Author: Joel Vertin

Image Optimization

The Image Editor Gadget in the CMS will crop, compress, and optimize the images you create for your webpages. There is also code on our pages that serves up the most appropriate size of the image crops for the device being used. All images used in the CMS should be created with the Image Editor Gadget to ensure this code and the snippet code work, provide standard image sizes across our sites, and improve page speed and performance.

Page or Site Redirects

Redirects are important when webpage URLs change on your website. There are many reasons why this could happen:

  1. your site’s root folder name may need to change because your department is going through a name change
  2. you may change the name of a folder or subfolder
  3. you may move a page, folder, or file
  4. you may delete a page, folder, or file

When any of these actions occur, it is important that a proper redirect is put into place. This ensures that the old URL continues to work for any users who find it or have it saved.

Proper Content and Page Structure

The following tips are meant to help CMS users with day-to-day maintenance of basic content on their websites.

Paste as Text

If you paste content from a document or email into Omni CMS, you will likely get a bunch of bad code added behind the scenes that will effect how your webpage will look at function. To avoid issues, try clicking the “Paste as Text” button before pasting your content or use the Ctrl + Shift + V key combination.

Paste as Text icon in the toolbar.

The negative to pasting as text is that you will have to do some formatting manually (adding bold, adding links, etc). However, this will help to ensure that your website meets brand and accessibility standards and works correctly on all devices.

Headings

Headings play a key role in accessibility requirements and general page usability. It is important to use proper HTML headings instead of bold paragraphs or single lines of text and to not use the heading styling when the content is not a heading. To apply a heading style to a line of text, put your cursor inside of the line of text and then select a heading level from the paragraph dropdown menu in the Omni CMS editor. The same method working in other online applications, such as Google Docs. For text that you want to highlight that is not actually heading content, use the font styles in the Styles dropdown menu of the Omni CMS editor instead.

Writing Good ALT Tags

Alt tags (also known as Image Descriptions or alt text) are a very important for the accessibility of your webpage. Moz does a good job of explaining what alt tags are. Please take a moment to read up on what alt tags are and why they are important. Moz also provides some tips for how to write good ones.

There are many uses for alt tags. The most well-known ones are:

  1. Screen readers will speak the alt tag of an image for users who cannot see.
  2. If an image cannot be loaded due to some sort of network or IT error, the alt tag will display instead.
  3. Alt tags boost search engine rankings and can help your website’s images display in Google search results.

Google My Business

A free service called Google My Business lets small businesses update their search engine listing. This is particularly useful for Michigan Tech departments who focus on sales, who run promotions, who have distinct hours of operations, and/or which attract and serve tourists.

Customizable Content

Google My Business lets you customize various aspects of your business information in Google search results, including:

  • Address
  • Hours of Operation, including special hours for holidays
  • Phone number(s)
  • Photos of your business (inside and outside)
  • Promotions/Sales
  • Website

Website and Content Backups

There has been some confusion over what our CMS does and does not back up as a part of its revision process, so the purpose of this blog post is to clarify things. This information is accurate for both Percussion Rhythmyx and Omni CMS.

Content Backups

Enterprise Content Management Systems store pieces of content. You have a Generic Page which stores the meat of your webpage’s content. However, there is more. Think of a sidebars and sliders (Highlights). Images. And navigation—made up of Navons. There are also Files. Maybe some Script items or Personnel Information items. All told, any given webpage is made up of 50-100 total individual items.

Any CMS does a good job of keeping track of revisions for these items. Each revision is basically a backup of that individual piece of content. As long as an item is not deleted (purged), we will have a history for that item. If the item is deleted, then its revision history is also deleted.

Avoid Duplicating Meta Descriptions

What is a Meta Description?

When looking at your content in the CMS, the meta description is populated from the “Description” field towards the top of the Properties > Parameters screen for the page. Between the “Title” and “Keywords” fields. The description provides Google and other search engines with a short, relevant summary of your webpage. When someone searches on Google, they see a list of the top results. In the results, there is the title of the webpage, the URL, and the description. Having a good description will help the user decide if they want to click on YOUR page, versus the other options.