Quick-start guide for setting up your public site

An intro to theme config, pages, menus, and blocks
Written by Sharlene Kowk
Updated 4 months ago

Overview
Selecting and Activating your theme
Theme configuration
Pages
Menu
Blocks


Overview

One public site theme is included with your for no additional charge.

Navigate to the Admin > Public site area to enable your public site. Once your theme is chosen open up further settings and content options on the  Admin page under the Public site heading.

These options are how you will manage all of your public site content.

Would you like to use a custom domain name for your site?

Your site is created at one of our subdomains, but you can move it to your own custom domain by contacting support. You will need to purchase and maintain your own domain name from a DNS registrar (like GoDaddy, or EasyDNS). You only need to pay for the name, as hosting is covered by us.

Selecting and activating your theme

The  Basic Settings is where you can enable your theme, and set the name of your group site - which will appear in various places on your public site theme.

The "public site mode" will let you turn the site off and on, or put your site into "construction mode". While in construction mode, you will be able to see your public site, but the public will not.

You can also select your theme from the list of available themes (currently there is only one theme available). Once you select a theme and save the page, configuration items specific to that theme will be available via tabs along the top of the basic settings page, and under the public site settings heading on the Admin page.

Make sure you Save any changes!


 Theme Configuration is where you can upload a copy of your logo, banner image, and connect your social media accounts. Logos in a landscape style will work best with most themes as they don't take up as much vertical space. The site theme will resize your logo automatically to fit in the available area. Your banner image should also be a landscape style image, and should be of high-quality.

 
A dpi of 90 works well for maintaining image integrity, while still loading quickly on the page. Your banner image displays in the "banner" block.
Blocks are discussed in detail below.


 Pages

You can add as many pages as you like, including creating your own with HTML and uploaded images. Creating a page will also create a link in your public site main menu automatically, which you can move or delete later, or drag under another menu item to create a hierarchy. You can read more about this under the Menu section below.

One or more pages can be "promoted" to the front page of the site, by setting the value in the Front page column to "Promoted". This will cause the page information to display on the front page of your site. it will also still be available as a menu item which will link to its own page.

By default, your site is created with one page - "About". This is a great place to introduce your site visitors to your group! You can edit it, or add new pages, by going to the  Pages area on the  Admin page.

You can add a page by going to:
Admin Settings & Tools > Public site > Pages, and clicking the "add page" button on the top right.

Creating a Contact Us form page

A common practice in web design to is to have a "Contact Us" page where visitors to your site can reach you. You may just want to list an email address, but you can also create a Form that is check-marked to allow the public to fill it out, and it will automatically appear as a page option for your public site. Common elements to add to a Contact Us form is a field for the visitors name, a field for their email address, a select option for common topics (but perhaps include and "other" option as well, in case they're not sure what to choose). the last element to include would be a text area so that they can write you a short message.

Note: You will not want to assign this form to any roles or subgroups since it's for people who are not already part of your site. You should make sure this form is exposed to the public.

Menu

This page will let you edit the order and hierarchy of your public site menu links, just by dragging them up and down, or under another item (which creates sub-menu items). You can also disable them (don't forget to press Save!), edit them, delete them, or reset the built-in items to their default values.

Your site will automatically add menu items in some cases - such as adding a menu item for the Store if your store is set to be accessible to the public. Your site will also add a menu item for Events as soon as any events have an invitation to attend or volunteer set to "All accounts".

New menu items are created by adding Pages. You cannot add a menu item all on it's own. To add a menu item for a page, edit the page and checkmark the "provide a menu"  checkbox, and then press save.


 Blocks

Blocks are pieces of content, smaller than pages, that can take a spot on your public web site. There are built-in blocks, like the "Banner" block, and you can create your own with any HTML or images that you like. It's important to note that not all blocks should be used on your public site. Some blocks are special, and meant for internal use on the  Home tabs for your logged in accounts or Admins. The titles of the blocks indicate their purpose. The ones with information for your members, like "My events", will only display information for logged in accounts, so it wouldn't make sense to use this on the public site pages.

You can read more about blocks here.

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