Getting Started

There are two ways to get started creating a site. In each case, you need to be logged on to the Commons.

  • On the Commons home page, click on the “Sites” tab and click the “Create a Site” button.
  • Hover over your avatar (in the top right corner of any page) and hover over My Sites. One of the options that will appear is “Create a Site.”


The Commons  Creation Portal

All requests to create groups, sites and connected Group and Site are funneled through the Creation Portal. Here you can easily see what each one does and select the option that is most appropriate. In this case, we want to create a site, so click on the button circled below:

Creation Portal

After clicking the Create a Site button, you will see the screen pictured below:

Site Details


Site Domain: This is the web address of your site. Once your site is created, you cannot change it. It cannot contain spaces or special characters and must be in lower case. Sites on the Commons are subdomains and will have “.commons.gc.cuny.edu/” appended to them. If your domain name is already in use, you will receive a message to choose a different domain name. If you own or intend to buy a domain name, the Commons can map your site to that domain name.

Site Name:  This can be anything you like and can be changed anytime using your WordPress Dashboard.

Site License:  All content should be licensed appropriately so that it can shared by others under conditions determined by the content creator. The Commons uses CreativeCommons licenses. The Creative Commons provides a variety of different licenses that affect whether others can use the content, modify the content(with or without attribution) or use the content for commercial purposes. The site creation process contains a wizard to help you select the correct license for your site. The default license allows content consumers to share or redistribute your content with or without modifications as long as they attribute the content to you and that it is shared for non-commercial purposes.

Metadata: In order to better understand the purpose of the site, the Commons collects basic data about it.

  • Is it for a certain campus or campuses?
  • What is the primary purpose? Choices are: Teaching, Committee, Conference, Department/Program/Center, Personal, Publication, Project, Portfolio, Working Group, Community of Interest, or Other
  • Is it for teaching? If so, the Commons will add it to the “Courses” tab. We’d like to know:
    • What Disciplinary Cluster does in fall under? Choices are: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Professional, Other, Not Applicable
    • What Semester? (spring, fall, winter, summer)
    • What Year?

Site Privacy:  Site privacy settings determine how visible/searchable your site will be. You can make it visible to the entire Web or confine access to a single individual as well as other options between these two extremes. Commonly, sites under construction are made visible only to admins, and then later opened up using different options.

The Commons offers Site Templates that are designed to get you up and running fast. These layouts are tailored for different purposes. If you don’t see a template that matches what you want to do, use the default template. It is a plain vanilla layout with no presets. In all cases, you are welcome to change to any themes installed on the Commons.

Site Layout

Select a template and finally, click on the Create Site Button.

If you have filled out all the required fields, you will receive a success message, with a link to your new site.