Content management added to site

Most recently we were asked by a client to re-work their website to make it possible for them have a gallery of images that they could update themselves. after a bit of tinkering we were able to integrate two separate plugins - EasyCMS and Gallery 3 - to provide a simple way of uploading new images via drag and drop and then captioning them so the client could tell visitors a bit about each painting. You can see the results on the Judy Wigin Gallery page. At the same time we created a brand new Work in progress page to display images from Judy's Instagram account. Both new features are working well.

The golden rule when adding content

When you’re adding content to one of our websites, it’s important to remember that - in the main - we’ve done the difficult part for you.

What does that actually mean?

Well, when we choose a theme for the website, it includes the key ingredient - styling. That means the text, font, colours, background, little bits of screen ‘furniture’ like icons, rules, drop shadows and so on have all been professionally designed to sit nicely together on the page. And it also means that it’s best if you don’t interfere with that by ‘fancying’ things up yourself when you add a news announcement or a new blog entry, for example. You’ll usually find that the theme styling takes care of emphasis and stuff like that so you don’t have to. It’s for the best really and is one of the reasons you came to us in the first place.

You take care of the content - it’s your website - and let us take care of the design.

(Of course, if you really want bright red text that’s twice the size of everything else on the site, knock yourself out. Driver’s rules and all that…)

How to add your own photos and videos

Although blogs are a great way to add all sorts of content to your web site - including photos and videos - there are circumstances when you need to present a group of photos or videos together in a portfolio. If that’s the case, you don’t necessarily need some fancy or complicated content management system. Instead, we can set up pages on your site that act as containers for content that’s stored on external services that you can update whenever you want.

Here’s an example:
  • create a free Flickr account
  • upload a series of photos there together with tags and captions
  • sit back as they appear automatically on your website, styled to look as if you’d uploaded them directly
  • add or remove photos whenever you like
  • also works with Picasa, 500px, Instagram and others

Here’s another example:
  • create a free YouTube account
  • upload some videos of your band playing together with a description of each one
  • after YouTube has done its stuff, they’ll appear on your website, styled to match the rest of your content
  • add new videos and get rid of old ones whenever you like
  • also works with Vimeo

Getting a web site blog

One of the best and easiest ways to add original content to your site - and to keep your visitors interested - is to have a blog. Popular blogs like Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr are all free to set up and use and each of them allows you to add all kinds of content like text, photos, videos, links and so on whenever you like. When we build a site using Rapidweaver, we usually recommend that clients try Blogger first because it’s one of the easiest to set up and also integrates with a Rapidweaver site really well. What does that mean? Well, here’s how the process works.

Your bit:
  • You go to Blogger and set up a free account
  • You choose a design and template for the blog (it doesn’t matter which one, so choose the most basic - we’ll explain why in a minute)
  • Start adding content to the blog from any computer or smartphone

Our bit:
  • We link your new blog to an empty page on your website
  • The blog is automatically styled to match the rest of the site - colours, fonts, layout and so on (this is why it doesn’t matter which Blogger design or template you use)
  • Every time you add something to the blog it automatically appears on your website.

The best bit:

Once a blog like this is set up it doesn’t cost you a penny to add new content to your website whenever you like. We don’t have to get involved (so there’s no hanging around waiting for us to update the site) and there are no fees (apart from a small initial charge to set things up) so you’re not dipping into your pocket every time you want to change the blog.