UFW Site Management Resources

laptop on desk with houseplant and bookcase in the background.

This evolving resource contains important information to assist site administrators and editors in site construction and maintenance.

Open Labs are conducted from 9:00-10:00am the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. These sessions are recorded and posted here for reference. Use the contact form below to submit topics for discussion at an Open Labs session.

Zoom Meeting: 9:00 a.m. on 1st & 3rd Thursday of month. See newsletter for details.

Open lab videos [YouTube Channel]

April 4, 2024: [65 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:00
March 21, 2024: [54 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:00
March 07, 2024: [59 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:03 Intro
  • 9:05 Preview UFW Project Page
  • 9:12 Preview change to Chapters page & ask all sites to link that page from the state chapters page.
  • 9:22 Blocksy Navigation block
  • 9:41 Gravity Forms – auto-Reply via email.
  • 9:49 Demo Perplexity search engine.
  • 9:52 Question: how to remove “All Events” link from top of event detail page. Not answered, but Debbie recalls that Craig has solved that. Will wait for his return.
  • 9:55 Question: Tim has problem with Titan email auto-fwd not sending. Not solved yet.
Videos of previous sessions
February 15, 2024: [57 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:00 Q&A (is there a way to automate/schedule Gravity Forms replies)
  • 9:09 Content Blocks – creating custom menus and hero banners.
  • 9:32 Using code snippets to apply content to multiple pages on a site with a single edit point.
  • 9:39 Horizontal Scrolling Announcements – several examples and how to create and insert.
  • 9:49 Configuring WP Mail SMTP to resolve contact form notification issues.
February 1, 2024: [67 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:00 Showing the typed password for a password protected page.
  • 9:14 Adding a Border to password entry on password protected pages
  • 9:17 County Icons (Favicon) displaying in browser for your site
  • 9:19 Gravity Forms sending error from Contact page when email address is incorrect
  • 9:27 Counties can manage their own UFW issued email addresses
  • 9:34 Favicon publishing rights issue… that ‘went away’
  • 9:42 Beyond UFW – Sharepoint access to members of the Public
  • 9:45 Duplicate Page – plugin vs ‘Copy All Blocks’
  • 9:47 Events – separating Public events from EMG only events
  • 9:54 Add YOUR plant sale to the State UFW site
  • 9:57 Menu for Password Protected pages (ie Volunteer Portal.
January 18, 2024: [77 min] – click to see content list.

This session is all about customizing the formatting for mobile devices if/when needed.

  • 9:00 Introductions
  • 9:05 Template site – overview
  • 9:12 Start Mobile – Scaling Hero Images
  • 9:40 Carousels on mobile
  • 9:45 Mobile Menus
  • 9:55 End Mobile – Admin: adding Admins to Template site – UFW News & Notes
December 07, 2023: [56 min] – click to see content list.
  • 9:00 Budgeting for 2024
  • 9:21 Tech issue with Events Calendar
  • 9:24 Questions
  • 9:25 – Stripe Payment Processor intermittent payment issue (Clark County)
  • 9:30 – Fillable PDF & Excel forms are not fillable on some browsers (Grays-Pacific)
  • 9:36 – Site Statistics, what is part of the system & what is Google Analytics (Island)
  • 9:48 Comment: use of Google Workspace for Non-Profits vs. coming initiative by WSU/Foundation, it uses SharePoint & MSOffice 365. 
  • 9:59  Coming in 2024… 3rd Thursday, we’ll cover Mobile.
November 16, 2023: [67 min] – click to see content list.

November 2, 2023: [50 min] – click to see content list.

events calendar public/private separation, WooCommerce possibilities, King County issues with accordions in Firefox, hover text on social icons, the mobile experience, November/December open labs schedule, Clark County url for menu items, breadcrumb review, scrolling (fixed) Hero Image, carousel scroll rates, redirecting old site at go-live, site emails (basic or office365), user roles and capabilities.

October 19, 2023: [53min] – click to see content list.

block editing toolbar functionality and document overview section, accordions (2 types) – how to use and style, moving blocks using the document overview section, a look at Pierce County plant sale page concept, aligning Hero image content, adding icons to buttons, a look at King County fund raising thermometer, short discussion of html and javascript permissions, page redirects when search engines index old urls after changing them on site.

