RAQ: Can I keep my username from showing on a WordPress.com blog post?

SMUGgle Pam Larson, who is starting a new blog as one of her projects for 2009 (and who also lives across the street from Old Main), sent me a text message this morning with the following question:

If I don’t want my user name to show up under each post, can I delete that line? I can’t find that option.

As I see it, there are three potential ways to accomplish this. The first is easy. The other two aren’t. And this points to a new phase of learning I’m beginning as your Chancellor.

Solution #1: Pick a different theme

I was surprised when I helped my parents start a blog with some of their locally politically active friends, that when they wrote some posts the usernames weren’t published. They had picked the “Cutline” theme by Chris Pearson from among the free choices on WordPress.com.

So switching themes would be the quickest and easiest way to accomplish this goal. But Pam likes her current theme, so it doesn’t solve her problem.

Solution #2: Edit CSS

This is a paid upgrade option on WordPress.com that lets you tailor the look of your blog. It costs $15 a year. The best part is you can experiment with CSS and learn how to use it, and preview the changes, before you have to pay. Then, when you pay for the upgrade, your changes become visible to the world.

You need to know about CSS to use this productively, but the good news is that WordPress.com has a CSS customization forum where you can learn. I think I’ll spend some time playing with this.

But because editing CSS doesn’t allow you to edit the underlying theme, I have a feeling this still won’t solve Pam’s problem, unless she were to switch to the Sandbox theme and try to rebuild her blog’s look from scratch. I won’t really know that until after I’ve played with CSS for a while.

Solution #3: Self-Hosted Blog

This is the most complicated option, but it gives you the most control over the final look and feel of your blog. It also requires that you rent server space and install the free WordPress software on it (from WordPress.org.) As the next step in my social media learning (and to help me write some 300-level courses), I’m planning to move SMUG a self-hosted platform in 2009. More on that in a future post.


It doesn’t appear that there is an easy answer for Pam’s question, that would let her keep the look she likes. Option 1 gets rid of the username but by changing the theme, Option 2 probably doesn’t solve the problem (and requires substantial work) and Option 3 could definitely work, but would cost more and take more work.

If any other SMUGgles have a better solution, please chime in and let us all learn from you!

A Gem of the Theme

As I was helping Dad with customizing the blog he and his fellow local Republican activists are starting, I spent some time browsing through the free themes available on WordPress.com. That got me thinking I should give SMUG a facelift, so I experimented with a few themes and settled on Sapphire.

I like it because the links stand out better, in a different color than the surrounding text.

It’s really easy to apply different themes, which is a way to get a new look without paying for the Custom CSS upgrade (and without having to know how to edit CSS!)

What do you think of the new look?