WordPress: FAQ

How can I create a website?

Can I get any subdomain of web.unc.edu?

What type of website can I create?

What are the space/size limitations of a site?

What type of media can I upload? (videos, pics, docs, etc.)

Who has access to my site?

Can I still access my website after I leave UNC?

Can I use this to create a website for my student group?

Is there a backup made of web.unc.edu data?

What software are you using on web.unc.edu?

Can I add plugins to my site?

I found an awesome plugin! Will you add it to web.unc.edu?

Can I import my externally hosted website to web.unc.edu?

What options are there for web and application development here at UNC?

Will my site be impacted by system maintenance?


How can I create a website?

Visit the Create Site page. Be sure to first read the Terms and Conditions If you are a University department, do not create your site on web.unc.edu. Please file a WordPress ticket and we will create you a site on the sites.unc.edu platform.

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Can I get any subdomain of web.unc.edu?

Yes, all subdomains of web.unc.edu are open to anyone with a UNC Onyen on a first-come-first-served basis within the Terms of Service.

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What type of website can I create?

Websites may only be used for educational and University work. This may include websites for campus units, student organizations, research labs, collaborative projects, class blogs, professional portfolios, and so on. You may not use this service for commercial or non-University-related content.

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What are the space/size limitations of a site?

Each site has a 1GB limit for uploaded material. We also have a 10MB file size limit for each uploaded item. Web.unc.edu is not meant as a document repository. If you have larger files you are looking to share we recommend sharing them through Sharepoint, Sakai, or another approved repository. You can always link to larger items that are located elsewhere online.

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What type of media can I upload? (videos, pics, docs, etc.)

You can upload the following file formats: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .ppsx, .mp3, .m4a, .ogg, .wav, .mp4, .m4v (MPEG-4), .mov (Quicktime), .wmv (Windows Media Video), .avi, .mpg, .ogv (Ogg), .3gp (3GPP), .3g2 (3GPP2), .zip.
While we do allow video uploads, we recommend that you upload videos to a video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo and embed it on your page. They will load faster for your visitors and you can store larger and longer videos.

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Who has access to my site?

The ITS Digital Services department has automatic access to all sites on web.unc.edu and sites.unc.edu. Support technicians at the Service Desk can also be given access to provide support if you provide the support ID (found by logging into the WordPress dashboard and hovering over “Need Help?” at the top navigation bar).

You can give others access by adding them via their onyen in the WordPress dashboard. From the dashboard, click on “Users” on the left sidebar to see all current users and add more users. Users have different roles that grant them various levels of access to the settings and site content. Find out more information about user roles on the WordPress documentation site.

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Can I still access my website after I leave UNC?

As long as your Onyen is active you will still be able to log in and use your site. Alternatively, you can also export your website and import it into your own WordPress instance, or another WordPress hosting service like WordPress.com. You can also submit a ticket to help.unc.edu to request that your site is deactivated or deleted.

Even after you have left the university, other users on the site who have active onyens can access the site. If you need access to a website and do not know any admins that can grant you access, please submit a ticket to help.unc.edu.

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Can I use this to create a website for my student group?

Yes, web.unc.edu can be used for any student groups. UNC policies require that student groups be officially recognized before using campus resources. If you are part of a student group and would like to create a website make sure you go to Student Life or contact the Carolina Union and they will walk you through the application process.

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Is there a backup made of web.unc.edu data?

Yes, web.unc.edu data is backed up daily. However, we do not offer restoration for individual sites for deleted content. There is a double redundancy built into web.unc.edu such that when you delete a page or post it goes to the trash folder before being deleted permanently. There is also a revision history of content that is automatically created which you can use to restore pages to earlier states.

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Which software are you using on web.unc.edu?

Web.unc.edu is proudly powered by WordPress Multisite. WordPress is a popular and growing CMS that powers more than 25% of all websites worldwide.

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Can I add plugins to my site?

Many plugins have been made available to extend your website’s functionality. These include plugins for event calendars, web forms, advanced permissions, and so on. However, web.unc.edu servers are “locked down” for security reasons and site administrators may not install their own plugins.

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I found an awesome plugin! Will you add it to web.unc.edu?

We are very cautious about adding new plugins to the network. Here’s why:

  • Compatibility – When we add a new plugin, we make it accessible to all web.unc.edu users. Because of this, any new plugin must work with our existing themes, plugins and in our multi-site environment.
  • Speed – Every plugin we add can slow down our servers, which will make web pages take longer to load.
  • Current Selection – We have more than 50 plugins available for activation, so there’s a good chance your needs will be met by the existing plugins.

For us to consider adding a plugin, it would need to meet the following criteria:

  • Broad Need & Widely Requested – The plugin fulfills a need that none of our other plugins can, and many people are requesting for it to be added.
  • Multi-purpose – It can be used in multiple scenarios.
  • Actively Developed – The creators constantly update the plugin in order to eliminate bugs and optimize user experience.
  • Good Support – The developers constantly reply to questions about their plugin in a timely manner with clearly worded answers.
  • Security – It meets our security protocols.
  • Best Option – Given multiple plugins with the same functionality, we want to choose the one that is the most stable, reliable, and secure.

If you believe your plugin would meet these requirements, please complete a help ticket. Your request will be reviewed by the ITS Digital Services team. Please note, submission of the plugin suggestion does not guarantee that ITS Digital Services will add the plugin to the web.unc.edu or sites.unc.edu platforms.

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Can I import my externally hosted website to web.unc.edu?

Content from externally hosted sites may be imported using WordPress’s standard XML/WXR import functionality. We do not offer SQL import or filespace access for security reasons.

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What options are there for web and application development here at UNC?

UNC students, faculty and staff requiring a highly customized site or development platform can use Carolina CloudApps. Carolina CloudApps is a free web application platform that is powered by RedHat’s OpenShift Enterprise software and is provided by Information Technology Services.

Documentation for the Carolina CloudApps platform can be found here.

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Will my site be impacted by system maintenance?

In order to provide a secure, optimized experience, we occasionally need to perform system updates and maintenance. Web.unc.edu maintenance includes both our back-end infrastructure (i.e database, web servers) as well the WordPress application software. Our maintenance “window” is every fourth Wednesday of the month between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. During this time period, you may experience a site outage or interrupted service on the front-end and in the site admin area.

In addition, our web servers are patched on the third and fourth Wednesdays of the month between 3:00 am and 4:00 am. This maintenance is typically transparent, although you may notice slightly degraded performance (i.e. slower page load times).

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