Instead of publishing a static .pdf like the Best Practices guides of years past, the updated recommendations are now available in a wiki-based site. The site is meant to serve as a living, breathing environment, allowing stations to easily search for key terms, ask questions, and share feedback or anecdotes from your own experience with blog-style commenting features. This format will allow PBS to continually collaborate with stations to update and refine the documents as online technologies evolve. Of course there's still the option to download a printable version, if you prefer.
During the initial BETA phase, the guide provides several tips and suggestions about ways stations can be empowered to build better online experiences with fewer resources. Key topics include:
- Design & Usability
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Streamlining your process
- Recommended reading for tips from experts outside the system
More areas are under development, and coming soon. If there are areas you would like us to cover, or if you have experience in an area under development and would be willing to help contribute, please let us know!
Some of the topics that are still being compiled include:
- Recommendations for Joint Licensees
- Content Strategy Development
- Social Media Strategy
- COVE/video integration
We know time is of the essence, so there is also a "Best Practices in 10 Minutes" section which highlights the important topics of the guide at a glance. Use the following link to access the Best Practices guide http://projects.pbs.org/confluence/display/bestpractices/Home and feel free to leave your comments.
PHP Site Templates
As part of the BETA release of the Best Practices guide, PBS is also making PHP-based site templates available. These templates can be used by member stations interested in redesigning their web sites. The templates can be customized through CSS and include graphics that showcase the latest PBS branding package. Please note: these templates should not be used unless you are already familiar with PHP and CSS.
If you use these templates, please let us know how you used them and what you think! Like the Best Practices, your feedback will help us make improvements and inform future products: http://www.pbs.org/remote.control/toolsindex/tools/toolkits/Beta%20Best%20Practices%20Templates/index.html
If you have any feedback about the usefulness of the new Best Practices guide or the PHP templates, please contact the SPI team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.