Documentation – Overview of how to maintain the alumni website

The IDRC alumni website is maintained in an open-source CMS (Content Management System) called WordPress.  This is perhaps the most popular CMS in a field of hundreds.  It has the main advantage of being easy to use, but lacks the robustness required by large enterprise sites.  Well, this is neither a large site nor a complex site; WordPress is the perfect tool for this site.

One aspect of robustness is the handling of personal information, including online transactions such as purchases or making reservations.  The alumni site does neither, so this is not a concern.

Some basics about working with WordPress

It is necessary to log on as an editor of the site to create, update or remove content.  See Credentials, below, for more details.

Logging in

You must log in to the website via WordPress to edit the site (See Credentials below). Once logged in, you will see in part:
WordPress start screen

Navigating the website

While logged on, you can still see the site more or less as the public sees it.  The main difference is that you will see a WordPress menu bar above the website pages. If a website page is not visible, you can get to it by clicking WordPress website home icon in the WordPress menu bar.  Do not your browser’s home icon.  You can now navigate through the site as if you are a visitor to the site.

You can also use multiple tabs or windows using your browser to see different pages on the website. Once logged in, all tabs in the window used to log in will also be logged in to WordPress. You can tell that you are in WordPress by the WordPress menu bar, described below.

The WordPress menu bar

The WordPress menu bar is black with white text, shown at the top of the widows (usually below your browser’s menu bar(s)). It may look something like:
the initial WordPress menu bar
As you navigate through the site and work on specific pages, the items in the menu bar will change. The items of interest on the menu bar are:

  • WordPress website home icon Go to the IDRC alumni home page
  • Visit the WordPress dashboard (described below)
  • Create a new page
  • Edit this page
  • View this page

Credentials

You will need to log in to the website via WordPress, and you may need to access the files directly via an FTP program such as FileZilla.  If you are very computer technical, you may also want to log in to cPanel, which will give you access to absolutely everything.  In all cases, you will need a user name and a password.  The passwords you need are not documented on this site.  Instead, you will need to ask a website maintainer.  At this time, it is either Chris Smart or Ed Brandon.

Accessing the site using WordPress

  • URL: https://idrcalumni.ca/wp-admin
  • user: idrca617

Accessing the files using FTP

  • Host: idrcalumni.ca
  • User: idrc617

Accessing the site using cPanel

  • user: idrc617

The WordPress dashboard

WordPress dashboardThe image to the right shows the WordPress dashboard, which oversees all activities related to maintaining the site.