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Site Documentation

Site Documentation

Well Read Site Administration
Please read this ENTIRE document thoroughly before attempting to manage site content.

Overview
A NOTE ON UPGRADING WORDPRESS AND ITS PLUGINS
Custom CMS Management
Managing the Homepage
Managing Pages
Other CUSTOM FIELD USAGES
POSTS: NEWS, EVENTS, etc.
Managing “Book of the Week” Page
Managing “Bookmarks By Mary Ann Gwinn” Page
Book Archive and Bookmarks Archives
Managing the Book Club Page
Overriding the Book Club Selection
Managing “The Show”
Managing Chats


Overview

The Well Read website is a WordPress blog site using the Well Read Theme, and is controlled primarily through the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). However, there is also a secondary portion of the CMS that is custom-written to support certain functionality.

This guide is not meant to be a WordPress tutorial. Please visit the WordPress website to view detailed documentation on the operation and ongoing maintenance of a WordPress website. This document is intended as a guide to help understand the custom CMS workings of this Well Read Theme.

To administer the site, log into the website’s WordPress admin area using the username and password provided by the site administrator. From the login screen, be sure to also check the box that reads: “Remember Me” so that WordPress will automatically log you in each time you visit the website.

A NOTE ON UPGRADING WORDPRESS AND ITS PLUGINS.
We recommend that you DO NOT UPGRADE WordPress or any of its plugins at any time without a compelling reason to do so. This is because WordPress is a constantly changing system with always evolving source code, functionality, database structures, etc. Similarly, the plugins used for the site are written by 3rd party developers, not WordPress, and those developers are writing their plugins based on a “snapshot in time” of the WordPress environment (code, functions, database structure, etc). Making a change to either WordPress or its plugins could potentially at any time, break the site in a way that would require a complete restoration of the site from a prior backup (potentially taking the site down for days, and incurring time & costs to restore the site). Over the years we have seen many instances of this and for this reason we recommend that you do NOT ever upgrade WordPress or any of its plugins without a compelling reason that makes it worth the risk of upgrading.

Switching between the WordPress CMS and the website
Once logged into the WordPress admin CMS area, you will be presented with a menu along the left side of the screen. At the top left of the screen you will see a link to “Well Read”. If you click that link, you will be taken to the site’s public homepage. Once on the homepage (or any other page of the site), the link in the upper left corner of the screen will still read “Well Read”, but clicking it will take you back to the CMS area.

When viewing any page or post on the site, you will be able to edit the page or post by clicking on the “Edit Page” or “Edit Post” link in the top center of the browser.

Custom CMS Management
Some website content is controlled via the WordPress CMS, but other content is controlled via custom-written CMS pages. To access these pages, click on the left nav link titled: “Custom CMS”.

The custom cms area contains the following pages:

  • Manage Authors
  • Manage Books
  • Manage Book of the Week
  • Manage Book Lists (BookMarks)
  • Manage ‘The Show’
  • Manage Advertisers / Sponsors
  • Manage Misc Items (join widget, etc)
  • Manage Chat Schedules
  • Manage Subscribers

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Managing the Homepage:
The top portion of the homepage contains a slideshow featuring the previous, current and next books of the week. The Books of the Week are managed via the Custom CMS area, in the page titled: “Manage Book of the Week”.

Beneath the slideshow is the current “Booklist” (Bookmarks by Mary Ann Gwinn). Like most of the other components on the site (book of the week, book club, etc) the Booklist is date-driven (it’s start and end date determine when it is displayed as the ‘current’ element). The booklist is controlled via the Custom CMS area, in the page titled: “Manage Book Lists (BookMarks)”.

Beneath the Booklist area is the Book Club promo area. The content of the Book Club promo area is controlled via the Custom CMS area titled “Manage Misc Items” and the 2 “most recent” Book Club selections in the promo area are controlled via the Custom CMS area titled “Book of the Week” (Note: the book club book selection is always the Book of the Week selection for the 3rd week of the month – so the 2 most recent Book Club books would be the prior Book of the Week for the 3rd week of the month, and the previous 3rd week’s Book of the Week).

Beneath the Book Club promo area is “The Show” promo area. The content for “The Show” is managed via the Custom CMS area titled: “Manage ‘The Show'”.

Homepage Right Sidebar
The Homepage Right Sidebar contains an additional promo for the upcoming show (also managed via the Custom CMS area titled “Manage ‘The Show'”) and the 3 most recent blog posts in the NEWS category. (Blog posts are managed via the WordPress CMS).

Beneath the 3 most recent blog posts on the right sidebar is the Advertiser/Sponsor display. The content for this section is controlled via the Custom CMS area titled: “Manage Advertisers / Sponsors”.

