Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if Faculty Websites will work for me?

Faculty Websites has many features, but also has limitations. Please read “ Are Faculty Websites Right for You?” to find out if the service will meet your needs.

How can I install a new plugin for my site?

Faculty Websites is a WordPress Multisite service. This means that all sites share the same themes and plugins. Unlike a stand-alone version of WordPress, site administrators cannot install or modify themes and plugins. Each new plugin must be evaluated and tested by OIT staff to see if it will benefit the entire system. Each new plugin has potential software conflicts, security risks, and may slow the down the system for all sites. For these reasons, we are very conservative in what we install and do not add new plugins often. Requests for new plugins will be added to a list. If we get enough requests for similar added functionality we will evaluate as resources allow.

Plugins we use are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Adds needed functionality for the majority of our site users.
  • From a trusted source, like WordPress.org. We do not install licensed plugins or from sites other than WordPress.org where plugins are vetted.
  • Actively maintained by the developer.
  • Works in a WordPress Multisite environment. Not all plugins do.

If the limitations of our WordPress multisite installation will not work for your site, OIT does offer web hosting for a fee. Our Unix team can install a stand alone version of WordPress for you that will give you more flexibility in theme and plugin installation and configuration.

Optional Plugins

We have installed a variety of plugins to extend WordPress functionality. Some are network enabled and available now. A few others are optional and we will enable them upon request.

Who can create a Faculty Website?

Only UCI Faculty may request a Faculty Website. We have a companion service, Sites@UCI that is available to Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students. Undergraduate students may use Google Sites.

How do I request a site?

Go to the Faculty Websites homepage and click on the Request a Website image. Fill out the web form. A new ticket will be assigned to the Faculty Websites team in OIT who will create the site for you. An email will be sent to you with the login information.

What is my username and password?

We are using UCInetIDs to authenticate. Use your UCInetID and password to login. Generally, your UCInetID is the first part of your email address before the @ sign.

What software is Faculty Websites using?

We are using WordPress, which is an open-source web content management system.

How do I choose a new theme?

You can change the visual style of you blog by selecting a new theme. We offer approximately 20 themes with a variety of styles and levels of customization. We have a few that are specific to schools and departments on campus. To change your theme, login to your blog and select Appearance > Themes to preview the available themes. You can click on a theme to preview your blog with the new style and if you like it, click Activate.

Can I edit one of the existing themes or can I get a new one installed?

Unlike stand-alone installations of WordPress, WordPress multisite does not allow site administrators the ability to edit themes. The same themes are used for all blogs, so changing a theme affects anyone using it. If you know how to write CSS, we now have a Custom CSS Manager plugin. This will allow you to add CSS code to your instance of the theme to make some style modifications.

The Genesis UCI theme is the preferred theme and also the default for new sites. This theme was created by Strategic Communications and adheres to campus branding.

Generally, we do not install custom themes. We have worked with the schools to supply themes to match the school’s website if it varies from the main UCI website.

How do I block comment Spam?

Spam affects millions of email users daily – the same applies to blogs. Spammers often use the comments functionality of blogs to advertise their products and services. This can be very annoying to the owner of the blog.

By default, we have comment moderation turned on. We have also installed Akismet Spam protection which does a good job of filtering out spam. You should see “Akismet Spam” in the blog admin under the Dashboard heading. There is an option to look through all spam comments for false positives.  You may still see some spam on your blog, but hardly any – it is similar to email where you can’t eliminate 100% of spam unless you stop receiving messages altogether.

How do I add others to my site to help with edits?

  1. In the Admin area of your blog, there is a section called Users.
  2. Click on the link Add New.
  3. Type in the person’s UCI email address and use his or her UCInetID in the UCInetID field.
  4. Give him or her a role (editor, author, contributor, or subscriber). See the page on Roles for more information on role capabilities.
  5. Click Add User
  6. He or she will receive an email invitation to join your site and will have to confirm to be added.
  7. Do this for each new user that you would like to add.

Are there any themes that work well on a mobile device?

We have many themes that use Responsive Web Design including the default UCI Genesis theme. These themes will resize automatically on different devices.

What is the difference between Faculty Websites and a self-hosted WordPress site?

We often get questions about features that are available on self-hosted WordPress sites versus what is offered on Faculty Websites. We have created a comparison table to help explain the differences.

Can I delete my site?

If you have created a site and no longer want it, you can delete it at any time. We have instructions to help you. Before you delete your website make sure to export the content if you want to preserve your work.

Is there any cost to use Faculty Websites?

OIT covers all of the costs to use this shared service. There is no cost to the people using the service. However, if you need a more customizable version of WordPress so that you can install your own themes and plug-ins, OIT does offer a web hosting solution for a monthly fee. This will allow you to install a stand alone version of WordPress that you can customize to suit your needs.

Can I use a custom domain on a site hosted by Faculty Websites?

Yes, you can use a custom domain for your site, such as sitename.bio.uci.edu instead of the default address you get when you sign up, like sites.uci.edu/sitename/. This is called Domain Mapping. Contact us for help or more information. Our current policy is to only map to ‘uci.edu’ domains due to login issues with domains outside of UCI.

I have gone over my Storage Space limit. What can I do?

All Faculty Websites come with 1GB of storage. This storage space limit is only for media uploads like images, files (PDF, Word, Excel), etc. It does not affect how much content you can write and publish. People generally run out of space due to uploading hi-resolution images. Re-sizing images before uploading or replacing large images with smaller ones, often helps. See our Storage Space help page for more tips.

Do Faculty Websites ever expire?

We do monitor sites for change activity. If your website has not been updated in more than 2 years, it may be archived. We will try to contact the administrator of the site to ask if the site is still being maintained. If we do not hear back or the site is not updated, we may archive the site. We will keep the site in a archived state for one more year. We can reinstate it at that time. After that time, it may be deleted to free up space for others. Sites that have been deleted cannot be recovered.