Learning resources for clients in Deployment

As a new administrator -- or even an experienced webmaster who just needs to brush up on a few skills -- you might be feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to learn. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to you, which you can access directly from Composer! This article tells you exactly what's available and where to find it on your site.

Dashboard

Composer dashboard close-up showing Help and Support links

As soon as you log onto your site, you'll land on the dashboard, where you have quick access to many of our best resources. 

Finalsite Training

Finalsite Training learner dashboard close-up featuring links to learning paths

Finalsite Training presents content developed to get new users up and running and introduce you to modules you aren't familiar with yet. With interactive pages, searchable videos, practical exercises, and graded knowledge checks, Finalsite Training is a valuable tool for learning about your Composer website, its modules, and more.

Best of all, you can access this content directly from your website! There's no need to create another account and log in. Just go to the Help & Support links on the dashboard and click the Training button.

Courses

Finalsite Training courses are focused on individual Finalsite products and modules. Featuring videos, text, and interactive lessons, these courses offer comprehensive introductions to the tools at your disposal to build and maintain each aspect of your website. As you’re learning, follow along with the Try It Yourself instructions to apply your new skills on your own website.

Learning paths

While you can always complete courses individually from the Finalsite Training dashboard, you may want to select one of our learning paths to access a ready-made curriculum that will guide you through the courses and other training materials in the optimal order. Learning paths are designed to build on the skills you’ve already learned to level up your Finalsite expertise.

Study groups

If you have questions while building a page, working with a module, or just experimenting with a new element, Study groups are the place to be. Bring your toughest questions and learn from the experts and your colleagues from other organizations!

There are multiple opportunities to join in throughout the week, so sign up for the most convenient time to chat live with a Client Education team member. 

Webinars

The Finalsite Training webinar series offers a one-hour deep dive on specific topics with one of our Client Education experts (and sometimes special guests!). From module overviews and best practices to hands-on demonstrations, webinars are one of our best learning tools for new users and more experienced admins alike. Check out our library of recorded webinars, or sign up to attend a future event so you can interact and ask questions in real time.   

Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base home banner with search bar and text Hi! Ask Us Anything.

The Knowledge Base includes more than 700 in-depth articles and videos explaining various Finalsite modules and features, and how to use them. It’s designed to answer the most common questions that users have about our software, as well as offer best practices and troubleshooting tips.

Software Updates

Software Update blog as seen on the Composer dashboard

The Software Update blog alerts users about important changes that we make to our software. Finalsite (usually!) releases software updates every two weeks. We publish the Software Update blog in advance of each release to give site admins a heads-up about what may be updated, any action that may be required on their part, and cool new features you'll want to take advantage of.

Status Page

If there's ever an issue on our end that is affecting your website performance or availability, the Finalsite Status Page will tell you what’s going on, what Finalsite is doing to resolve the issue, and estimates to restore service (if available). You don't need to log in to see it, but you can subscribe to get updates by email. If you need to find which region you are in, you can see it in the right-hand corner of your Composer dashboard.

Finalsite Help

Left Composer nav close-up with Finalsite Help icon highlighted

The Finalsite Help button on the left-hand Composer menu collects the links to the resources that Finalsite maintains to help you learn about Finalsite and get the most out of your website, including the Software Update blog, Knowledge Base, Status Page, and Finalsite Training.

Support & Training

The Support & Training menu contains other useful options for Finalsite site admins.

Contact Site Administrator

While you're in Deployment, use the "Contact Site Administrator" option to quickly contact one of the other administrators on your site via email. If there are any issues you can't solve together, you can turn to your Project Manager or the Client Education team to get answers and advice. 

Note: Once your site is live and members of your team have been assigned ticketing permissions, this is where you'll be able to find the "Submit a Request" link to send a ticket to our Support team. If you don't see that link, you may not have rights assigned to contact Support directly, and you can still use "Contact Site Administrator" to work with other admins or have them submit a ticket on your behalf.

Composer Sandbox

If you want to play around with Composer in order to learn how to use it, or learn about a module your school hasn’t purchased, you can use the “sandbox” site to conduct experiments without risk. The Sandbox site is public and available to all Finalsite admins. It has all of Composer's available features, so if you want to evaluate whether Finalsite's solution will fit your needs, you can try it out here. All information posted to the sandbox site is public, so don’t put anything sensitive on there!

Composer > Pages

Composer page tree close-up with Production branch and site instructions highlighted

Finally, head into the Pages section of Composer, and you'll find a branch or two with fully customized pages that are all about your own site! Since these are completely custom, they make look slightly different from what's described below.

Production branch

The Production Branch is a part of your website, and is found in Composer with your other site pages. In the left sidebar of Composer, click on “Production Branch.”

Style guide

The Style guide section of your site includes examples of all of the styles available on your website -- all of the visual elements that make up your site's unique look and feel. Click on the “Style Guide” page to see examples of “Normal” text, as well as alternate fonts, boldface and italic text styles, headers, lists, and other designs. You can also view the standard colors used on the site, callout buttons used to draw attention to links, and other style components.

Sub-pages under the “Style Guide” page display other types of Finalsite elements and content configurations, showing how those types of content will appear on site pages.

Instructions branch

Site Instructions

While the Knowledge Base answers questions that have the same answer for (pretty much) every site, the “Site Instructions” page can be thought of as the instruction manual for your specific website. It includes step-by-step overviews for how to perform many common website functions, such as:

  • Update homepage slider
  • Use the 3 “callout button” styles included with your website
  • Change the “utility navigation” (links on the top bar of your website headers)
  • Change what’s in the “Quicklinks” menu on the homepage
  • Change what’s in the site footer
  • Change social media links

The actual list of instructions on your site’s page may change depending on the details of your specific site’s design and features.

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