Some helpful tips for webmasters

The u3a templates are really easy to use - but it's important they're used properly.

Editing pages using blocks

The block editor is much simpler than the previous Elementor one. Just click the + icons to choose the blocks you want, and drag them around. Lots of instructional info online about how to use it. Start at the u3a Siteworks project.

Adding buttons and links is really easy. If you want to do a training session, let me know.


When you have something new to promote - like the start date of a group, the latest book club book etc. then decide where to publish it

If it's something simple about a group, just add the information to the relevant group page, and then add a manual link to the news section on the homepage. You can also use that manual news section to link directly to events, members info etc.

Don't create extra pages unless you really need to. If you do need something temporary, use the posts section instead.

  • The pages section is for info that'll pretty much always be there - like an about page, a group page, the renewals page. This section should pretty much show the structure of your site.
  • The posts section is for anything else that has a shelf life - president updates, news about groups, charity collections etc. The info never gets deleted (so you can always link to it), but it doesn't get in the way.

Make sure you know what’s coming up so you can get the site ready. Every post on Facebook / email newsletter about a group / event / coffee etc should really be linked to the site.

Things to do

  • Sticking with Membership Pro for the short term - so it'll still allocate membership numbers and confirmation emails. This all needs to be checked over. Need to explore a simpler plan B - perhaps a different plug-in, or even an Excel spreadsheet!
  • Tell group leaders to review their pages and let you have any amends.
  • It would be great to have more photos (without overdoing it - remember that the group pages are to encourage people to join that group. They aren't intended to be photo galleries for members - if you want that, you could create an extra post or page.
  • Need to understand how Mailpoet works. Looks good, but you only want the basics - joining emails for newbies, renewal emails for renewers, newsletters and marketing messages. Looks like it's trying to be a bit clever.
  • Worth a tidy up of the files you're storing in WordPress. I know you've moved over to Office 365, so perhaps delete the old stuff you no longer need. The media library does look a little full - which will be slowing things down a lot. They may also come up in site search too!
  • You might even want to deactivate the Filebird plug-in - you don't necessarily need all those subfolders if you're only using the media library for media. But check to see what'll happen to the existing files.


Adding a new group

  • In the dashboard, choose u3a groups and then add a new group
  • Write the top section, and then fill in the boxes underneath. Info from the boxes will appear automatically at the top of the group when viewed. So you don't need to repeat any info like days, times or contacts.
  • If the group is at a brand new venue, add that first (through the u3a venues page) before you create the group
  • If you're using the u3a contacts function, and the group is run by a new leader, add them first, before you create the group.

The group will automatically appear in the list of groups. But consider adding them to one of the 'our groups' pages (like Getting & Keeping Fit) - these are to help people find other groups they might like. Find the relevant 'our groups' page on the site, then Edit it. Add the link to the new group.

If you've created a new group, publicise it through the homepage news section, emails and the Facebook group too.


It's important that the u3a events section is only used for special events and things with broad appeal - and not regular weekly meet-ups. So you'd include the monthly quiz, maybe the monthly photography outing, open to all coffee mornings or any trips planned. But don't use them for the normal weekly badminton games or bridge matches. You'd just end up with a massive long list that's not useful to anyone.

When you're creating a new event, you can tag it against a specific group if relevant - it'll then automatically appear at the bottom of the relevant group page too.

Where you have groups with regular events (like the quiz):

  • Create a new event for the specific quiz night. That should have all the detailed info, the menus and the jot form link. This is the page that you'll link to from the homepage / emails / Facebook etc. The event will automatically appear on the homepage events section, and at the bottom of the Quiz group homepage.
  • The quiz group homepage will automatically display the next event at the bottom. But you can still draw attention to the next date in the group homepage text - maybe an image, or a button etc. There's no point duplicating all the detail of menus etc here. If someone wants to sign up, they click through to the specific event page.

It's best to use email to promote events. Need to understand how Mailpoet works. BUT always link from any email to the site - we always want to get people there (so they can wander about and see other things).


The u3a notices section is designed for short term news - something that has a start and end date (and vanishes). For now, maybe hold off using until we understand it better. You can use the posts section for info that has a limited time span - they are always available online.

Google Sitekit

It's keeping track of users / paths etc. When you access the Google Sitekit dashboard, you can look at a specific page (like Art History) in the search box and look at visitors and behaviours.