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Prepare your county site for transition

When you are ready to convert your county site to the new system and format, contact Kate Akers to get the process started. You will need at least one person to dedicate several hours a week for the average conversion process. More or less time may be required depending on the scope of existing content that will be converted.

Initially, a member of the Web Team will consult over the phone with the website manager about the existing content and file organization. Below is a summary of what we'll do before starting the conversion. You can speed the process along by reading through and thinking about these tasks. If you feel comfortable doing any of them, go ahead and get started.

You can use MS FrontPage for all of these tasks.

1. Comb through your county site and eliminate out-of-date and unused files (use the Unlinked Files report in FrontPage to help you identify them). You can back these up to your hard drive if you want to save them (File --> Export). When you delete files from the server, also make sure you are deleting any links to those files on the pages. Use the Hyperlinks view in FrontPage to check for links to the files before you delete them. Instructions: how to find unlinked files

2. Check for broken links. You may copy-paste some content from old pages to the new system, including links to external resources. Checking links before you start will save time later. Instructions: how to check for broken links

3. After deleting old and unused files, use drag and drop within FrontPage to move all images (.jpg, .gif, .png) into the images folder. You can create subfolders inside the images folder to organize them (i.e., /adair/images/4h/ ).

4. After deleting old and unused files, use drag and drop within FrontPage to move all downloadable documents (.doc, .pdf, .ppt, .xls, etc.) into the documents folder. You can create subfolders inside the documents folder to help keep files organized (i.e., /adair/documents/4hnewsletters/ for your 4-H newsletter PDFs and /adair/documents/plansreports/ for annual reports and plans of work). 

Note: The only two folders that will be used in the new system for storing files are images and documents. We will no longer use HTML files as all page content will be housed in the database.

5. Audit newsletter archives and other sets of old pages/documents, considering carefully whether they still have value. Newsletters older than two years may have outdated information that could misinform customers if found via search. Also consider whether it will be worth your time and effort to convert HTML newsletter archives one-by-one to the new authoring system.

Old newsletter archives tend to add unnecessary "noise" to our search engine results, sometimes taking precedence over more current and timely information and thereby confusing and frustrating users. So we ask that you really pare down the archives unless you are sure they are still accurate and not redundant of newer information on our site. If you are uncertain, try searching for the articles in question on our site search and see if newer articles on the same topic come up. (For example, if you have an article on safely handling turkey, search for: safely turkey. If your article is not one of the newest, it's time to dump it.)


Note:  Your old HTML files will remain available on the server as long as needed after your newly converted site "goes live." We will not delete the old files until you are sure you have converted or archived everything.

  Kate Akers, Technical and training support
  DeeAnna Adkins, Editorial style and design support