The DRS Project Toolkit is now CERES: Exhibit Toolkit!
Welcome to CERES: Exhibit Toolkit user guide.
What if I don't know how to use WordPress?
If you’ve never worked with WordPress before, there are many resources available to help you get started. The WordPress Codex is both in-depth and wide ranging. If you need a tutorial for beginners, you can use the Lynda WordPress Tutorial. You can log into Lynda using your Northeastern username and password.
How do I choose my URL and WordPress name?
URLs for projects will be formatted as projectname.northeastern.edu. When you have your initial meeting with CERES: Exhibit Toolkit staff, let us know what you’d like the project name to be.
The primary administrator on the account will be assigned a username based on their NU email name.
After that, anyone with administrative privileges on the site can add new members without our assistance. For more information on how to add members, see the WordPress User Manual.
How do I navigate the WordPress Admin Dashboard?
The WordPress Admin Dashboard is an interface that allows you to customize the appearance your website, modify its settings, as well as add and manage content on your website. In other words, it serves as the central location from where you can administer all aspects of your website.
The five most critical areas of the dashboard are Posts, Pages, Appearance, Users, and Settings. Posts are used to add new content such as news or blog posts, these are generally updated more frequently than pages. Pages create new organizational units within your website and are most often used to house subcollections of related information. The Appearance tab allows you to alter the layout of your website (in terms of color, typography, background images, etc.) and add/edit menus. The Users tab allows you to add additional users who can work on or contribute to the site and control the level of access that each user has in changing or editing the website. The Settings tab allows you to change the Title and Tagline of your website, change the settings that affect comment moderation, as well as link your collection or set in the DRS to your WordPress website.
Other functions in the dashboard include making CSS-related edits to the website and gathering viewership statistics.
For a more in-depth look into the dashboard, check out its page on the The WordPress Codex.
How do I use my DRS items in CERES: Exhibit Toolkit?
To make your DRS collection available to your WordPress site, all you need to do is input your collection’s URL. To do this, first go to the “Settings” tab in the left-hand menu, then click “CERES: Exhibit Toolkit.” On this page, input your collection’s URL into the box. After inputting your URL, click “Update” at the bottom of the “Settings” page.
If you have multiple collections in the DRS that you would like to incorporate as part of your website, you can use our “sets” feature. To do this, first log in to your DRS account. Click the arrow to the right of your name, and click the box “Create a new set.” From here, you may title your set, provide a description, and control permissions. Upon hitting Submit, you can then manage your set and add files to it from your collections. You will then use your set URL in place of the collection URL in your WordPress Site, as explained above.
How do I build an exhibit for my DRS items?
Once your items are accessible, you’ll want to build exhibits with these items and their details, which come from the metadata you’ve inserted into the DRS. We’ve provided some custom tools for this. These include shortcodes for building galleries and playlists and a page builder for a more customizable layout. We’ve provided in-depth documentation on building exhibits.
How do I customize my website's appearance?
Your WordPress theme allows for plenty of customization!
To modify the visual aspects of your website–including its layout, colors, fonts–go to “Customize” under the “Appearance” option on the left-hand menu. There are many options to customize your website here. Under the “General” option, you can change the title and tagline of your site by clicking on “Site Identity.” Under the “Layout” option, you can change the relative location on the page of your menus and widgets, including sidebars. There is an option to add “Background Images” to the title bar and across your sites pages. Click “Colors” to change the colors of text, backgrounds, borders, links, button backgrounds and text. Here, you may change these options globally–across your site–or just in the site’s individual components: its header, footer, menus, galleries, and sidebar menus. Under “Typography,” you can change the text’s font in these different parts of your website.
This area is also where you can change what menus show up in certain areas and set up what page shows blog posts. You can also add header and footer widgets that will show up across your website.
You can also modify menus to make navigating your site easier. To get to the menu builder, go to “Menus” under the “Appearance” bar on the left-hand menu. Here you can build new menus, choose their locations, or modify the structure of a menu.
WordPress also allows for the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for more advanced customization. If you would like to learn more about using CSS in WordPress, see the WordPress Codex on CSS.
The DRS Toolkit has given you a few options to customize its features. If you go to “DRS Toolkit” under “Settings” on the left-hand menu, you can change the page title on the various search and browse pages, as well as modify what metadata is visible by default in these functions.
How do I customize the home page?
The home page that comes with your install is customizable just like any other page would be. You can use the various page customizations, like galleries, pictures, and text, to build a home page for users to see when they come to your site.
How do I customize my metadata display on single item pages?
To customize which metadata fields appear in the single item page, first go to settings in the dashboard, then click on CERES: Exhibit Toolkit in the menu on the left-hand side. Next, scroll down until you see the heading “Single Item Page Settings.” Here you can select which metadata fields you would like to display in the single item page by checking the appropriate box. Furthermore, you can change the order in which these fields appear by dragging each field up or down. You can also add metadata fields by clicking the “Add Metadata Field” button at the bottom. It is important to note that if none of the fields are selected, all metadata will display in the default order. Once you have made the desired changes, click “Save Changes” at the very bottom of the page to implement the changes.
How do I add custom text or other CERES features to specific single item pages?
