Do You Want to Be a Webminister?

Greetings all,

As I announced back in September, I am stepping down as Webminister after Mid-Winter’s. I no longer have the time to dedicate to running our website. If you are interested in stepping up as Webminister, here are the things you need to know.

First and foremost you should know how to use our website. If you have not already, you should register for the website. The site is mostly automated, but you cannot maintain it (easily) without editor privileges. Beyond that, click around and navigate the site yourself. Try to get an understanding of the logic of the site. You will be free to change that logic when it’s your turn, after all.

The second requirement is like unto the first: you need to know how to use WordPress. The nice thing about WordPress is there is a ton of information on how to get the most out of it on the internet. The most important resource is the WordPress Codex. If you ever need an answer quickly, doing a search on your search engine of choice or on YouTube can be very helpful.

Those are the most mandatory requirements. Everything beyond this is recommended but not necessarily required.

As far as languages go, it never hurts to know some XHTML (or HTML 5 if you feel like changing the theme a lot), CSS, and PHP. XHTML and CSS are particularly useful; there is very little PHP editing you will need to do. The site does use a JavaScript for e-mail obfuscation, but editing that requires knowing how to copy, paste, and type.

Speaking of the e-mail obfuscation, you will need to know how to create PNG images with transparency in order to add future e-mail addresses. This process is actually pretty easy and there are free utilities available for it.

I am poor, so I have never spent money on the tools needed to update the site (other than, you know, a computer). I use the following free utilities in order to manage the site beyond WordPress. I’m not linking these because the last test is, if you want to be able to be the Webminister, you have to know how to use the internet to find things.

  • WinSCP – WinSCP is a free and easy way to FTP to the site. Thanks to WordPress, the only reason to FTP is to manage the e-mail address script and images
  • Araneae – Araneae is a text editor that is particularly useful for editing web documents in the code itself. I use it for creating pages like our flyers so I can see tags all nice and highlighted before I copy and paste them to WordPress.
  • GIMP – If you’re too poor for Photoshop (aren’t we all?), GIMP is an excellent alternative photo manipulation tool. Pretty much every image you see on this site, including e-mail addresses, was created in GIMP. Like WordPress, there is a lot of documentation available, and most creations are just a search away.

Those are the tools I use most often outside of WordPress. There are plenty of alternatives, and there are certainly other tools the next webminister is welcome to bring. It’ll be your page soon!

Interested candidates should let the Seneschal know as soon as possible so she can announce your interest to the barony. In the case of multiple candidates, I will recommend the person with more experience with WordPress and with more time for lead and the other for deputy, although the ultimate choice is the barony’s (and the Kingdom Webminister’s). I cannot promise to do a ton of training for some of the deeper stuff on the site, but much of what needs to be done as routine maintenance is fairly easy to explain. It’s the extra stuff like updating or changing themes, managing office e-mail addresses (worst. idea. ever), and organizing The Dredgings that takes more time. If you can figure out an automated system for the latter, I’ll insta-nominate you for ALL the awards.