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Updates to the UUA WordPress Theme for Congregations
Updates to the UUA WordPress Theme for Congregations
Communication, Websites

Theme Version 1.2.0 and Services Plugin Version 1.1

December 12, 2018

We’re happy to announce that updates to our theme and plugin are now available. They fix a few bugs and lay the groundwork for updates and feature requests in the future.  You can read the full release notes, but here are the highlights:


  • Enhancement - Optimized theme images by compressing images to reduce file size.

  • Enhancement - People who don’t want to sign up for a Google API can still display a Google map.

  • Update - The example child theme now works with version 1.2.0.

  • Fix - The UUA Feature Box widget will no longer refuse to accept images.


  • Enhancement - New [uua_services] shortcode simplifies the service listing and limits the number of services per page. Read about it and the rest of the shortcodes.

  • Tweak – Use the WordPress General Settings date and time format for displaying dates by default.

  • Fix – Sort services by service date in admin panel.

  • Fix – Services marked as PM will now sort by proper time.

We’ve also finished testing with WordPress 5.0 and happy to report that there are no site visitor issues.  There is a small issue on the admin side with the currently recommended Events plugin, which displays its notices when you edit a post or page, overlapping the post title. It’s annoying, but not within our control.  We’ll be reviewing recommended plugins in the coming months and determining what we can update within the theme itself or find alternative recommendations.

If you haven’t already updated to WordPress 5.0, make sure to backup and test before going live (if you can - we’ve gotten several reports from folx that these updates are happening automatically due to server settings). Follow our instructions here. If you see any other issues with how our updates are working with WordPress 5.0, join the conversation on the UU Website Lab Facebook group, the Websters mailing list, or the Congregational Website Forum and let us know.

In faith,

Anna Bethea, UUA Outreach Specialist
Kevin Vess, Vess Studio, Developer
Margy Levine Young, UUA Web Team Manage

Theme Version 1.1.3 and Services Plugin Version 1.0.3

March 6, 2018

Thanks to all the fantastic troubleshooting and feedback from you as users, we’ve been able to fix a few trouble spots with our most recent release. We’re happy to announce that the patch updates to the theme and Services plugin are now available through your WordPress dashboard.

Specific fixes addressed:

  • Fixed sidebar issue on pages with the [ staffer ] shortcode
  • In Services plugin (1.0.3), fixed worship service issue where services were considered to be in the past too early.

Please update and let us know if you run into any further issues.

--  Anna Bethea, UUA Outreach Specialist

Version 1.1 Release: January 5, 2018

December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays from the UUA!

We’re excited to announce that very early in January, we’ll be releasing the much-anticipated update to the WordPress Theme that you’ve downloaded for your congregation’s website.  This update fixes some of the issues that you as users have identified, as well as adds some new features.

Here’s how to ensure a smooth transition to the update…

  • You can find notes on what’s changing with the update.
  • Prepare your site for the new update by updating your plugins and making backups.
  • Anytime after January 5, check your WordPress Dashboard for the theme update notification.  Follow the instructions to install the update, make needed updates to service dates, add a Google Maps API, and add the inSpirit bookstore widget.

In addition to the update, we’re also shifting some responsibilities for administrative and technical support.

  • Christopher Wulff, who originally developed the theme and this update, will be providing the last bit of transition support in early January and will be rotating off this project to focus on his other ministry pursuits.  Thank you, Christopher, for your commitment to supporting this vital tool for congregations!
  • Outreach, which is now a part of the UUA Communications staff group, will continue to manage the theme, with support from UUA’s IT Services, namely, the web team.  We’re also contracting with an outside company to provide the tech support that we aren’t able to offer in-house.
  • We’ll continue to rely heavily on the peer support that you provide each  other through the Facebook group, but if you run into questions or problems that can’t be answered/solved there, contact us at info [at] uuatheme [dot] org and we’ll route your questions to those best able to help.

