The last thing that elected officials want to have happen is website confusion.

Just exactly how much content does your official website contain? If I had to guess, I’d say that the answer was “a lot”. The longer that an elected official is in office, the more material is generated by his or her staff and the website is a natural place for all of this to end up. As you might imagine, this can cause problems when there is simply too much content on your site -- how is anyone going to be able to find anything?

How The Content Problem Happens

Let’s all be clear about something from the start: this whole content problem would not be an issue if we could all just agree on what should be thrown away. Oh, and of course when it should be thrown away. The problem is that we just don’t know what we don’t know. So much of the content that we create for our websites sure looks valuable. Sure, an issue or an event may have slide into the past, but we all know how those things can flare up again -- who want’s to be caught flat-footed if you’ve already created the content that you need for today in the past?

This is what gets us in this situation in the first place. We’ve created content that was relevant at one point in time, but now needs to be replaced because we’ve just created more content. However, we don’t want to discard the older material. The end result of this is that we end up including both sets of material on our website. Very quickly things start to become confusing for visitors to our website.

All material is not created equally. In fact, some material is more important than other material. However, in a last-in-first-out world, the latest content that we’ve created can be found at the top of our web pages and the still important stuff that had been there has now been pushed down. Clearly what we are talking about here is one very large organizational problem.

How Post Types Can Solve The Website Confusion Problem

The good news is that if you have elected to use GSL Solutions’ HillTop service in order to manage and deliver your official website, then you already have the answer to this website confusion problem at your fingertips. Instead of being forced to either delete or hide valuable website content, you are now going to be provided with a better way of organizing it.

It turns out that the answer that you’ve been looking for goes by the name of “post types”. In GSL Solutions HillTop service, every time that you create a new post, you are presented with the opportunity to associate that new post with a post type. A post type is a label that you’ve already defined to the system For elected officials, post types based on budget, foreign affairs, energy, etc. can all be created.

Once you’ve associated a post type with new text that you’ve created, things are going to get a lot easier for you. You can go ahead and add your new content to your web site as a “Post Type Group”. What this means is that you can control how many posts with the associated post type will be displayed on the page (1,2,3, or more). The posts with this post type can be displayed in post written, post update, or alphabetical title sequence. What this means for you is that you now have the ability to both group your website content and then control how much (or how little) of it gets displayed.

What All Of This Means For You

We should all be faced with the problem of having too much content for our website! However, no matter how ideal this situation seems, if it happens to you then your website is going to be facing the challenge of confusing the visitors that you get. Clearly this is an issue that you are going to have to find a solution to.

When we create great content for our website, we are loathe to remove it. As more and more content keeps getting created, very quickly our website can become overloaded. What we need is a better way to sort and organize our website material. GSL Solutions’ HillTop service provides such a tool. The post type feature allows a label to be associated with new posts that are being created. Using this label, a “post type group” can be added to a web page. When this is done, the post type group can be configured to display a certain number of posts of a given type and the posts can be organized in three different ways.

The use of post types provides you as the owner / manager of your website with an elegant way to get your hands around the problem of too much website content. This simple organizational technique will allow you to group similar content together. Now you’ll never lose older content and yet your website will be organized in a way that will prevent visitor confusion.

- Dr. Jim Anderson HillTop – Political Web Sites That Get The Vote!™

Question For You: How many different post types do you think that a single website will need in order to manage all of its information?

GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides elected officials with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a political website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at:

Tags: posts, post types, visitor confusion, too much content, organization, filtering, discard,political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues