Site Navigation 2010:
All of our Departments (excepting Humor and Recipes) were converted to WordPress by 2009. Navigation from the right sidebar is easy and intuitive. This page offers a useful overview of site organization and the navigation choices you have as you visit our pages.
We’ve kept some of our old HTML pages, either because they are legacy pages, or in some cases because their format doesn’t fit into a conveniently suitable WordPress schema.
We upgraded to WordPress release 3.0 in 2010. This put all departments into a common database. While retaining our department structure, the URL for each page changed. This would only affect old bookmarks.
Summitlake.com grows a little larger every year. Here’s a simplified, illustrated, 6-step guide to help you find any page out of over a thousand on this site.
“What’s New” and RSS
Our HOME page consolidates all of our various department “what’s new” announcements, site-wide, in a single place. From HOME, you can read the blurb, click the link to the post, and read any article. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed, receiving these blurbs in brief email announcements to alert you when we’ve posted new content. Each department also has its own feed, but the HOME feed will deliver all of them.
Overview: Organization by Department
Summitlake.com pages consist of an index (“HOME”) page, and several assorted categories of subindex pages. We call our subindex pages “Departments“. Departments include
- La Parola
- My Notes
Under each Department we find numerous articles, essays, photo postings, recipes or other features relevant to that Department’s topic or theme. These may number from a few articles to hundreds.
Some of the larger departments may be further broken down by subtopic. The Writing department offers sub-listings for stories, poems and Bear stories, for example.
TOP Level Pages that apply to all departments
The top level of any computer directory tree means the highest level. “About” pages, copyright and credits notices, and author’s profile are examples of pages that are found at the top HOME level of Summitlake.com. Note that these pages are generally only accessed from the home index page, or, in some cases, from the black Tigra Menu navigation bars.
Below, we list the most common ways you can easily navigate around this site.
1. Tigra GOLD Menu- Root, Department and Page levels REMOVED 3/17/2012
For the time being we had to remove the site-wide Tigra menu. Starting with WordPress 3.0, the drop-down menus slid UNDERNEATH the banner graphic – not fun!
Under the banner image of each department is a menu with the word HOME for the left-hand entry. Clicking HOME from anywhere on the site returns you to our home page. Additionally, on the home page, you will see submenu links for each site department when you hover over the HOME link. Please disregard the rest of section 1 and jump to section 2 (Autolist HTML pages) if you wish.
These nifty navigation aid appears nearly everywhere on the site, including at the top of this page. Hovering your mouse over a heading title reveals the drop-down submenus. Submenus with an arrow contain more submenus. Tigra GOLD menus appear on all the WordPress pages, and some of the updated HTML pages. Tigra menus give you tool-tip hints (descriptions), and they also give you the link’s URL in the browser status bar (bottom).
HTML Pages on their own do not usually have Menus. You can often tell when you are in a WordPress page because the address bar will show a _wp in the directory name. HTML pages usually have a .html or .shtml extension. Recipes and Humor use .php pages but are not WordPress. Page payout looks different on legacy HTML pages, too.
2. AutoList Menus and the Department Level
AutoList is one of the most important and easy-to-use HTML page location features of the whole site. Since the results of a whole directory are too large for a WordPress page, at this writing (March 2009) you can only see AutoList in action in RECIPES and Humor menus.
3. WordPress department index pages
All of our departments have been converted to WordPress index pages, complete with links to feature articles.
Formats: Newer articles of modest length are usually written within the regular WordPress framework. Major new feature articles, and a 10-year archive of older legacy articles, are sometimes still written in the traditional HTML format. We also use Adobe Reader PDF for some larger writing projects.
To index the entire HTML article archive, click a HTML Directory” Index link on the HOME page, when it is offered.
4. HTML department index pages
Offered in Humor and RECIPES, AutoList generates links for every department level page where it is used. NOTE: many older pages have been converted to WordPress. If you are looking for a page you know you saw before, and can’t find it in AutoList, use the Search field in the page’s WordPress department.
WordPress Departments still having many legacy HTML pages also sport the blue “Index” button” to make it easy to browse those pages.
Sometimes, the linked page will replace the page you were viewing. This is fine if the page you are now viewing belongs to Summitlake.com. If it belongs to Yahoo, viewing somebody else’s site from within one’s own site is a bad idea. We now try to link all pages to the “outside world” in new browser windows, but some of our older pages do not do that yet.
5. WordPress Sidebar Browse Features
Under WordPress 3.0, the sidebar becomes one single sidebar for the entire site, meaning that some links are the same site-wide links, no matter what department you are visiting. However, “Permalinks” are specific to the department you are visiting, as are “Archives”, “Categories” and “Search”.
- We offer “Browse By:” links to search Articles by Category
- Use the Archives popup to select all of the articles for a given month/year.
- Use the Categories popup to select all of the articles for a given category.
- Use the Search field and button to do your own custom search by word or phrase.
- Look for links for Departments, Links (offsite), Pages and other link categories. Link categories are customized in each department.
- Tags are listed in the “Tag Cloud”. A Tag is similar to a category, but is individually assigned to each page or post. Tags function more like “keywords” that you have seen elsewhere. The larger the font of an individual tag appears, the more posts have been assigned to it.
6. “Posts” versus “Pages”
Unless a contributor is actually creating content in WordPress, there is no particular reason why a user should care whether content was created as a Post or a Page. You are reading this in a Page, not a Post, so there is no sidebar.
8. Standalone Pages – Pages Without Departments or Menus
Once you’ve begun to appreciate and get used to the Department page organization, you’ll click one of our page links that is already in a new browser window. Or, you’ll find one page on our site from an external link, perhaps from a friend, or Google. First-time visitors viewing a single page may never be aware of all the features our site offers, unless they explore the links on that page.
What happened to the supporting Department and Menu format, and how do you get back to it?
This is the old browser “new window” problem. That is why, in a minimalist move across all WordPress departments, we have finally deleted the code in almost every link tag that caused a link to be opened in a “new window”. 99 percent of all users know what the “Go Back” button is and how to use it.
In other words, as one commentator put it regarding the
"target="_blank"tag, “Some web designers think their sites are so important that any external link must be opened in a new browser window”.
“However, no amount of clever (or stupid) tricks will change the fact that forcing new windows to open is disrespectful and hostile to web site visitors. A number of usability studies have shown that experienced web users will find this behaviour annoying and that beginners will get confused by it.”
We’ve come to agree with this. If you WANT an article to appear in a new window, you’d know you can right-click the link in your browser and choose the “open in a new window” option.
- If your browser created a new window for you to view the new page, the best way to dismiss it is click the “close box”. The old page is right there, underneath.
- Try your “back” button
- Try other links that may be on the page, such as on the header or footer.
- Find the link or button to Summitlake Home.
last updated March 17, 2012
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