About OpenCUNY: What is it, who can use it, and why should YOU use it?

What is OpenCUNY?
OpenCUNY is a student organized, open-source WordPress platform where you can build your own site for free. Learn more here.

Who can join?
Anyone with a Graduate Center email address can join. If you’re working on a project with folks outside of the Graduate Center, visit this page to learn more about adding them to your site. The OpenCUNY coordinators grant accounts for non-Graduate Center students on a case by case basis.

Why should I use OpenCUNY and not some other platform?

  • OpenCUNY is a student-run, student-based, student-funded network
  • OpenCUNY is committed to using and advocating for open-source digital media.
  • You can map your own domain (yourname.com) on OpenCUNY.
  • The main population of OpenCUNY is graduate students at The Graduate Center although we support projects that incorporate non-GC and non-CUNY populations.
  • OpenCUNY is independently housed on external servers via LiquidWeb. Because of this, OpenCUNY can host student voices that want to be openly critical of CUNY.
  • OpenCUNY actively involves its members, who participate in the development of our own Terms of Participation.
  • On OpenCUNY, you own your own data and can transfer it elsewhere.
  • OpenCUNY participants can work with coordinators to get the features for the site that they need.
  • OpenCUNY is fun!

Do I need to know HTML/code?
Nope. OpenCUNY runs on a WordPress multisite installation, which is easy/breezy to use and learn—no HTML required.

What kind of sites can I build?
If you can dream it, you can build it! OpenCUNY Participants have built sites for chartered organizations, student associations, GC-based courses, student-run conferences, graduate research, health initiatives, student activism, personal portfolios, and an array of DSC initiatives.

What will my URL be?
Your URL will be opencuny.org/yourtitle. If you want to have your own domain, you can purchase one and get it mapped to your OpenCUNY account. See more information here.

Where can I get help with my WordPress questions?
We’ve put together a collection of answers to some basic questions here. WordPress.tv has a bunch of short instructional videos and the WordPress.org forums are also a great resource. Of course, all of the OpenCUNY coordinators are also more than willing to field any questions.

What if I need a theme or plugin that’s not on the OpenCUNY system?
We have forms where you can requests plugins and themes that you’ve found on the WordPress.org site. We’re also happy to help advise about plugins and themes if you’re not quite sure what you want.