There are times where the themes on web.unc.edu do not meet your needs. There are some very powerful plugins that allow you to create custom types, custom views, and custom css without modifying the theme files. Please check these out before deciding to develop your own theme.
If you do decide to use a custom theme please consider creating a child theme of the UNC Base theme. This will allow you to quickly roll out a UNC website and makes it much easier for us to review.
- Web.unc.edu runs on a WordPress multisite installation. For the most part, theming works exactly the same as a standalone site, especially if you use the latest recommended WordPress functions. The tests below will point out outdated functions and what functions should be used instead.
- We are running a version of PHP that does not allow shortcode php. That means that any shortags like <? will not work, but need to be <?php
- There are a few PHP functions that can not be used on our environment for security reasons. These include (but are not limited to) “Exec, pass thru, shell_exec, System, Popen” and “proc_ope.” Most theming won’t have any problems with this, but you should be aware of this limitation if you are trying to doing some very complex php coding. We’d recommend you stick with built in WordPress functions and check with us if you have a question about something specific.
- We usually run one version behind the current version of WordPress unless it is a major release. If you are going to use a function that was just released, please check with us to make sure exactly what version we are running currently.
If the themes on web.unc.edu do not meet your needs, campus departments, divisions, and units may develop a custom theme. We have a review process similar to WordPress.org that we follow before any themes are added to the network.
- All themes should be run in debug mode to see if there are any notices that should be resolved.
- All themes should run the WordPress theme check and check to see if there are any required/recommended items that should be resolved.
- All themes should run a VIP scan of the theme and look for any undefined functions that need to be resolved..
- Themes should not be plugin dependent. It is okay to use plugins that we already have available on our network, but please do not expect us to add a plugin just for your theme to make it work. Please use the plugins we already have available on the network. You can download premium plugins here.
It is best to set up a local install of your theme to test these items out on before submitting the theme to our team for review. Here are some Mac instructions
, and some PC instructions
- The department is responsible for keeping the theme up to date and making sure it is compatible with any upcoming releases of wordpress. We will notify all users before a major release. You will need to send us any updates to your theme before we roll the update out into production.
- If at any time your theme is found to have a security vulnerability the theme may be immediately removed and replaced with the default wordpress theme until the vulnerability can be addressed.
Submitting the theme for review:
If you have a theme you are ready to submit for inclusion please email the webdotunc team at email@example.com. Be sure to include the following information:
- Website URL where this theme is going to live.
- Technical Contact (Who is going to responsible for making updates to this theme long term if there is a problem?)
- Affiliated Department
- Affiliated Department Contact
- Link to .zipped theme files
- Any information we may need to know about custom functions, or anything out of the ordinary with your theme.
- If your theme was based on another theme please let us know what theme you used as your basis.
Please allow up to ten days for review. Themes are reviewed by Web.unc.edu support staff as well as the Information Security Office.
Migrating and Building your Website:
For security purposes the only way to import content into the UNC WordPress instance is to use the built in WordPress import and export features
. That means when when you do an import only the custom post types will be imported. No settings or configurations will be included. If you have a complex site you are setting up we recommend you contact us in advance and we will set up a site for you where you can build out your site and then map the domain
when you are ready to go live.
Making updates to your theme:
If you need to make an update to your theme you can make a local installation of your website with the BackupBuddy plugin.
Currently all updates will need to be submitted manually to the webdotunc team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following information:
- .zip of only updated files
- Information about what updates have been made and why
Please allow for up to three business days for updates. We prefer a batch of updates at once instead of a bunch of small updates.