As more content is added on the OSU Extension website, our EESC web team begins to get more requests for how to organize content for specific audiences. There are different ways to appreciate what this website can do, and how you can be a partner in using the tools.
How the Website Helps
The website already does a lot of the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.
- You add one piece of content and it displays many places based on the tagging and categorizing you input.
- Update the original content later and changes will show up across the site, too. Easy!
While you may have less control in setting everything up on a particular page, it’s less likely to be a hassle in keeping the site maintained with current content and design updates over time.
When visitors are reading content on the website, at the bottom of the page they can see “Related Content from OSU Extension.” This is generated automatically based on the type of content they just read and may answer other questions they have.
Content teams put up the majority of educational content on the website, and it mainly displays across topic pages or in searches. These teams can add videos, articles, documents, etc., and each piece can be tagged for a topic. Topic pages only show content tagged with that topic.
More You Can Do
As the topic pages grow in the amount of content, it’s harder for the visitor to know what key content to focus on. Also, county pages sometimes want to point people to topical content narrowed down to their regional focus. What can be done?
Adding custom keywords can help visitors narrow down what they see on each topic page. It’s easier if the keywords are kept up as a clean list. Keywords also makes it easier to group specific educational content tagged for a program, such as when you scroll down the sections of the Master Food Preservers publications.
Monitor topic pages
Right now, topic pages are organized by the most recent content listed first to keep these pages fresh, although we’re open to hearing how else you might prioritize content. Sometimes content is mis-tagged or duplicated and it’s easier to spot on these auto-populated topic pages. If you see something out of place, log into the site and use this new All Content Overview tool to search who created the content and ask that group to make the change.
If individual pieces of content are related, a content team can manually gather these together in a collection. A good time to use this is, for example, the monthly gardening calendars. Others use it to group content topically or regionally.
- From your content team group page, create a “collection”
- Add introductory text describing what the collection is about. For example, see Poisonous Plants Commonly Found in Pastures.
- Add a collection section (subheading) and select collection items from existing content in the system (video, article, etc.). Note: You can reorder these if you add each collection item separately with the “Add Collection Item” button.
- Then tag the collection with appropriate topics and/or programs (untag the individual items too if possible).
This collection will show on tagged topic pages. A county can add the collection as “featured content” or from a “button link” on their main county page. It will also show on program pages that have a section for “Program tagged content list” if tagged for that program, such as the Regional Gardening Information section in Master Gardener county programs.
Drawbacks to collections are that they must be maintained by the content team. This can be time-consuming. As new content is added to the website, it will also have to be manually added to the collection. This doesn’t happen automatically as it would for content tagged with a Topic. Collections may have gaps if new content is not added or if all related content wasn’t added when first creating the collection.
Collections are an option that serve a specific purpose and are not a solution for all needs, especially where the website is helping to organize the content too. If you have questions about this, then reach out to the EESC web team.