Your WordPress website can be so much more than a collection of links to pages. There are lots of tools you can use in conjunction with your site pages for information that is timely in nature, and that may not need to be part of your site year-round. Using these tools, instead of posting timely information inside of a static webpage, helps out with your Search Engine Optimization and keeps your site fresh.
While Pages are the basic organizational unit of your website, posts are more like news releases. They are presented in reverse chronological order, and lend themselves to ongoing communications about events, changes, latest news, and other content that has a “shelf life.” To learn more about posts, see this introductory video.
Lots of offices send regular newsletters to their constituents and then post them on the website. There ia now a better way to do this. Using a combination of WordPress, Gravity Forms, and a free service called Mailchimp, you can send out spiffy html emails and manage your subscription list online. For information on how to do this, visit our new tutorial on HTML Emails.
There is already a process in place for University-wide Campus Advisories handled by the University Police, Public Safety, and University Relations. These Campus Advisories post on the UMW Home page, the Campus Advisories page, and throughout the UMW website in red or yellow, depending on the degree of urgency.
Department and program advisories have typically had no place to go on the Web, and are too narrow in scope to post as a University-wide advisory. Still they sometimes require more timely exposure than the department site can provide. For that, we have provided a new “Advisories” feature in your Web site. Advisories are promoted to the Campus Advisories page, so USE THESE JUDICIOUSLY AND ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. Click here to learn more…
Information about upcoming events, training classes, upcoming deadlines, programs, etc. These generally are not emergency in nature, and would clutter up the advisories page rendering it less reliable for those looking for timely or emergency information. Unlike pages, however, these kinds of announcements do eventually expire in terms of their relevance — that is, they have a bound “shelf life,” just not an urgent one. Using EagleEye’s announcements category is one way, but now we’ve got a way to do it on your UMW website as well.
As discussed in previous tutorials, “Posts” in WordPress work handily for this kind of information. However, we have not, up until now, accounted for how to post an announcement only when you have a current one, and expire it from view when it no longer applies. We’ve put together a tutorial on how to have announcements display on your site using blog posts in combination with some handy plugins called “Post Expirator” and “Widget Logic.” Visit this page for the tutorial…
* NOTE: These tutorials and WordPress tools are provided as a method for you to get your message out using WordPress on the UMW website. They are not in any way a statement on policy regarding emergency or non-emergency communications at the University. For information on these policies, contact the Office of University Relations).