Website Editor Expanded
As the (or one of) designated website editor(s) you manage the day-to-day aspects of your area's website: updates, gathering content, images, charts, tables, reports...it can get overwhelming. The good news is your role can be broken down into two distinct and manageable areas:
- Project Management (outlined below) - 80% of your work will be spent outside of the CMS in a non-technical role. The bulk of your work will be spent gathering content, proof reading, getting approvals, managing content contributors, keeping people on schedule and managing expectations.
- CMS Work (watch video tutorials)- the other 20% will be spent putting the content into the CMS. The difficulty level of this part is directly related to the project management side. If you don't have the final approved content then you'll have to do things twice...or more.
You can enlist other members of your area (staff, faculty and students) to assist you in anyway you see fit, example: students can be the main person working in the CMS or faculty can be responsible for pictures. However, the website editor must be an employee. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that students leave: they get busy with class work, they may find another job or internship, etc. When they leave, they take all of the information and skills with them and your area can be left without anyone who knows what is going on with its website.
Most of your time will be spent working on your website OUTSIDE of the CMS. This may seem counterintuitive but the purpose of the CMS is to present your content, not to create content. The content strategy your area will develop with OMC will layout a basic maintenance plan, but a plan doesn't enact itself. Luckily, managing a project on the web is no different than managing any other project, it can be broken down into 4 steps:
Step 1: look at what is there now
Open a browser and go to the page that needs to be updated. This will give you a sense of what exist and what needs to be created.
Step 2: identify the end result
Identifying what needs to be done; this may seem obvious but once you are actively updating you can easily get sidetracked with related issues. You can use a scrap piece of paper to write down all of the tasks that need to be completed, like a to do list. Whether it is updating a section of text, adding images or replacing a file, it will help to know exactly what needs to be done.
Step 3: gather all of the needed content
This can be the most difficult part of your role because it'll require you to make decisions on the fly. You'll need to decide:
- what content is needed (text, images, files, etc.)
- who is the "right person" to create the content for the specific update
- who needs to approve the content
- is the content supplied accurate
- does the content have the correct voice and tone
- is the content in sync with your area's strategy
- is the content effective
In terms of tasks this step is pretty straight forward.
- gather all approved content (text, images, files, etc.) into one folder on your computer.
- make sure images are properly sized and formatted (check out the video tutorials for more information on images)
- make sure files and images are properly named
NOTE: File and image names should only contain characters a-z 0-9 -_ Please do not use spaces or special characters. File names are extremely important and should be thought out (check out the video tutorial about file names)
Step 4: put the content into the CMS
There are a number of video tutorials to help you with working in the CMS. If you would like individual training on how to manage your website or with the CMS please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.