Requests for minor unit office changes (quick updates that include changing dates, links, removing content, etc.) can be emailed to Constance Moulder at email@example.com. The standard completion time for unit office updates is two-three business days. All update requests should be combined into one email.
As a reminder, make sure to include the VCE logo, VCE full indicia statement and ADA statement (when applicable) on all documents (printed or electronic) that are distributed publicly including promotion for workshops, events, seminars, classes, organizational meetings, and newsletters. Requests to post items that do not have this information will be sent back to the client to be updated.
Requests for new unit office pages and extensive content revisions and additions must be submitted via the Online Project Request System. Instructions for completing the online submission form for a unit office website update are featured on the Local Unit Website Requests page.
— Constance Moulder
You may have noticed by this point that the Extension website has a new look and lots of new pages of information. The goal of the redesign is to make the site more user-friendly by putting your important research and outreach information front-and-center.
What’s new on the homepage?
The biggest change you’ll see is that the homepage has a rotating banner to highlight multiple news stories at the same time. The old format only allowed one news story to be shown. The confusing navigation has also been simplified to be in a horizontal, drop-down format. Important links are in the right sidebar and appear on every page in the site.
The middle section of the homepage is where programs, topics, events, and urgent notices can be featured, using our new feature buttons. We also have a feed to our new news blog. The events feed is manually created, so if you have an event that appeals to a large audience, send it to us to be posted.
What are topic pages?
Topic pages can range from being a primary source to housing links to another page or site. For example, the Home Food Preservation topic page contains basic overview information and links to the popular publications under this category. A topic page like this allows casual browsers to find information without needing to navigate the publications database. This will in turn drive more visitors to specific publications categories to increase exposure.
Topic pages are also more search-engine friendly. By utilizing keywords and linking to related topics, information will be easier to find when users search on Google or Bing for a specific topic they are interested in.
How to get your own page
The redesigned website launched on Oct. 16, and we are continuing to build topic pages in the order in which they were requested. If you would like to have a topic page to showcase your research and allow easy access to your publications, please either fill out the request survey or take out a job request in our Job System.
We hope that you have had a chance to explore the new and improved Virginia Cooperative Extension website. Thank you to everyone that has contributed content to the site so far.
As you will see, there are many opportunities to promote programs, events, impact, and educational content through the homepage and topic pages.
However, we need your help to keep the content fresh and engaging. Here are a few of the ways that you can help us.
1) Submit an article for the Extension News Page.
- The best articles are educational in nature. We want to move away from the after-the-fact/event articles, to more education-related topics. These would be similar to what you might submit to a trade publication or as a column in a newspaper.
- You can still submit an article about an upcoming event or program, as long as you include an educational component, such as “here’s one of the things you’ll learn…”
- A post-event article can also be submitted, as long as it includes how the program/event impacted the target audience.
- Articles must be in your area of expertise.
- Please have at least one person review the article for the educational content before it is submitted.
- Articles should be between 350 and 500 words. This is based on research that shows 350 words are the minimum to be indexed in Google, and people don’t have the attention span to read more than 500 words.
- Include a list of topics that your article should be associated with. For example, if you article is about pumpkins, you may want to tag it to: specialty crops and agritourism.
- Submit your article and photo (300 dpi) to Lori Greiner. Research has shown that articles that include photos will receive more views than articles that don’t.
2) Make sure to post your programs and events on your local VCE calendar.
- We will be selecting programs and events to feature on the calendar each week. Priority will be given to those events that are open to the entire state. If you have an event that you would like to have considered for the homepage, please submit your item to Brandi Evans.
3) Please notify us of any trainings or certification classes that should be featured on the homepage.
- We require that an informational page be created on the website for any training or certification in order for it to be linked from the homepage. If you have content that you would like to have included, please submit an online job request.
4) Submit suggestions for the spotlight and featured topic pages.
- We will be developing a monthly calendar and we are open to your suggestions. Some topics make more sense to feature at certain times of the year. Send your suggestions to Lori Greiner.
5) Submit content for a new topic page.
- We realize that there other topics/sub-topics that should be included on the website. If you have content that you feel would make a good topic page, please submit your request online job request.
We thank you in advance for your contributions to the site. If you have any specific questions, please contact either Lori Greiner or Susan Gill.
Take a look at the progress of our Extension demonstration garden throughout 2014, some of challenges we encountered, and the outcome at the end of the summer. We used the garden for a variety of educational workshops and activities for youth and adults.
You can contact the Amelia County Extension office at 804-561-2481. The video was produced by Laura Siegle, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Amelia County.