A guide to Surlingham.org
Version 13 Jun 2017
Surlingham.org is the community web site for the village of Surlingham, Norfolk. Whilst it is a source of information for both visitors and residents, it was primarily developed to help community groups publicise their news and events in an easy and effective way. In addition, a village calendar endeavours to keep track of all events which are going to take place – so do let us know about them, as they are planned.
Surlingham.org has been deliberately set up so that organisations and groups can post items onto the site themselves and not have to rely on a single site administrator. These news items are emailed directly to those who have registered to ‘follow’ the site and are also visible to those who just ‘visit’. In this way reminders and updates of upcoming events can easily be sent out.
Surlingham.org was established in April 2012. It is independently run and non-commercial. It currently has about 200 ‘followers’. Almost all the village groups make posts, including the Parish Council. As well as publicising events, the site has been used in diverse ways from finding old friends for a hundredth birthday party and displaying photographs from the children’s art club to advertising local jobs. Also, we have followers in Canada and Australia who either used to live here, or are trying to trace their ancestors.
We welcome constructive comment. Please bear in mind however that we are doing this on a voluntary basis and that we can’t always please all the people all the time!
How can I receive news and events via email?
This is called being a ‘follower’.
- go to Surlingham.org
- click the + Follow in the very bottom right of the window. You will be asked for your email address.
Every time you receive an email you will be given an opportunity to ‘unfollow’.
How can my organisation or business be listed on the site?
Just send the administrator (see end of this document) the group name, a one sentence or so description, a contact name and phone number (optional) and a web site link if you have one. To avoid spamming it is best not to give an email address.
What material is suitable for Surlingham.org?
A rule of thumb is that information on the site, and posts should be of particular interest to those who view or follow the site, i.e. those who are residents, visitors or have a connection to Surlingham. For instance, we are willing to include events in neighbouring villages or events in which Surlingham residents are playing a role. Website policies can be found under ‘Special Interest’ on the site.
How can I be authorised to place posts for my group or organisation?
We encourage groups to make their own posts (= be an ‘author’). This means that news on the site comes from a broad section of the community, and enables organisers to word their own publicity and issue reminders and updates as they think fit. Just email us (via ‘Contact us’ or the administrator) and we will authorise you. Making a post is not technical, (the instructions are in the next FAQ) and only takes a few minutes. Future changes of author are quite easy so you are not committed indefinitely. We do ask, however, that all posts are of potential interest to the whole community and not just within-group communications. As an author you are writing on behalf of your group or business, please do use the site for making personal posts or for any group OTHER than the one you have been authorised for. If in any doubt please use ‘Contact Us’.
I am an author for a group, how do I place posts?
WordPress, which hosts the site is irritating in that it often makes changes and expects the user to find their way around intuitively. There are often several ways of doing things. At time of writing the following describes a way of making a text only post which allows you to check a draft (=preview the post) before publishing it. To insert an image or document see the next FAQ.
(i) Log in to the site using ‘Useful services’ on the right hand side half way down. You will need your email address or username and a password which you will have set up earlier (previous FAQ). This should take you to the WordPress ‘Dashboard’ screen. (If not obtain this via ‘WP Admin’ on the left hand strip.)
(ii) Under ‘Quick Draft ‘ type in the title and the body of the text.
TIPS Make the title ‘catchy’ to encourage people to read the post. Also, only the first few lines of the main text – 50 words or so – will be visible when followers initially open the email – they have to click to see more. So it is a good idea to ‘entice’ the recipient with these. And we would rather not include email addresses as this invites spamming.
(iii) Click ‘Save Draft’. Now click ‘view all’ to see a list of drafts including your post. Click ‘edit’ to get to ‘Edit Post’. You can now click ‘Preview’ (on left) to have a look at how the post will appear on the site. Click edit at base of the previewed message to go from there back to Edit Post to make any changes, and perhaps save the draft again.
(iv) When you are ready to publish your post onto the site, click Publish.
Whilst you are logged on as author you can edit your own, already published posts. BUT BEWARE, this MIGHT send a new email out to everyone.
Useful: Use ‘My site’ and WP Admin from a preview screen to return to the dashboard.
I am an author for a group, how do I attach a document (e.g. image, word, pdf)
Again WordPress keeps changing this so these instructions may vary. To show a whole single page poster within the post save your document on your computer as an image file (e.g. .jpeg or .png). If you want to attach a word (.doc) or pdf document be aware that these will only appear as a link from the post, and that it is best if they do NOT contain any email addresses.
One way to include your document in a post follows. Do (i) to (iii) above to write the text which will accompany the document and get to the Edit Post screen. (For pdf or word files It is a good idea to use the text to give some idea of the content of the document so that followers can decide whether they want to open the link or not.)
From the Edit Post screen, place the cursor where you want the image or link to be (although it tends to ‘move’ a bit and we don’t know why). Then click ‘Add Media’ followed by ‘Upload files’. Click ‘Choose file’ and select the file from your computer to upload it into the site library. Then select its icon and click ‘Insert into post’. You can preview and make edits as described in (iii) above (for instance to re-position the document in the text). When you are happy click ‘Publish’.
I am an author, how can I include a link to a web site in my post?
If you want to place a link to a web site in your post it is best not to include the address explicitly but to say ‘Click here’ and enable the user to ‘click’ through to the site directly. You can set this up as follows.
Log on to Surlingham.org and write the text for your post in the usual way but type ‘click here’ in the appropriate place. It is best to put this lower down i.e. beyond the first few lines (because the link will only open when the user is on the site, not when it is in an email in their Inbox). Open a new window, go to the web page you want to link to, highlight its full name and copy it. Return to your post, highlight ‘click here’ then click on the ‘chain’ symbol ‘Insert/edit link’, in the URL box which appear paste in the name of the link, tick ‘open link in new window’ and click ‘Add link’ . Use Preview in the usual way to see what you have done and test the link – the ‘Click here’ should now be underlined.
Can I get my business listed?
We will list and provide a web link to businesses of particular interest to Surlingham residents and visitors. This is free at present but we may ask for a donation to e.g. church funds in due course. Send us some text, in a similar format to the current listing via Contact us or as described below.
Thanks for your support
Paul and Louise Swift, 42 The Green, Surlingham 01508 538495. To contact us by email use ‘Contact us’ on the site.