Help in using the Parish Website
These notes give an explanation of the structure of the Parish Website - to try to help you get the most from it.
Every website page is structured in a similar way :
- there is a banner heading - clicking on it will take you back to the front (main) page
- there are three columns
- the narrow left and right column contents are almost always the same on every web page of the whole site - these columns contain links, often to other pages on the site, but sometimes to pages on other sites - the links might be text links, or picture links - the school picture at the top of the left column, for example, is a link to the school website
- the middle column always displays a list of one or more articles. When you start on the main page you have access to a list of the most recent articles; in fact all those entered in the past two weeks. The most recent article will be at the top. Once an article is older than two weeks it drops off of the bottom of the "main" page, but can still be found in the categories, or dated archives. This is because articles almost never get deleted, they are stored in the dated archives and can also be found in any category to which they have been assigned, eg all newsletters should be found in the newsletter category, older ones are just further down the list.
- lists of articles are always kept in dated order, with the most recent at the top.
If you spend some time looking at the links in the two outer columns, you should see what is around. The monthly dated entries under the "Archives" heading (you can find this in the right hand column), has absolutely every single article in it, stored by date.
At the bottom of the right hand column (you will need to scroll to the end) is a section headed "Categories"; this collects each article normally into one or more groups that I assign. So, selecting "Pictures" for example, will give you a list of those "picture articles" that I have put in the "Pictures" category.
I can assign categories at will, and add new ones as appropriate - the latest list of categories will always be kept up to date -automatically - and displayed at the end of the right hand column. (Sometimes I cannot think of an appropriate category, or I forget - in that case the article won't be found in a category, but is still held in the dated archive).
This section contains some technical details (for those who are interested). Please read these if you think that you might want to contribute your own articles.
The web site is a Weblog (or Blog if you prefer) maintained using the Typepad hosted service.
The URL name www.loguk.com is a collection of sites maintained as a single Typepad pro account. The Sacred Heart Parish web site is accessible as www.loguk.com/sh with an alias of www.loguk.com/sacredheart. The URL name and the Typepad account are owned by the editor (not by the parish).
The parish website, and other web sites on Loguk, are provided free of charge as a service to the community.
Like many websites this one is like an upside down tree. You can always enter the site on the main page and from there branch out into any other sections, choosing items within those sections that you want to see.
All items are entered in a similar way - they are dated, they are categorised, they contain simply formatted text and can contain pictures, including animated GIF files. We use "HTML" to provide the formatting, the Typepad service does some of this for us (fortunately, including the clever picture thumbnailing).
The central column of each page is variable width, but normally 400 pixels (or more) - the left- and right- hand colums, which appear on every page, are 200 pixels wide and typically contain links to index pages or specific items - some of the links will be off site.
The life of a new item
When an item is typed in, simple formatting can be applied - centreing, bold, italic - font type and size is usually fixed. Hyperlinks can be inserted, so can pictures - when pictures are inserted they can be automatically thumbnailed (a separate small copy is made) and the text flows around the picture on either the left or the right. When a thumbnail is created it can, optionally, have a clickable link to the full size copy of the picture, which will open in a separate window.
The picture to the left is a thumbnail - see what happens when you click on it.
Each article is held in a fixed place in the archive - it is possible for anyone, on their own web page, to link to one of our articles - at the very bottom of this article you will find an underlined link called "Permalink" this has the static URL that can be used to always find this article, and it should be used to make a link to this (or of course, any other) page.
More for the future
In time I would like any group of our parishioners, say the First Communion Group, or the Year 2004 Confirmation Group, or MASH - to have their own website, accessible from the main Parish website. They would write and edit their own articles and update their sites as often as they wish. This facility is already available, but Typepad itself is also developing new facilities that will make this process more flexible all the time.
Articles can contain photographs and other pictures and text can be organised to be readable on most computer screens. (Please get their permission before including pictures of people).
Please contact the editor, Steve Read, to discuss any questions that you have, to send in proposed articles, or to suggest a "sub" website for a group.