University Web Developers

University Web Developers

We are just beginning to setup sites in omniUpdate and it would be useful to hear of others experiences organizing folders and/or sites. Any helpufl tips about the process? I would be specifically interested in hearing about things you did initially with site organization that you wished you had done differently. Do you share content across departments?

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Some tips on OU development:

Take advantage of TCF customization to make your life easier. TCF files can be used for much more than creating individual pages from TMPL files. The TCF structure in OU can be used to create files, folders, and add content to existing files all in one step. An example is the need to expand the site to a new sub topic. A single TCF and a few supporting TMPLs, can be used to: 1. name and create a directory, 2. create the index page (from one of many TMPLs) in that directory, 3. create a breadcrumb trail for the new directory, 4. create a link in the navigation of the parent directory to get to this new folder/page, and 5. create the link in the sub-navigation of the new directory to get to the index page from future pages that are added to this new directory later. This one example allows content contributors to safely expand the area of the site they are responsible for without having to involve the web master/architect/administrator to set this all up for them.

Identify content that may need to be repurposed (what we call common content). Use TCFs to create include files that contain common content that can be reused (just like images). This works in conjunction with TCFs and modified templates that call on those include files. This way, when its time to edit the common info, you can edit it in one location, instead of the the 5 places (example for emphasis) this info would otherwise appear on your site(s).

Use the Access panel's Inherited Properties of a directory to set a variable (eg: sectionSelector) with a unique value (eg: CS or AL) for the different sections of your site that you want to apply different style sheets to (example: to tailor the look of the current students section to be different than the alumni section yet use the same templates). Then name your style sheets with the value (eg: CS_mainStyle.css or AL_mainStyle.css) and add the echo var tag(s) (eg: %echo var="sectionSelector" ) to your TMPL files to place the custom variable into the HTML path name of the stylesheet. When the page is created in a particular section of the web site it will then customize the page template to the style sheet that has been developed for that section (allowing you to reuse templates).

Use the Access panel's Inherited Properties special image variable (ox_ftp_image_root) to set a path to a specific location for images to be placed (and accessed from) for a give section of a website. This allow you to segregate images that are used for different parts of the web site (eg: keeping the baseball and volleyball images separate for the two sports, or to separate the alumni photos from the current students photos).

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