2013 Spring Web Editor Meeting

On January 14th, 2013 we had a casual meeting with many of our department website editors, the university Website Manager, and staff from the Office of University Relations. The two main topics discussed were about the recent Nicholls Website redesign and changes introduced during the recent WordPress 3.5 upgrade. To give more information for meeting attendees and editors that were unable to attend two articles have been written about our meeting topics.

Be sure to check out the Website Editor Checklist & Notes for useful information about maintaining content on the Nicholls websites. If you have additional questions you should contact the Website Manager, or leave a public comment below.

WordPress Media Management

This is documentation is meant to cover the basic techniques of uploading and managing media using WordPress. In WordPress – Media is defined as anything that is not written text or HTML content. This means that media content will be the images, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, video, or other files that would be attached or embedded in a post or page. The only exception here are YouTube, Fickr, Forms and other items that are embedded by using an external service or WordPress feature like a plugin.

Add Media Button Although you can access and upload media using the Media area in the WordPress Dashboard, it is more beneficial to manage media while working on the Post or Page where the media will be found. While editing the Post or Page you will find the button to access the media management dialog box located  above the editing toolbar and labeled as Add Media At one time there were separate buttons for different media types and a simple image to click on. Now the Add Media button is a single button.

Media Interface Overview

When you press Add Media the media dialog appears. In this area you will find links along the left to perform specific actions, the center of the dialog where you will see thumbnails or icons representing media items, and the left side area that will show specific properties for the selected media items.

Media Overview

Media Dropdown View FilterIn the center area you will initially see all media items available on the site you are working on. You can select multiple items by holding the shift key and clicking on items. You can deselect items clicking the minus sign. There is also a field for searching for specific media items at the top. A dropdown menu is also provided to help filter the items you see to make things more manageable. Using this dropdown you can view just images, audio, video, or only the media items that were uploaded to the WordPress document you are editing.

Media PropertiesSelecting a media item will cause the properties for that item to appear on the right side. The properties and options are the similar to previous WordPress versions and you can change the title, alt text, description, and caption as before. In this area you will also find links to edit and delete any media item. Your changes to the item properties like Title and Caption will be saved automatically. If you want to make sure your changes are saved you can simply click your cursor to another property field and you might see the saved notification appear under the Attachment Details heading.

You will also see options for alignment, size, and linking. Many of these options can be changed after the content is inserted into the Page or Post. It may not be necessary to link your images if you just want to show the image and you should probably never use the Link to: Attachment Page option. If you are working with a PDF, MS  Word, or other similar media type, chances are you should always use the Link to: Media File option.

The Insert Into Post button is at the lower right corner. Pressing the Insert Into Post button will insert the HTML to display your media items into the editor area in the location where you placed your cursor before pressing the Add Media button.

Uploading Media

Uploading images to the WordPress media library is similar to previous versions. Under the Insert Media heading you find the Upload Files link which will reveal the media upload dialog interface. You can drag files to the upload area, or you can press the Upload Files button. Be ware that you can upload multiple files, so make sure to select or drag to upload only the files that need to be uploaded to your website.

media-uploadThere are additional options like setting the Featured Image and Galleries. The Feature Image option is used to set an image as the Featured Image for the WordPress content you are editing and you featured image may be used by other functions of your website. Custom Gallery options should be functional, but may not be completely functional on many Nicholls websites.

This is a general overview of the updated media management area in WordPress, if you have questions or issues, please contact the Nicholls Website Manager.

Tips, Tricks & Gotchas

  • PDF, MS Word, PPT, XLS and other files are different than images. The title used in the media dialog area will become the link for the file. You should always add the type of file to the title so visitors are aware of the type of file that can be downloaded. The title may look like – Document (pdf) if done prolerly.
  • Remember that once you upload something to one editing area you do not need to upload it again and you can access it from other editable Posts and Pages on the current WordPress site.
  • Media on page optionsYou can modify options or delete images inserted into your content by using the options or delete buttons that will appear if you click on the image in the editing area as shown in the image to the left.
  • You can sometimes replace items by first deleting the original item in the media area and then uploading a newer item that uses the exact same file-name.
  • To delete an item: Re

2011 Summer Nicholls Website Updates

I have planned to migrate the core website to WordPress for over a year. This complicated process was completed on May 26, 2011.

The website management is the same WordPress software used by many of the Nicholls departments with some additional features to manage multiple websites and caching to increase performance. Eventually I will migrate all Nicholls department websites that use WordPress to this combined WordPress system. This will allow our website editors that maintain multiple websites to have a single place to access the administrative tools rather than deal with multiple user accounts. The benefits are too much to explain in this short update message.

There are a few important things to know about this update:

  • TheNicholls Calendar has been changed to be integrated with the Google Calendar system. This uses calendars associated with the Website Manager (nichweb) account. This includes the academic and non-academic calendars.
  • Nicholls web address changes. This migration forced some changes to address locations(URLs) for many Nicholls web pages. Most old web page addresses should redirect to the new locations, but you should notify me if any old important addresses are missing. I’m placing a list of the address changes below in case anyone needs that information.
  • Website performance changes include a caching system. Any issues related to slow performing areas of the website should be reported. Be sure to report any unusual content or problems viewing areas of the Nicholls website.

As always, I appreciate reports for any issues these changes might cause.

Department websites will take some time to migrate into the new system. I will contact department website editors as these changes occur. I anticipate a long period of work this Summer to complete the process.

Nicholls Website Address(URL) Changes

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/alumni_friends.html

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/current_students.html

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/faculty_staff.html

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/future_students.html

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/campus_life

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/academic_calendar

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/disclaimer.html

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/exce
OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/unique

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/region

OLD — https://www.nicholls.edu/academic_affairs

How to Migrate to the Nicholls 2010 WordPress Theme

WordPress administrators may have noticed a few changes after WordPress was upgraded to WordPress 3.0. For most Nicholls websites that use WordPress the changes caused no differences other than some cosmetic changes to the administration area. A few websites experienced some problems with older but useful plugins and utilities.  For these websites the solution required the creation of a new WordPress theme found under the Appearance area called the Nicholls 2010 Core Theme. We will be migrating all Nicholls WordPress websites to this new theme as time permits, but these migrations should be done carefully since the changes to your departmental website can be dramatic. Continue reading “How to Migrate to the Nicholls 2010 WordPress Theme”