New display option makes your homepage more compact

If your homepage includes optional content blocks such as recent news posts, upcoming calendar events or a Twitter feed, you may find that the static content at the top of your page –  i.e., your featured image and introduction – is pushing this great dynamic information out of sight. (If your homepage doesn’t include additional content blocks and you’d like to learn more about them, send us a note!)

Now you have the option to “condense” the information at the top of your page, so news, events and other content modules can appear higher on the page.

Homepage showing the default (“expanded“) view. The introduction and button appear below the featured image.

Homepage showing the condensed featured image and introduction. This option allows recent news to appear as high on the page as the introduction normally would.

The condensed view places a black or white overlay across the bottom of your featured image. The site introduction and button are contained within this overlay.

See the tutorial »
Describes how to edit your homepage options, including the featured image display

Try the condensed view if:

  • Your homepage includes additional content blocks, such as news, events, video or photos.
  • You have a clear business goal to promote. The short introduction works particularly well with a focused call to action, such as applying for a fellowship or calling to make an appointment.

Keep the expanded view if:

  • Your homepage content consists only of the featured image, introduction and button – e.g., no news, events or other content blocks.
  • Your featured image is smaller than 1440 pixels wide. The condensed view is available only for featured images sized as “full-screen.”
  • Your site introduction is longer than two lines. The condensed view requires a concise and focused introduction.
  • Your featured image shows faces or other important features that shouldn’t be covered. The condensed view lays a strip of text over the bottom of the featured image, and you don’t want it to hide anything important.

If you’d like to test this option but you don’t want to mess with a live site, remember that you can use your test site as a sandbox to stage and play with possible updates.

Error report: Uploading images

If you’ve edited your WUSM Web Theme site recently, you may have had trouble uploading new images. If so, you are not alone. This is a known bug in WordPress, and a solution is in the works.

Why can’t I add photos? The bug may produce an “HTTP error” message like this one.

What is the issue?

When uploading a new media file such as a photo or pdf, the upload never completes and/or you get an “HTTP error” as seen in the screenshot above.

What should I do?

Unfortunately, an upload’s efficacy seems completely random, so the most you can do (until the bug is fixed) is practice patience and perseverance.

We’ve found that a file typically loads successfully after two or three attempts, and it may help to save and refresh the page between attempts. We recommend against throwing your computer out the window as this has not increased our success rate in carefully controlled trials.*

When will this be resolved?

Because the error is in WordPress and not the local theme, the WUSM Web Theme team cannot develop a fix internally. WordPress developers are currently working on a solution, and we expect an update soon.


*Such trials are fictitious and exist only in the fantasies of those who have experienced the error.

Eliminating the right sidebar

On December 1, Medical Public Affairs will install an update to the WUSM Web Theme that will alter the appearance of websites currently using the theme. The update will eliminate the right sidebar from all pages except Home, which doesn’t include a sidebar.

If you manage a website using the WUSM Web Theme, please follow the instructions below to prepare for this update.

What exactly will change?

The right sidebar is the column of content on the right side of all pages except Home. Entering content into this column is optional, so some pages of your site may not have right sidebar content. If the sidebar has no content, it appears as a blank column.

The page layout will be modified to remove this column completely. This update will roll out in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Dec. 1: Any content in the sidebars will automatically be moved to the bottom of the page. (This is where sidebar content currently appears when your site is viewed on a mobile device.)
  • Phase 2 – Jan. 28: All “sidebar” content (now appearing at the bottom of each page) will be deleted from your site completely.

Why the change?

Removing the sidebar increases the width of a page’s main content area. This additional space allows for richer content and images; it also makes the text larger and easier to read.

Eliminating the sidebar also creates a more consistent experience for users across multiple devices, such as desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

What do I need to do?

If your site doesn’t use the right sidebar, you don’t need to do anything.

If your site does use the sidebars, you’ll need to move any sidebar content that you want to keep into the main body of your pages before January 28.

Where you place the content depends on its importance to the page:

  • Highly important content, such as calls-to-action, emergency information or time-sensitive updates, could be placed in a callout box near the top of the page. (Example: See the School of Medicine’s Patient Care page, which includes a “For patients” callout with links.)
  • Secondary content, such as resources, related links or contact information, could be moved to the bottom of the page’s main body. In some cases, you may need to create new pages or make use of features like accordions or call-out boxes to accommodate this additional content.

If you need a refresher on adding call-out boxes or accordions, check the WordPress tutorial for custom formats.

If the sidebar update will significantly affect the content of your site, a team member from the Office of Medical Public Affairs will contact you to assist with planning updates to your site. Please contact your website editor or the Medical Public Affairs team (314-286-0100 or wusmweb@wustl.edu) if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation!