Website Documentation

The Office of Undergraduate Studies supports WordPress and static HTML websites. All websites are designed to be mobile-friendly and compliant with University standards.

Site Search

Search on websites managed by the Office of Undergraduate Studies is now powered by Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE).  This replaces the usage of Google Search Appliance (GSA), which had an end-of-life of April 2019.

Update: All VPUGS websites have been transitioned to the GCSE.

File Management on Websites

Documents on websites should be uploaded to a cloud storage service, such as Box or SharePoint.

Image Management on Websites

This section will cover how images should be managed on websites supported by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Only images should be uploaded to the Media Library.  All image uploads have a max size of 2MB.  Upon upload, you should add alt text to the image.  If your image is from another source then your image should be cited.  If the image is not your creation, cite it.  Give credit, where credit is due.

Alternative Text

Alternative text is required for most images used on University websites.  There are limited cases when alternative text may not be necessary (Please see: Alternative Text Decision Tree).  Alternative text is necessary for our sites to work with users who require a screen reader to access our sites.

  • Provide alternative (alt) text to images that convey meaning.
  • Keep the alt text short and concise (about 125 characters).
  • Hide images that do not convey meaning from screen readers.
    • Use an empty alt value (alt="")
  • Avoid images with text when possible. If necessary, add alt text.
Write effective alternative text

Digital Asset Management

Images and video can also be used from the University’s Digital Asset Management System on the MerlinOne platform.  You can see more information regarding the Digital Asset Management System on Digital Service’s documentation site.

Web Hosting

By end of year 2019, Mizzou websites will be transitioned to a new web hosting provider.  This change in hosting will also change the workflow in making changes to WordPress sites.  As a result, the process of making styling or template changes will be slowed down.  With the new web hosting, we will no longer be able to provide static PHP websites.  Current PHP sites will need to be transitioned to either WordPress or HTML.

For More Information Regarding Web Hosting Changes

Update: All VPUGS websites have been transitioned to the new web host.

WordPress Management

This section provides instructions on how to update content on WordPress sites managed by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.  This will only cover the basic setup for all Undergraduate Studies sites and does not cover additional customization on a per-site basis.

Logging In

If you need access to the WordPress Dashboard, you will need to request access so that your login can be created.  From your admin link, you will be redirected to the single sign on (SSO) page where you will enter your paw print and password.

WordPress Updates

With Version 5.0, WordPress has introduced a new page editor called Gutenberg. The classic editor ends official support by the end of 2021.

Block Editor

The classic WordPress editor will be replaced by the new WordPress block editor, as that is becoming the default. Documentation will be updated to reflect changes.

Reusable Blocks

Reusable blocks allow you to use the same block across pages on a site. This replaces the previous method of using content blocks to reuse pieces of content.

Events on Websites

It is recommended that departments begin adding their events via the Mizzou Calendar. If your department needs to have their website updated to switch to displaying events from the Mizzou Calendar, please submit a web request.

Calendar Template

This template will pull events from the Mizzou Calendar, based on the parameters set in theme settings.


Themes used for Undergraduate Studies sites will be replaced by the University of Missouri base theme.


02/25/2020: A majority of VPUGS themes have been updated to support automatic light/dark theme rendering.

04/02/2020: A majority of VPUGS themes have been updated to be child themes that extend a base theme.

07/31/2020: All VPUGS themes have been updated to extend the VPUGS base theme.

08/17/2020: Base theme has added MU Design System styling; began phasing out legacy VPUGS styling.

10/21/2020: Initial support for flexible content layers.

11/20/2020: Initial support Mizzou Calendar (Localist) events.

The Block Editor (or Gutenberg Editor) is the new editor available on WordPress. The classic editor ends official support by the end of 2021. As of February 2021, steps are being taken for a phased approach to switching Undergraduate Studies to use the new WordPress editor.


If you have any questions or comments regarding the documentation, please contact Digital Service at