For fun and profit - PSU 2011


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Penn State Web Conference 2011 presentation with Tonya Oaks-Smith (@marleysmom)

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  • Can’t get there from here.No remote access for me.No crisis communication plan for the web.No analytics.Sad panda
  • Historical screen shots and the next version of the SAU websiteimaginationed
  • campus cultureEveryone used to managing their own look/feel and content.Monkey poemsthe .asp periodOriginal site overhaul in asp includesindividual installs before MU was readyStarted migrating into installs as a precursor to MU/CMS as a way to allow content managers to control their own sites again. Big push, very little follow through.
  • Access from anywhere, including my Android phone, iPad*, mall kiosk, public library, Starbucks.
  • No remote access.No crisis communication plan for the web.No analytics.No one able to manage his or her own content – changes all had to be coded and posted by me. Time – 60 percent on web and that’s not the sole point of my jobAngry panda
  • Hallelujah Chorus could play now and I’d think it was my theme song.
  • Smart would be a web team with a content manager who scrapped everything and started from scratch. I didn’t have that luxury, so decided that we needed to start building a foundation for a possible eventual enterprise cms in the future. That took several phases as I had to show progress while still trying to figure out what EXACTLY I was going to do with this giant mess.
  • Most of these costs are optional. I had a bit of a budget to work with, just nothing that would have supported an enterprise CMS purchase and licensing fees. I spend most of my budget on premium plugins, support and training materials.Delete and add info to major strengths slide
  • Posts, pages, links, categories, custom content types, taxonomies. Unlimited depths, unlimited quantities, unlimited possibilities with plugins and theme presentation.File uploads, basic image management, files associated with contentWidgets: drag-n-drop miracles of the modern age. Organize sidebars or fully widgetted homepages quickly and with zero permanence. Beautiful for using the same theme throughout a network install and allowing higher levels of customization.Upgrades: literally 1 click to upgrade the install, all network sites, and all plugins. Not necessarily recommended…just be sure to do a backup first.Flexible theming: You can pull anything out of the db and display it pretty much however you’d like. With template tags and stylesheets your site can essentially be whatever you want.Accessibility support: Garbage in, garbage out…but the backend makes it easy to train your content providers to fill in the blanks appropriately when creating links & adding images.Custom menus: previously couldn’t link off-site in a main nav without a plugin like Page Links To, but those are redirects and problematic with analytics. Now you can build very detailed navigation outside the confines of the site map, just like coding it by hand.User management: simple and effective user types and capabilities (have a list of those)
  • Step 4: Look busy while catching up on YouTube and Twitter for the rest of the day.Alternative: tweak settings and setup security
  • WP writes your config file, creates the database tables, populates sample content (just a little), and emails you the username and generated password.
  • Basic information, each site within a network has it’s own settings menu. Take them through if they’ve got questions or want to see the screens. permalinksXML SitemapGoogle Webmaster Tools – HUGELY helpfulRobots.txtContact PageAkismetDB Backup pluginGoogle AnalyticsSEO Plugin
  • Not keeping things current is the biggest source of the zombie website. The vast majority of possible problems can be avoided by simply keeping things up-to-date and making sure file permissions are correct.
  • Firefox add-ons Firebug & Yslow are very helpful for deciphering dev and speed issues.CDN: content delivery/distribution network(Amazon has education/non-profit specials)PHP Speedy isn’t in Extend. Unsure of why. Possibly not compatible with current WP versions.
  • Subdirectory/subdomain: walk through my reasonsSubdomain requires domain be pointed at the server and wildcard DNS entry. Actual subs are controlled by .htaccess.I had to have a subdomain “web.” pointed to an external server. I also wanted to be able to use single site licenses for premium plugins and have analytics see it as a single site, not multiple sites.Users: system users have varied levels of access to individual sites, including NO access. Single user table in the db, no user replication..htaccess set database access, some variablesRevisions: set universally in the config file or use a plugin like Revisionary or Revision Control to set at the site level.In order for uploads to work when you activate the network, you have to create blogs.dir to store the files for each site individually.
  • Change page to a hand out to save time.
  • List child attachments – not network friendly, pathing issues
  • Evaluate this page – might go into a hand out.“Post” Types = “Content” Types, don’t let the terminology throw you.From post types allow you to create different types of content in WP.Taxonomies: A way to group similar items togetherAllows you to create management screens specific to the task. More about organization than functionality.Resources: built using custom content.
  • Database backup & file backup plugins.Theme frameworks:GenesisThematicThesis*FrugalCanvasBuilderRichWP
  • I’m going to have my database broken up into chunks and spread out across multiple db servers.Take the pressure off my VPN by utilizing CDN, probably Amazon S3.Bring our external domains (athletics, foundation, etc.) into the 3.x network and use a domain mapping plugin to direct traffic. This will make managing them and their updates much easier.Rework our campus directory and course descriptions into the tools available instead of relying on plugins to make them work.Review all existing plugins and determine if function better served by features or alternate methods. Remove the unnecessary.Replace my “Page Links To” nav structure with custom menus where it makes sense.Implementing the content audit plugin and the editorial calendar plugin. Stephanie Leary is planning to add notifications to the content audit plugin that will send email notifications when content reaches a certain age.
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