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.

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

Browser Development Tools

In order to target specific elements on a page with CSS, you will have to figure out which HTML tags/classes to use. This can be easily done on your browser using the built-in development tools.


  1. Right click on the element you wish to style with CSS
  2. Click 'Inspect' (Google Chrome) or 'Inspect Element' (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari)

You will now see the HTML that makes up the webpage, focused on the line(s) related to the element you're targeting. In addition, Inspect Element allows you to temporarily edit the HTML or CSS of a page which will go away once the page is reloaded.