We hope this update will help you stay relevant as a source for liberal faith in your local communities!

In faith,

Anna Bethea, UUA Outreach Specialist
Margy Levine Young, UUA Web Team Manager
Christopher Wulff, UUA Pacific Western Region Communications Specialist

info [at] uuatheme [dot] org

Upcoming Update – Need Beta Testers

May 26, 2016

Greetings and we hope you’re enjoying spring and the approaching summer. We’ve been so happy to see the great work done by so many congregations using the theme (see some of them under example sites). We just wanted to give you a bit of an update about the theme update.

Some of the things the update will change:

  1. The Services plugin moves to separate the service date from the published date using a custom field. This fixes the issue of services 404ing, not being able to share them, and being restricted to the brief descriptions. The plugin will run a piece of code once to migrate all of your existing services’ time/date information to the new field.
  2. The Speakers’ names now link to their archives and show their ‘description/bio’ at the top of the page. Their names and excerpted bios (read more) also show at the bottom of single services in both archives and upcoming (single service only, not on the upcoming listing page).
  3. The Services custom field for service time is complemented by a custom field for service display time, for those congregations that have two services. In the service time field, put in the time of the later service (so it doesn’t expire after the first one) and then write in “9:30 and 11:00” or what have you in the service time display field and the theme will show that.
  4. Adding a category template that shows the category description at page top.
  5. Fixing the full-page template.
  6. Lots of fixes to other small issues (media uploader, logo, etc.) that will be detailed in the changelog.

-- Christopher Wulff

Swiftype Search Enabled on This Site

February 24, 2016

We’ve just enabled the plugin Swiftype Search on this site – it makes intelligent suggestions as you type your search terms, helping you find what you need. The search bar is toward the bottom of the left-hand menu.

New Demo Content File

February 24, 2016

We’ve got a new sample content file for your upload! The previous version contained events, staff, photos, sound and video, and specific information about the fictitious congregation we created for the Theme demo site. The new sample content file takes out all that fictitious stuff, giving you just the files you might actually use on your site, like the UU Principles, Welcoming Congregation statement, and About Unitarian Universalism. No more need to delete all the references to Rev. Faith Hope-Love, Joy Justicia and UU of Somewhere! Download it from this page.

-- Rev. Sarah Millspaugh

Working within limits of Services Plugin

February 18, 2016

Folks using the UUA WordPress Theme have been noting a few limits on the Services plugin. We hope to expand the plugin’s capacities with future updates. But in the meantime, here are some things you can do to work successfully within its limits. First, keep your service descriptions short so there doesn't need to be a “continued” link. This means about 50 words/ 240 characters or less. Second, if you want to post a longer description, a bio, and/or a picture, create a news post about it in addition to putting it in the service plugin. And finally: this news post is shareable on social media, because it has its own URL (unlike the upcoming service in the plugin.)

-- Rev. Sarah Millspaugh​

Support Forum

October 28, 2015

We’ve made the support forum require an account now so that we can follow up with folks who have questions and so they can subscribe to updates on their questions. So, if you have a question in the support forum, click the “Login to ask a question button” and either login if you have an account already or register to create an account. We look forward to seeing you in the support forum.

-- Christopher Wulff

Podcasting Change

September 16, 2015

So, one of the things we’ve tried to be consistent with while working on this theme, is not building in functionality that’s better handled by existing plugins. One, it lets us keep our maintenance load lower by limiting the number of things we need to maintain; and two, we leverage a broader community for functionality enhancements. So we’re always on the lookout for ways to integrate other plugins that do pretty well exactly what we were planning to do.

With that in mind, we’re taking the podcasting functionality out of the Services plugin and recommending the use of Seriously Simple Podcasting instead. The nice thing about Seriously Simple Podcasting is that it can be attached to the Services post type, so you have the podcast functionality right on each Service’s page.

-- Christopher Wulff

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