Annabel Treshansky's Blog

…in which I don't go up mountains

Category: WordPress

Screenshot of an index box with HTML links

Index links and Info Box HTML template code

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Over the summer I helped out with setting up information blogs about Digital Education for the staff and students in GeoSciences.

One pattern that we needed to use several times was an index box linked to headings in sections with ‘back to top’ links, so I created a basic template that can be pasted into WordPress.

Anyone is welcome to adapt and use this: either copy and paste the top section into the Visual editor, or copy and paste the HTML section into the Text editor.

If your theme allows you to use Custom CSS (some but not all of ours do), you can use the id and class names for visually styling the elements.

Note: I have linked to line breaks above the headings rather than the headings themselves due to the variation in how the different themes we were using treat anchor links.

Here is the sample Info Box / Index links structure:

Main picture.
Introduction paragraph text.

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Screenshot of the statistics dashboard

Making Google Analytics more old school and less creepy to work with our Beehive Pro website statistics

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I’ve been having fun with Google Analytics this week😃.

Yesterday, I needed to add statistical tracking to our Digital Education Team blogs on the University’s hosted version of WordPress. This has previously been no problem (eg with this blog), but with the new blogs, it didn’t work.

I created a new Google account for the team with our non-Gmail address, and that turned out to be fine.

I set up a Google Analytics account for the team, and that all seemed to work too.

But when I tried to connect my Analytics account to the Beehive Pro statistics plugin in the blog, it couldn’t find the website listed in my account. It said there wasn’t a ViewID. I was able to authenticate the Google account with the plugin, but the plugin couldn’t find anything in my Analytics account to associate with it.

To explain this better, this very useful Google help page describes the structure of the Analytics account: Hierarchy of organizations, accounts, users, properties, and views.

Here is a summary of the Google Analytics account structure:

  • Organizations: An organization is an optional way to represent a company, which lets you access your company’s product accounts (e.g., Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimize), and manage product users, permissions, and cross-product integrations.
  • Accounts: You need at least one account so you can have access to Analytics, and so you can identify the properties you want to track. An account can be used to manage one or more properties.
  • Properties: A property is a website, mobile application, or device. When you add a property to an account, Analytics generates the tracking code that you use to collect data from that property. The tracking code contains a unique ID that identifies the data from that property, and identifies it in your reports.
  • Views: a View is (or was) a defined view of data from a property. Users are given access to a view so they can see the reports based on that view’s data. Analytics creates one unfiltered view for each property you add, and allows you to create more defined views using filters.

So, what could have gone wrong?

The first thing I checked was the Analytics account permissions, in case my plugin, although authenticated with Google, wasn’t actually authorised to do anything. But these all appeared to be correct: I had granted the default permission set of "Edit, Collaborate, Read & Analyse, Manage Users", so all the required permissions were there.

However, looking in the Analytics account, many things did look different from the various help and instructions available. They also looked different from my own personal account:

  • The Tracking info option wasn’t listed under Admin > Property.
  • There were no Views listed in the Admin panel, and I couldn’t see any way of adding one.
  • I noticed that the tracking code for my web property began with 'G-' instead of the usual 'UA-'.
  • There were a lot more interactions available for tracking

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My trip to WordCamp Glasgow 2020

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WordCamp Glasgow LogoOn the 8th of February, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend WordCamp in Glasgow, a very interesting mixture of talks on different topics relating to WordPress.

I always enjoy the WordPress events, because so many people use WordPress, in so many different ways, that there is always something new to learn. It’s also very interesting to hear about how WordPress is being used and the different purposes it’s used for.

This year’s WordCamp was no exception: an enjoyably varied day with terrible coffee, some nice freebies, and really excellent brownies.

Talks I attended included:

  • Sustainable web development
  • Speeding up slow websites
  • Accessible subtitling
  • Developing code blocks for use with the new(ish) Gutenberg drag and drop / WYSIWYG editor
  • Scaling WordPress for enterprise level site development
  • Creating a user-first experience with AMP
  • and ‘Hacking Tim’, which turned out to be a WordPress security expert (called Tim)’s general life hacks for work-life balance and productivity

I’ll be writing up my notes on each of these topics and linking them separately.

If this inspires anyone to go to more local WordPress events, there’s a very nice WordPress Edinburgh Meetup group that meets one Wednesday a month at CodeBase. I think I’m actually in their photo:

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