Top tips for RedDot Content Management

RedDot manages the content of tens of thousands of LJMU's web pages, providing accessible information within the university and to the outside world. While easy to use, there are a few aspects of RedDot and the Corporate site that Web Authors need to be aware of. 

Creating your content - using content from other sources

When writing the content for your pages, make sure that any information from other sources is both accurate and up to date, and that you have the right to use it. Telephone numbers, addresses and external web addresses are especially vulnerable to change. When using information found on external websites, or even on other LJMU web pages it is important to check it for accuracy.

Every page on the LJMU Website has a contact form to allow site visitors to report errors, inaccuracies or make enquiries about the content of a web page.

For common University information such as travel advice and building locations there are a existing services with short webaddresses that you can link to:

LJMU - How to Find us (redDot Page ID: 86886)

Useful Contacts (redDot Page ID: 57743)

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Optimising your pages

Our website templates are designed to improve page quality, accessibility and usability, but there are a number of simple steps web authors can use to make sure their pages are easy for users and Search Engines (like Google) to use.

Remember that a page without text cannot be read by Search Engines, so balance your use of images and animations against the need for good textual content. The text is read by Search Engines looking at your pages to determine how relevant it is, and therefore how useful it is to people searching for it.

Every page has an area to edit Meta data, the embedded keywords, description and other information that helps to describe a page and its content. You can edit a list of relevant keywords and enter a description of the information each of your pages contain using RedDot. This information will assist Search Engines internally and externally to understand your site, and rank it accordingly in their results.

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Site Structures and setup

Following training in RedDot web authors are given access to our training project - where you can add, remove, Connect and Reference pages as well as honing skills in content editing. However when you are working on the live site your initial structure is created by the Web Team according to information you supply. This avoids connection problems, and ensures you have the web address structure you require.

Web authors can create new pages and occasionally reference menus, but for most structural changes, please contact the Web Team.

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Connections and References - what's the difference?

When you 'create and connect' a page, the 'connection' adds it to the hierarchical site structure. A Reference on the other hand allows you to repeat content like menus, or to link to pages elsewhere - but doesn't change the hierarchy. When a web author 'deletes reference', this safely removes a references from a page or menu. When a page is disconnected, it can cause problems for the site. If this happens, the Web Team may contact you to help fix the problem.

If the page you wish to reference has a red cross next to it in the search results page, do not reference it, as it has connection problems that need to be addressed first.

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Using RedDot to link pages together

RedDot can update links between the pages it manages - this means if a web author links to another page and that page is moved elsewhere, any and all links to it will be updated automatically. To take advantage of this you need to ensure you use RedDot to manage your links. By searching for pages by their name or ID, and linking to them via RedDot instead of  using their web address (URL), you can concentrate on content without having to worry about lost or missing pages.

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Page Deletion

The best way to delete a page is by removing it from your site by disconnection. Normally, the Web Team will be notified of the disconnection and may contact you to find out what to do with it. You can save time by renaming your page to 'delete' prior to disconnection, and making sure that there are no menus connected (Referenced menus are fine - as they're not structurally linked) to it. If we see a disconnected page called 'delete' with nothing connected to it, we will delete it without contacting you.

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Ensure All images have ALT tags

For some website visitors, images and media aren't accessible. That's why it's essential that web authors add ALT description when adding images to pages. These can be read aloud by screen reader software to inform all our users of the content present. It is always best to add a short description of the content of the image so that all users get the best experience from your page. More information on accessibility and HTML development at LJMU can be found on our Writing HTML page.

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Opening documents in new windows

The New Window dialog option - the preferred method of opening content in new windowsNew windows can allow you to open content for visitors without navigating away from a web page. However some visitors may experience accessibility problems with the usual method of opening pages (the TARGET attribute), or may prefer to be given the choice.

For this reason we recommend you use the additional attribute for opening in a new window instead of the TARGET attribute (which has been excluded from the latest XHTML specifications).

You will find the additional attributes option in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the link editor dialog box.

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Ensure web-friendly filenames for Word, PDF and other documents

On the web, it is essential that you follow filenaming conventions. When adding PDF files, Word Documents or other downloads ensure that you rename your files to eliminate some punctuation characters and spaces. Hyphens and underscores may be used to replace them if required. Copying text from Word or other text editors.

Copying and pasting text from other editors

The RedDot Text Editor Paste Unformatted buttonCopying content from Word documents can add unnecessary or incorrect formatting to your web page. This may result in unexpected layout problems, especially with HTML Tables. For this reason it is always best when copying from other text editors to use the 'paste unformatted' option in the RedDot Text Editor. For further information, see our guide to MS Word and Web Development.

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Page last modified 11 August 2011.

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