- December 9, 2013
I’m happy to report we have a new slider for general use throughout the berea.edu constellation!
You will see a link to the “LayerSlider WP” plugin in your administrator leftnav when you are in edit mode. It is far more powerful than the Lambert Group sliders (All-in-One, Content) that we had been using.
So far the new slider has been used on this website (www.berea.edu/web-comms) and the berea.edu home page.
Animated transitions in both 2D and 3D abound with this slider … it can be created in any size … each image can have multiple animated layers … all text is machine readable … there is plenty of on-board “help” and FAQs to get you started. And experimentation is downright fun!
Let me know if/when you deploy your own gorgeous version of this slider. We’ll use this blog to share your creativity and inspire everybody!
- September 12, 2013
Before “word processing” we “typed” text in which every letter and punctuation mark occupied the same amount of space. To make reading our typed manuscripts easier, people were taught a few habits that, if used in a word processor or preparing text for use on line, make the text look goofy. Such habits include but are not limited to:
Including 2 spaces after a period at the end of a sentence … Get in the habit of not doing this when you are using a proportional font (and you almost always use a proportional font these days – especially on the web).
Using “tabs” to indent … For the web, don’t indent the first line of text in paragraphs. If such indentation is desired for a certain kind of page or post it will be programmed to happen automatically.
Using a lowercase “L” as the number “1” … I bet you haven’t heard of this one – unless you’re old enough to have typed on a portable manual typewriter (to see one, visit my office in the Visitors Center).
Breaking a word at the end of a line with a hyphen between syllables
One never knows where a visitor’s line breaks are going to occur (browser size, screen size, text magnification … all sorts of variables are in the mix). Therefore, never try to hyphenate a word in text prepared for online use.
Random font selecting… You may have become accustomed to using the wide array of fonts available to you in your word processor, but such choices won’t apply for online text. Fonts are a part of site design and programming and the only choices available to you in the WordPress visual editor — besides “bold,” “Italic” and “underline” — are under the “Format” dropdown menu. Among the choices there that you will use often are Headings 2 and 3 out of 6. In berea.edu, Heading 2 is used for subtitles and Heading 3 for sub-subtitles. Though it’s possible, please don’t try to get around font limitations by turning text into a graphic (e.g. using Photoshop or other image-editing software). So-called “infographics” break accessibility rules with which we try to comply.
Using full paragraph “justification” (straight left AND right edges)… Don’t do it. It is an invitation to bizarre and unpredictable consequences.
If you have more typographical advice for the web content manager community, please contribute as a comment to this post.
- June 5, 2013
I’ve been asked by more than a handful of web content managers “What will the webteam do if we get to a point where we’re making all of our own changes?”
OUR MOST IMPORTANT ONGOING TASKS:
—Webteam will back you up. That means we’ll be here to help you when you get stuck or something goes wrong. Last summer and this past fall the webteam spent 80% of its time migrating sites into the WordPress CMS and in that process we’re certain every mistake you’re likely to make is one we’ve made dozens of times already. Hopefully we’ve learned to fix those mistakes. So don’t hesitate to call us when you click on “update” and your site turns into confetti. (Not likely, really, but we’re ready even if the consequences aren’t so thrilling as confetti.)
—We’ll be focused on “behind the behind the scenes engineering” of the fast growing berea.edu WCMS. You are behind the scenes and we’re FURTHER behind the scenes, assessing plug-ins and widgets, monitoring security, worrying about a number of things so you don’t have to.
—You will be constantly telling us about things you would like to do that you can’t figure out HOW to do. And when you share those things with us we’ll pursue solutions while you go back to what you have to do and CAN do. (Oft times things you want to do can be done through a plug-in we have not yet acquired. We’ll brief you on our process of vetting plugins and widgets in another blog post, soon.)
OTHER ONGOING WEBTEAM TASKS:
—We’ll continue to train you. If you have attended one of the 3 hour training sessions in the Hutchins Library computer lab. You came away from that familiar with the administrator interface to WordPress. In the course of maintaining your own site you’ll learn much that wasn’t touched upon during that 3-hours. Some of what you’ve yet to learn will come to you through the WordPress dashboard “Help” feature and the trainWCMing User’s Guide online here. But a lot of it will also come from one-on-one training between you and a member of the webteam. We DO make “house calls.” So, call us when you need to do something new.
—We will continue to make changes for you that you are not prepared to do yourself. Send your change requests to firstname.lastname@example.org (as always) and we will be ‘on the case.’ Many of you are the ONLY web content manager in your organization. When you go on vacation, let your people know to send their web content change requests to email@example.com. We’ll keep things moving while you’re on a beach (or ski slope) somewhere!
NEW WEBTEAM TASKS:
—As mentioned in my last post, we’re going mobile within the next year or so (starting with inauguration, actually). There needs to be a strategic plan for how we pull this off gracefully but smartly. Some sites need to be mobile friendly for more reasons, or sooner reasons, than other sites. And since converting 130 sites to mobile is a lot of months of labor, the plan is a high priority for webteam. (Have I already mentioned that if you can think of a very good reason why you should be at the top of the list of sites to get mobile-friendly, tell us now?)