New Extension County Websites
Posted: July 30, 2010
Why should I be excited?
- You will be able to maintain your website from anywhere in the world with a web browser and an Internet connection as a prerequisite.
- Updating a website in Plone is very easy as the system and menus are very intuitive.
- Homepages are dynamic and automatically update as items such as news, events, and quick links are added to the website.
- The websites will be 100% mobile-friendly, which is a fast-growing trend across the Internet.
- Google Analytics will be embedded automatically in all websites to help determine visitor trends and needs.
- Plone is the largest content management system at Penn State and has new features and abilities added from developers across the globe.
What will Plone do for the counties?
The following are features of the new Plone county website that will be available Day 1 of the launch.
- Latest News - local and statewide news will be aggregated to the homepage of a county with a few simple steps. If your local news gets "old" and has not been updated for a period of time, it will be temporarily replaced by statewide extension news.
- Upcoming Events - counties will be able to add events for their county and a list of events will be updated automatically as events occur and pass.
- County Contact information - office address, phone number and a link to a Google map will be available right on the county homepage.
- Spotlight - counties will be able to use the spotlight section of the county homepage to highlight a critical topic for a period of time.
- Directory - the Extension directory will be imported into Plone and a statewide and local directory listing will be linked from each county. You will be able to see the people and the contact information associated with each county.
- Programs - These will be folders of content that are unique to only that county and no where else. If there is an audience for content greater than the county level, then that information should be elevated up to the main Extension website. Counties will start off with only 4-H and Master Gardener sub-sites and additional sub-sites will be considered on an individual basis. We don't want great content residing in a county when it could benefit other counties in Pennsylvania.
- County homepage photo - Each county will have a single generic banner photo across the top of the site. When the county website is created, a random photo will be selected and another can be picked by request of the county.
There are many more features of Plone, but for the sake of timelines and consistency, all 67 counties will be standardized with the same set of features. More features will be added during Phase 2 of the project.
What is the timeframe?
- June - December 2010 - Web team develops the county website template and functionality.
- January 2011 - IT and the Web team develop training material for the counties only on the features available during Phase 1 of the project.
- February 2011-July 2011 - County websites will go live as soon as county people are trained and websites are populated. First come, first serve!
How can I get training?
IT will be creating specific training material on how to add news, events, and spotlight items. Training material will be available via live webinars and online reference documents.
The following are a few generic how-to documents for some of the most common activities within Plone.
Will there be a demo of the system?
During the month of August 2010, there will be a live webinar to discuss all of the topics above and to see Plone in action. The webinar will be recorded for those who could not attend.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions on Plone features and any related questions for the first phase of Plone at the county level.