Overview Of Sites

The Commons offers free WordPress sites to all members. Users can create as many sites as they need. The CUNY Academic Commons offers support via email and via evolving documentation at help.commons.gc.cuny.edu.

Sites can be customized in a variety of ways. They can be static spaces that present information in a specific way; they can be dynamic spaces to which new materials are posted frequently by faculty and students alike; or they can be a mixture of the two, with different spaces accessible via a user-created menu that facilitate a range of online interactions.

Sites can also be affiliated with groups, which makes it easier to both manage the users in both spaces and automatically generates notifications to all members of the class when a new post goes up on the site. Some professors create private groups and public sites, others choose to keep both private.

By default, site URLs will be https://yourCustomSubdomainName.commons.gc.cuny.edu.  We provide a url shortener which would begin with cuny.is/nameYouChoose

Plugins extend site functionality. Themes alter the look and feel of your site.

If you own a domain, we also provide domain mapping.

Our Hosting Partner Handbook outlines the various non-standard customizations available, and includes procedures and guidelines for domain mapping requests, customized themes, new plugins, and site migrations.

We provide a number of site templates to facilitate site creation.

Sites on the Commons

If you’re not already be clear about a focus, here are some examples of how members use “sites”:

  • Personal blogs
  • Research projects
  • Event or conference sites
  • Department sites (including calendar of events)
  • Class sites
  • Journals and reviews
  • News and Views commentaries
  • Photo blogs

Sites vs. Groups

The Commons has different types of platforms that individuals and groups  use to communicate and collaborate — Groups (with discussion forums, papers, docs) and Sites. So why use a site, rather than a group?

Sites offer:

  • A more flexible system of publishing than groups. The visual appearance of the site can be altered through the use of themes. The functionality of the blog can be changed by the activation of various plugins
  • A way for non-CUNY users to contribute to the conversation through comments (since only members of CUNY can create accounts on the Commons, only members of CUNY can join groups
  • A more advanced system of privacy. Whereas groups can currently only have three levels of privacy — public, private, and hidden — sites have five different levels of privacy, all available from the Settings > Privacy menu of the blog dashboard.  For more information, see Site Privacy Settings.