Best Practices in County Web Development

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ACES: Best practices in county Extenion office web development.

ACES: Best practices in county Extenion office web development.

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  • 1. Best Practices in County Web Development John D. Hartley, ACES Webmaster Email: [email_address]
  • 2. ACES has had individual county websites for over ten years now.
  • 3. ACES has had individual county websites for over ten years now.
    • In the past, some counties were unable to contribute much content to their individual sites because of the difficulty, or perceived difficulty, in using the technology.
  • 4. ACES has had individual county websites for over ten years now.
    • In the past, some counties were unable to contribute much content to their individual sites because of the difficulty, or perceived difficulty, in using the technology.
    • Over time we have continued to work toward making it easier and easier for you to update and maintain your county websites.
  • 5. What is the purpose of the county Extension office sites?
    • The primary purpose of each county Extension office website is to provide information on what Extension is doing locally, as well as to cater to the local needs in each county by providing customized navigation and content.
  • 6. What is the purpose of the county Extension office sites?
    • Each county Extension office website is to provide information on what Extension is doing locally, as well as to cater to the local needs in each county.
    • Just as your county’s physical office should represent the best of Extension and convey a strong sense of professionalism, your website must convey the same sense of professionalism as it will be many people’s first impression of your office as well as ACES.
  • 7. Identity is much more than a logo.
    • To ensure high standards of professionalism in ACES/AG web development, the ACES/AG Web Development Standards and Guidelines were established.
  • 8. Identity is much more than a logo.
    • To ensure high standards of professionalism in ACES/AG web development, the ACES/AG Web Development Standards and Guidelines were established.
    • AU followed our lead by establishing their own web publishing standards the following year.
  • 9. Identity is much more than a logo.
    • To ensure high standards of professionalism in ACES/AG web development, the ACES/AG Web Development Standards and Guidelines were established.
    • AU followed our lead by establishing their own web publishing standards the following year.
    • The ACES/AG Policies are linked from both the Policies section and the Web Development sections of the CTU website.
  • 10. Managing & Organizing Content
    • General explanation of site navigation.
        • Top = Global
        • Left Side = Local or Default
        • Bulleted List = Local
  • 11.  
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  • 14. This doesn't mean that you need to reinvent the wheel.
  • 15. This doesn't mean that you need to reinvent the wheel.
    • Leverage existing content within the ACES site by linking to it where it already exists. Do not duplicate content or documents. (e.g.- Meet the staff pages)
  • 16. This doesn't mean that you need to reinvent the wheel.
    • Leverage existing content within the ACES site by linking to it where it already exists. Do not duplicate content or documents. (e.g.- Meet the staff pages)
    • However, avoid redundant links. There is no need to provide duplicate links to resources on the ACES website that are already linked in the main site navigation.
  • 17. Non-Extension links should be moved off to a separate page!
    • The most important thing we have to say to our visitors should not be to send them off to someone else's website.
    • (e.g.- http:// www.aces.edu/Autauga/Government.php )
  • 18. Non-Extension links should be moved off to a separate page!
    • The most important thing we have to say to our visitors should not be to send them off to someone else's website.
    • (e.g.- http:// www.aces.edu/Autauga/Government.php )
    • All links to external sites should be set so that it opens in a separate window. (Target=“_blank”)
  • 19. Consolidate Your Content!
    • Don’t let the bulleted list of links on your homepage grow to an unmanageable size by just adding another link every time something new comes along.
    • Group like content together and move it off to a separate additional page within your website. Then have a single link for that topic area in your site navigation.
  • 20. Staff Group Photos...
    • Having a staff group photo on your site gives your office a human face and makes your site much more personable.
    • People get caught up in who is in the picture. At that size and resolution it’s difficult to recognize anyone when you know everyone in the photo.
  • 21. Personnel Directory Photos... http://secure.aces.edu/mt/technews/archives/001825.php
    • Once your staff photo has been added to the directory, you must log in and check the box to allow your photo to be seen by the public.
  • 22. Personnel Directory Photos... http://secure.aces.edu/mt/technews/archives/001825.php
    • Once your staff photo has been added to the directory, you must log in and check the box to allow your photo to be seen by the public.
    • Printing & download options for the directory.
  • 23. Personnel Directory Photos... http://secure.aces.edu/mt/technews/archives/001825.php
    • Once your staff photo has been added to the directory, you must log in and check the box to allow your photo to be seen by the public.
    • Printing & download options for the directory.
    • Meet the staff and Directions on each of the county homepages is automatically generated by the content in the Personnel Directory. This content comes directly from ACES-HR's database.
  • 24. Personnel Directory Photos... http://secure.aces.edu/mt/technews/archives/001825.php
    • Once your staff photo has been added to the directory, you must log in and check the box to allow your photo to be seen by the public.
    • Printing & download options for the directory.
    • Meet the staff and Directions on each of the county homepages is automatically generated by the content in the Personnel Directory. This content comes directly from ACES-HR's database.
    • If you need to update any of this information, contact Sherry Sydnor in ACES-HR.
  • 25. ACES Web Calendar System
    • ACES Main Calendar – Linked in blue bar at the top of the ACES default template. Lists all posted events. Searchable.
  • 26. ACES Web Calendar System
    • ACES Main Calendar – Linked in blue bar at the top of the ACES default template. Lists all posted events. Searchable.
    • County Web Calendar – Linked in the bulleted list on each county homepage. Lists only events that have been posted for that county.
  • 27. ACES Web Calendar System
    • ACES Main Calendar – Linked in blue bar at the top of the ACES default template. Lists all posted events. Searchable.
