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Continuing the Conversation: Building the Digital Branch

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on June 8, 2011 - 2:24pm

workshops

We just wrapped up David Lee King’s Workshop Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites. We’re following up with a few of the questions asked during the presentation that we felt merited further discussion. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join in this discussion of the most effective ways to build and use library websites via the comments area. David will be part of the discussion as well!
  • Why did you choose wordpress over drupal or other CMS's? What are good criteria to use in selecting a CMS?
  • How do you deal with prioritizing content on the homepage? How do you handle fights over real estate?
  • How do you measure the outcomes of your website changes? Google Analytics? logs. Have you seen improvement to areas that were underused?
  • What do you use to get website beta feedback from patrons?
  • How do you adapt the website for mobile users?

Links to Resources that David Mentioned today:

MindManager Software: http://www.mindjet.com/
WordPress: http://www.wordpress.com
Drupal: http://www.drupal.org
Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/
Topeka and Shawnee County Library Website:  http://www.tscpl.org

The preliminary readings for this workshop were:

David’s Slides:
Building the Digital Branch: Presentation
David’s Handouts:
Building the Digital Branch: Handout 1 Building the Digital Branch: Handout 2 Building the Digital Branch: Handout 3

Comments (3)

The topics seem incredibly

The topics seem incredibly interesting, but I want to try to keep my Podcasts light (I am not too socially conscious).
Anyway, thank you once again for the comments and I look forward to your Podcast when you get everything up and running! oyunlar
dora oyunları

Question #1: Why did you

Question #1: Why did you choose wordpress over drupal or other CMS's? What are good criteria to use in selecting a CMS?

Answer: We chose Wordpress for ease-of-use and to take advantage of it's already built-in content managing and editing features. Good criteria for choosing a CMS - it really depends on the goals of your website or digital branch. Do you have web developers, and do you plan to extend your website by integrating your ILS system using API access, or doing some other code-heavy work? Drupal might work well for you.

Planning primarily to post and update content? Wordpress is already set up to do that well.

Question #2: How do you deal with prioritizing content on the homepage? How do you handle fights over real estate?

Answer: The easiest way to deal with this is up-front, by following your library's strategic plans and goals. Focus your website on meeting those goals, rather than randomly putting up a variety of content.

Otherwise, prioritizing boils down to what are the most important things? Things like the catalog, ask a librarian, and databases will probably make the main page. Your magazine policy? Certainly a good thing to include online, but probably not on your main page.

Question #3: How do you measure the outcomes of your website changes? Google Analytics? logs. Have you seen improvement to areas that were underused?

Answer: We use Google Analytics, and it works great (and is free to use, too). We have seen numbers go up across the board, and have seen numbers go up from our redesigned website, too. The only way we could tell that is with analytics - so get Google Analytics or something similar.

Question #4: What do you use to get website beta feedback from patrons?

Answer: Since we're set up using Wordpress, we just post a link to the new site in a blog post, then ask for feedback via that comments box.

Question #5: How do you adapt the website for mobile users?

Answer: You can build a mobile website, or you can create (or buy) a mobile app. Here's a good article that explains some of the things you need to think about when creating a mobile-friendly website - How to build a mobile website by Smashing Magazine.

I noticed during the webinar

I noticed during the webinar that a lot of people had questions that were specific to Wordpress. I just recently re-designed the website for the Portsmouth Public Library in Ohio using Wordpress. I have started a section of the website labeled "Technology In Libraries" that I plan on filling up with tips and useful code snippets for Wordpress. You can find that section at: http://yourppl.org/category/library-technology/ . Although I may not be as advanced as David King and his team with Wordpress, I have been using it for quite a while and would be willing to try and answer any questions you may have regarding using Wordpress in Libraries.

You can email me at tstevenson @ yourppl dot org (remove spaces, change dot to period) :)

Thanks,
Terry