Need help for Malawi Wildlife Society website - expanding


(Dave Montreuil) #1

Thanks for reading! I have volunteered to rebuild the website for the Blantyre branch of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi. So far it has been quite successful, but only informs about my area Blantyre. There are nine branches, and each branch would now like a section for themselves.

I can see 2 ways forward…

  • My preferred option would be to have one welcome page, that would send you to one branches of your choice. Each branch would be compartmentalized and have its own menus and would function as its own website. That way each branch could update by itself after the initial set up.

I have tried this… The main url is www.wildlifemalawi.org. I have tried to create a new sub-website and publish to this url - www.wildlifemalawi.org/lilongwe. Sadly the whole website would not open at all, and I had to wipe everything before I could publish the original website again. But would something like this work, without trying to get 9 more domain names?

  • The second option, would be one huge website. This is worse, as one person (me!) would have to do all the updating for the whole of the country. The landing page would send you to each branch. But I would like to have the menus for each branch tailored to that specific branch - once you are in a branch it should feel like its own website, and not lead you back to the original landing page. So the menus would only start at the second level, after you have arrived at the branch you want. Is there a theme or way to do this?

Thanks for any advice!

Ciao, Dave


(Brad Halstead) #2

@davemontreuil

This is possible…

Your landing page would be it’s own site and publish to the root (www/public_html/_public or however your server has it configured) of the server. Make sure to uncheck show in navigation so it stays the landing page ONLY.

For links on that page to the various chapters of the org, you would first have to create sites for each of them and use external page type instead or URL links from the Landing page being sure to have the root folder set for each subset as a dedicated root folder on your server… i.e. publish path might be: your domain.org/public/blantyre for the Blantyre site and your domain.org/public/lilongwe for the Lilongwe site. This will allow you to use a different Theme for each site with it’s own internal website navigation menu. You can go so far as to add a docroot meta tag to say that each subsite’s docroot is http://mydomain.org/blantyre.

The other option I see is having your host set up subdomains so you can have your landing page as specified, your sub-domains could be blantyre.wildlifemalawi.org and lilongwe.wildlifemalawi.org

Either way is about the same result as the sub-domains would point to a folder on your server just like specified in the first method. Publishing would be pretty much the same, etc

HTH
Brad


(Dave Montreuil) #3

Hi Brad,

Many thanks for getting back to me! I am glad that it is possible. I would prefer to do things by your first method, but I am afraid I do not quite understand all the steps in making it happen. Let me explain what I think I understand, for clarification :slightly_smiling:

  • I will use Cyberduck for ftp to clear the website as it is now.
  • I will create a small new website in rapid weaver for the landing page with 9 links for the nine branches. I am putting an extra space in the url because this forum won’t let me use more than 2 urls :slight_smile: This will be http: //wildlifemalawi.org (this is the current website url)
  • Then I will create 9 different sites with Rapidweaver. These will be named http: //wildlifemalawi.org/blantyre. Do I need to use the word public as in http: //wildlifemalawi.org/public/blantyre? I would choose not to if that can be avoided.
  • I can publish the new landing page as normal, but I would need to create subfolders for each branch - with Cyberduck ftp I am guessing? Or can I just specify the new path in Rapidweaver and it will be created for me? Once the subfolders are up and running, I would publish each of the branches mini website from separate Rapidweaver projects.
  • I am lost about external page type - never heard of this before. I was just going to use the url of the new project. Help on what I would have to do exactly would be appreciated!
  • I am also lost on how to the docroot - do I paste in each branches website under metatags? I am guessing just once on the landing page for each branch, such as Blantyre? And would there be more code than just http://wildlifemalawi.org/blantyre? I imagine the word ‘docroot’ must come in there somewhere.

Sorry I need so much help - I am a volunteer (of course!) and use rapid weaver for its simplicity - but this is beyond what I find simple - so far!

Ciao, Dave


(Brad Halstead) #4

Hi Dave

Absolutely

Absolutely

If your root level on the server is /public that’s where your landing page will go with it’s assets, are you planning on more pages for the root site? The url http: //wildlifemalawi.org/ would be your configured for the landing page site URL and in the publish settings you would add the /public folder as you currently have it set up.

When you define each additional site, the project setting would be ur: http: //wildlifemalawi.org/lilongwe but the publishing folder would be /public/lilongwe to define the root folder for each additional project so /lilongwe should be the only thing that changes in both the project settings and the publish settings (IOW, you would need to make a NEW publishing bookmark for each site to specifically define it’s root on the server)

Don’t waste your time, RapidWeaver will do it for you or if you really want to be safe, yes you can create these folders manually off of the /public folder for each site. and the rest of the question replied to above

Never mind on this point, just create your landing page as you normally would and add links to the sub-sites as normal. I misspoke on this one sorry for the confusion.

You shouldn’t need to worry on this one either as RapidWeaver will manage the sub-sites for you.

Hope that clears the mud a little :wink:

Brad


(Brad Halstead) #5

@davemontreuil

Just to be clear

  1. You’re going to need 10 unique projects (1 for landing page and one for each branch)

  2. You’re going to need 10 unique publishing bookmarks, one for each project

landing page info
Site Preferences URL http://wildlifemalawi.org
Publishing Setting path: /public
DO NOT use the folder names of each branch in this folder other than to link to

Branch: blantyre
Site Preferences URL: http://wildlifemalawi.org/blantyre
Publishing Setting path: /public/blantyre

Branch: X
Site Preferences URL: http://wildlifemalawi.org/name of next branch (change as the branch name changes)
Publishing Setting path: /public/folder of next branch (change as the branch name changes)

That should be more clear…

Brad


(Dave Montreuil) #6

@Turtle

Thank you so much for helping! Nothing was working easily for a long time and I had given up for a bit, but I had another go this morning.

Using /public did not work at all for either the main landing page or the sub-sites for each branch. I would always get a unfound page in my browser when looking at the site.

In the end, I found the site preferences and added http://wildlifemalawi.org/blantyre like you said, and for the path in the publishing setup I just had to /blantyre - and voila! It is now working the way you suggested and they I wanted it.

If you are in Malawi in the next few years, let me invite you on a small safari, as a way of saying thanks!

Ciao, Dave


(Brad Halstead) #7

Glad to hear it @davemontreuil, thank you for the update!

Brad