    • County Web Calendar – Linked in the bulleted list on each county homepage. Lists only events that have been posted for that county.
    • PPT Calendars – Just as the calendar system can generate a calendar that lists all of the events for a specific county, it does the same thing for any given PPT. For example, 4-H.
  • 28. ACES Web Calendar System
    • Upcoming Events – On the county sites the next (up to 10) events are automatically displayed in a bulleted list in the green sidebar on the left.
  • 29. ACES Web Calendar System
    • Upcoming Events – On the county sites the next (up to 10) events are automatically displayed in a bulleted list in the green sidebar on the left.
    • Each of these events have a rollover that displays the details of the event as your cursor is over the item.
  • 30. ACES Web Calendar System
    • Upcoming Events – On the county sites the next (up to 10) events are automatically displayed in a bulleted list in the green sidebar on the left.
    • Each of these events have a rollover that displays the details of the event as your cursor is over the item.
    • Depending on the information you provide when posting the event, this can contain the subject or title of the event, the time, location, related PPT area, and a link to a website or PDF with more information such as registration forms, maps, etc.
  • 31. ACES Web Calendar System
    • Upcoming Events – On the county sites the next (up to 10) events are automatically displayed in a bulleted list in the green sidebar on the left.
    • Each of these events have a rollover that displays the details of the event as your cursor is over the item.
    • Depending on the information you provide when posting the event, this can contain the subject or title of the event, the time, location, related PPT area, and a link to a website or PDF with more information such as registration forms, maps, etc.
    • Upcoming events can also be generated for PPT sites such as on the 4-H site.
  • 32. If you build it, will they come?
    • According to Webtrends, last year nearly 2.4 million unique external visitors visited the ACES website. That does not count any internal traffic from our network, AU, or AAMU.
  • 33. If you build it, will they come?
    • According to Webtrends, last year nearly 2.4 million unique external visitors visited the ACES website. That does not count any internal traffic from our network, AU, or AAMU.
    • So far this year we have had nearly 1.3 million visitors. That's up around 100000 unique visitors over this time last year.
  • 34. If you build it, will they come?
    • According to Webtrends, last year nearly 2.4 million unique external visitors visited the ACES website. That does not count any internal traffic from our network, AU, or AAMU.
    • So far this year we have had nearly 1.3 million visitors. That's up around 100000 unique visitors over this time last year.
    • Webtrends – Web traffic analysis software. Usable statistics. View online or exportable in Word, PDF, or CSV (comma separated values sometimes called delimited text) formats (for Access or Excel). Http:// secure.aces.edu/webstats /
  • 35. If you build it, will they come?
    • According to Webtrends, last year nearly 2.4 million unique external visitors visited the ACES website. That does not count any internal traffic from our network, AU, or AAMU.
    • So far this year we have had nearly 1.3 million visitors. That's up around 100000 unique visitors over this time last year.
    • Webtrends – Web traffic analysis software. Usable statistics. View online or exportable in Word, PDF, or CSV (comma separated values sometimes called delimited text) formats (for Access or Excel). Http:// secure.aces.edu/webstats /
    • Counters – Outdated technology. Not useful information. Some people still like them. Why?
  • 36. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • Unlike web pages or Microsoft Word files, PDF preserves the formatting of your document so it looks and prints the same regardless of the computer or printer the person on the receiving end is using.
  • 37. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • Unlike web pages or Microsoft Word files, PDF preserves the formatting of your document so it looks and prints the same regardless of the computer or printer the person on the receiving end is using.
    • PDF forms can be set up so that the person on the receiving end can type directly into the form fields, etc.
  • 38. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • Unlike web pages or Microsoft Word files, PDF preserves the formatting of your document so it looks and prints the same regardless of the computer or printer the person on the receiving end is using.
    • PDF forms can be set up so that the person on the receiving end can type directly into the form fields, etc.
    • It's easy! It takes just one click to create a PDF, IF you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.
  • 39. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • The full version of Adobe Acrobat is required to create PDF files. Everyone has Adobe Acrobat Reader. However, you only have the full version of Adobe Acrobat if you downloaded and installed it.
  • 40. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • The full version of Adobe Acrobat is required to create PDF files. Everyone has Adobe Acrobat Reader. However, you only have the full version of Adobe Acrobat if you downloaded and installed it.
    • Available for free download from ACES Software License System http:// secure.aces.edu /license/ which is linked from the CTU section of the Intranet and the Software and Web Development sections of the CTU website.
  • 41. Use of Portable Document Format (PDF)
    • The full version of Adobe Acrobat is required to create PDF files. Everyone has Adobe Acrobat Reader. However, you only have the full version of Adobe Acrobat if you downloaded and installed it.
    • Available for free download from ACES Software License System http:// secure.aces.edu /license/ which is linked from the CTU section of the Intranet and the Software and Web Development sections of the CTU website.
    • However, it's not perfect for everything. Primarily this should be used for content that is intended to be printed or content that cannot be easily displayed online otherwise (such as Powerpoint files).
  • 42. Web + Logs = Blogs...
    • Great features such as:
      • automatic archiving of past content – chronological organization, but searchable
      • automatic RSS generation – syndication & repurposing of content
      • easy to add content to – most blogs have online editing tools and there are some external editors that add more tools an features that can be used with blogs
      • can have multiple contributors/authors (i.e.- team blogging)
      • can have multiple categories
      • Can contain images, video, or audio
      • Can and should use links to reference other content for additional information
  • 43. Web + Logs = Blogs...
    • Personal vs. Professional, Internal vs. External, Individual Blog vs. Team Blogging
    • When? Where? How? - JD
  • 44.
    • Contact: John Hartley, ACES Webmaster
    • [email_address]