About the theme

The default theme for WordPress sites is based on the Web Design System. The theme itself is still under active development with an aim of offering most of the common functions and features of the Design System, but maintaining the simplicity and ease of use of WordPress.

Our first release is relatively simple, but while we have a lot of work still to do, you can already set up a solid site which blends features of the Design System with common WordPress concepts. We think it’s a solid base from which to start. Continue reading “About the theme”

Go live! Public and other permissions.

When new sites are created, they are not public. This lets you get your site just right before publishing to your audience.

Once you’re ready, visit your Dashboard, and choose Settings > Reading.

Set your Site Visibility to option that suits your needs.

  •  – Lets you set a simple password that anyone can use. Registered users of the site won’t need the password.


Site Administrators can change this setting at any time, and it applies to the whole site immediately.

Who can view your site?

WordPress offers good broad options for allowing, or restricting access to your site.


Look in the Settings > Reading section of your dashboard, where you’ll find a range of settings title Site Visibility to allow you to control access to your site.


The options really go in order from most open (public) to less open, authenticated settings below.

  1. Allow search engines – is the fully public, searchable setting that most blogs will want to use.
  2. Discourage search engines – simply uses metadata to tell search engines not to index a site. Not all search engines obey these directives, and your site is still public.
  3. Must log in – anyone can view if they’re logged in. As our wordpress service is linked to the central authentication, this effectively means all staff and students.
  4. Registered users – not only must a user log in, but they also have to be a registered user of the site. As a site admin, you can manage this yourself.
  5. Admin only – all sites start out this way. Only administrators of your site can see it. This gives you a chance to get your site started before releasing it to the public.
  6. Custom password – you can set a single, custom password for your site. Not really recommended because it can get tricky to manage.

These settings apply to a whole site, they don’t apply to individual pages or sections. Options for that finer level of protection are limited, and if this is important to your site, then we would not recommend the wordpress platform.

Adding a Twitter feed to your site sidebar

Embedding a Twitter feed into a sidebar on your site is a relatively straightforward process, but there are few steps involved.

First up, see this post for details on how to get the Twitter embed code, and how to add it as a widget to your site: https://help.edublogs.org/adding-a-twitter-widget-to-your-blogs-sidebar/

Widget screen

Next, because our theme isn’t automatically setup using a sidebar, you need to do some extra configuration. Continue reading “Adding a Twitter feed to your site sidebar”


The Appearance menu in your Dashboard.
The Appearance menu in your Dashboard.

In the Appearance menu of your Dashboard, there is a menu item to add ‘Footer Content’. If you have tried it with the Design System Theme, you’ll have been disappointed.

The Footer Content doesn’t work well with the Design System, because it gets inserted in the wrong place. It’s really a more general WordPress option for inserting special scripts in the page – not so useful for visible content. For that, you should use the Footer Sidebar, which you’ll find on the Widgets screen.

In the Widgets page, we’ve added a new sidebar area, which actually appears at the foot of the page. You can drag new widgets into this area , and they will automatically display on every page in your site.


!important: keep it simple

Content inserted in this area will be automatically wrapped in a special div which is part of the Design System, so only certain content will work in this area, so we strongly encourage you to follow a couple of guidelines.

Simple text, or short lists only

One of the simplest options for this is the Links widget. You can manage the content of the widget directly from the Dashboard. Keep it to 4 links maximum.

If you want a bit more control, use the Text widget. You provide the HTML content for this widget, so as long as you know what you’re doing, it will give you complete flexibility.

Theme update 2015-11-25

This evening (7pm.) there will be another theme release (v1.1.1) to address a few minor bugs.

  • A problem with inline images with wrap around text floating off the page.
  • Cropping while adding new header images.
  • Spacing inconsistencies between post lists in different situations.

There should be no impact on users or editors.

Logging in for Staff and Guest users

Logging in to WordPress is simple. Follow the link to Login from any WordPress site menu.

Login by following the link in the site menu.
Login by following the link in the site menu.

Staff and Students log in by clicking the button to “Use My University ID” using their usual username and password.

There are login options for University users, and guest users.
There are login options for University users, and guest users.

Users who are not part of the University, are called Guest users, and can click the link to Guest login here, to reveal a standard username and password field as well as a very useful Lost your password? link, which generates a reminder to the users’ email address.

Guests log in with a standard username and password.
Guests log in with a standard username and password.

Theme update 2015-11-19

This evening, we will release a new version of the Unimelb theme.

Update: Better late than never. The theme was released a day later than expected. There are some issues with images aligned left or right, but apart from that, no significant problems.

This release is mostly aimed at improving the base structure to allow addition of new features more easily and quickly. There are also significant improvements around headers and sidebars, and we’ve tightened up the styling of posts and pages.

Most users will not notice any change, and we don’t expect any problems, but if there are, raise a request via the web help desk.

Number of posts found: 22