The Footer Area contains the “Join Well Read” component and its text content is controlled via the Custom CMS area titled: “Manage Misc Items”.

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Managing Pages
WordPress is comprised primarily of PAGES and POSTS. PAGES make up the more ‘fixed’ content and represent the site structure. PAGES typically appear in the top navigation and the flyout menus. POSTS make up individual “stories” such as NEWS, EVENTS, etc.

You can add new PAGES and POSTS to the site at any time; however, certain pages on the site are specially coded and MUST remain named and configured just as they are now.

The following pages (contained on the “Pages” link in the WordPress left nav), on the website must not be updated/altered/deleted in any way without first discussing with the web developer to determine the scope of the impact and any coding changes needed:

  • Home
  • The Books
  • The Lists
  • The Club
  • The Word
  • The TV Show
  • Book of the Week
  • Book Detail
  • Book Archive
  • Bookmarks by Mary Ann Gwinn
  • List Archive
  • Well Read Book Club
  • News
  • Events
  • Newsletters
  • Videos
  • Well Read TV Show

The CMS allows you to manipulate the top menu by manipulating the PARENTAGE of a PAGE and the ORDER of the PAGE. These are handled via the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box on the right side of the CMS page when editing a PAGE.

In order for ANY page to show up on the website via the menu system, you MUST assign the page the template called “WellRead Page Template” (also part of the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box), and you MUST use the custom field called top-menu and set it to yes.

The PARENT of the page determines where in the menu system the page will appear. If a PAGE does not have a parent, then it will be the topmost menu item.

The order that menu items appear WITHIN THEIR SIBLINGS is set by the ORDER attribute in the PAGE ATTRIBUTES box. The ORDER field is a numeric field. We have set the default orders in series of 10. For example, “THE BOOKS” has an ORDER of 10, “THE LISTS” has an order of 20, “THE CLUB” is 30, etc.

Other CUSTOM FIELD USAGES
If you wish the top portion of a PAGE to contain text in 2 columns, use the custom fields:

  • the-word-featured-post
    When creating a POST, if you assign this custom field the value of yes, that post will be used as the main header posting when visitors views THE WORD section.

There are other custom fields available for PAGES which will become visible in the CMS once you assign a PAGE to the “WellRead Page Template”:

  • Alternate Link: If you wish to link a PAGE to an address other than the default address assign by WordPress, you can set the new address here. To determine the structure of the address, first visit the page, then copy and paste the address into this field (leave off the http://www.wellread.org address prefix and just start the address with “/….” (you will see this format example in the input field itself).
  • Header Text: If you wish a page to have a tan bar header text, set the text into this field.
  • Show Join Widget On Sidebar – select this option to determine how the JOIN Widget appears on the PAGE sidebar.
  • Show Chat Widget on Sidebar – select this option to determine how the CHAT widget appears on the PAGE sidebar.
  • Is Special Page: This field is reserved for use only on the PAGES that the developer has already assigned to those reserved pages.

POSTS: NEWS, EVENTS, etc.
When you create a blog POST, you should always set the post’s EXCERPT to a brief statement describing the blog posting. The excerpt is used anywhere on the site where a brief summary of a post is displayed.

Note also that every POST should have a “Featured Image” assigned to it. The “Featured Image” is the image that will appear when the POST is displayed both in summary landing page format, and in when the POST detail page is displayed. The Featured Image is created by selecting the “set featured image” link in the lower right portion of the WordPress Editor page when creating/editing a POST. When selected, WordPress will take you to a screen that will allow you to upload an image (see WordPress’ website for further details on uploading images to the WordPress MEDIA section). You must ensure that the image is either:

  • 600 pixels wide by 322 pixels tall
    OR
  • at least 600 pixels wide, and proportionally tall so that when WordPress automatically resizes the image to 600 pixels wide, the resulting height will be 322 pixels tall.

Blog POSTS are also managed using the WordPress CATEGORY assignment:

  • All BLOG posts that are to appear when the user selects the NEWS section must have the NEWS category assigned to it. Note that the NEWS category is a PARENT category, so an additional category must be assigned such as Poetry, Politics, Comedy, etc.
  • All Blog posts that are EVENTS must be assigned the category of “Events”.
  • The same applies to VIDEOS, NEWSLETTER, etc.

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Managing “Book of the Week” Page
The Book of the Week page is managed solely through the Custom CMS area titled “Manage Book of the Week”. The date ranges assigned to the Book of the Week determine the “current”, “previous” and “next” books of the week.

