Many web pages contain weblog ("blog")-style news and information, where the website manager posts news updates and information on a regular or semi-regular basis. These pages usually display the most recent article/update/event first, and then list other recent ones in decending order. Usually, an archive of older posts exists as well.
Alma's CMS allows you to quickly and easily create this type of news system, create an archive and even syndicate your content to other web users, so they can receive updates without having to look up your site. We'll do this in three steps:
- Add news (called entries) to a page
- Create news archive
- Publish a link to syndication "channel"
Adding news to a web page
News and other information that applys only to a specific date is often difficult to maintain in a web site. It usually requires continually editing a single file, or constantly moving files from one place to another. In the CMS, that process is made much easier by entries. Entries add content to the bottom of a web page, but all entries are sorted by the most-recent first, and you can specify how many entries appear on one page. Here's how:
In the CMS, find the listing of the pages where you want your news to appear. Instead of editing that page, select "entries".
If any entries exist for that page, you can edit them by clicking on their titles. Otherwsie click the "New Entry." The form for entries looks very similar to the form for web pages, except that you can set a date and time for that entry appear on (post) and disappear from (expire) your site. Using these dates, you could create news releases for all of your events during the year in one sitting. When you are finished with your entry, click "Save Entry" and you're done.
Create a news archive
A news archive allows viewers of your site to see what's been going on in the past. They also help form a historical record of events. To create a news archive,
- In the Web Pages listing, find the page for which you would like to create an archive, and view its subpages.
- Click "New Subpage".
- Title the page anything you want—"News Archive" or "Announcements Archive" for example.
- In the "name" field, enter auto_archive.
- If you wish, will in the "Summary" and "Keywords" fields to add extra information for search engines.
- In the "Template" drop-down menu, chose "Auto Archive."
- Save the page, you're done! Anything you enter in the "Content" field will not display.
Remember that Auto-Archives display entries for their "parent" page!
Syndicating your news
Many web sites are now using syndication to get their news to readers in a faster and more convenient method. Many email programs and web browsers allow you to view these syndicated pages without having to navigate to the site. You can syndicate your news through what's called a "Newsfeed," or "Channel" or "RSS Feed". To do so, simply add ".xml" to the end of your url. Here's some examples from the Alma College web site:
So the instructional technology home page: