Customize Your Site

While one of the goals of the Alumni Groups web platform is to facilitate the use of Ohio State branding guidelines, each site also needs to express the character of its organizations. There are a number of ways to customize the layout, look, and settings of your site.


Selecting a themeThe look-and-feel of a WordPress website is controlled by the site’s Theme. There are two themes available for alumni groups that make use of Alumni Association branding elements and provide a number of useful features. To select a new theme for your site, navigate to Appearance > Themes in the administration menu, hover over the desired theme, and click the Activate button.


The ACS Stacked theme is a modern “skyscraper” design that presents masthead, content, and navigation elements in a single column. The main navigation is located toward the top of the page and features drop down menus for nested content.


The ACS Columns theme is a more traditional two column design. It provides a left sidebar to contain the navigation menu, title, search, etc. and a main right column to display the page content. It features an expanding, stacked main menu.


Each theme has several custom features designed for clubs and societies:

  • Automatic navigation menus
  • Branded organizational logo
  • Responsive design for mobile devices
  • Site search
  • Prominent Join and Donate buttons
  • Featured content slideshow
  • News and events sections
  • Quick link buttons
  • Social media integration
  • Mission statement
  • A football countdown timer
  • RSS feeds

Theme Customization

Theme customize menuTo configure your selected theme, open Appearance > Customize from the main administration menu. You will be presented with a live preview of your site on the right, and a menu containing theme options on the left. Theme options are divided into sections, clicking the “down” arrow next to each section reveals its options. After making changes, remember to click the “Save & Publish” button at the top of the menu.

Site Title and Tagline

  • Site Title: The title of your site. Should be your organization name. Appears in web browser tabs.
  • Tagline: A brief description of your site/organization
  • Logo: The logo image file provided as part of your brand toolkit. To upload, expand the Logo section by clicking the down arrow. Next, either drag a logo file to the upload area or click the ‘select a file’ link.


  • URL for Donate button: The URL of a web page for the site’s “Donate” button. Should be a page that allows a user to donate to your group or to your designated university giving funds. Can be pages on your site or another web site. If left blank, the donate button will be removed.
  • URL for Join button: The URL of a web page for the site’s Join button. Should provide the user with instructions for joining your organization. Can be pages on your site or another web site. If left blank, the join button will be removed.
  • News section title: Title for the News listing page
  • Blog section title: Title for the blog category page
  • Show featured images in content: Each page and post can present a “featured image.” This image is used in post lists like the news section. It can optionally also be shown within the page content.
  • Featured image alignment: If shown, the featured image can be right or left aligned.


Each theme has one or more versions of a featured content slideshow. The slideshow can contain up to four images that link to featured content. The images can link to articles or pages on your site or to other websites. Depending on the slideshow type, the image may also be able to present a date.

For each type of slideshow, you can add the individual images in the Featured section of the customize menu. Each slide has the following options:

  • Image: The image file to use with the slide. To upload, expand the Logo section by clicking the down arrow. Next, either drag a logo file to the upload area or click the ‘select a file’ link. The image size should be
    • 940 x 277 pixels for the OSU ACS Stacked feature slider
    • 222 x 222 pixels for the OSU ACS Stacked feature thumbnails
    • 746 x 340 pixels for the OSU ACS Columns feature slider
  • Caption: The text to display with the image. Should describe the event/article/content linked from the slide
  • Date: Depending on the type of slideshow, text in the Date field will also be displayed with the caption
  • URL: The full URL that the image will link to when clicked. Should be an article or feature on your site or a page on an external web site you would like to promote.


Each theme has several color configurations. Feel free to experiment and choose one that fits your group and your site’s content.


Select the menus to display in each menu area of the theme. This should be preconfigured when your site is created. The Main Menu is the site’s main navigational element. It will appear just beneath the masthead in the stacked theme and in the left column in the columned theme. Link Buttons represents the quick links section and can be shown anywhere on the site by using a widget,

Static Front Page

By default, the home page of your site is a “landing page” that can be used to display an overview of your recent content such as news and events. If you would like to configure a different, static page as the home page (such as an About page), use the options in this section.

  • Show landing page: If checked, the home page will be the default landing page with customizable widgets and sections. If unchecked, options in the next section are used.
  • Front page displays: Selecting “Your latest posts” causes the front page to show a list of recent Posts. “A static page” allows your to select a page on your site to serve as the home page.

After making changes in the customize menu, remember to click Save & Publish!

Site Settings

Your site’s behavior can be further customized using options in the Settings section of the administration menu. To learn more about these configuration points, take a look at the WordPress Codex. Of particular note is the timezone setting under Appearance > General: make sure it matches the timezone for your constants.

Your site comes preconfigured with sane defaults for most settings. Make sure you explore the WordPress documentation before changing them.