/Web, Social Media, More!

Wer’e happy to announce several new and exciting additions are coming to the Web Communications Department, including the newly launched Web Communications website! This site will the go-to place to see what’s new with internet marketing at Allegheny College, including new websites, social media endeavors, web news, and web support. And visit often! The website will feature more, as more happens in Allegheny’s world of web.

Also new is our efforts to ramp up social. This means more interesting content going to all of our regular channels including Facebook and Twitter, and adding new social media channels including Instagram and Flickr. Be sure to follow Allegheny in all of our social media channels to know all of the going-ons here at Allegheny.

Going along with social media, we’re also looking to see how to get the Allegheny community more involved. Our first effort is Photo Friday and #ACGatorGram, where we’re asking for the photographers of Allegheny’s community to submit their photos to be showcased on all of our social media channels. Check out the photo submissions page for more info.

New WordPress Features

Web Communications is very excited to announce several new features rolling out into WordPress.

User interface additions

The user interface has been reorganized, given a visual upgrade, and had several new features included:

Details on how to use Styles and Tables can be found in the WordPress Guide here and here.

Short Code

We are making several new “short codes” available. What are short codes? Basically, it is a piece of code, wrapped in brackets, placed in the editor making what used to be difficult, easy. The only example of this before was using short code to embed Wufoo forms, but now short code can be used to create:

  • Buttons
  • Text boxes
  • Columns
  • Stylized quotes
  • Section breaks

For instruction on how to use short code, check out the WordPress Guide! link

Image Sliders

Image sliders have been implemented as a feature on several of Allegheny’s WordPress sites. An example of the slider in action can be found in Geology’s website.

Not all sites have the slider enabled, but for websites that do, editors are able to edit and change content. Instruction for the image slider can be found in the WordPress Guide. link

Visual Editor Visual Upgrade

The visual editor, which is where editors write content, has been styled to more closely reflect what the final page will look like live on the site. You should be able to know almost exactly what the content will look like before you hit the publish button.

 

WordPress Version Upgrade

We have recently upgraded WordPress to the latest version and you might have already noticed some of the changes. A major change is how WordPress allows editors can upload images. WordPress now allows a drag-and-drop feature that will allow you to upload multiple images simultaneously.

A more thorough walk-through can be found in the images guide page of the WordPress Guide.

We’re always working to improve the features included in Allegheny College’s WordPress and we’ll make further announcements as they are rolled out. That’s all for now!

WordPress Guide

Web Communications is proud to announce the launch of the Allegheny College WordPress Guide. The WordPress Guide is a comprehensive resource for all WordPress Editors and covers topics from beginner to advanced. Topics covered in this guide include:

WordPress Basics

This section defines what WordPress is, and how Allegheny College uses WordPress for its family of websites. There are also some general guidelines for best practices when editing an Allegheny College WordPress page.

Pages and Posts

This section covers the basics of editing pages and posts, and defines what the differences between pages and posts are.

Text Formatting

This section gives basic guidelines and instruction for editing text in WordPress.

Images Guide

This section gives guidelines for proper use of images, and instruction on how to add media, alignment, and using the gallery or image slider.

Navigation and Menus

This section covers instruction for building and making changes to the WordPress site navigation.

Advanced WordPress

There are several guides included in the Advanced WordPress Guides covering several topics:

  • Tables
  • Breadcrumbs and hierarchies
  • Sidebar and Widgets
  • Shortcode
  • Basics of HTML

The WordPress guide is part of Web Communications continuing work to support editors and make Allegheny College’s web presence the best it can possibly be. If there are any questions, concerns, or issues regarding this guide, there is a suggestions form that can found in the guide and filled out.

FormBuilder Shutdown

As per the announcement last month, Computing Services has shutdown the FormBuilder tool effective today.  We believe we have reached out to everyone who was still using the system to assist with the transition, but please contact us if we missed you on that communication.

The functionality in FormBuilder is replicated in two commonly used products on campus, Wufoo and Google Spreadsheets. Google Spreadsheets and Forms are available to all members of the campus community. If additional functionality is required, contact Jason Ramsey in AIS regarding access to Allegheny’s Wufoo form builder.

WordPress Updates

First off, for those who I haven’t gotten a chance to meet me yet, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Sean O’Connor and I am overjoyed that, as of November, I am working in the Web Communications department as the new Digital Media Specialist. My role is basically to work with Jesse Lavery on all things web.

In my first of many blog posts, I would like to announce several improvements that are coming to Allegheny’s web presence. To start, thanks to our increases in staff and resources, we are going to be increasing our role in support for the campus’s WordPress Editors, through more communication and more access to training. Me and Jesse will be going into more detail over the next three posts, which you should receive throughout the rest of March, but in the mean time, here are a few things you can expect:

  • The “WordPress Guide”! This comprehensive guide will be launching later this month as a resource for Editors when using WordPress.
  • New WordPress features! These will be improving the WordPress editing and viewing experience.
  • Update to WordPress 3.3.1! What are the changes we can expect?

That’s all for now! If for any reason you’d like to contact us at Web Communications:

Sean O’Connor x4783
soconnor@allegheny.edu

Jesse Lavery x2769
jlavery@allegheny.edu

But, I don’t have a Wufoo account…

Jesse told you in the last post that you should want an account on Wufoo.  He’s right.  Wufoo is awesome.  It allows you to set up a webpage with a form in it to collect reservations, take a poll, coordinate contact that otherwise would be a lot of paper or email to process.  But, if you’re an Allegheny student, faculty member, or employee, you have a tool right now at your finger tips in Google Apps called Google Forms that is darn near equally awesome.  Watch this quick introduction from Google about how easy it is to turn a regular Google Spreadsheet into an online form.

 

If you’re currently a WordPress editor and you’d like to embed a form in your site, contact Jason Ramsey in Murray Hall (AIS) to arrange for a Wufoo account or training.   Wufoo plays nicely with other systems like WordPress, so it’s our advice to use Wufoo for public-facing sites.  However, if you’re just looking for a quick way to collect information among your fellow students and staff, Google Forms is already there, waiting for you to use.

Wufoo Users: Easier Form Embedding in WordPress!

If you’re a Wufoo user – and if you’re not, you should be – you now have an easier way of embedding Wufoo forms in WordPress. Let me walk you through it.

1. Get your “WordPress Shortcode”

Find your form in Wufoo’s “Form Manager” list, hover over it, and click on “Code”.

On the “Form Code Manager” screen, click on the “Embed Code” tab and copy the “WordPress Shortcode” from the box at the bottom of the screen.

2. Paste the shortcode into WordPress

In WordPress, simply paste in your shortcode and click “Update”/”Publish”. Voila!

Note: No need to change existing embedded forms. This is simply a new, hopefully easier way of working with forms!

Welcome to the new Web Communications blog!

Welcome to the new Web Communications blog! This blog will be home to updates about WordPress, web content tips and tricks, announcements about new websites and/or web tools that we launch – and generally, “what we’re up to” in the Web Communications & Marketing office.

Thanks for following along!