WordPress administrators may have noticed a few changes after WordPress was upgraded to WordPress 3.0. For most Nicholls websites that use WordPress the changes caused no differences other than some cosmetic changes to the administration area. A few websites experienced some problems with older but useful plugins and utilities. For these websites the solution required the creation of a new WordPress theme found under the Appearance area called the Nicholls 2010 Core Theme. We will be migrating all Nicholls WordPress websites to this new theme as time permits, but these migrations should be done carefully since the changes to your departmental website can be dramatic.
Before You Switch Themes
It is important to make some preliminary notes about your WordPress website before you switch to the new Nicholls 2010 Core Theme. Switching to the new theme can make some dramatic changes to your WordPress site that take some effort to reverse. Do not switch to the new theme unless you are fully prepared to accept the changes.
- Make notes of any pages that use the special gray column on the right including the home page. Note the titles used since that is the name of the page used. In most of these cases you will see multiple edit links on the page when you view the website. Click on those edit links and make note of the title of the pages that are combined to create the pages with columns.
- Be aware if your site has a news or blog listing on the front page.
- Make a note of the content displayed in the red area on the left side. Most websites will display a Contents area with the list of pages. You should also note if you have links to other sites displayed, archive links, or category links.
Procedures to Switch to the New Theme
The new theme gives web content administrators more control over their WordPress driven websites, yet this can make the configuration for each website complex and unique. Remember that activation of the 2010 Nicholls Core Theme will cause changes to your Nicholls website that may take some effort to reverse.
- Activate 2010 Nicolls Core theme.
- In most cases we use a static page for the front page. Most sites use the page with slug ‘home’ as front page. Use the Settings > Reading to change the Front Page display to a static page and select the page to use as the front page using the title. This page will now be displayed by default on the website’s front page. Make sure the radio button for A static page is selected and that the save changes button is pressed.
- If your website is using the home1, home2, etc or setone1, setone2, etc page slugs to create columns you will need to migrate that content into the referring pages using the [column] shortcode. You will find helpful articles below with details about these new features.
- By default the new theme red sidebar on the left will only show the page list when viewed publicly The new theme actually has widget support allowing the red sidebar to be more customizable. You will want to look under Appearnce > Widgets where you can add widgets for links, archives, menus, and more.
- When you start using widgets, there are two important widgets that every Nicholls website should have:
- Nicholls Department Information Widget – This should be at the bottom of the red sidebar area, so all visitors can easily find contact information for your area. With the new theme you will find a new menu item that uses the Nicholls “N” called Nicholls Theme Options. Your old office information should be editable in this area.
- Either the Pages widget or a Custom Menu widget that has links to your website information. The Pages widget just lists your pages, but the Custom Menu widget can be used to display custom menus that can be more customized. Custom Menus can be created an configured under the Appearance > Menus area.
- If your website had a news list on the front page, I suggest that you use the [list-posts] to make a custom news area, or convert your Nicholls website to only show posts using the Settings > Reading options.
You assistance in making a switch to this new theme would be appreciated. The Website Manager will be switching websites to the new theme as time permits, but if you attempt to make this switch on your own and have problems, you should contact the Website Manager for questions and support.
Nicholls 2010 Theme Articles
- August 17, 2010 at 3:07 pmAnother useful shortcode is used to list posts on any page or post. This can make a list of news sto...
- August 17, 2010 at 2:12 pmThe list pages shortcode is designed to allow you to put a list of pages into a page or post. This c...
- August 8, 2010 at 4:39 pmThe can be used to create build columns which can be more appropriate for displaying content than u...