• Template Documentation

Template Configuration

  • The Template Configuration Window is where you can preview the template and configure many of the settings and features.


    Accessing the Template Configuration Window (TCW)

    Click Configure › Sites › the site you want to edit › Advanced › Change › click on the template thumbnail in the upper left corner › choose the appropriate template


    Using the TCW

    • Within the TCW, you will see multiple accordion bars in the left column
    • Within each bar are areas where you can make changes, insert URLs, apply logos, etc
    • Enter the appropriate information and then click Save & Preview to view your changes
    • To publish updates you have made, click Publish & Exit
    • If you are an existing Blackboard client and are not yet ready to go public with your new template, do NOT click Publish & Exit, as that will apply the new template to your website
    • If you want to make changes after the new template is live, you can still click Save & Preview to preview your changes, but then you can also click Publish & Exit to make your changes live


    Unexpected Character Error

    Some characters are not accepted in the TCW. We suggest you add one URL at a time and click save and preview during setup to ensure URLs are accepted. If you receive an error message, use tinyurl.com/app to create a simplified url for your link destination.


    Setting Colors

    Each template comes with varying levels of configuration. As a rule of thumb, if a particular area has a color, then that color can be changed. There are some circumstances, however, where white or light gray areas are not configurable. This has been done intentionally as part of the overall design aesthetic. We suggest that you preview the template before licensing to ensure it will be a perfect fit for your organization. 

Streaming Video Best Practices & Recommendations

    • Videos need to be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo or MyVRSpot
    • A 16:9 aspect ratio is recommended
      • 720p has dimensions of 1280 x 720 (16:9)
      • 1080p (recommended) has dimensions of 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
    • There is no limit or minimum for video length
    • If text is included in the video, keep it centrally located and avoid placing it close to the edge of the video
      • On some monitors a small portion of the video may be cropped at the top or bottom due to the responsive nature of the site
      • On some templates, content may overlay the video. Keep your template layout in mind if including text as part of your video
    • Android and iOS devices restrict video autoplay and require the user to tap the video to play (see setup for mobile options)
    • If your video includes sound, turning on the audio control button is recommended
      • The user can still control volume via their computer, but the video audio control button turns sound on/off for the video only, rather than all computer sound
    • If your video includes closed captioning, turning on the watch video button is required for accessibility
      • Closed captioning does not display in the streaming window, so the watch video button will open a new window that includes closed captioning


    Setting up Streaming Video in the TCW

    • Select "Streaming Video" as the Slideshow Feature
    • Choose a provider (YouTube, Vimeo or MyVRSpot)
    • The streaming video ID is the number/letter combination at the end of the video URL
      • Note: the full video URL will not work in this area
      • The video ID can also be found under the share options where the video is hosted
    • The Title, Caption and a Link with a URL are setup within the TCW
    • Since Android and iOS devices restrict video auto play, the template has two options to choose from
      • The default displays the video as a paused image with play button and other information that is auto generated through the provider
      • As an alternative, an image can be selected to replace the video on mobile devices. Note: With this option, the video is not available on mobile devices 640px and smaller, but the URL can be added to the link if desired
    • The audio button and watch video buttons are toggles that can be activated within the TCW

Template Resources | Files & Folders

  • Uploading imagery/graphics to a folder will make them available for application in the Template Configuration Window.

    Image Dimensions
    • Logo (Only) Dimensions: Max width of 600PX x 280PX
    • Logo (+ Site Name/Tagline) Dimensions: Max width of 400PX x 120PX 
    • Global Icon Dimensions: 37PX width x 37PX height
    • Region A | Multimedia Gallery Photo Dimensions: 1260PX width x 700PX height
    • Regions B and C | Headline Accent Image Dimensions: 680PX width x flexible height
    • Regions D, E, F | Headline Accent Image Dimensions: 215PX width x 125PX height (Dimensions are flexible, but this is recommended)
    • Regions C and F | Background Image Dimensions: 1300PX width x 850PX height
    • Subpage | Header Image Dimensions: 1300PX width x 300PX height

