Handy CMS guide
By Ed Mitchell 8th November 2010
This is a handy illustrated guide for Community Microsite (CMS) Administrators to help them learn their way around their CMSs. It’s a work in progress, so if you spot any glaring errors, or bits I could tidy up, please email me with your suggestions.
Finding your CMS
You can find your CMS by:
- Looking at the CMS directory page
- Searching for your initiative name in the search box (top right)
- Click on your name (top right) to go to your account and you will see it listed in ‘groups’… just below the tabs…
The CMS structure
On the homepage, when you are logged in, you will see:
- The ‘top bar’ with your user account links (Edit my details etc.)
- CMS logo (silly picture of a cat in this instance) and CMS title
- The main body of the CMS with:
- Link to your initiative profile page in the Directory
- Contact button (which sends mail to you)
- Description (you can edit this text)
- You will see some tabs just below the Title of the CMS and above the text.
- If you click on ‘Edit‘ you will be able to do just that – edit the homepage. Just edit the ‘Mission Statement’ bit please. In ‘Edit‘ you can also upload a logo – please follow the instructions about size and shape (note: we’re having a few issues with this at the moment so maybe hold off on that for a bit).
- If you click on ‘Broadcast‘ you will be able to create a ‘broadcast message’ (think newsletter/announcement) which will go to all the people who have registered on the site and joined your group
- On the left hand side you will see the ‘Menu’. This is automatically generated and cannot be changed. It links to the content you have added in this various sections:
- You will also see another menu with your Initiative name at the top. This enables you to add content. You can add all items including Pages, your members can add news and events (not Pages).
- On the left hand side you will see your ‘user’ menu further down, the ‘calendar’ block of events showing your events, then ‘group admins’
- Underneath the main body of the CMS, you will see the list of recently added News and Events. In the screengrab below, only the events are showing – this is because test user1 didn’t add any events in order to show what a CMS looks like with news but no events…
You can create and edit the following items for your CMS
- News (read the how to edit a news item guide here)
- Events (read the how to edit an event item guide here)
- Pages (how to edit guide on its way but it’s really very easy..)
- Broadcast emails to all users who have joined your site (how to edit guide on its way)
This is an email alert in which you add links to items you have created in the CMS. Think of it as a newsletter tool. We recommend that you do not send them these mails too often. How about a monthly update with all the related news, events and pages?
This is really very easy. Give it a try and don’t forget you can always add/edit/delete content as you go.
- Click on the various options to create new events, news and pages.
- Don’t forget to save them!
- They will appear as items in their own right. They will also appear in some automatically generated lists:
- On the CMS homepage beneath the main text box
- In the lists linked to from the ‘Menu’ navigation.
- On the main site in the ‘Community Events’ and ‘Community News’ sections.
Access rights and moderation
Your group is ‘open’. This means that any registered user on this site can join it. Joining it means that they can:
- Add their own news items
- Add their own event items
- Receive your newsletters (if the administrators send them a ‘broadcast’ message)
This level of access to your members is not negotiable, and all CMSs need to be Open.
Asides to our keenly held ‘open access’ principle, it is so that you can say to people wanting to add their news to your CMS: “Register on the site, join the CMS, and you can do it yourself”. Trust us, this is the way to go. If it gets out of hand and people contravene the ‘No nonsense’ site principle, we have ways and means of sorting it out, but we really hope it doesn’t get like that.
You can read the Community Guidelines here
Please note – just as these guidelines apply to your members, so they apply to you. These CMSs are not soap boxes, political tirades or other personal issues. By using this service you are a representative of the Transition Towns movement. We therefore reserve the right to withdraw your access. And expect that we won’t but just in case…