If you are a non-technical person and manage the content for your website (often done in a Content Management System, or "CMS"), there's some general actions you need know how to do. I’ve listed some reoccurring challenges we've seen non-technical websites administrators struggle with.
Note: I didn't focus this blog on instructions for how to achieve these tasks, partly because it is different for Mac and PC (and that would make a much lengthier blog). How you achieve each of these will also change over time with changing technologies. It's up to you as a website admin to keep up to speed with the “how”. The good news is that there's a ton of easy instructions on the internet. For example search for "how to take a screenshot on a PC". Like Edison said, "Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration". Practice, and continually challenge yourself to make these tasks commonplace. Best of luck to all you website administrators out there!
6 techy things you should know how to do as a website administrator:
- Know how to take a screenshot. A screenshot is simply an image file that captures whatever is currently visible on your screen. Being able to take screenshots is important for many reasons, but ultimately it lets you easily share a snapshot of what you're seeing with someone else. For example, maybe you're having a hard time describing something you're seeing to a friend, you could just take a screenshot and email them the picture.
- Learn 'Tabbed' web browsing. Most modern web browsers (the software you're currently using to view this page) offer what's called "tabbed browsing". In short it lets you have multiple websites open in a single browser, and makes it much easier to navigate between them without having to open and close a bunch of windows. It's particularly helpful when managing a website because you can have the CMS back-end open in one tab, and the public front-end in another.
- Know the address bar. When you visit a webpage, such as the page you are on, your web browser will display the location of the page on the internet in the "address bar". It's usually located at the top of your web browser, and for this page the address should look like:
This address is often referred to as the 'URL'. The importance of this is that sometimes you may want to share the address of the page you are viewing with a collegue or technician and so understanding how to share that address is important.
- Know how to resize and/or crop a picture. Resizing a picture is simply the matter of making it bigger or smaller, either in dimensions or file size. Cropping is about cutting off a certain part of the picture, or reshaping it to fit a preset image box. If you're inserting images into website content, both skills can be very valuable. Most commonly you'll probably want to know how to decrease the file size of a picture: it makes it quicker for your visitors to download and in some cases will be required (i.e. if you're taking a massive picture off a digital camera, it might not upload to your website without being sized-down first).
- Practice Copy & Paste using the keyboard shortcuts. Most users know how to select text, then copy and paste it using a file menu or mouse click, but it's also possible to copy and paste using your keyboard. This will vary slightly between Mac and PC, but knowing how to copy text using the keyboard shortcuts will not only save you a lot of time while managing content, but in some systems will be required.
- Be familiar with your CMS rich-text editor. Every Content Management System is different: from WordPress to SilverStripe, each has its own set of features and ways to go about completing certain tasks. However, most all of the popular CMS' (two we've already mentioned) use a common rich-text editor for editing the content and so once you learn one, you can often apply that knowledge if you ever use a different CMS. Regardless of the rich-text editor your CMS uses, you should be comfortable with the following tasks: inserting a picture, creating and manipulating a table, managing text, adding/editing/removing links, and breaking one line V.S. two. Being comfortable with your rich-text editor and the tasks we mentioned will make for better layout of your pages, and speed up your content tasks.