The following are some of our most frequently asked questions and their answers. Use these question links to jump down the page to the corresponding answers:
- Why don’t my hero images auto-rotate?
- What is the difference between “Draft” and “Published” pages and posts?
- Why can’t I use the password option on a WordPress page or post?
- When should I use posts versus pages?
- How do I launch my site?
- Why does the UW Theme not have the same functionality as the wisc.edu site?
Why don’t my hero images auto-rotate?
We get this question a lot. Our old OpenText customers used to have the ability to set their image carousels to automatically scroll through photos every few seconds. We no longer offer this option in WordPress and there are two reasons for this:
- Image carousels aren’t accessible for users navigating the site with a screen reader.
- Extensive research has shown carousels are actually not nearly as engaging for users as we assumed.
What is the difference between "Draft" and "Published" pages and posts?
Pages and posts that are saved in Draft mode are assumed to be “in development” and therefore, will not show on the site. This is not a problem when the page or post has never been published but if they have, it will be removed from the website entirely until you re-publish.
We recommend that you do not ever set your pages or posts to Draft if you do not wish for them to be removed from the site until publish. Instead, create a copy and do your edits there. Then, when you are ready to publish, put up the copy version and take down the other OR paste the contents of the copied page into your existing page and publish right away.
Why can’t I use the password option on a WordPress page or post
WordPress offers a rudimentary password protection option for pages and posts. This can be set with an admin-designated password in the Publishing region of the page (under Visibility). Typically, this is a pretty simple way for site administrators to lock down a specific page or post without having to download a page-lock plugin (or lock down the entire site with a Manifest Group). However, this feature is currently not functional for users of WiscWeb as it conflicts with the campus Shibboleth technology. Please note that we are working on this and hope to have a solution very soon.
When should I use posts versus pages?
WordPress is different from a lot of other content management systems because it started as a blogging tool and then grew into a tool that was used world-wide for the building and maintenance of regular websites. As a blogging tool, it was assumed that users were mostly generating content via posts (like news articles) and that’s the basis for how this tool was structured. Therefore, everything in WordPress is technically a post – even pages! Confused yet?
The biggest thing to remember is that you should use “Posts” (in the left nav options) when you are focusing on news or blog content that you’d like to feed into a post list. This is usually the only way that true Posts are used in the UW Theme. You should use “Pages” to build out the content that will go in the navigation of your site. To reiterate: Pages are the main content holders while Posts are just for articles.
Why does the UW Theme not have the same functionality as the wisc.edu site?
The answer to this question requires some background info:
- The wisc.edu site was updated with new campus branding in January of 2016.
- Mid-way through 2016, other campus sites started requesting this same template (look and feel) and University Marketing decided to build out the UW Theme Lite theme for use by WordPress users on campus.
- In the summer of 2016, DoIT developers (in collaboration with University Marketing) began working on building out the UW Theme for WordPress
- In January, 2017, the WiscWeb team started offering WordPress websites using the UW Theme
The biggest thing to note from this timeline is that the wisc.edu site was not actually built with the UW Theme. Instead, the UW Theme was designed to look like the styles that were introduced on the wisc.edu site back in 2016. Therefore, just because something appears on the wisc.edu site, does not mean it is automatically added as an option in your WiscWeb site via the UW Theme.
The answer to this is equally complicated and really depends on the functionality.
For the most part, if something appears on the wisc.edu site and it is not available in the UW Theme, there are three likely reasons:
- The UW Theme developers have not finished building it yet.
This does not happen often but the UW Theme developers do try to incorporate wisc.edu functionality when it makes sense to do so and it will benefit the masses.
- This functionality is not easily or adequately implemented by the average campus web editor.
Some of the functionality on the wisc.edu site is just so specific that campus editors would require much more advanced web development or design skills in order to properly implement them. The UW Theme is meant to be easily digested by a large portion of campus editors from all different skill levels so adding this type of functionality would mean more support and maintenance than what can feasibly be provided.
- The functionality is meant for a specific purpose that is unique to the kinds of marketing and promotional needs that the wisc.edu site requires.
The wisc.edu site, unlike most campus websites, is both an informational page as well as a marketing tool. Therefore, the kinds of functionality they need on their site differs greatly from what the average campus website needs.
Request New Functionality
If you are interested in certain features of the wisc.edu page because you think it will fulfill a specific need that you have for displaying information on your site, we want to hear about it. This will allow us to gauge how many users on campus have the same need and we can deliver something that will be targeted for campus informational sites. Please fill out our Feature Request Form and let us know what kind of needs you are trying to accommodate.