During the Spring 2007 semester, Contribute became the primary web editing and publishing tool for institutional websites at Las Positas college - those web sites beginning with the URL: http://www.laspositascollege.edu.
Due to the limited licensed copies of Contribute available, not everyone will receive a copy of Contribute at their workstation. The Innovation Center will have copies available for faculty and staff to use who wish to maintain an institutional website.
Faculty Instructional Websites - those with the URL http://lpc1.laspositascollege.edu - will not be affected.
In the past, most college web pages were developed using a mix of Dreamweaver templates and HTML and required a level of specialized skills in order to update and manage web content. The new website will use a content management system called Contribute to edit and publish content on the Las Positas website. Publishing content to the web via Contribute will not require knowledge of Dreamweaver, HTML, or any special programming.
Contribute will enable a team of trained web content coordinators to follow a simple 3-step process to browse, edit and publish changes to web page content for institutional pages on the website. Allowing individual department “experts” access to their specific area of the site will streamline the process – edits will not be funneled through the Webmaster.
We can also ensure that current, accurate information is posted on the website, while maintaining consistent design standards. Authorized users can edit web pages directly in Contribute and, in some cases, can even merge content from existing Microsoft Office documents into web pages.
The "Rollout Plan"
Exact dates and events of this tool's "rollout" will be forthcoming to all planned Institutional Web Content Coordinators currently managing a website.
The Innovation Center in Room 2410 will have copies of Contribute installed for faculty and staff to use. You may also learn about this tool from the Contribute website.
What is Contribute?
As a combined web editor and browser with a minimum of “bells and whistles”, Contribute will allow Web Content Coordinators to do the following actions that are currently difficult or not possible with Dreamweaver:
- Work on your website and view it using one tool instead of editing it with a web editor and viewing it separately with a browser.
- Log in to a website by browsing to it and clicking an “Edit” button instead of having to remember the exact URL (and getting error messages if you forget).
- If you maintain more than one website, easily know which website you are working on instead of confusing one website with another.
- Type or paste text into a web page without fear of corrupting the template.
- Paste text into a web page with little or no post-formatting necessary.
- Create links to documents on your computer without having to upload them and (potentially) loose them on the server.
- Maintain an institutional website if you are a Mac OS X user.
- Collaborate with another colleague over a website using the same tool, even if they use another platform, i.e. Mac OS X.
- Work on your website without worrying if another colleague is also working on the same site at the same time.
- Convert an entire Microsoft Word document into a web page in one step by dragging/dropping the Word icon onto the web page.
- Drag and drop web-ready images (.jpg and .gif) from your computer to your web page and edit the image's properties in Contribute (such as image size, cropping, brightness, contrast, etc.) without having to learn and use Photoshop.
- As images and tables are added to a web page, get friendly reminders to add web accessibility features without having to remember to manually add them later.
- Save a web page as a draft hidden from the public; retrieve it later by clicking a button.
- Preview your web page before making it live by clicking a button instead of having to open a browser and view it separately.
- Create and maintain your webite without having to keep a separate folder of Web pages and related files on your computer.
For the technical staff (Webmaster and Computer Support), Contribute will make it easier to support the college website infrastructure compared to our current Web tools:
- Less follow-up training to help staff who “forgot how to upload”, create a web page, etc.
- Implement and maintain current web standards (PHP, CSS, etc.) without worry of current tools (e.g. Dreamweaver), disrupting them, resulting in time saved.
- Requires less time to train college staff in maintaining a website (about 60 minutes) compared to training with Dreamweaver (currently 90 to 120 minutes).
For more information about Contribute, please visit the Contribute website.