Creating Pages in LiveWhale
February 26, 2010
By David Mckelvey
Over time, we’ve been extending the ability to create pages to LiveWhale editors on an asked-for, do quick training, get it method. However, having repeated this process and the rules involved for a while now, it seems like a great thing to talk about here and drop into a tutorial sometime soon. So, if you want to create pages. Just let us know so we can authorize you.
Page Naming (the filename that appears in the URL, not the page title)
To start, we have rules about the naming of files and directories that both help site visitors and search engines (internal and external) get the most out of your content structure. (You can in fact communicate importance and structure through your page hierarchy and naming.) They are:
Use only lowercase alphanumeric characters, plus underscores and dashes (e.g. a-z, 0-9, _, -). This is a safe set of url characters; don’t use caps, spaces or punctuation. Use dashes for dashes, and underscores for spaces (e.g. use a dash for a hyphenated last name, and an underscore between first and last name). Given our name. Never, ever use an ampersand (&) in a filename — the ampersand is a special character in a URL/address and carries a specific meaning. Use _and_ instead.
Don’t Repeat Yourself
Don’t repeat words already in the path. Using the college registrar as an example here, they never have to repeat “registrar” as part of a page name, or “college” because their site URL is “/college/offices/registrar/”. A new page automatically inherits all the terms in its URL simply because of where it’s created — think of it as an outline structure if that helps. Similarly, inside their site, where they have a ferpa directory, they wouldn’t include “ferpa” again for a new page inside the ferpa directory. Think of these words you use in the URL/filename as keywords, as search engines do. Be mindful, repeating yourself only wastes space — and no — the more, the better doesn’t help here.
Always Create a Directory First
You ALWAYS create a new directory when creating a new file. Using the registrar again for example, if they wanted to create the page “new_students” in a directory, they’d first add a new sub-directory called “new_students” and then inside it, create a new page called “index.php”. This makes for more human-readable urls as you never have to include the index.php as part of the URL/address, and it simultaneously gives you the most flexibility for the future. If the registrar ever needed to say, break apart the “new_students” page into “new_students/transfer” and “new_students/first_year”, it would be simple to add those new directories/pages inside the “new_students” directory.
With that in mind, here’s how you do it:
- In the admin-side of LiveWhale, click the Pages tab.
- Click the “Browse” link, at the top of the page, just beneath the tabs. (Give it a few seconds to come up, it sometimes takes a bit to read the structure of your site.)
- You should now see your website in file/directory view. (It is also possible that you’ll see the website root. If that’s the case, click the folders that match your url from http://www.lclark.eduto get to your site — you can’t edit outside your allowed zones.)
- Click on your directories to navigate to the directory in which you want to add the new page.
- Click the button to add a *sub-directory* using the name of your new page (see rule #3 above).
- Click to move into the new sub-directory you just created.
- Click the button add a page to this directory.
- The filename of the page is ALWAYS index.php.
- Choose the template “Generic Inside Page” (always, unless we’ve specifically told you otherwise).
- Un-check the clear content box; it’s easier to select and remove the dummy content when you’re ready to add your new content.
- Either Save and Return, or Save and Edit. If you’re creating multiple pages, it’s easier to create all the pages you need at once and then go edit them rather than do it one at a time.
There are some important notes you should know about creating pages.
Now that you’ve created a page, realize that unless you link to it or ask us to add it to your navigation, it’s not going to be easy for site visitors to find it. (See the next item as to why you could still find it.)
We currently update the search engine nightly and it will find all pages regardless of the state of their content. If your page is half-done, and off-the-navigation, it is still findable in the search engine. There is no draft status as there was in Trillium. Because LiveWhale has content versioning, you shouldn’t need to create drafts, you will always have the best copy available, and you can roll back/forward your content to handle your ongoing development needs.
Page Renaming / Moving / Deletion
Contact us if you need to rename or move a page; we’re happy to help.
Feel free to contact us with any questions or to get page editing for yourself. Feedback? Remember the feedback tab is a great place to tell us what you’re thinking.