The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society

Guidelines for the MNPS Web Site

Tagging Events

The events pages and chapter pages were set up to pull events based on tags. DO NOT CHANGE THOSE PAGES OR AREAS ON THE PAGES. You input events through the "Events" option. When you use the right tag(s) for the events, they show up on the appropriate event type page and the right geographic (or chapter) page. The beauty of this system is that it automates this distribution of links to events, and automatically expires them to reduce the time needed to clean them up.

Rules for Tagging Events

Web Pages vs. Documents

For future portability to another system, we're trying to minimize the number of web pages created in this content management system. Anything that does not contain links does not need to be on a web page and can be created as a Word document and both Word document and its PDF file can be stored in the appropriate folder as described below. Examples are the "Wildflower in Focus" series and field trip plant lists.

In general, external links to web pages should be opened in the same window so that users can use the back button, but PDF files should be opened in a new window, since they're using the Adobe Reader. Use ' target="_BLANK" ' in the links, or use the "Document" button on the editor to insert a link to the document to do this for you.

Where to Put Files

When you click the "File management" option, you will see the directories set up for this web site.

  • Chapters: Each chapter has its own subdirectory. Store their files there.
  • Documents: DO NOT DELETE. This folder was created by the content management system and is the default for storing documents. We will store documents and forms that are general information.
    • Forms: Store commonly-used forms here.
    • Governing: Store governing documents here.
    • PlantID: Store plant identification keys and handouts here. This is separate from the field trip plant survey data.
    • Policies: Store policy documents here.
  • Events: Store any handouts for events that are not related to Fall Conference. This includes any flyers we decide to post for another organization.
    • EventFlyers: Store event flyers here; this will need to be cleaned up along with the events that expire; at some point, we will want to delete expired events and these should be deleted with them.
  • FallConference: Each year, create a new directory named "fallyyyy", e.g., "fall2010", and store the files used (directions, accommodations, bios, etc.) there. Those files should be stored as Word and PDF. The conferences should be created as events with links to these files.
  • FieldTripPlantLists: Store all field trip plant lists in both Word and PDF format.
  • Gallery: Store pictures used in the Gallery links.
    • BeforeAfter: Store photos from any invasive removal projects.
    • FavoriteSites: Store photos for favorite site blog posts.
    • HorrorSites: Store photos of invasive takeovers posted on the Horror Sites blog.
    • PhotoContest: Store photos from photo contests here but create a separate folder for each year.
  • Pictures: DO NOT DELETE. This folder was created by the content management system and is the default for storing pictures, like the MNPS logo.
  • Private: Store information that should not be visible to the public here, like the postal form. Try to avoid having too many "private" things.
  • Publications:
    • ForSale: Store information such as images for the book pages here.
    • GardenersGuidelines: Store the Gardeners' Guidelines here in Word and PDF.
    • Marilandica: Store the Marilandica here in Word and PDF.
    • NativeNews: Store the Native News here in Word and PDF.
    • SurveyData: Store any survey data or plant lists not related to the Field Trip Plant List project.
    • WildflowerInFocus: Store the Wildflower in Focus here in Word and PDF, along with all related pictures.
  • Theme: DO NOT DELETE. This folder was created by the content management system and stores the items needed to make the web page work.

Styles, Colors and Backgrounds

Wild Apricot allows you to modify the settings of the menu and background fonts and colors. It also allows customizing the styles further. A copy of the file is stored in the /Documents folder as "MNPS.css". This is not what the content management system uses; this is a backup in case they lose our custom stuff. You need to also modify it through the "Settings" -> "Customize" option.

Fly-Out Menus

The system automatically creates fly-out menus based on how you assign web pages in the hierarchy under the "Web pages" -> "Page Mangement" option. Each page subordinate to another is an item in a fly-out menu from the superior page on the sidebar.

All subordinate pages should be directly linked to the superior's page. This will duplicate the fly-out menu links, but when the user clicks on the sidebar item, the user won't get a blank page, but a page showing the fly-out menu options.

If you don't want to put a page on the fly-out menu, drag it to the "Admin Miscellaneous Pages" item. This has been marked as visible only to the administrator, which means the pages subordinate to it will not be seen in a menu, but can be referenced by name.

E-mail Blasts

MNPS Domain Mailboxes

We are using Google Apps for redirecting mail on our domain. The following mailboxes are used for the specific purposes stated:

  • board: routes mail to all board members; used for internal communications, only
  • fieldtrips: routes mail to the web, newsletter, Meetup, Facebook indivduals responsible for posting information to those media
  • info: catch-all, general mailbox
  • invasives: routes updates to invasives information and invasives event information to the invasives species removal project coordinator for MNPS
  • membership: routes inquiries to the membership committee

Search Engine

The search engine on the Search page is a Google widget. To maintain good search results, the file sitemap.xml in the root directory should be periodically maintained and resubmitted to Google.

Note: Files that are Board/Admin or Member-only should not be included in the site map file.

Instructions for How to Maintain the Search Engine

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