It's a snow day — and the news needs to be shared everywhere — the district website, school websites, mobile app, email, social media, and text — and fast! But who has time to write and post information across so many locations and formats?
The good news is, you don’t have to. Using Create Once, Publish Everywhere (C.O.P.E.) functionality, you can write (or update) your content just once once, and it will post everywhere it needs go!
What does Create Once, Publish Everywhere mean?
Create Once, Publish Everywhere (C.O.P.E.) is a term commonly used throughout the tech industry to describe software that allows you to create or edit a piece of content one time, and then publish that same piece of content everywhere you’d like it to go (and let’s be honest, where your stakeholders expect it to be).
For communication teams of all sizes, C.O.P.E. software acts like an invaluable set of extra hands to help make your job easier and communication processes more efficient.
3 Ways Finalsite’s C.O.P.E. Functionality Saves You Time
For schools and districts using Finalsite’s Content Management System Composer, the three key benefits of using C.O.P.E. that you’ll experience on a day-to-day basis as you manage your website are:
Create or edit a piece of website content, and publish it sitewide
Create a new piece of website content and publish it beyond your website
Simplify accessibility with fewer updates
1.Create or edit a piece of website content, and publish it sitewide
The simplest, and yet still the best part of C.O.P.E., remains the ability to create and edit content anywhere on your website that can be saved for use anywhere else on your website. What used to take hours, or potentially even days, of creating, reviewing, uploading, editing, managing, and sharing the same content across multiple pages or sections of your website has been dramatically condensed to just a few simple minutes with C.O.P.E.
Manage News Updates School or District-Wide
One of the biggest potential time-savers for schools and districts alike is the ability to quickly and easily publish content originally created in the Posts module on any Composer page of your website by using a Posts element. Posts elements allow for granular control over what content from Posts boards and/or collections is displayed with numerous layout, filters, and customization options.
Posts elements are most commonly used to display blog posts and news updates on website pages and can be set to automatically display new Posts on the page whenever new content is saved and published in the Posts module. These automatic updates to Posts elements on your website pages keeps content fresh and relevant throughout the year, encouraging visitors to keep coming back for new content and information, rather than just visiting a page once.
In particular, Highline Public Schools in Washington was able to save hundreds of hours of work when they switched to using Posts to manage their news content.
“Previously, we’d either have to manually post the story ourselves to each school website, or send it along to our web editors at each school. Now all we have to do is hit a button and the content is where it is supposed to be, instantly,” said Tove Tupper, Associate Director of Communications at Highline Public Schools.
“We’re saving a few hours of time every week just on posting news,” Tove added. Read more in our Highline Public Schools success story about how Highline streamlined the process of managing their website and content by switching to Composer.
C.O.P.E. Across All Composer Modules
C.O.P.E functionality isn’t limited to just website content. Content edited, added, or removed to Composer modules like Posts, Constituent Manager, Resources, Forms, and Calendars are reflected everywhere else on your website that same element is located.
For example, if you’ve uploaded a really nice graduation picture to Resources to use as a header image for your graduation microsite, but later discover that the image needs to be cropped or is missing accessible alternative text (more on this later), you can edit that image directly in the Resources editor, and any change made to that image will be reflected live on your website wherever that same graduation image is uploaded once the changes have been saved.
Resources also makes it quick and simple to upload new versions of older images, videos, gifs, documents, etc. through the Replace Resource feature. Rather than tracking down a resource across potentially dozens of pages, this handy feature empowers you to overwrite the original version of the same resource wherever it’s displayed by uploading a new version one time in the Resources module, undoubtedly saving you hours of time.
Shared elements allow you to save commonly used custom elements you’ve created, and then reuse them throughout your website with a centralized editing location. Site admins can then add saved shared elements to a page just like any other non-customized element, though, the saved element will retain all customizations when added to a new page.
Common examples of shared elements that we see on school and district websites, some of which we use ourselves, include saving commonly reused calls-to-action (CTAs), navigation elements, interior page sidebars, infographics, maps, sliders, and simple content elements that schools can save and reuse on future pages.
