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Web Communication

Open Lab coming to WSU Spokane

Hello WSU Spokane!

Web Communication will be on campus to help with any WordPress, online registration, or Qualtrics questions that you might have. All are welcome, so please spread the word. As always, please come when you can, and you stay as long as you like.

All sessions will be in SHSB 260

Wednesday March 15th
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
3:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Thursday March 16th
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Intro to WordPress – March 2017 Edition

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU, or who may need a refresher, is welcome to attend.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 7 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am

If you are on the Pullman campus –
please come in person

WHERE: ITB 2025


If you are not on Pullman campus

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/336679405

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3112

Access Code: 336-679-405

Intro to WordPress – January 2017 Edition

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU, or who may need a refresher, is welcome to attend.

WHEN: January 19th @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

If you are on the Pullman campus –
please come in person

WHERE: ITB 2025


If you are not on Pullman campus

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/732487421

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3131

Access Code: 732-487-421

Share your feedback on the WSU Spine

Hello! WSU Web Communication is working on the next generation of a web framework for use as a base throughout the University. This framework will be made up of several different pieces, including the WSU identity, WSU web identity, and a general toolkit for working on the web at WSU.

In many ways this will be similar to what is now the WSU Spine, which has been the central framework for University sites since June of 2014. The Spine provides the vertical navigation, WSU identity, and mobile friendly framework that is behind much of the web at WSU.

We have a lot of great ideas for where we want to take the new WSU Web Framework, and we’ll be sharing and developing those in the open. First, we want to take a look back and apply the lessons we’ve learned from the WSU Spine project over the last several years.

It would be extremely helpful to have your feedback. If you’re a WSU web reader, editor, developer, or have any interest at all in the future of the web at WSU, please consider completing the WSU Spine Feedback form.

WSUWP Platform analytics now tracked with Google Tag Manager

The plugin managing analytics on the WSUWP platform has been updated to use Google Tag Manager (GTM) as its method for tracking site, application and global analytics. This change affects sites hosted on the central WordPress platform and is not yet a suggested change for other WSU sites.

Managing these Google Analytics tracking IDs through GTM allows us to make changes to how events are tracked in a central area without requiring code level changes across all WSU sites. Our hope is that experimenting with GTM on WSUWP Platform sites now will allow us to have a more robust tracking system deployed in 2017.

No actual changes have been made to how the data is being collected. When these changes are made, we’ll communicate them here so that you’re familiar with the reporting possibilities for your site.

The Google Tag Manager interface only affects how the data is collected. To see a site’s analytics, you will still use the standard Google Analytics interface.

If you notice any issues with analytics tracking on your site, please reach out via Slack, Open Lab, or email to Bob Frank and we can work with you to make any required changes.

Intro to WordPress – Pre-Holiday Edition

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU, or who may need a refresher, is welcome to attend.

WHEN: December 21st @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

If you are on the Pullman campus –
please come in person

WHERE: ITB 2025


If you are not on Pullman campus

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/650835853

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 650-835-853

Intro to WordPress – November Pullman & Virtual Edition

WHEN: November 10th @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


If you are on the Pullman campus –
please come in person

WHERE: ITB 2025


If you are not on Pullman campus

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://www.gotomeeting.com/join/977028845

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (408) 650-3123

Access Code: 977-028-845


This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU, or who may need a refresher, is welcome to attend.

Spambot / Ghost Filter Expanded – Deployment Recommended

Google Analytics ghost filter

A dramatic increase in spambot / ghost referral traffic was noticed over the past two months in Google Analytics reports. To block the spambot / ghost data from corrupting your sites’ analytics, a substantially expanded spambot / ghost filter was developed and tested.

The previous filter was designed to stop about 25 of the biggest spambot / ghost offenders. The new filter is designed to stop about 225 of the leading culprits.

Web Communication will continue to monitor GA data/reports for new spambot/ghost offenders, and eventually will create a second filter. (We hit Google’s character limitation with this expansion.)

Website/Google Analytics account managers are strongly encouraged to deploy the updated filter as soon as possible. (Please note: Departments that are partnering with Web Communications to help maintain Google Analytics accounts/properties have already had their spambot/ghost filters updated.)

If you are maintaining your own GA accounts/properties, here are the steps involved. (Estimated time: 1-2 minutes)

  • Log into your Google Analytics account.
  • Select a Google Analytics account.
  • Click on “All Filters.”
  • Select the ‘referral spam bots ghosts’ filter.
  • Highlight and DELETE the old “Filter Pattern.”
  • Copy and paste in the following filter pattern in the same field:

(.*(rich|uptim|websi|money|rank|site-|seo|keyword|sexy|share|search|traffic|porn|-?social-?|-button|o-o-|semalt|Get-Free|buttons-|darodar|cookie-law|compliance-|law-|ilove).*)\.(com|net|org|biz|co|es|online|info)|.*\.(xyz|it|рф|top|xn|me|ga|рф|cf|ro|ru)

  • Check the first and last characters to make sure the entire filter pattern was accepted, and nothing was cut off.
  • Click ‘Save’.
  • Exit the account.

Thank you for your help in keeping WSU analytics accurate.

**Special thanks to Jeremy Bass for his expert coding in creating this filter.

“Skip to” links for screen readers added to the Spine Parent Theme

The 109th release of the WSUWP Spine Parent Theme, version 0.27.1, was deployed earlier today. It finally adds helper links for screen readers that make skipping straight to the main content or the primary navigation much more pleasant.

Hit “Tab” on your keyboard once when a page first loads to see a Skip to main content link. Hit “Tab” a second time to see Skip to navigation. Hitting “Enter” on either of these will focus your keyboard on that area of the page, making it easier to navigate through other portions from there. Note that if you’re logged in, you’ll get a Skip to toolbar link first to help with WordPress navigation.

The concept of bypassing blocks of content is described as part of WCAG 2.0 2.4.1.

If you notice any issues related to this implementation, please let us know via a new issue on the Spine Parent Theme repository. And drop in on open labs every Friday morning to discuss!

Edit CSS updated with new features on WSUWP

Version 2.2.0 of WSUWP Custom CSS has been released and deployed to the WordPress platform at WSU.

This release contains a handful of things that may be interesting to anyone spending time editing CSS on their site.

Edit CSS now supports easy saving via AJAX. Rather than click “Save Stylesheet” every time you have a change to save, you can use CMD-s or CTRL-s on your keyboard. A message will briefly show at the top of the screen showing the progress of the save and then you’ll be able to continue working.

Support for full screen editing is also available. Hit ESC on the keyboard whenever the cursor is focused on the Edit CSS window and the code editor will fill the browser window. AJAX saving with CMD-s and CTRL-s works in this view as well.

Thanks to Nate Owen for both of those changes!

Also of note:

  • The CSS preprocessor settings have been removed. These never actually worked in our implementation, so now the clutter is gone. 🙂
  • The font-feature-settings property is now supported.
  • Multiple display properties are supported in a single CSS rule.

Enjoy the changes. If you have any requests for missing properties or new features, please open an issue on GitHub, stop by a weekly open lab, or leave a note in the WSU Web Slack.