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News

Estimated reading time: 4 min

News posts can be targeted toward the public, limited to your membership, or both. News posts can be seen on your website, viewed remotely through your RSS feeds, emailed to select members/mailing lists, and can be included in Congregate’s weekly recap email.

Creating News Posts

    1. To create a public and/or member news post, click “New” under News and Events > News inside of Congregate Admin.
    2. Select the date for your news post. This date can be in the future and Congregate will automatically post the news on the date selected.
    3. If you prefer to have your news post expire and automatically be removed from display, select an expiration date.
    4. Provide a title for your news post in the “Title” field.
    5. Add the body/content of your news post in the “Content” field.
    6. Check the “Active” checkbox to have your news post displayed. Uncheck the box if you want the news post hidden from display. Use this feature if you want to start a news post draft and return to editing/posting it later.
    7. If you wish to have your news post emailed to your members, groups, or mailing lists, select them from the “Email News Post” dropdown menu. Select “None” if you do not wish to email your news post. News posts will enter a queue and be emailed within one hour or less upon posting or will be emailed on the scheduled post date. There is no way to cancel the sending of emails after your news has been posted.
    8. Select the audience for your news post: the public, members-only, or both.
    9. Click “Add” save and/or post your news. Click “Cancel” to cancel your post.

Managing News Posts

To manage news posts, click “Manage” under News and Events > News inside of Congregate Admin. There you will find a list of all your news posts, including posts that are inactive, posted, scheduled, and/or expired. 

To edit a post, simply click its title or edit icon.

To permanently remove a post, click its trashcan icon.

To bulk update posts, check the checkboxes next to the applicable posts and select one of the following from the “Checkbox Options” dropdown menu: delete, make active, or make inactive. Then click “Apply.”

Displaying/Viewing News Posts

Public News

Public news posts can be displayed on any public page of your website and can be viewed remotely through your RSS feed.

Displaying Posts on Your Website

To display public news posts on your website, select the page you wish to display your posts on via the “Public News Page” selection dropdown on the “Options” page under News and Events > News in Congregate Admin.

If you do not wish to show public news posts or have a public news page, simply select “None.”

Viewing Posts Remotely via RSS

Your visitors can subscribe to your public news posts and view them remotely using an RSS reader/application. If you have a public news page active, your RSS feed is activated automatically. Visitors can click the RSS icon/link on your public news page to subscribe to your public news post feed. You can view the “RSS Feeds” page under News and Events > News in Congregate Admin to view the URL of your feed(s).

What is RSS?
RSS stands for “really simple syndication.” It is an easy way to remotely distribute content to a wide number of people. It is used by computer programs, applications, aggregators, etc. which organize feed headlines and content for easy reading (without the reader having to go to individual websites to gather content). RSS feeds require an RSS viewer or app in order to display their content. If an RSS feed reader is not installed or configured on a viewer’s device, your RSS feed link may appear as XML code in their browser or their browser may display an error message. This is normal behavior and does not represent an error in your feed.

Member News

Member news posts can be displayed on any member page of your website and can be viewed remotely through your member news RSS feed.

Displaying Posts on Your Website

To display member news posts on your website, select the page you wish to display your posts on via the “Member News Page” selection dropdown on the “Options” page under News and Events > News in Congregate Admin.

If you do not wish to show member news posts or have a member news page, simply select “None.”

Viewing Posts Remotely via RSS

Your members can subscribe to your member news posts and view them remotely using an RSS reader/application. If you have a member news page active, your RSS feed is activated automatically. Members can click the RSS icon/link on your member news page to subscribe to your member news post feed. The member news posts RSS feed is encoded as to not allow the public to access it. Members (who are logged into their account) must click the RSS icon/link on the member news posts page on your website to find their personalized feed URL. There is not a generic member news posts RSS feed URL.

News Options

Selecting Display Pages

Use the dropdown menus to select the pages your public and/or member news posts should appear on. If you do not wish to use one of more of the news pages, select “None” from the dropdown menu to disable them.

Selecting the Number of Items Shown Per Page

Enter the number of news posts you wish to display per page. Use a smaller number (10 or less) if your news posts are longer in length or a larger number (20 or less) if your posts are smaller in length in order to reduce page load time.

Email Template Design

If you choose to have your news posts emailed upon posting, you can design and customize the email that is sent. Enter the desired subject of the news post email in the “Subject” field and then enter the body/text of the email itself in the “Template” field.

Be sure to use the tags in your template; they will be replaced by the actual content they represent. For example, the “[[Title]]” tag will be replaced with the actual title of your news post and “[[Excerpt]]” will be replaced with the actual news post itself.

Here is an example of an email template:

Subject:

News from [[ChurchName]]

Body:

[[To]],

The following news has been posted to the [[ChurchName]] website:

[[Excerpt]]

Click the link below to the view the news on our website:

[[Link]]

—–

This is an automated message sent from the [[ChurchName]] website. Please do not attempt to reply to this email.

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