The 2014 Theme, Just For SHU

WordPress introduces a new default theme every year, and this year it’s called … twenty fourteen. It’s a very clean and dramatic looking magazine-style theme with lots of possibilities. As usual, out-of-the-box it’s fairly plain; but we’ve created a version of it with some extra goodies.

Oh, by the way — in order to make this work to its full potential, activate the “Fourteen Extended” plugin first. This will let you center the whole page (by default it floats to the left with extra space on the right), and give you finer control over the featured content.

Ready? Go into your Appearance::Themes section, scroll down and find “Twenty Fourteen Custom for Seton Hall,” and make it your active theme. Then visit the Plugins screen and activate “Fourteen Extended.”

Basics

Using the Appearance::Customize window lets you play with all the various settings and see a real-time preview. Then when you’ve got it just the way you want it, click Save & Publish.

sc_general_options
The first thing to do is probably center your page. Just check the box for “Center Align Site Layout?” In this section you can also change the maximum width and the position of the top-bar menu, if you’re so inclined.

sc_colorsThe “Colors” section lets you pick a background color. Pop it up and you can pick the shade you want, as well as the lightness or darkness.

sc_header_imageThe “Header Image” section is where we’ve done the most to make your site SHU-friendly. There are fourteen (just a coincidence) different images we’ve chosen, each with a bit of Seton Hall branding — either the logo, or a watermark of the “three buildings” part of the logo. Select any of them in this section and see what you like.

Here’s the complete selection:
muted_spring

moody_twilight

lecture

jubilee

flag

evening_light

chapel

banner

window

trading_room

sunny_lawn

sports

shrubs

prez_hall_snow

And in action…
sc_grid_jubilee

Featured Content

sc_featured_contentThe three feature blocks across the top are set up using the “Featured Content” section. For this to work, first you have to have a few stories set to be “sticky” (see the Publish::Visibility::Edit link in your right-hand sidebar when editing a post). Then use the Featured Content area to select how you want them to be displayed. You can do a grid or a slider. Here’s another example of the three-wide grid.

sc_grid_banner

You can also make the grid four items wide.

sc_grid_chalkboard_4up

sc_featured_sliderUsing the slider, you can have as many featured posts as you need, and — this is important from a usability perspective — keep them from changing unless your reader clicks the forward or back link.

sc_slider_chapel

sc_slider_lawn

If you don’t like the black background, you can remove it.

sc_slider_flag_nobg

sc_slider_moody_nobg

Nothing too Flashy, Please

Or, you can have no featured content at all. Just “un-sticky” your posts and the whole thing is hidden.

sc_nofeature_sports

sc_nofeature_spring

Using the “Colors” section, change the background outside the content area to enhance the look of your header graphic.

sc_nofeature_winter_bgcolor

sc_nofeature_chapelext_bgcolor

sc_nofeature_tradingroom

Or, drop in a background image that will flow around it.

sc_nofeature_lawn_imgbg

How far can you go?

You can use as many featured stories as you like, either three across or four across, in a grid. Just make sure the multiple is right — for three across, you should have three, six, nine etc. “sticky” stories. Here’s four across, with eight sticky stories.

sc_8grid_chapelwindow

In combination with the My Custom CSS plugin (activated on your blog automatically) you can add your own colors and fonts to the mix. And of course, don’t forget to set up your menus and widgets.

Have fun!

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