    Important Image Naming and File Size Recommendations

    • We recommend that you avoid using spaces or special characters in the file name for the images as this can cause them not to display. Hyphens or underscores are acceptable and can be used as substitutes when naming images.
    • All files should be kept under 1 MB in size. If you need assistance compressing your files, we recommend Tiny PNG
    • Need assistance? Our Creative Services Image Editor makes cropping and sizing photos easy
    • Want to have more control over the Headlines accent image size on the interior Headlines and Features page? Click here for our pro tip on how to set up the headlines records. 

    Accessing Files & Folders

    • Click Configure › Templates › Files & Folders › Site Files to see the folders that pertain to your template assets
    • The icons folder (for custom global icons) and images folder (for all other template assets) are default subfolders within the
      Site Files
    • Template assets will need to be uploaded to newly created subfolders within the images folder
    • Select the images folder and click Folder Actions  New Subfolder and then add an appropriate name for the folder (i.e. logos, background, accent)
    • Looking for resources? Find custom icons, stock photography, photo editing and color schemes here

    Uploading Logos | Custom Icons 

    • Icons and logos need to be PNGs with a transparent background, and sized to the correct dimensions prior to upload
    • The color of the icon should be the desired color you would like on the site since custom icons are not color changing
    • Upload your custom icons to the icons folder and logos to the logos subfolder within the images folder 

    Background and Subpage Header Images

    • Photos can be JPGs or PNGs, and need to be sized to the correct dimensions prior to upload
    • Upload your photos into their respective subfolders created in the images folder (i.e. background, accent)

Homepage Content & Apps

  • This is the recommended app placement based on the homepage region map

    Region A | Multimedia Gallery App (only)


    Region B | Any App

    • Headlines inherit a card style
    • Content in this region displays horizontally
    • This region has a white background


    Region C | Any App

    • Headlines inherit a card style
    • Content in this region displays horizontally
    • This region has an (optional) sticky background photo


    Regions D and E | Any App

    • Content in these regions displays vertically
    • These regions have a white background


    Region F | Any App

    • Content in this region displays vertically
    • This region has an (optional) sticky background photo
    • Apps in this region go into a tabbed format


  • Notable Features

    Elevate is designed with these Interactive Elements built in:

    • Multimedia Gallery App
    • Color Configurability  
    • Streaming Video
    • Tabbed Apps
    • Icon Collage
    • High Contrast Toggle

    Maximum number of global icons:


    Font Information:

    • Body copy is size 16
    • Fonts used are Merriweather and Work Sans

    Color Information:

    • The light grey used throughout does not color change and is #F2F2F2 (with the exception of the search box, which is color configurable)

  • App Names

    To turn on an app name:

    • Click on the app

    • Click the Options banner and check the box that says “Show the app name on my page”

  • Contact Info

    To add or edit the address, phone, fax or email in the footer:

    • Click Configure › Sites › the site you want to edit › Contact

    • Add/edit the information and then hit Save

  • Publishing a New Template

    New Blackboard Clients:

    • To publish your new template on your incubation site, go into each site’s Template Configuration Window and click the Publish and Exit button

    • When you are ready to go public with your new website, follow the instructions listed here

    Existing Blackboard Clients:

    • To publish your new template on your live site, go into each site’s Template Configuration Window and click the Publish and Exit button

    • Once your new template has been published, you may need to visit the content on each site’s homepage to reorganize apps as necessary. You can accomplish this by clicking and dragging apps from one region to another.

  • WCM Support

    The normal operating hours for Web Community Manager support are 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST Monday – Friday:

    • wcmsupport@blackboard.com 
    • 855.742.5952

  • Help Materials

    The Blackboard Help Center contains a wealth of information and help materials. You can find resources for Web Community Manager here.