Merchiston Castle School in the UK uses the same navigation element on the top left of each interior page of their website as a saved element to prevent having to build a new navigation element each time they add a page to a section, such as the Admissions or Academic section of the website.
Shared Elements allows schools to quickly grow their element library with ready-to-use presets that can be added to any page, significantly reducing the amount of time needed to build and edit your school’s website. Even if that shared element exists on 100 pages, you can edit it within the “Shared Elements” module once, and the change will be reflected everywhere.
Linked Pages make it quick and easy to duplicate and reuse entire pages across multiple navigation menus.
Linked Pages are invaluable time-savers as they eliminate the need to recreate entire pages from scratch. Instead, you can simply create a new page as normal, but then select the Linked Page tab in the New Page pop-up menu. Linked Pages are connected (or linked) to another page that you select. This can even extend to external pages not found on your website.
Download Your Copy of The Finalsite Composer Datasheet
2. Publish the same content to many of Composer’s modules
When a piece of content is created or edited,, it can can show up up across your website, emails, Finalsite mobile app, social media feeds, and push notifications with just one click of the publish button. You can finally say goodbye to spending hours duplicating the same updates across all platforms your school or district uses to stay connected with your community.
Automatically Pull Content into Email
Finalsite Messages, our email communications and newsletter tool, also features an extension of C.O.P.E. functionality called “dynamic content.” Dynamic content empowers you to automatically pull in content from the Posts, Athletics, and Calendars modules to send in an email.
Dynamic content for your emails dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes you to build and send emails to your community by replicating the content already added to your live website similarly to how C.O.P.E makes it easier to build your website by replicating the same content and updates across your website wherever the same element or page is located.
Messages, Mobile App, and Push Notifications
Messages still has one more nifty feature up its sleeve that makes use of the same C.O.P.E. functionality. Not limited to just an email communication platform, Messages also allows website admins to send the same message, in a slightly modified form for mobile communications, as an email and SMS text message at the same time without the need to recreate a message from scratch just for mobile communications.
The simple ability to send communications to email and text messages at the same time broadens your reach and allows you to easily and efficiently communicate with your school community. Some parents don’t always check their email every day, while others don’t always check their text messages every day. The same goes for students. Now you can ensure that you’re reaching your community on the platform they use the most, without additional effort.
Finalsite will soon expand this even further with the ability to publish the same content at the same time with the click of a button to emails, text messages, voice notifications, your mobile app, and site notifications at the same time to truly create an expansive all-in-one communications platform built on the original power of Composer’s C.O.P.E. functionality.
3. Simplify accessibility with fewer updates
Considering that around 15 percent of the world’s population has some form of disability that can make using your website a challenge, the Accessibility Checker found across Composer expands on the idea of C.O.P.E. by ensuring every bit of content that you add to your website is ADA-complaint.
Composer’s Accessibility Checker makes it easy to quickly scan for a large number of common accessibility issues, such as: missing alt text, improper use of headings, and incorrect or vague links.
When the quick scan is finished, a pop-up window will report all of the accessibility errors and suggestions it found, if any are present. A brief explanation is provided, as well as a quick and easy way to correct these errors or oversights through the Quick Fix button.
For content managed in Posts, Calendars, Composer or Resources, any accessibility updates you make will be reflected anywhere on your website where you reuse that same content.
For example, if you notice an image that exists on 10 website pages has been added without ALT text — all you need to do is enter the ALT text once, and it then exists site-wide.
School communications often need to be published across multiple platforms, and in short order. Using Create Once, Publish Everywhere (C.O.P.E.) tools, you can easily redistribute content across your website pages, mobile app and email newsletter. These time-saving shortcuts will help you get the information where it needs to go without sacrificing on design, quality, functionality or performance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite’s Product Marketing Specialist, Andrew writes blogs and creates videos to share information about all the latest and greatest Finalsite products. Andrew has more than 10 years of video production experience and a journalism education from the University of South Carolina. He is excited about bringing his experience and expertise to Finalsite.