The College of Engineering has its own web server infrastructure and software (LAMP + WordPress), which ITECS architects and runs. Web hosting is provided free of charge to COE faculty and staff for websites residing on our hosted domains (also known as virtual hosts, or vhosts).
For WordPress sites, ITECS provides and supports:
URLs that are accurate, short and SEO-friendly.
ITECS cannot grant third-level domain URLs (name.ncsu.edu). Those must be requested and approved by OIT. However, a proposed site may be eligible for a fourth-level domain, or a subsite under an existing domain (name.ncsu.edu/subsite). .org domains are supported on a case-by-case basis. College of Engineering faculty and staff can also get a WordPress site from OIT at https://wordpress.ncsu.edu/, either a free blog or a hosted cpanel site. Users can create https://go.ncsu.edu links for their existing websites themselves.
- WYSIWYG development environment
Integrated WordPress for easy browser-based editing.
WordPress is a content-management system (CMS). All editing and administration is done in a browser, not the file system. Those with access in the CMS can navigate to URLs, open pages in the browser, and edit/update/save content right on the web. Some fundamental web coding is helpful but not required.
- Look and feel
WordPress templates that meet NCSU branding requirements.
ITECS writes and installs a custom WordPress “theme,” or template, on its hosted sites. The theme creates the graphical interface and site appearance. It also implements design and communication requirements defined by the university at https://brand.ncsu.edu. ITECS is responsible for the theme. Site editors are responsible for content. Site editors cannot modify the theme, but they do have design and layout flexibility in content areas.
- Mobile development and accessibility
Responsive WordPress themes for mobile devices and assistive technologies.
Web sites must be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. ITECS ensures that its hosted sites work across multiple devices and browsers and meet requirements laid out for IT developers at https://accessibility.oit.ncsu.edu/developers/. Accessible web content in sites is the responsibility of the faculty and staff who create the content, see https://accessibility.oit.ncsu.edu/faculty/.
- Forms, utilities and tools
Managed library of WordPress plugins that add functionality without programming.
The WordPress theme provides most of the functionality that editors need at their sites. However, add-on “plugins” can be installed to provide custom functions. For security reasons, site editors cannot install plugins themselves. A request must be made to ITECS to review the plugin code. If the plugin passes review, ITECS will install, manage, and update the plugin at the site. If a plugin does not pass review, ITECS may be able to suggest alternatives. ITECS maintains a library of vetted plugins for use on hosted sites. People who wish to write their own plugins should contact ITECS.
- Access management
Assignment of roles (Administrator, Editor, Author, etc.) in WordPress.
ITECS is responsible for granting access in hosted WordPress sites. ITECS uses the standard WordPress roles but may also grant additional functionality as needed. The site administrator should contact ITECS to add, remove, or change access of site editors and authors. If non-Unity users need to log in and edit your site, please contact ITECS for assistance. No file system access is granted to the WordPress installation.
- Security and business continuity
Authentication, installation, updates and patching, backups.
ITECS updates and patches the WordPress environment and web servers. Authentication to WordPress sites is through Shibboleth with secure https encryption. Sites are backed for 30 days and can be restored on request. Within WordPress, site versions are available indefinitely. Site editors can restore a previous version in the Publish -> Revisions region of the WordPress Dashboard.
Assistance with the above.
ITECS will consult with faculty and staff on WordPress site requests, setup and maintenance. Contact email@example.com.
ITECS support for WordPress sites is limited in the following areas:
- Content editing
Faculty and staff must be able to edit and support their own content.
WordPress is a popular CMS with abundant documentation written about it. https://wordpress.ncsu.edu/support/video-tutorials/ offers some training videos, but there are many more on the web that cover every aspect of WordPress.
- File Storage
WordPress sites have a 10 GB limit and are best used for content presentation, not storage.
WordPress is not a good storage repository. The WordPress Media Library has limited capacity and no folder structure for organizing files. There is also a size limit on uploaded files. As a result, upload files into the Media Library that you intend to link to and display, and remove them if no longer used. Use personal or shared Google Drives with unlimited storage for large image libraries and the like. Use Github for code repositories.
WordPress in Engineering: At a Glance
WHO CAN REQUEST
- College of Engineering Faculty and Staff
TYPES OF SITES
- Access permissions are based on standard WordPress roles and must be requested from ITECS. Unity IDs required.
- If non-Unity users need site access, please contact ITECS.
- No file system access is granted to the WordPress installation.
- Free of charge
- Total space, 10 GB
- File upload size limit, ?
- Limit Media Library to actively linked files only. Use Google Drives or Github for large-scale file storage and code repositories.
- Third-level domain (site.ncsu.edu)
- Fourth-level domain (site.dept.ncsu.edu)
- Subsite under an existing domain (site.ncsu.edu/subsite)
- .org domains
- Go Link
THEME AND BRAND
- All sites must comply with university branding guidelines.
- All sites must comply with accessibility regulations.
- Theme restricted to those provided by ITECS and University Communications.
- Other themes can be used, but ITECS support is not available for them.
- A library of vetted plugins is available. Some plugins come installed with the theme.
- Vetted plugins can only be installed in a WordPress site by ITECS.
- If you request a plugin not in the library, it must undergo a code review and approval by ITECS.
- ITECS has plugins that pull campus data to sites. This data is generally provided to department and administrative sites by request and on a case-by-base basis.
- ITECS does not provide site content. Site editors must be able to create, edit and support their own content.
- Daily backup for 30 days
- WordPress updates and patching
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org