This page has a selection of questions with answers that we’ve been asked about the new NorfolkParishes project. We hope they will help you.

Why aren’t we at the top of the Google search for our village?

We were recently asked by a parish council why the old site they had was at the top of Google results for their parish council.

The answer is really simple. Publish more. Google loves fresh, relevant content. Sites that regularly put up new posts with the key words, e.g. YourVillage Parish Council, will appear higher in Google results.

Don’t rely on uploading Minutes of meeting in Word documents.  Google doesn’t rate them as highly as normal HTML web pages.

What are my visitors reading?

You’re putting a lot of effort into maintaining your website. Writing updates, providing pictures, reporting on wildlife walks. Wouldn’t it be good to see if anyone is reading them? What else are they interested in?

One way to find out is to use Google Analytics (GA). GA is a powerful tool that can tell you how many people are visiting your site, what they are reading and loads more beside.

There are two main steps to getting GA to track your visitors.

1. Go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up for Analytics – you’ll need a Google account (more information about setting up a Google account)

You’ll be asked for an account name and the Website URL (the address of your website eg. PARISH.norfolkparishes.gov.uk ) and asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions. The next page will give you some Tracking Status Information (normally a string of numbers beginning UA). Copy the whole code including the UA. You’ll need this for step 2.

2. Open a new window and log in to your website Dashboard. In the Settings menu there will be a Google Analytics page. Go there. Click on the Manually Enter You UA code check-box and paste your UA code in there and click the Update Google Analytics Setting button.

You’re now recording each time someone visits your website and you can log-in to Google Analytics to see how many visitors you are getting and what they are reading.  Google have an extensive Help Center in Analytics to help you find your way around.

Why won’t the username and password you sent work?

Not being able to use the username and password generated by the WordPress system is the most common problem reported by users. “It won’t let me log-in”, they say.

90% of the time it is because the user is typing the details in wrong when they try to log-in. Read More…

How to insert a table

If you would like a table to be displayed in a post or page to display information in an organised way.

The easiest way to do this is to first create a table with Microsoft Word and then copy it to your clipboard. Read More…

How do I make it clear what files are embedded on a post?

When we transferred files from the old websites to the new, we didn’t have the time to name each one fully, or give it a caption when uploading them.  You may find some files in a post or page that aren’t clearly named, and want to change this. Read More…

Embedding a Flickr slideshow in the sidebar

With a Flickr account set up with photos you can now add a galley or slideshow to the sidebar, post or page. Read More…

Change the Order of Posts in a Category

In some places on your site, such as Councillors, Minutes or News, posts are ordered in reverse chronological order, the newest being displayed first based on the time and date the post was published.  This might not be exactly how you want them ordered. With this in mind if you wish to change the order of posts in a category, you need to change the date and/or time the post was published. Read More…

Adding Recent Posts/News Widget

To allow your residents to easily see any updates to the website, a most recent posts section can be a good idea.

If you would like the most recent posts published from a certain category to be displayed in the sidebar, there is a widget you can use to do this. Read More…

How to set up a Flickr account

For an easy way to store and share any photos you may want uploaded to your website, Flickr is a good website to use.

Navigate to http://www.flickr.com and at the upper right of the page, Create Your Account. If you have a Yahoo, Google or Facebook account, you can sign into Flickr with them, or create a new account.  This is another benefit to having a Google account which has been talked about in this training for calendars. Read More…

How to create a Google account and calendar

To keep your residents up to date with events and important dates you may want a calendar to easily display information of when and where. Google supplies an easy to use calendar which all you need to use on your website is a Google account. Read More…

Displaying a Google Calendar on your Website

In WordPress, clicking the Widgets submenu in the left Dashboard’s Appearance menu, gives you the option to add or remove sidebar items, or Widgets, already covered in this training here: http://project.norfolkparishes.org.uk/training/widgets/.

Read More…

Uploading an image or document to the media library without inserting into a post or page

For instances where you need to upload a file that is not to be inserted in a post or page, you can use the Media menu to the left, for example an image for the Village Sign widget;

Read More…

Changing the website’s Administrator email

Running a busy website shouldn’t be difficult. To help the website administrator WordPress sends emails when new content is generated, or if comments have been left. These emails will normally go to the email address we were given when the sites were set up – normally the Parish Clerk.

If you need to change this email used for your website administrator this can be done in the General submenu under the left Dashboard’s Settings menu. Read More…

Change the displayed name on Profile

Your Profile name is the name displayed on the site when you add any content.  Currently this is only on comments you have posted, but in the future this will also include posts and pages.

To change your displayed Profile name to something different from your username, click on the Profile menu to the left. Read More…

Inserting More Tag

If you have a post that has a lot of information and extends down the webpage when published, inserting the More Tag can help make the category page tidy and save space. Read More…

What is a category page?

WordPress organises your site in a variety of ways.  You can have pages, posts and category pages which are a list of posts.

Here are some examples from this site:

The advantage of a category pages is that you can bring together all the information on a particular subject into one page, yet keep on adding new information without re-editing the existing copy.  It’s perfect for news and lists of Councillors. Read More…

What are plug-ins?

Plug-ins are little mini-programmes that add functionality to your website. They allow it to work faster, to do things more easily, to do things you couldn’t otherwise do.

We’ve included a small number of plug-ins as standard that can allow you to create polls, embed photo slideshows from Flickr, and embed calendars from Google. Read More…

Disabling Comments

Comments for Posts and Pages are a fantastic way for residents to give their thoughtquiclly and easily, helping decisions and giving ideas to the council.

However if you feel a certain Post or Page, or even your entire site should not have comments, here are the steps to take to turn off comments. Read More…

How Do I Change the Description of a Category?

The category description is useful for summarising a collection of posts, or giving information about that area of the site. Have a look here for an example of a category page. The text at the top of the page can be changed. Read More…

How can I display a picture of our Village Sign in the right hand column?

If you have a picture of your village or town that you would like to be displayed on your website, the Village Sign widget is the best place for this.

Firstly you need to upload the picture either via the WordPress Media Library or to your Flickr account.  You then need to copy the image’s link URL. Read More…

How do I approve comments?

Comments are generally good.  It means that you are engaging with your community. With your new site you are in control. When someone comments on a post or page you will need to decide whether to approve the comment to be publicly visible. Read More…

Why are there Americanisms on the site?

WordPress is an Open Source system that was born in the mid-Atlantic as a collaboration between Mike Little and Matt Mullenwegg. Matt went on to set up up a company called Automattic which has carried on developing the system to this day. His company is based in Texas. They have imbued the system with some US personality. Read More…

Will I have to start our site from scratch?

No. We’ll be transferring all your content from your old site into the new one. You’ll just need to keep it updated.  However you might want to use this opportunity to rethink how you use your site.  If there is any content you don’t want transferring across then delete it from your site by March 21st.

Is there somewhere I can try out the new system before our site goes live?

Yes. We’ll be creating a site at http://sandbox.norfolkparishes.gov.uk and parish clerks will be emailed details of how to access the site.  It’ll give you a chance to test it all out without messing up your own site.