College Web Starter Theme

This theme was created by a team of ITG members to respond to requests for a theme which satisfies the basic design parameters of the College of Arts and Sciences, and allows some customization without the need for any coding.  The College Web Starter theme is designed to anticipate the needs of most academic departments and programs, offering the most-requested features, and still allow a fair amount of customization, without the need to create a child theme or write any PHP. Thius theme uses colors and fonts which are approved for use on WFU websites, as stated on the Communications and External Relations Identity Standards website. This theme also includes a set of recommended plugins which work well with the theme, and cover many of the common neds for expansion.

Feature List

General Features

  • Mobile Friendly – Adjusts to smaller screens, so that visitors only have to scroll up and down, never side to side
  • Accessible – Text labels and a “skip to content” link are shown only to screen readers, allowing these visitors to efficiently get to the same content as visual browsers
  • Touch-friendly – Menus are touch-friendly, both for mobile devices and touch-screen computers, showing links to sub-pages when hovering is not possible
  • WFU Colors and Fonts –  Thius theme uses colors and fonts which are approved for use on WFU websites, as stated on the Communications and External Relations’ Identity Standards website

Page Templates

  • Default – contains a top menu, right sidebar, and left side content.
  • Blog Page – contains a top menu, right sidebar and left side listing of your five most recent posts.
  • Front Page – If a static page is chosen for the front page (Settings -> Reading), contains a static content area at the left, and an optional widget area below, as well as a right sidebar. If “Your Latest Posts” is chosen as the front page, contains a right sidebar and your five latest posts on the left.
  • Full Width, no Sidebar – This template can be selected for any page except the blog page, and basically removes the sidebar from the right side of the page, so the main content fills the width of the page. When this template is used on a static front page, it removes the sidebar to the right, but the Front Page Only sidebar may still be used, which appears just below the static content.

Widget Areas

  • Main Sidebar – This appears on all pages on the right side, unless that page is using the “Full Width, no Sidebar” page template.
  • Front Page Widgets – This sidebar only appears on a Static Front Page (Settings -> Reading), and appears in the main content area, directly below the content in the page editor.
  • Footer Widgets – Located in the shaded footer area, widgets will be displayed from left to right, and can sometimes fit three widgets across before starting a new line, depending on the width of the widget.
  • Footer Alternate Social Media Icons – This widget area is designed as an alternate method for insert social media icons into the footer, if one wants colored icons or some other feature not supported by the high-contrast social media icons generated by the Social Media Menus (see below). This appears directly above the copyright notice, centered on the page.

Custom Menu Locations

This theme has three menu locations which support custom menus

  • Primary Menu – The menu area that appears in the main navigation bar, horizontally across the page between the header and the content. Note: Your site will automatically build a menu including all of your top-level pages in this area if you don’t build your own custom menu and check the box to place it here.
  • Social Media Menus – The theme includes two areas for social media icons. If you create a custom menu containing links to social media sites, the links will automatically be represented by a silhouette of the icon for that site. Example: If you include a link to the site will display an icon of the “Twitter bird”, linked to the WFU Twitter page.
    • Social Menu – Appears in the main navigation bar, all the way to the right, just before the Search button
    • Footer Social Menu – Appears in the footer, just above the copyright notice. NOTE: If you want colored social media icons, DO NOT put a menu in this area. Instead, use the Footer Alternate Social Media Icons widget area to insert the HTML yourself using a Text widget, or install a plugin to provide another widget for this functionality.

Special Widgets

This theme includes a special widget called Department Contact Information. This widget gets its information from the Customizer (found under the Appearance -> Customize menu, or from the black Admin Bar when viewing the site front end). This widget is automatically inserted into the Footer Widgets area unless you place your own widgets there.

Custom Headers

This theme includes several header background images in various colors and designs which you can select from the Customizer (Appearance -> Customize). You have the option of displaying a header background image, the site’s title, both, or neither.  However, if you would like to create and use your own header image, you may upload the new image from the Header Image section of the Customizer (Appearance -> Customize).  To maintain proper appearance, please use the following image settings:

  • 960 pixels wide.
  • 110 pixels height.
  • 72 pixels per inch.
  • 8 bit PNG format (optional, but the PNG format provide for the smallest image file size).

Plugin Integrations

This theme is built to work well with several plugins that provide frequently-requested functionality. These plugins are either bundled with the theme, or easily downloadable from links provided in the theme. All of the recommended and tested plugins can be found under the Plugins menu by clicking on “Install College Web Starter Plugins”.

  • College People Tools – A plugin by ITG member Tyler Pruitt which makes it easy to setup a standard set of faculty profile pages, with information gathered from each member’s site user profile. This includes the ability to have tabs for Bio, Publications, Research and others. Requires ‘Tabby Responsive Tabs’ and ‘WP User Avatar’ to also be installed and activated.
  • Meteor Slides – This plugin makes it easy to generate a slideshow in the header area of your site, just below the header image. To properly fit this area, please set the image size to 960 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall. This will ensure that your slides will fit properly into the header slideshow area. We recommend no more than 5 unique images (unless you are using multiple images to imitate an animation effect).
  • Breadcrum Trail – Creates a “breadcrumb trail” or a list of the pages hierarchically above the current page, so that one can easily track their way back through progressively more general pages. The breadcrumb trail will appear just above the content area and just below the navigation bar.
  • Github Updater – A very important plugin which notifies the site owner of updates to the College Web Starter theme, and includes them with the other one-click updates shown on your site. No configuration is necessary to get notified of updates to the theme; just install and activate!

There are a few other plugins included