September 21, 2023: [52min] – click to see content list.

changes to editing toolbar, mobile display-menu’s and buttons, css for password page to add border for input field – unresolved, menu icon review and icons for blocks and buttons, how to open menu item in new tab, exporting contact form entries, site statistics, numbering post slugs

September 7, 2023: [60min] – click to see content list.

Menu Icons plugin, Admin Menu Tree Page View plugin, Page hierarchy – Usability & Web Accessibility (yale.edu), accessibility testing, Island County ask about member directories and need for captions, adding a GivePulse logo and link, some general discussion to make Open Labs better.

August 17, 2023: [61min] – click to see content list.

adding GTranslate to menu, menu item spacing, breadcrumbs revisited, displaying newsletter posts, adding GTranslate to menu

August 3, 2023: [48min] – click to see content list.

site translation using GTranslate, HTML anchors (aka menu anchors), member databases – maybe try PODs plugin.

July 20, 2023: [49min] – click to see content list.

post feed (query loops), preventing comments, breadcrumb options, general discussion – King County events, stock image discussion.

July 06, 2023: [41min] – click to see content list.

parallax image and other settings in Hero banner, menu title attributes, discussion of plugin updates, which counties are in the pipeline.

June 15, 2023: [1hr: 20min] – click to see content list.

mobile menus, changes in block formatting (WP or plugin updates?), security and backups, replacing media, Tablepress, carousels, options for future MGFWS podcasts.

June 01, 2023: [50 min] – click to see content list.

QR codes (static vs dynamic), Secure PDFs using PDF Embedder plugin (pros and cons), Site management resources page (changes and goals), customizing social icons, site security

May 18, 2023: [56 min] – click to see content list.

creating site redirects, allow search engine indexing, Cloudflare dashboard. zip archive and local hosting of old site, Google Analytics, formatting blocks with shadows.

May 4, 2023: [1hr: 34min] – click to see content list.

responsive sites, pages, blocks, block visibility on small devices, embedding Google map code, block sizing (spacing, paddings, margins) and more.

April 20, 2023: [1hr.-18min] – click to see content list.

menus (mobile & footer), fine tune formatting for mobile, site accessibility, embedding & viewing PDFs.

April 6, 2023 [48min]
March 30, 2023 [12min]
March 16, 2023 [27min]

Submit a topic(s) for Open Lab discussion

Click to open submission form.

Category for Open Labs questions (select all that apply)(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pseudo Staging Sites (testing and training)

True staging sites allow you to make edits and view changes that are not visible to the general public prior to publishing those changes to the live site. Our pseudo staging sites have limitations.

Since we do not currently have the ability to offer “TRUE” staging sites, we are rolling out pseudo-staging sites where you can play to your heart’s content.  These pseudo-staging sites will only be visible to those who know the URL and will be configured to discourage indexing by search engines.

Below are answers to some questions:

  • What can we do on these sites?
    • Anything you can do on your live site.
      • Activate and test available plugins.
      • Experiment with page layouts.
      • Create and view new posts and pages without publishing them to live site.
      • Train new users.
      • Anything you want to do.
  • What can’t you do?
    • You won’t be able to directly publish your pseudo site to the live site.
    • You are unable to download and install new themes or plugins.
    • You cannot delete themes and plugins.
    • or change the URL of the site.
  • When will we have to access our pseudo-staging site?
    • The process has begun to create these sites with a completion target of January 4, 2024.
  • How will we access our site?
    • Access to the sites will be the same as accessing your live site.  In fact, once logged in you will see and be able to access your county’s live site and the staging site from “My Sites” at the top of your admin menu.
    • It will be important that you keep an eye on which site you are editing so you don’t confuse the two. You are encouraged to develop a routine of checks and balances to help you. 
    • You can create a separate user login for your staging site to isolate the two sites if you wish. – this step will be explained at open labs.
  • How will we publish our changes to the live site?
    • It is recommended that you test changes in the staging site then copy the blocks and paste them in the live site, review the changes then update your live site pages.
  • What if we don’t want a pseudo-staging site for our county?
    • Don’t use it, it can be removed from the system if it becomes confusing for your team.
  • More questions?
    • Be sure to attend the Open Labs sessions on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 9:00am.

