11 Customizing Your Network

Navigating to Customization Panel

For networks using the Aldine theme, the appearance of the network’s homepage can by customized by following these steps:

Firstly, login to the network with your network manager credentials. Then, from your network’s homepage, click on Admin (located in the top-right corner).

The Admin link on your network homepage


Next, click on Appearance > Customize on the left menu in the Pressbooks dashboard.

Navigating from your Dashboard, to Appearance, and then to Customize

Customizing your Network Home Page

This will take you into the customize interface with a live preview of your site. You will see a menu on the left with a variety of customizable elements:

  1. Site identity
  2. Front page catalog
  3. Contact form
  4. Social media
  5. Colors
  6. Header image
  7. Menus
  8. Widgets
  9. Additional CSS
Customization menu for your network

How to Use the Customize Platform

Click on each element to customize it (explained in more detail below). The interface displays a live preview so that you can see what your changes look like before saving

Once you’re done making your changes, click on Publish to save your changes. This will make them live on your site

Click publish to save

1. Site Identity

Under Site Identity, you can insert your basic site information, including the title of your Pressbooks network. This could be the name of your university, press, or open textbook program. You can also:

  • Upload your institution’s logo
  • Add a tagline
  • Hide the site title and tagline
  • Customize the site icon with your university’s logo or another image
Select your logo image and site icon on the customization menu

2. Front Page Catalog

In Front Page Catalog, you can click the checkbox next to Show Front Page Catalog in order to show the catalog carousel on the front page. To not have the catalog present on the homepage, leave the box unchecked.

Enter the title of your catalog carousel under Front Page Catalog Title. For more instructions on how to feature books in this catalog, see Populating the catalog page.

Note: Do not be alarmed if you have this box checked off, but you do not see a catalog; you must have a book in the catalog in order for it to show on the home page.
Make your front page catalog visible

3. Contact Form

You may want set up a way for visitors to your Pressbooks network to contact you. Pressbooks offers two different methods of contact for your network: a Contact form for your network’s homepage and a Contact link in the footer of each webpage.

Enabling the Contact Form

To enable the contact form, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appearance > Customize from the left sidebar menu of your rootsite dashboard
  2. Select Contact Form from the customization panel
  3. Select the checkbox next to Show Contact Form 
  4. Enter your Contact Form Title and the email address you would like all messages to be directed to. This email address can be the email of a individual person (usually a network manager) or a service account/email list shared by many users, for example.
  5. Click Publish to save
Contact form set up panel

Once you’ve published your changes, a contact form will appear at the bottom of your Pressbooks network homepage.

Contact form on a Pressbooks network homepage

Customizing the Contact Link

Your network will always have a contact link in the footer. It will follow one of these three paths, depending on what changes you’ve made to your network website’s settings:

  • You’ve set up a contact form for your network. The contact link directs back to the contact form. 
  • You have not set up a contact form for your network and have not entered a contact URL. The contact link directs toward the Pressbooks Contact page. 
  • You have not set up a contact form for your network and have entered a contact URL. The contact link directs toward the contact URL you’ve entered.

To enter a custom URL for the contact link, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appearance > Customize from the left sidebar menu of your rootsite dashboard
  2. Select Contact Form from the customization panel
  3. Make sure Show Contact Form is unselected
  4. Enter the URL into the Contact Link textbox
  5. Click Publish to save
Contact link form in the customize panel

4. Social Media

You can link to your university’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Enter the links to your respective social media in the Facebook and Twitter cells and the corresponding button will show.

NOTE: You must enter the full social media account URL in order for it to link correctly, not just the @handle (Example: https://twitter.com/pressbooks)

Social media links at bottom of screen

5. Colors

In the colors menu, you can customize the colors for your entire network. These will apply not just to the network pages, but also to webbook homepages and reading interface for all books on the network.

There are six colors you can change:

  • Primary color: used for links and other primary elements
  • Primary color (hover): Variant of the primary color, used for primary element hover states
  • Accent color: used for flourishes and secondary elements
  • Accent color (hover): Variant of the accent color, used for secondary element hover states
  • Primary foreground color: used for text on primary color backgrounds
  • Accent foreground color: used for text on accent color backgrounds
    Side menu for color customization

To change the color of any of these elements:

  1. Click Select Color
  2. Enter your brand’s hex color OR use the color picker and swatches to change the color of an element (NOTE: you’ll see these change in the live preview of your website)Enter your hex code or select your color from the prism
  3. Click Publish
NOTE: Pressbooks will warn you if you select a foreground color that is does not meet WCAG 2.0 AA color contrast requirements for accessibility.

6. Header Image

In this menu, you can add a header image to replace the default image, or change the header images that have already been uploaded.

Screenshot of Header Image editor on your customization menu

To change the default header image:

1. Click Add new image 

2. Upload your file

3. Click Publish

7. Menus

You can customize two different menus using the Menus section:

  • The Footer Menu (appears in the network footer)
  • The Primary Menu (appears in the top navigation bar)
screenshot of footer menu
Footer menu
screenshot of header menu
Primary menu

The Aldine theme is built to support only these, and we recommend that you don’t add others or change their locations.

By default, the footer menu will contain links to the About, Catalog, Help, and Home pages, and the primary menu will contain a link to Home, along with the standard user-related options that cannot be changed.

Click on Footer Menu or Primary Menu to edit those menus. You’ll see a list of the pages currently on that menu. Click on a menu item (e.g. About) to drag it to a different order in the menu. To delete an item from the menu, click that item, then scroll down and click Remove. You can also remove a page by clicking Add Items — a menu will appear to the right, and red Xs will appear next to each page currently on the menu. You can click the red X remove a page from the selected menu.

Deleting menu items from your footer and header menus

Items on the menu can be either custom links (e.g. to your parent institution website, library website or other important information hosted elsewhere) or pages within your Pressbooks network site (see more on creating pages).

NOTE: There are options to add posts, categories, or tags to your menus, but we discourage their use as they are not natively supported in Aldine.

To add a custom link:

  1. Click on Add Items
  2. Under Custom Link enter the URL and link text to appear in the menu
  3. Click Add to Menu
Creating custom links

To add a page:

  1. Click on Add Item
  2. Click Pages
  3. Click to choose any of the network pages listed to add them to the menu.
NOTE: If you want to add a custom page, you can create as many pages you want. Once your page(s) is created, they will show on the item list of pages, and you can add them to the menu(s).
Screenshot for customizing your footer menu with different pages

Once you’re finished adding items, click Add Items again to save the order. Then, click Publish. 

Click on the arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Menus panel.

8. Widgets

Widgets are used in Aldine to add content to the network footer block, alongside the footer menu described above. Network Footer Block 1 appears on the left of the footer menu, and Network Footer Block 2 appears in the center.

Network Footer blocks are at the left and middle of your footer menu


In the Widgets menu, click on either one to add a text or image widget. This could include contact information, logos, or other custom text.

Screenshot of widget customization menu

To add an image or text to your footer:

1. Click + Add a Widget

Adding widgets from your customization menu

2. Choose whether to add a Gallery, Image, or Text

3. Insert your text or images into the editor

4. Click Done

5. Click Publish

Edit your widget

9. Additional CSS

If you’d like to customize the look of your site further, add any custom CSS code here by opening Additional CSS from the Customization menu.

screenshot of CSS panel

NOTE: Pressbooks cannot offer comprehensive support regarding CSS, for your website and/or book(s).

Watch and Learn

Watch the video below for an in-depth walk-through of the customizations described above.



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The Pressbooks Network Manager's Guide by Pressbooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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