A thing I did recently

Wow, that’s a lousy title.  Anyway.

The Lenawee County Conservation League has a new web site.  Fun stuff.  Sometimes it’s relaxing to back down from the MS development and do things entirely differently.

Things I learned/knew and repeated/did:

  • An organizational Google account for managing services in a way that can be passed to others easily, with options for control and forwarding of content without having to give out passwords.
  • Domain name registrations, hosting registrations etc all tied to the org accounts.
  • cPanel setups/review
  • Integration of Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, Analytics, Maps, etc.
  • Latest of WordPress, Customizing child themes, plugins, etc.
    • Content on Pages vs Posts
    • Menus
    • Mobile tweaks
    • SEO
    • Contact forms
    • Disabling comments
    • Post expiration
    • Link lists in child pages
    • Galleries & Slide shows
    • PDF Viewing
    • Revision control
    • Security
    • Statistics
    • Image management/optimization
    • User management/workflow
  • Automating backups to Google Drive
  • Automating Google Drive photo sharing to WordPress media
  • Custom Google Calendars to create sunset minus-x-minutes events

Big ideas/goals:

The site is pretty static – there are usually monthly newsletter/calendar updates, but lately there’ve been signup requests and photos to share in addition.

  • I wanted an easy way to direct an email I receive with attachments to the site for publishing without having to visit it.  Especially from my phone, or even automated via rules.
  • I wanted a way for content creators to work directly on it without having to be nerds
  • I wanted backups – there were past issues with loss of access/control, mistaken changes, etc.
  • I wanted modern – the site was previously an old MS Frontpage design with manual html tweaks, FTP, etc.  The host was static-html only, no dbs, etc – so the host had to be replaced.
  • I still want better content – most emails I see to the site ask about membership which is not adequately described, pricing can be complex, etc.  The calendar updates come out via PDF, and I’ve copied that info to a Google Calendar that is displayed online/sharable/copyable to personal appointments, etc – but we’re not quite at the point of fully managing it via Google yet.  Still working with other members on that stuff.
  • I wanted to be able to leave it alone.  Updates, security, etc should all be automatic (as much as possible).  WordPress itself auto-updates now, but it looks like plugins don’t.  So I want a way to get notified/automate that if possible, especially from a phone.

So far, so good.