The College of Engineering offers free WordPress hosting to all faculty and staff affiliated with the college. WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that powers over 33% of the web. The easy-to-use editor enables you to create and manage your own content quickly and effectively directly from your web browser. WordPress also offers an extensive selection of plugins and themes for you to achieve the look, feel, and functionality you need.
The Engineering WordPress environment is a managed environment, designed to provide flexibility and security to users. Webmasters are empowered to manage the content of their sites, without having to worry about managing servers or keeping software up to date. There are many plugins available for use that can enhance the functionality of your site with forms, fine-gained access control, calendars, and more. All plugins are thoroughly evaluated before installation to ensure that the environment remains secure, and free from malicious or potentially vulnerable plugins. We perform nightly backups of the environment to ensure your data is kept safe and sound.
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WordPress Plugins are pieces of code that extend and add functionality to your WordPress site. Plugins can be extremely useful; however, they also happen to be one of the major avenues for attacks on WordPress sites. Therefore, to keep your site (and all hosted sites) safe from attack, we require all plugins to undergo a thorough vetting process before approving them for installation. Webmasters can request a new plugin be made available for use by submitting a plugin approval request.
Themes are responsible for the look and feel of your site. There are a number of brand compliant themes already approved and available for use in our environment. Webmasters can request a new theme be made available for use by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use an NC State-branded theme. (Learn more about switching themes in WordPress.)
- Follow university editorial style guidelines.
- Write with a consistent voice and tone.
- Include bold and impactful imagery.
NC State University is committed to providing a barrier-free IT environment to all people. WordPress is a recommended technology for creating accessible websites. However, you must still follow basic accessibility best practices as you create content, including the following:
- Every post and page must have a title.
- Use headings to denote sections of your posts and pages.
- Add alternative text for images when adding them to posts and pages.
The university IT Accessibility Coordinator periodically leads workshops on WordPress and accessibility. You can learn more and register for the next available workshop in REPORTER. For additional information, check out the Web Publishing Support and Training page.
Learning to Use WordPress
There are several resources available for learning how to use WordPress.
The WordPress Codex is “the online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation.” The Codex has extensive information for all aspects of WordPress, including getting started guides, best practices for content editing, as well as developer resources.
WordPress.org offers a knowledge base, which contains all kinds of information ranging from how to author posts, to what the user roles and permissions are. The knowledge base is a bit newer than the Codex, and is a bit easier to navigate and read through articles.
If you prefer a more audio-video learning experience, the following guides are available:
The Office of Information Technology at NC State also offers training courses to faculty and staff.