Getting started with NUsites

NUsites is a self-service website development platform that allows researchers, faculty, staff, and students to create a website or blog using custom design templates and a Northwestern branded theme. NUsites is free of charge to the Northwestern community and is powered by CampusPress.


Creating a site

To create a site, go to and fill out the form information. After you submit the form, your site will be created automatically.

Logging in to NU Sites

  1. Go to and click Log in on the white banner.
  2. At the Online Passport screen, enter your NetID and NetID password, then click Log in.


Note: If you already have an existing site, you can log in directly by adding /wp-admin/ to the end. For example,

Accessing the Wordpress Dashboard for your site

The Dashboard (wp-admin) is the first screen you see when you log in directly to your website. The Dashboard gives you an at-a-glance overview of what’s happening with your website.

  1. Once you are logged in, you can access your sites by clicking My Sites in the left-hand menu.
  2. Under your site's information, click Dashboard.
  3. The Dashboard will be displayed.

This image has a screenshot of the Wordpress Dashboard.

Setting your website tagline

This image has a screenshot of Google search results indicating the website tagline.

To change/update your website tagline follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard:
  • Go to and click Log in on the white banner.
  • At the Online Passport screen, enter your NetID and NetID password, then click Log in.
  • In the left menu, click Settings
  • Click General.
  • In the Tagline field, use 8-12 words to describe your website.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.


Editing your website's homepage

Personalize your Homepage by using the following steps:

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard:
  • Go to and click Log in on the white banner.
  • At the Online Passport screen, enter your NetID and NetID password, then click Log in.
  • From the left menu, click Appearance.
  • Select Customize.

Customizing the Header Lockup

The default header format is a single standard line of text. There are four additional options, but we recommend that you use the single line option unless you are a part of a larger entity.

To change the header on your new website:

  1. On the left menu, select Header Lockup.
  2. Change the text in the Lockup Line 1 text field.
  3. After making your site title changes, click the blue Save & Publish button.

Note: You will have to click the Save and Publish button every time you change something within the Customise menu.

Changing your Hero Image and Hero Image Text

  1. On the left menu, select Homepage.
  2. Click Hero Banner.
  3. Customize the four options, using the screenshot below for guidance:
  4. To change your hero banner image, click Change Image and select your image from your desktop or drag it into the uploader.
  • Note: your hero banner image must be 1440px by 420px. We suggest cropping the image before uploading it.
  • Once you have customized the four options and changed the hero banner image, please click the blue Save and Publish button.


Managing settings and access to your sites

Managing your sites

To manage a specific site and access its Dashboard, you can simply enter the base URL of the site into a browser appended with /wp-admin/, making a complete URL of This URL will take you straight to the Dashboard of the site. To view a list of all sites you have access to:

  1. Log into NUsites at
  2. In the top left corner, click My Sites.
  • If you hover over My Sites, a dropdown menu will appear listing each of your sites.

Managing users in NUSites

User Roles

All users in NUsites are given a single role when being added to a site. This role determines what administrative actions they can perform within the site. A list and summary of the roles available is provided below:

  • Administrator: Administrators can manage themes, settings, plugins, users, and edit any content within the site. This is the highest access level for the site, and should only be granted to trusted users.
  • Editor: Editors can edit and publish any content within the site.
  • Author: Authors can create and publish posts in the site, but they can only edit or delete their own posts.
  • Contributor: Contributors can create posts and edit their own posts, but they cannot publish them, only save them as drafts to be published by higher level users.
  • Subscriber: Subscribers have read-only access to the site. This can be useful when privacy is set to only allow users of the site to view the site.

Adding Users

All user accounts in NUsites are authenticated using NetID, and can only be created by the owner of the NetID. Make sure that the user you are attempting to add to the site has already logged in to create their NUsites account. If they haven’t created an account yet, you will not be able to add them, and must login to NUsites first in order to initiate their account.

  1. Find the Users section of the site Dashboard, and hover over the word Users until a sub-menu appears.
  2. In the Users sub-menu, click the link labeled Add New, and you will be taken to the Add New User form page.
  3. In the Email or Username field, begin typing the email or NetID of the user that you wish to add to the site. This is an autocomplete field, so suggestions for users will begin appearing under the field as you type.
  4. When you see the user you wish to add appear in the list, click on their name to populate the field.
  5. In the Role field, select the role from the dropdown that the user should have in your site.
  6. Beneath the form, click the Add Existing User button to add the user to the site.

Removing Users

In order to view all users that belong to a site, navigate to the Users section of the site dashboard, where you will see a tabular listing of user information. If you hover the mouse over a user row in the table, a list of action links will appear under the name of the user in the left column:

  • Remove: The remove action link will remove a user from the site. This will not cancel their NUsites account, and will only affect their access to the single site.


Requesting a custom domain

Rules and Requirements for Custom Domains

  • The domain requestor must be either a staff or faculty member at Northwestern
  • The website using a custom domain must represent a Northwestern department or organization
  • All custom domains must be sub-domains or nested sub-domains of
    • If the website belongs to a specific school, it should use a sub-domain of said school, such as
    • Labs and student groups should request a sub-subdomain from their sponsoring entity (to create, for example).
    • Only one domain name will be allocated for each site.
  • The website requesting the custom domain must be set up with public visibility (or hidden from search engines). For help configuring this, please see the help page for Privacy / Visibility.

Requesting a Custom Domain

  1. Navigate to the Custom Domain Request Form.
  2. Fill out all fields of the form.
  3. Click the Submit button beneath the form.
  4. You will be presented with a thank you message, letting you know that your request is pending review.
  5. The NUsites support team will review your request and begin the domain mapping process. This process can typically take up to a week to complete.
  6. Once your domain is approved and mapped to your NUsite, you will be notified by the NUsites support team.


Customizing your site

Once your site is set up, you can customize your site:


Get Help with NUSites

Before you contact support, we suggest you review the NUsites content in the Northwestern IT Knowledge Base.


Standard Support

To report issues with an individual NUsites site or the service as a whole, please contact the Northwestern IT Help Desk at or 847-491-4357(1-HELP), option 2.


When you contact support, please clearly indicate what component of the service is either unavailable or functioning incorrectly. If possible, please explain the situation in detail, including the time the issue was discovered, a screenshot of the error message or failure, and the URLs or links to pages which are having issues.

24/7 Emergency Support

If your issue is urgent, and needs to be reported outside of business hours (9am – 5pm CST), you can alternatively submit your issue to the 24/7 support service by sending an email to

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Article ID: 1690
Thu 5/12/22 12:39 PM
Wed 1/18/23 2:01 PM