National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center


Demonstration of all capabilities of the NASA GRC WordPress Theme (2008), based on the 2008 Affinity Kit, including display of plugins that enhance its CMS usability.

This theme was phased out in favor of the responsive theme. See: NASA GRC WordPress website.

Key Elements & Content Areas

The following areas are user editable. All areas are editable by a Curator; the Content Area is editable by Editors or Authors. Areas with an asterisk (*) are generally done once, at the initial set-up of the site. In parentheses at the end of each item describes the location in the Left Administration Menu of where to update this item.

  • NASA Header*: Contains name of NASA center, links to NASA and center, plus additional optional link area. (Genesis > Theme Settings)
  • Above Nav*: The top navigation above the banner (a.k.a. “above” nav) is used when it is necessary to establish links to related/partner sites that are outside the URL of the current site. Created via a custom menu (Appearance > Menus)
  • Header Banner*: The header banner graphically establishes the current site. The standard size is exactly 960×120 pixles, but with CSS, it can be made to be less high (less than 120 pixels high). (It is possible to put custom content in the right side of the header, but this area has been underutilized.) (Appearance > Header)
  • Top Navigation Menu* (Primary Navigation Menu): The top navigation below the banner, which automatically hovers any subnavigation elements, is used to promote the top, key sections of the site. It isn’t used as frequently as the left navigation but will be used more frequently with responsive sites due to the flow of the content areas. It can be hierarchical, or you can create a custom menu (Appearance > Menus) to promote particular site pages/sections. The top navigation is often used for sites that have many key sections, such as directorates (with divisions) or offices with large subsections. (Appearance > Menus)
  • Secondary Navigation Menu*: Appears below the Top or Primary Navigation. This area will probably be used more often with responsive sites, due to the Content Flow. (Appearance > Menus)
  • Left Navigation Menu* (Primary Sidebar): The left navigation area, which for the purposes of this demonstration mirrors the top navigation, is used frequently. A graphical left arrow signifies the page is a parent page with child pages (subpages), and you can click on the arrow to quickly display the child pages. When you arrive on a child page, the parent navigation remains unfolded to show the sibling pages in that section. (Appearance > Widgets: Primary Sidebar)
  • Content Area: The area for the page content that a user edits in the Visual Editor. Also a dynamic content area for category and search results archives.
  • Secondary Sidebar*: Area for dynamic content that visually appears on the right side of the content. (Appearance > Widgets: Secondary Sidebar)
  • Footer for Three Widgets*: For site-wide placement of dynamic or static (widget) content. (Appearance > Widgets: Footer 1, 2 and 3). Optional.
  • NASA Footer*: Contains the NASA Official, Site Curator, page modified stamp, and NASA policy links. The third link is optional. (Genesis > Theme Options)
  • Footer*: Contains “Return to Top of Page” and other links or custom content. Intended for a single line of text across the bottom of the page. (Genesis > Simple Edits)

View a graphic displaying labels on each of the key elements and content areasVisual Labels: Key Elements & Content Areas (.png)

Visual Labels: Key Elements and Content Areas

Layout Options (Sidebar Area Options)

The most common layout is the left sidebar (containing the navigation) with the content on the right, a.k.a. the sidebar-content layout. The second most common layout contains a third column with a second sidebar on the right, a.k.a. the sidebar-content-sidebar layout. There are many sidebar combinations available that can be changed on a page-by-page/section-by-section/category-by-category basis. For example, sites are often set up with a sidebar-content-sidebar homepage, with the rest of the site set up as sidebar-content.

Custom sidebars can be added via the Genesis Simple Sidebars plugin, however, we recommend advance planning of your site architecture to go along with this. (This plugin is most commonly used to set up a separate third-column sidebar for the homepage.)

Content Flow

Note: The content areas flow slightly differently than what a left-to-right viewing indicates, specifically with the Content area and the Sidebars

  1. NASA Header
  2. AboveNav
  3. Header/Banner
  4. TopNav (Primary Nav)
  5. Content Area
  6. Sidebar (Primary Sidebar)
  7. Sidebar Alt (Secondary Sidebar) 
  8. Footer for Three Widgets
  9. NASA Footer
  10. Footer