Getting started on Red
To understand what the Red Multisite can offer your department, you can browse the pages in this Help section and the Components & Posts section to see examples of what you can create in Red.
Can I Build My Site In RED?
Below you will find lists of the different types of sites that are allowed to be built in RED (In Scope) and those that are not allowed (Out of Scope).
Allowed in RED (In Scope)
- Official UIC unit websites
- Informational/marketing content (internal & external)
- Course sites for public viewing (except anything that should be securely stored on Blackboard)
- Faculty research/lab/institute sites
- UIC branded conferences and events
NOT Allowed in RED (Out of Scope)
- Secure course sites
- Intranet sites
- Web content that must be HIPAA compliant
- Sites that require non-UIC co-branding (not including UI Health)
- Student org sites (these are instead managed through the Center for Student Involvement)
- Personal profile sites
- Anything not explicitly listed in the “In Scope” section
Things to Know Before Requesting a RED Site
If your site’s purpose is allowed within RED, congrats!
When requesting a new site, you will be able to choose from three header types: A Full Gradient, A Half Gradient, or B Full Gradient. These different header types determine how the top images on the site (in the homepage and all landing pages) will appear. All header options with images have color gradients. The gradients cover top-to-bottom over the homepage (and landing pages) with vibrant colors.
Type A sites can choose between half-screen gradient on the left (and no color gradient over the right side of the image) or full gradient – covering the entire image. Type B can only select full screen (image) gradient. Click here to see further details on the different site types, as well as examples.
You will also be able to choose your footer size. Your options are Simple Footer or Mega footer. The Mega footer will allow you to add (through the Menus) up to 4 columns of external links. The simple footer will allow you to just present your contact information as well as the generic multi-site links built into RED. Click here for more information on the different footer types, as well as examples.
Finally, you can choose a vertical wordmark/logo (optional) that must be found on the UIC Brand Logos site.
Log on to your site dashboard
When your site is commissioned, you’ll receive an email with the login url. It will look something like ______.red.uic.edu/wp-admin/. When prompted, log in with your UIC netID and common password through the UIC Bluestem interface.
When you log in to your WordPress site, you will be taken to the Dashboard Home. This administrative screen gives you basic information about your site content, storage space usage, and news about WordPress. It also has the menu for the tools you will use to manage your site and users, and build pages, posts and other content types.
If you have access to other sites on the red.uic.edu network, you will see a list of them on this page and can navigate to any site or dashboard.
In Red Multisite, the Home Page of your website is a unique page type with custom fields and component options that you can use. Learn more about building your Home Page.
If enacted, the Splash Page will become the first thing a visitor sees when they visit your homepage. Consider it like a temporary overcoat to the constant sweater of your homepage. Splash Pages are an excellent way to alter how visitors first view your site and are quite useful marketing tools, as they can be used to call attention to a major function or event, without altering the main content of the site. There are 3 sections to a Splash Page:
- Top section which uses a background image and logo file with optional Title, link and buttons
- Middle section which allows the use of 4 specific components: full size photo, text, one photo or video, two photos or videos
- Bottom bar which creates the site identifier text
Splash pages can be activated or deactivated with a simple checkbox in the “Theme Settings” section of the dashboard.
Media is the library where you upload and manage images, video, recordings, and files that you upload and use on your site.
Custom Post Types
Billboard, News, Event, and Profile are all custom post types that are built into Red. Each post type is designed with specific purposes in mind. The term “Post” is used to describe a distinct block of content that may include text, headers, images, links, etc. Posts can be used alone or in groups on specific page types. For example, a “News” post can appear on a News page that lists all news, or can be used in a News Highlight within an internal page.
Posts can also be categorized into different groups that can be published on different pages, for example, “All News” or “Research News” pages that only show posts in those categories.
You can create forms with basic and advanced fields that can include conditional logic which guides users through custom form fields.
If you are familiar with WordPress, you will notice that Pages are different on the Red Multisite than on a basic installation. The UIC Red theme uses mostly custom page templates and custom fields grouped into content “components” for building pages. The basic page types are Default Template which is used for the majority of your pages; Landing Page which is for the first page of the different sections of your website; News Listing, Event Listing and Directory which are used to list specific posts on a page(s); and Contact Page which can include various contact components and forms.
In Menus, site administrators and editors can manage the page navigation on the website (how pages appear – and in what order – within the main navigation, eyebrow, or footer). Unlike other WordPress platforms, there is only one theme available on Red multisite. You will not be able to add other themes.
Users, Section Groups, Tools & Settings
In the Users and Section Groups tools, you can add, delete and define users and their roles with the site to provide different authoring access levels. Tools and Settings let you import and export content and fine tune the details of your site.
This is where you will set some basic site information.
- Share Links: these are links for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Email. These links will appear in your News posts and allow site visitors to share the content of that post via the links you select to appear.
- Site Contact: email, address, phone and social media links to your pages/profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr. This information appears in your footer.
- Color Scheme: The color scheme that will appear throughout your site. See below for a preview of the four color schemes.
- Enable/Disable Splash Page: Detailed above.
- Google Translate: You can turn on or off a Google Translate widget for your site. The widget appears at the bottom-right of the browser screen.
- Maintenance Mode: This allows you to enable a special message to appear on the site when your site is temporarily down for maintenance.
Keeping an Eye on Storage
In the “At a Glance” box in the body of the Dashboard home, you will now see a section on Storage Space which indicates the amount of space allowed for your site media files and the percent used. If you have needs regarding storage space, please contact us to discuss.
When you request your site, or when you are ready to launch, you can use our contact us form to ask our team to add your Google Analytics tracking ID to your website.
Use the Redirection plugin to manage your live site’s URL redirects and 404s. Managed independently of redirects created by ACCC Web Services. This plugin is not enabled by default, so drop us a line if you’d like to use it.
URL SEO Tip: Even after migrating to RED, we suggest that you continue to maintain a url previously utilized by your old site, as this will keep the site history in tact. Site history is essential for increasing Search Engine listing placement and improving SEO.
XML SiteMap Plugin
To create site maps of your site, you can now use the XML Sitemap generator plugin that is located in your dashboard under Settings > XML-Sitemap. Within the plugin you will be able to generate sitemaps specifically based upon your criteria and then submit them to the different search engines via Webmaster tools to improve search rankings/up-to-date indexing. More information on the XML-Sitemap plugin can be found here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/
The 4 Different Color Schemes in RED
In addition to the Blue-Navy color scheme (used on this site), there are Green-Navy, Navy-Red and Red-Purple options which you can preview in the slideshow below.