages and categories

This is something you will want to do early on. See Categories, pages and tags, and How to setup categories, for explanation about how to do this.

Widgets To set up the widgets for your site, go to Appearance >> Widgets and see what widgets are available to you. Here you will probably need to experiment a bit to see what widgets you want and what will look good on your pages. You can find a good explanation of widgets here:


Posting is the central operation for your site, and much of this guide is devoted to explaining the various aspects of posting. Try to get as familiar with these operations as possible as quickly as possible.

Inviting the staff

Now, you’re ready to invite your students to join the staff of the website. See How to setup a student user account.