News to Posts implementation guide

Whether you’re migrating news stories from News Manager or starting with a clean slate in Posts, it’s important to think about how you will organize everything in Posts. Boards and posts can always be moved, tags and categories added and deleted, but the more you think about and plan ahead of time, the smoother and faster the transition will be.

If you’re not migrating content from News Manager, skip down to the Planning for Posts section of this article.

Planning a migration

If you intend to migrate content over from News Manager, you’re most likely going to have a lot of posts to deal with and you won’t want to go in and edit them one by one. By this point you’ve already gone over the Questions to consider before migrating to Posts, and now it’s time to put the decisions you’ve made into action. If you’ve already got a plan, you may want to head straight to Migrate legacy news content to Posts for specific instructions.

Clean up your categories

Every category you have in News Manager will become a tag in Posts. If you use the Post Tools element to allow users to filter by tags, or display the tags on posts in a Post element, your site visitors will be able to see and/or use those tags. Are you happy with how they’re named? Are there some that you don’t want to follow you to Posts? Edit the name and delete categories here, where you can apply the changes in bulk.

When you select to delete a category, a warning message appears. It states, “If any public news post has all of its categories deleted, then that post will automatically be set to private and will not be available publically until it is assigned to a new category.” This means that the news story will be moved to the “Announcements” category, designated by the lock icon next to the title. You can use this to your benefit as a “storage category” and re-evaluate any stories that no longer have a category. Do they belong in a different category? Do you want to migrate them to Posts? Do you still want them on your site?

Display by type

Keep in mind that announcements (that is, non-public News posts that are only visible to members of selected roles or groups) can be migrated over to Posts, but the privacy settings will not follow them. If you want to bring over announcements it would be a good idea to do this in a separate migration from your public news stories, on their own board. Use the checkboxes at the top of the Post Manager screen to select “News only” or “Announcements only.” This will filter the post list below so that only one or the other display.

Order by date

Click on the arrow icon next to “Publish Date” so that it’s pointing down to view the oldest stories in your News Manager. Are they pretty old? Do you really want to move them? Remember that News Manager - and the News element in Composer - aren’t going anywhere, and you can continue to use these features of your site even after you’ve made the transition to Posts. You may find it desirable not to migrate these posts at all. You always have the option of using (and displaying) News content as an archive!

Click on the arrow icon again so that the post list is displaying the most recent stories first again. If you’re not migrating all of them, how many stories do you want to bring into Posts? A month’s worth? A year’s? Several years? How many stories is that? Choose a number from the dropdown on the right that gives you a manageable number of pages to migrate. You can use the “select all” button on each page of results.

Filter by category

Depending on how you want to manage your news in Posts, you’ll probably want to migrate news stories one category at a time. Once you’ve migrated a category, you can move the posts to a different board before continuing. Or, you can migrate several categories onto the same board and then move that board to a different folder. Use the magnifying glass icon next to the “Category” header of the post list, and type in the first few characters to select a category.

Planning for Posts

The “best” way to organize news in Posts will differ from one school website to another. An elementary school, a private school with Lower, Middle, and Upper schools, and a school district with a dozen different schools will all have their own methods for organizing content. The best way for all of them to proceed, though, is to tackle it head-on.

Where news fits into Posts

You don’t just want to think about how to organize everything under the umbrella of “News” - you also have to think about the umbrella! News may be one of many ways that your site makes use of Posts. Your posts may be listed alongside blogs, teacher pages, course catalogs, alumni features, or any number of uses. The first step is to decide where your news content lives. For this, we’ll use folders.

The elementary school mentioned above might decide that one folder for all their news is sufficient. The private school, on the other hand, may want a folder for Lower School News, Middle School News, and Upper School News. The school district, finally, might have a folder for each school, with each folder containing more boards than just news.

Folders can also be used on the front end of the site to display a whole list of boards, in a Board Grid or Board List element, so that’s another factor to consider when deciding on your folder organization.

How to organize news

Once you have your news umbrella set up, it’s time to think about everything that goes under it. You might even want to plan it out with paper and pencil before you start adding boards in Posts.

Think about all the different kinds of news you publish or want to publish. Arts, athletics, PTO, upcoming events, alumni news, and student features are all common types of school news. Try to think of categories that are “evergreen,” that is, they’ll always be relevant. For example, “new construction” isn’t a great category because the construction won’t be new in a year or so. “Campus updates” may be better, since another project may come along after the construction is finished and can be added to that category.

Consider the places you display news on the website, and how you might use Composer Post elements to show only the news you want to display in each location. A Post element can display all the posts from a board or boards, or only posts that have a certain tag. Remember, every post can only reside in a single board. Take into account how this will affect your news display.

Now, decide what boards you want to create, and where you want to use tags. The distinguishing feature about boards is that they have different sets of administrators. This is often the most helpful way to determine whether or not a particular type of content needs a new board within your organizational scheme: “Does this content need its own set of admins?” If the answer is “yes,” that content should be in a new board. For information about giving permissions to constituents to serve as board admins, refer to Manage board permissions.

For our elementary school example, they may go with a board per category (because all of the elementary admins can manage that content), and then use tags for things like “homepage news” or “parent portal news” to direct where the posts from those boards appear on the site.

The private school has three boards for each category - one in each of the Lower, Middle, and Upper School folders - because content from different schools is managed by different administrators.

The school district will use one board for each school’s news in each of their school folders, and relies on tags to display different categories of news in different pages on the site.

Don’t forget that boards and Collections can be featured in eNotify templates as well, and this may factor into your organizational setup!

Next steps

Once you’ve decided how to configure your news in Posts, you can begin populating the module and designing pages on your Composer site to display your posts. If you’re moving over from News Manager, follow the steps in Migrate legacy news content to Posts to carry out the migration. To build your pages in Composer, refer to Build a Posts page for guidance.

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