Getting stared with Mike Peronto [YouTube Channel]

Dashboard overview & simple pages

Events and venues

Basic contact form

Site accessibility

Video – Designing for accessibility – WordPress.tv

Theme and plugin videos

Customizing Blog Archive Page – Blocksy Theme.
Grow Beyond Posts & Pages with Pods – introduction.
Build anything with Pods – a workshop.

Email and SMTP

Domain email

Does your county provide domain-based email accounts for board members and others? Are using Microsoft 365 accounts?

  • Our hosting provider offers Titan email with 1GB storage,
  • Microsoft offers Office 365 non-profit accounts which provide Office apps, Exchange email, 1TB Onedrive, Sharepoint and more..
  • Let us know if you wish to use either of these email options so we can facilitate your configuration.
SMTP & Contact Forms

Contact forms send email and you may have problems if not configured properly. We have a plugin to help.

  • WP Mail SMTP allows you to configure your site to send email in a manner that reduces the chances of it being tagged as spam.
  • You can see an explanation here about why a plugin like WP Mail SMTP is desirable.
  • DMARC message in WP Mail SMTP may be ingnored if you are using Hostinger’s Titan email because DNS is configured with an alternative DKIM. You don’t need to know the technical description, just ignore DMARC messages.
  • Let us know if your Contact form emails are not being delivered or you have questions about setting up WP Mail SMTP..
Configure email app for Titan IMAP email
  • Email address: Your full email address
  • Password: Your Titan email Password
  • Incoming server: imap.titan.email
    • Encryption: SSL/TLS (Port: 993)
  • Outgoing server: smtp.titan.email
    • Encryption: STARTTLS (Port: 587)
    • Encryption: SSL/TLS (Port: 465)

Domain Forwarding

Retention of your previous domain and forwarding it to your new site is a recommended option for maintaining continuity between your old and new sites.

It is important to begin the discussion early to identify the necessary steps to take for your specific configuration.

Gutenberg vs. Classic Editor?

What’s best for you and how to select your preference.

The WordPress Gutenberg editor has become the default WordPress page editor and undergone dramatic improvement since inception. However, many users find Gutenberg intimidating and clunky with a preference for the Classic editor or other options.

Two plugins have been added to give site admins classic editor options.

  • Advanced Editor Tools
  • Classic Editor

Gutenberg remains the default editor, but Classic and/or Classic Paragraph may be selected when selecting a block to insert.

Once a Classic block has been inserted, the user may toggle between Classic and Block view for that block. But if a Gutenberg block was first inserted, it will always be a Gutenberg block.

Breadcrumbs – two methods:
  • Blocksy native breadcrumbs
    • Add shortcode block and insert the text blocksy_breadcrumbs and enclose with [ ] brackets.
    • In Customizer – General – Breadcrumbs; select Default as the Breadcrumbs Source
  • Breadcrumb NavXT – 2 ways to accomplish this.
    • Add shortcode block and insert the text blocksy_breadcrumbs and enclose with [ ] brackets.
      • In Customizer – General – Breadcrumbs; select Default as the Breadcrumbs Source
    • or insert Breadcrumb Trail block
      • Format in Settings – Breadcrumb NavXT
This is a scrolling marquee
  • Activate the plugin ” Horizontal Scrolling Announcements”
  • Find some examples on the Horizontal Scrolling Announcements page of Template site.
  • See this page on the Template site for instructions.

Blocksy Content Blocks

The Events Calendar

Useful CSS

/* remove left/right arrows to other events from bottom of individual events */

.tribe-events-nav-pagination {
display: none;

/* remove “All Events” link from top of single event */

.tribe-events-back {
display: none;

/* remove event series breadcrumb from single event – use if show series slider on edit series view doesn’t work */

.tribe-events-series-relationship-single-marker {
display: none;