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FinalSite prep

March 13, 2017

I went to a 2 full day workshop last week with our new software Finalsite.  This system is replacing a 10 year old website on Blackboard schoolworld.  Incidently, BB announced
EOF for schoolword effective 1/1/18.

Finalsite – CMS, LMS – web site software.  The prep workshop featured 60 minute presentations on difference managers (pieces of the software).  They showed us how the software worked in a fast detailed way.  We had 6 different presenters over two days.  It was a good experience.

20 Primary take away’s

  1. We have work to do getting the modules – (managers) ready to go.  The have to be feed – prepped, rules established
  2. We need to figure out who will be content managers for different modules.
  3. CM = Constituent Manager.  We need to sync CM with our MS LDAP directory.  BOCES LDAP master – Finalsite CM (slave).
  4. We need to establish groups and start populating them with accounts from CM.
  5. Constituent Manager, E-notify, Media Manager, Calendar Manager, Groups Manager, Composer.
  6. Composer is the tool content managers will us to create, edit web pages and their content. Composer is constantly being updated and improved.  Look at site dashboard Updates for details.
  7. Composer has access to content that is in the modules.  Content is added to the web page via elements – very granular and specific.  elements like content, navigation, calendars, media, people.  As a content manager, you access a lot of site content from the module – elements.
  8. Pages have elements.  Elements have content.  Pages have permissions – among other things.
  9. Pages and elements have settings – look for the gear icon.  Choose the page or the element in the page – explore their options – of which there are many.
  10. That we should look to use the Posts tool and not the News tool – as the News too is fazing out, new development has been in the Posts module.   Teachers who want teacher pages will use Post tool
  11. The Manager tools all have the concept of a dashboard -of course.  At a glance see what, when and who.  Each manager is similar – with dashboard and green action buttons with white text.
  12. fs-actionbuttons
  13. When building content, use vertical layers, not horizontal.  Vertical layers respond better in mobile devices.
  14. Don’t mess too much with the home page.  It has special sauce.  You can change photos in the media manager – or text in a content element or the name of a button….BUT, you cannot change the layout, order, main elements – that would require a work order.  The mentality is do not mess with home page – we worked hard at nailing that look and feel.
  15. When you are in *compose mode in composer – you can hover over page elements and access their properties via pink gear.  Elements like, Search, navigation, content, media, embed – the elements all share common look and feel and some functionality, but also posses unique options.
  16. Some page elements will be shared.  Shared means live in one place and referenced from multiple.  Do not upload things to multiple places.  If something needs to be included in multiple places on the website – then create it once and share it.
  17. File Manager module.  We need to establish a hierarchy of information management.  File manager module is also under development and can expect changes in near-ish future.
  18. Portals are just a concept, nothing magical.  Control access to content in *portals by simply assigning visibility permissions to a group – that have the constituents in them.
  19. We can conceptually separate pages that are restricted to just groups in the site architecture by using a portal file structure like portal/hr or portal/principles – and then keep the pages to be restricted in those folders.  There is nothing different about a page that is visible to the public -vs- a page restricted.
  20. The software modules are continuously in development – via *agile methodology.  The presenters talked about changes in the software and how often it is deployed.  Updates are reported in the admin dashboard.
  21. To sport the nifty sticky navigation – which we want, is additional $.  Our client success manager said he would talk to Shanda about that cost.
  22. We meet our client success manager Jerard Gustafson.  He is our POC once the project is completed.  Jerard and Shannon.
  23. shannon-jerard2
  24. I meet Amy – who will be coming out to visit for a live training.  Amy the FS trainer.  She also went over the site admin. stuff at conference.  She will be training content managers on Composer.
  25. E-Notify – a good tool, should depreciate the list server for Edutech.



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