Gutenberg transition

WiscWeb and University Marketing are working together to investigate and create a future UW Theme using Gutenberg, also called the block editor. This editor is designed to be more like popular page builder tools with a drag-and-drop editing experience, enabling content creators to design pages and posts more easily.

Learn more about the transition

Welcome to the UW Theme

The UW Theme is a free WordPress theme available to anyone that has a website. By choosing to use the theme, you’ll have access to UW–Madison branded website components, colors, layouts, settings, and more. Creating and updating pages through the page builder is quick, simple, and powerful.

For a more basic WordPress theme, the UW Theme Lite is also available. It’s well-suited for class blogs, simple sites and for developing a child theme.

Download theme, v. View all page elements

The UW Theme incorporates responsive design, enabling websites to effectively adapt and render on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop devices

A thumbnail image of an abbreviated 'Kitchen Sink of Elements' page.

1,700+ sites at UW–Madison use the UW Theme

Explore a few examples of sites that are built using the UW Theme on the WiscWeb WordPress service, a free campus service for creating and maintaining UW branded websites.

University Marketing recommends using the UW Theme on WiscWeb for most university websites to meet UW Brand’s minimum web standards. Sites on WiscWeb range from labs, research projects, resource websites, blogs, events/conferences, and more.

Learn if WiscWeb is right for you

Key features


Over 16 mobile-friendly page components, and five flexible column options for designing rich page layouts.

Google integrations

Integrations with Google Analytics, Custom Search, Tag Manager and Search Console


Browser tested across devices, including assistive technologies to meet campus web accessibility standards and policies.

Actively supported

Ongoing support by University Marketing and WiscWeb with regular testing and updates.

UW branded

Built-in UW–Madison identity, colors, and type, plus a basic header, menus, and footer.

Browser compatibility

Browser compatible with Microsoft Edge, FireFox, Chrome, and Safari.

Get started

While customization is an option, to ensure continued compliance with campus web standards and accessibility policies, using the UW Theme on WiscWeb is recommended for most websites.

Get started with WiscWeb

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

WiscWeb (recommended)

Advantages of using the UW Theme on WiscWeb include: 

  • The WiscWeb team manages WordPress and plugin updates, reducing the amount of work and technical experience needed to securely maintain a site
  • Sites using the UW Theme provide users with a consistent visual and interactive experience
  • The UW Theme is regularly tested and kept up-to-date with the current version of WordPress, web accessibility standards, and UW Brand
  • Any issues found with the UW Theme are addressed as quickly as possible and typically added to the next release of the UW Theme

Develop your own child theme

If you plan to develop, use custom code, or are working with a third-party vendor, you can use the UW Theme to create a child theme and build your website. The UW Theme Lite is helpful for those who want a more simple version of the theme to start with.

DoIT Shared Hosting is recommended if your department’s IT does not provide hosting services. While some hosting options have a monthly cost, DoIT Web Hosting provides database and Secure FTP access and allows you to fully customize CSS and install plugins.

For custom sites on campus, the unit that develops a custom design is responsible for maintaining it from that point forward, as well as ensuring continued compliance with the university’s minimum web standards.

Visit the Website Publishing Options guide to compare the differences between WiscWeb and DoIT Web Hosting.

Need help?

Email our team with questions, comments, ideas, or feedback. We’d love to hear from you.

Send an email