ACS Site Documentation

ACS Site Administration
Please read this document thoroughly before attempting to manage site content.

The ACS website is a WordPress blog site and is controlled primarily through the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). However, there is also a secondary portion of the CMS that is custom-written to support certain functionality.

This guide is not meant to be a WordPress tutorial. Please visit the WordPress website to view detailed documentation on the operation and ongoing maintenance of a WordPress website. This document is intended as a guide to help understand the custom CMS workings of the ACS Theme.

To administer the site, log into the website’s WordPress admin area using the username and password provided by the site administrator. From the login screen, be sure to also check the box that reads: “Remember Me” so that WordPress will automatically log you in each time you visit the website.

We recommend that you do NOT upgrade WordPress or any of its plugins at any time without a compelling reason to do so. This is because WordPress is a constantly changing system with always evolving source code, functionality, database structures, etc. Similarly, the plugins used for the site are written by 3rd party developers, not WordPress, and those developers are writing their plugins based on a “snapshot in time” of the WordPress environment (code, functions, database structure, etc). Making a change to either WordPress or its plugins could potentially at any time, break the site in a way that would require a complete restoration of the site from a prior backup (potentially taking the site down for days, and incurring time & costs to restore the site). Over the years we have seen many instances of this and for this reason we recommend that you do NOT ever upgrade WordPress or any of its plugins without a compelling reason that makes it worth the risk to upgrading.

Switching between the WordPress CMS and the website
Once logged into the WordPress admin CMS area, you will be presented with a menu along the left side of the screen. At the top left of the screen you will see a link to “Advocacy and Communication”. If you click that link, you will be taken to the site homepage. Once on the homepage (or any other page of the site), the link in the upper left corner of the screen will still read “Advocacy and Communication”, but clicking it will take you back to the CMS area.

When viewing any page or post on the site, you will be able to edit the page or post by clicking on the “Edit Page” or “Edit Post” link in the top center of the browser.

In many cases you will see that a page is comprised of a combination of both content created via the WordPress editor window, and the custom CMS area. After reviewing the custom CMS area and learning which components are defined with the custom CMS, you will be able to determine what content is driven by the custom CMS and what content is driven via the WordPress editor. (Basically, any content not driven by the custom CMS area is driven by the WordPress editor).

Managing Existing Site Pages & Posts

Custom Fields
We created several “custom fields” for use in configuring the display of site pages and posts. There is a dropdown list of custom fields available for use when you are on the edit post or edit page CMS screen. We will detail these fields further below, but the following custom fields were created for internal use by the theme template and they should never be used or changed on any pages or posts:

  • is-client-page
  • is-contact-page
  • is-latest-news-page
  • is-newsletter-page
  • is-signup-page
  • is-successes-page
  • is-team-bio-page
  • is-team-page
  • is-testimonial-page
  • is-tools-and-resources-page

Nav Bar Menu Structure
The CMS allows you to manipulate the top menu navigation system by manipulating the PARENTAGE of a PAGE and the ORDER of the PAGE. These are handled via the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box on the right side of the CMS page when editing a PAGE.

In order for ANY page to show up on the website via the menu system, you MUST assign the page the template called “ACS Page Template” (also part of the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box), and you MUST use the custom field called top-menu and set it to yes.

The PARENT of the page determines where in the menu system the page will appear. If a PAGE does not have a parent, then it will be the topmost menu item.

The order that menu items appear WITHIN THEIR SIBLINGS is set by the ORDER attribute in the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box. The ORDER field is a numeric field. We have set the default orders in series of 10. For example, HOME has an ORDER of 10, ABOUT US has an order of 20, OUR TEAM is 30, etc.

If you wish the top portion of a PAGE to contain text in 2 columns, use the custom fields:

  • top-menu – set this to yes on a PAGE to have that page appear in the flyout menu system
  • uses-testimonial-sliders – set to yes on a PAGE to have that page display the testimonials in the right column
  • title-hyperlink – for use on a POST (Posts appear on the LATEST NEWS page). Normally, the LATEST NEWS page displays the POST title as text, but you can set the title to be a hyperlink by entering this custom field on the POST and setting the custom field’s value to the http(s) address of the title should link to.

When you create a blog POST, that post appears in the LATEST NEWS page. You can control the order that the POST appears by setting the PUBLISH DATE for the POST.

Along with the WordPress CMS are several CUSTOM CMS screens which are accessible from the WordPress CMS area by clicking on the menu item in the upper left entitled: “CUSTOM CMS AREA”. The following sections of the website are managed from the CUSTOM CMS AREA:

Manage Homepage Content
Manage Homepage Slideshow
Manage Testimonials Page
Manage Successes Page
Manage Sidebar Testimonials
Manage Testimonial Videos
Manage Tools & Resources
Manage Team Bios
Manage Newsletters
Manage Strategic Partner Images
Manage Client Page Images
Manage Footer Items

Short Codes
Short Codes are a WordPress mechanism that allows the admin to designate a short phrase that the internal blog software then replaces with actual content. Short Codes need to be programmed into the WordPress system and we have coded 1 Short Code for use in the on the “Clients” page.

The Short Code on the Clients page displays the client images that the admin defined in the Custom CMS area. When editing the Clients page in the WordPress editor, placing the short code:


into the content of the WordPress editor will display the list of client images that the admin defined in the custom CMS area. If you edit the current Clients page, you will see how the short code has already been inserted for you.

Learning by Viewing
You can learn a great deal about the blog interface by viewing a page/post that has the desired functionality, then editing the page/post in the WordPress CMS and viewing how the page/post uses custom fields, categories, page attributes, etc.