Web Summit Wrap-up for May 2011: Open Session

Posted on 5/18/2011 1:30:30 PM

The final Web Maintainers’ Summit of the year, May 18, 2011, was an open session, during which department and office website maintainers brought in their questions for one-on-one help from Web Team members.

Please scan the questions below, in case you have wondered something similar and can find your answer here.

For the most part, I have been updating existing content on my site. How do I add new content?

See our how-to documentation on adding content. Your situation may be a little more complicated, so please read on.

How do I add a new section?

In the content management system, a folder in the Workarea is needed to have a section on the website. For example, in your Programs of Study section, you may have three pages, one for each program of study. But, let’s say you need to add more pages to one particular program of study, such as the B.A. in Webology.

In that case, rather than having just one page, you would need to create a section for the B.A. in Webology. That would require creating a new folder (for the B.A. in Webology) under Programs of Study, moving the existing B.A. in Webology page into the new folder (that, you would need to request through Web Team), creating pages in the new folder as necessary, adding those pages to a menu, and asking the Web Team to update the breadcrumb.

Creating a new section, as described above, is discussed in detail (and you get practice doing it) in intermediate-level training, offered each month. Web maintainers are encouraged to consult with the Web Team when creating new sections for their websites.

Concerning menus, see how-to documentation on working with menus. But, menus and navigation are also discussed in detail in intermediate-level training.

Our alumni are doing lots of interesting things. We want to share that on our website with current and potential students and other department alumni. How can we do that?

For most departments, information concerning alumni is added as a subsection of the “About” section. To create an alumni section on your website, see the information above about adding a new section.

It may also be a good idea to see how the Alumni Relations office organizes its “Meet Our Alumni” section, or how other departments handle that material:

How do I move content?

Web maintainers are not able to move content. Please ask a member of the Web Team to do it for you. If sending an e-mail request to web-team@iup.edu, please be specific about the content that needs to be moved (title and content ID number) and the name of the folder to which it needs to be moved.

How do I change a picture on a page?

In most cases, you will want to remove the existing photo and add a new one. See how-to documentation about inserting an image into your page. If you are working with an IUP stock image in the photographer’s photo gallery, the image probably does not need to be resized. But, if you are uploading an image, make sure that you size the image for the IUP templates first.

If you want to replace an image on every page in which that image appears, see information about overwriting an image in the library. If you overwrite an image, you do not need to make any changes to the pages on which the image appears.

The Web Team won’t delete news items until they’re eighteen months old. How do I keep old news posts from appearing on my home page?

Older news items in the Recent News box on your home page will drop out of the box as new news items are posted. The default setting for the Recent News box is five news items. If your department does not post a lot of news, you may want to ask the Web Team to reduce the default setting to three items or fewer, so that old news does not stay on the home page so long. Of course, an easy answer to keeping old news off the home page is to post new news frequently.

Adding sticky news will not cause older news items to drop off. Sticky news items will appear in addition to the default number of news items.

Should I add new content as a PDF or as HTML content?

HTML content is preferred almost always. It is understood by everyone on the Web, loads faster, is better searched by Google and other search engines, and doesn’t require having software installed on your computer to view it. However, if you have a document, such as a form people need to print, that has very specific formatting, you would want to upload it as a PDF.

How do I control what office hours appear on a webpage?

Department and office websites have a configuration file in their main folder that controls which address and office hours appear on pages within that particular website. If a different address or office hours block is needed on a particular page, it should be added to the appropriate spot on that page’s Metadata tab. Adding an address or office hours block to the Metadata tab will override what is specified in the configuration file.

If your site has a whole section that needs a different address or office hours block, that section may need its own configuration file.

Note: Making some changes to a configuration file can disable your site. Please contact the Web Team if you need a new configuration file or if you need to make changes to an existing configuration file.

I have used Learn More blocks in the past, but when I try to create one now, some of the fields are not visible. What’s wrong?

The default website editing tool at IUP changed from eWebEditPro to Content Designer in February of this year. When using Content Designer with Internet Explorer, the field used to add the URL in the Learn More smart form is not visible. As far as we have seen, this problem does not exist in other browsers, such as Firefox and Safari. Please use another browser if you can.

See a list of known issues (unexplained, undesirable, or unwanted behavior) with the content management system.

On my website, I place content items on all menus in which they are appropriate. Is that not right?

Every HTML content item should be on a menu, but it should be on only one menu—unless it is a section home page. If it’s a section home page, it should be on two menus: the menu for that section (folder) and the menu for the section (folder) above it. When content items are added to menus that do not follow the folder structure, it causes navigation problems that can be confusing for site users.

Sometimes, web maintainers add content items to the main menu because they worry the content will not be seen otherwise. The perfect spot for those content items (the ones that don’t belong on the main menu but that people need to see) is the highlights collection—the links in red on the right column of the home page. In the Workarea, the highlights collection is located in your department website’s main folder. See our how-to documentation on collections for more information.

I posted a news item the other day, and it never appeared in IUP Daily. Why?

There are several reasons this could have happened. The most likely would be that IUP employees, the main audience for IUP Daily, are not the audience for your news item. For example, news for students does not go in IUP Daily, unless there’s a reason faculty or staff members should know about it. Not all news items can be included in the newsletter because, the more content there is, the more likely people will miss things or not read at all. Limiting the news items that go in is crucial for managing people’s attention.

Student news and other items will, however, appear on the Campus Bulletins page, so there is easy access for all audiences who want more news.

Other typical reasons news is not included are as follows:

  • It was not a new news item: The news item was created in the content management system several days before it was submitted to the Web Team for publication. News items must have been created and published within the past five days to appear in the Web Team’s news-aggregating tool.
  • It was a duplicate post or part of a broader post: Another department may have already posted the news, or an overall news post may be coming. For example, a department may have posted news about its professors who won an award, but the Communications office may be putting together a comprehensive post that lists all professors across the university who won the award. Departments are welcome to post news about their faculty achievements, even if they are part of a comprehensive post. But, duplicate news posts should be avoided because they reduce the posts’ page rank in search engine results. Instead, use sticky news to display another department’s news item on your site.
  • Human error: Sometimes the Web Team misses things. If you think we’ve missed your news item, please let us know.

Find more reasons an item may not have been included in IUP Daily.

I have seen carousels—rotating images, often with navigation—on various pages on the IUP website. Can I get one on my website?

If you are interested in having a carousel on your website, please contact the Web Team for assistance with the setup. For those of you who have not seen them, here are some examples:

The Undergraduate Admissions website and many undergraduate program pages have icons for certain “calls to action”—such as visiting campus, applying, etc.—that link to a page with more information. Can I have something like that on my site? Can I have an icon that links to our Facebook page?

Rather than creating this customized navigation as requests come in, the Web Team will be working on a button system that can be adapted to the needs of each department or office website. In addition to saving time on development, having a standard system will make these types of call-outs consistent across the site.

My department would like to have an e-mail newsletter, similar to IUP Daily. How can I set that up?

Please contact the Web Team for advice on starting an e-mail newsletter. There are many e-mail services available, but because of federal spam laws, it is important for IUP to coordinate mailings, so that requests—such as the request to unsubscribe—are honored by IUP as a whole.