WordPress - Trainng - Requests, Setup, and Development

A guide to setting up sites, and developing on the Campus WordPress platform.

Requesting the Site

When you request the site, you do so from: http://uwm.edu/wordpress/site-requests/

Be sure to include the following information:

  • Please activate the "Student Affairs Identity" site on Development
  • Please provision and allow access to the public to the site on Production
    • CAUTION: Only do this if the site you have requested does not already exist on CommonSpot. If it does exist on CommonSpot we will have to setup redirects, so ask your supervisor.
  • Please activate the "Student Affairs Identity" site on Production

The sponsor is Ryan McNallie, Web Supervisor, and use mcnarya@uwm.edu as the email address.

You will get a response in (hopefully) two days, at the max two weeks.

Once you have the site

Once you have the site, your first steps should be:

  • Enable Content Staging on both Development and Production. This is a sideloaded plugin located in Additional Plugins.
  • Setup Content Staging in the settings for both. This will require copying the generated keys between the two environments.

Using Content Staging

Your experience using Content Staging will vary. This is the general process, however, once you have it setup properly.

  • Move over MetaSlider manually. They do not move over currently.
  • Move over all Gravity Forms manually using their import / export tool. Please note that if you added and deleted forms so that the IDs are not starting from 1, they will have different IDs on production.
  • Initiate your push from the Content Staging plugin

Issues? Probably. You can also use the WordPress Importer which is built in, combined with the sideloaded plugin WP Export Media Attachments.

Getting access to the theme

  1. If you would like to get access to the campus WordPress environment, fill out this form. They will provide you with an SSH login for the WordPress servers.
  2. If you need more urgent access, you can try and email Mark Jacobson.
The nice thing is, you no longer really need access to the filesystem. You can check out the develop branch of our theme in GitLab. When you push to the develop branch, it deploys to the development WordPress server. When you push to the master branch, it deploys to the production WordPress server. This does not require you to access the WordPress servers at all.
Deployments run immediately after push, and you should receive an email afterwards.

VPN or No VPN? That is the question.

Once you have credentials for the WordPress server, you can access the theme. Recently, the method of accessing the WordPress server changed, so you may want to read through this in more detail.

Over UWMWiFi or PROWLnet

If you are connecting from wireless on campus, you do not need to setup a VPN. There is a AWS <-> UWM VPN tunnel setup on wireless, so you're good to go.

Wired UWM network or home access

If you're accessing from the wired UWM network, or from home, you'll need to download and setup the Viscosity VPN client.
The license information for Viscosity, the configuration for the VPN, and the credentials for the VPN are all available in Thycotic Secret Server. If you don't know what that is - ask your supervisor.
Once that's setup, simply start the VPN connection and you can move on to the next step. Again, you do not need to use the VPN connection if you are on PROWLnet or UWMWiFi.

Accessing Resources

There are a few different ways you can access the resources. This is assuming you have an SSH account setup on the WordPress development servers.


You can connect to the WordPress servers via SSH / SFTP. This is really the most reliable. The WordPress server is at
Our theme is located at: /var/www/wwwdev.uwm.edu/public_html/wp-content/themes/uwmwebid-saits
To deploy the theme, you need to copy that directory to: /var/www/wwwdev.uwm.edu-deploy/public_html/wp-content/themes/uwmwebid-saits

Since we have this setup to push via Git, please, do not do this manually.

Samba Share

You can also connect to it via Samba, but I've seen less reliability using this method. You would simply map to: smb://
When asking for credentials, use your SSH credentials.

Updating and Modifying our Theme

We have several things to take note of that are strange for a WordPress theme, and are 100% not our fault.
First, this is a shared theme. Based on the site slug it will load in the folder based off that slug in the /sites folders. The /php folder within each site only loads in the functions.php file so from that file you will need to include any other custom PHP to be added.
The theme also features a shared folder that is loaded on every site.
We also have a plugins folder that loads in all the custom plugins for all of our sites.
Any stylesheets are added in using Sass. You will need to run the Sass compiler before your changes will be viewed in the theme. There is thankfully a Gulp task for this. When in terminal, run gulp compile to compile the Sass.

Keywords:Saits, sa its, Student Affairs IT Services, aws, campuseai, vpn, ucmr, uwmwebid   Doc ID:45164
Owner:Christopher M.Group:UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
Created:2014-11-21 11:12 CDTUpdated:2018-03-14 15:14 CDT
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
Feedback:  1   0