Wharton Institutional Research webpage

Proposed objectives: internal site search, online report form,  improved site design/usability

Technical Specifications!

The site is hosted on WordPress 3.9.2 running Chupacabra Child Theme (proprietary Penn/Wharton theme for department websites). In WordPress, child themes inherit the functionality of parent themes, but with some modification or restriction.

This document is meant to be a short introduction into using this theme, and what it is and isn’t capable of.

There are several immutable design elements: a page header and footer with links to other Wharton resources. In order to standardize websites, changing font families and colors has been blocked, although using custom CSS/HTML may allow you to customize the blog further.

The website itself is hosted on WPEngine ( All pages, posts, and text editing are managed using the 3rd party plugin Visual Composer (

There’s also a fairly comprehensive knowledge base, although some of VC’s features seem to be blocked by our theme. Here’s another useful tutorial through some of VC’s more basic functions.

Visual Composer features a frontend drag-and-drag interface, template system (allows us to copy and page structures easily), and a “skin builder” for theme editing and the possible creation of a mobile-friendly website. VC supports a number of content elements, although most of the social media ones (Twitter, Facebook, etc) are not available.

On the backend, VC seems to allow the execution of raw HTML and JavaScript files directly on the site. Depending on your level of programming expertise, this would allow you add dynamic site elements, online form submission, and improved design features. If you’re interested in JavaScript implementation in WordPress, check out this resource.

All of our in-line data visualization/presentation is done using Tableau PublicPosts also have the Yoast SEO plugin and standard Akismet spam protection filter.

Making and Editing Posts & Pages

If you’re completely new to the world of online blogging, I highly recommend you read this tutorial first.

To make a new page, go the side column and click on “Add New.” There you can edit the page structure and text boxes by using Visual Composer’s drag-and-drop interface: simply make new text boxes, image galleries, and other elements and drag them around. There are also several design and layout settings.

When you’re ready to put the page on the main toolbar, navigate to the “Menus” section and set your new page to be displayed.

Manage Images, Videos, PDFs, and Other Media

All media files (images, PDF, video) are located in the site’s Asset Repository. There you can click on “Add New” to upload files, photos, videos, PDFs, and more in bulk.