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Migrating from Commons to CampusPress

Migrate to CampusPress from Commons

Download PDF instructions

Create an account and a new site on CampusPress

  • Go to and click the large blue button that reads “Yale: Login with CAS”.
  • Once logged in, you will be in the Dashboard area of the top level blog.
  • Return to the front door of the site [] by clicking on the Yale University link in the top left of the admin menu bar.
  • The large blue button should now read “Yale: Create a Site”. Click on that button.
  • Fill out the fields for your requested site.
  • Choose one of the top 2 privacy settings, which allow the blog to be publicly viewable. Both the Commons blog and the new CampusPress blog need to be open publicly in order to migrate your site.
    • You can change your Privacy settings after the migration by going to Dashboard > Settings > Readings.


In the next sections, you’ll prepare the CampusPress site before importing your content.

Themes provide the look and layout of the site. There are around 200 available themes on CampusPress.

  • To activate a theme go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes
    Click Activate

    • If you are using YaleITG on Commons and are looking for a similar design, we recommend using Twenty Eleven.
    • If you are using ITG Spring on Commons and are looking for a similar design, we recommend using Twenty Ten.


Plugin Activation

The CampusPress server has fewer plugins than Commons. This helps provide low error functionality across all sites on the CampusPress server. Many of the plugins on Commons were turned on by default. Most of them you may never have used the functionality. If, however, you’ve turned on plugins and used them (i.e. Event calendaring, post order, or some specialty plugin) it’s important to activate the plugin prior to importing content from your old site.

  • To activate plugins go to your CampusPress site’s Dashboard > Plugins.
  • Click Activate under the plugin you wish to use
  • If you don’t see a plugin you need or one with similar functionality, you may request a plugin by filling out a request form:


Now you are ready to import your content from the old site.


Create Export File

To download all content from your Commons site:

  • In your Commons site’s dashboard go to Tools > Export.
  • Select all content and click Download Export File.
  • Save the XML file to your computer, using a name and a folder you will need to remember in the next section.


Import Content

To upload your content into your new CampusPress site:

  • In your CampusPress site’s dashboard click Tools > Import > WordPress
  • Click Choose File, select from your computer the XML File you exported in the previous section
  • Click Upload file and import
  • Under “Import Attachments” check the box next to “Download and import file attachments”
  • This will import all of your photos into your CampusPress Media Library and add them to the posts or pages just like the Commons site. This includes your header image.
  • Click Submit.

***Important: in order for your import to work both the commons site and the campuspress site must have privacy settings at are open to the world. After you’ve imported you can change the settings back to your original privacy settings. By default all campuspress site are open unless you specified otherwise when you requested the site.

To change privacy settings on commons or campuspress go to Dashboard>Settings>Reading>Privacy – select one of the top 2 radio buttons.


Appearance settings

Finish up by tweaking a few items to maintain similar appearance and function of your old site.

Note : All customized settings (colors, layout, header image, site title, custom CSS and menus) that were made in Commons will need to be set manually in CampusPress.

Change Appearance settings in your Dashboard under Appearance > Customize.

To reset Header Image

  • Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Header
  • Click on Add new image
  • Select your header image from the Media Library
  • Either crop and publish or skip cropping.
  • Click Publish on the Customize settings dialog box.


Copy custom CSS to new site

If on your Commons site you’ve created custom CSS rules, follow these steps to bring them over:

  • Activate the Custom CSS plugin on your CampusPress site
    • Go to Dashboard > Plugins
    • Find Custom CSS and activate.
  • On your Commons site go to Dashboard > Appearance > Custom CSS
  • Copy the content of the Custom CSS to your clipboard
  • Return to your CampusPress site, and go to Dashboard > Appearance > Custom CSS
  • Paste the CSS code in the text area
  • Click Save CSS


Menu Settings

Rebuild your menus on the CampusPress site

  • Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Menus
  • Name the menu
  • Click Create Menu
  • Add the pages, categories or links to your menu
  • Check the Theme Location for this menu
  • Click Save Menu



Widgets add content and features to your sidebars. Some widgets appear in the default CampusPress theme: post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc. Plugins will often add their own widgets.

  • To set your widgets go to Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets
  • Drag and drop the widgets into or away from the widget area(s) of your theme



There is a help tab at the top right when you are editing your site. It is context-aware. (If you are working on a Menu it will display information about Menus.)

You may find additional help documentation and contact emails here:


If you would like your old commons URL to redirect to the your new CampusPress address, email with the request. Include the old URL and the new URL in the email.

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