ProsePoint Express: hosted newspaper website content management software

Courier-Tribune.com

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9 replies [Last post]
News_designer
User offline. Last seen 6 years 40 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts:
It’s been a long, three-and-a-half month journey, but the newspaper site I’ve been working on since January went live early this morning: http://www.courier-tribune.com/
__________________

Katrina
Digital media designer and webmaster for a small daily newspaper
www.courier-tribune.com

beng
User offline. Last seen 4 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 27/02/2009
Posts:
Congratulations

Congratulations Katrina!

Thank you for posting and all the best.

ithacaindy
User offline. Last seen 7 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/03/2010
Posts:
The site is gorgeous. As a

The site is gorgeous. As a local publisher, I've been tempted by ProsePoint to where I want to eventually shift to the platform. Can I ask what front page configuration you chose? Also, how are you handling ads - is it via a Drupal module or hand-placed? Thanks, and congratulations on a news design that is good on the eyes.

 

News_designer
User offline. Last seen 6 years 40 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/01/2010
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A little more info

Thanks. When you install ProsePoint, you have the choice of starting with a "blank slate" or a "demo site" (though I have forgotten exactly what each choice is called when you do the install). I chose the "demo site" so I'd have material already in the site to work with as I revised the CSS and added modules and experimented with ideas and possibilities.

So the overall design is based on the settings in the "demo site" .., though heavily revised. I created my own sub-theme so I could revise the CSS to my liking.

The paid ads are being served through Yahoo APT, which plugs into Drupal via the CASAA module ... which turned out to be relatively easy to use to create the "tags" that APT looks for when serving ads. We're still working some bugs out, because the tags we have are based on the URLs ... and our stories don't have the section they belong to in their URLs (because they can belong to more than one section). I'll be working on that today to get that problem fixed (if I can figure out a solution).

Our "house ads," however, are served through the Drupal Ad module ... which one of our techs had to revise so it would work properly, as there are some bugs in the module that cause it not to display ads properly without some tweaking. (I'm a designer, not a coder, programmer, or developer; fortunately, there was a Drupal-savvy tech available at the media company's flagship paper ... on the other side of the country.)

We've been getting a lot of compliments on the look and layout ... I did extensive research on top-rated and awad-winning newspaper websites, as well as on the growing number of Drupal-based newspaper sites in the Morris Communications stable (they've been transferring their newspaper websites over to Drupal, one at a time, for several years now). But I've also been a graphic designer (mostly print, until recently) for more than 15 years; it was important to me to create a design that was "easy on the eyes."

__________________

Katrina
Digital media designer and webmaster for a small daily newspaper
www.courier-tribune.com

ithacaindy
User offline. Last seen 7 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/03/2010
Posts:
I Appreciate Your Comments

I appreciate your comments. I had considered using the "demo" option to fully-populate the site, but always went the other way. When I makeover the site this weekend, I'll likely take your advice and chose the "demo" option. The other item I need to find is a bullet-proof Drupal module to import hundreds of WordPress articles.

As a non-tech, no-design word person, ProsePoint can be initially daunting. However, rather than fitting your content into someone else's design, the platform permits flexible layouts. After so many years of rather limited design possibilities, we've forgotten that people pick up papers every day and are able to scan a page.

As a newspaperman, I enjoy seeing examples of online papers like the one you've developed. Because we are completely online, our presentation must be perfect - and as I've recently discovered through a big crash with WP and Joomla - able to handle expansion.

 

 

BARKADAKO
BARKADAKO's picture
User offline. Last seen 7 years 8 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/05/2010
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layout/css questions

thanks for sharing your site!  congrats on the launch earlier this year.

if you have a moment, i'd love to pick your brain on how you made some of your customizations to your sub-theme.

  1. LOGO and INFO MENU alignment: i'm working on a site that wants to show their graphical logo instead of the text to represent their name and slogan. http://www.nsfreepress.com/ ... how did you line up your newspaper logo with your search box?  which file did you have to edit?
  2. CLICKABLE PHOTO CAPTIONS: how did you make photo captions clickable?!  as i understand it, it's not an out-of-the-box feature for ProsePoint.  would you mind sharing how you did that?!!!
  3. FOOTER LINKS: i love what you did with you footer links with the columns.  any chance you'd share how you did that?  is it a block?
ok.  thanks.  please forgive all the questions.  i still consider myself a newbie at ProsePoint.  i appreciate any insight you have to offer.
News_designer
User offline. Last seen 6 years 40 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/01/2010
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Answering your questions

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you; I’ve been buried in further development work for new features on the site.

Anyway, here goes:

1. Logo placement: Our logo is actually a background image in CSS; it's two images side-by-side in one JPEG. The CSS is set up so that when you roll over the logo, the text changes color (because the image shifts position within the logo box to show the other half of the JPEG).

