RAC Sites Overview (Officers)

This is brief overview of the organization of the web site for admins, officers, and committee heads. All logins provide you access to the control panels for the web site, but yours have many more capabilities than a regular member. The information here is meant to provide some specific details about how the RAC sites are implemented in our WordPress system to aid you in understanding how to perform basic administrative functions.

Please note that the exact number of entries in the control panels you will see may vary depending on your role's permissions and changes to the plug-ins (which occur regularly, in fact we get at least 10-12 updates every month, sometimes a lot more!).



The Raleigh Astronomy Club sites use the WordPress content management system. On the hosting service, there are three separate WordPress installations, each located in a different directory and with a different database:

  • raleighastro.org - Production Site
  • raleighastro.org - Test Site (Copy of Production Site - content may be stale)
  • astronomydays.raleighastro.org - Astronomy Days web site

Logging In

In order to log in to the control panel, you need to go to raleighastro.org/wp-admin (Please note that you can to any sub-domain and just add the wp-admin prefix). If you are not logged in, you will get the login screen which looks like this.
Intro 1

If you are already logged into the site, you can go the page and will not need to login again.


The default landing spot of the control panel is the Dashboard. You will immediately go to the dashboard of the site that you used to access wp-admin. For example, the link above takes you to the dash board for the main site, which looks like this (your view may vary).

Main Site Dashboard
Main Site Dashboard

Please note the tool bar at the top of the screen. You will have that on every screen you access.  The key field is the second fields, as it shows which site you are editing.

Site Control Panel Menu
Site Control Panel Menu

Once you go a set of control panels, you will see the control panel groups running down the left hand side. These entries are (mostly) logically grouped and almost all have their own sub menus. You can either hover over an entry to see and select one of the sub entries, or click on the entry and you will see a list of sub-entries for that item appear underneath that entry on the left. You will also be taken to the default panel screen for that item. which is either a listing or a sub-dashboard for the item (never anything destructive). An example using the event menu is below:

Event Menu Hover
Event Menu Hover
After Clicking Event
After Clicking Event



Pages, Posts, and Categories/Tags

The site has specific items and terms that will make things easier to understand. Some of these are design choices by RAC, and others are enforced by WordPress and/or the plug-in we use.

    • Pages - These are the pages used in the site. They may contain multiple items (like posts) and other changing content, but the pages themselves are mostly static. The page menu allows editing of the main content of the page. Please see the Page/Post Editing help section for tips on editing pages and posts. Please note that many elements may be rendered by the Theme of the site, which requires a different process to change. Please check with an administrator to do that, as theme changes can create major differences in appearances all over the site.
    • Posts - These are articles or blog entries that can be displayed on the front page or other areas. All posts need to have at least one category. Assigning the proper category will govern where or if the post appears on the various pages of the site.
    • Category - There are categories defined for posts and pages. These are configurable, but the currently defined ones for the RAC sites today are listed below. This list may change, so you can always see the latest categories through the Posts->Categories entry on the current site's dashboard. Please Note: Event categories and Post categories are two different things and not the same. Please see the Events help page for more details.
      • Club Reports - These are for business meeting notes, treasurer reports, etc. This category will not be shown to the general public.
      • Equipment Articles
      • General Articles
      • Help - These are for the help posts (like this one). These are not shown to the general public.
      • Imaging
      • Observing - For observing related posts and information. These will appear on the front page.
      • RAC News - This is for items about RAC activities. These will appear on the front page.
      • Star Party Articles
      • Uncategorized - This is a required category to have, but nothing should be in this category.

Please do not create any new categories without notifying an admin. The category filters will need to be adjusted if categories are changed, added, or deleted. This is not difficult, but does require some other changes in the system.

  • Tags - These can be added to any post or page. Currently, for the RAC sites these are only used in the help pages. To display a post in the help page, you must tag it appropriately. The current tags are:
    • intro - special tag for this post so it appears first
    • begin - for basic getting started information
    • members - help posts applicable to every member
    • officers - help posts applicable for officer tasks


Users can register for the sites. Each sites have separate user accounts, but no members should be using the test or astronomdays site to register an account.  Anyone needing account access to these sites should contact the webmasters to have an account created .  There can be no duplicate user names on any give site. The User-->All Users panel can be used to list the users for the current sit. Please see Managing Users for more information on users.


The site is configured to send emails to the appropriate people for various events. However, the control panel also has an alerting mechanism. Alerts can appear as text boxes at the top of the page or as a red circle with a number by a control panel entry. This signifies that there are pending actions for this particular function. This is most seen with user posts waiting for approval. An example is below.

Intro 8


If there is an alert that is not understand, please contact the webmasters.