• Building the Homepage

    Building websites has now after quite few years become second nature to me, but building a homepage, well that is a bit different.

    There are a number of things to bear in mind, for example, traffic, performance and design.

    I didn’t need to worry too much about design as that was taken care of by our web designer, agreed on within the team and then signed off by senior management.

    Firstly I needed to look at Foundation, the new framework we have adopted for our mobile first responsive design. Matt had done this and built a flat HTML layout using Foundation.… Read the rest

  • WordPress – Custom post types and taxonomies

    We have just completed a project which redesigned the democracy pages on our website – it is only a version 1 as some of the ideas we wished to implement weren’t manageable in the timescale.

    Also with Elections just around the corner we felt it was better to work with a new administration on some of the changes. Like the rest of our public website content will be, the democracy pages have been developed in WordPress.

    The previous councillor profile pages were a hybrid of database and manageable content which made it awkward to edit so we made a decision to move the whole lot into wordpress as custom post types and a set of taxonomies.… Read the rest

  • What do we do with email?

    Email is an interesting channel and is often widely promoted as a choice of communications. On council websites you will see a variety of approaches which essentially trigger emails – individual emails, team emails, forms etc.

    As we work on redeveloping the councils website we have started to think more and more about how we manage email on our site and how we make it accessible and usable across all size browsers.

    One of the current challenges is that the mailto: attribute doesn’t work if someone uses a web based mail client such as gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail etc and would essentially have to copy and paste the email address into the “to” box.… Read the rest

  • Building a WordPress Multisite

    WordCamp 2009 – WordPress Cupcakes by planetc1

    We have started a project to create a wordpress multisite environment so that we can better manage the sites we create for the council, whether they are traditional microsites (for example www.devonsendpathfinder.info, www.toughchoices.co.uk)

    or core parts of the council’s website (for example www.devonnewscentre.info, www.devonstrategicplan.info).

    One possible scenario might be that the councils website is powered

    entirely by WordPress, although we are still likely to commission some sites externally, so that might not be the whole site. However we are planning on moving the majority of our site across to wordpress as we go through a huge content review.… Read the rest

  • it’s got a widget

    As part of our content strategy we have to deliver and syndicate our content in a number of different ways as well as consume and represent other peoples content. Most good content management systems create RSS feeds, we use WordPress for a number of our sites and RSS feeds are created by default, however sometimes you need or may want to offer more than a simple feed, in this scenario some people offer “widgets”.

    I have now been on both sides of this process, as a consumer of feeds and widgets and now as a developer. I have already used other website widgets for example YouTube, Vimeo and Google Maps to enhance our News centre website, as well as a school website.  … Read the rest