Lining up the logo with the Search box just required tweaking the CSS until I was happy with the result.

2. Clickable photo captions: I’m guessing that you're referring to the fact that the photographer credit links to the photographer's bio page? That’s done by adding a Photo CCK fieldset (in the Story content type) that includes a CCK image field for the photo, a CCK nodereference field for the photographer's credit line (so that the credit links to the photographer's bio page), and a CCK text field for the caption. I came up with the idea after seeing the way that the byline in the Story content type is a nodereference to a Source node.

3. Footer links: Yes, it's a block -- a menu block. The footer links are a menu that has been designed with CSS to display each “parent” menu item in a separate column, with the “children” links displayed underneath each “parent.” The pain-in-the-neck part of that process was trying to get it to look good in IE. (I work on a Mac, so I'm in Safari and Firefox all day long.)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

__________________

Katrina
Digital media designer and webmaster for a small daily newspaper
www.courier-tribune.com

BARKADAKO
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User offline. Last seen 7 years 8 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/05/2010
Posts:
THANK YOU!

katrina, thank you so much!  i really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions!

i've been trying to figure out this logout layout situation for a while and your solution seems perfect.   i'm a CSS newbie and i'm having a hard time understanding how custom themes/sub-themes override the parent theme so i have just a couple more follow-up questions:

  • any particular reason why you chose to put the logo in the background?
  • in the ProsePoint theme configuration admin area, did you check or uncheck the Logo checkbox? my theme = tma_custom:  ../admin/build/themes/settings/tma_custom
  • which css file(s) did you actually set up or edit to make those css edits?
  • i saw the code for when i right-clicked logo file in firefox.  is this what you were talking about in terms of positioning the background image?
  • <div id="adx_al" name="adx_al" style="position: absolute; cursor: pointer; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 954px; height: 400px; z-index: 1; background-color: transparent;" onmouseover="adx_ls_98051[0]|=2;" onmouseout="adx_ls_98051[0]&amp;=~2;" onclick="adx_C_98051(0,9);event.stopPropagation()"></div>
  • i also noticed your code for linking the background image to the homepage: 
    <a rel="home" title="Home" href="/">&nbsp;</a>  but where is that code exactly?  which file?
  • i also saw that you set up #logo and #logo a in http://www.courier-tribune.com/sites/default/files/css/css_25671c49104f0f5d247c09f5c159a197.css  ... are you editing css files from the original theme or was this a brand new css file that you created from scratch?

sorry for all the questions.  i'm just trying to understand and figure this out!  thank you so much for your time!  i really appreciate it!

ardith

News_designer
User offline. Last seen 6 years 40 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts:
More details

In response:

  • Logo in the background: Because it allowed me to create a rollover effect, so that the color of the title changes when you roll over the logo (as a way of alerting you to the fact that the logo is also a link -- in this case, a link back to the home page). There are other ways to achieve this effect ... but using CSS and a background image was the simplest solution for me to implement.
  • The Logo box is checked for the theme, and there is a 1-pixel image serving as a placeholder for the logo; the size of the logo space is set in CSS to be the right size for half of the background image (as I noted earlier, the other half of the image only shows up when you roll over the logo).
  • The CSS files are in the custom sub-theme I created for the site. If you're looking at our CSS files on our site (through Firebug, for example), you're looking at the aggregated CSS file created from ALL (or nearly all) the CSS files on the site (from themes, modules, etc.). The aggregated file includes the CSS files that make up the custom sub-theme I created for the site.
  • Logo links to home page: I believe this is part of the tma2 theme that is the "parent" theme for my sub-theme; I don't think I had to do anything to make the logo link to the home page.
  • CSS files: As I noted above, you're seeing the aggregated CSS file created by Drupal -- admin/settings/performance, choose "Enabled" in the "Optimize CSS files" section. Because there are so many CSS files (due to the number of modules), Internet Explorer will not load all the CSS files. So I have to use the CSS optimization (aggregation) to combine all (or nearly all) the CSS files into one. The aggregate includes the CSS files from the custom sub-theme I created.

I hope this helps a little!

__________________

Katrina
Digital media designer and webmaster for a small daily newspaper
www.courier-tribune.com

BARKADAKO
BARKADAKO's picture
User offline. Last seen 7 years 8 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/05/2010
Posts:
thank you

apologies for the delayed thank you to your responses!  i'm a new mom and it's easy for me to get sidetracked plus i was away on a trip and now i'm back.  i truly appreciate you taking the time to share these details about your site.  i'll let you know how it goes and if i'm able to accomplish what i had intended with mine.

take care!

ardith