Programming Options (A-Z)
This page provides general information about programming options and functions Surf New Media can implement on your news site. The list is not exhaustive as new and better functions are developed on a weekly basis. However, this list outlines some functions and clarifies specific language used in the development process.
Email and SMS gateways are programmed into sites to allow you to quickly share breaking and general news alerts with your readers via email or mobile phones. Readers can pick their preference for receiving the news.
- AP Content Enrichment
Our programmers can program customized iAtom feeds for AP content enrichmen, which require a specific fees needed to share content with the Associated Press
Blocks are a general layout item on your website. Each item in your site is placed in a configurable block, allowing layout to change when needed. Ads, sidebar items, menus and general content are all placed in various blocks throughout the website. Blocks are configurable on a per page basis and can be generated dynamically.
Blogs can be configured in a number of ways, the most basic being staff or site blogs. Our programmers can also implement community blogging on your news site.
Whether you would like to integrate your exisitng Baseview classified system within your site or have us create a classified advertising system (both paid and free) for your readers, we are able to program and integrate a system that will work best for your newspaper.
Readership commenting on articles and posts is available through the site's core programming and includes spam controls, such as captcha forms and link blocking. Additional commenting integration is available through third-party systems, such as Facebook and Disques. Third-party integration, however, is a premium option.
- Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) is a system providing a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. This is the main base for your website, where staff will add content (articles, photos, etc.) and the user will be able to read the articles, comment on items, take part in polls and be given a set of privileges on the site. The CMS also handles all aspects of the functions, including paywall, transactions, scheduling and user management.
Directories can be implemented on websites in any number of formats. Each directory section we program are specifically designed to your specifications.
Drupal is an open source content management system that we use for programming our newspaper websites. The Drupal CMS is powerful, yet flexible giving us the opportunity to build superior websites over other CMS applications. For more information, please visit our Drupal page.
Event calendars can be implemented to allow user-generated items. Calendars can be customized local events, sortable by region, city or category.
Facebook integration includes Facebook App development for interactive commenting between your site and Facebook page as well as custom-designed applications for sharing and promoting content. Authorizing a Facebook login (Facebook Connect) for your site is available as well.
User-submission forms are used universally in newspaper sites, to allow readers to submit various items, including news tips, wedding announcements, obituaries and more.
Although many news sites have moved away from these types of community posting options, Surf New Media can program in forums to allow for in-depth discussions between users and content.
Our programming department is able to provide custom galleries on your website, whether you need custom media galleries for users, per article photo galleries, or a mixture of both. Flexibility is key with all types of galleries we are able to develop on your site.
Surf New Media offers fully managed VPS hosting and dedicated hosting, specifically optimized for newspapers using the Drupal content management system. Hosting plans are flexible to grow as your newspaper grows online. Pricing is based on individual newspaper needs, traffic and site functions.
Integration refers to various ways a website communicated with other services. Internal integration includes having the site run the various functions required in a news site, such as the ad engine. External integration involves having the site communicate and pass codes between itself and other websites or services, such as social media sites or video services such as YouTube.
- Landing Pages
Programming options include the ability to designate different landing pages for each section of your site. This allows for content to be displayed on a per-section basis, rather than blogrolling articles onto category pages.
- Location Services
Working on the same principle as Google Maps, location services are available for location-based ads, content, user managements and networking.
Surf New Media offers custom mobile integration for smart phones and tablets, ranging from responsive themes to custom mobile design so your news website can be viewed on any screen without losing readership or quality.
Several options are available for newsletters, including a built-in newsletter system, which can send out individual items to subscribed readers; integration with third-party vendors are also available, including Constant Contact and MailChimp.
- Open Source
Open source is relating to or being computer software for which the source code is freely available. This allows the main source of computer code to be built on and expanded freely. Surf New Media uses open-source software to further expand a newspaper's options and functions on the websites we build.
PDF Pageflip technology is available to give you the opportunity to upload your PDFs to the website, where each will be converted into a readable format for online viewing. Integrating pageflip technology works best for sites wanting to publish their print edition online as well as keep the editions behind a paywall.
Offering the most flexibility in the industry, we are able to program flexible paywalls for your newspaper. Offerings include archive-only paywall; content-specific paywall options; full paywall; per-article paywall; and timed (or metered) paywall systems. The flexibility to use a mixture of these options is available as well.
A platform is any device and/or software, which is made specifically for a certain operating system. For example, Apple apps and software are programmed in the iOS platform; and Windows operating system is a different platform. Surf New Media ensures each site developed is cross-platform compatible, allowing your site to work on all modern Windows, Apple and Android operating systems.
Readership polls are included on all websites we development and are interactive, allowing for instant results and commenting on questions/answers.
Printer-friendly pages allow readers to print articles directly from your site without having to print out the various formatting of the website, such as sidebars, ads, etc.
- Responsive Themes
A responsive theme (or responsive design) - as the one used for this website - is an approach to web development that allows a website to break itself down smoothly across multiple monitor sizes, screen resolutions, and platforms, be it a computer, tablet or mobile device. It allows the developer to create a site that is optimized for each platform, both in navigation, readability and load time.
As you can see when resizing the window (if you are viewing this site on a computer), the layout of the page shifts depending on the size of the screen; with different layouts for content depending on viewing area. Themes (or layouts) such as this, allow for a single site and single look to the site, to be viewed on various devices without the need for additional themes or resizing by the user.
Pre-programmed roles allowing for administrators to have full control over the site, while offering lesser roles limited function on the site. This is useful for reporters to post and article to the site, but not have it published until the article is approved and edited by an editor. Roles also play into cutomized paywalls to limit what content can be seen by a subscriber vesus a non-subscriber.
This allows you to schedule when an article or other content type should be published and/or unpublished automatically.
- Sharing Links
- Shopping Cart
The shopping cart is a basic function which is needed to handle any online orders. The shopping cart will be used for online subscription and can be extended to include payments for classified ads, print subscriptions and other web orders.
- Social Network
Integration with Twitter, Facebook ad Google+ allows visitors to easily share content within social media sites. Additionally, options include the ability to login to your news site via social networks as well.
- Submission Forms
Submission forms are helpful on news sites to collect information from users for various items, such as birth announcements, wedding announcement, calendar items, obituaries, etc.
- User Management
Our programming can allow you to manage how visitors interact with your site as well as catch user data for marketing purposes.
Video integration and podcasting needs. Video options in integrated flash video players and integration with third-party systems, such as YouTube and Vimeo. Podcasting features include on-site players with ability to share files through iTunes.
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a hosting server that offers the power of a dedicated server, but is really one of several partitions on a dedicated server. This solution bridges the gap between the limitations of a shared hosting plan and the high cost of a dedicated server.
Surf New Media includes a built in What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) text editor on each news site to allow easy formatting of text.
XML is a markup language used for exporting content from your website to any number of applications. We are able to customize your site's XML to easily export content to your print publication, with specific markups for Word, Excel, txt, and Adobe applications.
YouTube video integration allows your newspaper to upload videos directly to YouTube, while providing the video within your website. This video option has become popular for social media sharing as well as cross-promotion of content.