Organize your news with categories and filters

Is your group a news-making machine? Do your site visitors need a way to cut through all those news posts and view a single topic of interest? Then we have an update for you!

Now you can include filters at the top of your news index page. The filters will appear automatically, in a dropdown menu, if you have created and populated news categories on your site. Any category that is populated (i.e. tagged) with at least one news post will appear in the dropdown.

Screenshot

The filter dropdown lists all of your news categories.

This all assumes, of course, that your site uses the News plugin, which is optional for sites built in the WUSM Web Theme. (Would the News plugin make your life easier? Send us a request to have it installed on your site.)

See the tutorial »
Includes instructions for categorizing (and de-categorizing) old posts

Deciding what your categories should be

When developing categories to use for your news posts, keep these guidelines in mind:

Audience: Who is visiting your site, and what kind of information are they looking for? Categories should be meaningful to these people. If you have “external” visitors who aren’t experts on School of Medicine lingo and acronyms, try to steer clear of those.

Bonus points if you get feedback from people in (or close to) your target audience! For example, current fellows can provide great insights into prospective fellows’ thought processes.

Concise: Try to keep category names short so they stay on one line in the dropdown menu. This will make it easier for people to scan their options. Ampersands (&) help too!

Quantity: Create enough to be useful, but not so many that visitors feel overwhelmed.

Now you can show news images on your homepage

Do you have great images for your news posts? Now you can show them off on your homepage.

If you set a featured image for a news post, the image automatically appears in two places: At the top of the news post itself, and as a thumbnail on the main news index page.

Our latest update enables you to show the featured image on the homepage as well. (This assumes you’ve opted to show your three most recent news posts on the homepage. If you haven’t, learn how here.)

Three news posts showing thumbnail images above the post headline.

Showing images with your news posts can make your homepage more visually appealing and draw more attention to your news.

Showing news images on the homepage is an all-or-nothing option. For that reason, we recommend it only if you consistently have appealing featured images for your news posts. You also can choose to enable or disable this setting at any time.

See the tutorial »
Includes how to update news settings for your homepage

If you don’t add a featured image to a news post, a gray placeholder image will appear instead (see below). This placeholder appears only on the homepage; it will not appear on the news post itself. If you enable this option and find that your homepage consistently shows a sea of gray, you may want to revert to showing your news posts without an image.

Screenshot of news posts with default image in gray with shield

News posts that don’t have a featured image will display the placeholder shown in the center post above.