Welcome to a little insight on how an article is put together from the first step through how a page is built for the Southend Timeline and finally published on line for you to read.
Naturally the first step in any article is gathering the information relating to the subject you want to write about, this can be very time consuming and lead down many dead ends, but slowly the notes mount up and gradually enough emerges to put an article together.
The research can be carried out with my own personal book collection, or a visit to the Library, asking question on Social Media or referring to old newspapers.
ABOVE: Southend Timeline Southend Book Collection.
The notes are scribbled down on scraps of paper and in a book of notes, the biggest problem reading my own writing!
With enough information to warrant the construction of a page, the real work starts transferring the hand scribbled notes (if you can read your own handwriting!) in to a word document.
With so many scraps of paper I'm bound to loose one or two and they always end up out of order so when putting the word document together its back and forth from the top to the bottom of the document and some times even the middle!
So now the research is more or less done (always find a bit more at a later date) and I have the basis of an article together the task of creating an article to publish on line begins...!
The build side of the Southend Timeline is only available to me.
It enables me to access any page on the website directly without having to go through any links, I also lets me select various options such as making a page live or deactivating it, hiding it from the navbar, edit a page or protect a page via a password.
As well as letting me access all the live pages that anyone can view it also permits me to view the hidden pages, these are pages that are under construction, test pages or old pages that are not required any more.
Other options on this page include Add a new page, File Management, Site Stats, Sites Settings, Applications and Mobile Site.
This is the "My Pages" page it lists every page ever constructed for the Southend Timeline, to start work on a new page the green "Add a new page" button is clicked.
The next task is to name the page, this name will be included in the url when the page is made live, so for instants this page was simply called "Build a Page"
With the page named a fresh blank page is displayed, the first task is to create a "Content Box" this is quickly done by clicking the green box, kindly highlighted with a rather large arrow!
However before that is done the page under construction needs to be hidden away, as all new pages are automatically added to the NavBar, so by clicking "Page Options" (hiding under the arrow) a drop down menu brings up various options Rename page, Hide from NavBar, Background Image, Background Music, Password protect and Delete page.
With the page hidden away and a Content Box ready to be used the task of inputting the information gathered begins...
Here we have an empty Content Box the first task is to add the title...
As this page is all about how this page was built the title is naturally "Build a Page"
With the title in place the desired size is selected, here I have gone for size 16 text.
The next stage is to select the font, the standard is Tahoma, I like to change this to Helvetica my standard font for the website.
The text in the title starts off green, whilst the text in the main content box is a dark grey, I always change these to black.
To add a photo it is a little more involved.
First thing to do is click the "Photo" tab this brings up a pop up window.
The new pop up window includes a number of options these are:
My Images: These are photos stored with the host server, it is the one I use most of the time.
My Computer (Upload): If I wish to upload an image from my computer to the website I do it through this option, as well as placing it on the page I am constructing it also places into the My Images folder so that I do not have to go through the process of uploading it again.
Image URL: This is a "hot linking" option, I input the address of a picture on the internet I wish to use and it will copy the picture to the page, it's not one I use too much.
Photobucket: Photobucket is a standalone photo host, this option allows linking photo to the website.
LEFT: The pop up window and the options. The folders seen are the image folders stored on the site.
For this insight into building an article for the Southend Timeline we will use an image already uploaded to the My Images folder.
The Image I want to add to the website is stored in the "Build a Page" folder, so this is clicked on.
This will open a new window showing all the images stored within that folder, it is just a matter of finding the one you want and clicking on it, it will automatically be sent to the page under construction it is just a matter of resizing it and positioning it.
To add a link to another page, firstly I either add a photo or a short line of text, it is then highlighted and the curser is moved over the LINK button to the top of the page.
This opens a new pop up window that enables the location address to be inserted.
A second option is to have the linked page to either open over the page that is being viewed or as I always do have it open in a new page as you might not have finished with the page you are on.
As I build a page I make sure to preform an "off-line" publish, as I would hate to loose all the work if the computer or host had an issue before I could save an article under construction.
As the page is being built in a hidden section of the website, it can not be seen by anyone apart from myself, this enables me to get the page fully built and working before making it live.
Publishing a page either hidden or live saves it as it appears, this is a simple process of clicking on the green PUBLISH button at the top of the page.
Once published the option to continue editing pops up, most of the time it is a case of continue editing it is a relief when you finally get to say no!
When all the construction is finally done and dusted and I have chosen a date to make the page live a few simple steps will enable everyone to read the article.
The first is too move the page from "Hidden" to "Viewable" the page will appear at the end of the task bar at the top of this page, I do not want it there so click on the page and relocate it to the appropriate section normally into the "Feature Articles" folder where you can view and read it.
Naturally the longer the feature article the longer it takes to create the page.
For instance the Victoria Shopping Centre article took over eight months of work excluding research! The main reason was the sheer number of changes I kept making rewriting pieces over and over again and again.
Whilst shorter articles such as the Central Library only take a week or so to build again excluding research.
If I add research time the Victoria Shopping Centre article would have been over two years to research and construct! when you think about it, many probably most of the feature articles will never really be finished as when changes take place they become a part of the history of the site and therefore will eventually have to be added to the article on this website.
Its an enjoyable job charting the history of the town and I hope you found this brief explanation on what goes into running the website is like interesting there are articles already planned for 2015 and in to 2016, just need to get back to the research...