To add custom text or other CERES features to a specific single time page, click on “Item Pages Custom Text” in the dashboard menu, and then click “Add New.” This will take you to a page-building interface very similar to the one used for designing regular pages for your website. To begin, paste the DRS ID or the DPLA ID of the item whose single page item you wish to customize in the “Item ID” pane on the right-hand side. This ID can be copied from the URL of the single item page that you wish to customize and it begins with either neu:XXXXX or dpla:XXXXX. Next, enter a title in the title section. This title will not display and so it is useful to use a title that makes this custom section easy to find in the future. After the Item ID and Title have been entered, you can add custom text or other CERES features such as maps, timelines, tile-galleries, etc. just as if you were building an exhibit in the visual editor. These will display below the metadata fields and the “Item Appears In” pane in the single item page. Once you have added your customizations, click on “update” to publish the changes on the single item page.
Can I change the page theme?
A note on themes: CERES: Exhibit Toolkit is built on a customized version of a theme called Quest. We request you do not change the theme, as all plugins and many functionalities are built to work with only this theme. Changing it will cause your site to function incorrectly. If you do accidentally change the theme, go to “Themes” under “Appearance” in the left-hand menu. Select “DRS Toolkit (Quest child theme).” This will restore the correct theme and fix your page.
How do I change the appearance of my website so that it displays Northeastern University's branding, instead of the library's branding (or vice-versa)?
The option to select an NU Logo and its color is available in the WordPress Dashboard under Appearance -> Customize -> Colors -> Header.
How do I enable comments?
We have comments disabled by default on these WordPress sites, for convenience and to cut down on spam. It is possible to add comments both to individual pages and posts, and to your entire site. To add to individual pages or posts, navigate to “All Pages” or “All Posts” under the “Pages” or “Post” options on the left hand menu. Then, select the checkboxes for each page or post you would like to open to comments. Click the “Bulk Actions” drop-down menu and select “Edit,” then click “Apply.” This will open a new menu inside the page. Choose “Comments” from the drop-down boxes on the right-hand side, and then select “Allow.” Click “Update” to finish.
To allow comments on your entire WordPress site, click “Discussion” under “Settings” in the left-hand menu. Then, check the box next to “Allow people to post comments on new articles.” Then, click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
How do I use plugins to add functionality to my page?
If you would like to use new plugins, please contact us. Not all plugins are compatible with CERES: Exhibit Toolkit, and we will have to evaluate the use of plugins on a case-by-case basis.
To learn more about plugins, where to find them, and how to manage them, see the WordPress Codex on Plugins.
What is the media library? When do I use it?
Aside from access to items in your DRS collection, there’s also a media library feature inherent in WordPress. This feature shouldn’t be used to display items in your DRS collection. This is because the library does not call your item’s details dynamically like CERES: Exhibit Toolkit does, meaning it may cause items to have incorrect or out of date details. These items will also not show up in the search or browse functions properly. Finally, since the shortcodes for exhibit building use only DRS items from the collection you’ve inserted, you cannot use media library items with these tools. For more on using shortcodes to build exhibits with your DRS items, see the section on exhibit building.
The media library should instead be used for things like “people” pages, where you introduce those working on a given page, or to display media held in archives outside of the DRS. To learn how to add non-DRS media to your pages, see the WordPress Support page on adding media.
How do the search and browse functions work?
We’ve built a custom search functionality to better help projects search and browse their pages and DRS collections through WordPress. The main functionality searches through the entire collection whose URL you’ve put in in the back end of the site. It searches through all the details you’ve put in to the DRS, and also has a set of facets you can filter by.
The second functionality searches through pages and posts in WordPress, including embedded shortcodes, allowing your exhibit pages to be discoverable by search as well.
The browse function allows you to browse through all of the individual items in a collection, with a series of filters available on the left-hand side that are pulled from the details in the DRS.
With the collections function, you can look through the subcollections in your collection. You may want to set up a picture to act as an album cover for your collection. This is done in the DRS itself, and will appear on your WordPress site once you’ve set it up in the DRS. This allows for a curated browsing experience that is especially useful for very large collections. Please note that setting up subcollections is important, as only one top-level collection can be put into CERES: Exhibit Toolkit at a time.
Because the call to the DRS is dynamic, if you change your subcollections or details in the DRS they will also change in your WordPress instance.
There is the option to turn search off when customizing the theme. We recommend you do not do this. If you find your search feature has disappeared or isn’t working correctly, go to “Theme Options” under “Appearance” on the left-hand menu. Then, click the “Header” tab to see that the “Enable Search” option is set to ON.
Who do I give credit to on my project? What are the best practices for giving proper credit?
It’s important for your project to account for who has contributed and give them proper credit. The installation of WordPress issued to you by the DSG includes a page for credits. It includes a few parts.
The first portion is for you to fill in with your project members and alumni, which you can populate and organize how you’d like.
The second portion is where you state how you’d like others to cite your project. A template is provided for you that we recommend you use. It also will include your copyright and licensing information, once you’ve discussed that with the Northeastern University Copyright Officer.
The third portion is a boilerplate text that gives credit to CERES: Exhibit Toolkit and the Digital Scholarship Group. We request that you leave this section untouched.
What levels of access should different project members have?
Someone without access to your DRS collection can still help you build exhibits. You simply have to give them access to your WordPress site. Then, as long as you’ve put in the collection URL, they can still build pages with the content.
To learn more about how to add new members to your WordPress site and the available roles an administrator can assign, see the WordPress User Manual on managing users.
How do I contact the DSG for additional assistance?
Your can contact the DSG at DSG@neu.edu