cornerstone

Cornerstone

Cornerstone is not a theme that is generally available to Aurora users. Rather, it was designed to be a starting point or a parent theme for all future themes produced by the UITS Web Development Lab. It is also made available to registered Aurora developers. This page is meant to help those developers in using Cornerstone for their own projects.
cornerstone

Built for Developers

Cornerstone was designed from the ground up to be developer-focused. It’s based on the the WordPress _s (‘underscores’) theme mixed with Bootstrap 3. The design philosophy is to enable and turn on every feature we can think of in Cornerstone, and then child themes will need to unregister the features they don’t support. For example, Cornerstone can support header images, background images, and background colors. However, we may not want those features turned on when the site is being administered by someone less familiar with University Brand standards or web accessibility policies regarding color and contrast.

Themes Using Cornerstone

The following is a list a child themes that already use Cornerstone. These themes were developed at the Web Development Lab and best show how versatile Cornerstone is.

Creating Your Own Theme

Cornerstone is a bare-bones theme created to be developed upon. It is possible to create your own theme built upon cornerstones structure. We welcome you to play with the sources files.

Cornerstone Child Theme Starter Kit

The Cornerstone Child Theme Starter Kit is available to help developers get a new project running quickly. You can access it on GitHub.

customize screen
Cornerstone basic mode on customization screen.
basic screen
Cornerstone basic mode screenshot

Hale 2015

hale 2015Hale 2015 was a theme released in August 2015 as a part of Aurora Update 9. The bold blue Sherman theme was released in the summer of 2014, and its advanced features and customization options proved very popular. However, a number of customers requested a theme with all the functionality of Sherman but with the softer tones of the original Hale theme that was released in 2013. Hale 2015 addresses this issue, adapting the popular Hale design and keeping the powerful features of Sherman. A child of the Cornerstone theme, Hale 2015 will continue to benefit from all new features added to Aurora for years to come.

Moving from Hale to Hale 2015

If your site currently uses the Hale theme, and you would like to switch to Hale 2015, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, review the guide to Changing Themes. In addition, note the following changes:

Homepage

The homepage options have changed dramatically. You should now build the homepage (and any other page) using Page Builder. See Homepage Customization tools.

Navigation Options

Hale 2015 has different navigation options that Hale. The 'bar' option is not present, and tabs in Hale 2015 use dropdowns for deeper linking.

Sherman

sherman

Sherman became the new default theme for all Aurora sites upon its release in August 2014. It features a number of enhancements over Hale, the previous default theme, including:

  • Page Builder for the homepage
  • Improved Typography and Design with more white space.
  • Improved features for accessibility. Specifically, removes styles from elements within tables, and scans pages for missing alt tags on images.

Sherman is a child theme of Cornerstone, and utilizes SASS to be as lightweight as possible. Its design is bold, yet clearly a product of the university. It is named after Roger Sherman, Connecticut’s representative to the Continental Congress, and one of the Founding Fathers.

Features

Link Flags

All links to external sites are marked with an icon.
All links to downloadable files like PDFs or DOCs are marked with an icon.

Accessibility Enhancements

Scans images for missing Alt tags, and adds an error message if one it missing.
Strips styles out of tables to discourage the use of tables for presentation layouts.

Accessibility

With Sherman, we’ve tried to improve our web accessibility with these features:

Skip Links

Visible only to screen readers, these links allow users to skip to the navigation or content.

Table Formatting

To discourage the practice of using html tables to layout pages, new styles have been put in place to remove all styles from any element in a table cell. Headings, paragraphs, bullet lists, and more all become plain black text.

Alt Tag Checker

Each image on a page is scanned, and if it’s missing an Alt tag, you’ll see the image grayed out, set to 50% opacity, and an error message will appear asking you to please add an Alt tag.

Resources

Examples

Find examples of sites using the Sherman theme at the top of the Live Sites with Default Template page.