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Managing “Bookmarks By Mary Ann Gwinn” Page
The Bookmarks By Mary Ann Gwinn page is managed solely through the Custom CMS area titled “Manage Book Lists (BookMarks)”. The date ranges assigned to the lists determine the “current”, “previous” and “next” lists.

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Book Archive and Bookmarks Archives
The Book Archive and Bookmarks Archive pages are self-driven by the website and are not managed by the admin.

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Managing the Book Club Page
The Book Club page is self-driven by the website – the website reads the Book of the Week database and selects the Book of the Week for the 3rd week of each month to display as the Book Club page.

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Overriding the Book Club Selection
The Book Club page is self-driven by the website – the website reads the Book of the Week database and selects the Book of the Week for the 3rd week of each month to display as the Book Club page. However, if you wish to OVERRIDE the self-driven process and designate a different book, you can use the custom field called override-isbn and set its value to the ISBN-13 code of the book you wish to display as the Book Club selection. To do so:

  • Make sure you are logged in as a WordPress administrator
  • Once logged in as administrator, visit the Well Read Book Club Page
  • Once on the Well Read Book Club Page, click on the “Edit Page” link at the top of your browser. This will invoke the WordPress editor for that specific page.
  • Create a custom field called override-isbn (or select it from the custom fields dropdown if available) and set its value to the ISBN-13 code of the book you wish to display as the Book Club selection. (if you are adding the custom field new, then be sure to also click on the “Add Custom Field” button to store the new custom field and its value
  • Finally, press the blue “Update” button on the right side of the page to save the updates for that page.
  • NOTE 1: The Book Club page also has a left-nav highlight box that features an “Up Next” book profile. If you wish to also set that to the next Book Club book, follow the steps above and use the custom field called up-next-override-isbn and set its value to the ISBN-13 of the next Book Club book.
  • NOTE 2: The HOME PAGE also has a Book Club feature area near the bottom of the homepage. If you wish to also override that Book Club display, follow the steps above, but first navigate to the HOME PAGE, then press the “Edit Page” link and follow the steps above to set the custom field called override-isbn to the ISBN-13 of the next Book Club book.
  • REMOVING THE OVERRIDES: To remove the override(s) that you had set and allow the website to revert back to its own management of the Book Club selection – navigate to the page in question, then click the “Edit Page” and from the WordPress editor, find the custom field(s) you had created (override-isbn or up-next-override-isbn) and remove its value. This will remove the override for that page. You must perform this for each page (the Book Club page or Home Page) where you had set the custom override.

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Managing “The Show”
“The Show” is managed through the Custom CMS area titled “Manage ‘The Show'”. The date ranges assigned to the shows determine the display of each show on the site.

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Managing Chats
Chats are managed through a combination of the Custom CMS area titled “Manage Chat Schedules” and the WordPress CMS area for “Users”. Chats are DATE and TIME driven via the Custom CMS area. When creating a chat in the custom CMS area, set the START DATE and START TIME and the END DATE and END TIME. During that chat “window”, the chat feature on the website will be enabled. During all other times, the site visitors will receive a message that there are no scheduled chats at this time.

Once a chat has been scheduled in the custom CMS area, perform the following steps in advance of the actual chat start date/time:

  1. Edit the page in WordPress’ CMS area
  2. Ensure that the custom field titled top-menu is set to the word yes
  3. Inspect the content area in the WordPress editor to ensure that there is not a left-over chat keyword from a previous chat (It will look something like [ chat id=”##” font=”” ]). If there is a previous chat keyword, remove it.
  4. Using the WordPress editor field, at the place where you wish the chat box to appear, place the cursor and then locate the “insert chat” icon on the tool bar (it is the last icon on the right, at the top of the icon list) and click the icon to invoke the chat settings dialog.
  5. Once the chat keyword is inserted in the desired place, press the UPDATE button on the right side of the editor page to save the new settings.
  6. You will now need to create a WordPress user record for the guest who will be hosting the chat (site admins do not need to have a user record created, only guest chat moderators). From the WordPress menu choose USERS->ADD NEW and create the new user (Name, Login, Password, and most importantly set their ROLE to AUTHOR).
  7. Once the new user is created, the chat is fully configured and ready to use. Be sure to coordinate with the AUTHOR in advance and make sure the author knows how to log into the website and to find the CHAT page.
  8. The AUTHOR login is as follows:
    – visit http://www.wellread.org/wp-login.php
    – enter in the username and password that you created for them.
    – once they are logged in, they can proceed directly to the chat page

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Learning by Viewing
You can learn a great deal about the blog interface by viewing a page/post that has the desired functionality, then editing the page/post in the WordPress CMS and viewing how the page/post uses custom fields, categories, page attributes, the excerpt field, the featured image field, etc.

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