themes

Prudence 2018

Prudence 2018Prudence 2018 was a theme released in January 2018 as a part of Aurora Update 11. Similar to Hale 2015, Prudence 2018 adapted the Prudence design and kept the powerful features of Sherman. A child of the Cornerstone theme, Prudence 2018 will continue to benefit from all new features added to Aurora for years to come.

Moving from Prudence to Prudence 2018

If your site currently uses the Prudence theme, and you would like to switch to Prudence 2018, 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.

Migrating From Other WordPress Servers

For those of you that have been using WordPress elsewhere, there are a few key distinctions you need know about the Aurora server.

Multisite

Aurora is a multisite installation of WordPress, modeled after WordPress.com. Each site has it's own tables, but they are in one database, and share the same library of plugins and themes.

Plugins

Plugins are controlled at the Network level in Aurora. The addition of any new plugins to the network is decided on by the Aurora Governance Committee, and spelled out in the Wishlist.

Themes

Similar to plugins, Themes are also controlled at the network level. Custom themes are permitted, but must pass a Code Audit process before being allowed on production.

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 than 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.

Themes and Plugins

Themes

UConn currently has four central themes as well as a number of custom themes and child themes created for specific UConn sites.

Plugins

To ensure the security and stability of Aurora, plugins are limited to set number determined by the Aurora Governance Committee. Plugins do get added regularly, but must be thoroughly tested and reviewed for compatibility with existing plugins.

Custom Themes and Plugins

Custom development is allowed for the Aurora WordPress server, but each plugin and theme, as well as any update, will have to go through Code Audit before being allowed in the system. Contact webdev@uconn.edu if you're interested in starting a custom project to get a development environment, and to be added to the developer contact lists. You may also want to look at our Live Sites with Custom/Child Themes.

Additional Links