So I’ve been setting up things for the new Center for Innovative Design and Instruction website and in the process I’ve had the need to add a few new features to the website. A few of these I have wanted to do for a while just to allow you more customization to the pages and more flexibility for your needs. First of all are the new page options. These page options will hopefully allow you to make specific pages for marketing needs that you may have. I’ve seen for example sometimes you may need a page with just a Google Docs form on it or something, and often times with our normal page layout, with the left menu and left contact form and all that stuff, the page can get pretty cluttered. So I’ve given you the ability to remove page elements on a page-by-page basis.
The items you are remove from the normal page template are:
- Main Navigation Bar
- Footer Navigation
- Left Blue Sidebar (This will also remove the menu and contact form)
- Left Inquiry Form
You can use these as you see fit. You can create a dummy page and mess with these options to see how they work but just in-case the above isn’t obvious enough, I’ll just quickly go over them:
The main-navigation bar is the bar with the 5 buttons that says Prospective Students, Current Students, Degree Programs, Faculty Staff, Community Visitors. I could see you removing this if you are creating a special landing page of sorts where you might want to keep people on there or fill out a form. I could also see you using this for those of you who have a Business Resource Center. You could keep your BRC navigation on the left, and remove the top navigation so people don’t get confused about which navigation is the correct one to use. This essentially allows you to make a “micro” site where your “main-nav” can be the left navigation because the top bar navigation would be gone.
The footer navigation bar is pretty much the same however, this doesn’t remove the blue footer, it only removes all of the links. I could see you using this for the same reason you might remove the main-navigation.
Removing the left blue sidebar allows you to essentially create your content the full width of the page. This could be used for landing page purposes in combination with removing the main navigation and footer navigation. You might want to use this format depending on your page content, etc. I used this for a search results page on the new CIDI site. I will eventually get you guys a site search thing too, but for now it’s not there.
I added the ability to remove the left inquiry form because I know sometimes you have a page where you might already have a request for information form. Having both forms can get confusing so I added the ability to remove it from a page so you don’t confuse users.
The other feature that I put back into the CMS is the ability to add images in lieu of text for the menus. This was in the older version of the CMS, and I simply put it back. You can see a reason you might want to do this on the main distance site in the prospective students section. I took it away because it was getting a little out of hand, but I added it back now that all of the images have been removed. Please use this feature sparingly as text is usually better than an image. I am only using it in this one section to better publicize the new transfer tool. I’ll probably switch it back to text after a while.
In order to do this simply put in a image tag where the text would go for a menu item. An image tag should be as follows: <img src=”link-to-image.ext” alt=”Link Text” /> Please remember to add the alt text so that way people who don’t have images will get the appropriate link text. Make the alt text whatever you would put in there for link text if there was no image.