Custom Development

Sites where the University is the main partner must normally use a domain and must use the University WordPress theme, or be developed in line with the web toolkit guidelines. Other sites must use an external domain name which must be acquired through ISS and must not use Leeds branding. All websites must comply fully with all relevant sections of the website regulations and in particular must have a valid privacy notice written specifically for the site.

Sites using an external domain name are usually used for the dissemination of research which is taking place across different institutions, and for which the Leeds branding would be inappropriate, or for projects with a specific audience outside the university (like Dancers Information or The Reading Rhizome).

The colour scheme employed by a site using the University Theme can be set in the theme options, and different page layouts can be chosen to achieve a degree of diversity among sites employing the theme. WordPress Child Themes can also be created from the University Theme (there is a skeleton child theme bundled with the theme). Examples of the use of child themes, primarily to incorporate different backgrounds, can be found here:

If you use a domain for your site, you will need to source a theme (and possibly plugins) for your site. Most of the themes on the site can be used – browse through the free themes here – but please note that some themes are designed to help with particular types of sites (portfolios, blogs, galleries, etc.), so make sure you choose a theme for its features as well as for the way it looks. If you are choosing a free theme, it is important that the theme supports the latest version of WordPress, and that it is updated regularly.

If you are thinking of developing your own theme, contracting out development to one of the university’s approved suppliers, or running any custom plugins (i.e. plugins not included in the list of available plugins documented here), please read the guidelines available here. If you are commissioning the work from an external supplier, please forward the following guidelines to them: